Shopify Basics | Updated January 25, 2023  

How Does Shopify Work? A 101 Complete Guide

A short preview 

This is a complete guide to understanding Shopify in 2022

If you’re looking for:

A no fluff tutorial.

An easy to follow 5 step Shopify success plan

Tips on taking care of the customer after the sale

Then you’ll love the actionable techniques in this new article

Let’s get started!

How Does Shopify Work in 5 Simple Steps?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform where you can sell products worldwide. You need to set up your online store, select a niche, create a live inventory, and set up a payment plan. Once you start receiving orders, you must ship and deliver the product and receive money. 

In the end, if you have maintained a great service, you will receive a positive review helping you grow your store – a one-stop eCommerce solution. That's how Shopify works. 

Let's look into the work process of Shopify in a bit more detail. 

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online eCommerce solution that enables merchants to sells products to a global market and make money. 

It comes with everything you need to sell stuff online, including a no-code way of building your online store, features to enhance branding, easy checkout and payment options, and multiple speedy delivery facilities. 

Shopify also has an App Store with a huge list of apps designed to help you offer a remarkable customer experience and increase return on investment. You can also integrate your retail brick-and-mortar store with your online store with Shopify POS. 

The Shopify Point of Sale or POS helps you keep your product inventory and invoicing together by interlinking them. With the POS app, you can sell your products online and offline.

How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Shopify offers three different pricing plans.

Basic Plan

The basic plan is the most affordable, costing users $29 per month. It comes with everything you need to start selling goods online at a basic level. For a one-person army who is just getting started with eCommerce, this plan is perfect to go with. 

The top features include

  • Creation of an online store with two staff accounts
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 active customer support
  • Manual order creation
  • Basic performance reports and more

Shopify Plan

The Shopify plan is designed for growing eCommerce stores and costs $79 per month. If you want to grow the web of your eCommerce stores, the Shopify plan is a great option to consider. 

It comes with everything included in the basic plan along with, 

  • Additional staff accounts
  • Professional reports
  • 88% shipping discount, which is the highest


The advanced Shopify plan is $299 a month and includes all of the basic and Shopify plan features with some additional ones. This plan is best for growing businesses that require advanced reporting features. The bigger differences between this plan and previous ones are that it has more staff accounts and inventory locations. It also includes bigger discounts and international benefits, such as import fees calculated at checkout.

More Payment Options

In addition to the three pricing plans, Shopify offers two more payment options. 

  • The starter plan is designed for people at a very initial level. You can create your store, upload products, and start selling on social media within minutes for just $5 per month
  • The Shopify Plus is designed for enterprises or high-volume businesses. It comes with EVERYTHING an enterprise needs to thrive in the eCommerce world

How Does Shopify Work in 5 Easy Steps?

Being a no-code fun-and-easy eCommerce platform, Shopify takes a few hours to help you set up your store and start selling. Here's how. 

Set Up an Online Store

Let's get started. 

1. Select a Niche

First, research the niche to sell products on Shopify. There are multiple categories of products with sub-categories you can choose to sell. Finding a profitable niche is only possible with prior research. So, make sure you check multiple aspects before getting started.  

2. Find Products

Once you have decided on the niche, come up with a product to sell. The rule of thumb for this is the product should be of high quality and benefits. Though the first impression is responsible for conversions, to create a lasting impact, and have a sustainable share in the market, get a quality product to sell. 

3. Get a Shopify Subscription

You are ready for real action with a profitable niche and product. Subscribe for the basic plan, which comes with all you need. 

4. Customize Your Store

Now you have everything in your hand to create your online storefront. Shopify is designed for everyone, which means there's no set standard of technicalities. You can create your store without code by selecting a theme in the Online Store section. There are multiple free and paid themes available. However, a responsive, neatly designed, and mobile-friendly theme can help you do a great job. 

5. Set Shipping Rules

Let's decide how you will deliver products to your customer. In your Shopify account's shipping and delivery settings, you will find several options, including Shopify Shipping. Shopify Shipping is the best option, offering fast shipping at affordable rates. But you will be charged a shipping fee depending on the product size, weight, shipping destination, location, and others. 

Set up Payment Plan

Receiving money from your customers is seamless on Shopify. You don't need any third-party service. Instead, you can use the Shopify payment gateway to receive money. 

The funds will be received in your Shopify account whenever a customer purchases. After a specific period, you will be able to receive the funds through Shopify payouts. 

It comes with features like

  • No transaction fee
  • Seamless integration
  • Accommodation of offline sales  
  • Detectors for fraudulent activities
  • Flexible options for customers

You can set up the payment system from the store settings. 

Receive Orders

Once you are done with everything and have launched your store, it's time to receive orders. Whenever a customer places an order, you will receive an email notification update, and your customer will receive an order confirmation. 

Your store analytics will be updated, and the order processing will start. In Shopify, there are three stages of order processing. 

  • You have received an order
  • You have received payment for an order
  • The order is fulfilled and paid

Based on each stage, you have to perform respective actions, like

  • Receive the payment
  • Prepare order fulfillment
  • Archive the order to set its status as 'closed.'

You can automate these actions from your store setting. 

Ship From A Warehouse Or Inhouse

In the end, you have to decide on shipping rules to define how you want your products to be delivered. There are a couple of factors to consider while setting up your shipping profile in Shopify. 

  • You should carefully consider shipping zones and rates because they significantly influence the cost of shipping
  • If a single order contains different products with different shipping profiles, the system will apply different shipping rates and present the total amount to your customers 

Delivering products to your customers is a vital part. Despite several shipping options, Shopify Shipping is known for its easy and fast service. 

It eliminates several common shipping problems and offers facilities like purchasing shipping labels in Shopify, batch printing labels, overnight delivery, package pick-ups, and shipping insurance. 

You can also integrate your offline orders with the help of the Shopify Point of Sale (POS) app. With it, you can track offline and online sales separately and generate sales reports. 

If you have a retail store, it is best to sell products on Shopify and level up your game with this one-stop eCommerce solution. 

What Happens After Shipping?

Once you ship a product, the order status will be updated from your end to your customers'. Your customer will be notified about the delivery with an order tracking link. 

Customers want to stay updated about any progress of their order. With a live tracking link, they can check the current product delivery status. 

After successful delivery, the status will be updated on both ends. With that update, your customer will receive an email containing a link to submit a review. 

Long-Term Strategies for Increasing Sales on Shopify

Being a cloud-based and no-code platform, Shopify has made it easy to start a business online. With a quality product, an actionable plan, and goal-oriented strategies, you can increase sales and make money on Shopify. 

A few strategies to increase sales on Shopify are

  • Optimize store for better performance
  • Offer live chat support
  • Leverage social media & email marketing
  • Make the review step easy
  • Upsell products

Optimize Store For Better Performance

Your store is the center of your business. For seamless business transactions, it should be 

  1. Easy to navigate

  2. Have a clean and neat yet aesthetic design

  3. Fast loading

No one would wait an extra minute for your products page to load. 

By choosing a good store theme in the beginning, you can improve your store's usability and loading time. This will improve the on-site experience of your customers. 

A better website should have all the necessary information in a usable format. Moreover, it should portray your brand image and message. 

You also have to optimize your store website for better search performance. Quality product images and appropriate product names with optimized meta descriptions can improve your chances of owning more SERP results. 

Offer Live Chat Support

Problems or questions can arise at any time. No information can ever be sufficient for everyone, and a confused customer can never finalize a purchase. For this, you need a window to help your customers with better options to consider. 

With live chat support, you can quickly resolve your customers' questions. It makes them feel cared for, valued, and understood and creates a better connection. As a result, you gain your buyers' trust and make them loyal customers. 

Leverage Social Media & Email Marketing

Connecting with the audience via different channels makes your brand more likely to be seen and remembered when shopping online. With social media ad campaigns, you can connect with a huge online audience, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. 

Email marketing lets existing customers know about any promotional offer, sale, or new arrival update. It will spike up your sales by creating more awareness.

Make The Review Step Easy

One of the toughest things in the eCommerce industry is getting a review from your satisfied customers. Although the process is easy, you have to send them a link where they can add and publish it. 

But you need to be attentive to reach out at the right time and reduce friction from the step. Offering an incentive can help you collect reviews from more customers, even those who are not interested in it initially.

Upsell Products

A great way to increase sales is to offer irresistible upsell offers. If you offer customized upsell deals, genuine and based on your customer's preferences, they will be more likely to make a purchase. 

This will create an impression that the suggested additional products will help them or would be of help. You can offer to upsell on checkout pages, via email, and tracking pages. 

How Does Rush Automate Shipping Notifications?

In the Shopify ecosystem, Rush is the only app to help you deliver an outstanding post-purchase experience. With Rush, you can automate the shipment tracking and update your customers about product delivery status. 

Rush is based on automations. When it receives updates about the product delivery stage, it automatically updates customers. Proactive updates on the delivery process improve the overall customer experience, which increases customer retention and returns rate. 

Rush will update your customers about 

  • Order delivery status
  • Number of days an order is stuck in transit
  • Unexpected event or incident during delivery
  • The current delivery status, i.e., pending, failed attempt, waiting for delivery, etc

This way, customers don't have to manually check the tracking link. 

How Does Rush Benefit Your Business?

Most of the inquiries from customers in online businesses are about shipment and delivery updates. People want to know when they will receive the product they are waiting for and submit multiple request emails and tickets to know the answer. 

With Rush's shipment tracking automation feature, you can solve the problem from its root and increase customer satisfaction. It also helps you save time and resources to answer tickets about product delivery status. 

Rush also lets you customize product tracking pages. You can display upsell and cross-sell products on the tracking pages and add banners to promote any product you want. 

 Avoid losing customers asking “Where’s my order?!?!?!” and increase your sales by using Rush.

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