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What is Shopify? How does it work?

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Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows just about anyone to create an e-commerce website with ease. The platform started in 2006 and since then has been working on adding features like shopping carts, social networking, cash and card payment methods, and order processing, among other commonplace features we usually see on e-commerce sites.

The website itself is rather basic and beginner-friendly to use. But that doesn’t mean any compromises. In this article, we’re going over what is Shopify, how it works and everything else you need to know about the platform.

Also read: What is HubSpot? What does it do?

How does Shopify work?

As mentioned above, Shopify allows anyone to set up an online store and sell whatever they want. You can sell physical products, digital products, services and consultations, memberships, classes, rentals and even ticketed experiences with help from the platform.

It all starts with signing up on the website and setting up and customising your online store. You get over 100 template options, and customisations can be done through text, logos, images, videos, and other media that might promote your brand’s look.

Once you’re done with that bit, the platform gets to the shop front of things, letting users add/edit product images, prices, inventories and optimising the site for mobile and PC views. Shopify also allows users to add and choose over 70+ payment methods in over 50+ languages to make your website diverse and versatile.

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Shopify Plans

Shopify offers a 14 Days free trial, after which users can pick one of their three plans — Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. Here’s a breakdown of all three.

Basic Shopify

The plan is mainly recommended for new businesses. For $29 a month, you get features like selling unlimited products, manual order creation, two staff accounts, 24/7 support and a 2% transaction fee.


You can pay $79 a month for slightly larger businesses and get all the features from the basic plan except with five staff accounts and 1% transaction fees.

Advanced Shopify

Lastly, for large scale businesses, you can opt for an advanced plan that comes in at $299 a month and includes everything from the two plans above while upping staff accounts to 15 and dropping the transaction fee to just 0.5%.

Here’s a comprehensive table of differences between the three plans.

FeatureBasic Shopify
Advanced Shopify
Online StoreYes Yes Yes
Unlimited products Yes Yes Yes
Staff accounts2515
24/7 support Yes Yes Yes
Sales channels Yes Yes Yes
Inventory locationsUp to 4Up to 5Up to 8
Manual order creation Yes Yes Yes
Discount codes Yes Yes Yes
Free SSL certificate Yes Yes Yes
Abandoned cart recovery Yes Yes Yes
Gift cards Yes Yes Yes
Third-party calculated shipping rates Yes
Transaction fees2%1%0.5%

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Shopify products

All three Shopify plans offer the following five products.


The Hosted online store lets users create web pages and blogs. Meanwhile, POS lite is a sales app that enables you to sell your products person-to-person.

Payment processor

Payment processing is made easier with Shopify as it offers hundred payments gateways and the option of Shopify payments. Shopify checkout provides optimum speed, conversion and better customer experience.


Users can create a convenient shipping set-up for them, ranging from heavy, bulky shipping to light orders. You can also offer live order tracking, quick and discounted carrier charges of shipping.

Back office

It provides a mobile app for easier use, along with providing analysis and reports for your business. The Shopify app store is a collection of free and premium apps that make your business experience better, along with providing a 24/7 customer care and support system.

Marketing HQ

This platform makes your business have a wider reach through blogs and SEO tools while generating Facebook and Google shopping campaigns.

Also read: Top 11 sites to buy electronics

Inputs from Yadullah Abidi and Ishika Aggarwal
CT Editorial Team

CT Editorial Team