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How to sell on Shopify

Details about pricing, shipping, marketing and more.

Updated

Fact checked

Shopify is a cloud-based e-commerce platform where you can create your own online store, sell across social media sites and attract customers from around the world.

If you’d like to start selling on Shopify, find out how to price products, how to ship to buyers and how much it costs to sell through the platform.

How do I start selling on Shopify?

Open an account and start selling on Shopify by completing the following steps.

  1. Visit the Shopify website. Head to the Shopify homepage and click Start free trial. Enter your email address and create a password and store name.
  2. Provide basic store information. Tell Shopify more about your store, including your current revenue, industry and selling experience.
  3. Add your address details. Provide your full name, business address and phone number. Then, click Enter my store.
  4. Explore Shopify. Familiarize yourself with what Shopify has to offer, including the Orders, Products, Customers, Analytics, Marketing, Discounts and Apps pages.
  5. Set up your store. Start adding products to your Shopify store, choose a Shopify theme and enter a domain address. You can also select a Shopify plan you want for when your 14-day free trial ends.
Go to Shopify

How to price your items

There are two factors to consider when pricing items for your Shopify store:

  • What you pay. Consider the various manufacturing, storage and shipping costs that factor into your business. You don’t want to gouge customers with high prices, but at the end of the day, you’re trying to turn a profit.
  • What customers pay. Research what successful sellers in your industry charge. This tells you what customers are willing to pay for a product.

Strike a balance between profitability and fairness. Finding the right price for your product may require some trial and error, so be flexible as you hone in on your ideal price.

How to ship with Shopify

Shopify does not have its own fulfillment center, so you have four options when shipping items to customers:

Ship it yourself

Be prepared to set your own shipping rates, package products, print shipping labels, drop shipments to your carrier of choice and cover all associated shipping costs.

Dropshipping service

Third-party dropshipping services can store your inventory and ship products on your behalf. You’re still responsible for shipping costs, but you’ll pay the service, not the carrier.

Fulfillment by Amazon

If you hold an Amazon Seller Central Account, you can set up Amazon Fulfillment from your Shopify account. Amazon stores your inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center and ships on your behalf, but you must agree to exclusively stock your product with Amazon — you won’t be permitted to stock the product in your storefront or with a secondary fulfillment service.

Shopify Shipping

Shopify Shipping is available in the US and Canada and provides Shopify merchants with pre-negotiated carrier shipping rates based on your Shopify service plan. You select your preferred carriers and customers select their preferred shipping speed at checkout. After you receive an order, purchase and print shipping labels directly from your Shopify account. Then, drop the package to the appropriate carrier or schedule a package pickup.

How to set shipping rates

How you determine shipping rates hinges on how much of the shipping cost you’d like to absorb:

  • Free shipping. Free shipping is an appealing perk for customers but you’re required to cover the entire cost of shipping out of pocket.
  • Flat rate. You can set a flat rate for products based on weight, shipping zone, total order value or shipping speed.
  • Exact rate. Also called a calculated rate, this shipping rate passes the entire cost of shipping onto the customer with rates based on carrier and shipping speed at checkout.

How do I market my Shopify products?

Some marketing tools on Shopify are included in the cost of your Shopify plan, while some cost extra. Some ways you can market your products include:

  • The Kit app. This Shopify app is included in your plan and is designed to help you market your online store. Create social media ad campaigns, automate your email marketing and integrate with other marketing apps. Some extra features come at a cost.
  • Ad campaigns. For a fee, you can create marketing campaigns through Google Ads and Facebook Ads from your Shopify account.
  • Use a bundle app. Bundle apps can be purchased from the Shopify App store and prompt customers to purchase bundled products at checkout.
  • Facebook groups. If you have your own Facebook business page, you can increase your reach by engaging with Facebook groups that relate to your market niche or target audience.
  • Instagram promotion. Since Shopify allows you to sell through Instagram, use the platform to your advantage by sponsoring an Instagram Story or partnering with an influencer.
  • Affiliate marketing. Partner with a professional affiliate marketer or reach out to customers and offer them an affiliate commission for promoting your business.
  • Add CTA buttons. A call-to-action button — like Add To Cart — helps facilitate both the checkout process and site navigation.
  • Host a giveaway. Promote a product by hosting a giveaway through your social media accounts, website or through a popular influence or blogger.
  • Sales and discounts. Create discount codes for free shipping, dollar-value discounts or percentage discounts.

Shopify Apps

You can also find third-party programs in the Shopify app store to help with a wide range of marketing strategies and options, including:

  • Email marketing
  • Referral programs
  • Making product image and video galleries
  • Running contests and giveaways
  • Marketing analytics
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization

Some apps are free and others offer a free trial for a limited time. However, you’ll need to pay for many apps — whether it be a one-time charge or an ongoing monthly fee.

How much does it cost to sell on Shopify?

Expect to pay between $9 and $299 as a seller. For more information on pricing and how the platform works, read our full review of Shopify.

Compare e-commerce providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Products Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Hosting
BigCommerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29.95/month
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Hosted
BigCommerce is an all-in-one e-commerce platform created to help you sell more.
Helcim
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Website builder, Inventory tracking
$20/month
1.92% + $0.08 per transaction
Hosted
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
Square E-commerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
None
2.9% + 10¢
Hosted
Create an online store with beautiful layouts to help drive business.
Shopify
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29/month
2.9% + $0.30 online; 2.7% in person
Hosted
Shopify offers both e-commerce and in-person POS systems designed to help you build a new online store from the ground up.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Shopify offers the tools you need to set up an online store, including payment processing, social media integration and a comprehensive library of apps. But keep an eye on your bottom line, as many of Shopify’s extra services come at a cost.

Check out your e-commerce options with other providers to find the ideal service for your business.

Go to Shopify

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