18 Mar 2024

How to make a Shopify Store and Start Selling Online in 2024

How to make a Shopify Store and Start Selling Online in 2024

Starting an online store can be quite challenging. Building an eCommerce website, finding the right suppliers, marketing your products, offering customer support, and so on may seem to be daunting tasks.

Have you always dreamed of starting your own eCommerce store on Shopify, but do not know how to get started? This article is for you.

In this article, we have shared a detailed guide on how to start a Shopify store. With the help of this guide, you will be able to set up your online store successfully and kickstart your eCommerce business.

Step 1 - Getting Started with Shopify

The first step to creating an online store on Shopify is to sign up for a Shopify account.

What Are the Essential Steps to Set Up a Shopify Store?

Go to the Shopify website and click on the 'Start Free Trial' button to create your Shopify account. Shopify offers a 3-day free trial to all its users to explore the platform before opting for a paid plan. Enter your email and password to complete the signup process.

Shopify will ask you a series of questions regarding your business to personalize the account for you.

Shopify Admin


Next, you will see an onboarding workflow that defines a list of tasks to get your store up and running. This setup guide contains all the necessary steps that you must complete to publish your Shopify store. It includes -

  • Adding products to your store or choosing from the various dropshipping or print-on-demand product options.
  • Building your store from scratch by importing a desired theme and customizing it.
  • Launching your online store and placing a test order to make sure everything is running smoothly.
  • Choosing a premium Shopify plan to gain access to advanced features for better store personalization.

We shall discuss each of these steps in detail in the later sections.

How Much Does It Cost to Start on Shopify?

The cost of starting a Shopify store depends on your store requirements and the pricing plan you choose. Shopify offers three plans with excellent features to support your business. They are as follows -

  • Basic plan for solo entrepreneurs.
  • Shopify plan for small teams.
  • Advanced plan for large businesses.

Here is a quick comparison of all the Shopify plans.

Annual Subscription PricingMonthly Subscription PricingTransaction FeesFees for third-party transactions (other than Shopify payments)
Basic $29 $39 2.9% + 30 cents 2%
Shopify $79 $105 2.6% + 30 cents 1%
Advanced $299 $399 2.4% + 30 cents 0.6%

Some of the common functionalities available on these plans are -

  • A full-featured online store
  • Unlimited products to be added to your store.
  • Inventory locations and management
  • Collaborator accounts to offer your team limited access to your store.
  • Additional store features such as discount codes, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, marketing automation, eCommerce automation, and more.
  • Sales channels for promoting products including online marketplaces and social media.
  • Standard analytics to monitor store performance and generate reports.
  • 24/7 live chat support to address your queries.

Alternative Shopify Solutions You Can Try

Shopify offers alternative plans, other than the above-mentioned plans, at affordable pricing for eCommerce businesses that do not need a fully-featured online store.

  • Shopify Starter plan for side hustles starting at $5 per month.
  • Shopify Plus for high-growth businesses starting at $2000 per month.
  • Enterprise plan for industry giants with custom-tailored pricing options.

Does Shopify offer a free plan?

No, Shopify does not offer any free plan. However, it does offer you the flexibility to extend your trial with its introductory deal of $1 per month. With this deal, you can choose the desired Shopify plan and access the Shopify platform at $1 per month for three months. Once this three-month period ends, your account will be charged the regular subscription rate for your chosen plan.

Shopify Hidden Costs

Although Shopify offers transparent pricing, there are a few extra costs that you must be aware of.

  • Transaction charges for third-party payment processors
    If you are using a different payment processor, you have to pay approximately 2% of the cost of each transaction to Shopify in addition to the individual processing rates of these third-party payment providers. These rates reduce as you opt for higher plans. But if not properly monitored, you could lose a lot of money.
  • Domain name charges
    All Shopify stores are given a default URL that ends with .myshopify.com which does not sound professional. You will have to buy a custom domain for your business which could cost you approximately $11 per year.
  • Costs of premium themes
    Shopify offers a small library of free website themes that are good enough to create a basic online store. However, if you wish to create visually appealing stores, you will be required to buy premium themes. These paid themes could cost between $100 to $180.
  • Costs of Shopify apps
    You can extend the functionality of your Shopify store by installing plugins available on the Shopify app store. For example, Sparq Product Search and Filters lets you improve product discovery, Bodt enables you to offer AI-powered customer support and more. These plugins come at monthly subscription costs. Choose a Shopify plan that fits your business requirements the best. Evaluate the features it offers and the pricing. Understand if you will need some additional apps to customize your website's functionality. Do not beat yourself up for selecting the perfect plan. Remember, you can always change your subscription plan in the future without any hassles.

Is Shopify Profitable for Beginners?

Shopify allows you to start selling for as low as $5 per month. However, to gain access to advanced functionality, you will have to subscribe to higher plans. It might be quite challenging for businesses, especially beginners, to invest so much amount during their initial days.

Here are some budgeting tips you can follow -

  • Extend your free trial for three months and save up to 97% on the costs.
  • Sign up for an annual subscription plan and save around 25% on the subscription costs.
  • Use a free website theme instead of opting for a premium template.
  • Utilize Shopify Payments to avoid additional transaction fees.

Do I Need a Business License to Open a Shopify Store?

You do not need a business license to start a Shopify store. However, you do require a license to operate your business as per your local state regulations. You may consult a legal professional to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Step 2 - Designing Your Shopify Store

The look and feel of your online store plays a crucial role in creating better shopping experiences for customers. In fact, 57% of website visitors prefer browsing a well-designed and beautiful website over a simple one. Further, 94% of first impressions of a website are design-related.

The better your design is, the more customers you attract. Hence, it is essential to design your Shopify store in such a way that it grabs attention and delivers seamless shopping experiences to the customers.

Let's begin by understanding how to create an attractive website design.

How Do I Choose the Right Shopify Theme for My Store?

Shopify offers a variety of pre-designed templates that you can utilize to build your online store. These ready-made website designs can be seamlessly integrated with your store and customized to build a professional-looking eCommerce website without any help from a designer or website developer.

Shopify Theme Store is an extensive library of website themes that you can add to your online store in just a few clicks. It includes both free themes designed and developed by the Shopify team as well as paid themes that are created by third-party designers. You can choose the right theme for your store by using the intuitive search and filters offered in the themes library.

Choose Right Theme Image


Here are a few tips to help you select the best theme for your Shopify store.

  • Determine how much you can spend on your website theme. If you are just starting out and working with a limited budget, opt for free Shopify themes to build your website and get started for free.
  • List down the features you want for your store. For instance, you may want your website to have a slideshow in the header, pop-ups, an image zoom tool, or something else. Prioritize the functionalities and look for relevant themes.
  • Consider the number of products you would be selling in your store. Remember a store with a collection of 20 products would have much simpler navigation than a store that sells thousands of products.
  • Opt for a theme that offers a responsive and mobile-friendly design. This will ensure a consistent shopping experience for customers no matter what device they use.
  • Test out the loading speed of the theme. You do not want your website visitors to wait forever for your website to load. In fact, 47% of visitors expect a website to load within 2 seconds.
  • Explore the various customization options the theme offers. This will help you tailor the theme according to your brand aesthetics.

How Can I Create Engaging Product Descriptions and High-Quality Images?

To create compelling product listings, you need to write engaging product descriptions and upload high-quality product images. Start by writing clear product descriptions that describe the product's features and specifications accurately. You may also include the benefits the products offer and how they can help customers with their concerns. This will act as a unique selling proposition (USP) of your product and can be leveraged for other marketing activities. Optimize your product titles and descriptions for search engines by adding relevant keywords, meta tags, and more.

Click good images of your products by using a professional camera. Showcase it from multiple angles to give your customers a comprehensive view of your products. You may also include product videos to showcase your product in action and attract more customers.

Step 3 - Managing Your Products

Now that you have created your online store and added product listings, it is time to ensure you offer the best quality products to your customers. For that, you need to work with excellent product suppliers and manufacturers who prioritize product quality.

Conduct thorough research on your suppliers, their reputation in the market, and the quality of products they sell. You may look up their reviews online and talk to their past or existing customers to learn about their experiences.

Request for product samples to evaluate its quality, performance, and compatibility with your brand standards. Make sure these products meet your expectations before you put them up for sale on your website. Further, analyze the product pricing, profit margins, shipping fees, and more before finalizing your supplier.

Once you have decided who you will be purchasing your products from, it is time to sign an agreement or contract that highlights the responsibilities, payment terms, product quality standards, dispute resolution procedures, and more with your supplier.

Step 4 - Setting Up Your Store's Operations

How Can I Set Up Payment Gateways and Processing?

The next step is to set up payment gateways to provide a seamless checkout and payment experience to your customers. You can integrate different types of payment methods with your store to ensure customers have a number of payment options to choose from at checkout. Leverage Shopify payments or integrate with a third-party payment provider to collect payments from your customers.

Ensure that you select a store currency in the Shopify admin before you make your first sale. This currency is the currency your products are sold. Further, make sure you have entered your business registration documents, bank account details, and tax-related information in your account for vendor verification purposes. It is only upon successful business verification that your payments will be released from Shopify.

What Are Effective Strategies for Setting Shipping Rates and Policies?

Offer competitive shipping options to your customers by evaluating the market trends, your competitors, and customer feedback. Start by providing a range of shipping options such as standard, expedited, and free shipping to accommodate diverse customer preferences. Consider implementing flat-rate or tiered shipping based on order value or weight to simplify costs. Negotiate discounted shipping rates with carriers to reduce expenses. Provide transparent shipping policies, delivery times, and potential fees to manage customer expectations.

Step 5 - Enhancing Your Store with Apps and SEO

Relying on Shopify’s functionality alone is no longer enough. You ought to invest in SEO to boost your store’s online rankings and utilize third-party Shopify plugins to add advanced functionality to your store.

What Are the Must-Have Apps and Integrations for a Shopify Store?

Here are some of the must-have apps for your Shopify store.

Apps for Improving Store Experience

  • Sparq Product Search And Filters - To improve product discovery with its AI-powered search engine.
  • Hotjar - To gain insights into customer behavior via heatmaps and identify the pain points in their shopping experiences.

Apps for Marketing

  • Mailchimp - To create email marketing campaigns and engage customers with exciting offers, discounts, and other promotions.
  • Omnisend - To create omni-channel marketing campaigns to engage customers with push notifications, exit-intent popups, signup forms, and more.

Apps for Boosting SEO

  • Plug In SEO - To automate site audits for discovering common SEO issues and improving your store's visibility on search engines.
  • SEO Image Optimizer - To optimize images for search engines by adding alt tags, captions, and more.

Apps for Customer Support

  • Bodt - To engage customers in meaningful conversations via AI chatbot.
  • ReConvert - To build custom thank-you pages for delivering better post-purchase experiences.

Apps for Monitoring Store Performance

  • Google Analytics - To monitor website traffic, customer behavior, and conversion rates.
  • Stocky- To manage inventory with detailed stock level tracking, demand forecasting, and order management.

How Do I Optimize My Store for SEO to Increase Visibility?

Search engine optimization helps you place your online store right in front of the eyes of your target audience thereby increasing the chances of securing new customers and product sales. Remember, it takes quite some time for websites to rank on Google.

Here are a few tactics you can follow.

  • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the relevant search terms your target audience is using to find products like yours. Optimize your product listings - titles and descriptions with these keywords. You may include keywords in your page URLs as well.
  • Create high-quality content, such as blog posts, product reviews, product videos, and more. Ensure that this content highlights your products.
  • Write descriptive alt text for images to make search engines understand image content.
  • Check your website speed, mobile responsiveness, user experience, and more to monitor its performance.
  • Connect with your customers and request them to leave their reviews on your website. Remember product reviews are the best form of social proof. Around 92% of customers admitted that they are hesitant to buy a product when it does not have any customer reviews.

Step 6 - Marketing and Sales

Marketing your Shopify store is essential for driving organic traffic, engaging customers, and driving sales. You can leverage various marketing channels to reach out to your prospective customers and promote your products.

  • Social Media Platforms - Create compelling visuals, share user-generated content, and build exciting contests to engage your customers and advertise your products.
  • Email Marketing - Leverage your website to collect customer details through pop-ups, forms, and other mediums and deliver personalized content.
  • Content Marketing - Create high-quality content about your products including blog posts, videos, tutorials, and more to educate your customers.
  • Influencer Marketing - Partner with industry experts to reach new audiences and build brand awareness.

Step 7 - After-Sales Support

Handling customer service inquiries and returns efficiently is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Build clear return and refund policies and display them prominently on your website.
  • Offer customers various channels, such as live chat, email, and phone support to get in touch with you. Ensure that you promptly respond to the queries and resolve them.
  • Invest in an AI-powered customer support chatbot like Bodt to handle customer queries 24*7.
  • Request customer feedback to gain insights into their experiences and identify opportunities to improve your eCommerce business.


Creating a store on Shopify is easy. Isn't it? We are certain that this guide has educated you about various aspects of how to start a Shopify store. By following the steps we mentioned in this post, you can build a Shopify store for your business without any difficulties. Good luck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to start a Shopify store with absolutely no money?

Starting a Shopify store with no money can be quite challenging. However, it is not entirely impossible. You can start a dropshipping business, affiliate marketing firm, or print-on-demand store on Shopify with minimal investment.

How to start a Shopify dropshipping store?

Shopify platform is designed to support dropshipping without any difficulties. You can create and manage your dropshipping store on Shopify for your unique dropshipping idea and get started immediately.

Is it a good idea to start a Shopify store?

Yes, it is a good idea to start a Shopify store. You can run your entire business by creating an online store on Shopify. Besides website creation, it offers a host of other tools to manage your eCommerce venture.

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