Selling online is a complicated process. It consists of several essential parts, which are impossible to fulfill without the proper software tools. Nowadays, lots of eCommerce platforms are on the market. The ideais to choose the most suitable one. And as the statistics show, Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for running sales businesses in 2017.

Startingis always hard, and starting to sell online is no exception. The salesperson faces lots of doubts and difficulties when beginning to implement their ideas. But previous experience and meaningful advice are always of great help. So I would like to present you with my own experience of selling on the Shopify platform for the first time. A few important steps are described, so you can understand how the process starts and what steps you need to make sure to take. Also, the general information about doing business with Shopify might be helpful for you to develop and improve your selling ideas.

How to start and what to sell on Shopify

Experts believe that eCommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion in 2021. The hypothesis is built on previous statistics and detailed market research. But imagine: trillions of dollars produced by a single tool! That is a huge amount of money, and it is quite clear that eCommerce is more than just promising industry. It is the future of the world’s sales. The reason why I joined it: eCommerce is an extremely broad field for the realization of the most global plans and ambitions. When I was planning to start, I hadhuge doubts and sleepless nights thinking about what tools to use. There are so many tasks and the process should be automated!  This is how I found Shopify.

I will answer the question about how to start the selling process on Shopify below.

1. Sign Up

As with every web platform, Shopify requires authorization to use it. So first of all, I created an account with the required data and details. When signing up, one should enter:

  • Their unique webstore name
  • Personal details like name, address, country, and contact information



At this stage Shopify asks about the goal of your site and the products you will sell. At that moment I wasn’t entirely sure about what products I was going to work with, so the option “I’m just playing around” described my needs perfectly. The option can be changed to more precise one in the future.

2. Customization of the web store

This step includes:

  • Customization of the interface
  • Uploading products
  • Setting payment and shipping rules

3. Shopify Themes

Shopify allows you to choose one of the great-looking themes to make your web store look wonderful. I have to tell you that I’m really thankful for Shopify’s designers. The variety of themes (or layouts) that they suggest is simply great! Every theme is fully supported by professionals, and I even made some of the modifications by myself. No coding skills required.



Choosing a suitable theme took much of my time, so here are some short tips on how to find the best theme for your web store:

  • Conduct a short research study It’s hard to look through lots of themes in a few minutes, so use filters and chose those that meet your basic needs.
  • Features and functionality When you find the theme that fits your business, see if it is good enough to present your store.
  • Pay attention to reviews There is nothing more informative than real people’s reviews. Once you are sure that theme is perfect for you, find out what other retailers think about it.
  • Demo Make sure that theme works well by clicking a View Demo button. After that, you can get the theme for your store.

If you are not satisfied with the chosen theme, you can change it to another one anytime.

4. Play with settings

I wanted my Shopify store to be special and unique. This is why I spent some time on clicking different buttons and checking how it influences the interface and functionality.

The merchant is allowed to:

  • Upload the shop’s logo and slides to the homepage
  • Customize product pages
  • Choose the number of items per line, lines per page
  • Play with color scheme and font

Again, different themes make different modifications possible, so there is a lot to do at this stage.

5. Time to add products

At this step, one can fulfill the essential part of how to sell on Shopify. Pay attention to the fact that it is extremely important to add the product’s name, description, and URL. The more details are shown on the product’s page, the less unnecessary questions you will be asked. Images bring your digital products closer to reality, so do not forget about these as well. Use different high-quality product photos with the same dimension. Try to show as much as you can to promote your products.



6. Save it all

The next thing to do is make sure that everything looks great and save all changes.

7. Product collections

Collections and groups of products help customers find the desired product. The merchants can create different groups based on:

  • Product types
  • Sale items
  • Certain size/color/amount of products
  • Holiday products, etc.



Well, this all depends on you and your wishes. For example, my specialization is socks. My product collections include Mens Collection, Womens Collection, and Winter Edition.

There are 2 ways to add products to the collection: manual and automated.

Useful tip: show your collections on the homepage and in a navigation bar.

8. Set up the Payment procedure

I actually worried about how the payment procedure would work when selling online. There is always some risk, I thought. But Shopify Payments are rather easy to set up, although some things should be remembered:

  • Payment gateways require a percentage or flat fee
  • Visa and MasterCard are accepted by all gateways. Check if your card will be accepted, too
  • Payment gateways use their own services for transactions



Whenever you want to change, go to Settings > Payment and edit the chosen options.  

9. Taxes and Shipping

Depending on what kind of goods are on sale, you may be required to pay special taxes. Learn the taxes rules of your country before you start to sell online.



Shipping is a difficult part of the eCommerce process. You must define certain rules for calculating the shipping rates. There are lots of Shopify apps that are able to provide you with high-quality support. As for me, I use Shipping Easy for my deliveries and Free Shipping and Hello Bar to promote information about shipments.

10. Test it now

Use Shopify Bogus Gateway to test the order system. Following the standard customer’s steps, you will find out if the system works well. But be careful: don’t lose your money when testing. Cancel the test order immediately or disable your credit card while doing the test.

This is how starting to sell on Shopify looked for me.

Some thoughts about what you can sell on Shopify

I have been often asked the question of what to sell on Shopify. You can sell everything you want online, or at least you can sell what is legal. Goods and products are shortlisted right here:

  • Your own brand product You must be unique to succeed, so sell special goods. It is not enough to have the goal of earning money; it is necessary to go the extra mile to succeed
  • Similar products Cooperate with other merchants that sell similar goods to increase profit.
  • The market trends Trends come and go; if you sell a trendy product when it is on the top, you can earn more profit

Remember: the added products must fit your brand. You cannot just sell designer lingerie along with teacups, because this is meaningless. Plan what you would like to sell on Shopify carefully, as this is the basis of your store.

It is always hard to start. Months of developing the idea, weeks of preparations, days of dealing with troubles… and only half of an hour to install the Shopify store. Understanding how to start selling on Shopify is a key to your profit. It is actually worth it. Shopify simplifies the processes and helps with everything connected to running an eCommerce business. Also, it gives a 14-day free trial. This period was useful for me as I perfectly understood Shopify’s usefulness during this 2 weeks.

You can sell anything you want on Shopify! Follow the simple steps mentioned above to experience the convenience and profit for yourself.