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Shopify at a Glance

Updated 7 January 2020

Shopify is a Canadian multinational eCommerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. An e-commerce platform for online stores and retail POS (point of sale) systems. 

Shopify offers online retailers a suite of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running an online store for small merchants.

Shopify is a SAAS based Service model, delivering software on a subscription basis. It is all cloud-based and hence, you can access it using your web browser on desktop or mobile.

Moreover, updations & maintenance is done automatically. 

According to stats

  • Shopify powers over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide
  • Shopify businesses around the world have made over $135 billion in sales
  • 2,100,000+ active users
  • From 2016 to 2018, businesses on Shopify contributed $183 billion in economic activity worldwide
  • From drop shipping to social media marketing, the Shopify App Store has over 3,200 apps to help you start, manage, and grow your business.

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify has mainly three plans which come with 14 days free trial period.

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Basic Shopify: USD 29/month (With all the basics for starting a new business). You can create two staff accounts with a 2% transaction fee.

Shopify: USD 79/month (Everything you need for a growing business). You can create five staff accounts with a 1% transaction fee.

Advance Shopify: USD 299/month (Advanced features for scaling your business). You can create 15 staff accounts with a 0.5% transaction fee.

Also, Shopify does have two other plans namely Shopify Gold (Useful for large businessesShopify Lite (mainly for selling on facebook with a chat with customer facilities).

Do I need a business license for a Shopify business?

This completely depends on where you’re located. Some countries and cities require a business license and some don’t. Also, taxes depend upon how much you are generating revenue per month or year.

Shopify Affiliate Program

It includes entrepreneurs, educators, influencers, content creators, and others who refer their audience to Shopify. The program is free to join and you can earn commissions by referring new Shopify merchants (make them sign up for a paid plan with the unique affiliate link) and also by Shopify Plus referral.

Shopify partner program

The Shopify Partner Program consists of a group of designers, developers, marketers, etc. who use the Shopify platform to build ecommerce websites, themes, and apps. There are three ways Shopify Partners can use to grow their business and generate ongoing monthly revenue:

  • refer clients to Shopify
  • create ecommerce themes and publish them in the Shopify Theme Store
  • create Shopify apps and publish them in the Shopify App Store

What is a Shopify development store?

As a Shopify Partner, you can create an unlimited number of development stores. A development store is a free Shopify account that comes with a few limitations. You can use a development store to test any themes or apps that you create or to set up a Shopify account for a client.

One can’t test the functionalities of other Shopify apps (paid applications) present on the Shopify app store.

Other perks:

  • Create unlimited order using a bogus gateway
  • Process up to 50 orders through an active payment gateway
  • Unlimited Products
  • Create up to 10 private apps
  • Assign a custom domain

How do you cancel a Shopify subscription?

If you want to cancel your Shopify account, then you need to close your store manually.

You need to pay any outstanding charges before you can pause or close your store. If you have no outstanding charges against your account, then you will receive no bill after closing your store.

If you are on a free trial and have yet to choose a pricing plan, then you don’t need to take any action to cancel your account. Pausing your store during your free trial does not extend your free trial period. If you unpause your account after your free trial expires, then you need to select a paid plan to continue working on your store.

Before closing or canceling your Shopify account, make a note of points given below:

  • If you are using third-party apps then cancel your services with those apps to avoid bills externally after shutting your Shopify account.
  • In case you are using the domain provided by Shopify and if you close your store account and then again in future if you wish to launch a new Shopify store then you won’t be able to make the new store with a similar domain as you had previously.
  • If you are using your custom domain for your store then make sure to remove it from the store otherwise you won’t be able to use it for another website.
  • If you want to temporarily close your account for some time then you can pause your account instead of closing it so that you can come up and activate it whenever you feel like.

Once your account is closed, it will be lost permanently.

Though Shopify saves your Store’s data for 30 days under which if you change your mind to restart your store then you can do so but after 30 days it can’t be altered.

Let’s see how to close the account:

  • Log in to your store (backend)
  • Go to Settings >> Account >> Store Status >> Sell/Close Store
  • Click on Close Store
  • Enter your store’s password
  • Provide a reason for shutting your Shopify account
  • Hit the Close Store button

P.S: To confirm if your store is shut or not, search your store’s URL & it will not load your store.

What about selling a pre-built Shopify store?

If you don’t want to run your Shopify online store anymore, then you get three options:

  • Either pause your store to reopen it.
  • Close or shut it down completely.
  • Or you can sell it to another interested candidate at a good price if you have a lot of audience and customers in your store.

Many newbie sellers are interested to buy an already established store as that will help them grow faster due to existing candidates. So, the money that they were supposed to put up for marketing their new store, they better use to buy an older one even at a high price.

Specifically talking about Shopify, there are few simple steps to sell the current store. Dropping them down:

  • Log in to your store (backend)
  • Go to Settings >> Account >> Store Status >> Sell/Close Store
  • Click on ‘Sell store’:

This action will further install an ‘exchange marketplace’ app on your store which will list your store in front of thousands of buyers who are eager to become the new owner of your business.

This way you can get the best price for your store!

To know more about Exchange Marketplace, visit: Ecommerce Websites & Businesses for Sale | Buy and Sell Online Sites

Do I need a GSTIN for Shopify?

The GST is an indirect tax throughout India. It replaces other taxes and levies that are applied by the central and state governments, including Value Added Tax (VAT), Central Sales Tax, Excise Duty, and Commercial Tax, among others.

Talk to your tax consultant to make sure your business is registered and compliant with the GST.

Who needs to register for GST?

GST registration is mandatory if:

  • your turnover in a financial year exceeds Rs 20 lakhs (Rs 10 lakhs for North Eastern and hill states)
  • your business is registered under an earlier law, such as Service Tax or VAT
  • you are involved in inter-state supply of goods
  • you sell on online marketplaces.

This is not a complete list. Talk to your tax consultant to learn whether you need to register.

Shopify doesn’t create a GST-compliant bill. You’ll need to engage a third-party GST invoicing service instead.

Payment Method

If you want your customers to pay via credit cards then Shopify’s Payment Gateway is the best. I’ll tell you why.

Shopify Payment is available to few countries only. So, if you are running your business in any of these countries then you are eligible to use this Payment:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong SAR China
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • United States (Shopify Payments is not available to US territories except Puerto Rico.)

Similarly, the currencies of the following countries are supported by Shopify Payment.

Shopify Pay lets your customers save their credit card, billing & shipping details so that the next time they check out, they don’t need to enter the following details again. This reduces checkout time by providing an accelerated check out session.

Shopify Payment adds funds to the bank account you have mentioned in the Payment Provider section of your store.

Mark that: The store owner will not receive funds if the payout is less than $1, £1, or €1, whichever currency you are using for your store. This fund will be added to your next payout that meets the above requirement.

If you’re using Shopify Payment Gateway, you’ll get many additional advantages. Listing them down:

  • You’ll not need to set up a third-party payment provider that means your customers will be able to check out on the Shopify page only rather than redirecting to a different webpage to complete the checkout process.
  • You will be charged transaction fees each time a customer places an order using a third-party provider. Whereas, if you are using Shopify Payments, you’ll be saved from any external transaction charges.
  • Using this, you’ll be automatically set up to accept all major payment methods as soon as you create your store.

Currencies supported

Within Shopify, you can accept and refund payments in the given currencies:

  • Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Pound sterling (British pound) (GBP)
  • Singapore dollar (SGD)
  • United States dollar (USD)

Is Shopify Plus PCI compliant?

All stores powered by Shopify are PCI compliant by default so you can keep payment info and business data safe.

To know in detail regarding the same, refer to the following link:

PCI Compliant Hosting Provider, Web Hosting Service by Shopify. Shopping Cart & Ecommerce Software

How many free tools does Shopify provide?

  • Image resizer
  • CPM calculator
  • Exchange Marketplace
  • Profit margin calculator
  • Business loan calculator
  • Logo maker
  • Slogan maker
  • Business name generator
  • Paystub generator
  • Invoice generator
  • Terms and conditions generator
  • QR code generator
  • Business card maker
  • Gift certificate template
  • Purchase order template
  • Bill of lading template
  • Shipping label template
  • Privacy policy generator
  • Refund policy generator
  • Barcode generator

Refer to know in detail: Free Business Tools – Online Tools for Small Businesses

Sell on Instagram

Post products on your Instagram as posts & stories with a link that your customers can tap to buy the products in your store.

Make sure to keep the given points under check before initiating the process of connecting your Instagram as a sales channel:

  • You need to have a Basic Shopify plan or higher.
  • You must have a published facebook channel with an approved Facebook shop (there should be no age or country restrict on it).
  • Connect Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page.
  • You can sell only physical products.
  • Must have the latest version of the Instagram app.
  • You need to follow Facebook commerce policies.
  • You need to be located in a country supported by Instagram.

Setting up your Instagram sales channel:

  • Log in to your admin account
  • Click on the (+) icon in front of the Sales Channels menu
  • From the pop-up, click on the (+) icon in front of Instagram
  • Now, from home, go to Instagram under Sales Channels and click on ‘Account’
  • Click on ‘Connect account’
  • Enter the login credential of your Facebook account to authenticate your Instagram channel.

After adding your Instagram account, Instagram will review your account & notify you once the review is completed & the account is verified.

Now you can go ahead and step up things to start using the Instagram sales channel.

Sell on Facebook

You can sell on multiple sales channels using Shopify like Facebook, Amazon, Buy Button, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

Integrate different sales channels and manage your products, orders, and customers in one place.

Getting started with Facebook Sales Channel:

Post for products on your Shopify store’s Facebook page and let your customers buy them directly from there.

Before initiating this process make sure you have set these things right:

  • You need to have a published Facebook page for your business.
  • Your customer email in the General Setting section should be valid.
  • Your products on Facebook need to have currency supported by Facebook.

Let’s jump into its configuration:

  • Log in to your Shopify admin account
  • Click on the (+) icon in front of the Sales Channels menu
  • From the pop-up, click on the (+) icon in front of Facebook
  • Now, from home, go to Facebook under Sales Channels and click on ‘Account’
  • Click on ‘Connect account’
  • Enter the login credential and connect your store’s Facebook page with your Shopify store

Wait for Facebook to review your Store.

You’ll receive an email with a notification regarding the same within 48 hours.

Now, you can go ahead and add products as well as collections to your Facebook sales channel.

Also, you can manage your orders from the backend > Orders > All orders > Filter orders of Facebook.

Shopify For Artists

To be honest, Shopify is THE PLATFORM for artists & creative entrepreneurs simply because of the lowest ‘tech’ barrier. Not every artist is into coding stuff which makes this platform very easy to handle & work with. You don’t require to deal with hosting, uploading a theme or other tech-related stuff. Simply, add your artwork, get the audience & sell!

Learn more

Selling Digital Products

Selling digital products on Shopify is simple and you can even get help from the number of apps available to enhance your service, specifically built to serve this purpose.

Adding a digital product to your store is as simple as adding a normal product. Add the product as usual but make sure to unmark the ‘This is a physical product‘ option in the Shipping Section.

Don’t forget to add the download link to the product.

Know more

To wrap up this article, here is a link to another article that will help you list down the kinds of websites that you can launch. Moreover, it contains some inspirational stores!

Types of Websites you can launch with Shopify

Need Help?

You can drop your query by raising a ticket at Webkul UV Desk.

Until next time. 👋


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