What is Shopify? A Comprehensive eCommerce Guide (2021)

what is shopify

Most of us are yearning to know what is Shopify! Well in this article you will find exactly that and also how does it work. So you’ve been tempted to start an eCommerce store or just add some shopping cart software to your existing website but you don’t know how to make a start.

Chances are you’ve run into an online software based application called Shopify and you want to find out more! So what is Shopify and how does it work? You’ve tried Woo-commerce and Big-commerce, but you’re just not sure what [1]Shopify is and how it will work for you.

A Quick Summary!

Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to create and develop your very own online eCommerce store in which you can promote, sell and ship digital and physical products. Not only can you do that, you can also create and distribute paid monthly recurring memberships and you can run your very own store for only $29/month.

 For many merchants and store owners Shopify can be considered an excellent choice, although it’s not 100 % perfect it integrates with brick and mortar stores in an exceptional manner. Continue reading if you want to discover the perks the software has, what it does and what comes with your typical Shopify subscription.

How I began with Shopify

Today I want to talk about What is Dropshipping and how does it work ! Before I started Bottom Line Cents, I was an avid Dropshipping fanatic. I was simply importing products from overseas without holding any inventory. It was so good for me I made over [3] $70,000 in a few months in 2017. However, it took a lot of work. This was all done with Facebook marketing and an ecommerce platform called Shopify.

Why I Use Shopify

If you’re looking to start an eCommerce store that is hosted on a reliable platform, then choosing Shopify for your eCommerce needs may be the answer. Shopify is an excellent choice for an eCommerce platform and I personally have had a great experience with them. Ecommerce has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

As you can tell from my previous Shopify stores, I have made over $100,000 from running a successful ecommercestore in 2017 alone. I am able to work from home, I can travel whenever I want and my schedule has become more flexible than when I was constricted to a 9-5 day job.

Anyone can make money with Shopify and I was able to make my initial investment of $29 in the first few weeks and I went on to make more than that. Shopify is one of the top eCommerce platforms in 2019 and you can start your own shopify store for as low as $29 a month. Also, if you sign up using my link then you get a 14-day free trial with them. You may be thinking, “Well I can just start an eCommerce store on my WordPress site for a little cheaper and start selling products this way” NOOOOO… Don’t do that!

The main problem with that is you won’t be able to really optimize your store for sales you need and another thing is you’ll quickly run into your store not being able to handle a huge amount of traffic. This could impact your ability to make a lot of sales. Kylie Jenner doesn’t run her store on WordPress, she uses Shopify to host it.

So What is Shopify dropshipping, how does it work?

Shopify is a cloud-based online shopping system for retailers that allows you to start a store and start selling products.

The products can be just about anything, so if you are creative and make your own craft like items, then yes you can host your products on Shopify and sell them. What I really wanted to touch on is Shopify Dropshipping and I want to show you how you can make money using the platform with or without Facebook ads.

What is Shopify Dropshipping?

So what does shopify do for drop shipping? It is essentially promoting products to an audience who will find them interesting and getting them to make a purchase from your store.

The best part about it is that you don’t hold the inventory, the products are shipped directly from the manufacturer. Don’t worry, if this Drop Shipping stuff didn’t make much sense, it can be daunting however, I managed to get an image courtesy of Oberlo to better portray this new concept to you. I know when I first started I was completely lost, so I know exactly how you feel.

what is dropshipping

A Detailed Overview of Dropshipping 

You must be thinking, "Why Shopify Dropshipping"? and why not Amazon Affiliate? Well, let me tell you something about Amazon Affiliate. The biggest secret about their service is that you have no control over their business model! Meaning they can reduce commisions, they can remove your top-selling product at their will and It’s not a long-term business.

5 Reasons You Need To Start Dropshipping with Shopify

So what is Shopify Dropshipping do for you? I knew you’d ask this, that’s why I wrote a list of reasons why Drop Shipping is where it’s at.

  • Having control over which products you want to list. You can make a niche store (interest
  • specific) or general store.
  • You can market just about anything to your customers.
  • It has low start-up costs. Since you’re not holding stock, there’s no reason to spend money on stocking products that may not sell (Trust me I’ve been there)
  • Having unlimited inventory!
  • Sell to the world! This opens up a tremendous amount of doors when you want to scale to 6-Figures per year or per month.

You can learn dropshipping by watching my simple video I made below! I will show you how it works and how does Shopify work with Facebook.

How to make money dropshipping with Shopify

My Shopify Story Continues As I was saying I managed to rack up about $70,000 in sales within 6 months. It was the fastest ride of my life and it opened a lot of doors!

But it wasn’t the easiest ride to get there before I got to $70,000 I had to make my first few hundred which turned into a few thousand the following months. Below is a snippet of my success back in 2017, which I shared to a facebook group I was a part of.

shopify sales results

My Naive Dropshipping Experience Started to Take Off I knew nothing back then about Drop Shipping and Shopify, but I seriously digested like every bit of information there was and it led to a small success.

Then I went on to continue doing about $14,000 months with a profit of about 30 %. Imagine having an extra $4,200 in your bank account after your running costs. I’m not sure about you, but I loved it! I’ve since stopped this store as I started focusing on other business models.

How to an eCommerce Start a Store Step by Step

This part of the blog post I want to share with you how to create a store and add a product. If you sign up with my link to Shopify you will get a Shopify Free Trials <—- Click There to Redeem Your Trial . When you click the link you’ll land on this page below.

sign up to shopify

Step 1 - Signing up for a Free 14 Day Trial

Simply place your email address in the blank space and click "Get Started" after you click that you will be directed to a new page where you are required to select a password and store name. Right the password down where you can remember. For the store name, you want to think of something that will reflect what you are selling so if its crafty things, use your name and crafts as a suffix for example. Marco’s Crafts or Marco’s Crafts & Things.

Step 2 - Picking the Perfect Store Name

If you’re stumped for a name when you sign up Shopify has a name generator that you can find here. Can’t think of a name, then just write down anything that comes to mind, you can change it later :).

what is shopify

Next, Shopify requires to know a few things! It’s just for their records nothing strange about this. The platform want to know if you are already selling and if you are what is your current annual revenue. Because I’m just starting out and this is just a tutorial (and for your purpose) select "I’m just playing around" and earning $0 (mine shows CHF because I’m writing this from Switzerland). Select next when you are complete.

shopify ecommerce

In the final step (the step before you see your dashboard) you need to fill out some information about the contact information for the shopify store owner, which will be yourself.


Click "Enter my store" to complete the setup. Ta Da! Welcome to your new office space :)! This is where you’ll be adding information about your store such as;

  • Importing new products;
  • Insert your domain name;
  • Adding Payment Information;
  • Customising the way your store look.
  • And watching the sales roll on in....

Welcome to Your Very Own Store Dashboard

As I mentioned, I will only be showing you how to import your first product and from where. If I wrote absolutely everything then I would have to basically start a novel for you guys.

One of the things I want to do for you is that I will be adding future tutorials about the other topics and the biggest topic of all would be making your first sale. In the next few months I’ll be creating a Free E-course that will cover the nitty-gritty stuff, so you can sign up and find the rest of the information in there.

Step 3 - Dropshipping Wholesalers Aliexpress

Adding your first product to Shopify This Shopify dropshipping model seems to good to be true! Selling stuff without actually holding stock? Manufacturers shipping products directly?

What sorcery is this? Introducing, Aliexpress, your one-stop shop for finding products from suppliers and shipping them directly to your future customers.


Step 4 - Creating an Aliexpress Account

You will need to sign up to Aliexpress in order to link products to your store. Signing up is totally free however if you’ve done enough signing up today then just go ahead and browse the site.

The Demo store I created was all about crafts, so I’m going to search for something craft like. In the search bar above just start with a broad word such as "Crafts". I’ve marked up the search results and show you what everything on the screen is for (these are the important things). Once I’m done searching I filter by best selling orders.


Step 5 - Finding the Popular Products That Will Sell

After I’ve filtered the results by best selling the website should return the most popular items. Below is the screen showing the filtered items. The first item on the top left appeals to me the most, it’s a 5D Oil Painting more in relation to home decoration. It’s got 4138 orders so far and the price ranges from $5.18 - 16.95, this is most likely due to the different sizes of the painting.


Who Will Buy This Item?

This item is for customers who have an interest in oil paintings, home improvement or DIY (decoration). "But it looks cheap?" It may look cheap but your job is to make the audience perceive it as valuable (perceived value)! If you sell this for $5 then sure it is a nasty cheap painting but if you increase the value to say $20 it doesn’t seem that cheap anymore, does it?

There is so much written on this topic that "selling items" would be considered its own post. For now, I’m just going to complete the tutorial so that you have a better understanding of the process!

Step 6 - Adding Products to Shopify

Click through to the 5D Oil Painting and highlight the link in the web bar, this is the link we want to add to our store.


Getting Around The Shopify Product Page 

Copy that link highlighted blue in the top of the web page and store it in a spreadsheet where you can manage your products.

There is an app called Dropified that makes this process much simple, but I want to keep the complexity of this to a minimum for you. Head over to your Shopify Dashboard again and start to add your first product.

In the middle of the Dashboard there is a box that says "Add your first product" click this to add your first product. If it is not there for you then look to the left click "Products" then click "All Products", you will be presented with a screen to add your first product.


Above is the screen where on the product information. The name of the product is "Stunning 5D Oil Painting", I’ll add my own description describing the pros about the product. For the price, you want to mark the product up a minimum of 60 %! This includes adding shipping charges onto your product.

I typically charge $6.95 for shipping so if my product is $19.90. The overall revenue I’d get is $26.85 and the product costs me $5.18 (for the cheapest/smallest one).

This gives me a profit of $21.67 with a net margin of about 70 %. Imagine selling 10 of these paintings a day, do you see where I am going with this? The final steps of adding a product are to untick the "Charge taxes on this product" box and
saving the product. That’s it!

What if we had multiple products?

We’ll you’re in luck, there is an app called Oberlo which is used to quickly import products from Aliexpress. Not only does it allow you to import products to Shopify very quickly you can also see the product margins of the products, and fulfill orders with a click of a button. 

Finding the write products is what will differentiate your store from others and this is one of the key aspects you need in order to get people to buy. So what happens when we find the perfect product, whether it was directly off Aliexpress, facebook or you’re friend told you about something cool over lunch. 

In Comes Facebook Ads

You heard right, once you got the product you need to market it! The most proven way do get traffic tomorrow is through Facebook ads. We do this by launching $5 Facebook ads targeted at the US market initially. 

This is called the test market, as the currency in the US is quite strong and they have customers who will likely buy your product depending on if it’s unique (you can’t purchase it in stores).

It also must have some sort of wow factor that solves a real problem they have.


The $5 Facebook Ad Method Explained

The image above is from my facebook ad account in which I’m currently testing products and methods to make sales.
Don’t worry I will have detailed posts on product research and also facebook ads soon (the game has changed since 2017).

When you find the right product that solves a pain point then you will start making sales, see the image below for my brand new shopify store I started in March 2019.


This is $187.51 for the first week of testing products, I’m still tweaking things so this will improve. Imagine getting an extra $180USD a week? 

Starting with Shopify but unsure what to sell?

Try the best dropshipping app, Spocket. Once you login, go to the Shopify app store and add it. In a few seconds, you will be connected and ready to populate your store with US products that your customers can receive fast. 

It’s free to use so you don’t have to worry about paying anything up front. This is the quickest and easiest way to legitimize your store without having existing inventory.

Common Shopify Misconceptions (Shopify FAQ's)

Alot of people have the same common questions when it comes to starting an online store with Shopify, so I’m here to answer what I know and what I’ve seen!

Can you make money using Shopify? 

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to sell physical and digital products through your own store platform. Yes, it can be used for making money if you are planning to sell physical products, weather it is by dropshipping, or digital products by downloads.

Many people use Shopify to host their online stores and when they sell products through their own store they make money.

Do Facebook ads work for Shopify?

They can be really effective if you understand how it works, you have a matured Facebook pixel and your cost per sale has been optimised. You get to have effective ads when you have some experience with Facebook ads and that doesn’t happen over night.

Is Shopify a scam?

If you’re skeptical because you see people make money on the internet then you need to wake up. It’s no longer the year 2000 where making money online was all scams. Shopify is everything but a scam, there are tonnes of people making money, running business and using it as an income stream to buy the things they want.

Why not use Woocommerce instead of Shopify?

The other options is that uou could use Woocommerce but it is not optimised for growth, meaning the servers you host your Woocommerce site would cost an arm an a leg just to get the same speeds as you do on a Shopify store. I wrote about this, check it out here.

Is Shopify worth it?

Hell Yeh! If you could build a store with almost 0 capital investment then it is definitely worth it. Remember, if you start a brick and mortar store it will cost you rent every month that is thousands of dollars. You still need to pay this even if you’re not making sales because you’d be locked into a contract.

Which Shopify theme is best?

Free theme’s are a great way to start but often lack the essentials to make amazing sales. I’m talking about generating an extra 100 % on top of your original sale.

One of the best shopify themes I recommend is the Booster Theme, why? Because It is packed with urgency timers, upsell apps and currency converters. All these additional apps on a monthly basis can set you back quite a bit, luckily I wrote a well detailed review on the Booster Theme that you can checkout.

Final Thoughts on What is Shopify!

Having discovered what is it and how it works and so much more! This is what Drop Shipping and Shopify are essential, and it’s what I did to make $70,000. If you already know about shopify but you are not making enough shopify sales then it
could be a multitude of reasons.
The biggest could be that you’re marketing is not effective enough.