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Beginner's handbook Ecommerce platform guide

Connecting Your Shopify Store to Printful in 4 Simple Steps

By Reading Time: 3 minutes

Starting an ecommerce store has never been easier. Not only are people buying things online more than ever before, but there are also countless tools to help you grow your online business.  

If you’re looking to sell printed merchandise, one of the best ways to get started is by using print-on-demand dropshipping. That’s what Printful does – we take care of all of the production, packaging, and shipping (with no order minimums). And you’re free to focus on making your business the best it can be!

To use Printful, you’ll need to connect your store to an ecommerce platform. Printful integrates with a bunch of platforms, and Shopify is one of the best, most intuitive options. In fact, thousands of merchants use Shopify every day to power their businesses.

By connecting your Shopify store to Printful, here’s just some of what you’ll get:

  • No upfront costs – you won’t have to worry about investing in costly inventory
  • Automatic order fulfillment – you never have to process an order manually again!
  • Customized branding – we make it look like you sent it out

Now that you know what is Shopify and how you can use it together with Printful, let’s go through the process of connecting the two.

How to set up your Shopify store

How to connect your Shopify store to Printful

Step 1. Create your Printful account (it’s free!)

This is super easy and only takes a few minutes. Just click Sign Up from Printful’s homepage and you’ll be taken here:

All you need is your name, email, and a password and you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2. Install the Printful app on Shopify

Log in to your Shopify account and go to the Apps menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. Then click Visit the Shopify App Store.

shopify app store dashboard
Source: Shopify

When you’re here, search for Printful. You’ll find our app listed first under Orders and shipping.

shopify printful app search
Source: Shopify

Click on the Printful app.

shopify add printful app
Source: Shopify

Next click Add app and confirm the installation.

shopify install printful app
Source: Shopify

Click Install app and you’re ready for the next part!

Step 3. Connect your store

After you install the app, you’ll be asked to log into both your Shopify and Printful accounts. Just follow the steps and connect the two together.

connect printful and shopify stores

Step 4. Add your products

Go to Printful and under Stores in your Dashboard, go to your store that you just connected. Click Add product; this will take you to Printful’s push generator where you can choose what products to sell.

printful dashboard store

A variant is a certain type of product that can be sold. For example, if you have a t-shirt that’s available in different sizes, each size will be a different variant.

You’re free to use the clipart and default text generator Printful offers, but if you want to get more creative, you can use your own designs for creating merchandise. While the most popular tool for this is Photoshop, there are plenty of free graphic design alternatives, too.

Once you have an image you want to place on a product, you can just import it by clicking upload file and it’ll appear on the mockup where you can adjust it further, if necessary.

printful mockup generator image upload

Finally, you’ll want to add a product description. Printful products come with a standard product description, but you’re free to change it however you wish.

Use this opportunity to showcase your brand voice and let customers know what kind of experience they’ll have if they purchase your product

Printful also lets you set your own retail price, so you can change your margins depending on what works best for your ecommerce store.

Once you’ve finished adding your products, they’ll be visible in your Shopify store. You can click View in Shopify to see the product.

printful shirt in shopify
Source: Shopify

If you go back to (or just refresh) your store page within Printful dashboard, the product will appear synced.

printful synced shirt

For every order that’s made in your store, that is also configured in Printful, an automatic order will be made. You don’t have to worry about it!

Sit back and enjoy

So give it a try, and set up your Shopify store! You’re free to play around and experiment with products as much as you want. One thing you’ll need to do before you can actually start selling is adding a billing method. After you’ve done that, you’re ready to make your first sale!

Do you have any more questions we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments section, and we’ll be sure to address them!

This article was originally published in April 2014; it has since been updated.

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  1. sabrina dessalines

    Hi, i recently changed website plateforms. I used to use printful for my big cartel site but i have now switched to spotify. My spotify store is up and running and i have transferred the domain so its the same domain as the old big cartel site. I want to transfer my platform so that printful can make some of my products but the page continues to say “shop is unavailable” when i try to add it to my shopify page. Any suggestions? Do i need to completely delete my big cartel page? I do not want to redo all of the products i have already added to my printful shop.

    1. Daniela Bergmane

      Hey Sabrina, in this case, we’d suggest for you to reach out to our Customer Support colleagues. With more details in hand, we’ll be able to look into this and advise what may be the issue here. Hopefully, it all works out.

  2. Faith

    Right now I have all my products on Printify. I want to switch to Printful, so i was wondering is it possible to just pull all my products from printify, or do I have to update them in Printful 1 by 1?

    1. Edward Zarins

      Hey! There isn’t an automatic way to import your Printify products. You’d have to sync your products in Printful. 🙂

  3. Aqua

    I’m thinking of setting up a Shopify store, connected to Printful, but I’d have a few questions, before I do that.
    1. Do I need to register as a business first?
    2. What type of taxes will I need to pay? Is there any possibility of an automatic tax setup?
    3. Regarding Printful’s Mockup Generator… to my knowledge there are designs, fonts, etc. what can be used freely to make your own t-shirts… my question is – is it possible to download these fonts to add text to my designs, without risking any legal issues? Or what type of fonts are OK to be used in my desings without getting in trouble?
    4. I read about setting a niche for a t-shirt business… how important is this? My designs are kind of “all over the place”, what could target people of different age groups, interests, etc. Could I get any advice in regards of this?
    I appreciate any help!
    Thank you!

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey! First of all, I wish you all the best with your store—beginnings are often hard, but start slow and adapt on the way. Questions no.1 and no2.are hard to answer—it varies from country to country and my best advice would be to consult a tax specialist and follow your local legislation. There are also useful articles available on our Resources page.
      As for the Mockup Generator—you can’t download fonts from there, but they are all free to use for your designs that are fulfilled by Printful. Business niche is something very individual for everyone. There are pros and cons for both ways and it can definitely become a limitation to your store if your niche is too narrow, but, in my opinion, this is something that you can find out only while practicing. Maybe other readers can share their experience here?

    1. Alise Zindiga

      It depends on what integration you’re using, however, for the most popular ones it’s possible to push products to your store from Printful dashboard and then update pictures from your store end.

  4. Michael

    Is there a way to manually map Shopify variants to Printful SKUs?

    Here’s my problem: I’m using Printful to make iPhone cases. But my graphic needs to be exactly the same size on every case model (e.g. 1″). Since Printful automatically scales graphics between variants, I had to create a unique SKU for each phone model on Printful, so that I can be sure my graphic is sized and placed correctly. But this makes for an awful user experience on Shopify because I’m not able to use Shopify’s variant feature. In other words, rather than having a single “iPhone Case” with 11 variants, I have 11 separate products.

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey Michael, not sure if I understand your question correctly, however, looks like your issue could be solved if you pushed one product to your store and then updated design for each variant according to the size you need. It can be done through your Printful Dashboard > Stores > pick your Shopify store > click on the product > edit existing variant or Add Variant.

  5. Sheryl Villegas

    Hi, my shopify is linked to printful. I edited the designs on printful. However, I replaced the mock up images from printful to uploading my own mock up designs on shopify. Is this fine? will it not affect the linking of my shopify to printful? Can I replace the mock up designs on shopify? Thank you for your time.

  6. Andrea

    Hello, after trying different e-commerce solutions I’m heading for Shopify.
    However I’m experiencing some issues when I try to add a product template to the store.
    At the step when I have to choose TAGS and COLLECTIONS, on the page this message appears “We failed to load your collections. Please check your store to make sure they’re added correctly”

    I know I can add directly and then change it on Shopify, but is not the best solution when I’ve to add many products.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Andrea! Please reach out to our Customer Support via [email protected] to find a better solution for this problem. It’s highly appreciated that you share screenshots so that we can see exactly where the problem is coming from.

  7. Marnie

    Hello, my boss was wondering about one page or one click checkout with Shopify and Printful. I know there are some Shopify apps like “One-Click Checkout”, but will these also integrate with orders placed through to Printful? Am not sure if all these apps play nicely together? Thanks!

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Marnie, we’re not aware of how all the apps and plugins for different platforms affect Printful orders, but usually, it shouldn’t affect as long as all the required data is filled. I would suggest testing it out once the app is installed.

  8. Kyna

    So, I connected my shopify to printful. When someone places an order, does the payment go directly to printful and shopify pays me the profit, or does shopify pay me the full amount, then printful charges me for the order?

    Ex: If someone orders a shirt on my site for $25 and it costs printful $17 to make, does shopify pay me the $7, or does shopify pay me the $25, then printful charges me $17?

  9. Uzair

    I just want to ask that If I connect shopify lite to printful, is it possible to market and make sales through facebook and instagram only? and secondly, I’m from Pakistan and there are some issues with the gateway method as Paypal is not available here. What should I do? please suggest.

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey! Facebook and Instagram shops still require you to have an online store based somewhere else (like Shopify in your case). More information on this topic is available over here >
      Unfortunately, we won’t be able to advise any alternatives for Paypal. In this case, it’s better to reach out to Shopify Support and ask for other payment options that they accept.
      Also, feel free to contact our Customer Support via [email protected] if you need any help setting up the integration or have other questions.

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