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1. Is a Shopify t-shirt business profitable?

5 Successful Shopify t-shirt stores to inspire you

You can find inspiration for clever t-shirt designs everywhere you look. But the inspiration for clever designs that will actually sell online? That inspiration is a bit harder to find. That’s why today’s independent creatives and ecommerce entrepreneurs turn to the top Shopify t-shirt stores to browse limitless inspiration across the platform. 

Shopify is the epicenter of practical ecommerce for those who want to sell t-shirts online. By taking the time to analyze thriving Shopify t-shirt stores — along with their shared products, pricing, and popular designs — independent sellers can gain the inspiration they need to get started. Here are five Shopify t-shirt stores to model.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Ecommerce entrepreneurs can drive considerable profit by selling t-shirts on Shopify.

  • Successful Shopify t-shirt stores can act as a blueprint for new sellers to create and launch an online store.

  • The top Shopify t-shirt stores share essential elements in common, including an established niche and high-quality designs.

Is a Shopify t-shirt business profitable?

t-shirt business

Yes, selling Shopify t-shirts is a profitable business! Universal t-shirt sales have reached an all-time high. Revenue in the t-shirts segment is projected to reach $44.56 billion this year, with the market anticipating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.22%. The share of online t-shirt sales has steadily grown over the past five years and may be on track to surpass in-store sales by 2030.

What does this mean for sellers? Money is ready to be made on Shopify! Fashion and apparel were listed as the top products to sell on Shopify in 2023 — and t-shirts claim the top product category. Of the millions of Shopify sales completed each week, Shopify t-shirts represent a whopping 11.9% of all storefronts. In other words, selling t-shirts can drive major profits.

Why Shopify for custom-printed t-shirts?

Many ecommerce platforms and marketplaces are available today, so why sell t-shirts on Shopify? Well, Shopify makes it simple to design a sleek storefront, establish product listings, and begin selling your t-shirts in minutes. Even sellers without design experience will love Shopify for its ease of use — and potential customers will love shopping on a platform they recognize.

Shopify is also ideal for turning a profit on your t-shirt designs. As the ecommerce platform that offers the most bang for your buck in terms of pricing plans, Shopify also offers exclusive discounts on shipping costs. Not to mention, Shopify integrates seamlessly with print on demand services (POD), which enables sellers to design and produce custom t-shirts at a more affordable price. When you partner with a POD provider, they will produce, fulfill, and ship your orders directly to your customers.

Best Shopify t-shirt stores: Five successful examples

Shopify t-shirts are revolutionizing the apparel market with increased profit potential and an inside look at consumers’ preferences. Given the sheer number of online stores (like the 4.4 million built on Shopify alone), it’s safe to assume that any Shopify t-shirts that drive continuous purchase orders speak to consumers’ tastes.

When seeking inspiration for your online t-shirt business, look no further than successful Shopify sellers who have turned t-shirts and apparel into a full-fledged clothing empire. Here are some of the best Shopify t-shirt stores to model your online store after, complete with what sets each storefront apart from the competition.


If you’re on the hunt for a Shopify t-shirt store with the word ‘fun’ written all over it, Factory43 has the ultimate inspiration for you! The Factory43 Shopify website loads with a large video-style header of a whimsical cartoon robot that takes over the entire screen. A quick scroll reveals the main navigation menu at the top of the screen and the brand’s latest designs in the middle.

Beyond the playful store design, Factory43 also boasts a practical product layout. With a distinct art style on full display, the featured image for each product listing is a close-up of the item design. This visual-focused layout allows shoppers to appreciate the uniqueness of each design, many of which can be purchased on t-shirts, wall art, and various accessories like stickers.

Factory43 is also a fantastic storefront for inspiration due to its awesome sale section. Discoverable by the ‘Sale’ tab in the main navigation, the Factory43 sale section features items like ‘Mystery Shirt Box’ and ‘Mystery Tube Sale’ that enable indecisive shoppers to allow Factory43 to pick two designs on the shopper’s behalf. Put simply, everything about Factory43 Shopify t-shirts is fun!


With a name like Shirtbox, you can imagine this Shopify storefront is a bonafide t-shirt business. But don’t let the name fool you; aside from Shopify t-shirts, Shirtbox retails apparel like hoodies and vests, mugs, art prints, and even tote bags. This well-designed store is particularly successful for its textual tees, which include funny phrases and popular quotes.

Shirtbox also offers several promotions to encourage customers to spend more to save more. The brand rotates between a weekly ‘$10 tee’ deal, a ‘buy two get one free’ deal, and the most unique promo, ShirtBox Monthly. Shirtbox Monthly is a subscribe-and-save deal for customers to receive original t-shirts hand-picked and delivered to their door each month at 52% off the sale price.

Beyond significant savings — which often prove successful at converting potential customers and increasing the average order value of each purchase — Shirtbox excels with its storefront layout. The brand prominently displays customer reviews and safe check-out badges at the top of the homepage to help gain consumers’ trust and incentivize them to make a purchase.


If your style is less text-based and more nostalgia-fueled graphics, you won’t want to miss the Apesnort Shopify storefront. Like Factory43, Apesnort is known for its more whimsical style of designs, but Apesnort kicks it up a notch with its quirky, eye-catching website. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you: Apesnort really uses models with oversized heads to market their designs!

Like human bobbleheads, Apesnort models have zoomed-in features with whacky facial expressions that are paired with high-quality photos of each design. Future Shopify sellers should take note of how Apesnort balances an eccentric design style with an easy shopping experience. Despite the more unconventional imagery, Apesnort still features detailed product descriptions to cater to consumer needs.

Speaking of consumer needs, Apesnort also delivers significant savings that can increase the likelihood of a purchase. Like Shirtbox, Apesnort offers a ‘buy two get one free’ promotion to save on Shopify t-shirts. However, Apesnort also offers free US shipping for consumers that use the promotion, which allows for even more savings on top of discounted product costs.


Another source of inspiration for creatives and entrepreneurs who prefer unique prints over textual tees is Shelfies, an online t-shirt store with a strong brand identity that’s immediately recognizable to its shoppers. With products that range from t-shirts and sweaters to pillowcases and blankets, all Shelfies items share one thing in common: an insane all-over print that totally steals the show!

For potential sellers who also want to lean into pattern-driven Shopify t-shirts, following suit with Shelfies and having an immense selection of product themes is essential. Since an all-over print is much more prominent than a simple pocket design, you’ll want to cater to a vast collection of consumer interests. Shelfies designs for popular themes like cats, emojis, food, holidays, and more.

Likewise, you may want to offer a 100% happiness return policy like Shelfies. A robust return policy like this allows any customer unhappy with a product to send it back within 60 days of the shipment date for a complete refund of the item cost. Bear in mind most POD services like Gelato do not offer all-over-print services, so you may incur higher costs that you must pass on to your customers.


If there’s one thing that brings together the internet, it’s the shared love of cats. Enter Kittees, a Shopify storefront that specializes in cat lady fashion (yes, really). The Kittees Shopify site sells a range of ladies’ relaxed fit, fitted, and baseball tees, along with kids and baby apparel and various accessories that are — you guessed it — all cat and kitten themed.

The primary reason why this assortment of Shopify t-shirts is so successful is because of how specific of a niche they fulfill. Literally named after ‘kitties’ and ‘tees,’ all Kittees apparel has been designed with cat ladies in mind. Geared toward a specific fashion taste, this niche has been paired with a simplistic design style to make the Kittees store stand out among the competition.

As an added bonus, a percentage of all Kittees sales (or, as they call it, a ‘purrrrcentage’) are donated to local cat-centric charities and rescues to support volunteers and foster animals, which helps to incentivize potential customers to make a purchase. Upcoming Shopify sellers should look to the Kittees storefront for a master class in how to stay on brand, no matter what.

Four tips for a successful Shopify t-shirt store

shopify store

As you can see, there is quite a range of Shopify t-shirts making waves across the platform. Now that you’ve gained inspiration for your own t-shirt business, you may be on the hunt for expert tips to make your t-shirt store shine brighter than the rest. Here are a few steps to launch your own t-shirt business on Shopify.

Nail down a niche

Take a hint from a brand like Kittees and nail down a niche for your online t-shirt business. A solid niche goes hand-in-hand with a strong brand identity, which will help your customers instantly recognize your creative designs. From funny t-shirts and pop culture t-shirts to custom t-shirts designed for dog lovers, settle on a niche to guide your eventual product categories.

Create high-quality designs

The success of your Shopify t-shirts will rely on the quality of your designs. The most incredible designs will come from professional design tools like Adobe Photoshop or Canva. Once you have a few basic design ideas, you can experiment with various patterns and even limited edition t-shirts, such as seasonal items. Be sure to capture your designs with high-quality product images.

Leverage customer reviews

Once you begin to sell t-shirts online, it’s important to seek customer feedback on your t-shirt designs and Shopify store. Positive customer reviews can be posted on your online store to generate consumer trust, whereas negative reviews can highlight areas of potential improvement. Reviews can even inspire you to branch into other apparel, like tank tops or hoodies, as your store grows.

Offer deals and discounts

What do successful Shopify stores like Shirtbox and Apesnort have in common? Deals and discounts! Promotions like a weekly $10 tee or ‘buy two get one free’ deal can boost customer retention and encourage new customers to finally place their first order. Remember to use email marketing and social media, like your Instagram feed, to inform customers of upcoming deals.

Build your own Shopify t-shirt store with Gelato

Before you start selling your own t-shirt designs, do yourself a favor and take a look at the top online t-shirt stores. Insight into other stores will help you gain inspiration for your desired niche, the types of designs you want to create, and how you wish to establish your storefront. Top Shopify t-shirt store examples, like the five storefronts above, serve as an excellent starting point.

By and large, Shopify reigns supreme for creators with a t-shirt brand, making it easier than ever before to build attractive storefronts in a fraction of the time. When it comes time to actually print and ship your designs, streamline the process even further with a print on demand (POD) service like Gelato. Our merchant-preferred Shopify integration takes the guesswork out of t-shirts.

With Gelato as your POD partner, you can guarantee that your designs will be printed on high-quality material, from t-shirts and wall art to phone cases and photo books that complement your product line. The best part? There are no upfront fees — you only pay for what you sell! Get started selling t-shirts online today with Gelato’s print on demand Shopify integration.


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