You need a domain name for your website / online store. Like my site, gordon-chan.net is the domain. You have your domain share to people so they know how to reach your site.
For people who new from website / online store setup. When they register Shopify for their store, they could also purchase a domain through Shopify so as to get rid of having the store domain as xxxxx.myshopify.com .
Shopify sell a .com domain with USD $13/year, and they help you integrate the domain with the store seamlessly. It seems handy, and yet, you can actually have other choice.
Buying a domain from GoDaddy or some other domain service provider is very easy, and often offer you much more discount if you register for few-year package. Let say GoDaddy sell a .com domain $8 + $120 = $128 for 2 year ($8 for the first year). Of course, GoDaddy is famous with its poor / non-user-friendly interface. Yet it is the cheapest domain seller I ever see. Some other clients use Domain Discount 24 , again, the feature is detail but the interface is quite traditional.
So, having shared alternative option for domain purchase from cost perspective, any other reasons for not using Shopify domain? Answer this, you need to aware Shopify is actually working with OpenSRS, which is the real domain service provider. When you signup a domain through Shopify, you don’t receive any information about the domain management. Like any login information for domain panel. It is indeed when you need to get your domain integrate with GSuite / verify your domain ownership using domain CNAME records etc. You can get your domain panel information with a very simple and feature-less interface only if you call / live-chat with Shopify Support, which sounds weird to me.
Apart from that, domain renew fee is bundled with Shopify invoice, You cannot purchase the domain for X years, or add any additional protection to the domain.
So, I often recommend my clients, either buy domain from GoDaddy and seek for Shopify Expert help on the configuration (link up the domain with the Shopify store) or contact Shopify support to obtain the domain login information as soon as they can, in order to gain back the control of the domain.
Shopify: Buy a domain: https://help.shopify.com/manual/domains/buying-domains/buying-a-domain
Shopify: Managing domains: https://help.shopify.com/manual/domains/managing-domains