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Want to start your own online business and sell products? The easiest way to start one today is to set up a Shopify store.
If you want to create an eCommerce store, then Shopify is the way to go. It is an easy and painless way to start your online business, selling products or even a service. All you need to do is get online and start making money!
In this guide on how to set up your Shopify Store you will learn:
Steps you need to take before you start your store
the process to sign up for a Shopify account
How to design the look of your eCommerce store
the steps to add products, shipping, & more to your Shopify store
Some key benefits of Shopify to take advantage of
Read on and find out how to get started!
The beginning of starting a Shopify store
Hopefully, at this point you have done some research on what products are the best to sell online or you already have a genius idea or passion that you know is the right fit.
There are a few items for your business that you need to have ready in order to set up a Shopify store:
choose an online Business (Shopify Store) Name
Before you can start your own store on Shopify, you have to decide on a name! Try to choose something simple and easy-to-remember to make it easy on customers.
Your store comes with a URL automatically from Shopify based on the name you provide. However, it is a little clunky and long, so you will want to purchase a custom url that is more simple and easy-to-remember.
Shopify makes it easy to do that as a part of your store set-up, but you should check to see what URLs are available beforehand. You can use a site like GoDaddy to do this. You don’t want to set your sights on petproducts.com and use that as your store name only to later find out it is already taken!
Products to Sell
You definitely need to know what products you will be selling and be prepared with all the information and photography to put in your virtual store. If you need help choosing, read up on the best products to sell online.
If you are looking for an even easier e-commerce store to run, check out Shopify’s Oberlo resource where you can find products to sell that do not require you to actually store, process or ship the items yourself! this type of dropshipping business makes things even easier.
Sign up for a Shopify account
In order to set up a Shopify store, you need to actually sign up for an account. You can do a free 14 day trial if you want and get your first two weeks free!
But once the two weeks is up and you have to pay, their plans are still a great deal. They include the hosting, set up and ability to take payments which is the most crucial piece. It is basically a pre-packaged, plug-and-play online store.
When you sign up, you’ll be asked to enter a store name. That name will become your default e-commerce store URL, i.e. pet food.myshopify.com.
You won’t be able to change this, but you can easily buy a custom domain later on that you like better, such as petfood.com, so don’t worry about picking the perfect name. When it is time to pick a custom domain, you can search to see if it’s available at a site like go daddy.
As part of the sign up process, you will be asked some questions to help set things up. Once that is done you will be in your personal Shopify account and ready to start selling products!
Add Your Products
Setting up a Shopify store requires you to add in each product you will be selling. It is super easy to do. In your account, just navigate to “Product” and then “Add Product” to add each item you want to sell.
The process and tool is pretty clear and easy-to-follow. Next, you will need to write your product title and description in the relevant fields shown in the product list builder.
In the media section of your Shopify product page you will upload photos of what you are selling. The nice thing is you aren’t just limited to a static jpeg photo. You can upload gifs, videos, or even 3-D models.
One convenient benefit of Shopify is that once you upload your photo, you can then edit it to resize it or crop it. You should make all your product photos the same size for a consistent look.
Images are an extremely important selling tool! Above all, make sure you are using high quality pictures that showcase your product in the best light. Your product images will also contribute to the overall look of your online store.
If visitors come to your site and it is messy and not visually appealing they are going to bounce!
Hiring a professional photographer to take product pics for your Shopify store is always a good idea. If you must take pictures yourself, here is a great tutorial.
Choose a price
This can be a touchy one! It may require some research into what your competitors are charging or what the market will support.
And, of course, you have to take into consideration your costs in the goods and the profit margin you need to be successful. You can always adjust your price up later if you see that people are willing to pay more for your items.
If you plan to offer free shipping, take that into consideration with the price as well. Free shipping can be an attractive, and sometimes expected offer to today’s buyers, but make sure you aren’t short-changing your profit by offering it.
If you are making and shipping your own products you will need to track the inventory. Shopify allows you to easily do this. You just need to assign SKUs (stock keeping units) to make it easy for you to keep track of your products.
In addition, you will need to assign a quantity in your product listing. That way every time someone makes a purchase of your product, your Shopify store will reduce the amount available, automatically keeping track of product inventory for you.
Another benefit of Shopify is that it will automatically calculate and input the shipping for you, based on the buyer’s address. You just need to specify the weight of the product when you are setting up the listing.
Search Engine Listing Preview
One of the most crucial tactics for success is how your product listing and your Shopify store perform in search engine ranking. Which is just basically Google search.
The higher you rank, the more clicks and buys you will get! Shopify let’s you see and edit how each store product will appear in google search. So, this is an important step!
In this section, you can specify the page title, the description and the url or handle. This is where some research can help you. You want to discover what are the most important keywords for your product.
The keywords are just what people are putting in the google search bar to find relevant products. For example, if you sell dog food then “dog food”, “pet food” and “food for my dog” would all be relevant keywords. You can use various keyword research tools such as Keysearch, Ubersuggest or Answer the Public to help guide your choices.
Since your search engine ranking is so important for selling products, I recommend reading up on the subject and even taking some courses.
It is a little pricey compared to some, but the best course you can take is Stupid Simple SEO and it is definitely worth the cost.
Create Pages for Your Shopify Store
Once you’ve created all your product listings you need to build out your Shopify store. This just means adding important pages for your visitors such as the “Contact Us” or “About” pages.
Contact Us Shopify Page
Above all, the Contact Us page is crucial! Another reason why Shopify is the perfect way to start an online store is that it is easy to set up pages like this. You just click to create a new page, go to the Template section on the right side and choose the contact template! It will automatically add the form to your site.
About Us Page
The About Us page is a great way to further sell your store to potential customers. Tell your story and connect with possible buyers! If you can create an emotional connection with them through your story and your values, it will encourage brand loyalty. Consider including a behind the scenes video or introduction to you video to increase the human element.
Policy Page for Your Shopify Store
Another helpful page to include when you set up an eCommerce store is an FAQ, or frequently asked questions. As your business grows you will start to know what people ask the most and this will give them a shortcut to quickly find answers they need.
Customize the look of your store
Now comes the fun part! Designing the look of your e-commerce store. Visit the Shopify Theme store to see all the options. Choosing a theme makes it easy to create a design for your store without needing coding or graphic design experience.
The themes also have more than one style you can choose from to further tailor your website look. And there are several themes organized around specific business types to help you choose the best set-up.
Keep in mind whatever color or font style is shown for the theme, you can change that later, so choose a theme based on the overall layout and not the colors. There are free themes or you can opt for a paid theme if you find something you can’t live without!
Below are a couple of examples of what a Shopify theme looks like.
Setting up the theme may take some time as there are a lot of parts to set up and choose a style on. The home page set up, the navigation buttons, checkout screen and more. To learn more about how to customize your theme, visit this Shopify help tutorial.
Set up shipping
Another important part of your products store is the shipping. You need to figure out how much to charge for shipping.
Variables like the weight of your product, the distance it will ship and materials you need to ship them will affect what you need to charge. You don’t want to end up losing profit because you are not tracking the costs of shipping.
In this day and age, free shipping is a fairly common incentive many e-commerce stores offer. You may want to offer this to boost sales and keep up with the competition. Just make sure you have built enough into the price of your product to cover that so you aren’t short-changing yourself.
Shopify shipping is another fantastic tool to help you organize and run all your shipping and even get discounts to save money.
Set up taxes
You have to keep Uncle Sam in mind with everything you do with your online business. You must charge taxes on each item you sell and then remit that to the IRS.
Shopify will help calculate the taxes based on default tax rates by location. But making sure you are covering all your bases by talking to an accountant is always a good idea.
Go to settings>taxes in your account to set things up.
set up your store’s payment options
Now it’s time to make sure you get paid! One benefit of using Shopify to set up your online store is that they make it easy for your store to accept most forms of payments.
Go to Setting>Payments to set up your Shopify store payment options. Options like PayPal can be added to provide many easy ways for your customers to pay. You can even accept multiple currencies and make your business international!
In addition, you need to input your banking information so that all those payments come to you!
adding a custom domain
This is where that research you did at the beginning about your business name and url comes into play. It is best to have a custom domain that is easy-to-use and remember instead of the long url that comes with your Shopify store.
You can actually buy your domain directly through Shopify under Online Store>Domains in your account.
setting up sales channels
Another advantage of using Shopify to set-up and manage your online business is that you can connect it to more than one avenue for sales. You can find and connect to customers wherever they are, while still managing your products and inventory.
Here are some of the additional ways you can set up your Shopify store to make sales:
You can easily set your shop up to sell in social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest. Selling through social media is an essential way to boost your business.
Everyone goes to google! So take advantage. With Google Channel, you can run Google shopping campaigns and list your products in the shopping tab in google for fast and easy access.
Amazon and eBay are popular places for shopping. Shopify allows you to integrate your store with these for even more customer visibility.
You can actually sell your products directly on any website that you have access to! So if you have a popular blog, you can install the buy button on it it to embed your products into another website. This allows your customers to buy products directly from that site, even though they aren’t in your Shopify store!
You can even sell your products in person! If you do local shows or maybe set up an exhibit somewhere, you can use Shopify POS to take in-person sales.
Once you’ve set up all the sales channels you want, you will then need to choose which products are available through those channels in the product availability section.
The last step you should set up before you launch is to enable some key items to help with marketing. Marketing will be an essential and important aspect of having a successful online store.
Here are a few things you should set up as a foundation for the marketing activities you will do.
shopify store Analytics
Shopify reports will give you a lot of information about your store traffic and sales. If you want even more in-depth analytics, you can set up Google analytics as well.
Search engine optimization (seo)
You know how when you google something a bunch of items show up? And, you usually click on one of the first few items? Well, that is why you need to focus on your Shopify store SEO from GET-go!
Showing up higher in search results means more visitors and more sales. Shopify has this helpful SEO checklist to guide you.
launch your Shopify store and start selling!
That is it, now you can publish your store to the world!