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Want to start your own online business and sell products? The easiest way to start one today is to create 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, set up a new Shopify store website and start making money!
You might be asking yourself “Can I set up a Shopify store by myself?” You absolutely can! And, our guide to creating a Shopify business will help you.
In this guide on how to set up your new Shopify Store step by step you will learn:
- Steps you need to take before you launch your Shopify store
- The process to sign up for a Shopify account
- How to design the look of your eCommerce store
- How to add products, shipping, & more to your Shopify website
- Some key benefits of Shopify to take advantage of
Read the online store set-up guide and find out how to get started with Shopify!
Shopify – What is it?
Shopify is a customizable e-commerce platform that permits brands to create their own online storefronts. Unlike other marketplaces, Shopify offers greater flexibility and control over your branding without content limitations or excessive fees.
It offers various user plans tailored to the needs of different businesses. Shopify also provides a user-friendly interface and a vast library of pre-made themes, making it easy to design and customize your store according to your brand’s identity.
- Best Products to Sell on Shopify
- Shopify vs. WordPress: Which is the Better Selling Platform?
- Starting a New Business Checklist
What to do Before you Set Up 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 as the prelaunch steps to setting up a Shopify store:
Choose an Online Business (Shopify Store) Name
Before you can start a 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 domain url that is 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 a name and url only to later find out it is already taken!
Pick Products to Sell on your Shopify Website
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 are looking for an even easier eCommerce 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.
Shopify Dropshipping Starter Kit
Shopify Dropshipping: Learn how to easily start a dropshipping business!
How to Setup Up Your Shopify Store Step by Step
Now we are getting to the nitty gritty of this Shopify store set-up guide! Take the steps in this guide one at time and before you know it you will be selling your own products online.
1. Sign Up for a Shopify account
In order to start a Shopify store, you need to actually sign up for an account. So, the first step to starting your online store is to create a Shopify 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 dashboard and ready to start selling products! The Shopify login is how you will access your store online after set up.
2. Add Your Products
Setting up a Shopify website 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 eCommerce website is always a good idea. If you must take pictures yourself, here is a great tutorial.
3. Choose a Price
This part of the Shopify store creation guide 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.
4. Set Your Shipping
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.
5. Search Engine Listing Preview
The next part starting an online Shopify business is about SEO, or search engine optimization.
One of the most crucial tactics for success is how your product listing and eCommerce website perform in search engines. Which is just basically Google search.
The higher you rank in the search engines, 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 for your store.
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. If you want to setup your store the right way, you should opt for this course.
6. Create Pages for Your Website
This is an essential part of starting a Shopify store. Once you’ve created all your product listings you need to build out your Shopify store with all the pages.
This just means adding important pages for your visitors such as the “Contact Us” or “About” pages.
To setup an e-commerce website the right way, you will need all of the below pages on your Shopify website.
Contact Us Shopify Page
Above all, the Contact page for your site is a crucial step in starting your store.
Another reason why Shopify is the perfect way to start an online store is that it is easy to set up landing 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
Again, a super easy thing to set-up in Shopify.
First, go to “Settings” and then choose “Legal.”
This may sound both boring and scary, but you must have these set up to protect your Shopify store and online business.
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.
7. Customize the look of your Shopify store
Now comes the fun part of creating your Shopify store!
Designing the look of your e-commerce store is an important step in launching a Shopify store.
Visit the Shopify Theme store to see all the options. Choosing a Shopify 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 for your Shopify website.
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 design 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.
8. Set up shipping Setting
Next in the online store creation is shipping settings. You need to figure out how much to charge for your shipping rates.
Variables like the weight of your product, the distance it will ship and materials you need to ship them will affect shipping rates. 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 the shipping rates you will be charged so you aren’t short-changing yourself.
Shopify shipping is another fantastic tool to help you organize all your shipping settings and even get discounts.
9. 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.
For the taxes step of your online store set-up, Go to settings>taxes in your account to set things up. For any Shopify payments you receive, taxes will automatically be added.
10. 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 payment options.
Shopify payments 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, before you publish your store, you need to input your banking information so that all those payments come to you!
11. Add a custom domain to Your Shopify Website
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 custom domain directly through Shopify under Online Store>Domains in your account.
12. Set 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. These sales channels will allow you to take advantage in many ways to capture sales.
You can find and connect to customers wherever they are, while still managing your products and inventory.
Here are some of the additional features you can set up in Shopify to make sales:
You can easily set your shop in Shopify 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.
You can also easily add social media media accounts to your online site as well.
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.
When setting up your Shopify business, you want to make sure it is represented on Google in every way possible.
Amazon and eBay are popular places for shopping. Shopify allows you to integrate your store with these for even more customer visibility. Taking advantage of these already established sales channels can help you increase revenue.
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 Shopify products into another website.
This allows your customers to buy products directly from that site, even though they aren’t in your online 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. There are many Shopify apps like this to help you with your business.
13. Shopify marketing
The last step you should set up before you launch your online store is to enable some key items to help with your marketing plan. Marketing will be an essential and important aspect of having a successful online store.
While this is our last step in setting up your Shopify store, it is something you will continue to work on at all times.
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.
You also set yourself up in Google search console.
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 store SEO from GET-go!
Showing up higher in search results means more visitors and more sales. Shopify has this helpful Search engine optimization checklist to guide you.
Shopify Store Examples
Before starting any project or business, research is always a good first step. Here are some successful Shopify stores and examples to use as a guide for starting your online business.
Newton Supply Company
This sustainable, screen printed bag store actually has 4 employees is said to have generated over $1M.
Check out their shopify stores here.
Beard and Blade
The great thing about selling products on Shopify is that there are endless options. You can niche down as Beard and Blade did with their store.
Allbirds is a very successful eCommerce business. They actually set up their site with Shopify Plus, which is the advanced plan you can opt-for.
Read how they increased conversions here.
Advantages and disadvantages of selling on Shopify
Advantages of Shopify:
Easy setup: Shopify simplifies the process of setting up your account and designing your storefront, even for those with limited technical expertise.
Customizable themes: Unlike marketplaces such as Amazon, Shopify allows you to design your store to evoke a distinct brand experience.
No selling fees: Shopify only charges a monthly subscription cost and payment processing fees, enabling you to keep a larger portion of your sales revenue.
Great 24/7 support: Shopify provides reliable customer support via live chat or email, ensuring quick response times and helpful assistance.
App store: Shopify’s app store offers a wide range of applications to enhance your storefront’s functionality, from order integration to product bundling tools.
Disadvantages of Shopify:
Cost: While the Basic plan is affordable, subscription fees increase with higher-tier plans, making them more suitable for larger brands.
Limited free themes: Shopify offers only 12 free themes, which may lack advanced customization features compared to paid themes.
No custom email: Unlike hosting your store independently, Shopify does not provide a custom email address. However, you can use Google Workspace to set up a custom email.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Shopify Store?
The primary cost of setting up a Shopify site is just the cost of the monthly plan you choose.
There are some additional costs you may choose, like a premium store theme instead of a paid premium one, but you can keep your costs down.
You can choose the basic for $29, the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced plan for $299. It is just a matter of what you want, but the basic plan is probably best when first setting up a store.
Who should sell on Shopify?
Shopify is suitable for various entrepreneurs, whether you’re starting your e-commerce journey or expanding an existing brand.
It caters to drop shippers, private-label Amazon sellers, eBay sellers, artisans, and even brick-and-mortar brand owners looking to establish an online presence.
With its customizable themes and user-friendly platform, Shopify supports entrepreneurs of all stripes, offering them the opportunity to create their own online stores and potentially generate instant cash through e-commerce sales.
Shopify Tutorial Final Thoughts
We hope this Shopify store set up guide was helpful. Your next step is to just publish your online store to the world and start selling.
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