Shopify offers one of the simplest, most comprehensive ways to start selling online. Whether you’re a tech pro or a casual user, you’ll be able to use Shopify to get online and start selling. By the end of this Step-By-Step Shopify article, you’ll have your Shopify store set up, with products and all! Let’s get started.
💡 What is Shopify?
Shopify is a complete eCommerce online service that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. Shopify handles everything from marketing and payments to secure checkout and shipping so you can focus on the things you love! Shopify is truly an amazing “one-stop-shop” for eCommerce business owners.
💡 Shopify Major Benefits Are:
- You don’t need to know a single line of web code – Shopify walks you through the entire process.
- Shopify lets you add your own domain name (e.g. www.my-store.com), hosts the store for you and maintains the complicated ‘back end’.
- Designing your store is easy, you can choose from 100 existing themes and tweak them to your liking.
- Shopify processes, manages and tracks all your orders and payments, letting you focus on the business.
💡 Planning Checklist
Here’s a quick checklist of what you should have before you begin and what I’ll be working with to build your Shopify store:
- A business idea
- income goal
- A business name
- A logo
- Products to sell
💡 How Much Does Shopify Cost?
Shopify’s flexible pricing plans allow businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the amazing interface, features and applications it offers. There are 4 main pricing tiers based on increased functionality and additional ecommerce features and tools you can use to help grow your store.
- Lite – $9 per month
- Basic Shopify – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify – $299 per month
- Shopify Plus – starts at $2000 per month
All Shopify plans are month to month (unless you sign up for an annual or biennial plan) so you are able to upgrade, downgrade or cancel Shopify at any time.
💡 Start a free trial of Shopify
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to start a free trial of Shopify. The 14-day trial should give you more than enough time to build an online store that’s ready to launch if you follow this guide and keep in mind that you can continue to add products and improve your store after it goes live.
💡 Set Up Your Online Shop
Once you’ve filled in the details, hit Enter my store and you’ll land on the Admin Screen of your store. Much of the action in this Shopify tutorial takes place on this screen and here’s what that looks like.
As you can see, on this page you’ll be able to add products, set up payments, shipping and analytics, choose your theme, and customize your store. That’s a lot of filling and choosing, but once you get it right, it can work smoothly in the long term.
💡 Choose and customize your theme
A theme is a pre-created website design you can add to your store to make it look pretty without writing code. There are hundreds of themes to choose from; some are better than others. Many third-party developers create themes you can use that aren’t in the Shopify theme store.
To edit your store’s theme, click Online Store > Themes then click the Visit Theme Store button.
💡 Shopifybeginnerguide.com Recommended Theme
To help you save time so you don’t have to wade through hundreds of themes to find one you like, here is the best Shopify theme I recommend for you.
💡 Edit Shopify Settings
The majority of Shopify themes allow you to make simple changes that can massively change the appearance of your store, so you can rest assured knowing you won’t end up with a website that looks like a clone of thousands of other stores.
💡 The most common features will include:
- Uploading logos
- Uploading slides to a homepage carousel
- Adding related item functionality to product pages
- Choosing how many items appear on each line of the collection pages
- Color schemes
- Font choices.
💡 Add Your Products to The Store
You’re obviously building a Shopify store to sell products – either physical or digital. Either way, the next step in this Shopify guide is to add them to your store.
If you have your own products then you’ll add products from the Shopify Dash, Products>Add a product
Use the next screen to add as much detail as possible about your products. Ensure you keep SEO in mind with your product name, description & URL.
Make sure you include as much detail as possible about your variants to help your customers check out as fast as possible.
Here in the Shopify website builder, you’ll also upload your product photos. Keep in mind your store branding and keep your main image as consistent as possible.
Product images are the key to good conversions so you will need detailed, high-resolution photos to make the most of the zoom feature.
💡 Keep all images the same dimensions to avoid weird product stacking.
Once you’ve filled in all the details click “Save”.
💡 Set your price
Now it’s time to set the listing price for your product. This is what customers will pay to buy your product.
💡 Create your collections
Collections group common products together for ease of use when customers are visiting your store. Common things people search for when shopping include;
- men’s, women’s or children’s clothing
- clearance or products on sale
- size or colors
- seasonal products like hoodies or tees
- items of a similar type, seats, lights, mats
Items can appear in several different groups. Typically, collections are on your homepage and in your menu on your navigation bar.
Doing this makes it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they’re looking for.
💡 Set Up Payments
Alright, so your products and ecommerce website design are all set up! Now let’s get your payments set up!
A “payment gateway” allows your customers to make purchases on your Shopify storefront. The price and commission rate are important, but it’s also important to see what features they offer. Take a look at the following payment methods as each has their own set of rules, regulations and charges.
Here are a few things to consider and understand when trying to figure out which one is best for your Shopify storefront:
Transaction Fees: When you take a payment, Shopify keep a small percentage or flat fee (or sometimes both) for letting you use their service.
Card Types: You need to know what types of card are accepted by your chosen Payment Gateway. All accept VISA and Mastercard, while most accept American Express. PayPal is also becoming more popular for online payments.
Offsite Checkout: I would not suggest this but some Shopify themes allow payment from other servers. This means that the customer is taken away from your checkout which might seem a little inconvenient. I think keeping the shopping experience in one place is always best.
Use Shopify Payments and pay no transaction fee. If you choose an external payment gateway, there will be additional fees of 2%, 1% or 0.5% for our Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans, respectively.
To complete your payment setup, click the “Complete Shopify Payments account setup” button found in Settings > Payments.
💡 Create key pages
So far, we’ve focused on product, Payment, and others. But your online store needs to do more than just have products to purchase. It needs to help shoppers understand your business, give them reasons to trust you, and make other essential details available to customers who are looking for them.
You can create most of these pages under Online Store > Pages.
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Shipping & Return Policy
💡 Install apps to support and expand your business
Shopify is very flexible and easy to customize. With a large number of Shopify apps, you can extend the functionality of your online store for you to sell more and grow faster.
- Accounting — Connect your Shopify store to popular accounting solutions like QuickBooks.
- Customer Service — Add contact forms, live chat, feedback, and other customer support features to your store.
- Inventory — Incorporate inventory management systems to your online store.
- Marketing — Everything you need to incorporate when it comes to your marketing needs.
- Reporting — Get additional analytics for your online business.
- Sales — Help increase sales using these apps for customer loyalty programs and social proof reviews.
- Shipping — Make product shipment simpler with apps to help manage order fulfillment and connect you with your preferred shipping service.
- Tools — Here, you’ll find tools including setting up bulk redirects, language translators, fighting fraud, and syncing your blog RSS feeds.
💡 Add a Domain Name
To get your site live you’ll need a domain name. You have two choices.
Firstly, you can buy a domain from Shopify and it will be added to your store automatically. This saves you time, especially if you have no knowledge about hosting a website. These domains typically cost $9-$14 USD per year. Your second option is to purchase a domain from a third party such as GoDaddy.
💡 Search engine optimization (SEO)
Helping your online store’s pages and your products appear in these search results can create passive streams of relevant traffic for free. However, it takes time to grow this source of traffic.
🚀 Launch your store
With all the work we’ve done so far, we could actually launch our store now if we wanted to.
Congratulations! You have now set up your store and you’re ready to start selling.