Creating an online store at Shopify is very easy. Read on this post, to get a step by step guide on how to set up your own online store at Shopify!
In simple terms, Shopify is an online commerce platform that helps the sellers to set up an online store and start selling their products online.
It is one of the best and easiest user-friendly e-commerce website builders in the world!
Shopify is a leading online business platform that accommodates businesses of all sizes.
Whether you have a small business, medium scale business, or large scale, be it selling online, social media sales, or in-store sales, Shopify has got you covered!
Why Should You Use Shopify Over Other e-Commerce Platforms?
Shopify is a user-friendly online platform that gives you access to more sales channels, payment getaways, reporting tools, and personalised settings, as compared to other eCommerce platforms.
This is the reason why most businesses prefer Shopify over other eCommerce platforms.
How Does Shopify Work?
Whether you are thinking of starting a new business, a budding entrepreneur, or an established businessman, Shopify can help you increase your sales.
Shopify has been a trusted online platform since its inception amongst thousands of entrepreneurs from over 175 countries in the world.
Here, we have mentioned some products and services that you can sell in your Shopify store.
- Consultation or services: Whether you are a wealth manager, life coach, interior designer, or a financial consultant you can advertise your services and consultations online where customers can book their appointments online.
- Products: It can be either physical products or digital products that you choose to sell online. Physical products can be anything that’s handmade or manufactured or bought from other manufacturers and sold by you. It can be anything jewellery, watches, accessories, clothes, coffee, bath bombs, essential oils, etc. Digital products can be something like ebooks, email templates, software, audio downloads, etc.
- Courses or online classes: It’s getting more and more common these days were lecturers and educators provide online coaching to the students. You can provide e-learning books as well that the customers can rent or purchase from your website.
- Travel and ticketing experiences: If your business is all about travelling, exotic experiences, workshops, adventures like wine tasting, etc. then you can create a website that advertises all about your business. If you run a networking event then you can also sell your tickets through Shopify!
- Memberships: This is perfect for people who own a gym or a yoga studio. You can sell your subscription boxes, and memberships through Shopify and also create member-only access to your website.
- Renting out products: If you provide rental services of physical products like jewellery, dresses, electronics, furniture, etc. then you can do that through Shopify.
There is simply no limit to what you can sell on the Shopify platform.
How to Set Up your Shopify store?
Now, that we have understood what Shopify is and how it works, the next step is to understand how to set up your own Shopify store.
Below mentioned are the procedures that will give you a perfect picture regarding setting up a store in Shopify:
Step 1: Start your free trial on Shopify
A pilot version project is always recommended before taking the big step and it’s totally worth it when it’s for free!
So, if you want to try the Shopify platform before taking up an active paid plan then you can sign up for a free 14-day trial.
You can work on your shop whilst being in the trial period and won’t lose any work if you choose a paid plan during your free trial.
To start your free trial, click here. Next, enter your email address, name, and store name. If you want to change the name of your shop later you may do so.
Click on ‘create your store’ and then you’ll be directed to a page ‘tell us a little about yourself.’
Whatever information you fill in here only affects the advice mails Shopify sends you to your email.
Next, you’ll be asked to enter the name and mailing address – you can either enter a business address or house address.
Click on ‘Enter my store’ and you’re in!
Step 2: Pick a theme and customize your Shopify store
The next step is to think and select a theme for your shop. The theme is referred to as the pre-created template style website design that will give an overall look and appeal to your website without writing code.
You’ll find more than a hundred theme templates to choose from! You can also check out the themes created by third parties that you may use but will not find it in the Shopify store.
If you wish to edit a selected theme then go to ‘Online Store – Themes’ and then select the ‘visit theme store’ button. This will take you to Shopify’s theme store where you can select from free or paid themes.
Once you have selected the theme the next step is to customize your theme according to your taste!
To customise the theme click ‘Online Store – Themes – Customize.’ Ensure that theme you have chosen from the theme store is the one that you’re customising.
If you can’t see your theme as the current theme then scroll down and click on ‘Actions’ dropdown and then click on ‘Publish.’
Every theme has a different setting and options that can be changed and each of them is self-explanatory.
Step 3: Add Shopify Apps that make your Life easy in your store
Shopify Apps increase the functionality of your store and make your life much easier!
Apps are basically the software that you can download like discount pop-ups or customer reviews, etc. that increase the credit score of your Shopify store.
There are over three thousand apps, some of them are free while some are paid. Some of the highly recommended apps include:
- Sumo app for email marketing
- Easy Google Shopping Feed for Feed Optimisation
- Google Customer Reviews, Badge for customer review management
- PageFly #1 Page Builder for easy page building
- BEST Currency Converter for currency conversion
Step 4: Add the products you want to sell in your store
The most interesting part of setting up your store is to add the products!
To add the products into your store go to ‘Products’ then click on ‘Add product.’ You’ll need to fill in the following details then:
- Title and Description: Enter the title and a brief description of your product in this field. In the description column, it is recommended to write more about the benefits of your product and then the features.
- Images: Then comes the most important feature for selling your product online – images! Make sure that your images are clear and high quality as it has a lot of potentials to increase or decrease the credibility of your sales!
- Pricing: Pricing is simple to understand and should be kept straightforward. The amount you put in the ‘price’ column will be the price your customers will pay and the ‘compare at price’ will be shown crossed next to your actual price. The ‘compare at price’ can be used for a conversion optimisation strategy.
- Inventory: The inventory setting will help you keep a track of the inventory stock. You can create SKU (stock-keeping units) for your products if you want to or else leave this setting blank.
- Variants: In this column, you need to add the variations of your products like size or colours.
- Meta title and description: This is the meta title and meta description that pops up in the search results page (SERPs).
Step 5: Group and categorise your products
After adding your products next, you can create a group or collection for similar products based on tags, types, or vendors and categorise your products.
To create a group, click on ‘collections’ then select ‘create the collection.’ After this fill in the following information:
- Collection Title and Description: Just like the product pages, the collection page also has a title and description column. In this, it’s recommended to put a description only if you have at least two products in a collection.
- Collection type: Next you can select either ‘manual’ or ‘automated’ under the collection type column. If you select manual then you can add your products manually from the collection, if you select ‘automated’ then you can set the condition and the products will be added automatically.
Step 6: Create necessary pages for your store
Now, that you have added the products and your settings are also ready the next thing that you can do is adding relevant pages for your store.
The necessary pages you should have for your store are:
- A contact us page: This is quite easy, to create a ‘contact us page’ click on ‘Online Store’ and choose ‘add page’ from the drop-down menu. After selecting this you can leave the page as it is however, we would recommend adding some text to explain this. For instance, ‘Hey folks, our team would love to hear from you regarding your experience with us! If you have any queries just drop in a message and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.’ Do save the content once you’re done with this.
- About us page: If you want to create an everlasting impression in the minds of your visitors then this is the place where you can create an impression about us page that will help build trust amongst customers.
- A shipping policy page: This page should be easy to locate in your website and here you can mention how your shipping will be done when sold internationally who will deliver your package and in case of a query ow to reach you. This page is extremely important for businesses that are shipping their products overseas that takes 10+ days for shipping.
Step 7: Change your shipping settings as per your preferences
Your shipping settings depend on the way you prefer to ship your products. If you are shipping the items yourself then you can use USPS (United States Postal Service) discounted rates that are applicable for Shopify stores.
You need to ensure that the weight and size entered is correct and it calculates the shipping cost for you. Alternatively, if you are drop-shipping then you can use ‘price based rates,’ or ‘weight-based rates’ or ‘calculated rates.’
Step 8: Set up your tax settings
This is an important setting that helps you create a tax rate to account for all the shipping zones that you have created so far.
For this click on ‘settings – General’ and then set up your address based on your nexus.
Again, go to ‘Settings’ then ‘Taxes’ and ‘Add-in tax rates.’ Once set, the tax calculator will automatically calculate the taxes based on the state, country, and local tax rules.
Step 9: Set up your payment gateway
You can set up your payment gateway with the help of the payment provider settings.
Simply, click on the ‘Settings’ and then ‘Payments‘ option to configure the payment gateway so that your customers can use their credit cards to make a purchase.
Fill out all the details on this page, in the ‘product details box’ write about the ‘retailer of your products.’
Next, comes the ‘statement descriptor’ that appears on the billing statement, so this can be your store name.
After filling out all the other information finally, click on ‘complete account setup.’
Step 10: Test your order system
Once you have completed all the settings for your Shopify store the next step is placing a test order.
By this feature, you can ensure that your settings for inventory, shipping, email notifications, taxes, order processing, and checkout process are all in the correct order.
Placing a test order is free and you won’t be charged for it. You need to place at least one test order while setting up your store or when you make changes to your payment settings.
You can place a test order in the following three ways:
- With the help of an actual payment provider, you can place an order, then immediately cancel and refund the order.
- Stimulate a transaction using Shopify’s bogus gateway.
- In case, you are using Shopify payments then you can enable the instructions to test your configuration.
Step 11: Setup Your Domain with Shopify
You can set up your domain with Shopify instead of a third party by registering. Below are the steps on how to register your domain with Shopify:
- Go to the ‘online store’ icon from your Shopify admin page and then click on ‘domains.’
- Select ‘buy a new domain.’
- Now, write the domain name that you wish to buy.
- Once you enter the above, all the available extensions and their prices will be mentioned. The prices will vary according to the extensions, so you need to review accordingly.
- Once, you have decided which domain to buy click on the ‘buy’ option next to that domain.
Step 12: Do the basic on-page SEO optimisation
SEO optimisation is an important tool to generate traffic to your online website at Shopify.
While Shopify has many SEO-friendly features there’s much more that you can do to enhance your ranking in the search engines.
- Optimise URL structure – The idea behind optimising your URL structure or site structure is to make it easier for the search engines to locate your content. Since Shopify has in-built search optimisation you need not worry about the site structure. Shopify ensures that search engines can easily locate your store. You can make sure that the URL has standard characters, and is in a simple readable format. And, also make sure that your content follows a logical hierarchy.
- Optimise your metadata – A meta title and description or metadata is the brief description (snippet) that is displayed in the search engine results (SERPs). Ensure that the metadata for your pages has unique content that is plain and easy to understand.
- Optimise your headings – Heading or title is the main heading that appears on the top of your webpage. Shopify uses the title you have mentioned (to create your product page, webpage, or blog post) to enter the header for your page. So, make sure when you enter the title you use all the main keywords so that the header automatically includes it.
- Optimise your body text with primary & secondary keywords – Make sure that the content is written in your webpage, product page, or blog post contains all the relevant primary and secondary keywords. Also, ensure that the content provided by you is unique and not copied from the manufacturer or other website.
- Optimise your image alt tags – Setting an image alt (alternative) text is important because search engines can read your text content but not your images. Adding a descriptive alt text to your images can help the search engines locate your content. For this, go to products – all products – click on the product with the image that you want to edit – click on ‘alt link.’
Step 13: Remove password protection & Launch your store
After all the above steps you are almost there!
You can choose a plan and then head on to remove the password protection from your store.
You can choose a plan from ‘select a plan’ from the bottom bar of your screen.
You can choose from – Basic Shopify, Shopify, or Advanced Shopify plan as per your requirement.
After this, just remove the password protection from your store and publish your store.
How to Create a Profitable Shopify Store – Final Words
Congratulations – if you followed the above steps then you would have successfully launched your Shopify store by now!
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!