Starting a new Shopify store can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider, from adding products to setting up shipping and tax rates.
Not sure where to start? Don't worry; we've got you covered. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up your own Shopify store. We'll cover everything required to prepare your eCommerce store for launch. So whether you're a complete beginner or just looking for a refresher course, read on for our step-by-step guide on how to start a successful Shopify store.
Have Everything You'll Need To Build Your Store
Before signing up for the Shopify trial, you'll need to have the following ready:
Once you have all of these things ready, you can sign up for the Shopify trial.
Start A Free Trial
To start a free trial on Shopify, you'll need an email address, password, and store name. The store name will be your default URL. For example, if you used "example" as your store name, then your store's web address would be "example.myshopify.com." You can't change this later, but you can buy a custom domain that would show "example.com."
When you click on "Create your store," you will answer a few questions, as seen in the images below.
After answering the questions and filling in all the required information, you'll find yourself inside your online Shopify store. Now that your store is set up, it's time to start adding products.
Adding products should be the first thing you do during your trial because the primary purpose of an online store is to sell. To add your first product, click on "Products" then "All products."
When adding products, there are various sections that need to be filled out including:
Let's look at each of these in more detail.
The product title is what your customers will see on the product page and throughout the store. It should be unique and descriptive to prevent any confusion with other products. Make it short and to the point. You can also include product variants (more on this later) to differentiate between different types of products.
The description is where you sell your product. You don't need to have done this before to write a good description; simply follow these tips to create effective descriptions:
The media section is where you'll add photos, 3D models, GIFs, and videos of your product. Media helps customers visualize your product and get a better idea of it. Here are a few tips for adding media:
The price is one of the most critical aspects of your product page. Customers need to know how much they're spending and whether or not the product is worth their money. When setting the price, keep in mind the following items:
If you price your products too low, you may end up making a loss. If you price them too high, customers may be unwilling to buy. It's essential to find the right balance.
Enter the price in the "Price" on the product page. You can also use the "Compare at price" field to show customers how much they're saving if you're running a sale.
For example, if you usually charge $40 for a product but offer it at $30 during a sale, you can use the "Compare at price" field to display both prices. This will help draw attention to your discounted products and encourage customers to buy now while supplies last.
There is the "Cost per item" field which is optional. This is where you can input the wholesale price, so you know how much you're making on each sale. The "charge tax on this product" box is relevant if you collect taxes from customers on the products you sell. If you do, check the box and configure tax settings.
If you sell and ship products, you'll need to keep track of your inventory. The inventory section has three fields: SKU (stock keeping unit), barcode, and quantity. Let's look at each one in more detail:
Pricing Section on Shopify
You don't need to worry about setting up inventory if you're not selling physical products. Just leave the "Inventory" section blank.
If you sell physical products, you'll need to fill in the required information in the shipping section. The information helps in calculating shipping rates and creating shipping labels.
The weight field requires product weight and unit of measurement. For example, if you're selling a t-shirt that weighs 0.45 kilograms, select "kg" and type "0.45" in the field next to it. Customs information applies if you're shipping products internationally.
If your product has different colors or sizes, you can add them as variants. This way, customers can choose the product that's best for them. Each product variant requires its image, price, quantity, and SKU.
Shopify allows you to create up to three options for your products and up to 100 variants. Options can be color, material, or size. Variants combine the options you create. For example, if you have red and blue t-shirts with sizes small, medium, and large, the variants would be six i.e. red small, blue medium, blue large, etc.
Search Engine Listing Preview
In this section, you can customize how your product appears in search engine results. There are three fields: page title, description, and URL and handle.
Shopify allows you to preview how your products look in search engine results so you can make any necessary changes before publishing them.
The product organization section has four fields: type, vendor, collection, and tags. Here is a breakdown of each:
After filling in all the information for your product, you have to decide the product's status. The options are active or draft.
You also have the option to schedule product availability. If you want your product to be available on a specific date, click on "schedule availability" and use the calendar tool to choose the date.
You should now have a good understanding of the different sections in the product editor. Let's take a look at how to create collections.
Organize Your Products Into Collections
The next step after adding a few products is to create collections. Collections are a great way to group products and make it easy for customers to find what they're looking for. Product collections also help when you want to discount or promote a group of products.
Click on "Products" and select "Collections" in the drop-down menu to create a collection. The information required for a collection is the same as for products: title, description, image, and status.
You have two options for the "Collection type" section: automated or manual. The automated option creates a collection based on rules that you set. You have several options to set the rules, including product tags, title, vendor, and weight. The manual option lets you add products to a collection one at a time.
Create Your Shopify Store Pages
After adding products, the next step is to create your Shopify store pages. The pages will help your customers know your business and products better. The store pages to create include an about page, contact page, policy pages, FAQ, and a blog. Here is a rundown of each:
The About page explains what your business is all about. It's an important page to add because it establishes a connection with your customers, putting a face behind the product and brand.
The contact page gives your customers information on how to reach you by phone, email, or social media. You can also include a map for directions if you have a physical store.
The FAQ page is a great way to answer common questions your customers may have. You can include questions about your products, shipping, returns, etc.
To create the above pages, go to "Online Store" and select "Pages" from the drop-down menu.
A blog is a great way to connect with your customers and share news about your business. You can write about new products, sales, behind-the-scenes looks at your business, and more.
Go to "Online Store" and select "Blog posts" from the drop-down menu to create blog posts.
Customize Your Store
It's time to customize your Shopify store. You can customize the colors, fonts, and layout of your website. In this section, we'll discuss themes, the home page, and navigation menus, all of which are critical to having a Shopify store that portrays what your brand is all about.
Choose A Theme
A theme is a template for your website that gives it a distinct look and feel. Shopify has several free themes to choose from, or you can purchase a premium theme.
To choose a theme, go to "Online Store" and select "Themes" from the drop-down menu. You can then filter by free or paid themes and by industry. Take your time browsing through the themes and picking out one that fits your brand best.
Here are things to remember when choosing a theme:
Customize Your Home Page
When designing your home page, consider the goals of your store and what you want to highlight. Most Shopify themes have sections that you can remove, hide, or add. To design your home page go to "Themes" and click on Customize.
Showcasing a featured collection or new arrivals (instead of the blog section) is how to start an online clothing store that has the best odds of success.
You can also add images, videos, or text to make it stand out.
The home page is the first thing a customer will see, so make sure that they understand what your store has to offer as soon as they arrive at your site. Here are some tips for customizing your home page:
You can also add a slideshow that allows you to show multiple images at once instead of just one static image.
Shopify's navigation menus allow you to control the links that appear on each page of your website. To set up navigation menus, go to "Online Store" and select "Navigation." You'll then be able to edit the footer and main menu.
The main menu is the navigation bar that appears at the top of each page. You can choose to add links to collections and pages you created in the previous steps. You can also create drop-down menus under each menu item to avoid having too many links on one page.
The footer is the menu that appears at the bottom of your site. This is a great place to add important information such as contact information or your store's return policy. You can also add social media icons and a link to your website's homepage.
You can also enable a search bar so customers can quickly find what they're looking for on your website. The search bar can be placed in the header of your website.
Brand Your Shopify Store
Branding is an essential step for your Shopify store because it helps customers recognize what you offer and who you are. Branding should include a logo, typography, and color scheme. These three elements play an essential role in how customers perceive your store.
Shopify allows you to upload your own logo. If you don't have a logo yet, now would be the perfect time to create one. Make sure that it looks good on different devices and in different sizes.
To add a logo to your store, go to "Online Store" and select "Themes." Click on "Customize" and select "Header," then upload your logo.
Even at its worst, this is a much better chance of connecting with an audience, especially considering the low cost involved when using email marketing.
The typography of your website is the font that you use throughout your store. You'll want to choose a font that's easy to read and looks good on different devices. Shopify has a library of fonts that you can choose from or upload your own custom font. Use a maximum of three fonts on your website to keep things simple.
The color scheme of your Shopify store is the combination of colors that you use throughout your website. Contrast is essential when highlighting important elements on your website. Consider color psychology and how you want customers to feel when shopping in your store.
To customize colors and typography in Shopify, go to "Online Store" and select "Themes." Click on "Customize" and then select either "Theme setting." You can then edit colors and typography.
You can change your checkout page by going to "Settings" and selecting "Checkout." Here you can change the following:
Set Up Shipping And Delivery
Shipping has a lot of variables, which is why it's important to set it up correctly from the beginning. You have to decide on shipping rates, delivery times, and profit margins.
To set up shipping rates, go to "Settings" and select "Shipping and delivery." You'll need to set up different shipping zones based on your location. If you're only selling within the United States, you'll create one shipping zone for domestic orders.
You can set your shipping rates in a few ways:
You'll also need to decide on the delivery times that you offer. You can either provide same-day or next-day delivery or set specific days and hours for when customers can receive their orders.
After accounting for your costs, your profit margins are how much money you make on each sale. This includes how much it costs you to buy the product and any other expenses such as shipping and delivery.
Set Up Tax Rates
Taxes are another critical factor to consider when setting up your shop. You'll need to set up the tax rates for each state you're selling in. To do this, go to "Settings" and then select "Taxes and duties."
The "Taxes and duties" section has three areas that need to be customized: countries/regions, duties and import taxes, and tax calculations.
Shopify automatically calculates tax for you based on where your customers are located. Shopify uses default tax rates, so you should first ask a professional or research to ensure you're charging and collecting the correct sales tax.
Set Up A Payment Gateway
To accept payments, you'll need to set up a payment gateway. A payment gateway is a service that processes credit card payments on your behalf. There are a few Shopify-approved gateways, but you can also use other gateways as long as they're compatible with Shopify.
To add a payment gateway, go to "Settings" and select "Payments." In this section, you can:
Shopify has its payment gateway, but it's not available in every country. If you use Shopify Payments, then checkout is easier for your customers. If you select Shopify Payments, you can choose to:
If your country is not supported, you'll need to use a third-party payment gateway. There are over 100 gateways compatible with Shopify, so you're likely to find one that's available in your country.
Prepare Your Shopify Store For Launch
Once you've finished setting up your shop and adding products, you can launch your website. Before you do so, you'll need to disable your password-protected login so that customers can see your website.
You can also choose to make your Shopify better before launching it to the public. You can do this by:
Connecting A Custom Domain
A custom domain is a website address that's associated with your shop. It's recommended to use a custom domain instead of the Shopify URL because it looks more professional and can help with branding.You can buy a domain name from sites such as Namecheap, Namesilo, or Shopify. To connect an existing domain or to buy from Shopify, go to "Settings" and then select "Domains."
If you're connecting an existing domain, click on "Connect existing domain" and enter the domain name. If you're buying from Shopify, select "Buy New Domain." You'll need to choose a domain name and add it to your cart.
Add Sales Channels
Sales channels are ways for customers to find and buy your products. There is an option to add sales channels during the Shopify setup, but you can customize which ones you want later. To do this, go to "Settings" and then select "Sales channels."
The sales channels you add will depend on your business. Shopify recommends adding Shopify Point Of Sale (POS) and Facebook as they're two of the most popular sales channels. You also have the option to add:
After adding a sales channel, you need to go back to "Product availability" to choose where you want your products to be available.
Launch Your Shopify Store
After setting up everything, it's time to launch your Shopify store. You need to remove the password protection by going to "Online Store" and selecting "Preferences." Scroll down to "Password protection" and uncheck the "Enable password" box.
Your Shopify store is now ready for customers to view. You can promote your website by adding it to directories or sharing it on social media. You can also use paid advertising to attract more traffic to your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also an excellent way to get more traffic. Once your website is ready, you can create product pages with relevant keywords to help you rank in the search engine.
How To Start A Shopify Store - FAQ
It can cost anywhere from nothing (if you set up a store using a Shopify free trial) to thousands of dollars, depending on the features and design you choose for your online store.
Shopify offers a wide range of pricing plans, ranging from $29/month to $299/month. The most expensive plan includes features like unlimited products, professional design services, advanced sales reports, and abandoned cart recovery. If you're just starting, I'd recommend choosing the Basic Shopify plan ($29/month), which gives you a 14-day free trial and access to all the features you'll need to get started.
Shopify is an excellent platform for beginners because it's easy to use, and you don't need to have any programming or design experience. You can create your online store without learning how to code, and there are tons of templates and themes to choose from. Plus, Shopify has a huge community of users who can help you out if you ever get stuck.
The key to success with any eCommerce platform - including Shopify - is to find a profitable niche and create great products that solve real problems for your customers. There is a pretty wide range of income among Shopify stores. Some make just a few hundred dollars per month, while others bring in over six figures each month.
Yes. Shopify is free to start, and you can create a store with no payment information required. You can also use Shopify's free trial to test the platform before committing to a paid plan.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to start your own Shopify store. I hope you found this guide helpful and that you are excited to get started on building your very own online shop. Don't forget to start a free trial before launching your store so you can explore all of the amazing features that Shopify has to offer.For more tips on how to have an email list that goes along with a successful online store, check out this blog post on how you can use email marketing to increase sales.