Do you want to create your own online store from scratch but
do not know where to start? If you’re interested in creating an online shop
with Shopify, you have come to the right place.
Today, we will give you a step by step guide on how to set up your e-commerce store with Shopify. This will help you choose options that give you and your project greater advantages.
1. What is Shopify
The truth is that today, Shopify is one of the most used e-commerce platforms in the world.
There are currently more than 600,000 businesses that use this software to sell their products and services online.
As with WordPress, Shopify is considered to be an ideal platform for beginners and people that have limited technical knowledge. Much different from eCommerce platforms like Prestashop and Magento, Shopify is much easier to use and operate.
Shopify technology allows you to manage your online store without hiring a web hosting service, and also, if you wish, without having your own inventory of products to sell.
Now, we are going to analyze how Shopify works.
2. How to register on Shopify
Upon landing on the Shopify website, you will see that you have a free 14-day trial period.
Unlike other online tools, Shopify does not ask for your credit card information, which is very good since this allows you to test the system and see if it works out for you before you make up your mind.
To access this trial period, you must enter your email, a password, and the name of your store.
Once you have provided this information, you’ll be able to move forward and start the creation of your online store.
They will ask for information about your business, but you are not required to give it if you do not want to.
Once you fill out the details, you will be provided with other options that will help Shopify define your project in the best way possible (create your logo, think about names for your business, a free online seminar, find products to sell, etc.).
The next step, before going to the management panel of your store, is to submit your personal data and a business address.
When you’re directed to the management panel of your online store, you will be able to see the remaining days of the trial period and other accessible menu options.
3. The first step in Shopify: Add products
Following the order of the starting tips, we will first go to “Add product,” where we open a form with the fields to add items we want to sell.
If you already have the products you want to sell, you will only have to fill in the fields/forms of each item (name, images, price, inventory, supplier, variants, shipping, SEO optimization, etc.).
In case you do not have a catalog of products or have them and want to import them, click on the “Discard” button, which you can see in the upper right part of your screen.
You can simply import your products into Shopify by uploading them using a CSV file.
The other alternative is to find products with the help of the platform.
For that, we are going to click on the “Find Products” button, which takes us to Oberlo, the Shopify app, with which we can add items to our store through the dropshipping system.
4. Dropshipping in Shopify
Dropshipping, in very simple terms, is a way of selling online with a store that does not need to have its products in its inventory.
When you sell a product, you buy it from a third party, and it directly ships it over to the customer. You are, therefore, a kind of intermediary who does not need to have the item in-store.
It is a model that attracts the attention of many entrepreneurs who seek to start their online business with a very limited budget.
Having said that, it looks and sounds like affiliate sales, but there’s are a couple of differences between the two.
The fundamental difference is that with dropshipping, you can set the price or, in other words, mark what your profit margin will be for each sale.
The problem is that the products you are going to sell will already be available in other online stores, and they might be selling those articles at lower prices than yours.
Another difference is of product listings. Unless you give yourself the challenge of changing them by hand, your product/s will be the same as in other tens or hundreds of eCommerce stores, so in the eyes of Google, these items will be considered as “duplicate content,” and it will be very difficult for you position them in the organic search.
If starting a dropshipping business something that you’re looking for, you can start the creation of your online store directly from Oberlo and enjoy the same 14 days of free trial that Shopify provides.
4.1 How to use Oberlo
To install this app, we will first have to go to the Applications tab. Oberlo is the first of those applications that will appear in the promoted or featured section. You have a free plan available. This free-trial period will be more than enough for you to test its features.
There are two ways to find products in Oberlo.
1. If you already have an idea of what you want to sell, you can use the search bar at the top.
2. If you’re just looking for ideas, you can click on one of the categories and see the product catalogs.
Once you have already accessed a category, you just have to hover your mouse over a product and click on the “Add to import list” button.
You can continue browsing after adding the desired products to your import list.
Once you have finished browsing, you should go to your import list. That’s where you’ll find all your products.
From there, you can edit the text, images, and other variants for your collections.
Once you are done, click on the “Import to store” button and the product/s will be automatically imported over to your Shopify store.
5. Choose and customize the template of your store
Once you return to the management panel of your shop in Shopify, go to the next recommended step, that is, “Customize theme.”
Here you will be able to choose a template, add a logo, and a sliding carousel of products and colors that identify with your brand.
By default, its “star theme,” called Debut, will be suggested to you, and by clicking on the “Actions” button, you will be able to see a preview of how it looks. You can duplicate it, download the template file, edit the languages or code if you know how to use HTML, CSS, and Liquid:
If you like the theme but want to make changes to it, click on the “Customize” button and you will go to an editor where you can customize any page or item you want (typefaces, colors, favicon, social networks, shopping cart, etc.) using the drag system.
In addition, you can also go “live” with the theme and make changes as you see fit. You will also have the option to visualize the theme, both in the desktop and mobile versions.image
If you do not like the default template offered to by Shopify, return to the “Customize” page where you will find access to choose from other free themes on the bottom of the page. You can also visit their store to buy a premium theme if you want.
You can also load a previously downloaded Shopify template if you want.
6. Add your store’s domain
Now that we know how to choose the template, let’s talk about the last tip: add a domain.
If you don’t have one, Shopify will automatically assign one to your store with the name you have chosen and add myshopify.com/ at the end of it. We don’t need to tell you why it is better to have your own domain associated with your store rather than picking something up randomly.
By clicking on the “Add domain” button, you can acquire a new domain from the Shopify platform itself or connect to an existing one that you have previously purchased.
The “Buy new domain” section will show us the names of those domains that are available. Be sure to check the annual price if you decide to acquire it:
In “Connect an existing domain,” we will have the option to indicate our URL or transfer it to Shopify.
7. Shopify’s plans and prices
Well, now that we have completed the three recommended initial steps, let’s see the monthly plans that Shopify offers when your trial period ends:
In principle, it is normal for those who begin to do so start with a $29 per month basic plan. If you plan to opt for Shopify for the whole year, you can get the plan for $312.
At this point, we must bear in mind that hosting a whole year of a WordPress website may cost you less than what Shopify costs you a month.
In addition, Shopify charges a commission (a variable percentage according to the plan) plus $0.25 for the use of a credit card in its payment system.
This is something you should keep in mind when setting the prices of your products, especially if you are going to resort to dropshipping, as it will narrow your profit margin.
Under the plans, you have the option of eliminating your online store to sell exclusively through a purchase button on Facebook, or in-person from the point of sale, for 9 dollars a month.
We are done with the options on the “Start” page (we suggest that you research and read the Shopify blog and watch video tutorials to get yourself familiarized with the platform’s features.)
8. The Shopify management panel
The “Orders” section is where you will manage your sales. Logically, to process your sales and track orders, you must select one of the Shopify payment plans.
In “Preliminaries“, you will determine aspects such as whether you are going to accept orders by phone, sending invoices by email to your customers, and accepting payments.
Finally, within the Orders submenu, you will have a section where you can manage the abandoned cart orders.
In the next menu item, “Products“, we will be able to add or find products for your store.
The second option is “Transfers”, which is where you will manage the inventory you have purchased from your suppliers.
From “Inventory”, you can track the stock of each of your products to know when the stock levels are low.
In “Collections”, you can group your products so that the customers can find them by categories: by size, by color, on offer, seasonal, etc. The visuals on the collection pages will vary depending on the template you have chosen.
The next item on the menu is “Customers“. This is where you can add customers and check the data and purchase history of each of them, or import them to your new store through a file in CSV format.
In “Reports and statistics“, you have a panel with a multitude of useful information about the progress of your online store. Here, you can monitor everything in real-time: from the conversion rate or the average price of the orders to the traffic sources of your visits or your sales, among other information of your interest.
You can obtain a report on any of the concepts that the statistical panel shows you, and even customize them with the criteria that you consider necessary.
In “Live View“, you can check in real-time the number of visitors your store has at each moment, the behavior of customers in the last 10 minutes, and the page views per minute in that same period.
We now move over to Marketing, where you can create campaigns and monitor the results without leaving the Shopify tool.
Also from there, you can set up Facebook ads or add your products to Google Shopping:
In “Codes“, you will be able to create and configure discount codes for your customers, in order to reward their loyalty and thus encourage conversions.
You can make your codes/discount coupons “by hand” or set them as automatic so that they automatically appear on the payment screen of the user
“Applications” is where we simply find connect a gateway to the Shopify app store.
The platform itself tells you that more than 80% of stores that use their software use additional applications.
Once you land in the Shopify Apps Store, you can see that a lot of them require, sooner rather than later, monthly payments of different amounts so that you can use their premium features.
NOTE: In WordPress, numerous plug-ins, among which are the most important and popular, are free and offer great benefits without the requirement of entering credit card information.
9. Sales channels
You are always allowed to build more than one online store on Shopify. Why build only one sales channel when you can have more.
If you click on the “+” button, you will find a screen that gives you multiple options, each with different possibilities.
These are, in fact, applications in the app store that come with a monthly cost. If you opt to choose one, you can simply add it to your Shopify plan.
10. Contents and settings of your online store
If you are going to focus on your eCommerce at the moment, click on the “Online Store” button to make the adjustments and customizations you want.
“Themes” is the first option that appears in the submenu. It allows you to select a template (we already talked about it at the beginning of this guide.)
The next one, “Blogs“, takes you to the editor where you can write articles about your business, products or offers. You can use your blog to work on content marketing; Create brand awareness, make yourself known, and attract users to your website.
In “Pages“, you can write titles and descriptions of your visible pages to improve the SEO of your website and thus help customers find your website. You can create a contact page, size guide, FAQs page, etc.
The next section, “Navigation“, allows us to create the menus of our website (main, bottom, side) and link lists.
Also, this is where we can redirect URLs or import the ones we already have by uploading them through a CSV file.
Now, we go directly to the last element of this menu: “Preferences“.
This is the section where you will be able to choose different possible settings for your online store.
First, you can define the title and meta description of your home page, which as you know is very important for web positioning.
You can then insert the Google Analytics tracking code to monitor and analyze the traffic and conversions of your website, and you can also insert your Facebook Pixel ID to track the advertising campaigns you create in this social network.
Finally, you can enable a password so that customers who have it can access your online store.
11. Shopify settings
You will find access to the configuration options at the bottom left of the Shopify control panel screen.
Some of the features included in this section are already available in the previous menus, but others are not.
We will only talk about the ones that we didn’t address above.
It shows the contact details of the store, the standards, and formats used to calculate product prices, shipping weights, and delivery times. You can also set the default currency for your online store here.
Determine the taxes applicable to your products, shipping rates, digital products, etc., and tax regions.
Here you will activate the payment methods of your online store (Shopify Payments, PayPal, Amazon Pay, alternative payments, manuals), among other types of authorized payment.
This is where it shows you the information related to your Shopify user account.
From here, you can also set up and add multiple employee accounts; Hire a Shopify expert to improve the performance of your store, or give your employees access to see the relevant reports and statistical data.
Here you decide questions like if you want to ask the client to create a user account on your website at the time of payment; the contact method they can use to pay and receive updates (mail or phone); what information the payment form will require; the way your store will respond to payments and orders; email marketing and the language of the payment screen.
From this section, you can configure the notifications that your customers will receive. The templates are editable, so feel free to make it as personalized as possible. Also, this is where you will decide who will receive a notice every time there are orders in your store.
Finally, there is the option to create webhooks that will send XML or JSON notifications to a specific URL.
Add the credit card from which you want to pay your bills, see the summary of the expenses and income of your account and check if you have Shopify credits available.
Control every single shipping detail from this section. Change and set up these options for smooth sailing (pun intended):
The location/s from where your shipments will depart, the areas where you will make deliveries and their rates, the dimensions of your packaging, delivery notes, and alternate shipping methods.
It is simply a section with a file upload button to upload images, videos, and other documents.
Congratulations! You have reached the end of our step-by-step guide on how to set up your online Shopify store.