How-To Build a Shopify Store in Less Than An Hour!
When deciding to sell your products online, you have so many options available to you online in 2019. You can sell your products across multiple sale channels such as:
- websites and e-commerce platforms
- online marketplaces
- social media
- and many more...
Shopify is one of our favorite e-commerce platforms out there. The platform allows you to build an online store within 15 minutes, sell across multiple sales channels and capture your first sell within the same day. It's no wonder more than 500,000 merchants are using Shopify.
So Why Do People Choose Shopify?
- 14-Day Free Trial
- SEO Friendly
- On and Offline Store (free card reader for in-person sales)
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Beautiful Themes (easy to customize)
- App Store (Tons of free apps and free trials)
- Pricing as low as $9/month
- Discount Codes and Gift Cards Available
- Facebook Sales Channel (Connect and Add Store directly to Facebook)
- Accept payments from 10+ payment providers
- And Much More....
Follow our step-by-step guide to build your online store and start selling TODAY!
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify + Get a 14-Day Free Trial
Visit the Shopify website and select START FREE TRIAL. Next, Fill in your desired email address, password and store name. *Tip: Try to enter your store name with and without spaces. Both are acceptable entries and are considered 2 different names.
After clicking Next, Shopify has two steps asking for your business and personal information. First, you will be asked whether you are already selling and your current revenue numbers. Choose the appropriate answers and click “Next.”
Second, you will be asked to provide your name, address and phone number. Click on the Enter My Store button when complete. This will take you directly to your Shopify dashboard.
The dashboard will allow you to manage your products, customers, orders, analytics, discounts, themes, sales channels, apps, and various store settings.
Step 2: Adding Products and Details
The Shopify dashboard outlines a basic step-by-step process on how to completely set up your shop. The first section asks you to add a product, therefore, we can start there. *If you do not have products yet, you can skip this step and come back to this. If you are connecting to dropshipping app from Shopify's app store, you will not need to manually add products.
Adding a product is as simple. On the product page, you will be able to:
- add the title of the product
- add the description
- add product tags
- add product to a collection
- select/add a vendor
- upload images
- select/create a product type
- set the price
- define the SKU (if neccessary)
- configure shipping options
- create variants (i.e. color, size,etc.)
The “Search Engine Listing Preview” enables you to edit the title, meta description, and URL to help you get better ranking on the search engine result pages aka SEO.
Once you have provided the necessary information, click “Save” to add the product to your website. Feel free to complete however much of the product page you'd like. Repeat the same process to add more products you want to sell online. All products can be managed or added from sidebar by selecting Products > All Products.
Step 3: Selecting a Theme that Sells
Shopify provides 10 Free, customizable templates in their theme store that you can begin with. You do not have to know a lot about designing websites to give your website an engaging aesthetic. In addition, Shopify offers premium themes that range around $100-$200 (one time fee) that offer more options. *You are able to try-before-you-buy a paid themes for free in the dashboard.
How-To Choose a Theme for Your Shopify Store
You can select a design with a single product on the landing page, or multiple product widgets in a particular design. Your brand's website is crucial to converting visitors into customers, so be sure to keep your target customer in mind when deciding on a theme.
To select a theme, use the dashboard's sidebar to select Online Store > Themes. There, you can customize the default theme "Debut" or find another theme in the Shopify Theme Store. You can check out the available styles for the free themes and use any of these in your store. Download multiple themes to try out and select Customize to add photos, change colors/fonts, make your homepage pop, etc.
Step 4: Setting Up Product Types, Collections, and Tags
Product Types are the how each product is individually classified (i.e. tops, dresses, bottoms, etc. Product Types can be assigned manually or via dropdown after being used once, directly within the product screen.
Collections are how you will organize a group of product types (i.e new arrivals, under $500. To create a collection, go to the sidebar, select Products > Collections.
You have the option to create manual and automated collections.
- Manual Collections allow you the freedom to add/remove products from a collection as needed.
- Automated Collections allow you to use one or more conditions to automatically filter into the collection based on price, type, tag, inventory, etc.
- For a collection such as "New Items", a manual collection would be best because of the flexibility to add/remove new items.
- For a "tops" category, an automated collection would be best. Easily set a condition for all product types set to "tops" to filter to the Tops collection.
Tags are for separating products within a product type (i.e. red, medium, maxi, etc.) Tags can be assigned manually or selected after being used once, directly within the product screen.
Step 5: Adding Pages, Blog and Navigation Menus
To add a new page, go to Online Store > Pages, and click “Add page.” You will find separate fields to provide the title, details, option to choose a page template, and edit the SEO for your page.
Before opening your online store, we suggest you create most, if not all of the below pages:
- Contact Us Page
- FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Terms of Service/Terms and Conditions (Shopify provides a free template)
- Shipping and Returns (Shopify provides a free template for returns)
Blogs are a great way for you to use target keywords to improve your ranking on Google and sales. Shopify enables you to add blog posts or pages to your e-commerce website. Go to Online Store > Blog posts to create a new post. You can provide the title, description, set a featured image, add an excerpt, and edit the meta information for SEO purpose. The blog title is set to NEWS by default, but this can be easily changed by selecting MANAGE BLOGS.
The navigation menu is critical to getting visitors to the correct spot on your website. Shopify will automatically create the basic menus for your store ("Main Menu" and Footer Menu. You can manage these menus or create a new menu from the Online Store > Navigation page.
Suggested Navigation Main Menu - new arrivals, tops, dresses, sale/clearance, bottoms, accessories, jewelry, etc.
Step 6: Connecting a Domain
After you choose your template and design your website to your liking, it's time to select a custom domain to make your site official. You have the option to purchase a domain directly from Shopify (best choice) or transfer a domain from a third party. In addition, you'll also need to specify which Shopify payment plan you'd like to go with. Shopify gives helpful info for installing your domain. Upon activation, you can then go to that particular domain and see your website.
Step 7: Setting Shipping Costs and Accepting Payments
This is the last step to get you up and running is to choose a payment processor and set your shipping costs. Access the left dashboard sidebar and select Settings to update shipping costs and your payment provider(s). Explore the Settings section to update multiple backend options for your store such as order confirmation emails, checkout options, taxes and more.
Payment Providers - This area allows you to select from dozens of payment processors such as Stripe (main), Paypal, Authorize.net and many more. This allows you to accept payments and put those payments in an account. *Stripe (Shopify's payment processor) only allows major bank accounts. If you do not have one to add, you can open a bank account at AZLO and connect it to Stripe. It is free and comes with a debit card. It is the go-to bank for online entrepreneurs.
Shipping - This area allows you to customize your shipping options according to the verbiage listed on your Shipping Information Page. You can enter shipping costs based on weight or price, including Free shipping. Be sure this matches your shipping page to avoid confusion for your customers
After completing all of the steps above, you can officially go live with a fully functional online store that is ready to accept payments. Congratulations!
- Add apps from the theme store to build email lists, trust, marketing and promotions, track orders, analytics, etc.
- Add multiple sales channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Point-of-Sale, etc.
- Add Discounts