Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform which enables entrepreneurs to start their very own online stores. We will show you how to set up your store from start to finish with Shopify. We will give you a step for step explanation from signing up, all the way to having your online store ready to publish!
So let's get started with how to set up a Shopify store!
Step 1 – Create a Shopify account
If you do not have an account with Shopify yet, then that's the first thing you need to do.
The page to do so will look like the below image. This is your first step in how to set up your Shopify store and as you can clearly see, Shopify offers a 14 day free trial when you sign up! It's easy as pie to create a Shopify account, follow the steps below to find out more!
Step 2 – Create your first online store and choose a business name for your Shopify store
The first page you're taken to, looks like the below image. You click on 'Create Store' and then the page will change, and you will need to enter an online business name. This is how you can start to create your Shopify website.
Shopify will flag if you have chosen a store name that is already taken, as that is not allowed. All you need to do is enter a store name that is not chosen to create an online store.
This is where you will see that you can create your eCommerce store during a trial period of 14 days from Shopify. Once you have spent time working with Shopify, you may feel more comfortable on the Shopify store and more inclined to choose a Shopify plan to create your Shopify store with.
Step 3 – Log into the account you want to sync, with the online store you create
Here you just need to log in to your account, or create one, if you haven’t done that before. You might want to consider having a strong password to keep all your valuable business information secure. An eCommerce store holds tresures, so be sure to use a strong password to avoid any leaks on your Shopify site.
We'd suggest downloading the app '1Password' which autogenerates long and unguessable passwords for you. Save the password as 'Shopify login' (or you can save and name it as you please) and you can pop it into the folder of your choice. This will be very useful when accessing your Shopify store.
You can download 1Password here to ensure that your Shopify account is well protected!
Step 4 – Shopify account profile
This is where you need to add further information about yourself. There are open fields for you to fill in for your Shopify store, which are:
- Details – Name, phone, email etc.
- Connect a login service
- Stores, programs, and resources – this is where you can create your very own eCommerce store
- Preferred language – here you can choose the language of your preference to work with. This does not affect the language of your store.
Step 5 – Create your online store with Shopify
Take note of the URL that we included in the screenshot below. You will already see that the URL includes my store name, which for this trial, I have made 'Blossoming Bakery'.
This is the first step to creating you online store. You need to answer three questions:
1. Are you already selling?
- I'm just playing around
- I'm not selling products yet
- I'm selling, just not online
- I sell with a different system
2. What is your current revenue?
- Here you have 5 options of range from 0 to 1 million so you just choose your bracket
3. Which industry will you be operating in?
- Other food & drink
- Virtual services
- I haven't decided yet
For this experiment, we are going to assume that we're completely new. Not a single day of Blossoming Bakery behind us.
If you don't feel like filling this in, you do not have to, you can also skip it and leave it for later.
Step 6 – Business information
After you have filled in the selection that Shopify provides, you get to the next page where you can fill in your business information, which is a prerequisite for getting paid on your eCommerce store.
Step 7 – Shopify Interface
Now that you are a Shopify store owner, you get to dabble around on Shopify for 14 days worth of a free trial. You can peruse your Shopify admin and see all that Shopify offers for your eCommerce business.
The number of days you have left on your Shopify trial will be written in the bottom-right corner for you to keep your eye on.
Shopify provides a helpful Setup guide that you can follow as a checklist to get your store up and running. Let's run through some of these points so you can get a better impression of what it means to have a Shopify store.
Slowly starting to get the hang of it? Great! Don't be scared to mess around and make mistakes, you can edit things and you have the 14 day free trial to make as many mistakes as possible really so go for it!
See, it's not so hard to navigate Shopify stores and all that they entail.
Shopify has purposefully made it easy for those selling online to do so as easily as possible. They encourage non-tech and small businesses to create their own online store so Shopify has made their plans and store dashboard and store admin as easy to operate as possible.
Let's move on to adding a product and product descriptions shall we? Let us get this online shopping availability going!
Step 8 – Add a product
Let us start at the first point in the Shopify checklist. We need to add a product. This is one thing we will say about the Shopify platform – they are extremely organized. They outline everything for you, and it is the first step for you to be able to have your own online store.
Adding a product to your Shopify store is pretty straightforward. You need to add the title, the description, product images, set up a price, set up the availability, specify the weight and if it's a physical product or not. It's important to add useful information and accurate descriptions that also include some key words to improve in your ranking of search engines.
Each of these points are very important. The availability for example will allow you to keep track of your inventory and stock.
The weight specification can help you automatically link with courier companies, e.g. with DPD in the UK they charge businesses different courier fees depending on the weight. If your item is under 1kg then it is an ExpressPak 1, if your item is between 1 – 5 kg, then it is an ExpressPak 5.
Depending on how your item is weighed, will affect the packaging costs, shipping labels and shipping costs. You need to be as concise as possible with everything.
Filling in weight classes for example is time-consuming for businesses to complete, so entering the weight of the product will automatically make adding the DPD app to your store much easier, as this information will sync so DPD will decide for you which ExpressPak your shipment is.
We would advise using your own product photos for your product pages, as this makes your website stand out and feel more authentic.
Little tip: to increase your search engine optimization, you might want to consider hitting 'Products' and then 'Collections' and scroll all the way to the bottom. There you will see the option to add a search engine listing preview which is how online visitors searching for your store will read about you on the search engine site. Here again you can add things like titles and product descriptions but they will only be visible on the search engine listing.
Want to know more about SEO in Shopify? Stay tuned, we have a new blog all about that coming soon!
Step 9 – Customize Theme
Now we can choose from the Shopify theme store for our online store.
We can either go with a free theme or go with paid themes. Shopify themes are known for offering premium themes that comes with a lot of design aspects and great functionality.
Given that this is only an experiment, we are going to go with a free theme on Shopify themes.
There are many free themes on Shopify that you can look through. They divide them quite nicely by topic, so you'll see that some are seriously designed for a fashion business idea, others for a skin care range etc.
The Shopify theme store options:
The one we went for, 'Crave', feels fitting for a food business idea, which is what we have, as we have a bakery! If you want to sell online, you need to make sure that your Shopify store is as appealing as possible. Online businesses need to take time to choose the right things like the correct Shopify theme, as it's the bits in the beginning of your business that you might see as small and insignificant but that have a great impact on your business.
Once you have successfully added your theme, you can hit 'customize' and this will allow you to create your very own online store. Be warned, even if you're doing this with a template, it does take time.
Your eCommerce business needs to be aesthetically pleasing and the Shopify theme store is there to help!
Step 10 – Add pages to your store
This is where you can build on your online store with Shopify.
On the theme store is where you chose the template you want to use for your Shopify store.
With Pages, you can add more information to your online store like a 'Contact' page, an 'About Us' page, 'Our Services' page etc. Store owners should take advantage of adding useful and easy to understad information to their pages. There is no limit to the amount of pages you are allowed to have.
Step 11 – Navigation
This is an important part of the creation of your website as this will help online visitors navigate, i.e., find things on your store.
Here, you can add filters to your website that online buyers can use to make their website search easier. You can add filter by categories like price or products.
You can also create nested menu's that allow you to have a dropdown menu that allows your visitors to find the products or information easier.
Customers easily navigating your website can make all the difference to the success of your online store.
Step 12 – Add a custom domain
The domain that you receive automatically with your online store has your business or store name in it, with the '.myshopify'. This is a default setting for Shopify and automatically becomes your primary domain.
So for a business named 'Blossoming Bakery' the automatically generated domain that Shopify creates is:
blossoming-bakery.myshopify.com (which is not very pretty now, is it).
What can you do about it? Get a custom domain!
You can either 'Connect existing domain' if you already have one. Or you need to 'Buy a domain'.
When you click on 'Buy on domain' you then need to enter the domain name you want, and Shopify will let you know if it is available and it gives you the price. You then buy the domain name and it's a yearly charge and that's it.
Step 13 – Connect more sales channels
This is the stage you connect more apps to your store so that you can increase the chances of your online store making sales.
You need to be visible in order to make sales, and you need to stand out in order to make sales through your eCommerce business.
Now, if you are using a pre-designed Shopify theme as your online store, then you're already going to struggle to stand out as it's a template.
However, if you add some useful apps that make the purchasing experience for your online visitors better and more unique, then you increase your chances of having a successful store.
The almost automatic sales channels are facebook, buy buttons and email, but there are many more that you can choose from.
Adding a sales channel or various sales channels is vital. Shopify is so clever that it understands the type of business you have (that's why we added the industry and sector we're in in stage 5) and so it actually recommends some apps that could be useful to your specific business.
You must explore the Shopify App store so find the best apps out there for your eCommerce store.
Step 14 – Set up Point of Sale (optional step)
This is really only needed if you want to sell at pop up markets or if you have a retail store that you want to sell at.
What Shopify POS allows you to do is make in-person sales. It is only handy if you have some form of brick and mortar store, or if you have physical customer contact and need to make in-person sales. This is what you need if you have actual store visitors.
Step 15 – Set up Shopify Payments
Accept payments online!
This is done easily with Shopify Payments, Shopify's very own payment solution.
Revel in lower transaction fees with Shopify payments.
Of course, you can still use third-party vendor and payment provider, sales through these just come at a slightly higher transaction fee as Shopify need to accommodate and process these.
You want to ensure that payments can be made through various payment gateways like the usual credit card gateway of Visa, Mastercard, Amex and then offer your customers additional payment options like PayPal, GooglePay, ApplePay etc.
Keen to know more about Shopify Payments? Great! Take a look at our blog ‘Shopify Payments’ here.
Step 16 – Disable password protection
The last step before you can go online with your Shopify store for the public to see.
Your Shopify store is password protected which means that only online visitors with the correct password can access your store. You will want to disable this so that your online store can be viewed by the general public.
It’s really easy to do so! Simply do the below steps:
- Go to your ‘Online Store’ and click on ‘Preferences’ in the left column on your ‘Shopify Admin Page'
- Go to ‘Password Protection’
- You’ll see a checked box that says ‘Restrict access to visitors with the password’ so you need to uncheck that box
- Then hit ‘Save’
Or if that’s too complicated you can also do it easily like this:
- Go to ‘Online stores’ and then click on ‘Themes’
- You’ll see a banner that says ‘Your online store is password protected’ and then you’ll see a button that says ‘Remove password’. And that’s it!
You want to get your eCommerce business out there for the world to see so don't forget to disable that password protection.
Additional information for you to know about your Shopify store
Beyond the steps involved in creating a new Shopify store, there is a super helpful Shopify interface that stores a lot of useful information.
You will find various headings on the left of your Shopify page like 'Home', 'Orders', 'Products', 'Customers', 'Analytics' etc.
When you have your own store, you need to know what is happening with your sales and customers and website performance and Shopify makes it so easy to understand. Keep an overview of the performance of your online store easily with this helpful Shopify dashboard.
When it comes to orders, you will be able to see all the orders placed on your online store, you will be able to see the shipping rates that each person paid etc.
With Shopify Analytics, you will have a lot of data on your whole operation, including how often customers purchase, what their average spend is etc.
Shipping is a tricky area with customers. It would be amazing to team up with a service partner whose rates are so low that you can incorporate them as your business expense and therefore offer free shipping to your customers, but this is rather unlikely.
Shipping options are hard to sift through and to find one that is realiable and inexpensive can be tricky. It might be worth adding a shipping page or even just an FAQ section only on shipping to your eCommerce store. This section can include the price of shipping to various shipping zones, the length of shipping time to each shipping zone and explain other shipping options that customers might have, or even collection options from your warehouse, if that is possible.
Be sure to check in with the necessary authorities and read up on eCommerce regulations in your specific country, as these laws change from country to country. It’s always best to consult a legal party about data privacy, data protection and eCommerce legalities before going public. We’d certainly recommend this!
Trust us, we're Shopify experts, we know that this is a brilliant ecommerce platform to use. Whether you want to launch a new business or want to migrate from an existing platform, Shopify can accommodate this.
Shopify is unique in the fact that it can handle a lot of changes, many third-party extensions, app downloads and online traffic.
With a Shopify store, you get flexibility. You want to save on transaction fees? Great, then use their very own payment gateway Shopify Payments. That's not good enough? Fine, in additional to Shopify payments, continue to use all other third-party payment gateways without a problem! Make your eCommerce business suit your needs but use Shopify to do this.
Scared for the future? You want an online store now, but what if in 6 months you want to have your own brick and mortar store? No problem! Shopify has Shopify POS for that.
Truly, Shopify has you covered in almost every aspect that you could possibly need. Give them a try! Sign up for the 14-day free trial and see how you find Shopify.
Should you need any help creating an online store, we're Shopify experts, and we do website conception and design, so please feel free to get in touch with us on email@example.com or visit our website here.
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Natalie MillerMarketing Manager
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