Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows its users to sell their products or services online. Over time it has increased in popularity as many users praise its functionality and useability.
It is also believed to outshine many of its competitors, hence why it is often the first choice for many entrepreneurs.
Although Shopify is relatively easy to set up, making it an ideal choice for beginners that do not have much technical knowledge of running a site of this kind, there is still a lot of learning involved.
Below, we have compiled a guide to help you get started and navigate your way through the process of selling on this platform.
Have a plan in place
Before you begin setting up your online store, you should dedicate a sufficient amount of time to planning. Having a detailed plan in place will make the rest of the process much easier.
For example, you will need to decide whether this is going to be a hobby or a full-time occupation as this will determine how much time you are going to be able to invest in your Shopify store.
Furthermore, you will also need to implement a marketing strategy that supports the growth of your business.
Understanding your target audience is also essential to ensure that you cater the tone and design of your Shopify page towards these individuals.
Set up your account
A great thing about Shopify is that it accommodates those who lack technical knowledge. As such products can be added with ease and processing orders isn’t overly challenging either.
Of course, you won’t be able to begin selling products until you have set up your Shopify page.
Shopify offers a free 14 day trial which enables new users to test out the platform to see whether they like it before proceeding to put money into it.
At the end of the 14 days, your account will be canceled and you will need to activate it and select the right plan for you. After you have created your page you will then be encouraged to enter some details about your business.
Select a domain name
Next, you will need to select a domain name for your Shopify store. This is the address that customers will type into the URL when they want to visit your business.
A default, free domain is available, however, it will not rank your site very well. For this reason, we recommend purchasing a new domain name that is relevant to your store, and easy to remember.
It is also worth utilizing hosting websites as they will help to ensure that your page performs and ranks strongly.
Name your business
The name of your store is going to be reflective of your brand and what you are selling. There are several generator tools available that can be used to help you select the best name for your Shopify store.
Choose a name that is original and does not sound too similar to any existing pages.
Ideally, it should also be quite short so that it is easier for your customers to remember.
Find a manufacturer or supplier
If you are going to be selling products rather than a service, you will need to make sure that you have a reliable manufacturer or supplier on hand.
There are many options available, for example, some may choose to work with local stores, whilst others may opt for wholesale distributors.
The type that you choose will depend on the scale of your business and the products that you are expecting to sell. Preferably your suppliers should be affordable and should also ensure that your products are with you within the time stated. If you are uncertain about which manufacturer or supplier to choose it is worth checking out their websites or inspecting free samples.
Choose a Shopify theme for your store
When it comes to Shopify themes there are many to choose from. The theme that you choose will be the first thing that customers see when they click on your store.
Because of this, we would advise you to select a theme that is engaging with a professional feel. You can either create your own theme or choose one that is already made.
Whilst there are many paid themes available, there are also multiple free options to choose too. Before confirming your theme, you will need to check that it looks the same on a mobile as it does on a desktop.
Set up the necessary pages
There are certain pages that your store should consist of.
The basics include a contact page that details all of the information that customers require to get in touch with you, a page that tells customers more about your business, and a shipping page that informs customers of the cost of shipping and the time that it is likely to take, etc.
Start adding your products
Now that you have created a page that fits your vision, the next step involves adding products to your store.
This is a fairly straightforward process, however, it is the most time-consuming. To add your products manually, you will need to click on the add products button, before adding a title, product description, and an image.
If you have a large inventory of products, you may wish to import them as this will save you from having to list each product individually.
Familiarize yourself with analytics
It is important to familiarize yourself with analytics so that you can see how well your store is performing.
These analytics will tell you how much traffic has been attracted to your store, along with the pages and products that appear to be the most popular.
Setting up Google analytics can make it easier for you to monitor this traffic.
Utilize apps that can support your store
There are many Shopify apps available that can be used to enhance the appeal and functionality of your store.
For example, you may wish to add a section for customer reviews or pop-ups that contain discounts. Whilst some will incur a charge, there are many available that are free.