Entertaining the thought of launching an online store on Shopify? In this guide by Ecommerce Pro, we’ll lead you along with a simple step-by-step guide on how to start, design, and launch an online business on Shopify in no time.
Many people have entertained the thought of starting a business online, and because of intuitive ecommerce solutions like Shopify, building an online business, marketing, and scaling has never been easier.
Starting an online store with powerful ecommerce platforms like Shopify is extremely accessible and straightforward for most—even if you have little technical know-how. So if you're curious about setting up your online business, you’re in the right place.
Shopify is a leading ecommerce solution that provides brands and entrepreneurs with all the essentials needed for online business, no matter the size of your operations, making it one of the easiest and safest choices for your online venture.
The primary reason that Shopify makes for a great choice is that the underlying purpose behind Shopify is to help anyone and any business size build a fully functioning online store, even if you have no prior experience in doing so.
Here is a quick list of pros for choosing Shopify to power your website or online store:
- You don’t need experience in web design and development.
- Many of the details will be taken care of for you, like hosting, site security, and updates.
- You’ll get reliable, dedicated 24/7 support for your store.
- It's easy to create a beautiful and customizable store that meets the vision you have for your brand.
However, we at Ecommerce Pro understand that diving right into the world of ecommerce and Shopify can be a little overwhelming, especially if you're new. But you can rest assured that this guide is designed to give you the roadmap that helps you simplify and visualize the process of building an online store from scratch on Shopify.
Now, without further preamble, let’s get started on our step-by-step guide on how to build an online store on Shopify.
Step 1: Outline Your Big Ideas
So you’ve decided you want to start an online business and build your store or website on Shopify.
That’s great! Now it’s time for you to make your first big step, and that's in creating an outline that establishes some of the big ideas behind your online business and brand.
There is little point at all in signing up your store without having the concept behind it established first, and this includes picking a niche and identifying your target market.
Before you can move on to building your store, you must first have these details down by answering these questions:
- What product niche will I be working with?
- What products should I sell?
- What will I name my online store and website?
- To whom will I be selling (target audience/market)?
These details will be the foundation of ideas that will help you build your store and brand. Now let’s move forward and finally sign up on Shopify.
Step 2: Create a Shopify Account
For step 2 let’s get you started on Shopify and have you create your Shopify store today.
Shopify presently offers a 3-day free trial to help business owners get started. After which you get to enjoy Shopify at only $1 per month for 3 months. Depending on your country, prices might vary.
You'll only need to input your email address and some basic information about your online business and brand to get started. This phase is easy and won't take long for you to finish. Just follow the prompts that ask you some simple questions about your business including what you would like to sell and what you would like to name your store.
Step 2 should take you no more than a couple of minutes to complete. When you have completed filling out all the necessary details, you will finally be able to enter your store for the first time.
At the end of this step, you will have created your Shopify Account and you will be redirected to the admin panel.
Step 3: Set up Your Store
Once you are done setting up your account, you will find yourself on the Shopify admin dashboard. Here you will find a nicely outlined Setup guide already provided by Shopify, outlining the step-by-step process for you to complete your store. Shopify will first encourage you to “Add your first product ”to your store, but you can always add products at any point in the process.
You will also notice that “Customize your online store” is next in the suggestion, and so forth. You can easily set up your store by following these steps according to Shopify’s guided recommendations. In the next section, we will talk about adding your first product:
Step 4: Add Your First Product
Before you even to select and customize your theme, it's best to add your products first. This is because the theme you select impacts the way your products are displayed, so it's best to already have products uploaded before you select a theme that is most ideal for your product lineup.
For you to add your first product, simply navigate and click on the Products section to the left of the dashboard and select Add your products.
Adding products can take time, especially if you have a long list of products to upload. From the add product page, you will have to include the following information and details about your product:
- Product Title: The name of your product.
- Description: All the relevant details regarding your product.
- Media: This includes product images
- Pricing: The price of your products
- Inventory: You must indicate how many products are available
- Shipping: Shipping weight
- Variants: This is needed if your product comes in different colors and sizes
- Search engine listing preview: SEO meta descriptions and titles.
- Tags: Collection creation and organization
Once you input all the necessary information, click on save and your product will be added.
Step 5: Customize Your Theme
Having a beautifully designed website is important. The design of your shop says so much about your business in the eyes of your customer, and you want to come off as professional and worthy of a customer’s trust. When it comes to designing your store, Shopify created a design experience that is easy for anyone to do, with a great theme selection and user-friendly store editor. Here’s what you need to do:
Select a Theme
With Shopify, you don’t need to have any website design and development experience, all you need is to select one beautiful pre-made theme from Shopify’s well-curated Theme Store.
Shopify provides numerous free themes as well as Premium (paid) themes. You can select themes that are based on the ecommerce industry you wish to be part of. Read more about the best Shopify 2.0 themes in 2023.
Once you select a theme, you will be able to customize it in the Theme Editor to suit your vision for your store.
The Theme Editor is a tool that provides you with a preview on how your store will look like. From there, you will be able to make changes to the texts, add images, and adjust the color pallet before publishing your store and taking it live.
Once you have selected your cool new theme, go ahead and customize your store in the theme editor.
Feel free to play around with the images and text you want to add to your store. This is where you get to bring in some creativity into the design process.
Another design element that your shop cannot go without is your brand’s logo. Your logo is the face of your brand and online business, so do not underestimate its importance and relevance.
Step 6: Domain Name
Once you have your products and store design in place and you like what you see, you should consider buying a domain name for your shop. Without owning a domain name, your current store’s URL will look like this: (your-store-name).myshopify.com.
For the purpose of branding, you want a custom URL that is completely your own, without the “myshopify” bit in it.
From the dashboard go to Settings and click on Domain. From here you will be able to either:
Connect to an existing domain- This option is for those who already have a domain from other providers, and it allows you to connect Shopify to your existing provider.
Buy a new domain- If you don’t already have a domain for your store, it’s as simple as purchasing your domain directly from Shopify.
Step 7: Add Pages to your Store & Navigation
Next up, you will need to create pages for your website to help your customers with navigation. You can add pages to your site by choosing the Add page option, as seen in the image below:
Here are some pages your store should have:
About Page- Your about page tells the story of your store to your customers. It tells them what it is you do, and also conveys your store personality and values.
Contact Page- Your contact page is important because it acts as a channel for your customers to get in touch with you and your store.
FAQ- The FAQ page or Frequently Asked Questions page is a place for your customers to go and help themselves by finding answers to their most common questions.
Once you have products and store pages, its time to setup your store’s navigation so that customers can easily navigate your shop and find what they need. To add navigation, go to Online Store and click on Navigation. Here you will find and edit two menus, which are the ‘Main menu’ and a ‘Footer menu.’ When you’ve finished creating the navigation for your store using the pages you just created, click on Save Menu.
Step 8: Add a Payment Method
Shopify makes getting paid through your online store easy and provide numerous payment options. Just navigate from Settings on the dashboard to Payments and choose your preferred method.
As a Shopify website, you want to provide your customers with the convenience of multiple payment methods. A simple and popular method is PayPal, but you can also make use of Shopify Payments, which allows you to accept payment from credit cards directly.
Step 9: Complete Additional Setup
Now that we have discussed completing your store's basic setup, we go into more details that you need to complete before finally testing and launching your store. This includes setting up the following:
- Set up shipping: Navigate to Settings and click on Shipping and delivery. From here you must configure your shipping zones, rates, and carriers. You can also determine how you'll handle shipping fees, whether you will include free shipping, flat rates, or calculated rates based on where shoppers are located.
- Configure taxes: From setting navigate to Taxes to set up your tax settings.
- Download needed apps: Explore the highly extensive Shopify App Store and find and install apps that can enhance the appearance and function of your store.
Step 10: Test Your Online Store Before Launch
Before you launch your store, its important to run some tests to make sure that everything is running smoothly and living up to a high standard. Once you are done with the basic setup, we suggest making a thorough test of important processes including the purchasing process, from adding products to the cart to completing the checkout.
You must also ensure that all the payment methods and shipping options are functioning correctly. From here, you can make all the necessary adjustments to provide a frictionless shopping experience for all future customers.
You should also go over Shopify’s General Checklist for Starting a New Shopify Store before launch.
Hire a Shopify Expert Agency
Due to its relatively simple setup procedure that can be completed by adhering to a few key steps, Shopify is the platform of choice for many businesses in 2023 to create their online stores or websites. Access to the platform's many user-friendly tools and features will be available once you have created a Shopify account. You can pick from a variety of themes (templates for your Shopify website), alter them to suit your requirements and brand aesthetics, and add your products and website content. Additionally, you can configure a number of other settings, as well as payment and shipping options.
While creating a Shopify website can be fairly simple, there are a number of reasons you may want to think about working with a Shopify Expert like Ecommerce Pro.
Shopify Experts have a successful track record and are trustworthy organizations and members of the Shopify community; they are not Shopify employees but rather offer merchants valuable services, and they have undergone a thorough screening process by Shopify, which has given them the go-ahead for providing top-notch services.
Shopify Experts assist brands and online business owners in getting the polished results they want for their online stores. The Ecommerce Pro team, a top-rated Shopify agency, is made up of knowledgeable Shopify website designers, developers, and content writers who will help you build the online store you imaged.
Ecommerce Pro can help you stay up-to-date with the latest ecommerce trends, designs, and best practices, ensuring that your website remains competitive and highly effective as an ecommerce site.
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At Ecommerce Pro, we help entrepreneurs and business owners build better and more successful ecommerce businesses on Shopify. Have a question or a project in mind? Get in touch with us today!