How to Start a Shopify Store

Shopify

Have you considered starting your own eCommerce business but are not quite sure where to begin? There are a number of online eCommerce platforms designed for you to sell your products.. and in my experience I have found Shopify to be one of the easiest to work with.

Currently there are more than 2 million stores being run on the Shopify platform. There are a variety of reasons why so many sellers choose this platform over some of the other options.

One of the main reasons is due to Shopify being more user friendly and easier to work with than some of the other choices. People also appreciate the fact that they are not required to commit to any sort of long-term contracts.

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START OUT WITH THE SHOPIFY FREE TRIAL:

Shopify actually offers a 7-day free trial. You should take advantage of this as it offers you the opportunity to get in there and start working with it for an entire week. You will quickly see just how easy it is to make a Shopify store.

Shopify is a great platform when it comes to offering everything you need for your online store. It will allow you to design your store and display your products in an eye-catching way.

You will also have a large selection of tools, features, apps, and more at your disposal.. plus easy integration for those who may be interested in doing drop-shipping.

When you start a Shopify business it may feel intimidating at first. But.. it is actually a lot easier than you think to navigate around the platform.

Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed. Once you register and start exploring the available themes, features, etc. you will have your store up and running in no time at all.

Should you find that you need assistance.. you will easily be able to get the help you need.

OPENING YOUR SHOPIFY STORE:

You can open a Shopify store in ten easy steps.. yes you read that right, just ten easy steps and your visitors will be able to start purchasing your products!

Let’s take a look at how truly easy and simple it is to make a Shopify store:

  • Name your store
  • Register your domain name
  • Sign up for Shopify
  • Navigate store settings
  • Create your legal pages
  • Choose your store theme
  • Create main menu
  • Add content to home page
  • Add products
  • Add email marketing

That’s it.  OPEN YOUR STORE!

Open a Shopify Store

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each step and explain a bit more in-depth about opening a Shopify store.

GIVING YOUR SHOPIFY STORE A NAME:

Maybe you already have some ideas as to what you would like to name your online store. If not.. start brainstorming and try to come up with some ideas that describe your store and what you would ultimately like it to be.

The name should be something fairly short and uncomplicated.. as well as something that will be easy to remember. Think of the most popular brand names. Most of them are not lengthy.. and yours shouldn’t be either.

When it comes to your company name, it is best to choose something with no more than one to three words, if possible, so your customers and clients can remember who you are.

This will also be helpful when it comes to word of mouth for your business. You don’t want customers to forget who you are and not be able to remember your name when they might like to recommend your amazing store to their friends.

Another thing you might want to consider is getting an SEO optimized domain name. This can be very helpful in having your store show up well in the search engines. Please take the opportunity to visit our sister site and check some of the SEO optimized domain names that are currently available: PremiumBlogsForSale.com

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REGISTERING THE DOMAIN NAME FOR YOUR STORE:

It is always best to register your own domain name. A store looks much more professional if the domain address is MyAmazingStore.com rather than MyAmazingStore.myshopify.com

That second option is what you would wind up with if you did not register your own domain name. This looks very unprofessional and will actually cost you a lot of business. People are hesitant to make a purchase from a website that gives the impression it may not be very successful and therefore may be here today and gone tomorrow.

A domain name is extremely affordable so there is absolutely NO reason not to get one!
Do NOT register your domain name through Shopify! For security reasons, as well as a few other considerations, it is always best to keep your domain registration and hosting separate.

NEVER register your domain name with a web host.. and NEVER host your website with a domain name registrar! Don’t invite problems!

The most popular registrars are GoDaddy and NameCheap. I have been using GoDaddy for years. I stay there because I have been there for so many years.. and I am comfortable there.

That being said.. I normally suggest NameCheap for my students simply because their prices tend to be lower than most of the other domain registrars.

If you are unsure as to how to go about registering your own domain name see our post:
How to Register a Domain Name

After you sign up with Shopify there is an easy way to connect your own domain name to your Shopify store so that your store will be using your domain name and not the default yourstore.myshopify.com

SIGN UP WITH SHOPIFY:

In order to open your very own Shopify store.. click the start free trial button to begin this exciting new journey. You will need to enter your email address, create a password, and the name of your store in order to sign up successfully.

If the store name you entered is not available the system will warn you of this and give you the opportunity to enter something else. Don’t worry too much about this as you will not be using this default store name anyway.  You will be connecting your own newly registered custom domain name to Shopify.

For now just enter your store name.. and if need be add another short word in front of the name such as..  “a”, “my”, “the” or “best”.

Once you have completed the above steps and filled in all the necessary forms then you can click the create your store button. 

NAVIGATE YOUR NEW STORE SETTINGS:

As soon as you have finished signing up.. you will be taken to your store admin page. This is where you will be able to customize all your store settings to suit you. You will need to click on the gear icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your page.

The first thing you need to do is to create all of your informational pages so customers will have all the information they need about you, your company, ordering, shipping, returns, cancellations, FAQs, etc.

The more your customers know about you and how they can shop with you the better your business will do. These people don’t know who you are. This is why it is very important to make them feel completely comfortable with ordering from you and your online store.

After you have done this, you will need to set up the payments section. This will specify how customers check out and the different payment methods available.

Always remember to click SAVE whenever you make changes!
This will make sure your most recent changes have been saved.

You might want to give your customers as many payment options as possible when they shop with you. This makes their lives easier.. but ultimately it is entirely up to you as to which payment methods you choose to accept.

Your order form should also require that they not only list their shipping address.. but also share their email address and perhaps a phone number as well.. in case any issues arise and you have the need to contact them in regard to their order.

CREATE YOUR LEGAL PAGES:

The next thing you need to do is to create all of your legal pages. These pages are NOT optional.. they are required by law!

These pages will include your Privacy Policy, and your Website Accessibility Statement, as well as a Disclosure Statement.. if any of your products are being sold through affiliate links on your site.

It is not legal, or ethical, to go out and try to steal someone else’s legal pages. If you are not sure where to get your legal pages.. this is one of the least expensive and reliable sources: Website Policies

To add and make changes to your pages visit the section that says Online Store and click open pages.

You are doing a great job so far, you are already halfway there!

CHOOSE YOUR STORE THEME:

When you use Shopify it automatically assigns a theme to your store. It is a great theme but you may decide you would like something different that will suit your brand a bit better.

You are able to change and edit themes on the settings page. You will need to click on Online Store, Themes and then Customize the same way you did with your homepage.

Shopify has over 100 themes available. Some of the themes are free to use.. others are paid themes. Every theme you create or edit can be rearranged or removed to suit you and what you wish your store to look like.

If you are unable to find a free theme that fits your vision of what you had in mind for your store.. there are also a lot of paid Shopify themes available on ThemeForest.com

CREATE YOUR MAIN MENU:

Once you have created all the initial pages for your Shopify store, you need to organize them so your customers can find them with ease. To do this you will need to head to the section that is titled Online Store and then click on Navigation.

Here you can build a structure for your Shopify store. How it all looks and where each page is located will all come down to your Shopify theme and navigation.

Your Shopify store has two main default menus that appear on each of your pages, these are the main menu and the footer menu.

The top main menu includes your home page and your product pages. The footer menu is the menu that is found at the bottom of your page. This is where your contact-us page, about page, FAQs, and all of your informational pages and legal pages can be found.

add content to your home page:

A great homepage will convert visitors into paying customers and potentially into returning customers. When customers find what they are looking for on your site, the price is right, payment and shipping options are easy-peasy and you offer great customer service.. they will return again and again.

These are the things that have made AMAZON
into the multi-billion dollar business it is today!

To build and add content to your homepage you will need to go to the Online Store and click on Themes. Once you are there you can then select Customize in the current theme section of the page.

Here you can use the +Add Section button and use it to select the type of content you want to add. Some of the must-haves on your home page are your header, a logo if you have one, high quality pictures to grab everyone’s attention.. and of course a sign-up page for your weekly or monthly newsletter.

BEGIN ADDING PRODUCTS TO YOUR SHOPIFY STORE:

Now is the time for you to add your special and unique products to your online store. In order to do this, you will need to once again head to your admin setup page.

You can click the add product button and enter all the information needed about the product. This includes pictures, descriptions, colors, UPC codes, and prices.

You can help your customers and clients find your products by creating tags when you add products. You can add a total of up to 250 tags per product. This way your items will always be found, even if people aren’t necessarily searching for the exact product.

Once you have created a product listing, make sure you hit the save button before you move on to listing the next product.

ADD EMAIL MARKETING:

Something else that you will want to do is create an online marketing strategy for your business. Your business won’t get very far without some sort of marketing plan.

Your strategy should include who your target audience is and the channels you want to utilize. Your marketing strategies might include.. SEO, social media, content marketing, email, etc. Motley Fool has some good articles on marketing. You can find them here:
Marketing Channels Your Small Business Should Utilize

You can add Shopify apps to your store that will track your marketing campaigns. You can also make use of Shopify’s marketing automation software. This means you won’t really have to do a lot of tracking yourself, it will all be done for you in the background.

THAT’S IT.. YOU ARE READY TO OPEN YOUR SHOPIFY STORE:

You have made it to the very end of creating your very own Shopify store. If you are ready to publish then you can remove your password page and tell the world about your new store. Without this, users will not be able to visit your store and see all your wonderful products.

Before you can make your store live.. you will need to select a plan. The Basic plan is all that most people need to start. If you are not ready to start quite yet and want to fine-tune your pages a bit more.. you can extend your trial for another two weeks.

If you want to gain the attention of new customers.. you might like to think about creating Shopify discount codes in order to be noticed.

If things don’t seem to be coming together right away.. don’t be discouraged. It takes time for any new business to get off the ground. Just keep moving forward.. regularly adding new products and creating compelling descriptions.. enticing visitors to purchase your awesome products. Before long it will all begin to fall into place.

I hope you found this article helpful and that I was able to help you in your goal to start a Shopify business. There are always so many new things you can try with your website and if you need any help along the way.. help is always available via the Shopify help center.

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