Starting a Shopify Store – What, Where and How?
So, you’ve decided to start a store on Shopify. Great! There’s nothing like the freedom of starting and creating your own shop. But how do you get started and what do you need to look out for? Buckle in for a comprehensive overview for first timers that answers all the important questions. This is your Shopify store from start to finish.
Table of Contents
What do I Sell?
What you sell is influenced by trends, your customers and their passions and interests. Find your niche and identify what people want to buy. Examples include unique markets like yoga accessories, beauty products, and pet products. Once you’ve decided what to sell, you obviously need to have the product in stock, so having trusty suppliers and manufacturers is one of the keys to success.
On the other side of deciding what to sell is dropshipping. This fulfillment method means an online store doesn’t actually keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, it only purchases the item from a third party after a customer has bought it from them. It then ships it directly to the customer, never having had a physical interaction with the item.
Tip: Don’t forget to decide your price points and figure out your profit margins!
Where do I Source Products?
There are a number of ways to get products for your store, with the first being manufacturers. If you have a product in mind and want to design it yourself, this is the way to go.
Wholesales or distributors will put you in touch with product that already exists, eliminating the need for costly manufacturing.
Finally, makers, are individuals that are creating product. This could be you, or another individual with whom you deal directly to get product.
Sign me Up!
We don’t need to take you through the sign-up process- you know how to create an online account. Here’s a linkto get you started as soon as possible. So, once you’ve signed up – congrats, you are now the admin of a Shopify website!
How do I add Products?
You will first need photos of your product. Whether you do this yourself or hire a professional photographer, the photos should on point and high-quality. They are some of the most important parts of your store and what customers will base their purchase on. Unlike brick and mortar stores, online shopping doesn’t allow for physical contact with a product, so product photos are the main point of interaction a customer has. It’s absolutely crucial to make them look professional.
You will then want to add descriptions to your product photos. These tell the item’s story, so make sure they are cohesive, have no grammar mistakes and give your customers all the info they need.
The last step is to create collections – sets of items that can be organized by season, color, or other characteristics.
Tip: One product can belong to more than one collection.
How Do Customers Pay and Get Their Products?
To collect payments from your customers, you will need to set up a payment gateway. There are over 100 payment providers around the world, so no matter where your store is, your customers will be able to buy your products.
You can choose between Shopify payments or third-party providers. The latter means you have to pay transaction fees, while Shopify payments is available in 13 countries, including the United States, Canada, and the UK.
Consider adding a shipping calculator on the checkout page to let customers know clearly what your rates are.
When it comes to shipping, Shopify allows you to buy and print shipping labels. Then you simply attach them to your box and drop the package off at the nearest post office.
Tip: With Shopify, credit card and order data is encrypted and secure.
How do I Make my Store Beautiful?
Shopify offers over 100 themes for you to choose from! You can also work with developers to take your theme to the next level. Take your time to choose the right theme that best showcases what you’re selling. Think of your customer’s journey and try to see your site objectively, through their eyes. Some questions to ask yourself might be:
- Are the colors harmonious and pleasing to the eye?
- Are the fonts easy to read?
- And perhaps, most importantly, does this site exhibit my product in the best possible way?
The homepage and logo are important! The logo represents your store’s personality while the homepage is the first thing a customer sees after landing on your website. Make sure to display your products in an eye-grabbing and innovative way.
Imagine having a slideshow or content pop-ups as custom ways to engage with site visitors. To learn more about these awesome features here and find more ways to customize your homepage, check out our task catalog here.
The new and updated sections will now give codeless customization capability to all pages of your Shopify store. They can be used on every type of page, giving you the ability to make quick layout and content changes.
Tip: You can always choose a different theme later, so you can experiment before going live.
How do I Know my Site is Working?
Before going live, you need to test your site, including your order system. You can do this with Shopify’s Bogus Gateway. If you are using Shopify payments, you will be able to use test credit cards to simulate payments.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to do a test of a genuine transaction. Just make sure to cancel it right away to avoid paying transaction fees.
Tip: You will not be charged for a test order.
This is it! You’ve selected your product, sourced them, built your store and tested your site. Your online store is ready to go, and you have just entered the exciting world of e-commerce. Even though you’re done setting up the store, your Shopify journey is just beginning!
Find out all the ways to make your new store stand out by browsing our task catalog below.