What is Shopify?
Shopify describes their platform as an e-commerce website backed by powerful tools that help you find customers, drive sales, and manage your day-to-day. For anyone who may be unaware, e-commerce is a business model that lets companies and individuals buy and sell things over the internet. Through the platform you are able to create your own website by picking a free or premium theme and edit it through an easy to use drag-and-drop system. From there you get to add products to your site in the simple to use dashboard that the platform provides to you. Shopify is definitely not the only player on the block, but it is one of the best known and most trusted in the e-commerce space. With a very diverse and wide-ranging base of sellers utilizing the platform, it is becoming heavily utilized from local businesses just getting started to influencers such as Kylie Jenner with millions of customers. Best of all it is relatively affordable, starting at a $29.99 a month charge to run your online business. Not to mention you can start a 14-day trial to see if the platform fits your needs. No that we have some more background on Shopify, let’s see if it is a fit for you and your business.
Should you use Shopify?
This question really has a different answer for different people. What works for some does not necessarily work for everyone. With that being said we gathered a list of a few questions to determine if Shopify is the move you should make. If you answer ‘YES’ to a majority of these questions, Shopify may be the solution you have been looking for.
- Is your business in need of an online presence?
- Are you planning on selling physical and/or digital goods?
- Are you looking for a simple way of updating inventory, tracking orders, and printing labels?
- Would you like to create discount codes and promotions?
- Are you looking for a simple drag-and-drop website builder?
- Need to sell on both mobile phones and computers?
- Are you looking for a platform that has a large amount of resources to help you as you grow?
If the answer was ‘Yes’ to most of those questions, then Shopify may be the platform for you! Keep reading to learn how you can get started immediately. We also have included some helpful resources and videos that will get you on your way to starting up your Shopify store! If you were not convinced already here are some of the perks of creating a Shopify store.
Some of the benefits of using Shopify
- 14-Day free trial to test out the platform (Pro-Tip: Since no card information is required you can keep creating new accounts to get another 14-day trial)
- Easy to use website builder/editor
- Many great website themes to get you started
- Mobile app that notifies you of orders and lets you edit products
- Able to print labels to use on packaging
- Easy discounts and promo-code creation
- Track orders in real-time
- Dashboard provided with store analytics
- A lot of developers familiar with the platform leading to affordable help
- Email marketing and automated email sending included
- Great online support by the Shopify team if you run into issues
- New features constantly being added by the Shopify team
Official Shopify essential checklist
Getting Started (Step-by-Step)
The steps listed below give a high-level understanding of what you want to focus on when starting up your Shopify store. For more in-depth content subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date as we release more guides on the elements of this blog. If you are interested in having your store created for you check out our packages by tapping here or contact us by tapping here.
Step 1: Starting your 14-Day free trial
This first step is pretty straight forward, just go the the Shopify link provided here to start your free trial. You will be asked to give some initial information on your store to get things started.
Step 2: Exploring your dashboard
Once you have completed your initial signup you will be brought to your personal Shopify dashboard. This is like the command center of your online store. From here you get to navigate through all of your options, view your analytics, and setup all of the aspects of your store. As great as tutorials and guides are, nothing compares to some exploration to get familiar with the platform yourself. This is something we advise all clients to do. The more comfortable you become, the more confident you become in your ability. You can do it!
Step 3: Picking your theme and editing the appearance
On to one of the funnest parts of any online store, picking your theme. From the dashboard you will now be able to tap on the ‘Online Store’ button. From here you will now see more options, including a button called ‘Theme’. From here you can browse free themes, premium themes, and even tap on the customize button to edit the theme in the drag-and-drop builder. If you need more help in setting up your online store check out some of the resources we have linked below. To view some of the available themes Shopify offers: tap here.
Step 4: Adding your products
Now for the bread and butter of any store, the products. Whether it is digital or physical, big or small, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is getting it listed on your store and ready for sale! All you have to do is tap on the ‘Products’ tab in your dashboard and you are given the option to edit and add new products. Within you are given the options to add product titles, descriptions, images, prices, inventory, tag, and more. This product editor is simple to use, yet very powerful in the amount of customization you are able to do.
Step 5: Fill out all of the admin options
An essential part of any Shopify store is to make sure that you go in and fill out all of the important information that any business should have. Within the options you are able to setup how your taxes are handled (different based on state and product offered), your business address, shipping options, and more. This portion of your store creation is pivotal to your overall success in the long term as you want to stay on top of all operations related aspects of your store. The point of this is to be able to run a well oiled machine of a website. For more information on this check out some of the resources listed at the bottom of this page.
Step 6: Purchase your domain and connect it to your site
A domain, also known as a URL, is the address people enter into their web browser to get to your website. Don’t have a domain yet? Don’t worry, Shopify makes this very simple as they give you the option to purchase the domain and connect it for you automatically. In terms of price point you can expect to pay around $14 for most domains, while some higher end domains require a higher price to secure. If you have an existing domain and need to figure out how to connect it to your account: tap here.
Step 7: Test your site out
Of course no site is complete without being given a full run-through. For this step you definitely want to look at all of the important aspect of your site such as the website appearance, product listings, your admin setup, email templates, etc. One especially important thing you should always do is to put your store into ‘Test Mode’ and try and purchase a product. This is a great way to see how your site functions and find any issues that may exist in the overall customer experience. Shopify even provides some fake card numbers for you to input into your checkout process to test it out fully. To learn how to put your site in ‘Test Mode’ and test out an order: tap here.
Here are a few links to articles and videos that have helped many people in getting their Shopify stores up and running. Many of these resources take a deep dive into exactly how you can structure the many different elements of your Shopify store.
Official Shopify Guides:
- Menus & Links
- Shipping & Delivery
Third Party Resources:
There are also a large number of influencer giving away a lot of great advice on how to create and maintain Shopify stores. We have linked some videos below that guide you step by step through the Shopify creation process. Some even dive deep into the world of Drop-shipping if that is something that interests you as well.
- Dan Vas – COMPLETE Shopify Tutorial For Beginners 2020
- The Brand Hustler – HOW TO DESIGN A WEBSITE IN ONE DAY USING SHOPIFY
- J Rich – The Best Shopify Tutorial For Beginners 2020
***UPDATED February of 2022
Need Some Help?
Never fear, we are official Shopify Partners with experience in developing successful stores for a variety of clients. If you are interested in our services and would like to check out our packages: tap here.