How to Start a Shopify Store: Step by Step Guide
Wondering how to start a Shopify store? We’ve got your back! As Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms out there, you can always find plenty of information about this product. However, we want to take you by the hand and walk you through starting a Shopify store. Gladly, Shopify is very easy to use; it gives you plenty of tools to sell, communicate, and market your services and goods. It is no wonder that so many people all over the world have started a Shopify store to upgrade their business.
Follow this guide to learn how to set up a Shopify store step by step.
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The best way to start your own e-commerce store is to understand your budget and see how you can use it. The development of e-commerce from scratch might cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. And obviously, this is not the price you want to spend on your website only when you are just starting your business.
And here comes Shopify. It is much cheaper and provides many options and functions that are everything you need to run your business. As soon as you find out how to start Shopify, you’ll be surprised how easy it is and how much time and money it can save you.
Besides its price, Shopify has plenty of other benefits, among which are awesome customizable design, the ability to create a mobile-friendly website, ability to implement the website on other platforms, including social media, fulfillment solutions, etc.
It is also very useful to the customers as they have different payment options and get superb shipping services. So, Shopify is a win-win situation for every type of business.
Check our guide and see how to start Shopify with several clicks. It is a rather technical step, so you have to make sure you have your business plan, strategy, etc., all figured out before actually starting your e-commerce store. More than that, you should conduct marketing research, know your audience, know your product, market, competitors, etc. If you think you can start a store and then learn competitors, market, and audience, then you are wrong as such knowledge influences everything you do, starting from the point you decide to run an online business.
And don’t forget to find the suppliers. This will help you to understand which Shopify theme will fit your store the most so you can plan the further steps and design.
The steps mentioned might take you weeks or months, but opening a Shopify store will take hours.
The price you’ll pay for starting a Shopify store varies greatly. You have to think about your actual needs from the end product and check with your budget. Start with a 14-day free trial to check all the features and tools you can get from the Shopify service. You can test-run the platform and see if it is good for your business and meets all the requirements.
If you are ready to get the Shopify subscription, then you have to pick one of the following pricing plans:
- Shopify Lite plan costs $9, and it is the cheapest one among all pricing plans. With this plan, you can’t create a Shopify store, but you can add Shopify features to your existing online store.
- Shopify Basic plan costs $29, 2.9% charge and $0.30 in fees per transaction. If you want to create a store with Shopify's help, this is the cheapest and basic option to get you on the road. It has all the necessary basic features for starters.
- Shopify plan costs $79, 2.6%, and $0.30 in fees per transaction. It is the optimal plan as it has more features than previous plans and is perfect for business owners who are not just trying to sell online but actually know how to do that and now know how to start a Shopify store.
- Shopify Advanced plan costs $299, 2.4%, and $0.30 in fees per transaction. This plan has the most features and is perfect for bigger businesses that have plenty of workers.
- Shopify plus plan cost starts at $2000 per month. It was designed for large-scale corporations. Here you can also get additional features for additional money, for example, if you want to add third-party services or apps.
If you are wondering how to start a Shopify business, you should follow the next steps. They are all easy as the platform is pretty intuitive. Even though another e-commerce platform might take you some time to create a store, Shopify can take several minutes to start your own store for your business. Don’t hesitate to follow the steps Shopify offers, but you should also know each step you take during this walk, including the steps you need to take before opening a Shopify store.
Step 1. Get Ready to Start the Shopify Store
This is the part where we tell you how to create a Shopify store. Before we start, let’s check whether you have everything necessary for your new e-commerce store to work properly. Among things like will, budget, product, and people on the team, you should also have things like:
- Business idea
- Business plan
- Marketing research (market, competitors, target audience)
- Branding (name, logo, brand book)
- Photos of your products
- Description of your products
- Different types of content to put on your website’s different pages like FAQ, about us, contacts, etc.
If you have all of the above-mentioned information, then you are ready to go and create your own Shopify store.
Step 2. Start Free Trial
Create a free trial when getting started with Shopify. You can use this platform for 14 days, during which you can test all the features, functions, and tools that this platform offers you. Be prepared to answer some questions before starting your trial, but you don’t need to insert your card number, so don’t worry about that. No one will get money out of your pocket unnoticeably.
The most crucial thing here is to place your store name. This should be something that you’ve thought about for quite a time since you won’t be able to change the name of your store. Once again, the name you place here will remain forever both as your store name and as an URL.
As soon as you go through the registration process, you’ll find yourself in your new Shopify account, which means you are ready to add products, pick a theme, configure payment and shipping options, and you are ready to sell.
Step 3. Add Products
We know how tempting it is to play around with all the themes Shopify offers you. For many, this is the most fun part of creating the store. But you have to move on and add your products to the page. Overall, products or services are the things people will actually visit your store for. So don’t try to move it further than you can. Besides, the number of things you offer to people will influence the way your store actually looks. You can pick the design for stores that have lots of products, and your several options will look dull and bad in that case. Be sure to pick the design that will fit the number of products or services you offer to the public.
You can simply add your product by clicking the Products > Add your products on the dashboard.
Step 4. Create Product Collections
Create a collection as soon as you’ve added your products to the website. Any types of products that you can categorize into one group, you can create a collection for that. This is a part of your strategy for opening a Shopify store. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, you can form collections of knives, plates, cups, pans, etc. It is the best practice if you want to display a certain selection of products on your home page, create a link to invite people for a specific category, discount a specific collection, etc.
Create a collection by clicking the Products > Collections on the dashboard.
Step 5. Create Store Pages
Now it’s time to create the store’s pages. It is not as fun as picking the design but still takes a lot of creativity to make your store pop out among others.
When opening a Shopify store, the platform will suggest you create several pages that are necessary to any store and all your future customers. Make sure to create the best content. The following pages are:
- FAQ page where you have to answer all the common questions that can pop up in the users’ heads.
- About page where you overview your business, share your mission and describe your goals and values.
- Contact page where you share all the necessary contacts that people can use to contact you.
- Policy pages where you share all the policies regarding your e-commerce website.
- A blog where you share your latest news, business content, ideas, suggestions, etc., to interest your customers.
Create all of the above-mentioned pages by clicking the Online Store > Pages on the dashboard and clicking Add Page button.
Step 6. Create Navigation Menu
You can’t find out how to start a Shopify store without creating a navigation menu so people can easily navigate your website and find necessary items or services. To create one, you have to go to Online Store > Navigation. Here you’ll see where you can edit two menus — the main menu and the footer menu. We suggest starting with the main navigation menu as it is more important for opening a Shopify store.
When you’ve clicked on the main editing menu, you’ll be able to add the pages and collections you’ve created.
Step 7. Choose a Theme
This is the time when you put your creativity on the table to start a Shopify store. It’s time to choose the theme. Go and visit the Shopify theme store to pick the theme and adjust it to your taste. But also remember to think about your clients so they can find everything easily. And remember about your competitors as you have to look different from them.
Step 8. Create Home Page
Go to Online Store > Themes to customize your home page, so it has everything necessary about your store. Here you can add sections to your page with a drag-and-drop technique. The available options will vary based on the layout you’ve picked, but in most cases, you’ll see options like:
- featured collections
- newsletter sign-up forms
- featured products
Pick anything that fits your idea and helps users to understand your business and shop easily.
Step 9. Apply the Brand
It’s time to customize your store with your unique brandings like logo, type, and colors which are the elements that your clients will recognize during the first seconds as soon as they enter the store. These are the items that help build your brand, awareness, and overall business. Stand out among your competitors, and be sure people remember you!
To add your logo, go to Online Store > Themes > Customize and click the Header option.
Step 10. Set Shipping Rates
Alongside wondering how to start a Shopify business, you should also remember your activity's financial and operational side. Think about how you will ship the products to your clients, what the tax will be, how you will proceed with the payment, etc. This all can be adjusted while creating a Shopify store. For example, you can adjust the shipping information by clicking Settings > Shipping and Delivery on the Shopify dashboard.
Step 11. Set Tax Rates
Many sellers have to charge sales tax or VAT. It is better to consult on that with tax specialists as taxes are different in each country, so you should be careful with that. Even though Shopify offers automatic tax count for certain jurisdictions but you still have to be careful with that. It is good if you know the taxing process and rules so you can do it yourself, but in most cases, we recommend hiring or consulting taxing specialists that can help you do everything without mistakes. In most cases, you’ll have to set taxes by hand.
You can adjust the tax setting on the Shopify dashboard following Settings > Taxes and Duties.
Step 12. Payment Gateway
To get the payment, you have to pick the payment gateway which will process credit card purchases. You can pick the one that Shopify offers (more than 100) or pick Shopify’s own gateway — Shopify Payments. It is easier and quicker to integrate as you don’t have to do extra manipulations, which is great for starters. Besides, Shopify Payments is the only gateway you can use without incurring transaction fees. However, only merchants from particular countries can use Shopify Payment. Even though Shopify works on reaching other countries, you should use a third-party payment gateway if you can’t use Shopify Payments.
To adjust the payment gateway, you should click on Settings > Payments on the Shopify dashboard. Shopify will provide you with the necessary instructions.
Step 13. Connect Domain
For now, you have done all the essential steps to start s Shopify store. You can stop right here and publish your store by using the URL that you’ve created in the beginning. The Shopify domain is fine, but many look for classical and custom domains, i.e., the ones that end with name.com, etc. This is a better option for your brand, and your customers will trust you more as such domains are more official, and other websites with similar domains have a good reputation.
In any case, you should adjust the domain or publish the website in one place — Settings > Domains on the Shopify dashboard.
Step 14. Further Development
Congratulations! You have your own Shopify store, and now you can even help others with starting a Shopify store! But you should go further and work on your marketing. Don’t be afraid to do everything you can and be brave with that as it brings more people to your store. Your business will be profitable with the help of marketing. To do so, you should:
- Create more channels to sell your products or services. There are plenty of other platforms where other people can check the product. A lot of potential audiences there. So be sure to create stores on platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, eBay, etc. You can connect those channels with your Shopify store so you can keep track of your goods and business overall.
- Work on SEO. As this is a cheap promotion that brings you organic leads, you can create texts and place words on your products so that people will see your store when they look for particular or similar items.
- Work on the content. Content marketing is one of the best ways you can promote your store. Work on your blog and see people come and buy things from you. It is a great way to boost traffic, spread awareness, and convert leads.
- Use apps offered by Shopify. As Shopify has plenty of apps that you can use to boost your sales, you can use the features they offer to upgrade your store and create more purchases. Use tools for marketing and see how your sales grow.
- Create ads to boost sales. You can target and retarget your audience with online advertising reminding them about your store. Facebook and Google Ads provide you with top-notch services that can bring you lots of new and loyal visitors.
This is how to start a Shopify store. You see, there’s nothing to be afraid of but pets on your back as it is really worth celebrating. Good job! Welcome to the world of Shopify merchants. Let the sales be with you.
Work on your marketing and make sure to do everything to bring customers. Be nice to them, and they will turn loyal and spread the word about you.