Setting Up Your Shopify Store
You’ve decided that your business needs to be focused on online sales, and you’ve just begun your journey to becoming an eCommerce owner. It’s true that you now need an incredible online store to get your business noticed.. but the job of setting up your Shopify store from the beginning can be extremely challenging.
As e-commerce revenues continue to skyrocket during our ‘new normal’, a lot of people will be finding themselves in the same positions as you – and simply just don’t know where to begin. You’re in for a treat, because ShoppingFeeder has put together a useful guide on how to best build your Shopify Store. It’s easier than you realize! We’ll cover some basics, such as how to set up your Shopify store, the pros and cons of Shopify, and some extra things that you should consider.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a digital subscription service that allows anyone to create a website and gain access to Shopify’s unique shopping cart solution. This allows users to sell, deliver, and manage their inventory of products. Using a Shopify store, users can use a simple admin panel, which makes it easy to add products, fulfil orders and input other information to create an easy online store with Shopify. Shopify is well-known for being the software of choice for over 1,000,000 e-commerce businesses around the world. That’s because it’s got low initial costs and is relatively easy to navigate. Shopify offers its users an easy secure payments integration for their stores, and shipping is also covered with their setup.
You might be wondering what the catch is – or how expensive owning a Shopify store really is.
Take note that you can get Shopify at a few different price points. The most basic subscription plan costs only $9 per month, while more advanced plans are offered at $29, $79 and $299.
How to set up a Shopify store
- Before you can reap the rewards, you’ll need to get started with Shopify. Your first step is to sign up with Shopify using their website. You’ll need to enter some of your details, including your email address, password and store name (remember to use your business email if you have onel). You’ll also include contact information and basic details about what your shop will be offering.
- Once your registration is done, you’ll be moved to your store’s admin screen. This is like the epicenter for your Shopify store. This is the fun part, where you will customize your store, upload your items and images, and set up secure payments and delivery systems.
At this point, you’ll want to look through Shopify’s theme store, which includes over 200 themes to choose from. These can fit a variety of businesses. Shopify has set up an easy store interface, where it’s not too hard to customize any theme to suit your unique aesthetic
Remember that there are some premium themes on offer, meaning you’ll have to pay to access them – however, you can also make store changes using HTML and CSS coding. You can filter themes by price, popularity and features, and you’ll be able to see customer reviews and live demos for each theme, which might help your decision!
- Click on the green button to install your theme. Shopify will ask you for confirmation before this is done. Bear in mind that choosing a theme won’t upload all of your products and images for you – we’ll get to this later.
Remember that visual content is important for e-commerce customers! You’ll want to spend time choosing and customising a theme that really pops. Did you know that you can edit your theme from the left-side menu on the Shopify admin screen?
- Navigate to the left-side of the admin panel and choose ‘products’. You should see a blue ‘add a product’ button. You’ll need to click this and add as much detail as possible. Some of these will help with your store’s SEO, so it’s a good idea to keep information up to date. You’ll also want to add high-quality photographs of your products/services.You should always click ‘save product’ after each addition; this can be found in the top and bottom corners on the right side of your screen.
Like your theme, the product page is easily customisable. You can quickly group products together – for example, you may choose to group sale items and seasonal items together. These are also known as ‘collections’, and are a way for you to further categorise your products.
- You’ll need to add payment functionality once your products are all captured. This is fundamental as it allows you to receive payments securely. Different payment portals charge different rates, so do your homework first. You should consider the transaction fees, accepted card-types and whether off-site checkout is offered. Shopify offers its own payment portal, but it’s not available globally yet.
- Once your payments are configured, you’re almost done. You’ll need to finalize the last few pesky details. These include website information, analytics, sales channels, shipping and taxes. All of these can be found in the ‘settings’ page. You can also make a test order or two before going live to the public.
You’ll need to figure out your domain name. You can buy one from a provider, or from Shopify itself!
The Pros and Cons of Shopify
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what we like and dislike about using your Shopify store.
Pros: Shopify is easy to use, with a clean interface. There’s a reason why so many businesses choose it. Additionally, $9 per month as a starting point is fairly cheap for a quality service. Shopify’s themes are all responsive, and will display nicely on any device, no matter the size.
You can easily import data in the form of a CSV file, which is great for bulk product uploads. Exporting data works similarly, and is fairly quick.
The way that product categories and collections work is straightforward but can also be done to save time.
Shopify has a lot of flexibility with shipping, including flat-rate, free, price-based and weight-based rates. You can also display your products in multiple currencies.
Abandoned cart recovery is included with all Shopify store plans. This can allow you to convince people who have changed their minds at the last minute. It also boasts a comprehensive app store, which can help you with anything from accounting to customer service or even data capture.
One of the major pluses to Shopify is its SEO features, meaning that adding alt-text, metadata and tags is simple to do. Adding redirect links is also easy to achieve.
There’s a ton of other reasons we like Shopify, too! Here are some things we don’t like.
Cons: High-quality themes and apps from the Shopify app store can be pricey on top of a subscription model.
The fact that there is no drag-and-drop editor can be a deterrent to some (but you can use an app from the Shopify app store to do this).
Uploading product images to Shopify doesn’t give you a uniform ratio if the previous images used different aspect ratios. This could make your store look clunky.
There are product option limitations. You can create around 100 variants of a single product, but these variants can only involve three different options on top of that. This can be limiting in some cases, especially with customisable products.
All in all, there’s a lot to consider – but we think there’s more positive than negative here.
Things to Consider
If you don’t have any coding experience of your own, you can call Shopify’s design team, who are also known as Shopify Experts. They’re available to ensure that your website is customized exactly how you want it. The Shopify community forum is also worth checking out, because it has hundreds of solutions to your questions.
Shopify has a ton of apps that you can use for your Shopify store. These are categorized, and include accounting, marketing, shipping, customer service and sales. These apps can simplify tasks for you and will allow for a seamless user experience.
In conclusion, setting up your ecommerce store with Shopify is a fairly enjoyable experience. Shopify’s interface is designed to be easily accessible, and they’ve also posted a lot of resources on their website in case you get stuck. Of course, there are alternatives available out there, but we can see why Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform for a reason, after all! With all things considered, we think Shopify can be a great solution for e-commerce entrepreneurs.
After you’ve figured out how to set up your Shopify store, you’ll be ready to take in a ton of new customers, who’ll love the ease and convenience of shopping online – especially at a time like this.
The cool thing about ShoppingFeeder? It’s a sales channel and analytics app, helping you push your Shopify products on multiple channels at once, offering detailed analytics reporting for performance on each channel. Reporting is even product-specific!