Shopify is said to be a complete eCommerce solution that will allow you to set up an online store of your own to sell your products. It has got features like, it will let you organize your goods, modify your storefront. When it comes to payment it ‘ll accept credit card payments. It can track and respond to the orders. This all can happen on a single click on the mouse.
So if you want to open an online shop with Shopify, don’t get panic on how to open it. If you have checked out many guides to open an online shop but still if you are in a confused state, here is the solution.
Here is the complete guide for beginner’s who are starting up an online shop with Shopify. There is a simple 7 steps guide which we will discuss step by step. I’ll make sure to cover all the basic steps so that it is easy for you to understand and execute it well.
How to build an online shop with the help of Shopify?
It is a very easy process to build an online shop using Shopify. They will even provide a 14-day free trial to check out how Shopify works. It ‘ll encourage you to get going.
To start with Shopify store, you must sign up for an account providing proper details of yours.
To start with, you ‘ll have to visit Shopify.com. Here you have to provide the signup details to create an account for you.
Enter the proper and valid details and click on ‘Create your store now’ button.
While providing the store details, you need to give a unique store name else the Shopify will ask you to choose something else. Later, it will ask for few more details like name, address, country, and a contact number.
After this, you will also be asked if you have any products to sell, if so, what you want to sell. If you’re just giving a try to see how Shopify works for you, you can also select ‘I’m just playing around’ in the ‘Do you have products?’ dropdown, and ‘I’m not sure’ in the ‘What will you sell?’ section.
Once you are done, click ‘I’m done’.
Setting up your Online shop
It is very simple 4 steps in setting up your online shop. All you need to do is modify u=your store’s look, upload products, set up payments and shipping. You should provide all these details after you have signed up and then you ‘ll e directed to your store admin screen.
This is how your store admin screen looks like.
Choose a “Theme” or “Layout”
For any website, all that matters is how the page or website looks like. It should be more attractive to the viewers so that they think there will be interesting stuff inside and open it.
Shopify provides you their own official theme store. You don’t have to worry about the themes, these have themes that are all guaranteed to have full support from the expert designers. So you know your store is in good hands and can choose any of the themes for your website.
There is no need for HTML or CSS to modify the themes. All the themes come along with the comprehensive list of modifications that you wish to make without having to touch a single line of code. The premium themes are provided with more modification, but you ‘ll have to pay for it and purchase. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve a greater look at your website with free one. If in case you have to do a complete makeover to your theme you have to get the access to HTML or CSS. But yes don’t worry if you haven’t got any coding experience. Shopify has ”Shopify Experts’ who are an international team of design agencies. They can completely change your website as your wish once you hire them.
To find a theme of your choice, we recommend you the following:
Browse the Theme store completely
Login into Shopify using your login details. Next visit the theme store at thees.shopify.com. In this page you can find over 180 theme variations you can choose from, that includes a good selection of free ones.
As in all other websites here also you have the two options called filter and sort. You can filter the themes by paid or free, industry and by features. You can sort the themes by price, popularity and most recent.
This is how the Theme store looks like.
Check the functionality and the reviews
Once you have found the correct theme which you like and would like to setup to your page, click on the theme’s sample image. After clicking on the theme’s sample image you ‘ll be getting more information about the theme.
You need to see the review of the theme. So you have to scroll down to read some reviews to find out what others who have purchased this theme say about it.
Preview the Theme
To know about the action of the theme and have a look at it, click ‘View Demo’. You will be able to see this below the green ‘Preview Theme in your Store’ button.
You can view the theme demo in different styles if the theme comes in a range of styles just by clicking on them.
Get the Theme
When you have found the theme you like, click on the green button. Shopify will ask you to confirm the theme you have chose to install. Click ‘Publish as my Shop’s Theme’.
If you have a confusion with the theme or you wanted to select some other theme, it’s okay don’t worry, you can change the theme later on also.
Once the installation of the theme is done, Shopify will notify and will give you ‘Go to your Theme Manager’ option. Click on it.
Your theme manager will show the published themes which were installed and activated recently by you and also the unpublished themes which were installed previously.
Edit Shopify Settings
If you want to make your store look like one miracle store unlike other stores, Shopify themes allow you to make small changes which will result in a massive change in your website. This small changes will change the appearance of your store. You can be assured you won’t end up with other websites which have clumsy look.
Example of stores that are built using the same theme.
On the left-hand side navigation menu of your admin screen has the ‘Themes’ option. click on it. It will take you to the page where you see live theme box at the top. There will be two buttons on the top right-hand corner. The first option has three dots which gives you to access some basic settings changes. The best feature of this is, it ‘ll allow you to make a duplicate of the theme. I highly recommend you to take this feature and create a duplicate of the theme. If you do some good changes you don’t like, later you can delete the duplicate and start all over again. The second button says ‘Customize Theme’, which will take you to a page that controls all the basic functionality of your store with a single click. This is particularly good time to play with the settings and test out all the features so you can properly find out what suits your site the best.
You store themes custom settings.
Theme color changing
The common features will include:
- Need to upload logos
- Need to upload slides to a homepage carousel
- Need to add related item functionality related to product pages
- Need to choose how many items have to appear on each line of the collection pages
- Need to choose color schemes
- Need to choose font choices.
Some of the themes will allow you to reposition elements on product pages where you can position the product images on the left, right or center of the page.
Add Your Products to The Store
In the navigating from the bar on the left side select ‘Products’. You will be able to see a blue ‘Add a product’ button in the top right-hand corner of this page. With the help of the screen, you can add the details of your product. Use the following screen to add as much detail as needed about your products. Look at those that will help with SEO such as name, description, and URL. Also, include as many accurate details about variants as possible to help inform customers about your products.
This is also the screen which helps you to product pictures. Once the images are uploaded you need not worry about the order in which you are uploading, you can rearrange them in a particular order.
This is how your product page looks like. Make sure you fill as much as possible information of the products.
Products which you upload can make a sale so that you need to upload your pictures at its best. highlight the best quality of the product. Also, take the close up photos. To make your product page look tidy keep all the pictures with the same dimension.
Once everything is filled out always don’t forget to click the ‘Save product’ button on the top and bottom right-hand corners.
Set up collections (group of products)
A collection is any group of products which appear with few features in common that customers are looking for when visiting your store. For example, your customers are shopping for :
- Dresses specifically for men, women, or kids
- Interior items like lamps, cushions.
- Products on sale
- Products in a certain size or color
- Seasonal products like holiday cards and decorations
Products can basically appear in any number of collections. Usually, you will display your collections on your main page and in the navigation bar. This is just like the idea of a catalog. This catalog will help the customers to find what they’re looking for with a single click.
This is how your collection set up screen looks like.
A payment gateway is one part of the website where you can take the payment from your customers via your website. It is very important to see what features they offer at the same time price and commission rate is also equally important.
You need to look at the following points when choosing the right payment gateway for you.
- Transaction Fees
Usually, the basic method to attract the customers towards your website is to post offers with small percentage or a flat fee for letting use their services. Now you have to compare these based on what anticipated sales are.
- Card Types
You must know what types of card are accepted by your chosen Payment Gateway. All websites basically accept VISA and Mastercard, while most accept American Express. Paypal is also becoming more popular for online payments.
- Offsite Checkout
Some gateway uses their own servers via their own form for the payment method. This is to mean that the customer is taken away from your checkout and they pay the amount on the form provided by your payment gateway. Then they are redirected to your confirmation page once the customer successfully pays via your own form. This helps you out to have a bit more control of the checkout process.
Fees of payment gateway transaction are added on top of Shopify’s own transaction fees. As of November stores based in the US and UK can use Shopify Payments. Depending upon your Shopify plan, you can do savings on these extra costs. Related to your plan you will receive these highly appealing rates.
- Basic 2.4% + 20p
- Professional 2.1% + 20p
- Unlimited 1.8% + 20p
It would fetch you advantages of these savings, depending on how many transactions you make every month.
If you reside in the US or UK your store will automatically use Shopify Payments. To complete this, click the ‘Complete Shopify Payments account setup’ button found in Settings > Payments. If you wish to use a third party gateway you can use the ‘enable payment gateways’ link present on the same page.
Get Your Online Shop “LIVE”
If you want your site to go live, you have to provide few more details about your company and how you are planning to make delivers and pay tax.
Make sure all your business information is filled properly on this page. Also, make sure you make use of the Google Analytics feature. This can help you to be an invaluable source for tracking your stores’ visitors.
- Visit the products page of your admin.
- Click on the name of a given product.
- Scroll down to the section called “Inventory & variants”.
- Click on the edit link next to your Product Variant to open a dialog window.
- Ensure the checkboxes next to Charge taxes and Requires shipping are checked if you need to include these along with your products.
- Some few products stores won’t need to charge taxes or shipping on products like digital goods. On the other hand, a T-shirt store will likely need to charge both taxes and shipping.
- If you are planning to ship your product to customers, make sure to enter the accurate product’s weight in the appropriate field.
The main loss will be in shipping if your shipping rates are too narrow or if you don’t give enough number of options. Based on the Shipping page of the admin Shopify will calculate a shipping rate for your customers.
To make sure you won’t lose any sales:
- From your store admin, go to the Settings>Shipping page.
- In the “Shipping rates” section, make sure you have set a weight-based shipping rate and adjust it according to your product’s specifications.
Test your order system
To test your system you can replicate a transaction using Shopify’s Bogus Gateway.
To use the Bogus Gateway:
- From your respective store Admin, click Settings, then Payments to go to your payment settings.
- If you have enabled a credit card gateway, deactivate it before continuing. (Click Edit, then Deactivate, then confirm your deactivation.)
- In the Accept credit cards section, click Select a Credit Card Gateway to open the drop-down menu respectively.
- Scroll down the list to Other, then click (for testing) Bogus Gateway.
- Click Activate (or Reactivate, if you’ve used the Bogus Gateway before).
- Go to your storefront and then place an order as a customer would. At checkout, enter the following credit card details instead of certain numbers:
Testing a real payment gateway with a genuine transaction:
- Ensure you have set up the payment gateway you want to test.
- Make a purchase from your store as a customer would, and complete checkout using genuine credit card details to be on the safer side.
- Cancel the order immediately, to refund yourself and avoid paying transaction fees, again to be on the safer side.
- Log in to your payment gateway to make sure the funds went through properly.
7. Consider Buying a Domain Name
Once you decide to get your site live you’ll need a particular domain name. You have two options for this. The first option is you can buy a domain from Shopify and it will be added to your store automatically. This saves your time, especially if you have zero knowledge of hosting a website. These domains typically cost $9-$14 USD per year. Your second option is to purchase a domain from a third party like GoDaddy. These domains start from $1.99 USD per year. The downside is that you’ll have to redirect the DNS records yourself which can seem difficult to deal with at first.
Here are the steps you have to follow to put your new Shopify store live on a third party domain name.
- Add the new domain in Shopify
Go to Shopify admin, from the left-hand navigation menu go to Settings and then Domains and add your domain name using the ‘Add an existing domain’ button, where the domain name should be unique.
- Update DNS records
Login to your domain registrar and make the following changes to the DNS records:
- Replace the @ or main A record with the following IP address: 188.8.131.52
- Add or replace the www CNAME with the storename.myshopify.com (i.e. your store Shopify link without the HTTP bit, which you can see on the domains settings page)
- Remove any storefront passwords
Otherwise, no one will be able to access your site even once it’s live. So make sure that you remove any storefront passwords if you have any.
- Set as primary if relevant
Make sure that you also check the ‘Redirect all traffic to this domain’. This means that traffic to all other domains will be directed to your primary domain. This is crucial for good SEO and also helpful.
- Adding other domains
You can repeat steps 1 and 2 mentioned above with other domain names you own. All domain names will redirect to the ‘Primary’ domain, which you can change at any time with the ‘Set as primary’ option next to each domain name, which you have to make use of.
It is important to note that the number of domain names you own has no influence on SEO.
And that is all there to do. In theory, with almost less than half an hour you can have a great looking, unique and fully-functioning store. In this way, you can spend most of your valuable time in marketing your product rather than having to maintain the site.