Let's talk about starting your own Shopify store. Shopify is a great platform to start your e-commerce business, to build a website and start selling your products or services online.
I'm going to be showing you from start to finish how to:
So, let's go ahead and dive in.
Well, so when it comes to Shopify, the first thing you're going to want to do, is click the button below and go directly to the signup page where you can start your free fourteen days free trial. Go ahead and insert your email address, your password and then your store name.
Now your store name is going to be very important, and it needs to be very close or almost exactly what you are URL is going to be. You go with Shopify, you get a free subdomain (your-store.myshopify.com), or you can register your own domain, which I highly recommend, so go ahead and fill all of this out here and then hit or click the create your store button.
Once you've filled out the information, it's going to ask you a couple of things; it's going to say, tell us a little bit about yourself and what your store is you already selling? Here you're probably going to say, I'm not selling anything online, but if you are, you can choose whatever you want there and then it says, how do you want to sell online only, only in person, both online and in person?
And so go through all of these questions and answer them specifically to your store dependent on, again, where you are in the business, and the next phase is going to be filling out your personal information.
So here, fill out your first and last name, all the pertinent information, and then we'll go ahead and click "Enter my store". And that is where the fun begins, all right. And then, once you're done with that phase in the setup process, it will say, welcome to Shopify, and you'll see all of the different features and things that you can start to adjust.
Now, during the trial period, you're always going to see "select a plan". We'll talk about that at the very end of this article. So this right here that you see here where when you're on the home button here, within the Shopify menu, this is going to be your dashboard. On your dashboard is where you're going to be getting a lot of data, where you're going to be seeing a lot of different things for your online store.
For your sales channels right now you're only going to see your online store which is Shopify. We can expand this to be Facebook and Pinterest and all of that we'll talk about that shortly as well. So the first thing that you need to do is click on the settings icon here we're used to the gear icon at the bottom left-hand side of the screen under settings.
Settings are where all of the ins and outs of your store, this is where all of that is going to happen, so we're going to click on settings, and then once we're there, we're going to see a few of the different options here.
Ah, but the first thing that we're going to want to do before we even get into any of this is to click on the online store here which is under sales channel and then we're going to want to customize our theme.
Now there are free themes, and then there are premium themes. So you can purchase themes either within the Shopify store or from someone else and upload them to Shopify, or you can use one of these Shopify free themes. As you can see here we can explore free themes, if we want to visit these Shopify theme store.
We can do that by clicking the visit Shopify theme store button. I would highly recommend eventually upgrading, or if you can afford it out of the gate going with a premium Shopify theme because they just look better in my opinion.
But if you want to, you can click the button here and go to explore free Shopify themes. There are a lot of good ones here that can show you exactly how your store is going to look like. Click on the simple theme here, and it's going to show us what it looks like on a desktop computer, it's going to show us what it looks like within mobile and it's going to show us all the different styles.
We'll go ahead and select this one just for the simplicity of this article and then click "add theme" there at the bottom. This will apply that theme to your store. It takes probably around thirty seconds to a minute to get that theme in place. But then once it's there, it says you have successfully added your theme.
If you want to view your live Shopify store or your live site to see what kind of changes that you've made, you can click the button here that says "view your store", click that button there, that's going to take you to your store now. Obviously, this is just the bare bones of the theme, as you can see, kind of it laid out here below.
You can see what it's going to look like once you get your products added. And we're going to be talking about that soon as well.
The first thing that we want to do after we've set up our theme within our Shopify store is to go to the settings again and open up all of these different options here to see how we want to set these up.
Let's go through them one by one, and again you choose which ones you want to learn about.
Under general settings, if we go to general, this is going to tell you a little bit about the store:
You want to go ahead and go ahead, input all of this information right now to go ahead and get all of that stuff ready and started for you what's we've looked at general, we want to go to taxes.
Taxes are very critical. What we do is we apply taxes to anyone purchasing something from within our state so if you're in Wisconsin, you apply State taxes for the state of Wisconsin as well as other countries that rely on it or dependence to do that within that state as well.
To set up your taxes, you will just click State tax within Wisconsin; if you're in another state, you have entered that state and then what happens is Shopify calculates how much the county, municipal and State taxes will be within your current state.
Your State taxes are going to be dependent on the State and location that you are in, and also when it comes to shipping internationally which I don't recommend, to begin with, just because it over complicates things. Once you do, you have to look into other taxes and things like that going beyond just the United States.
Go to your Shopify settings, and you should see something that says payment providers. Within payment providers, if we go to payment providers, this is where you will be setting up how you will get paid. Shopify payments are who you've partnered with to accept credit cards.
If anyone comes to our store and buys a product, and they check out using a credit card, it's processed with Shopify payments. I highly recommend going with Shopify as it eliminates the transaction fee. It ends up being just as cheap to go with Shopify payments and they'll even send you a free credit card reader for selling stuff in a brick and mortar store, which is amazing with your Shopify store. Ah, and it just it makes things so much easier, and it keeps things very streamlined.
Next, you can see the other forms of payment that we accept are PayPal and Amazon Pay. These are the two main ones that I've always done because it's effortless to set up if you have a PayPal account and an Amazon Pay account. If you need to set up an Amazon Pay account, you'll go through here and they will show you step by step on how to do that.
It is straightforward to go and add the Shopify payments, which, by the way, will accept Apple Pay and things like that and it's very future proof as well. Shopify is always ahead of the game and recognizing new forms of payments and whatnot, so definitely want to start with these three: Shopify payments, Paypal and Amazon Pay.
Some people, however, prefer not to do PayPal because of the exorbitant amount of fees, but I recommend doing it because a lot of people use PayPal. It's simple, and it's easy to do the transactions.
Account section lists all of the users (administrators) of your store. You can go and add friends or family who'll help you with your Shopify store. That way you know who is making changes to the store.
The next section we're going to look at is going to be checkout. Checkout is going to be where you customize what your customer sees when they go through the checkout process of your store. So, if we go here and we look where it says style, if we go to customize, check out click that button there. This will allow us to go and take a look what it looks like when someone is checking out in our store.
We have our logo here, which I'll show you how to upload that shortly, and we want to get the customer information which will be:
Not only can you see what it looks like here, but you can also see what it looks like on a mobile device because, by the way, I would say the majority of your shoppers are going to be browsing and probably purchasing from your Shopify shop from a mobile device.
Here are a few other options down below that you need to make sure you understand what they are.
Customer accounts, you should make accounts optional because a lot of times what I found is people will hit that back button very quickly if they think they have to create another account with another password to remember, so we make accounts optional.
Customer contact is where we've said customers could only check out using email, but there are other options, like allowing customers to check out using their phone number or email, but for us, we're focused on building our email list, so we're doing it here underneath just the e-mails.
Ah, and then under additional contact method. We've checked this box here that says customers can choose to add a phone number or email to receive shipping updates. Always keep that checked because the more information you can give your customer post-purchase, the more likely they are to buy from you again.
Underneath the form options here, this is where you're going to decide what you want to see, like on that page that I just showed you on this checkout page. This is where you're going to get to choose what people see.
For a full name, we require a first and a last name. The more information, the better. Under company name, we make it optional. Under address line number two, we make this optional, and under shipping address and phone number we make that optional, so these are the four options that they give you again the way that I've always gone about this when it comes to the checkout.
You want to get enough pertinent information for you as a business, but you don't want to make it too overwhelming. People's attention spans are very short right now, so you want to make sure that the checkout process is quick, efficient and they can check out very quickly.
The one thing I've always loved about companies like Apple, you know, it's a kind of a curse, but they make it very easy for you to give them your money.
Your order processing, while the customer is checking out use the shipping address as the billing address by default. You want this to show up like this as default but give them the option to enter a separate billing and shipping address. A lot of the time, especially during the holidays, people will be buying gifts for other people, and the billing address and shipping address will be completely different.
Also, enable address auto-complete, this is crucial, being able to type your name in having auto fill from basically your computer knowing that definitely would do that. And, if the customer abandons their check out, send them an email reminder to complete their order.
Email reminders have been perfect for us; we have a very high rate of conversion. An abandoned checkout is if someone adds a product to their cart, but then goes away and doesn't check out and purchase the item within an hour. We have this set up automatically.
You can click the link here to customize your notification email to say what you wanted to say, and I would tweak this and see what you're going to do. Within an hour your visitor will get an email, it's still fresh in their mind, but it's not annoying or overbearing, and it says, hey, we've noticed that you put this in your cart is there anything that we can do? And we even offer a coupon code or a discount code for those people as well. You could tinker around with that and see what you want to do.
The next one is asking for permission to send promotional emails to customers from your store. This permission is pretty a pretty big deal as you don't want to start spamming people with emails once you've captured their email address, so you need to ask whether or not you can do this. You can get it synced up with MailChimp or another newsletter service.
The next one is after an order has been placed, we only want to fulfill the gift cards of the order automatically. We don't ever want to fulfill an order automatically. Fulfilling an order shows the customer that it has done so we'll do that later.
The most crucial one here is the Refund policy. You can Google a template for that. And then just add your information, that's what I would recommend you to do, or Shopify even generates a sample Refund policy for you that you can go and tweak and edit yourself.
All right, so now that we have adjusted our checkout, we're now going back, and we're going to where you see here notifications under notifications.
You can customize it if you want to, but Shopify automatically sends you:
You can kind of tweak these if you want, but I like to leave them what Shopify set up. You're going to get an email when someone places an order, and that's what you want, right? You want to know what's going on in your store at all times.
Under billing, not going to get into that, it's all going to be dependent on the plan you choose. I recommend again not going too far ahead of yourself, but the higher the plan of Shopify that you can get, the more features you get, the more discounts you get on shipping. So all of that's going to be base on how much you are selling now.
The one that most people are probably waiting for is the shipping setting. Under shipping, once we click here on shipping, we are going to see a few different options.
Shipping origin is where the products are going to be coming, and it's going to be the address for your business. You're going to have your shipping origin on your labels when you print them out, or when you write them down under zones and rates. This is where things get a little tricky, so let's go ahead and dive into it.
As you can see here, we're not offering international shipping. If you we want to do that, you can do that. It's going to work the same way as domestic shipping does.
So underneath shipping zones, underneath domestic, we have it set up to go by weight. When you enter a product, which we're going to do here shortly, you're going to make sure that you're entering the correct weight because when someone checks out, it's going to give them that shipping options.
We offer standard shipping, which, again, we ship through the postal service USPS. With that under standard shipping, we offer a price of $4.95. We've titled the next weight class "Weight 3", which is 5.1 pounds to 20 pounds, which will be $12.95, and then heavy, which will be over 20 pounds to 100 pounds.
We also offer a discount if someone purchases something totaling up to be fifty dollars or more they get free shipping. We call that free over fifty, and you can apply this within the shipping zones as well. So for you, you want to go to shipping zones, you wanna go to domestic and then you want to go to add a shipping zone, all right?
What you're going to want to do now is go ahead, and add your shipping information here. It will give you the option to either add or edit if you already have one, we'll go ahead and go to edit here in my case and then, what we're editing here, we're going to see that we are shipping to the United States.
We have a price based rate which is the "free over fifty" and again, to add that, go to the rate, and it'll say, if an order is totaling out to be this amount, the minimum amount would be fifty dollars, and there is no maximum order pride. You could then offer them free shipping, that's how we did that within the free shipping over fifty.
Under weight-based rates, so you're able to do this three different ways:
I would recommend sticking to only doing price-based rate, and if you want to do free shipping for over a certain amount or a weight-based rate, which is what we've decided to go with here.
When you're ready to add a rate, you'll just click the add right button, and then you'll name it here at the top. You'll give it a minimum order, weight and then a maximum order.
Remember when people are adding multiple items to their cart, these numbers will be adding up, and the total will be the amount of shipping that they are eventually charged. For a long time at the beginning phase of our store, we were running into people not purchasing because we had these numbers set very high.
I recommend purchasing a very cheap scale on Amazon, if your products are not that heavy, you could do all of that with the shipping option there I would recommend. You'll have to continuously tweak the shipping options to see what works best for you.
Under shipping labels right here, depending on how you're printing these out, if you're doing them within Shopify, which I highly recommend, you could do that. Once you've reached a certain level with Shopify, you can go through here automatically print out your labels. Eight by five will be a full page label if you have a label printer, which we just recently purchased one.
Shipping label providers USPS, DHL, UPS, all of those are offered there also. If you want to buy a scanner for Shopify, you can do that from the Shopify hardware store there.
Under packages here, as you can see, when you're printing out labels for yourself to put them on the boxes, we've created a bunch of different packages that are just templates for the ones that we ship out all the time on.
You could do that from within the packages section. Go to packages, click add package. It'll show you the dimensions of the box, the height, the length, and the width as well as the weight. And you can print out a custom label, just like you would under additional shipping methods. I wouldn't do any of that just yet.
If you are a drop shipping business, you can add a drop shipping service here down below. But again, most of you probably are not at that point just yet. So that's how you handle shipping. You'll have to tweak it and see what's best for you.
Next thing I want to show you is probably the thing you probably want to see most is how to add a product.
Adding a product to your Shopify store is pretty straightforward. So we can see under home and orders, we're going to see something here that says products. Under products click on a product there and we're going to look at a few different things.
The first thing that you're going to notice is in the upper right-hand corner, you're going to see a blue button that says Add product, click on add product right there, and then I'll take you to the add product phase of the process. It's effortless.
If you have ever sold anything on eBay or Amazon or another e-commerce platform it's very simple. You want to title your product or service here, you then want to have a description here, so type in your description.
I would make the description as descriptive as possible, make it colorful, change the fonts up, make it very visually appealing.
Under images, you can upload as many images as you would like here, so go ahead and upload an image from your computer, just like you would on any other platform.
Under "pricing", this is where things get a little, not tricky, but you want to pay attention to what you're doing here. You're going to have the price of the product or service. So for this, you can say $29.99, and then we could look even at a compare at a price.
If you want to have a compare at a price to say this used to be $39.99, you can type that price in there as well. We always leave the box checked that says charge taxes on this product, because if you've gone back and set up your taxes as I told you to in the previous segment, then all of that will be taken care of for you.
Under inventory, this is crucial; we didn't use to do this when we were a small business. Now that we've grown up, and we're selling more, inventory is vast. An SKU or stocking keeping unit, this is for you internally to know how to identify what product this is, barcode or ISBN. This is if you're selling someone else's product, and it has an ISBN.
All of this data is important to get your store set up with Google Shopping. So you know, you want to go ahead and start from the beginning and enter all this information.
Under inventory policy, I always check Shopify tracks this product's inventory. If you want to allow customers to purchase products when they're out of stock, which I do not recommend, you can click this here, and you could have them on an email list and let them know when you get that product in stock.
Let's go scroll up just a little bit to see what we got going on here under sales channels. Depending on what you have set up for your store if we have:
Depending on how you've set up your sales channels, you should see all of those on the right-hand side.
Under organization, under product type, here you can let the consumer know what it is, so if it's jewelry, you can go ahead and add that under product type. Under vendor, if it has a specific vendor, you want to type that vendors name in here, it just makes the product look a little more professional, a little more legit.
Under collections here, collections are basically like categories that you've set up, or collections of the same or similar products, so for us, I'm going to show you shortly how to set up your very own first Shopify collection.
Under tags, these are very important; you want to go ahead and type as many tags you want this will help you in SEO. That will help the search engines and people searching know what this item actually is.
Under theme templates, this will be automatically set up as a product template, and I would just go ahead and leave that there I would not adjust that at all.
Under shipping for the product you're going to see that this product requires shipping, yes it does. If it's a digital product, you may want to uncheck this, but under shipping, you're going to see something here that says weight you want to give it weight.
Now this goes back to what we just set up within our shipping settings. Let's say this product weighs 0.8 ounces, again, I'm in the US, you'll have to go depending on where you are in the world with your system. So, 0.8 ounces and that way, when someone buys two of these, it will add 0.8 to 0.8, and the total will be 1.6, so that's the shipping code that it will fall under.
But, if they go above fifty bucks, remember, they get free shipping. Go ahead and put the weight of the item here and then basically under fulfillment service "manual" is the only one we have because we don't have anyone working with us. That's beyond what we're going to do in this article.
Variants come into play if you are a merchant who sells clothing for example. This is where they would come into play, and we have different colors of different items that we provided that would be under variants here.
If we go to add variant, we then want to add different types of variants, and under this variant, we want the option to be size. Let's say we're offering small, and then we're going to add medium and large.
The price will stay the same, the SKUs will go up one, and right here you could even say I have four smalls, I have two larges and I have three mediums. That way, Shopify keeps track of exactly which ones you have under variants.
You can, you know, if you want to add another option, you can even go with color. Let's say we have this in brown, red and orange. We can do that as well; you're getting a ton of different variants. You have a small brown; you have a small red, you can do all of this within Shopify. It's so robust that you can do any of this and it's going to look awesome.
Preview products and variants on your Shopify store
As you can see here, when someone's on a product page looking at this different dress options here, they can go and click the down arrow, and choose either a small, medium or large.
So it's going to look like a gorgeous drop down menu, letting them know you can get this in small, medium and large and the price is the same. And, as you can see, we've got the crossed out price as I showed you earlier, letting the consumer know you are getting a deal - and people love deals, right?
Go back over to the dashboard and then what you're done with setting everything up, you're going to see a search engine listing preview. It's going to show:
Make sure your title, description, everything has the right keywords and is optimized.
Once you are done with your product, click on "save product". Congratulations, you have now listed your first product on your Shopify store.
You've got much, much more of them to add, but you know what, you've got one out of the way. Next up, collections.
So once we've done products, we'd talk about collections.
If you go and click on products, one of the dropdown's options is going to be collections. Under collections, this is where you create collections you'll have on your site. These are product categories; so you can have collections full of weekly specials, full of dresses or whatever you're selling.
As you can see, we have names of these Shopify collections, we have images associated with these collections, and for the most part, we have descriptions.
If we go up here to the blue button that says "create collection", it allows us to go and give this collection a name. So we'll say collection number one and remember, when you're setting up menus on your site later on, which we're not going to dive into that currently, you'll be able to choose from these collections to have on the top of your page.
So collection one - go ahead and, you know, write the description of what the collection is right below and then you're going to see something that says conditions:
It's a pretty cool feature, that's why I went to products first and then collections second. Under conditions, we usually manually add them, but recently we've been trying to the automate the process with Smart Collections.
You can automatically select products that have specific keywords in their title. If you have a brand that you want to add to a collection, just type in "Brand A" or whatever that brand's name is right here, and it will automatically add all products that have this text in the title into that collection.
It's pretty nifty, but if you want to add them manually, click manually. That's kind of where I would go in the beginning, and then you'll go back to your product list and add those products manually again.
A few other things you want to do - you want to add a collection image, you want to add a collection image. When someone comes to that part of your site, they know exactly what it is visually, and you could edit the SEO for that collection as well.
If we go back to our collections, we can see we've got a few different ones here. You can always go back and edit these by clicking on them at a later date.
But if we go to all products here, it's going to show a list of all of our products, so once you start adding multiple products, you're going to see them here, listed down below. It also shows you inventory, shows you how many you have in stock, how many variants you have, the type of item that it is, and the vendor, which will be either your store or the wholesaler that you're buying it from.
Again, you can click on a specific product as I just mentioned to go in and edit it. This shows you what it's going to look like when you've finished editing your product. Variants, images, tags, and SEO when someone is searching for your product on Google.
A few different things you can do on the product page, kind of power user tips are the following:
All of that can be done within the product section here.
Lastly, under products, if you want to do gift cards, you can do those here. It's a pretty cool feature. You can go to issue a gift card, enter the value of the gift card. You can click that here customer; you can search for customers that you already have you can set an expiration date for the gift card.
You can even add a sweet or cute little note if you want to, and once you do that, click on issue gift card and then, if you've selected a customer, added a name, you could either send them this code here, or you can email it to them differently.
All right, so now that we've covered the settings, we've covered products, we've covered collections. Let's go ahead and take a deep dive into a few other things that you want to know when you're starting your first Shopify store.
Once you start making sales, you're going to see the orders thing come up here available to you.
So if you go to orders here, we can go to orders, and we can look at our order number. We can see:
Basically, what you want to do here is we can dive into an order by clicking on the order number, and then you can see a bunch of different things about the order. You can see:
But if we go back to all orders, take a look here, and you can see what it's going to look like when you start getting orders from that point of view.
Lastly, I want to cover analytics a little bit. If we go to analytics Shopify does a pretty good job of analytics.
Analytics tell us, based on the date range, like today:
If you want to change the date and let's say what we've done for this month, just use the date range drop down.
All of that will be in here, and they break it down into top products sold, online store traffic, go through here and do your research. The more you can learn about analytics, the better you're going to be at selling on Shopify.
The live view is fantastic; they just added the live view where you can go to live view and see how many people are on your Shopify shop right now. If people are checking out, you can see that, and you see if they have active carts. Such a cool feature. You could even see where they're located on the map.
So underneath discounts is where you'll set up discounts. We've got Valentine's day coming up so let's just say I want to set up a discount for Valentine's day. Click the blue button in the upper right-hand corner to create a discount and then once you're there, you're going to give it a discount code - this is going to be the code they type in at checkout.
So let's go ahead and say HEART18 for Valentine's day 2018 and then under discount code you're going to see options. Under options you want to either give:
If you even want to, you could add a minimum purchase of, say, twenty bucks. Next, we're gonna have countries - all countries that we ship to. Customer eligibility - everyone's eligible. Usage limit - they could only do this once. That way, you know allows them to purchase it either one with this or they can use it as many times as they want. And the active dates, so your discount code is only going to be active from start date to end date.
And then if we go here and click save discount that will allow our customers to type in HEART18 at checkout, and they will get free shipping on their order.
Now again, there are more things you can do; you can do a percentage discount, so percentage discount. If you want to give a twenty-five percent discount blowout sale for this, you can do that.
Or, you could do a fixed amount, so you want to go ahead and give ten dollars off the entire order. You can go and tweak that and adjust that how you want to change it.
The final thing I want to talk about today will be sales channels. If we go here under sales channels you can see we sell:
If we go to view all channels, we'll be able to see all of our sales channels for Shopify. If we go and click the addition symbol here, this will show you the different platforms you can sell on. I would recommend first starting out with your online store Shopify, Facebook maybe Pinterest, Point of sale and then Amazon if you want.
But again, you have to go through here and edit those all individually. If you click on a sales channel, for example, if you click on online store, it's going to take you to the settings of that actual store.
So if we click on Facebook, it's going to take us to the settings of Facebook. We've got our store synced up with Facebook, that way every time we added an item, it goes directly to our Facebook page.
If you want to design or edit the way your store looks, you'll do all of that under the sales channel, underneath online store, underneath themes. I would not go and customize your theme unless you know code or HTML. I would you know, do the premiums theme thing and then do it that way.
If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, but if you go to customize here within the themes page, you're going to see the different options that you can choose:
Underneath the app store, there are a lot of great apps within the Shopify app store. Ones that I recommend are:
If you go here and click the blue button, you can visit the Shopify app store. You'll then be able to go and choose:
If we go to sort by popular here, it'll show you some of the apps that are the most popular amongst Shopify sellers which, by the way, there are a ton of people selling on Shopify now, because it's such a great platform and you can tinker around with these popular apps.
Some of them are free, some of them are paid, just see what's going to work best for your specific store. Most of them offer a free trial, so you can test them without spending a dime.