Never before has shopping been so simple and so targeted. Retail has entered a new era of ease and convenience thanks to eCommerce.
Moreover, you no longer need an experienced web developer to start an eCommerce site. Shopify, one of the most well-known and popular eCommerce platforms, allows you to build a Shopify store quickly and effortlessly.
Shopify is an all-inclusive user-friendly eCommerce solution with various add-ons, which means you can build a Shopify store without worrying about hosting, security, and site maintenance. Shopify has done everything to make selling goods and services online an enjoyable and convenient experience. With Shopify, what you need is a product to sell.
So how to build a Shopify store? In this article, we will detail and provide you with everything you need to know to set up your own Shopify store.
What Do You Need to Build a Shopify Store?
To build a Shopify store, you don’t have to be a tech wizard. However, before setting it up, it’s essential to define your business goals clearly. Here are the most important questions that you’ll need to ask yourself.
- What are you going to sell?
- What are the taxes and laws related to your business?
- What sales channels are you going to use?
- Are you going to sell your products both online and in person?
- How much are you willing to pay for your Shopify store?
The latter is essential, as Shopify provides pricing plans for beginners, mid-sized businesses, and big players that require additional resources. The prices vary from $ 29 to $ 299 per month. Think carefully about which pricing plan meets your needs best, as the entry-level plan might not provide enough of a feature set to your already established business.
Nonetheless, there’s no need to hurry. You can try Shopify for free for 14 days and only then figure out what paid plan works for you best.
Creating a Shopify Account
The Shopify store building starts with creating a Shopify account.
The platform is super clear and straightforward to follow. You don’t even need a credit card. You have to enter your email and get going.
Shopify also gives you some help upfront in the form of a questionnaire for you to set up based on your business needs.
If you’re already selling online or in person, Shopify allows you to move your existing store to Shopify.
There’s a massive list of platforms from which you can import things like products, customers, and inventory to Shopify.
Furthermore, you can choose as many sales channels as you like, and Shopify will help you to sell in those places.
However, you can skip all these questions if you want. Next, you’ll need to insert your business’s name and location. If you haven’t decided on the name of your store, you can skip that question.
There’s only one last step left before you start the Shopify store building. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions. And that’s it. As you can see, creating a Shopify ID is just a piece of cake.
Completing all the abovementioned steps will bring you to your Shopify store. On the left, you will see a menu bar with all the tools and features essential for your online store, like orders, products, and customers.
Now it’s time to get creative and have some fun.
Choosing and Customizing a Shopify Theme
Shopify allows you to build a Shopify store and gives your web store a unique and fresh look.
Your store comes with a default theme when you initially set it up. You’ll find the Online Store link under Sales Channels on the left.
Click on it, scroll down, and you’ll find the Explore the free themes button. Customizing your home page with those designs won’t cost you anything.
Shopify offers themes optimized to specific industries with layouts and features adapted to retail, restaurants, and other types of business. Indeed you’ll find something that meets your needs best.
You’ll find the premium themes you’ll need to pay for by clicking on the Visit Theme Store button. Overall, Shopify provides nine free and 90 paid themes. All of them are categorized by the industries they were designed for, the catalog size, and the features they offer, like age verifier, back-to-top button, before/after image slider, etc.
By clicking on each theme, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the features of the theme. Moreover, you’ll also find the reviews section, where you’ll see what the users of the theme think about it.
If you find nothing suitable to your needs, you can add your theme by uploading a zip file or connecting from GitHub. Seemingly, Shopify has done everything for you to build your Shopify store the way you want.
Create the Main Menu and Navigation
You’ll need to set up your menus to help your customers navigate your online store, also called link lists. Click “Navigation” under the Online Store to set up or modify your menus. The Footer menu and Main Menu are already set by default. You can add, edit or delete the menu items by clicking on them.
The Main Menu is what website visitors usually use to find out about the store. The Main Menu will appear on every page of your website. Most times, “Main Menu” appears across the header as items or in the sidebar as a list of items.
You can also have several dropdown levels while creating your menu items. This will help you to optimize the navigation on your website significantly. The visitors won’t waste time finding what they’re looking for.
Upload Main Banner
Adding the main banner is an important step when designing your website. To insert your banner into your online store, click Themes under the Online Store. Next, click the Customize button and add your banner.
No worries, you don’t need graphic design skills to create a well-looking and cool banner. There are various editing tools available online. For instance, you can use Canva, which is super easy to use, and create something visually appealing without spending a dime.
Don’t Forget About the Footer
As mentioned before, you can add, edit or delete the menu items in your footer menu by going to the Online Store and selecting navigation. Next, choose Footer Menu from Menus.
Designing your website is essential, but let’s not forget that you build your Shopify store to sell goods or services. So when you’re done with the design, it’s time to add your products.
First, go to the main Shopify admin dashboard and click on the Products link on the left navigation bar.
On the products page, you will find Add your products button. Click on the Find products to sell button if you haven’t decided what you’re going to sell yet.
That’s it. Now start adding your products. You can add everything you need for presenting your product to your visitors, such as a title, description, price, images, product category, product type, etc. You can also assign them to collections or add tags.
Remember that it’s easier to customize your products and import them into your store. Moreover, customizing the content, you use to describe your products is also essential. As your visitors can’t see or touch your products, the only way for you to trigger their interest in your products is to write catchy content. So let’s see how to make your Shopify store look professional.
Add Products and Content
No matter the size of your online store and the category of goods and services you’re selling, your product descriptions will decide whether your business will be successful eventually or not.
Your product description is what you use to provide information and details of your product and explain its benefits. It’s the only way for you to communicate with your visitors.
The description can be a sentence or a paragraph, with a serious tone or friendly. There are no rights or wrongs here. It’s your opportunity to be creative and establish your brand’s voice. Try to make your content unique and compelling.
So before you start tailoring your perfect product description, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Who is your buyer?
- What are the key characteristics of your product?
- When should your buyers use your product?
- Where should your buyers use your product?
- Why is your product better than the one your competitor is providing?
- How does your product work?
You’re now ready to write your content with the answers to these questions. Since many online shoppers skim over the text, you can use bullet points to cover the most important details about your product.
However, it’s hard to be convincing and engage the emotions and imagination of your visitors only by using bullet points. So add a couple of sentences to explain to your shoppers how great your product truly is.
You must write your product description in a way that is easy to read. So break the information into small parts. Here again, bullet points and headings might come in handy.
Have Product Images and Descriptions Ready
Your product images are another important aspect when you build your Shopify store. Like the rest of your website, your product images must look 100% professional. This means that your product photos need to be appealing and draw the attention of your visitors. What’s more, they have to present your product and business positively.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have quality photos. You can even do it by yourself using your smartphone. Here are some valuable tips for you:
- Don’t underestimate your smartphone. In some cases, the image quality from a smartphone can be better than that from a DSLR.
- Get a tripod. This worthy investment will save you time and hassle. It will also improve the quality of your shots.
- Pay attention to the lighting. You can take some great photos in natural daylight. Consider also getting some lighting equipment. They are not expensive and will take your photos to the next level.
- Show off the different aspects of your product. Experiment with backgrounds and angles. And don’t forget about the details. They matter!
- Don’t use misleading photos. Making an item seem bigger or in better condition than it is might eventually lead to complaints from your customers. Keep it real!
Set up Product Pricing and Inventory
After writing the product description and uploading the photos, it’s time to get to the pricing and inventory.
Everything on Shopify is pretty much straightforward, and it’s hard to make mistakes. You need to follow the page and fill in the required information.
The pricing section has three fields: Price, Compare at a price, and Cost per item. If you want to sell your product, enter the initial price in “Compare at a price” and the reduced price in “Price.”
If the quantity of your products is limited, you can track the inventory of your products. Shopify will display an “out of stock” sign when you sell all the available quantities. This way, the visitors to your online store won’t be able to place orders when your product is out of stock.
So, you have to click the ‘Track quantity’ checkbox and define the number of items available to buy.
Don’t Forget About Creating Collections
On Shopify, collections are the product categories. As you may have multiple products or services, grouping them into categories will help your customers easily navigate your website and find what they need. Ultimately, keeping things organized will result in more sales.
So to set up your collections, go to your Shopify admin page, click on the Products link, and then Collections.
Surely you’ll appreciate how well-thought everything is on Shopify and how simple it is to build a Shopify store. Click on the Create collection button in the upper right corner of the website and start adding your product groups.
Again, you can add a title, description, and collection image. Make your collection stand out.
You can add the products to your collection one by one or select the automated option for your collection type and let Shopify automatically add products to your collection if they match specific conditions.
Keep SEO in Mind
There is strong competition in the world of e-commerce. So you’re about to build a Shopify store, you’d have to think about increasing your organic traffic.
The question is, how are your customers going to find your store? This is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. You can use it to improve the search engine ranking for your store and help your customers find your products. So what factors can make your online store appear higher in search results?
- the number of natural links leading from other websites to your store
- the website’s authority based on engagement and other factors
- your domain name’s age
- optimizing the structure and content of a website for search engines
You don’t have to worry about your site structure when you build a Shopify store. Shopify has built-in SEO to ensure that search engines can quickly find all of your content.
Your content has a logical hierarchy of categories. The pages don’t use iframes. Moreover, the URLs use standard characters and a simple, readable structure. So the best SEO practices are followed when you build your Shopify store.
Nonetheless, to make sure that your website structure is well-optimized for search engines, you can do the following:
- Optimize your online store navigation.
- Use descriptive file names for your images.
- Use descriptive link text for internal links.
Check the Shopify help center to find some more tips. Don’t ignore the importance of this step. Spending some time on SEO will eventually show its perks.
You still need to set up some final aspects, such as your email, payment options, shipping rates, etc. You will find all this in the settings configuration. Click on the Settings button at the bottom left of your Shopify admin dashboard to go to your settings page.
Set up your email.
Communication with your customers is most likely to take place via email. Indeed, you’ll need to announce your sales, giveaways, and contests. And emails are not only for your customers but also for your colleagues. You can also send notifications to yourself.
So once you’re on your settings page, scroll down to Contact Information. There you will find a link that says View email settings.
Click on that link, and it will take you to the Sender email options.
Your customers see the Sender’s email when you send marketing emails or after they have placed an order. So set the email address you want to show your customers when you send them your marketing material. You can use the email address you used to build your Shopify store or another email address you have.
Once set, click the “Save” button in the page’s upper right corner.
Now it’s time to set up Shopify email notifications for your customers. To do this, your need to go back to your settings page and click on the Notifications link in the left menu bar.
Here you can customize your email templates and set the content and design of the emails you want.
Click on the Customize email templates and add your brand’s logo and color theme. Here again, Shopify has done everything for you to build your Shopify store without facing issues.
Set Up Payments, Checkouts, Taxes, and Shipping Rates
The last significant step in our guide is dealing with payment gateways.
Click on the Payments link, which you’ll find in the Settings configuration on the left menu bar.
Click on the Activate Shopify Payments button and follow the simple instructions to set it up on your website. The Shopify Payments option provides many advantages, such as competitive credit card rates, better checkout conversion with Shop Pay, payouts and cash flow tracking, etc.
Shopify also allows you to accept payments with PayPal or other third-party providers. Under the Activate Shopify Payments button, you’ll find the See all other providers link. Click on it and make your modifications.
You can also set up your Checkout, Taxes, and Shipping Rates in the settings configuration.
You can set up free, flat, or calculated shipping prices that show up for your consumers during the checkout process. You can learn more about the various types of shipping rates on the Shopify help center.
That’s it! Now you know how to build a Shopify Store. You are all ready to go and start selling online. Don’t forget to check and verify everything you’ve done so far. And one more thing, Shopify will even help you set up an initial marketing campaign. Click on the Marketing link in the left menu bar of your Shopify admin dashboard to find out more.
This article covers all the essential points you need to know to build a Shopify store. However, there’s so much more you can discover about Shopify, which will help you to take your online store to another level. And the good thing is that you don’t need to be an eCommerce expert. Shopify is designed for everyone and is easy for anyone to use.