The easiest way to start a thriving business online is to create an online store on Shopify. You have heard stories of people who become financially independent through running and managing their online stores at the comfort of their homes.
It might seem complicated to you at first when starting. However, having been on Shopify for a long time, I can guide you on what you should do to make sure your store is up and running successfully.
What is Shopify?
Shopify has been around for quite some years. It is an e-commerce platform aimed to ensure you create, run, and manage your store.
The difference with other sites such as Amazon is that you have control on which products to sell on your site. You can only upload products that you can sell, and traffic is dependent on you.
I will talk later about how you can drive traffic to your store to make sales. Now, it is time to create your store following these step-by-step instructions.
Why you need to set up a shop in Shopify
There are some reasons why I love Shopify and advise you to set up a store there, here are some of them:
- No limitation on the number of products to sell
The number of products you want to sell in your store is entirely up to you. You can choose to stock thousands of products or a small amount that you can manage.
- Numerous payment gateway
A payment gateway allows customers to pay you. It connects your store with any of your bank or your PayPal account.
What Shopify has are many options to choose from. You can even integrate with most of your payment options to ensure you do not lose customers.
When setting up a Shopify store, you can choose between hosted, or self-hosted.
The difference is that one you can download the software and build the store yourself from scratch, while the nest option is to host it on Shopify servers.
- You can choose from numerous themes
A theme makes your store appear beautiful and welcoming to the buyer. If your store is dull, fewer people would want to make a purchase.
Shopify has some numerous themes to choose from, to ensure your store is attractive and converts your store visitors to customers.
People are more likely to purchase products from a store with their language. If you target a Russian market, you can choose to have a store in Russian language.
How to set up a Shopify store
With all the benefits that Shopify has, you would want to have a store and start making passive income in the comfort of your home.
A challenge comes when you feel you are all confused and do not know where to start. Don’t worry; it is not a neck-wracking nerve.
This guide will show you step-by-step instructions on how to do that.
Before thinking of having a store on Shopify, think about these:
- Which niche do you want to focus?
Your niche matters because you would need to choose a niche you’re comfortable and familiar. Therefore, you need to select one particular line of products to sell.
You can decide to sell Electronics such as laptops, vehicle spare parts, or any line of products you feel comfortable.
- Think about your hosting plan
Shopify has multiple hosting plans. You only need to choose one that can meet your needs. If you are a newbie in e-commerce, you can select the Weebly’s starter plan for only $8 a month. Affordable, right? Other plans come with powerful features.
The essential thing is to know the size of your store and plan accordingly.
- Target audience
Target a specific audience. You can choose to target female or male gender. Moreover, for your information, females shop more online than men do. Therefore, you need to focus so much on feminine products though male products sale too.
When done, follow these steps to create your Shopify store:
- Log onto Shopify and sign up
You need to log onto Shopify and sign up. Protect your store with a strong password to avoid hackers.
You can combine uppercase and lowercase letters, some symbols, and numbers to create a strong password such as WiCm17kl!%#Nk
- Name your store
After signing up and confirming your password, you should give a name to your store.
Choose a name that you are comfortable with and easy to remember.
The best one is it should associate with the products you are selling. For example Judy general store for a store targeting women.
- Give more information about yourself
When starting, you will be asked whether you are already selling or just beginning.
Selecting one option will ask you the current revenue you’re making if you’re already selling.
You can also be asked if you are setting up a store for a client. If you are, you can check the box and click next.
- Enter your legal name and address
You need to be official here and be honest because this is how you will be paid. If your name is Michael, don’t put the name of anyone else apart from you.
You need to give your legal first and last name. Choose your country, your state and add your phone number. Then, don’t forget to add your personal or business website if you have any.
Once done, click ‘enter my store’ to proceed. With all this, you are halfway to owning and managing your store.
- Add products to your store
You are on track. You need to upload photos of your products.
If you’re selling physical products, you need to have a camera and take their photos. If you do not, then you need to look for pictures online of the products.
I take photos of my products using an HD camera to ensure they are professional and appealing to the buyer. If you can have a beautiful store with many products, you can have customers.
When adding a product to your store, you’re asked to give a title, price, description of the product, and the vendor. Once you have added sufficient products, you can save them and proceed.
The benefits of having a Shopify store from other e-commerce stores such as WooCommerce is that Shopify has a wide range of extensions available.
The drag and drop feature of products makes Shopify the best among e-commerce stores.
You can repeat this process any time you are adding any product you want. In the future, you will need to add a product or remove it. Hence, you need to know this step.
Once you add your first product, it will give you a message like this one in this demo that your first product was added successfully.
- Add a colorful theme
A theme adds value and makes your customers enjoy shopping on your site. Hence, choose a beautiful theme that’s easy to navigate.
I chose a paid theme because it offers more features than a free one.
Here is how to settle for a theme:
- Consider how you would want your homepage to appear: Different themes have different types of homepages.
- Consider how you want your customers to navigate your store: Make your site easy to navigate and allow your customers to select the products they want with ease. A sophisticated theme will scare away customers.
- The features you want in your store: Different themes such as Startup theme has different features than Symmetry.
You can look at a preview of the theme before you purchase it or install it on your store.
On the ‘upload themes’ button, you have the freedom of uploading a premium theme.
- Add a domain name and a hosting plan
A domain name links your Shopify store to the net. It what tracks buyers from Google. An example of a domain name is Judygeneralstore.com among many others.
To add a domain name, click ‘add a domain’ button and enter your domain name.
- Ensure your domain name does not expire by enabling auto renewal.
- Email forwarding enables customers to send you emails via a professional email with your custom domain name. Hence, you need to set it up
- Ensure Shopify is your primary domain: to get in the traffic juice from Shopify.
A hosting plan
Shopify has the best hosting plans among most of the e-commerce store provides. That’s why I recommend that you select Shopify to host your store for you.
Among the plans, you will realize that the Basic Shopify starter plan is only $29 a month with 2.0% transaction fees.
As a starter, I would advise you to go with the beginner Basic Shopify plan.
Shopify will ask you to confirm the package you just selected and ask you to pay either on a yearly or monthly basis.
I would advise you to go for the yearly one: To save money. The best is $312.00 for one year.
Choosing that one will ensure you make enough profit from your store before you pay again.
- Add billing information and click publish
The last step is to add your billing information and publish your store.
Normally, it is a daunting task to make sales during the first few days of launching your store. The making of sales is entirely up to you to drive traffic to your store.
Traffic can be from Google by optimizing your store or from friends and family members. I got my first few sales from my workmates.
You can decide to market your store using various marketing channels such as Google Ads, or Facebook sponsored ads.
Following this stage by stage instructions, you should be able to create and launch your online store on Shopify easily.