As I have already said in my review, Shopify is all you need to build an efficient and smooth-looking online shop from scratch. That’s precisely why I made this quick and easy Shopify setup guide to help you walk through the main steps of the installation process.
It’s time to build your store! There are so many different ways that you can use Shopify. It’s easy to get started and easy to forget the key steps on the way to your first sale.
Step 1 Sign up to Shopify
For Shopify setup, you need to sign up for an account on shopify.com. Fill the signup form in a matter of seconds and press “Create Your store” afterward.
Shopify also offers a 14 days-free trial period, so that you are safe to test your choice during this period.
Step 2 Set up Your Online Store
I strongly recommend you to play around with Shopify within the free trial period before you select any given plan. However, even if you choose a plan, Shopify will not charge you until the trial ends. Hence, there’s no risk for you. In case you don’t enjoy it, simply cancel your subscription before the 14 days. It’s your choice when to confirm your plan.
If you prefer to select a plan before trial is ended, navigate to the Shopify homepage either by logging in or clicking “Home” on the main menu. You should see the screen below. Ready? Great! Now, all you have to do is click “Select a plan” on the bottom.
Basic Shopify, the entry-level plan, starts at 29 USD/month. You can upgrade to the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plans at any moment when in need for more functionality.
After confirming the plan, Shopify allows you to handle several billing options and determine which one suits the best for your needs, budget, and comfort. You could pay every month, every year, every two years or every three years. Fill your card details and click “Start plan”.
Experience is a great teacher. That’s why, during the initial Shopify setup I would advise you to start with a monthly plan for the first 12 months. Doing so will provide you with a better understanding of how Shopify works and how many aspects continue to improve. There is no extra charge if you later decide to change your billing options to the annual plan or downgrade from annual to monthly. Whatever you choose, there’s no reason to worry.
Even though those are not mandatory from the beginning, Shopify setup process enables you to select extra channels to boost sales in your online store. Below I present you a couple of options which may help:
You can integrate your e-commerce along with Instagram, Pinterest, Wanelo, large online retailers like Amazon and eBay, and many more. Some of these integrations are restricted by region, but they work for most of the globe. Later in this review, I will present you a more detailed overview about some of the sales channel integrations.
Step 3 Pick a Beautiful Theme for Your Store
Shopify offers a great variety of gorgeous and professional-designed themes that work perfectly for desktop, mobile, and tablets.
If you still can’t see it, click “Online Store” and “Themes” on the home screen.
Did you take a look and think that perhaps you may need more themes? That’s okay. The Theme Store includes free and paid themes to match different industries. There you’ll find the one you’re looking for.
There are tons of outstanding free themes too. Click on “Explore free themes” and you’ll be able to navigate to the incredible collection provided by Shopify.
Since paid themes tend to be richer in features, do not hesitate to check them out as well. Click on “Visit Theme Store” and it will take you to all paid themes.
Take a small break …
For paid themes I do recommend to read users’ reviews and check out demo pages of Shopify setup. That way you will get the right touch and feel of the theme and can decide if it is the one you were looking for.
Step 4 Customize Your Store
Once you have found the theme that fits smoothly with your project, click “Actions” and then “Preview” in order to get a first impression of how your store would look like. My best guess: a beautiful site.
Are you satisfied with what you see? Great! Then it’s the right time to make all necessary adjustments to your store. Press “Customize” when you feel like changing the color schema, header, footer, different site sections, and every other aspect that comes to your mind, including body circumference. Or not, that last one can only be changed in the gym or by modifying your eating habits. Eat your vegetables!
Keep in mind that each theme could have different options for customization. Hence, the menu on the left may look slightly different to you. In any case, you’re free to explore every possibility and preview your adjustments by pressing “Theme actions” and on the drop-down “Preview theme”. Feeling excited about your new site already?
Step 5 Add the Products to Your Site
First pick select “Products” from the left menu on home.
Then, press “Add product” and a screen will appear, which enables you to add relevant information and complimentary (beautiful) pictures about your products. Pay special attention to the pictures, as the quality of your visuals is key to build interests among your products and drive your online store to success. Here is a Shopify post for you to take a look. It may help you.
Before hitting the “Save” button, pay attention to the information you’ve provided regarding your product. Make sure everything checks out okay, especially your products’ variables and the corresponding Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) numbers. I know, SKU sounds like a secret organization. It’s not…or is it though? Anyway, you can observe a preview at any time. Just click “View” on top and you should see your amazing product as your customers will see it.
Do not forget to adjust fields “Charge taxes” and “Requires shipping” according to your country’s legislation and your planned shipping options for your products.
Head to “Settings” in your home screen and click accordingly “Taxes” or “Shipping”:
Please note that up to this point Shopify setup has been very straightforward for you. If you still have doubts about the site and its functionality, the Shopify help center is always there for you with plenty of information on how to set this and that and those. Contact them at any time, don’t worry, that’s what they’re getting paid for.
Are you secure about each and every adjustment? Cool! Now don’t forget to click “Save”.
Step 6 Set Payment Options
One of final steps of Shopify setup before launching your store is to set which payment options will be available for your customers. Carefully revise every option and price offered by different payment gateways as they don’t all work the same.
You should consider transaction fees (flat or percentage) on accepted card types (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal etc). If your store is in the US or UK, Shopify Payments will be used automatically, which is a huge advantage.
Once again, I recommend you take your time in order to consider all costs and advantages. No rushing, it’s okay, the pizza delivery guy can wait a couple more minutes.
Head to “Settings” in your home screen and click “Payment providers”.
Here is some good news for you: the country from where you are selling the goods selects every available provider. Really easy and intuitive to setup I would say.
Step 7 Domain Configuration
As a default with Shopify setup, the primary domain is in the form of examplestore.myshopify.com, but the site offers the possibility to buy a custom domain from a third party.
The domain from Shopify is added to your store automatically with an annual cost ranges around 9-14 USD.
Click “Online store” on left navigation bar of your home page to check the status of the domain. Press “Domains” and you’ll reach the status information section.
Additionally, you can transfer your domain from another domain-name registrar to Shopify very smoothly. Simply follow the instructions that Shopify provides, so that you access your store with the preferred domain name.
But you’re a free citizen or at least I hope. So, if you do not want to transfer your existing domain to Shopify, then you can link your current domain to your Shopify store by following the instructions provided here.
Wrapping It up
Congrats! You’ve finished setting up your unique store and now you are more than ready for the real business. You are readier, which is of course a word.
Remember that Shopify is very flexible. You can for sure edit your store during everyday activities, except driving. Please.
No, you don’t need to be a designer or developer to use Shopify. You can customize the look of your store through the online store builder and select the most suitable theme. Feel free to add features and functionality to your store with apps. If you need extra help, you can contact their support team, or visit the Shopify Expert Marketplace to search for and hire a certified Shopify expert.
The front end of your Shopify store, including the e-commerce website, blog, checkout, and emails can be in any language if the theme supports it. The administration UI of your Shopify store is available in English, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.
Yes, you can use your own domain name with Shopify. If you have an existing domain name, you can connect it to Shopify through your store’s administration interface. Learn more about Connecting an Existing Domain to a Shopify Store. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can either buy one through Shopify or a third-party provider.
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