Are you ready to learn how to create an online store with Shopify?
We know it can be difficult to understand where to start but don’t worry, you won’t need a lot of money or any technical skills to create an online store.
Whether this is your first time setting up a small business or you’ve been in the game a long time, in this blog post we’ll show you how to start your own online store in 6 easy steps.
How to start your own online store : 6 easy steps
The best and easiest way to start your own online store is by using Shopify, an all-in-one platform pretty simple to manage if you’re a beginner and that will save you a lot of time in the development of the store.
1. Sign up for Shopify
First of all you need to sign up for Shopify. You can try it for 14 days for free and then decide which plan to pick.
The plan you’re going to choose it depends on the size of your business and your selling goals.
You can start with the basic Shopify plan for $29/month, which includes pretty much everything you need to run your own online store.
In order to sign up, you need to provide an email address, password and store name.
After that you specify if you are already selling and then you can complete your account by adding basic information such as your name, address and telephone number.
In just few minutes your store is open, let’s check the next steps you need if you want to learn how to create an online store with Shopify.
2. Choose a domain for your store
The most important thing if you’re selling online is to define your brand name, therefore you need to buy a domain name that will identify your store and let you stand out from the competition.
It’s a no brainer with Shopify as inside the platform you have the possibility to directly purchase a domain name for $14/year.
Don’t overthink about that, just choose a name related to your niche and the products you want to sell. Alternatively you can opt for an invented name or just combine two or more words connected with your idea for the store.
3. Customize your store
Before you actually start selling products it’s better to set the basic information necessary to run your own online store.
You have 2 main parts to customize: the backend and the frontend.
The backend contains everything which makes operating the business actually possible, therefore it’s very important you don’t skip it.
The frontend is the part that your customer will see so it’s important it will be easy to navigate.
Regarding the backend you go to settings, select the shipping zones you will ship the products to and set up the taxes, if applicable.
Once done be sure that the checkout settings are fine for you.
For the frontend you need to pick a theme for your store. You can choose among 10 free themes made by Shopify or purchase a paid theme available on the platform. From my point of view try to pick a theme as simple as possible, especially at the beginning.
What you really need is showcase your products and make it easy for your customers to purchase them.
Don’t worry you won’t need to touch any line of code!
4. Add products to your store
It’s time to import the products and first of all you need to choose between dropshipping or holding your own products.
For the purpose of this guide we want to import products using some app for dropshipping.
If you are starting out we recommend to you to install Oberlo, an app fully integrated with Shopify that helps you with product importing and order fulfilment (the app is free up to 50 orders per month).
In case you would like read further about dropshipping services, please read the following blog post: how to find the best dropshipping suppliers.
5. Select a payment processor
You’re almost done but you still need a payment processor in order to accept payments on your store.
Just go to settings and then click on “payment providers” tab. You can add all the payment providers you want.
Anyway, we recommend you to add Shopify Payments, if available in your country, and Paypal. It is enough to start accepting payments.
6. Test and publish
You should now have customized your store’s template, added your products, set up your payment and shipping, and sorted out your store’s settings.
It’s time to check that everything works, therefore try to place a test order for yourself and check if there are issues.
Once you feel comfortable you can take out the password and make your store visible.
One important thing is to make sure that your store looks good as well on mobile.
Not sure you are able to do it on your own? It’s time to find freelancers for your business.
What to do after launching an online store
Now that your online store is open, it’s time to prepare a marketing plan in order to get some traffic to your website.
There are many ways to do that, free or paid, therefore let’s check what you can do to attract new visitors.
In general we would suggest to focus on one channel only, at the beginning.
Your marketing plan should includes:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing & SEO
- Influencer marketing
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
Social Media Marketing
You must have a presence on social media, therefore keep your social media pages updated and try to post at least once per day.
The best is to have a content calendar ready for every week and schedule your posts upfront.
Choose social media channels that are relevant for your audience, depending on your niche and products.
Content Marketing & SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably the strategy that requires more time but in the long run it will pay off your efforts.
If your online store is optimized for Google and other search engines, you can expect to receive more visitors if you constantly post relevant content on your website.
It’s highly recommended to have a blog inside your website and create blog posts in order to get more traffic to the products you’re selling.
Content marketing and SEO can really boost your results. If you provide high quality content on your website, it will help you rank better, drive traffic to your store and therefore increase sales.
It is maybe the new way of doing marketing online. Influencers are a really great channel to build trust with your visitors.
In my opinion, you should make a deal with micro-influencers specific to your niche, as their audience is most probably related to what you want to sell and the level of trust is much higher than bigger influencers.
You can find influencers on your own or use platforms dedicated for that. Anyway, if you do it right, this is a really good strategy to increase sales of your store.
It’s the fastest way to get results but as well the most expensive.
The most important platforms for online advertising are Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
With Facebook you can target a specific audience based on interests, age or gender. Instead, with Google Ads, you can target some specific keywords related to your niche.
According to Google’s Economic Impact Report, you can expect an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on ads.
Don’t worry if at the beginning you’re spending a lot with little no return. You will have then precious information related to your audience, in order to create a re-marketing campaign to attract again users that have visited your website.
The amount of money you can do thanks to email marketing is crazy.
How many times we are about to buy something but then for whatever the reason we didn’t finish the check-out?
Thanks to email automations you can recover abandoned cart, send newsletter and special offers to your list, ask for feedbacks and build trust with your customers. This means more sales in the long run.
Email marketing is insanely effective and one of the most profitable marketing channel.
Every time that someone is buying from your Shopify Store, you’ll get the customer email that you can add to your email list.
If you’re looking for an email marketing course, check out Inbox Blueprint.
How to build an online store with Shopify: Recap
Let’s summarize the 6 steps to create your own online store:
- Sign up for Shopify
- Choose a domain for your store
- Customize your store
- Add products to your store
- Select a payment processor
- Test and publish
Once your store is open, prepare a marketing plan and choose a channel to focus on in order to get traffic to your website.
Ready to create an online store with Shopify?
If you need more info about dropshipping, check out this guide: how to start a dropshipping business.
Or, read the Shopify full review for an in-depth overview of this software.
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