In this article I’m going to walk you through 15 easy steps to help you start you ecommerce business on Shopify. I’ve done my best to keep this straight to the point with no fluff so you can get your new store launched right away! Feel free to use the table of contents below to navigate to a specific section, or download the ebook here so you can read it later at your own leisure.
Choose a Name For Your Store
A lot of people ask me, what should I call my Shopify store? Well you’re starting a business, so the name you choose for your store is very important. Your name should be short, simple and unique. The name you choose should also be relevant to the type of store you are running and the products you’re selling.
This Free Business Name Generator is useful.
Also, don’t forget to make sure that the “.com” domain name is available for your store. See step 3 of this article for more info.
Grab Your Free Shopify Trial
When you setup your Shopify account, you will automatically be given a “mystorename.myshopify.com” URL. Once you purchase your domain name in step 3, you can change this.
Get Yourself a Domain Name and Email Address
One of the most popular options to secure a domain name is Namecheap. They also offer email hosting options, but I personally prefer to use G Suite by Google for my email hosting. It’s cheap and super easy to use.
Because we’re a partner with G Suite, you’ll be able to get 20% off your first year’s fees by using this code F7VXA7J7QPP6KCA.
Pick Your Shopify Store Theme
Shopify offers some great free and paid themes to choose from. There’s also a great website called OnShopify that that shows many different themes in action.
Some other popular paid themes are Turbo and Booster, but they aren’t cheap. Take a look below.
Create a Logo For Your Shopify Store
Now that you’ve decided on a name for your Shopify store, bought the domain name and chosen a nice theme, it’s time for you to create a simple and effective logo. Your store logo doesn’t need to be fancy, just something easy-to-read that fits the aesthetic of your store.
You can try find a designer on Fiverr to create a logo for you, or you might like to test out the free logo maker websites below.
Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
Before you launch your Shopify store, it’s important to setup your Social Media profiles for your business. Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest are a great start.
Setup and Install Your Facebook Pixel
To explain it in simple terms, the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that lives inside your website and collects information about how visitors interact with your store. The Pixel collects data about your store visitors and helps you to customize your advertising in the future.
Check out the links below to get started with your Facebook Pixel.
Add Important Pages To Your Store
There are some critical pages that you must add to your store before you launch. The most important pages to start with are the shipping, returns, refund, privacy and terms of service policies. Some of these policies can be generated for you by Shopify, but you will need to read through and customize them to suit your store.
Once you’ve generated these policies, you can add them as pages to your Shopify store.
It’s also important to have the following pages on your store:
- About Us
- Contact Us
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Having these pages on your store will help it appear more professional and trustworthy. You can draw some inspiration by going to any large online retailer’s website. They will all have the above-mentioned pages in some format on their store.
Setup Your Payment Gateway
Shopify Payments is the default payment gateway provided by Shopify, but not all countries are able to use Shopify Payments. The handy links below offer you a little more reading regarding this.
Create Your Shipping and Tax Settings
Shipping and Taxes can get rather confusing, so it’s best to keep it as simple as possible.
There are different ways to setup how you charge your customers for shipping. I personally like to include the shipping costs in my product prices and offer “free shipping”. This is going to be heavily influenced by your sales strategy. The simple guide below can help you.
Shopify also provides this great eBook – Shipping & Fulfilment 101
It’s important to know that Shopify does not file or remit your taxes for you. This is your business, so it’s entirely up to you.
Personally, I include all taxes in my product prices, so my customers don’t see additional costs at the checkout stage. This is entirely up to you and however you decide to handle this, the detailed information at the link below will help you set everything up.
Add Products To Your Shopify Store
Now this step assumes that you already know what products you’re going to sell but if you don’t, keep reading on to the next step.
Once you’ve got your products ready to go, the the link below will guide you through how to add products to your Shopify store.
Finding The Right Products To Sell
If you’re still not sure what you’re going to sell on your store, you may want to explore two of the most popular methods of sale, print on demand (POD) and drop shipping.
Print on Demand products are generally apparel items that are custom printed with your designs. They are made to order, so you don’t need to hold stock or pay for the products before someone makes a purchase from your store.
The POD suppliers below have jewelry, homewares and other items. They all have apps that integrate seamlessly with your new Shopify store.
Teelaunch – fantastic prices and a great range of products.
Subliminator – the best “all over print” manufacturer.
Drop Shipping is another great option. Many drop shippers sell products from AliExpress, which is a huge Chinese marketplace that connects you with suppliers and manufacturers. Much like POD, you only need to place an order with AliExpress once your customer makes a purchase from your store. In order to import products from AliExpress to your Shopify store, you will need an app. The two apps below make the whole drop shipping process easy. Check them out.
Researching product ideas can also be a challenge. If you’re stuck for inspiration, I recommend a great app called Sorting Social. You can type in your product (“cat toys” for example) and see the most popular pins on Pinterest for your search term. It’s a fantastic way to find out what items are currently trending.
Check Out Sorting Social
Add Some Apps To Your Shopify Store
Now that you’ve got products in your store and it’s nearly ready to launch, you may want to add some more apps to your store. You don’t have to add any apps at this stage, and too many will slow down your store, but you’ll definitely work out what apps you want down the track.
Below are two free, easy-to-use apps that I always install on my stores, if the theme I am using doesn’t already have these features.
Spend some time browsing the Shopify App Store, there are literally thousands of free and paid apps to choose from. Shopify have also compiled a list of the top 25 most popular free apps in the Shopify app store. The list may be a little outdated, but it’s still a great read.
Place a Test Order
Once your store is ready to go, you should place a test order to make sure everything is working properly. There’s multiple ways to do this, as outlined in the article below.
Final Steps Before Launching Your Shopify Store
Congratulations! You’re just about ready to launch your store. There’s a few important things you need to do before you launch though.
Content audit. Check for any spelling and grammar errors or broken hyperlinks. It’s worthwhile having someone else read through your store to pick out any errors. It’s so important to make sure that your store looks professional before you launch.
Throw in some nice images. Having great images is especially important if you decide to include a Blog as part of your Shopify store. There are plenty of great free resources available for images. Here’s a few of my favorites below.
Integrate an Email marketing feature. Not everyone is going to purchase on their first visit, so it’s important to capture their email address so you can market to them. There is a whole separate marketing strategy around this, but I like to use Klaviyo for my ecommerce email marketing.
That’s a Wrap!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my step by step guide to starting your very own ecommerce business! I sincerely hope that it has helped you kickstart your ecommerce journey.
I could go on and on about things you can do to improve your Shopify store, but if you successfully carry out all the steps in this article you’ll have yourself a very nice store.
Good luck with your ecommerce journey and don’t forget to be patient, ask a lot of questions and never give up!
Wishing you all the success in the world.