Shopify’s platform in one of the simplest ways to start selling online in no time – so we figured out we could help you set it up. Follow the instructions below and who knows, you could be the next Dollar Shave Club!
Domain and Hosting
To start out on your Shopify store, your domain name (name of your website) can be either one you have previously acquired, a modification of your prior domain name, or a brand new domain name. Shopify guides you through each of these domain name needs with the choice of buying a new domain name also available on Shopify itself. That is it, as far as what you need to do with the first step towards starting your Shopify store. All the hosting and software aspects are now on autopilot courtesy of Shopify, and are FREE for the first 14 days. There is no limit on the size of your Shopify store. Register and start using Shopify here
Go through the free e-commerce templates in the Shopify Theme store and also through the Premium Templates with over 100 templates available over both options to choose from. The templates are even categorized according to the types of products such as those for clothing, art, electronics etc. Your choice of Template can even be one from an acclaimed designer of which many are available within the collection of templates. Get down to customizing your theme without needing any HTML or CSS knowledge. Populate your store with your logo and slideshows while changing the layout too if you need to. Select any language for your store. If you feel the need to completely customize your store with the help of an expert, just ask Shopify for an expert. Now, you have your Store’s name and design ticked and done. For the mobile version of your store, Shopify automatically launches a mobile theme that is designed for smaller screens.
Start adding your products one by one or just import your entire inventory in bulk from an Excel file or from eBay or Magento. Manage your inventory with ‘Inventory Editor.’ Now, start out with adding photos of your products with Shopify taking care of optimizing them automatically. Finally, describe your products and then add all the details of your products. In terms of organization of products, group them into ‘collections.’ There is also a ‘Smart Collections’ option where Shopify does the work for you in including those products that you want to define to go into it such as those under a certain price range etc.
Select from over 100 payment gateways as well as credit cards and Paypal. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has six categories of standards. Shopify is compliant over each of them making your store ready to receive all credit and debit cards. An SSL certificate which provides the same level of encryption that is implemented by banks is provided for free. This completes the secure purchase and checkout gateway for your customers. That is it! Your Store is ready to roll out onto the online world.
Ramping up your store
With your basic store up and running, you would next want to develop your store with more creative and marketing elements. Use the ‘Content Management System (CMS) to add more web pages and to create blogs. The Shopify CMS is built to deliver Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is what it takes to bring up your store on top of Search Engine results. Whenever you add new products, the CMS takes note and ensures that those products are displayed in relevant searches. This capability is implemented through the automatic generation of sitemaps.xml files. In case you wonder what xml is, it is a language used to describe information (such as your products) so that it is understood across platforms and search engines and by humans too. All features are enabled for the Mobile version of your store. The CMS admin interface lets you know when product stocks have run out.
Keeping track of store activity
As your marketing efforts in terms of your blog and SEO take flight, you would want to see for yourself what is up in terms of traffic and other data. Advanced Analytics from Shopify tells you where your customers came from, the search terms they used to find you, how many unique visitors you had etc. Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics are integrated so that you can combine all your Google web data with your Shopify customer data. If you are using Google Adwords to advertise your store on Google, there is a $100 extra that Shopify gets for you from Google for your advertising budget. Further, Google Product Search can be automatically supplied with your inventory data. To round off your marketing efforts, you can set up a discount system with specifications such as a fixed amount, a fixed percentage or free shipping. All store management can be done through the Shopify App.
Adding interesting elements to your Store
Plugins are ways to add whatever functionality you want to add to your store to expand customer service, marketing and advertising efforts. Just like the Shopify Theme Store, Shopify App Store is also a mix of free and premium plugins. Among the App picks are ‘Proffer by Shop Trade’ which allows you to incentivize customers with personalized offers. It comes at $19 per month. The App brings easy customization and management of offers and discounts with features such as ‘Quantity Breaks’ wherein the more your customers buy the more savings you can offer them. Another App pick is Shippit which brings enterprise-level shipping options to your Store. A Facebook and Instagram Retargeting App, App for Popup display when products are added to cart, a Returns App are among the Apps that are popular among store owners.
Empowering store owners and customers
Among the apps that Shopify offers for free is Oberlo which helps in finding products as well as suppliers for your store. And to bring the most important facet of ecommerce, which is Reviews, to your Store, Shopify has its free ‘Product Reviews’ app which allows your customers to contribute to your marketing efforts with their reviews. The reviews can be published, hidden, filtered and managed while the review scores can also be added to your Google Search results.
Shopify offers the simplest and most powerful e-commerce platform where online businesses can get started and go about business with the powerful features of site building and customer service technologies. Along with Shopify, you can use tools such as Shoppr to take control of your marketing. In case you want to learn how to market your e-commerce store, you can refer to Shoppr’s e-commerce Marketing Guide