How to Start an Online Shop with Shopify

Shopify Homepage

So you have decided to open an online store with Shopify but want to know exactly how to get started! Well in this guide I am going to take you through getting your store set up.

If you want to learn more about what you need to do in order to start an online shop properly, then check out my How to Start an Online Shop – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Now before I get into the post, I want to let you know that this post does contain affiliate links which means that if you click one of the links and purchase their service then I receive a referral commission.

Sign Up for your Free Shopify Trial

Shopify Free Trial

So before you can started with the Shopify, you need to sign up with the platform. You get a free 14 day trial so that you can test it out before committing to one of their plans.

Now before you get into your dashboard, there are a couple of pages to go through. The first asks you what stage you are at with your business and depending on your answer, they will give you links to a few helpful articles to read to help get you started.

Shopify Setup Question 1

Now you can skip this question if you want to but it might be worth looking through some of the options to see if there is anything that can help you.

The second page asks you for all of your business information such as business name, address, telephone number and email address. You do need to fill all this out before you can progress on to the next stage.

Shopify Dashboard

Once you have been through the two pages above, you are taken to the Shopify dashboard. At this point, I would recommend checking your emails to confirm your account before you start doing anything.

Shopify Dashboard

As you can see in the above image, Shopify do have a short set up guide to help you get started. There are some more sections below this but most of them were videos to watch or blog posts to read.

Step 1: Add Product

The first step to setting up your Shopify store is to add a product. You can either click the Add Product button or you can navigate to Products → All Products → Add Product.

Shopify Add Product

Adding a new product is really easy, just fill out the sections on the page and then click save in the top right corner.

To organise your products, you need to use their Collections system and I would recommend you read their documentation on this as it takes a little getting used to.

Step 2: Customise Your Theme

The next step in the process is to customise your theme so that your website matches your brand or business. Before getting into any customisation, you might want to take a look through the Shopify theme store to see if there is anything there that you like.

Shopify Choose Theme

Once you have chosen a theme that you like, you can then start customising it. To make changes to your theme, you need to use the left sidebar and navigate around there to see what elements of the page you want to change. If you want to customise another page on your site simply click the drop down menu next to where it says home page.

Shopify Theme Customisation

Step 3: Add Domain

The final step in the Shopify setup guide is to get your domain name configured. Now you can either purchase a domain name through Shopify or you can use one you already own or have bought through another registrar.

Shopify Add Domain

That is pretty much it for the Shopify guide but I think it misses out on a few important steps which I am going to cover below.

Bonus Step 1: Configure Your Website’s Settings

You want to make sure that you have everything properly set up and configured before making your website live and most of it can be done in the settings area of the dashboard which is located at the very bottom of the left sidebar.

Shopify Website Settings

Now in the settings menu, you want to work through all the sections to make sure that they are set up properly but the main three that I identified were:

1. Legal Pages

This is a nice section that covers all the legal pages you need to have on your website, including Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, Refund Policy and Shipping Policy. Other than the Shipping Policy, Shopify have templates you can modify so that your legal pages are in order.

Shopify Legal Pages

2. Payment Providers

You want to get paid so you need to make sure that your payments gateways are all set up properly. On this page you can set up Shopify Payments, PayPal Express Checkout and Amazon Pay. If you want to use another gateway, then click the Choose third-party provider button and you will be given a list of all the gateways they integrate with.

Shopify Payment Methods

3. Shipping

The next important step to set up is your shipping methods On this page you can set up your shipping charges, packages, packing slips and also set up integrations with any carriers you have accounts with or fulfilment companies you use.

Shopify Shipping Methods

Bonus Step 2: Shopify App Store

If you want to add any more functionality to your store, then you need to take a look at the Shopify App Store. Now before you go installing every single app you can think of, be aware that only some of the apps are free but many require you to sign up to monthly payment plans.

Shopify App Store

If you are just setting up your online store, I would only take a quick look here to see what is available. It is best to wait until your store has been up running a while before you start looking to add functionality as by then you will probably have a better idea as to what you need.

Wrapping Up

So there you go, a quick start guide to getting your new Shopify store up and running. If you want to know more about the platform then check out my Full Shopify Review.

Before going live with your store, it is always doing a few test orders to make sure that your site and checkout process are working properly before you start getting real orders!

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