Alex Williams
Alex Williams  —

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shop online with ecommerceShopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms you can use to bootstrap a quick and profitable online business. Fortunately, their store setup process is fairly flexible and customizable.

You can sell anything you want on Shopify and make a unique online store that brings in traffic and unique customers all the time. If you want to know how to set up a Shopify store for success, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Set Up a Shopify Store

First, you’ll need to make an account with Shopify. Fortunately, you can take advantage of a free 14-day trial if you don't want to put any money down before seeing how their store-building process works.

Create Your Store’s Name, Business Focus, and Details

research iconThis next step is super important even if it seems minor at first. You have to enter a store name, which will also become the default URL for your online store.

You can’t change it, so be careful what you choose (though you can always pick a custom domain name later in change your store URL to this)!

Then answer some of Shopify’s other classifying questions like certain details or your business’s focus. Odds are you already have an idea for your online store, but if you don’t, come up with those answers now so you can fully customize your store to your liking and so that it is attractive to your target consumers.

Read our guide on what is eCommerce to understand the basics of eCommerce.

Add Products

productsYou can’t have an online store if you don’t have products! Whether you practice the dropshipping model or have your products in storage to ship to your customers yourself, you need to add the products to your Shopify store.

Click “Products”, then “Add Product” to start filling your digital store’s shelves with the things you want to sell! For each of these, you’ll need to add:

  • ☑️ A product title and description. Be as detailed in the description as possible, as it’ll help you make a sale
  • ☑️ Product photos and/or other media, like 3-D models or videos. Again, make these as high-quality as possible
  • ☑️ Set the price for the products. Shopify has a “compare at price” field that you can use to show your customers what a product would usually cost from other vendors or stores. Be careful about the prices you set, as they can determine how competitive your store is in your industry or niche

Shopify also has additional information so you can track inventory, like places to input barcodes, SKUs, and more. This may or may not be necessary depending on whether you follow the dropshipping model or not, but fill in whatever is applicable to your situation.

Lastly, go to the “Shipping” section and be sure to enter all the information accurately about your physical products, such as the weight, customs information, and so on.

Create Your Store’s Pages

online storeAfter putting all your products on your Shopify store, you’ll then need to make pages to display those products. Your online store will need several key pages, which you can create using the “Online Store,” then “Pages” buttons.

It’s up to you how many pages you want to create and how much effort you want to put into that.

Our advice? Be as thorough and detailed as possible, as the more complete your Shopify store seems, the more people will visit, the higher it will rank on Google, and the more time people will spend browsing your different products.

We highly recommend setting up at least these pages:

  • ☑️ A contact page so customers can reach you if they have questions or concerns
  • ☑️ An FAQ page
  • ☑️ An “About” page that will describe your business and what you plan to offer your customers
  • ☑️ Any necessary policy pages. These are legal pages that can help to protect you if there is a legal dispute. We highly recommend setting up at least a return policy page so no one can sue you if you don’t want to return an expensive product

The more pages you have, the more complete your website will be. Remember, your Shopify store isn’t just a portal for you to show products. It’s the same thing as a brick-and-mortar store in the real world, just on the Internet! If you are looking for an easier way to create your e-commerce website, take a look at our picks for the best eCommerce platform.

Start Customizing

website designNow comes the fun part; you get to start customizing your store. For starters, click “Online Store”, then “Themes” on Shopify.

A Shopify theme is a basic template you can install on your store and it acts like a starting point as you design the rest of your website. Shopify offers both free and paid themes, and the paid themes are usually slightly higher quality and a little more unique.

Regardless, choose the theme you want. Most themes are designed for specific types of businesses, like catalogs, apparel stores, and more. Pick the thing that best suits the needs of your online business and then start designing your homepage.

Fortunately, every Shopify theme has various sections you can arrange or tweak to your liking. It’ll probably take you several hours to get fully used to this aspect of the store interface, but spend that time to make your store look great.

Knowing how to design a website will definitely have an impact on the number of sales.

Organize Your Shipping Settings

shippingThe next big task is organizing the shipping settings for your store. It’s a big consideration you don’t want to rush through.

You could offer free shipping, but keep in mind this will cost you and you may need to factor into the retail price for your products.

You can also choose to charge real-time carrier rates or flat rates, which will cost your customers different amounts depending on the circumstances of the products you ship and where they need to go.

Lastly, you can also choose to offer local pickup or delivery. This is best used for small businesses whose primary customers will be from their local geographic area. Go through the shipping page thoroughly and make sure you’ve set everything up for smooth operation before moving on.

Check Your Tax Settings

tax iconNext, go to “Settings”, then “Taxes” to investigate your Shopify tax settings. Shopify automatically calculates most tax needs by using the default rates found around the world.

Still, it pays off to double-check the settings and make sure that Shopify hasn't set up anything improperly.

Set Up Payment Gateway/Cart Page

money bagAlmost done – now you need to set up the payment gateway and set up your payment provider by clicking “Settings”, then “Payments”.

Shopify accepts most major payment methods and you can activate Shopify Payments in a single click and pay 0% in any extra transaction fees.

Alternatively, you can choose alternative payment providers like PayPal. Shopify is compatible with over 100 different providers.

Launch Your Online Store!

Once you’ve reached this step, you can finally launch your online store and start fulfilling customer orders! But remember that the work on your online store will never be truly complete. You’ll always want to optimize your page for better search engine optimization or want to add new products to your catalog.

Luckily, your Shopify store will be here to stay and you’ll be able to tweak it to your heart’s content forever! We highly recommend going back and investigating some of the pages we mentioned earlier in more detail, as the secret to success on Shopify lies in crafting the perfect website. 

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