Shopify is a subscription to a software service that offers you to create a website and use your shopping cart solution to sell, ship and manage your products. Using their service, you can access an easy-to-use administration panel where you can add products, process orders and enter store data.
For a monthly subscription of $ 29 / month, you can create a fully functional online store that you can use to sell digital or physical products. Shopify also offers a limited free trial.
If you want to create an online store using Shopify, you are in the right place.
In this guide, we will show you how to use Shopify so you can launch your online store as soon as possible.
Ready? Let’s start …
How to create your own online store using Shopify
Full disclosure: we earn a commission if you end up buying Shopify through the referral links in this guide. This helps us keep the WebsiteSetup up and running. Thanks for your help.
Registering in Shopify and starting your store will never have been so easy. They even offer a free 14-day trial for you to continue.
To open your Shopify store, you must create an account.
1. Sign up with Shopify
Visit Shopify.com. Use the registration form to create an account.
Enter the required information and click on the “Start free trial” button.
Your store name must be unique or Shopify will ask you to choose something else.
After this initial screen, you will be asked for additional information, including your name, address, country, and contact number.
You will also be asked if you have any products and, if so, what you want to sell. If you simply try Shopify to see if it works for you, you can select “I’m just playing” in “Do you have products?” Dropdown menu. are you going to sell? ‘section.
When finished, click “I’m done.”
2. Start setting up your online store
Once you have registered, you will be directed directly to the administration screen of your store. Now you are ready to start customizing your store, loading products and setting up payments and shipments.
3. Choose a “theme” or a “layout”
Shopify has its own official theme store. It is guaranteed that all these themes will have the full support of the designers so that you know that your store is in good hands.
All themes come with a complete list of changes you can make without touching a line of code. Premium themes come with additional changes, but you can also create an attractive site with a free site. These changes are described in the next section.
If you want to make global changes to a topic, there are very few limitations on what can be achieved when accessing HTML and CSS. Do not worry if you have no experience in coding. Shopify has an international team of design agencies called “Shopify Experts” that you can hire to fully customize your site.
To find a theme that suits your needs, we recommend the following:
1. Browse the theme store
Log in to Shopify and visit the Shopify theme store at themes.shopify.com. You can choose from more than 70 different themes, including a good selection of free variants.
You can also find Shopify themes in other markets, such as TemplateMonster.
Simply choose, category, features to choose your theme.
You can filter by paying or free, by industry and by features. You can also sort the topics by price, popularity and the most recent.
2. Check the Functionality and Reviews
Once you have found a topic you like, click on the sample image of the subject. You will get more information on the subject, as if the subject was responsive / ready for mobile devices, among other features.
Scroll through the list to read some of the comments about what other online retailers are thinking about using the topic.
3. Preview the Theme
To see the topic in action, click View Demo. You will see this under the green button “Preview the theme in your store”.
If the theme comes in several styles, you can also see demonstrations of different styles by clicking on them.
4. Get the Theme
Once you have found a topic you like, click the green button.
Shopify will ask you to confirm that you want to install the theme.
Click Publish as a theme for my store.
Do not worry if you are not 100% sure that this is the right topic for you. You can always change your mind later.
Once the theme is installed, Shopify will let you know and give you the opportunity to contact your theme manager.
Your Theme Manager displays published topics (the one you have installed or activated most recently) and unpublished topics below (previously installed topics).
4. Edit Shopify Settings
Most Shopify themes allow you to make simple changes that can dramatically change the look of your store. Therefore, you are guaranteed not to create a website that looks like a clone of thousands of other stores.
On your administration screen, select ‘Themes’ in the left navigation menu. On this page you will see your theme live in a box in the upper right corner of this box, two buttons. The first consists of three points, which give you some basic changes in the parameters. One of them allows you to duplicate the subject. We strongly recommend doing this if you make changes that you don’t like, you can eliminate the duplicate and start over.
The second button says “Customize the theme”. If you click on it, you will access a page that controls all the basic functions of your store. This is the perfect time for you to play with the settings and try all the functions to discover what your site is capable of.
The most common features will include:
- upload logos
- load slides on a homepage carousel
- Add features of related articles to product pages
- choose how many items appear on each line of the collection pages
- color schemes
- choice of sources.
Some themes will also allow you to reposition items on pages, such as displaying product images to the left, right or center of the page. You can also choose if you want to display social buttons such as / tweet / pin / + 1.
Add your products to the store
While navigating in the bar on the left, select “Products”. Then you will see a blue “Add a product” button in the middle of the page. Use the following screen to add as much detail as you need on your products. Look in particular those that will help SEO, such as name, description and URL. Include as much detail as possible to help inform customers about your articles.
This is the screen where you load the product images. Once the images are loaded, you can rearrange them, so do not worry about loading them in a particular order.
Product images can make a sale, so be sure to show your products to the fullest and highlight any special or unique features with close-up photos. To keep your store tidy, we suggest you keep all images with the same dimensions. Unless you plan to make the pages of your collection look like a Pinterest board.
Once everything is done, do not forget to click on the “Save Product” button in the top and bottom right corners.
Set up collections (product groups)
A collection is a group of products with some common characteristics that customers can look for when they visit their store. For example, your customers might buy:
- clothing specifically for men, women or children
- articles of a certain type, such as lamps, cushions or rugs
- Items for sale
- items in certain sizes or colors
- seasonal products, such as Christmas cards and decorations.
Products can appear in any number of collections. Usually, your collections are displayed on your home page and in the navigation bar. This helps customers find what they are looking for without having to click on the entire catalog.
Manual and automatic collections
When you add a new collection, you can select how to add the products. These are the two options:
- Manually: Add and delete products in a manual collection individually.
- Automatically: You can configure the selection conditions to automatically include products that meet certain criteria.
A payment gateway allows you to make payment to your customers via their website. The price and commission rate are important, but it’s also important to see what features they offer. All payment gateways are not identical.
You should consider the following when choosing the payment gateway that is right for you.
1. Transaction fees
When you make a payment, some gateways retain a small percentage or a flat rate (or sometimes both) to allow you to use their service. Compare them based on your anticipated sales.
2. Types of cards
You must know the card types accepted by the chosen payment gateway. All accept VISA and MasterCard, while most accept American Express. Paypal is also becoming more and more popular for online payments.
3. Offsite payment
Some gateways accept payments on their own servers via their own form. This means that the customer is withdrawn from his payment and pays on the form provided by his payment gateway. They are then redirected to their confirmation page once the customer has paid successfully. This allows you to have a little more control over the payment process.
You can bypass the limitations of Shopify: they do not allow you to customize the payment process other than with CSS.
Payment Gateway transaction fees are in addition to Shopify’s transaction fees. As of November, US based EBU stores. And the UK can use Shopify payments. Depending on your Shopify plan, you can save on these additional costs. According to your plan, you will receive these very interesting rates.
- 2.4% + 20p base
- Professional 2.1% + 20p
- Unlimited 1.8% + 20p
Depending on the number of transactions you make each month, it may be worthwhile to update your system to take advantage of these savings.
Get Your Online Shop “LIVE”
Before your site can go live, you need to add a few more details about your company and how you plan to make deliveries and pay tax.
Make sure all your company information is entered in the settings area at the bottom left. Make sure to use the Google Analytics feature. This can be an invaluable source for tracking visitors to your store.
- Go to the Products page of your admin panel.
- Click on the name of a given product.
- Scroll down to the section called “Variants”.
- Make sure the checkboxes next to Charge taxes and Requires shipping are checked if you need to include these with your products.
- Some stores won’t need to charge taxes or shipping on products like digital goods. On the other hand, a T-shirt store will likely need to charge both.
- If you are planning to ship your product to customers, make sure to enter the product’s weight in the appropriate field.
If your shipping rates are too low or do not offer enough options, you may lose some sales. Shopify will only calculate shipping charges for its customers according to the rules established on the administrator’s shipping page. To make sure you don’t lose any sales:
- From your store administrator, go to Settings> Shipping.
- In the “Shipping rates” section, see if you have set a shipping rate based on weight and adjust it according to your product specifications.
Test your control system
To test your system, you can simulate a transaction using Shopus’s Bogus Gateway.
Using the Bogus Gateway:
- In your store manager, click on Settings and then on Payments to access your payment settings.
- If a credit card portal is enabled, deactivate it before continuing. (Click Edit, then Disable and then confirm its deactivation).
- In the Accept credit cards section, click Select credit card gateway to open the drop-down menu.
- Scroll to Other and then click (to try) Bogus Gateway.
- Click Enable (or Reactivate if you have already used Bogus Gateway).
- Go to your store and place an order as a customer would. At the end of the purchase, enter the following credit card information instead of the genuine numbers:
Try a real payment gateway with an authentic transaction:
- Make sure you have configured the payment gateway you want to try.
- Make a purchase in your store as a customer and complete the order using the details of your credit card.
- Cancel the order immediately to reimburse you and avoid paying transaction fees.
- Log in to your payment gateway to make sure the funds have been used.
Yes, just be sure to cancel and refund the order shortly after placing it.
If your billing cycle ends after placing the trial order, but before canceling it, the transaction fee will appear on your invoice. You can still cancel after paying your bill to Shopify, but you will receive a transaction credit refund on your account. You can use transaction credits to pay future transaction fees.
7. Add a domain name
To make your site work, you will need a domain name. You have two options.
First, you can buy a Shopify domain and it will be added to your store automatically. This saves you time, especially if you don’t know how to host a website. These fields generally cost between $ 9 and $ 14 a year. Your second option is to buy a third-party domain like GoDaddy. These areas start at $ 10.00 per year. The disadvantage is that you will have to redirect the DNS records yourself, which may seem daunting at first.
If you cannot find a good domain name, read our tips for choosing a good domain name.
These are the steps to put your new Shopify online store in a third-party domain name.
1. Add the new domain in Shopify
In the Shopify administrator, in the left navigation pane, navigate to Settings and Domains and add your domain name using the ‘Add existing domain’ button.
2. Update DNS records
Log in to your domain registrar and make the following changes to the DNS records:
- Replace the @ or primary A record with the following IP address: 126.96.36.199
- Add or replace www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com (that is, the shopify link in your store without HTTP, as you can see on the domain configuration page).
3. Remove all passwords from the storefront
Otherwise, nobody will be able to access your site, even when it is live.
4. Define as primary if relevant
In Online Store> Domains, you can choose your primary domain using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen:
Be sure to check the box “Redirect all traffic to this domain”. This means that traffic to all other domains will be directed to your primary domain. This is crucial for a good SEO.
5. Add other domains
You can repeat steps 1 and 2 with other domain names you own. All domain names will be redirected to the “Primary” domain, which you can change at any time with the “Set as primary” option next to each domain name.
Keep in mind that the amount of domain names you own does not influence SEO.
Congratulations, your new Shopify store is ready!
If you have succeeded that way, congratulations. You should now have a fully operational online store. If you want to explore alternatives, see below:
Alternatives for Shopify?
You can also use WooCommerce to start your online store. It is a little cheaper but requires a more pronounced learning curve. Either way, this can be a great alternative.
For a more detailed analysis between the two, read this: Shopify vs. WordPress (WooCommerce). In addition, you will find here other e-commerce sites that allow you to create an online store.