How to Open an Online Store With Shopify
Are you ready to take your shop to the next level? Opening an online store on your own website can be easy when you use Shopify!
Before you get started make sure to write out a business plan, create a brand style guide, and determine and research your target market.
Related post: How to Create a Brand Style Guide and Why
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Once you have completed those tasks, you can get started with opening your own online store! Just follow these simple steps:
How to Open an Online Store
1. Buy a Domain
First up, you need to buy a domain for your website. It really should be your business name. But if it’s taken, you can add a word to the front or back. Words like “LLC”, “shop” “co”, etc.
You can buy your domain through places like Shopify, GoDaddy, or even Google.
2. Start Your Free Trial on Shopify
Fill out the form on the sign-up page and Shopify will create a temporary URL for you. It will be something like “mystorename.shopify.com”. With “mystorename” being whatever you entered in as the name for your online store when signing up. This is just until you can transfer over your domain name.
Related post: 3 Things to Explore During Your Shopify Free Trial
3. Learn the Dashboard
Once you finish singing up you will be taken to your brand new store dashboard! It may look a little overwhelming at first, but once you play around with it for a while you will get the hang of things.
Shopify is super helpful and provides tons of resources including the Shopify Manual. After clicking through all the sections in the dashboard, I would recommend reading the articles in the manual. It will walk you through everything you need to know!
4. Finish Completing Your Account
At the bottom left hand side, you will see “Settings”. When you click that you will see multiple options. Start going through each of those sections and completing as much as you can.
The more important ones to start with are “General”, “Account”, and “Billing”. But you should at least click through each one and see if there’s anything you can fill out right away. Don’t forget to come back before launch and finish filling everything out!
5. Choose Your Theme
Shopify has its own theme store that provides you with beautiful, mobile friendly themes. There are both free and paid themes. The best part about the paid themes is that you can try them out before paying for them. You won’t have to put until you publish your website with that theme!
Play around in the theme store for a while and check out all the themes and see all the different things they have to offer. Don’t be afraid to test a few of them out.
6. Start Designing the Looks of Your Online Store
After you have chosen a theme, or at least a theme to test out, you can start editing it to your liking. Add your colors, fonts, logos, images, and setup the homepage and shopping cart to look how you want!
7. Setup Pages and Navigation
You will want to at least start with an about page and contact page.
Next you can start creating your navigation menus, both main and footer.
8. Add Your Products
Don’t forget to add all your products into your shop! Make sure to add a clear title, a catchy description, beautiful photos, and the price.
Make sure you don’t forget to setup the shipping. (I almost did that with my first shop) This is located in the settings area of the dashboard.
9. Add Apps
Another great thing about Shopify is the App Store! There are so many apps that you can add onto your website to make things more professional looking, run more smoothly, or add additional pieces to your website.
Some good apps to start with are apps for product reviews, social sharing, and email newsletter.
Once you have finished all that work and put everything together just the way you want it, you get to launch your online store!
Ideally, you want to create some buzz around your website launch before you launch it. Mention it to your social media following, tell your email subscribers, and everyone you know. You can offer some great exclusive coupons or host a giveaway!
I know this is a lot of work! There is a lot of thought, planning, and research that goes into creating a website. I didn’t say it would be easy, I just said Shopify makes it easier!