This is a beginner’s tutorial on starting a Shopify store from scratch. In this guide, we will show you every step from setting up the store to launching it.
The best way to start your eCommerce entrepreneurial journey is to start a Shopify store. It is an easy-to-use platform with a large community to help you with any challenges you face in setting up your store.
In old times, setting up an online store used to be a very hefty task and expensive – not everyone could start an eCommerce business.
You had to get a server, configure it, develop a website, and develop various tools to manage daily needs, and the worst part is that you had to hire a team of developers to manage the entire ecosystem to ensure your website runs smoothly.
Shopify took over every technicality involved in setting up an online store & simplified the whole process of creating, launching, and running an online store.
What is Shopify & How much does it cost?
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms for building an online store. It is a subscription-based platform that allows you to create your online store & leverage its eCommerce solutions like displaying products online, tracking inventory, accepting payments, calculating shipping and tax rates, and much more.
And it also takes care of all the backend and technical aspects of running an eCommerce site, like managing hosting servers and security from brute forces. That’s what you will be paying for – a seamless and easy-to-use eCommerce platform.
Having said that, Shopify offers mainly three plans, which are as follows –
- Basic Shopify Plan – $29 per month + 2.9% and 30¢ per transaction
- Shopify Plan – $79 per month + 2.6% and 30¢ per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan – $299 per month + 2.4% and 30¢ per transaction
To start building an online store, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial without inputting your credit card information. However, you will only have to choose a plan once you make your store public.
Shopify also offers an enterprise eCommerce platform, Shopify Plus. It might not be relevant for you, but I think you should know that Shopify has a scalability option to build an enterprise-level online store.
You can learn more about it in our in-depth comparison of Shopify vs Shopify Plus.
10 Steps to Start a Shopify Store
If you have decided to start your Shopify store, now is the time to get serious and start following each step carefully?
If you are ready, let’s get started.
Step 1: Create your Shopify account.
Go to Shopify.com and click on the “Start free trial” button on the far-right side of the page.
As I have mentioned earlier, Shopify offers you a 14-day free trial. You can use this free trial period to set up your store, add products & give it a try before making any payment to make the store live.
To get started, fill up the form with your email address, password, and your store name. Your store name needs to be unique, i.e., there must not be another store with the same name on the Shopify platform.
Once you’ve entered the available store name, click the “Create your store” button.
Now, Shopify will ask for information about you & your business. Fill up the field respectively & click Next. You can skip this step as well.
Afterward, add business details like address, and name, and then click the “Enter my Store” button.
Congratulations! You are now inside your Shopify admin panel.
Step 2: Choose a theme for your store
Once you’re inside your store admin panel, it is time to beautify your store.
To get started, you need to choose a theme for your store. Shopify has its own official theme store where you can find both free and premium themes.
Every theme comes with its own limitations in customization. That’s why while selecting the theme, ensure you go through the functionality details.
1. Find a theme
To find a theme for your store, click on “Online Store” in the left sidebar. Then, click on “Themes”
Here you can also upload a theme you purchased from theme marketplaces like Theme Forest. In fact, we have compiled some of our favorite Shopify themes available in the market, check out –
Or, you can explore the Shopify theme store, where you’ll find 70+ themes in various categories with different functionalities.
You can filter themes based on various attributes like a number of products, layout style, marketing features, industry, etc. You can also sort themes by price, popularity & most recent.
2. Analyze the features of themes.
While going through all the themes, find out more about the features of the themes you like – like mobile responsiveness, SEO, pop-ups, etc.
To find this information, click on the theme you liked, and you’ll be directed to the page where you’ll be given more information about the theme, including features, reviews & also the stores that use that specific theme.
You can scroll down to view more themes with similar features by the same designer.
3. Preview the theme.
Click the “View Demo” button to see how the theme feels. There you can preview the theme in mobile and desktop view. Also, try different styles of that theme (if available).
4. Try the theme & buy.
If you like the theme, click on the “Try theme” button in the top right corner of the preview page. The theme will be added to your store.
Now, Customize the themes and see if it is what you want for your store.
Once you find the perfect theme for your store, buy it!
Step 3: Customize the theme of your store.
Once you’ve selected a theme, it is time to change the look and feel of your store. Almost every theme from the Shopify theme store allows you to make changes that define your brand & keep it stand unique from tons of other stores.
On your left sidebar of the Shopify admin panel, go to “Themes” and click on the “Customize” button beside the selected theme.
Now, you will be taken to the theme editor page, where you can customize the theme. Some of the most common customizations will include:
- Color schemes
- Featured Collections
These customizations depends on the functionality available with your theme.
You can also make a lot of adjustments by accessing the CSS and HTML aspects of your theme. If you don’t have coding knowledge, you can always hire an expert from the Shopify experts page to make the necessary changes.
Step 4: Add products & content.
Now, your store’s look & feel is complete. It is time to showcase your products.
On the left sidebar of your Shopify admin panel, select “Products” and click on the “Add product” button to add details about your products, including images, names, descriptions, etc.
Remember, images are crucial for your customers when it comes to online purchasing because they can’t touch the products & the only way to convince them to buy is through attractive product images.
Step 5: Add necessary pages.
Go to “Online Store” and select “Pages,” which will take you to a dashboard where you can create & manage pages.
Now click the “Add page” button. Next, add the page title and content and edit the SEO of the page.
Remember that these pages on your website will help your customers to know more about the store, the team behind it & legalities on how you handle their data, return policy, etc.
Some of the necessary pages every online store should have are: –
- Delivery & return policy (legal)
To add legal pages, go to “Settings” from the left corner of your Shopify admin dashboard. Here you’ll find a predefined section for each page.
You can also create these pages using Shopify templates, click on the “Create from template” button below the text field, and a predefined template content will be added.
Now, edit the content as per your policy & click “Save” to publish the pages.
Step 6: Enable payment & checkout process.
To enable payment methods on your website, you need to set up a payment gateway that allows you to take payments from your customers.
Shopify offers its own payment gateway, “Shopify Payments,” for everyone in supported countries or locations of the business.
If your country from where your business operates isn’t supported by Shopify Payments, you can choose from other payment gateways, including PayPal.
For Shopify Payments alternatives, you should check our guide on the best payment gateways for Shopify stores. While choosing a payment gateway, you need to look at the following features: –
- Transactions Fees: When using a payment gateway, most of them keep a small percentage or flat fee (or both) per transaction. So, compare all the available payment gateways in your region & choose the most suitable one for your business.
- Card types: You need to ensure that your payment gateway accepts the most common card types among your customers for seamless transactions. While most gateways accept VISA & MASTERCARD, you need to ensure that the latest digital wallets like Paytm, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are also supported.
Once the payment gateway is configured, go to “Settings” & select “Checkout” to customize the checkout process as per your business needs & click “Save” to complete it.
Step 7: Add your business details
Before setting your story live, you must ensure that all the legal & other marketing and business information is added to the store.
Go to settings and take a look at each of the options.
- General: In this section, you need to provide details like name, email, industry, address, currency, and other standards and formats for your store.
- Locations: If your business operates from multiple locations, make sure you add all the locations.
- Notifications: In this section, you’ll find different types of notifications for customers & staff at different stages of order processing. You can click on each notification & customize it as per your needs.
- Shipping & Delivery: This section is crucial for businesses selling physical products. Here you need to choose where you can ship & how much you charge for shipping. You can also integrate with external shipping carriers & fulfillment services available in your region.
- Taxes: In this section, you need to set up how your store calculates taxes & charges from customers. If you don’t understand the taxation process, it is highly recommended to consult a tax expert before setting up this section.
Step 8: Add your Domain for your website.
If you haven’t bought a domain for your store, you can purchase it right from Shopify. Go to “Online Store” in the sidebar, select domain, and click on the “Buy Domain” button.
Enter your store name in the search bar & you’ll see a list of all the available domains for that name. If you find the desirable domain, click buy to purchase it, and the domain will automatically connect to your store.
However, if you have already bought a domain from other popular domain registrars, you can connect it with your store by clicking “Connect existing domain”. Next, enter your domain & click Next.
However, if you have bought the domain from GoDaddy, you can connect the domain easily by clicking on “Connect automatically”.
For other domain registrars, you may need to update the DNS manually to connect it to the Shopify server. I highly recommend buying domains from other registrars as it will be easier to migrate to other eCommerce platforms if you ever want to.
Step 9: Install essential Shopify Apps
Finally, once you have added your domain, it’s time to install the essential Shopify Apps you will need to operate and manage your store smoothly.
Some of the types of apps that you may need to add additional functionalities and features to your store are as follows –
- Shopify Apps for SEO
- Shopify Apps for Marketing
- Shopify Apps to Boost Sales
- Shopify Apps for order Management
- Shopify Apps for Customer Service
There are tons of apps available in the Shopify App store for you to choose from. However, to save your time, you should check our list of best apps for new Shopify store to find the best apps you’ll need to start your online store.
Step 10: Get your Shopify store live.
Once everything is configured and ready to launch. Take a moment, ask for feedback from your fellow mates, and optimize the store within the remaining free trial days.
Once you are ready to launch the store for your customers, pick a Shopify plan for your store to get it live.
Don’t worry, your trial period will continue for the remaining days & if you find Shopify not the right fit (which won’t happen) for you, you can cancel the plan before the trial period ends. No charges applied!
If you are a beginner in the eCommerce business, I’ll highly recommend you to pick the “Shopify Basic plan” & try your hand for a couple of months & then upgrade it to higher plans as your business grows.
Ready to Start your Shopify Store?
If you have been following the above steps, then, by now, you should have launched your Shopify store, or it is probably ready to go live.
However, the journey doesn’t stop here. In fact, the hustle of building an eCommerce business and growing it starts from here onwards.
Once your Shopify store is live, you need to market the store among your target consumers on various channels, including social media, email marketing, and search engine.
So, to help you with it, here are a few hand-picked articles that you might want to read next –
We hope this guide helped you set up your Shopify store and gives you an overview of how to grow it successfully. if you have any questions regarding this, feel free to tweet us @ecomsutra or contact us via the contact page. We will be happy to help you 🙂