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How-to-Start-an-Online-Store-with-Shopify-Ecommerce-Platform---Beginner-TutorialHow-to-Start-an-Online-Store-with-Shopify-Ecommerce-Platform-Beginner-Tutorial

Shopify is one of the most fantastic way to build an online store on your own. It is a no-brainer solution for those who want to make some extra money or make an ecommerce business as the full time job. Either way, you can’t go wrong by using the Shopify since it is the fastest way to get online and start doing ecommerce business without any complicated manners.

In fact, it won’t take days to start an online store. Well, no, it won’t even take hours. If you have a decent internet connection and PC or laptop, it will only take 15 minutes or so to get the job done. Then you can add your products and publish your site.

Perhaps you need more time to tweak your online store. But 15 minutes are the fastest way to make your store ready. We will tell you how to build your incredible store by using Shopify. Our shopify tutorial is useful for both beginner and advanced users.

If you have heard about Shopify but are in the middle between using it or not, you need to know the reasons why you should use Shopify.

Shopify has helped thousands store owners out there to build their website in easy way. If you are like most store owners, you don’t want to waste your time and resources to build the website the complicated ways.

Shopify has the series of advantages that make it as a great choice for any business owner regardless their experience in online business.

First and the foremost benefit of Shopify is that it is very easy and straightforward to use. When you log in to the admin interface, you will not hardly set it up. Shopify has a clear, intuitive, and straightforward admin interface. Even the regular internet users can easily set up and use the Shopify in no time.

It is indeed the advantage for those who have just started an online business and have no idea how to build an eCommerce store. It is easy in both ways. The businesses will easily set it up, customers are also using the site without any hassle.

Not to mention that the customer support is available from the marketers, developers, as well as designers. They are ready to help you with your site.

The team at Shopify is ready to help you around the clock. The Shopify community consists of talented people like developers and designers. They keep adding interesting content that you can find on the Shopify Blogs and resources. Not only that you start an online store, you will also learn how to promote your brand, and grow your business.

The basis Shopify system is affordable. The rate is friendly for startups or new businesses, when compared to other hefty software and tools. Shopify also have the advanced add-ons that are also affordable to use.

From the beginning of the establishment, the team of Shopify committed to the main objective of the tool, the online sales optimization. It has evolved so that you can see such powerful tool right now. It comes with ample support and best premises for SEO, social media marketing, conversion tracking, payment processing, and many more. The third party add-ons will keep the businesses up and running with the help of Shopify.

When you start an ecommerce store, you know that it is important to keep everything within the budget. Shopify offers low monthly costs that won’t burden your business bank roll. That means you can stay focus on your business establishment and brand awareness while Shopify do the hard job for you.

Also you may refer our " Shopify Online eCommerce Store Review" articles as well.  So now let's learn about the process of starting and running your own shopify store.

Build a Shopify Online Store ( Step by step Process )

There is a beginning for every premise. Here we’d like to tell you how you can start an online store.

1. Sign Up with Shopify Free

Just like any other website builder, you will need to sign up with Shopify first by adding your details. Shopify comes with 14-days free trial to give you the opportunity to try the features. Once you’ve decided to upgrade, you are going to use your current credentials to enjoy the advanced features.

Visit Shopify.com to signup free using below link.

Then click on " Start Free Trial" button on top right corner of the shopify website. You will get a pop up window with a registration form as follows ;

Enter your email address, password, your store name and then click “Create Your Store Now” button.

Make sure you’ve found your store name ( remember to use a unique name ) so that you won’t have any difficulty to finish the form like the image above. Then, you will be redirected to a page similar to below screenshot ( it may take about 15 seconds to 60 seconds ).

Shopify - Tell Us little about your self

You can fill the details accordingly or do as below way to speed up the process.

If you want to check the features and try Shopify, you could select “I’m just playing around” in the “Are you ready selling ?” dropdown menu ( Yu will get some tick boxes, just leave them unticked ) and you could choose “$0(I'am just getting started )” in the “What is your current revenue ?” drop down menu.

Just keep "Yes, I'am desiging / developing a store for a client" unticked

Then click “I’m done”.

Then, you will be redirected to the next page in which you need to add details including your real name, address, the country you are living, and a contact number etc.

shopify - Address

Then, click "Enter My Store"

2. Your Shopify Store Backend / Admin Dashboard

After signing up, the thing will get more interesting. You will be directed to the store admin dashboard ( this may take 15seconds to a couple of minutes ). If you have been familiar with WordPress or similar backends, it will take seconds to master the interface !. Now, you are literally ready to build your store, upload your products, set your payment up and shipping. Well, you are ready to make your online store live!

The home admin screen will welcome you with hints to give you information you need to get your store up and running.

shopify - Dashboard

3. Choose Your Theme or Layout ( Website Design ! )

Note : This is an optional stage. You can skip to stage 4, if you wish to use the default theme ( which is a nice theme too !)

The official themes of Shopify are fantastic. Not only looking great, but these are optimized by the great team of designers and developers. Shopify themes come with ample support that you could use when you need helps if the documentation is not enough.
All official themes come with flexibility so that you can modify it by hovering and clicking your mouses. You won’t modify the code or so since everything is already there. Shopify also offer premium themes for more modifications. However, even with the basic themes, you will make such a great online store.

Shopify even has the creative design agencies which are called as “Shopify Experts” who are ready to help you to customize the site in term of accessing the HTML and the CSS of the site.

So, choosing the themes can be done in these simple steps.

3a) Browsing the shopify themes

Visit the Shopify Theme Store at themes.shopify.com. Make sure you log into your Shopify account. There are hundreds official Shopify themes that you can choose,both premium and free.

If you, by chance, only want to browse the free themes, you can filter it based on paid or free ( Use Search bar link on top right ! ). You can also search the themes based on their price, popularity, features, as well as the date of launch.

3b) Read the description and reviews

Every theme has the description on the preview page. You will want to find more information about the theme you are looking at. Click on the sample images as well to give you idea about it. You probably want to find the other pivotal information as well, such as whether the themes are compatible with all devices or not. But you don’t have to worry. Most of the Shopify themes are mobile-ready. So, whatever theme you choose, the mobile users will also be able to access your website.

3c) View the theme’s demonstration

The next thing to do is to preview the theme. You can do it by clicking the “View Demo”. Some themes come with different styles and colors. you could choose the range of styles by clicking on the options.

shopify - Free and Paid Themes Details

3d) Picking the theme

When you find your favorite theme, click the " Add theme " blue colour button on the page.

shopify - Add Theme

Once installed, you will get a success message as below screenshot.

shopify - Theme Added Success Message

Then scroll down a bit ( or Click on Online Store > Themes from left-hand side menu ). From "Action " drop-down menu Choose "Publish".

Then you will need to apply it by clicking “Publish As my Shop’s Theme”. once the theme is installed, you will be able to set it up or choose options through “Go to Your Theme Manager”.

shopify - Theme Activated

Then you will get a popup window. Choose "Publish"  from it ! That's it !

3e) Shopify Theme settings

Most of the Shopify themes give all the users freedom to change the appearance of the store. That means you will make sure that your site is standing out of the crowd. You won’t end up finding the clone sites with the same themes.

In the Shopify Admin page, you could choose “Themes” from the left sub navigation menu ( Under "Online Store") .From there, you are able to do some basic changes.

One noticeable feature is the duplication of the theme ( Action > Duplicate ) You will be able to make a clone of the theme. It is suggested if you make few changes that you don’t like with the new theme, you can delete the duplicate and get back to the previous one. So, there will be no regret.

The other button signify “Customize" ” theme. when you choose it, you will be able to control all the basic functions of your store. Since it is your store now, you have the freedom to try all the features !

You can change your color schemes as well.

The features that you can change with most include:

● Upload logos
● Upload slides images
● Add item function to product pages
● Choose the number of items appearing on each line of collection pages
● Font setting
● Color setting

Each theme has different features that you can enjoy. Some allow you to add social sharing button like Facebook Share, Twitter Retweet, and so on. Some themes allow you to reposition the product image on the center, left, or right. Keep exploring and trying to find out which theme works for you best.

shopify - Theme Customization

4. Add your products to your online store

Choose “Products” from left hand side menu. Then you will get a page like below screenshot. Choose "Add Product"

shopify - Add Product

Then the following screen will allow you to add the title, description and the details of your products.

shopify - Add Product Details

Make sure you add as many details as you can to optimize your product visibility. Completing the details will help it with the SEO ( Search Engine Optimization, You can refer SeMrush Seo Keyword Tool to learn more about seo and keyword seo techniques ). So, don’t miss to do the name, description, and URL accordingly.

You can also upload the product pictures. Multiple images can be uploaded and you can arrange them later. Make sure the quality of the photos is great. It is great idea to keep your images in the same dimensions to make your store look neat and tidy. You could use free online service to edit the batch of your product images, then start adding the edited images to the Shopify later.

When you finish, click the “Save Product” button

5. Collections Configuration ( Groups for your Products )

Collections are the groups of products. Collection feature is very important to help your customers browse around your products. For instance, the collections can collect the products based on:

  • The category ( e.g. : clothes specifically for children, etc)
  • Items of different type
  • Items on flash sale, bundles, or other form of promotion
  • Items in different colors and sizes
  • Trending items

Collections are flexible. A single product can appear in different of collections, as you desire. The collections will appear on your store’s homepage and navigation bar. The collections are the shortcut that help customers find what they’re looking for without checking your whole catalog.

You can create Collections by going to " Products " > " Collections ". Then click "Create Collections". You can then fill the details accordingly based on your preferred grouping ( You may refer sites like Amazon Store or Aliexpress to get some basic idea when grouping products ).

shopify - Collections / Grouping

You can set your collections manually or automatically, depending on what works best for you.

Manually - You will manually add and remove the products in the manual collection ( best for beginners for Shopify )

Automatically - All you need to do is to set up certain conditions and let the system categorize the products that meet the conditions you’ve set earlier.

6. Shopify Payment gateways

Payment gateways are where your customers are able to make a payment for their orders ( So allows you to take payment from your customers via your website ! ). Payment gateways come from different providers. Before picking one, you'll want to learn more about them. Is it supported by your country ?, what features they offer ?, Compare the prices, and the commission rate. Then pick the one which is more suitable.

Not all payment gateways are created equal. Consider few aspects below before picking one

6a) The fees

Payment gateways will come with some fees. Some gateways use percentage fee, and some use flat fee. And some gateways even use the combination of those. You can use their service with that fee system. The good thing here is that some gateways only charge you when your customers make a purchase. So, you won’t be burdened with monthly payment or so. Compare these different options before choosing one payment gateway.

6b) The payment methods

You need to fetch the information about payment methods ( eg What type of card types accepted ?) that are accepted in that payment gateway. The most general card payment types are VISA, Mastercard and American Express. While Some account to account type payments are Paypal and Skrill.

The payment gateway transaction fees will be added on top of Shopify’s transactions fees. You can save extra costs if you join with the Shopify plan.

If you have thousands of transactions each month, you may want to consider upgrading your membership to take the benefits.

6c ) Popular Payment Gateways supported by Shopify

You can use a single or multiple gateways to accept payments online. Below for some of the popular gateways supported by Shopify.

i) Shopify Payment Gateway 

Shopify-Payments-powered-by-stripe

This is the best gateway to start selling instantly ( So no need to worry about any third party gateway ). United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Cannada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore are Supported.

More about Supported Countries and Activities

ii) Paypal Payment Gateway for Shopify 

paypal for shopify

A popular gateway. You can use the gateway, if you are residing in a country supported by Paypal to receive payments.

iii) 2Checkout Gateway for Shopify 

2checkout for shopify

Well if you are unable to accept payments via Shopify Gateway and/or Paypal. then 2checkout is the ideal gateway for you.

iv) Skrill Gateway for Shopify 

skrill for shopify

Well if you are unable to accept payments via Shopify Gateway and/or Paypal. Then this would be an ideal solution ( Still less number of countries are supported by Shopify System for this method )

6d ) How to enable a payment gateway in Shopify

Go to " Settings " > " Payment Providers "

Shopify - gateway enabling method

Then you will get a page as below one

Shopify - gateway enabling method stage 2

You can change the gateway using " Change Provider " link on right-hand side. Optionally you can configure paypal, Alternative Gateways and Manual gateways ( Cash on Delivery, Bank Deposit, Money Order ) in Shopify accordingly.

7. Taxes and Shipping Details

In this section, you are going to learn about tax and shipping details configuration.

7a) General

Go to Settings > General

You can update Store Details, Store address, Standards/ formats and Store currency details accordingly in this section ( Always better to double check all these details before launching ! ).

7b) Tax Rates

Go to Settings > Taxes

You can enable or disable tax features such as "All taxes are included in my prices" and "Charge taxes on shipping rates (US shipping taxes automatically calculated)"

Then to set Taxes for each product you need to do the following.

Go to Products link and choose your product. Then tick "Charge taxes on this product" under pricing section.  Then tick  "This is a physical product" ( for digital products, latter is not required ) and mention the weight as well.

7c) Shipping Rates

Go to Settings > Shipping

You can update the Shipping Address in this section ( Use "Edit Address" link on top right ).

Shipping rates hold a very important role in your sales. If you don’t give wide options, your customers might skip your online store.

You can update existing shipping details based on geo locations and also add different rates based on geo zones using  "Add shipping zone" button.

Packages, Additional shipping methods, Dropshipping and fulfillment services can also be updated accordingly using this section.

8. Test Order before launching

You can do the test by 2 ways: the bogus order test, and the real order test.

Bogus Order - Method 1

You can do the order testing before your customers use the transaction and so make sure that your order system works well. You can do this by using ( for testing )Shopify Bogus Gateway

Got Settings > Payment Providers. Then click on "Change provider". You will get a popup window.

Shopify -Bogus gateway Testing Order

Choose "(for testing) Bogus Gateway" from "Third Party credit card provider" section. Click "Continue" and finally click "Activate". ( Remember that this is a free test gateway, you won't get charged when making the payment online ! ).

The next thing you’d do is just pretend like you are a buyer and place the order as you usually do in any e-commerce site. At the checkout, consider enter the bogus credit card details instead of the genuine ones.

Live Order - Method 2

You can also test the payment gateway with real order.

First things first, you will want to set up the payment gateway that you are about to test ( Paypal, 2Checkout or Skrill etc..).

Then you could make a purchase as a customer and finish the checkout using your genuine credit card information.

After doing this, you will want to cross check with the payment gateway provider to make sure that the payment was successful. ( Make sure to issue a refund as soon as the payment is successful )

9. Setup Domain to go live!

Of course, you will need a domain name to publish your site. You can do this in two ways:

1) Purchasing the domain from Shopify ( Easiest and fastest method ) or

2) Purchase from third-party low-cost domain provider

If time and resources are your concern, you could buy the domain from Shopify ( Go to the backend, Click on "Online Store" > "Domain". Then click on "Buy New domain" and make the purchase accordingly ). This will save yourself from all the hassles.

Shopify - Add Domain

Your second option is to purchase from the third party site like Namecheap or Namesilo or any domain registrar. The top-tier domains ( .com, .info, .net etc.. ) typically cost $9 to $16 USD per year.

Make sure you come up with a great domain name.

Presuming that you’ve managed with the name of your domain, you could proceed.

Here is how you can make your online store live using third-party domain name.

Go to your Shopify admin page. Find Online Store, and then click on Domains. Then click on "Connect existing domain" and fill your domain details accordingly

Add your domain name then click the “Add an existing domain” button.

Set the DNS ( third party domain )

  • Login to your domain registrar and set the DNS by:
  • Replacing @ or main A record with the IP address for Shopify: 23.227.38.32
  • Add or replace the www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com, that is your store Shopify Link without the http.

You can learn more about the dns configuration process by referring " Shopify instructions here" ( Optionally you can contact your domain provider and they will assist you in getting this sorted out easily ! )

Finally,  You will need to remove storefront passwords so that your customers will be able to access your site when it is live.

( Go to "Online Store" > "Preferences" > Untick "Enable Password". Then click Save.)

Traffic redirection to the new domain

Go to "Online Store" >  "Domains". Then using "Enable redirection" link redirect all traffic to your primary domain.

Verdict

There you have it !

By following the tips above, you will have your website live in about 15 - 30 minutes. And your e-commerce site is done by yourself, without website expertise ( Save developers costs and use that for marketing activities !). The next thing you will do is to keep adding your products and promoting your online shop.

If you think our shopify tutorial is useful, share this with your friend or someone who wants to build a store using Shopify.

Have a nice day and Good luck !

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