Starting an online business? Or Just upgrading an already existing one? Shopify is advantageous for business owners who are interested in creating online stores but lack web design and development skills. With Shopify, business owners can create their online stores immediately without going anywhere or contacting a third party.
What is Shopify?
As an all-in-one e-commerce platform, Shopify does not let you start your website from scratch; it provides you with design, development, and hosting services. It also offers a variety of themes from which you can choose the one you prefer. However, if you need a unique and personalized look for your online store, Shopify theme customization services can help you tailor your website to match your brand’s identity and stand out in the crowded e-commerce landscape.
Unlike WordPress or Wix, Shopify doesn’t provide any free hosting plans. However, you can try it out for free to see how everything is going. If you are satisfied with it and want to upgrade, you can register for free and choose a plan.
With an already existing website or blog along with an online store powered by Shopify, you can add a “Buy” button to any website you have, whether built with WordPress, Wix, or another platform, and it will direct your visitors to your Shopify online store. This implies that while you could manage everything through Shopify, your website would be established on another platform.
Additionally, drop-shipping entails not keeping the merchandise yourself. So, your visitors can shop online at Google or Amazon or on any social media platform. To sign up for Shopify, you should go to shopify.com and access the Start Free Trial page to create an account. Then, you can begin using the website. However, you have to answer some questions similar to those on Wix about your company and needs.
Layout of Your Shopify Business Account
Are you starting a new business? Or are you currently selling online or offline? This is the first question you should answer on Shopify. Selecting which option best describes your situation would be the first step to creating a Shopify-powered website. Your next question would be: Where would you like to sell your products? By answering these questions, Shopify will function.
- Name of Your Store: Shopify will then ask you what your store name is, thus sending you a temporary URL the same as you type. This is merely to get your Shopify setup started. You may leave it as is or change it to a custom domain, which will cost money.
- Location of Your Business: The location of your business will then be requested, along with several other business-related questions. This will assist in establishing default shipping costs, suggesting various programs, and other related things.
- Your Account: The last step is creating your Shopify ID, with which you can log in; you can use your Google account or your email address. As you log in, you can see that the first platform is set up for your business so that you can start using it and adding products.
After the setup has been completed, Shopify will turn you immediately to the dashboard. Then, you will receive a comprehensive setup manual explaining what you must accomplish in detail.
Add your product and brand assets, customise your theme, add the custom domain, and then set up Shopify payments by choosing a strategy before launching your website. If you have more than one store, you can find them all on the dashboard.
On Shopify’s dashboard, you can handle all the orders; you can take phone orders, send invoices via email, and collect money. The orders are divided into drafts—the ones you manually accept—and abandoned checkouts—when customers explore and add items to their carts and do not process the checkout. Any order status can be failed, finished, in progress, or reimbursed.
Shopify dashboard keeps track of whether customers stick with their carts or abandon checkouts. The dashboard then enables you to take actions, such as sending emails to those customers who still have products in their baskets. You may offer them a discount code or prompt them to purchase.
The Products Dashboard includes gift cards, collections, and inventory transfers. All your products will appear in the actual products tab, whether they are in stock or not.
- Inventory transfers: Inventory is the amount of stock you still have on hand, after which there are transfers. Inventory transfers allow you to keep track of the merchandise that is being received from vendors and business locations. You don’t have to use this category, but if you have inbound transfers, it might be helpful.
- Collections: Having categories, this section can enable you to group your products into various collections. You would allocate similar products to a separate page. You may also display specific products on your website, which is why you have a homepage. On top of that, you may have a category just for retail goods and things of that nature.
- Gift Cards: You may also create gift cards. There is also an option that allows clients to purchase gift cards from you.
Everything related to your customers is on the Customers Tab. Shopify will add the customers who have purchased from your store on this tab. You can also add customers manually. Doing so allows you to keep track of customers who have been purchasing from your shop for a while, have made multiple purchases, and have made special orders.
Analytics Tab assists in keeping track of total sales, sessions, number of visitors to your website, and the length of these visits—how long do visitors stay on your website, then? The Returning Customer Rate (RCR) analyses all that traffic for you, which is great because everything is in one location on a large dashboard. Reporting is also possible in live view.
Marketing Tab is more of a reporting feature that allows you to view your top marketing channels and other information using analytics over a specific time. You can also view your sales channels or the web stores on this tab.
This tab allows you to add new blog entries, create pages, change themes, add apps, and more. It also enables you to include additional sales channels, such as Google Sales Channels, Google Shopping, Instagram, or Amazon.
Steps of Selling Your Products on Shopify
So, you have set up your Shopify account and explored its tabs. Now, let’s find out how to sell your products on Shopify. ProfileTree provides you with a step-by-step guide to do so.
1. Add Product Details
The first thing you have to do is to add the details of each product. The product name is the first item you should add, and then its description. The next thing you should consider is the media or the product images. You can include as many images as you like to allow customers to see what they’re purchasing.
2. Add Product Cost
Another thing you need to include is the fees you charge for each product, and then choose whether to add the tax fees to this pricing or not.
You can also include the compare-at price. If a specific product is genuinely on sale, Shopify will show the original price and the sale price to indicate that this product has become more affordable. Therefore, you must ensure that the price you add for the compare-at price is higher than you charge.
The cost per item can then be added, and this is just for you so you’ll know how much it costs you to produce each item and how much profit you’re making; the consumer won’t see this. However, you have the option to include it if you wish.
3. Add Product Quantity
Shopify product quantity is enabled by default. It simply shows whether a product is in stock. So, you must provide the precise quantity of this product if you wish to track the exact number after each purchase. On top of that, you can choose whether to keep selling even when you’re out of stock. You can also keep track of some of your stock goods by including a barcode or a SKU code.
4. Add Product Shipping
If the product is physical, you should include a shipping weight so that you can increase the price per unit if necessary. You should also determine whether the item can be transported overseas.
5. Add Product Variants
Another option in Shopify is Product Variants, which lets you add up to 100 variants. This is helpful if you sell goods available in many sizes and colours. Its importance is that you can charge differently for each variant.
6. Edit Search Engine Listing Preview
The Search Engine Listing Preview is how your website would appear on Google. You should write the meta description that will appear under the page title. What you enter in the description box will immediately fill out the meta description.
Since the meta description wouldn’t be on the website, you should make sure the one you provide is correct and conveys what you want to the user. Shopify is using Google to determine if their listing corresponds to Google’s search engine.
It is possible to designate a product status for the listing, whether active or draft. If it is a draft, the listing won’t be displayed on the store’s homepage, and you can choose which sales channels it should be sent to. If you had more than one sales channel, such as Google or Facebook, the listing would be sent there. You could then choose whether you want to sell through those channels or not later on.
7. Handle Product Organisation
Product Organisation is the only tool that can assist you in arranging your products and organising them into collections with a description and type for each one. You may add products to any collection manually or automatically by just selecting the collection type. These products will be immediately added to a particular collection if they match the type and description.
8. Update The Store
Now, it is time to choose a theme. Shopify automatically installs a particular theme. However, if you scroll down, you can find several other themes where you can choose the one you prefer. Not only do they have free themes, but they also have some premium themes that look amazing.
9. Include Sections
Next, you may choose whether you want pre-designed sections, such as a collection list, a contact form, or a blog post, if you need help in creating your sections. Creating the pages first is crucial so you have something to connect to later. You can add the Contact and About Us pages and edit the already-written portions.
10. Add Brand Asset
Brand assets include elements like your logos and colours. You can add a primary colour, the colour that will show up in your store. You can also utilise complementary colours for fonts and other elements. If you already know the hex colour code, you can use it instead of the colour picker. It is advisable to provide contrasting primary and complementary colours.
11. Set up Your Shipment and Delivery
You should set up all possible delivery methods for users and add your standard shipping and delivery costs for all your products. If you’re shipping overseas and the shipping fees are not applied to some countries, you can update the zone to add or delete any country. If you don’t ship to a specific zone, you can also delete it from the shipping list. To add a rate as the next step, select “Standard International” as it provides information on the cost, travel time, and other things.
You can enter your rates manually or use applications or couriers to do the calculations. However, if you want to set your own tariff, you must provide travel time, which can be a custom flat rate if it’s economy international shipping at 10 to 15 business days.
The product condition is also essential to add, and it depends on the weight of the item. So, keep in mind that while configuring the products, if specific items are going to cost a certain amount, this cost will add up depending on the weight of each product. You should use that to determine how much the shipping will cost. This section will consider the weight of the entire basket’s contents, not just one item.
Some countries are not included in the shipping zones. If you were to enter a shipping zone within these countries, you would receive a message indicating that Shopify doesn’t ship to this address.
There are instances when you may need to set up any shipping or delivery, or you may not offer that service. However, you still want customers to be able to purchase your products and pick them up in person. In this case, you must search for the area on the map. Then, choose the location and offer local pickup from the shop location. You only need to lay out the guidelines and display the regulations at checkout. The shipping is typically ready in 24 hours and generally in two to four days.
You should also include the order locations along with other information, like phone numbers. Bring identification and confirmation email or do whatever else you require before picking up your order.
With the help of Shopify Payments, customers can use debit or credit cards to purchase their orders. PayPal and Amazon are two other accepted payment options. If you click on “Add Payment Methods”, you will see that Shopify offers various payment options. If you want Apple Pay or Mastercard, type in the third-party platform you like, choose it as a payment option, and then follow the setup steps.
13. Decide On A Plan
After adding all your products, your website will be fully configured. The next action you should take is to decide on a plan. Shopify has three different plans: Basic, Shopify, and Advanced. You have the bare minimum features, which you can use once your trial period ends.
Shopify has great features, such as reporting. The reporting has become much more automatic and professional now. You will receive basic, standard, or custom reports in the Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans.
With Shopify, you are also in charge of how many employees are included in your account. If you have numerous staff members who require access to the website, you can have up to 15 distinct logins instead of just one.
You can select the best plan according to your required employees and your entire business needs. You can start with the Basic plan and then, if necessary, upgrade to the Advanced or Shopify plans.
Select the plan you desire and follow the checkout procedures. You have the option of receiving monthly or yearly bills. In both cases, you will receive the first three months for only $1. If you pay yearly, you will also save 25%.
14. Insert A Domain
You can purchase a unique domain name via Shopify. Go for a domain that is offered through Shopify and is user-friendly. Alternatively, you can continue using the one that Shopify initially provided. If you already own a domain you purchased from GoDaddy, Namecheap, or 123Reg, you can also link it to your Shopify account.
15. Grant Permissions for Users
With the Basic plan, you can only add two employees by default: the store owner and two other employees. This will let users other than you change your website and add new products. Just add their first names, last names, and email addresses and then configure their permissions. You can grant them full access, limited access, or access to online stores. To make your site safer and easier to grant access to, you may control which users can use and work on.
16. Transfer Ownership
If you ever need to change the account you created for Shopify, you can transfer ownership to a different account. You can also personalise the order ID format by adding a prefix or a suffix. Shopify gives you flexibility in showing your website to visitors.
17. Add a Tab for Alerts
Messages like order confirmation will be provided in the Alerts tab. If a customer wants to cancel an order after placing it, s/he will receive a message with the order cancellation and refund. As a business owner, you can choose whether to allow any notifications to be delivered to the customer.
Challenges of selling products on Shopify
While Shopify is a great platform for selling products online, there are some challenges that you should be aware of:
- Competition: The e-commerce space is very competitive, and there are many other Shopify merchants selling similar products. It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and attract customers.
- Marketing: Once you have created your Shopify store, you need to market it so that people know about it. This can be expensive and time-consuming, especially if you are new to e-commerce.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): In order to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to optimize your Shopify store for SEO. This involves things like using relevant keywords in your product descriptions and titles, and building backlinks to your store. SEO can be complex and time-consuming, especially if you are not familiar with it.
- Shipping and fulfillment: Shipping and fulfillment can be a challenge for Shopify merchants, especially if you are selling physical products. You need to find a shipping carrier that offers competitive rates and reliable service. You also need to decide whether to fulfill orders yourself or outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
- Customer service: Providing excellent customer service is essential for any online business, but it can be challenging for Shopify merchants. You need to be responsive to customer inquiries and resolve any problems quickly and efficiently.
Here are some tips for overcoming these challenges:
- To stand out from the competition, focus on offering unique products and excellent customer service. You should also make sure that your Shopify store is well-designed and easy to navigate.
- To market your Shopify store effectively, you need to create a marketing plan and budget. You can use a variety of marketing channels, such as social media, paid advertising, and email marketing.
- To improve your SEO, you should conduct keyword research and optimize your Shopify store for those keywords. You can also build backlinks to your store by submitting your website to directories and writing guest blog posts.
- To streamline shipping and fulfillment, you should find a shipping carrier that offers competitive rates and reliable service. You may also want to consider outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL provider.
- To provide excellent customer service, you need to be responsive to customer inquiries and resolve any problems quickly and efficiently. You can use a variety of tools to improve your customer service, such as a live chat feature and a help desk system.
Selling products on Shopify can be challenging, but it is also very rewarding. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success.
This article generally covers the fundamentals of setting up a website on Shopify. Unlike Wix, you receive a three-day trial during which you can upgrade or downgrade your subscription. You can employ a variety of their expert templates. While you may have little flexibility, you have enough to ensure the website looks perfect and displays the products in the desired location.
Shopify and other online stores have several connectors with various third-party applications. So, you don’t have to limit yourself to using online stores as a sales channel. You can use Instagram or other applications as sales platforms.