Shopify is one of the top five ecommerce platforms with more than two billion active users from all over the world. Thanks to its intuitive user interface, powerful tools, and affordability, businesses of all sizes can easily set up and launch a successful online store.
In this article, we will go through a simple but detailed ten-step Shopify guide to show you how to set up and launch your Shopify store.
Ready? Let’s dive right into ten solid steps to launching a successful Shopify store:
The journey all begins with signing up on Shopify. To do this, simply visit the website and click on Start Free Trial. The best part is, you don’t need credit card details to start the trial. You can set up your store and explore the product for three days.
However, before starting your free trial, you will need to answer a few questions.
For one, you will need to choose a name for your store/URL. You can also choose to buy a domain from Shopify.
Answer the questions to finish the store creation, and your store is ready for customization!
There are three major Shopify Plans you can choose from:
For each of these plans, you can start a 3-day free trial, after which you will get your first three months at $1 per month.
Once you sign up, you will get to your admin panel where you can set up your store, manage products, manage orders, access analytics, and much more.
Now you can begin setting up your store.
Choosing a suitable theme is essential to the success of your Shopify store. In fact, your theme can affect your conversion rate and sales. You can change your Shopify store theme, however, this is a task you want to avoid. To choose a theme, you will need to consider a few factors. Ensure your theme is tried and tested. Preferably, you can choose a theme that comes with technical support. You also want to consider load times, mobile-friendliness, your brand, budget, and so on.
Next, you want to set up the main pages on your Shopify store. These pages include your Homepage, About Us, Return and Shipping Policies, Terms and conditions, etc.
You want to ensure that each of these pages provides enough information about your brand, is clearly written, and inspires your visitors and customers to take action.
For example, your homepage is the first point of contact. You want to create an excellent first impression. Your homepage should be designed with tact and should inspire customers to stay in your store.
Your shipping and returns policies should also be crystal clear to prevent customer disputes.
After creating your main pages, you need to invest in giving your store an overall professional look. Your store should look and be high-quality.
First, you want to focus on your branding. Decide on your brand colors and logo. Keep in mind that your branding will be a powerful communication tool.
Your customers will feel a certain way about your store based on your branding.
To provide a safe shopping environment and build trust around your brand, invest in security. Display security credentials like SSL certificates, refund badges, verified payment options, and so on.
Lastly, ensure your Shopify store is functional. There should be no misplaced elements or crowded visuals. Your store should also have a fast load time.
Collection pages host a group of items that may have common features or go well together. You want to create your collection pages based on what your customers are searching for when they visit your store. You can display your collection page on your homepage or your navigation bar.
On Shopify, you can manually add and remove products within the collection or automatically set conditions that include products in the collection.
Some collection page examples include seasonal products, best-selling products, items based on a category or product size, etc.
Product pages are individual pages created for each product in your store. To optimize conversions and increase sales, you need to ensure that your product pages include certain important elements.
Your product page should include a product name, product images, product description, shipping, and returns policies, social proof (customer reviews), add to cart button, FAQ section, or question and answer section.
To add products to your Shopify store, go to Product on your Shopify dashboard and select Add Your Products.
Add product details including the product title, image, and product description. Ensure your product images are of high quality and maintain consistent sizes and dimensions. Don’t forget to optimize your product page for SEO using relevant keywords and links.
Once done with your product page, click the “Save product” button.
For smooth payment and delivery of orders, you need to set up your payment and shipping.
To accept payments, you need to choose a payment gateway to process payments made in your store.
Thankfully, Shopify works with over a hundred payment gateways including PayPal and Stripe.
Shopify also has its own payment gateway - Shopify Payments which allows merchants to carry out payment transactions free of transaction fees. However, Shopify Payments is only accessible in certain countries.
To activate a payment gateway on your store, go to Settings > Payments on your Shopify dashboard and follow the prompts.
To set up your shipping rates, go to Settings > Shipping and Delivery on your Shopify dashboard. There, you will be able to choose your preferred shipping rate. You can choose between flat shipping rates, calculated shipping rates, shipping rates based on product weight or price, free shipping rates, or local pickup and delivery.
You can choose any type of shipping option based on the type of product you are selling, the cost of packaging, and customer location, amongst other factors. You can always adjust your shipping rates and rules.
Tip: Free shipping is a powerful strategy for success on Shopify. You can offer free shipping on orders that exceed a certain amount or offer free shipping with loyalty programs.
Now your store is all set up and you’re ready to launch. But before you launch, go through this Shopify checklist to ensure everything is all set.
Once done with pre-launch checks, you can launch your store! To launch, remove the password protection by going to Online Store > Preferences and scrolling down to the password protection section. And that’s it, your store is live!
The action all begins when your store goes live. Promoting your store is crucial to making your store visible to customers, and increasing website traffic and conversion rate.
One of the quickest ways is through paid advertising. You can run paid ads to increase visibility and gain traction.
Email marketing is another powerful way to build a relationship with your customers and promote your store. Create an effective email strategy and create email campaigns.
Social media is another way to connect with and reach a wider audience, build an online community, and increase customer loyalty. You can also collaborate with influencers and industry experts to get the word out about your product or brand.
Socialppowerfully bump your store’s value. As your store gets visibility and customers buy your product, encourage them to leave reviews on your page.
You can set up post-purchase email campaigns and encourage your customers to leave a review on your page. You can run campaigns using existing social proof and encourage your customers to share their experience using your product. This is an effective way to attract more customers to your store.
Shopify offers several customer review apps you can invest in to automate the process.
Overall, you want to create a memorable shopping experience for every customer that lands on your Shopify store.
Ensure that your product quality is great. Poor products can attract negative reviews and affect your brand. You want to work with good manufacturers or suppliers.
Ensure your store performance is at its peak. You may want to hire a developer to fix any issues that may affect your store’s functionality.
Ensure your shipping and customer service is top-notch. Work with a good shipping company and ensure you respond to customer questions and complaints promptly.
With Shopify, you can have access to an array of features and tools that make launching and running an online store easy. Go through each step listed above to launch a working online store.
Keep in mind that success in your online store involves continuous planning and improvements.