Step-by-step guide on how to set up a Shopify store
In this article, you’ll learn Step-by-Step how to set up a Shopify Store. Covering all the basics to starting an eCommerce site that utilizing Shopify. I want to make this guide simple and to get your new Shopify business up and running in no time (this can be done in less than an hour!).
When I think about the first time I launched a store two years ago, it took me months to actually go live. I hope to make this process simple enough to have you building a Shopify store and going live, quick.
Let’s get started on how to set up a Shopify store!
There is a reason Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms on the market at the moment. That reason? Simplicity. Starting an eCommerce site has never been so easy. Within an hour you are able to have a fully functioning online business.
If you are worried about coding; don’t be!
I know if you asked me to go and code you a site for eCommerce, I would laugh and then head directly to Shopify. I know almost zero code (but due to my time with Shopify, I have learned some of their backend code) and still was able to launch a store!
Ok, ok, enough of my talking here is what you came for;
How to Set Up a Shopify Store (in less than an hour)
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify
Head on over to the Shopify Website, and click on the Get Started button. You can get started with a 14 Day free trial 🙂
Put in your desired email address that you want to use for this store, password and store name.
Not sure on a Business Name? Shopify created a pretty cool tool known as the Business Name Generator to help you with that! Just put in a keyword or two and it will auto populate with ideas and domains that you can purchase, easily.
PRO TIP: Just create a new email strictly for this site. If you down the line want to sell this store to someone for whatever reason, it will make your life easier. Plus it’s free to make a new email on gmail!
From there you’ll be asked if you are a brick and mortar store or an online store. Yup, there are brick and mortar stores utilizing the power of Shopify, however; I’ll stick to online store setup in this post.
Fill in your info!
Yup, just like any other service. Shopify will need your personal information. This also will assist Shopify with defaulting your currencies and tax rates right out of the gate for you!
You’ll then be asked by Shopify to talk about yourself! Wohoo, it’s all about me section! Specify how much you plan to sell and if you’re already selling.
Click on the Enter My Store button when complete!
Step 2: Create a Product
Congratulations! You now have your own Shopify store and are one step closer to selling your own products online!
But, we need products to sell online, right?
Creating a product first will help you understand what is included in regards to collections, vendors, tagging pricing and, more that will also be important when setting up your store.
So let’s set up and create your first product. This can even be a test product to just help you understand it all!
Click on the Products tab that you will see on the left hand navigation menu. Once you are in the product page, fill in the details like a title, description, price and vendor.
Feel free to complete however much of the product page you’d like. All of these variables are what make up a product. At the end, make sure you save the product (or it will be lost forever!).
Set up collections (group of products)
While we are here, let’s set up a collection.
Collections help group your products together.
So if you sell yoga gear. You can group together all your yoga mats in a singular collection. Your yoga pants in another collection and, your yoga socks in another. Got it? Great.
Not only do collections help you organize your products, collections also help organize how you show your products to your customers. Collections are normally shown on the homepage and in the navigational bar.
Two types of collections;
When adding a new collection there are two ways to add products to your collection.
– Manually – Add and remove products on your own and individually within a collection
– Automatically – You can set up conditions to automatically include products that meet those conditions. These conditions are found on the product page normally. Such as price, what tags you use on the product, vendor, type, etc.
Example condition for automatically adding products to my Yoga Socks Collection; Product tag is equal to yoga_socks
What that means above is, every product that has the tag “yoga_socks” added to it, will be added automatically to the Yoga Socks Collection that I made.
Make sense? If not, comment or message me with questions!
Step 3: Time to choose a Shopify theme and start customizing. Let’s get the right side of your brain going here and get creative!
The fun part! Picking a theme and then customizing it! Shopify comes with a fully loaded theme store that guarantees to bring you full support from the designers who made it.
Each theme comes with predetermined areas that you can easily customize. Every theme will basically be different. You can take a peak at some of the themes within the theme store, here (LINK).
How to get there;
When looking at your Shopify dashboard, click Online Store then Themes.
You’ll see “Visit Theme Store” at the top right. Select a theme (start with free, there’s tons of great options) upload and activate it.
Once a theme is chosen, go back to your dashboard. Click Online Store and then themes again. Click the button that says “Customize Theme” right under where you clicked “Visit Theme Store” in the step before.
From here, your theme lets you alter a variety of sections on your site (without code!) such as, text, colors, fonts, certain layout features and, more. As you make your changes, Shopify will show you in a live preview on the right hand side.
PRO TIP: Make a duplicate of your published theme. When you want to test new code or alter anything drastic, run it first on your duplicated theme so you do not accidentally ruin your site while your sending ads to it. (Learn from my mistakes)
Step 4: Activate the money maker. Known as your Payment Gateway
Time to activate what you will be collecting payments from on Shopify. They have multiple options for this such as Stripe, Amazon Pay, Paypal, Bitcoin and much more.
But, follow the steps below to get started with Shopify Payments to start!
At the Shopify dashboard head to the last icon on the left “Setting”. From there click on the “Payments” tab.
Now, the first option shown at the top.
Accept Payments -> Shopify Payments click “Edit”. From here enter your personal information that is necessary for Shopify to process orders and accept all major credit cards.
Now that you are done, you are officially able to process orders and payments and put those payments in an account!
Step 5: Get Your New Shopify Store “LIVE”!
The home stretch, people! The final touches to ensure before your site is up, all information is filled out and the tracking for your site is live.
General Page – Taxes – Shipping
Make sure all your business information is filled out on the general page. Click on Settings then General.
Now we want to ensure all the taxes are setup properly on your store.
To ensure you are charging taxes. On each of your products you create, ensure that you check the checkboxes next to Charge taxes and Requires shipping. This is almost always a must if you are selling physical products.
Next, head on over to your “settings” tab on the left hand side. Then “taxes”. Fill in what is required for your personal eCommerce site.
Shipping rates are one of the most complex but crucial aspects of an eCommerce store. All shipping rates are calculated off rules you define at this point. To get to your Shipping rates, head to “settings” then “shipping”. You can create price-based or weight-based shipping rates for regular postage services.
Step 6: The Final Step; Test your order system
Before going live and launching for the world to buy from you, make sure they are actually able to buy from you! What I mean is, test the Shopify payment gateway by using their “test mode”.
To use “test mode”;
- Click settings, then payments
- Click edit under the Shopify payments section
- Click “test mode” and save. Shopify payments will show a black and yellow striped band to help indicate to you that test mode is activated.
- Let’s simulate an order now. Below is the information needed when you are asked for a credit card when checking out.
- Name on card: Enter at least two words.
Expiry date: Enter any date in the future.
CVV: Enter any three digits.
Card number: Use the following numbers:
Another good practice is to see what credit card errors look like for your customers. Try any of the credentials below while in test mode;
- Use credit card number 4000000000000002 to generate a card declined message.
- Use credit card number 4242424242424241 to generate an incorrect number message.
- Use credit card number 4000000000000259 to simulate a disputed transaction.
- Use an invalid expiry month, for example 13, to generate an invalid expiry month message.
- Use an expiry year in the past to generate an invalid expiry year message.
- Use a two-digit CVV number to generate an invalid CVV message.
If all worked well, and you are now satisfied. Ensure to remember to take off “test mode”. Customers will be unable to order if this is still active!
Order a product yourself!
Go through the entire process as if you were a customer. Don’t cheat and change the price. Fork up the money and buy an item and consider it an investment in your brand and eCommerce store.
By doing this, you can check off every aspect of your business. From product to payment. You are able to receive the email flow that a customer would receive. This is vital to see if you are happy with the output that you may or may not have built prior too.
And, in the end, you get one of your products. Which, you can now use for promotional content. Can also take a picture of you with that product and add it to your “About Us” page too for even more trust!
That’s it! You’ve done it! Congratulations!
Within an hour you now have a great looking site with unique filled with fully functioning collections and product pages. All without having to be an HTML or website expert!
Shopify is hands down the easiest way for someone who is not a coder to get involved with eCommerce and selling online. Bringing you complete functionality, minimal coding, fantastic support when needed and, customization of almost any theme.
Any questions, you can always reach out and contact me!
I hope this was helpful!
Thanks for reading and, all the best,
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