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Shopify Resources

The Ultimate Shopify Guide,
to Set-up Your Online Store

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Having your own Shopify store is a fantastic way to establish your brand and get your products in front of customers.

Building a new website does come with a few challenges. There are a lot of things that need to be done to get your business up and running, from shipping and order processing to website development and marketing.

Luckily, Shopify has built a platform that can help assist business owners with each area of their business.

Shopify is an online platform that allows you to create and sell products. It’s a simple way to get your store up and running, and it comes with a variety of useful features that can help you grow your business.

Here are a few reasons why I love Shopify:
• Shopify’s software allows you to create, ship, receive and manage online orders
• Shopify’s platform supports businesses, big or small
• You are able to sell both physical and digital products
• It requires little website maintenance (monthly updates)
• Their statistics allow you to see what is working and what is not, which is extremely vital information for any business
• Shopify’s cloud-hosted platform that is secure and provides 24/7 customer support

1. Purchase A Domain For Your New Shopify Website

Website addresses are known as domain names. They’re the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) that inform your browser where to go you on the internet. The string of characters at the beginning of a URL that tells the browser which website to visit is known as a domain name.

The domain name for Shopify, for example, is “shopify.com.”

You will need a domain name to set up your Shopify website. You can buy one straight from Shopify, or some other options would be GoDaaddy, Name Cheap and Host Gator.

One of the advantages of Shopify’s platform is that you only have to worry about purchasing a domain name. Shopify’s cloud-based platform will host your website, and hosting is included in Shopify’s monthly plan pricing.

2. Decide On A Shopify Plan

The wonderful thing about Shopify is that you can try it out for 14-days to see whether you like it before committing to one of their plans.

You can get a free trial here (this article has a Shopify affiliate link, which I’d like if you used if you found this Shopify guide helpful!) Shopify helps retailers at every level of their growth. As your business grows, the Shopify plan can grow with you. 

Screenshoot of the Shopify 14-day free trial

3. Know How To Use The Shopify Dashboard

Screenshot of Shopify's store dashboard

The Shopify Dashboard is a where you can manage all aspects of your e-commerce site. It’s the one-stop shop for viewing your whole sales history, managing your inventory, and tracking your marketing activities.

You can receive a quick summary of your sales statistics and make more informed decisions about how to build your online business by using the Shopify Dashboard.

Shopify has written an amazing guide to get started, click here to view it.

4. Select A Shopify Theme That Is Appropriate For Your Business

Screenshoot of Shopify's themes

Shopify offers both paid and free themes, which you may browse by clicking here.

You can sort Shopify themes by catalog size, if you’re selling in person, selling overseas, industries, pricing, and most popular in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

It can be difficult to choose a Shopify theme because there are so many to choose from.

The following are some questions to consider when choosing a Shopify theme:
• Does this theme have features that I’d like to see in my online store?
• What is the ideal layout for my website?
• Will this theme allow me to display my products in the way that I would like?
• Will this theme help my website stand out in a sea of similar sites?
• Do I like the complete website design, not just the homepage? (For example, the about page, contact page, product page, and so on.)

Liquid is the coding language used to create the Shopify themes. However, if you have some HTML CSS, or Liquid coding skills, you can go a long way in customizing your online store!

5. Make Sure You Duplicate Your Shopify Theme Before Customizing It

I’d suggest duplicating your Shopify theme once you’ve decided on it. This will ensure that you have a backup copy in case something goes wrong in the future.

I know from personal experience that I am always saving my work. I will generally save a copy of my website each time I am making updates to it.

And as a pro suggestion, I would recommend that you do the same! Building a website can be a difficult task, and you don’t want to make a single mistake that sends you back to square one.

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6. Add Your Products

Screenshoot to add a product in Shopify

It’s now time to start uploading your products! This guide covers all you need to know about adding, duplicating, deleting, and altering products in great detail.

A few best practices to keep in mind are:
• Compress your photographs to avoid long load times
• Create ALT Tags for each photo are a few excellent practices to remember
• Photos should have the same pixel size and dimensions, so that someone who is blind can tell what they are looking at.
• For each description, include as much detail as possible. This ensures that no inquiry goes unanswered. For example, I appreciate it when brands include a size chart or specify the model’s size in their pictures.
• Have your product pages optimized for SEO

7. Add Additional Pages

Every Shopify store should have an:
▪ About Page
▪ FAQ Page
▪ Product Page(s)
▪ Blog Section
▪ Returns & Policy Page (generally located in the footer)
▪ Contact Page

The number of additional pages you need will be determined by your businesses needs and your websites goals.

If you’ve ever purchased on a website other than Amazon, you’ve probably noticed that how a product is presented and interacted with has a significant impact on whether or not a customer purchase’s a product.

That is why branding and brand positioning play such a large role for website conversions.

The great thing about websites is that they can be expanded over time. As your business grows, your Shopify website can grow as well.

8. Set-up Your Shopify Navigation

Screenshot of how to set-up navigation on Shopify

Navigation is one of the most important parts of any Shopify store.

The navigation on Shopify is designed to help you in exploring your store, finding products and information, as well as exploring other areas of the site.

Your online store’s navigation will be in the header and footer. You’ll want to add links to your navigation and shopping cart from the pages you’ve developed.

9. Make Sure To Add Your Policy Pages

You see the results of website policy pages when you visit a website or app.

Policy pages explain what a website does, why they do it, and how they plan to achieve an objective(s). Policy pages also provide information on how a business plans to improve their products and services.

It is important to have policy pages added to your Shopify website. You can hire a lawyer to draft them for you, or there are free solutions available, such as Termly.

The policy pages will be located in the footer section of your website.

10. Install Apps From The Shopify App Store

One of my favorite features of Shopify is its app store, which allows you to add incredible functionality without having to pay a lot of money to hire a developer.

The Shopify app store offers both free and paid apps, with prices varying. Visit the Shopify app store by clicking here to learn more!

Screenshot of Shopify's app store

Here are some of my favorite Shopify app’s:
Email Marketing by CM Commerce – for email marketing 
Pop-up Window – for mailing lists and newsletters 
Quizell – for product recommendations 
Send Owl – is a delivery service
Oberlo – for drop shipping platform
▪ Infinite Options – for personalizing products, to fit your stores needs  
Point of Sale – for in person sales 

11. Test Your New Shopify Website, Before You Launch

A customers’ first impression of your business is based on your website.

It’s a great opportunity to tell your story, highlight your products, and build a relationship with your potential customers. The right website can expand your business, generate new revenue, and build a strong online presence.

Before launching your new Shopify website, it is important to make sure that everything is set up properly.

At Brand by Design Studio, we go through a thorough Shopify launch checklist to make sure everything is setup and working properly before we launch a client new website.

Here are a few things that are on our Shopify checklist:
• Double-check that all links are working properly 
• Test to make sure the contact form is receiving emails 
• Review the website on all devices (mobile, tablet, and desktop)
• Test successful and failed transactions
• Verify that refunding and canceling orders are working properly
• Verify that it is set up for fulfilling and partially fulfilling orders
• Verify that the abandon cart is set up

12. Let The Confetti Fly, It's Launch Time!

I’m so proud of you for building your own Shopify store; it’s no small task! So, congratulations!!

When you’re ready to launch your Shopify website, the first thing you should do is think about how you’ll promote it.

This will include establishing a strategy for increasing traffic to your new website, which will in turn attract potential customers. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways.

Here are a few marking ideas for your launch:
• Go to local markets, to promote your brand
• Have giveaways on the day (or week) of the launch
• Share a behind-the-scenes peek on social media
• Promote your products on Pinterest
• Offer new clients a discount code
• Include a free gift with their purchase

Conclusion

Hopefully this Shopify guide showed you the power that Shopify can have for e-commerce businesses.

If you are left with additional questions or would like to set up a free discovery call with our studio, click here.