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Shopify Store Setup Guide

Shopify Store Setup Guide↘

Starting the eCommerce Journey 🛒

When people are first introduced to the world of eCommerce it can be a little overwhelming, but let us give you one piece of advice - don’t worry about asking what you think are 'silly' questions. Think about it logically, when you're just starting with something for the first time, you can’t be expected to know all of the answers straight away.

Just like everything in life, learning something new is like a series of processes so, without asking questions, how can anybody expect to advance towards the finish line? Your knowledge will always be somewhat limited if you shy away from asking others for their opinions and expertise.

Asking questions and simply admitting that you do not have all of the answers is something that only a certain type of person could do. It is these people who are humble enough to understand that there is much more to learn but become wise enough to gain expert knowledge and experience in their craft over time.

So, going back to the realms of eCommerce, no question is too silly or small. You don't know what you don't know until you do. Know what we mean? For those of you who do, we think you’ll find this article very interesting because, in today’s guide, we will be answering some of the questions that you have about setting up a Shopify store:

N0.1: Why Should You Choose Shopify?

Before we delve into our guide for setting up a Shopify store, let’s first answer the question - why should you choose Shopify?

Shopify is a market-leading eCommerce platform that enables merchants to progress from the first sale to full scale. The platform is well equipped with everything that you will need to set up your online store successfully. From POS (Point of Sale), which will help to market your products, to blogging about your brand and the products offered, everything can be obtained and managed within Shopify’s handy admin space.

As a business, we have had the privilege of working within eCommerce for over 5 years so, we can say with some confidence that Shopify is a brilliant platform and is well suited for all levels of merchants. So, if you're just starting or looking to scale up your online business, Shopify can help you there.

Now that you know your eCommerce journey is in safe hands, you will no longer need to look for a new platform when you scale up. Take it from us, you’ve found a great one here in today’s article already and this must be true if Shopify's platform is already trusted by over 800,000 businesses worldwide. So, what are you waiting for?

If you’re concerned about the management of your online business, fear not, because Shopify handles everything from marketing and payments, to secure checkout and shipping. It’s also worth mentioning that it doesn't matter whether you're making £100 or £100,000 per day, Shopify can handle everything for you.

With Shopify, you’ll find a beautiful array of flawless themes that are both responsive and customisable and what's more is that no design skills are needed to implement these themes onto your eCommerce store.

There’s a lot to love about Shopify from a designer and developer perspective, but from the perspective of a merchant, one thing that stands out for us is the control you guys have over the look and feel of your website. From the layout to content and colours, the personalisation is entirely up to you - as it should be.

If that wasn’t enough, pricing starts from as little as $29 per month. So, whether you’re currently selling online, on social media, in-store, or out of the boot of your car, Shopify has your business venture covered.

N0.2: Signing to Shopify

If you’re ready to learn more about signing up for Shopify, let’s dive into this next portion of the article. If you didn’t already know, once you’ve signed up with the platform, every merchant is entitled to a 14 day free trial. Once you have arrived at the corresponding webpage, it should look a little something like the image below:

It should however be considered that Shopify frequently implements updates so, when this webpage is viewed, its appearance may alter slightly.

Once here, you will then be asked to provide/ create a store name. Going forward, this will need to be unique otherwise Shopify will ask you to choose something different. The platform will then ask you for a few additional pieces of information before your store can be set up completely. Details required include; your name, address, country and contact number.

When setting up a Shopify store, the next step is to determine the kind of products that you would like to sell. If you’re not quite sure at the point of signing up, you can select the "I’m Just Playing Around" on the "Do You Have Products?" dropdown menu.

In addition to this, you will also need to select "I’m Not Sure" in the "What Will You Sell?" section before moving forwards. Once you've completed this process, click "I’m Done" and you’ll be ready to choose a theme for your store.

N0.3: Setting Up Your Shopify Store

Once you've completed the signup process you'll be directed to your Shopify store’s admin screen. At this point, you’ll be ready to start customising your store, choosing a theme, uploading products, setting up taxes, payments and shipping information.

Finding A Theme

Finding the perfect theme for your Shopify store can be a daunting task or an exciting one, depending on how you look at it. If you want our advice, we'd suggest enjoying the process.

Shopify helps to make this process clear and simple, as they have more than 100 design templates/ themes available for merchants to customise.

These are just a starting point though, as almost all Shopify approved themes will allow store owners to tweak or amend the layouts, colours and images that will be displayed on the live site once published.

With website themes that support Shopify sections, you'll be able to configure the homepage to the layout you want. Both dragging and dropping sections as well as being able to add/ remove sections to create the layout that works best for your business.

If you fancy a mooch at the Shopify themes currently available for merchants to choose from, click the link provided for further information.

Note:

When browsing the available Shopify themes, store owners can filter the selection to; paid, free, industry or by feature’ Additionally, merchants can also sort themes by popularity, price, alongside the most recent themes added to Shopify's platform.

Previewing A Theme

Once you've found a theme that you like the look of for your Shopify store, click on the theme's thumbnail and you will be taken to the “More Info” page for that specific theme.

All the theme's here will usually have different preset styles that allow users to preview what each of them will look like once in place. If you want to check these out for yourself, click the “Options” tab underneath where it says “3 Styles Included”' and the mini-theme preview will be updated for you.

To preview the whole theme, simply click the “View Demo” button and this will allow you to see how the shop will function. In the main navigation menu, you will also have the option to change the preview from desktop to mobile. Here, you will be able to change the theme style by selecting “Theme Style” from the dropdown menu.

Take it from us, there is no shame in installing a free Shopify theme, as they are all honestly great starting points and for the following example, we are going to be using the Boundless website theme:

Functionality, Reviews and Styles

Before purchasing or installing a Shopify theme, our advice here is to make sure that you check the reviews and functionality sufficiently before committing to anything in particular. All of the themes are Shopify approved. Therefore you should not run into any issues here, but it’s like we always say, it’s better safe than sorry.

To avoid complications, be sure to scroll down and read the reviews about what other retailers using the same theme think about its performance. Alongside this, we would suggest that the theme is thoroughly reviewed in regards to its functionalities. If requirements are not met, but the look of a theme feels right, you can always reach out to a Shopify agency designer or developer to make updates as and when they are required.

Installing A Theme

After you’ve had a little search and found the theme that's right for you, it's time to add it to your eCommerce store. On the theme overview page click “Add Theme”. If you change your mind, don’t worry, as you can always make adjustments to your theme later.

Once Shopify adds this to your store you'll be directed to Shopify's admin “Themes page”. Your theme manager shows published themes, but to publish the theme you've just added, you'll want to go to the “More Themes” section and find the theme you just installed. Then click “Actions” and press “Publish” on the dropdown menu. A popup should then appear and request confirmation that you want to publish this theme.

Updating A Theme

After a theme has been installed and published, you will then be able to start tweaking and tailoring the theme to your store's requirements. To start editing, go to the live theme and click "Customise". To edit the sections on your website, click “Sections” on the menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Then click on the section you want to edit and you'll be good to go.

For example, if you want to edit the slideshow section, click “Slideshow” and you can run through the different options such as; slide height, slide speed alongside the ability to add or take away slides.

To edit the settings of your online store, click "Settings" on the menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Then click on the options you'd like to update. For example, if you want to edit the typography across the website’s theme, click “Typography” and you will be able to edit the font, font size and more. We would suggest that you run through these settings and start customising everything to match your brand as consistently as possible.

Once you’ve run through the points listed above, your theme will be all set and ready to go, so it’s time to start adding products to your store!

N0.4: Adding Products

The next step of setting up a Shopify store is to start adding your products. In the Shopify admin go to “Product” and then click “Add Products”. This is where all of your store’s products will be added. Alongside this, products; titles, descriptions, images and prices will be required here.

We would suggest adding as many details as possible and presenting them in a way that is easy and quick for customers to understand. Then, check everything in the theme preview to make sure that your adjustments are looking good.

Note:

When it comes to the use of photography, we would recommend ensuring that only high-quality images are implemented onto your Shopify store. Oh, and it goes without saying, but never attempt to publish images on your website that you do not own the commercial license/ rights for. That's just a whole lot of trouble that you won't want to get yourself into.

N0.5: Updating Store Preferences

We’re going to break down this next section for you into three categories. So, let’s delve headfirst into shipping with Shopify:

Shipping With Shopify

Within Shopify’s admin, head to “Settings” and then click the “Shipping Page” tab. Once in the “Shipping Rates” section, see if you have a weight-based shipping rate already set and adjust this according to your product’s unique specifications. Additionally, make sure that you enter the product’s weight in the appropriate field. This can be found when setting up a product on the admin screen.

It is here that store owners will be able to list how much will be charged for shipping and to which country(s) they would like to ship their products. Also, the number of days that will be required for a store’s products to be delivered to the customer will need to be specified here.

A business needs to calculate this part correctly, as customers will be expecting the protocol stated on the business website to unfold during their experience of delivery.

Taxes

It goes without saying, but taxes are an important part of any business and if you don't know what the tax rules are in your country, we'd advise you to seek an accountant's advice in setting this up. Don't mess with the tax man – he will catch you and you'll get less for murder. Seriously.

To edit the tax rules, head to “Settings” in Shopify’s admin and then click “Taxes”. From here you'll be able to set up all of your tax rules for different territories. It’s important to understand that some stores will not need to charge taxes on products like digital goods. On the other hand, a t-shirt store will likely need to have this in motion.

Refunds, Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

When launching a new store, don't forget to set up a; refund policy, privacy policy or terms of service for your online store. This is super important and you shouldn’t launch without it!

It sounds taxing, but trust us, this is a stress-free process as you won’t have to come up with these policies by yourself. See, Shopify currently offers a handy tool to create a template for store policies. To locate this tool, simply head back to “Settings” and then click “Checkout”.

Once you’ve done this, scroll down to “Refund, Privacy, and TOS Statements''. Then, click “Generate Sample” in each section and click “Save”.

We’d highly recommend that this information is copied and pasted over to new pages created within your store. This way, each webpage will display the same details and customers will experience consistency when visiting an online store. Similarly, this handy little technique guarantees that customers will not only be exposed to a store’s policies when they are placing an order at the checkout, as they can access them at any time.

Product Pricing

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of setting up a Shopify store, the next part of today’s guide is exciting, because, at this stage, a Shopify store will be ready to launch!

If you're not 100% sure about how you've configured your Shopify store so far, that's normal, so don’t think too much about it. Why? Well, as time goes on we expect that you’ll take a further look at the customisable options for your store in greater detail and eventually, no area will go untouched. Another font will be added, colours will be changed, products will be adjusted and descriptions will be implemented. This is all part and parcel of running an eCommerce store.

So, now that you’ve learnt how to set up Shopify for your online business, it’s time to publish your eCommerce store. To do this, head to “Settings” in the navigation menu and select “Account”, then “Compare plans”. This is super important as you will only be able to publish your store if a plan has been selected.

N0.6: Adding A Domain

The final step to setting up a Shopify store on the web is adding a domain name. Here, you will have two choices:

Firstly, the easiest way to add a domain is to buy one directly from Shopify. This will be added to your store automatically. Keeping everything within Shopify is the easiest method, especially if you're not used to editing DNS settings. Typically, these domains cost $9-$14 per year.

Your second option is to purchase a domain from a third party such as 123-Reg. However, merchants should be aware that they will need to redirect the DNS records yourself which can seem daunting at first but it's quite simple.

If you need a little assistance in this area, you’ll find a quick guide to updating your DNS settings so you can get your new Shopify store live on a third party domain name:

Within the Shopify admin, on the left navigation menu, go to “Settings” and then click “Domains” and add your domain name using the “Add An Existing Domain” button.

Update DNS Records

Login to your domain registrar and make the following changes to the DNS records:

  • Replace the @ or main A record with the following IP address: 23.227.38.32.
  • Add or replace the www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com (i.e. your store Shopify link without the HTTP. You will be able to see this on the domains settings page).

Remove Storefront Passwords

Don't let all of your hard work go to waste at the last hurdle. If you don't remove the storefront password, no one will be able to access your site even when it’s published and we all know what a disaster that would be.

Setting A Primary Domain

Whilst in “Settings” click the “Domains” option, as it is here that store owners will be able to choose their main domain via the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Oh and be sure not to forget to check the “Redirect All Traffic To This Domain” option. In simple terms, this means that traffic sent to all other domains will be directed to your primary domain and this is a crucial step for good SEO.

For further details on using a third-party domain, Shopify has created an in-depth manual. For those of you who would like to learn more, you can check out Shopify’s guide using the link provided.

Conclusion 🖥️

It is as simple as that when you start setting up a Shopify store. All you need to do to get the ball rolling is sign up for the 14-day free trial and run through some modifications to the theme and general settings. Then everything will be live, launched and ready to go.

So, that’s a wrap for today’s article and if you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer in regards to how to set up a Shopify store, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to get started!

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