So, now you’re thinking about setting up your own e-commerce store.
I’m sure there are lots of questions going through your mind. “How do I get started”? “What would it cost me”?
The answers to these questions are addressed in this post.
We’re living in a period when you do not need basic programming knowledge to set up an online store. There are tools to help you get your store set up within a few days, giving you more time to focus on promoting your store.
It is very likely that you have come across an online advert on Shopify, an e-commerce company that helps users set up and start selling in no time.
The objective of this post is to present you with what benefits Shopify has for your retail business, and offer a step-by-step guide on setting up your own online store.
The main topics covered in our guide on setting up a Shopify store include:
- What is All the Hype about Shopify?
- Some Amazing Shopify Stats
- The Main Features of Shopify
- Shopify vs WooCommerce
- 10 Powerful Benefits of Setting Up Your Online Store on Shopify
- How To Set Up Your Own Store on Shopify
What is All the Hype about Shopify?
At first, let’s present a very clear description of what Shopify is all about.
Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that lets online retailers to easily set up and manage their online stores.
It is an all-in-one package that includes hosting, SSL, free domain name, admin dashboard containing tools for store management, design templates, multi-channel store support, and many more exciting features.
From the very moment that you create an account on Shopify, you are guided through the process of store creation, design, customization, and product upload. There is no need to write any web design code or mess around the HTML and CSS codes used in creating your store.
As an online retailer, your focus becomes promoting your store and processing your customers’ orders. Shopify also integrates with a dropshipping application to help operate a store without having any products of your own.
Shopify is a trusted brand with reputable merchants like Pixar, Evernote, and General Electric.
Check out these impressive stats about the Shopify e-commerce platform.
Some Amazing Shopify Stats
These stats were updated in October 2019 to reflect accurate data from Shopify.
- More than 1 million merchants have their online stores hosted on the Shopify platform.
- Total annual sales of over $135 billion processed by Shopify for its merchants.
- Mobile phone users accounted for 81% of total traffic with 71% of total orders coming from mobile device users.
- More than 80% of Shopify merchants make use of at least one third-party app.
- Over 100,000 retailers make use of Shopify PoS in their stores.
It isn’t so much about great facts and figures as having a rich user experience. Here are some of the basic features you will find with using Shopify.
The Main Features of Shopify
1. Easy to Use Admin Panel – This is also your store’s dashboard from which you enter your store’s data, process orders, upload products to your store, customize your storefront, and make many other changes.
The admin panel is easy enough to get started with, even for beginners.
2. Shopify PoS – Online retailers can easily integrate Shopify PoS (Point of Sale) with all their sales channels. This makes it easier to receive payment for products and services from multiple locations.
3. Editing Tools – Shopify offers hundreds of free and paid templates for merchants to use for their stores. These templates are pre-designed and may not fit into the branding of merchants.
The editing tool offers a convenient means of customizing the templates to suit the preferences of merchants.
4. Design Templates – There are lots of templates for merchants to select from when creating their storefront. These templates come in different styles, categories, layouts, and prices.
5. Monthly Subscription – Shopify provides a convenient method for merchants by allowing monthly subscription payments. This monthly subscription grants access to the admin panel, covers store hosting and security, customer support, payment processing and more.
6. 24/7 Customer Support – Merchants can access Shopify customer support any time of the day via email, phone or live chat.
There is also a knowledge base where users can search for information that addresses particular needs they may have.
If Shopify is such a great platform, why aren’t all merchants using it?
That’s because Shopify is best suited for some kind of situation, while other platforms like WooCommerce work best for the others.
Shopify vs WooCommerce
Shopify is a great tool for non-technical users, who want to spend as little time as possible with their store set up.
It is a cost-saving measure for creating an online store. You don’t need to hire any professional web developer to build your online store.
All technical issues concerning your store are handled by Shopify, while you focus on managing your store and promoting your products.
However, if you are tech-savvy or desire an online store with ultimate customization, then WooCommerce is the ideal e-commerce platform for you.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that is built for a WordPress installation. Both installation packages are freely accessible to anyone who knows how to work around them.
WooCommerce gives full control over the customization of functionalities and features. Users are granted access to the underlying codes used in creating their stores.
WooCommerce also has support for thousands of plugins and themes for its stores. They help to further extend the features of any store built on WooCommerce.
The major difference between both e-commerce platforms is that while Shopify is a cloud-based service, WooCommerce is a stand-alone application that is installed on a WordPress site.
Also, Shopify is an ideal platform for beginners who want nothing to do with programming languages. WooCommerce gives a lot of control to those who like to customize their stores beyond the codes.
If you’re still undecided on an e-commerce platform to use, check out these Shopify benefits.
10 Powerful Benefits of Setting Up Your Online Store on Shopify
1. The all-in-one solution that you need for your online store – Merchants on the Shopify platform are provided with hosting, security, templates, and admin panel for managing every aspect of their online stores.
2. Easily integrate dropshipping – Even if you don’t have your own products to sell, Shopify integrates with Oberlo to provide merchants with products from AliExpress Marketplace.
With this dropshipping feature, Oberlo automatically handles order processing for your Shopify store.
3. Ideal for multi-channel merchants – Shopify provides POS for merchants with stores in different locations. The POS can also be integrated with iOS and Android devices.
4. Easy to use interface – The admin panel is designed for use by anyone with knowledge on how to use a computer mouse.
5. Your store set up and running in less than a week – The setup process for a Shopify store is so simple that it could be up and live within a few days.
6. Low startup cost – Anyone can start an online retail business with as little as $29/month subscription. You do not need to spend extra for web hosting, developer fees, payment integration and other required features for an online store.
Your monthly subscription on Shopify handles all that.
7. Easy set up of digital store – Logistics remains one of the most complex parts of an e-commerce operation. That’s the main reason why digital products appeal to a lot of merchants.
Shopify makes it quite easy for merchants with digital products to set up their stores and start selling almost instantly.
8. A built-in blog to help drive organic traffic – Shopify stores come with built-in blogs that are SEO optimized. This provides a convenient means for merchants to build organic traffic through quality blog posts.
9. Multiple add-ons for customization – Store owners who want further customization of their stores can access applications in the Shopify app store.
10. Completely cloud-based – Merchants do not need to install any hardware or software for their stores to function properly. Everything that is required for the store function is present in the cloud.
To start with a Shopify online store, the platform offers a 14-day trial period to work around the store set up. This trial period is enough time to test the platform and decide if it is best for you.
If you’re serious about getting started with your store, then I will gladly walk you through a step by step set up process in 7 simple steps.
How to Set Up Your Own Store on Shopify
Step 1 – Sign Up
Get started with signing up on Shopify.com to create your own account.
The required details have to be accurately filled in by you.
Once you’re done filling as required above, select the “create your store now” tab.
Your Shopify store has to be unique, or else it will be rejected by Shopify until you select an available name for your store.
Next, you will be prompted to fill in your personal details for the store. These details include your mailing address, email, contact info, etc.
Provide answers to the questions related to your business, such as “what do you aim to sell”? If you just want to try out the platform, indicate by selecting “I’m just playing around” in the “Do you have products?” drop-down menu.
Click “I’m done” once you have completed everything that has to do with this step.
Step 2 – Set Up Your Store
Shopify will redirect you to your store’s home page after the sign-up process is completed.
From there you can customize the look and feel of your store to match your brand. From your admin panel, you can configure different options like payment modes and cargo shipping. There will be enough time to upload products to your store once these configuration options have been completed.
Step 3 – Select and Customize Theme for Your Store
This step is necessary before uploading any products on your store. Don’t let the customization scare you, I’ll walk you through the process.
I. Browse through hundreds of Shopify store themes on themes.shopify.com to make your choice.
The filter allows you to narrow down your choice based on free, paid or by industry like food or clothing, and other options like price, popularity and most recent.
II. Get more details about the chosen theme from available reviews.
III. Preview the theme to get a look and feel of how it will appear in your store.
IV. Go for the theme if it satisfies all your expectations. You can later change your chosen theme if you find that it doesn’t appeal to you any longer.
V. Customize your store’s theme using the theme manager. You can change the color of the background, colors of other elements and make changes to the fonts.
Step 4 – Add products to your online store by clicking on the Products tab to the left of the menu.
While at it you may include product details like product name, images, description, type, vendor (brand), and price.
Step 5 – Edit Shopify settings to match your particular brand
Settings like logo, uploading slides to the home page, adding related functionalities for products, color theme, and font choices!
Step 6 – Set up a payment method for receiving payments on your store
All the available options have the fees and you have to consider this before making your choice.
Step 7 – Take your Shopify store live and start selling your products.
Setting up your online store shouldn’t be so complicated, especially if you have an easy to use platform that handles all the technical details.
Shopify provides a convenient and complete solution for online retailers to create their stores. The platform offers benefits such as hosting, security, POS integration, dropshipping feature, and so much more.
These benefits are accessible to all users on a monthly subscription fee.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for you to try out the system, without making any financial commitment.
Our 7 step guide takes you through the process of creating your store, choosing and customizing store theme, uploading products, and then going live.
You can get started with setting up your online store right now.
If you need a strong hosting platform that you can leverage at your disposal to build your Shopify store in particular and your whole online business in general, then read my Wealthy Affiliate hosting platform review here.