Starting a new business may seem like a hard process at first, but taking the right steps towards making your online business successful is not out of reach. There are hundreds of business that are being started up every day, but Shopify is here to make setting up your online store so much easier.
For those new to creating online stores, Shopify is an eCommerce store builder that helps businesses of any kind get started up easier and cheaper than ever. While using Shopify, you will be able to create a website for your company to connect and sell products to potential customers.
In this guide, we will be going over everything you need to know about starting up your online store on Shopify. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get selling!
Deciding on What to Sell
An important aspect of building your eCommerce site is to choose the best product to advertise. The last thing you want is to offer a product that will end up flopping on the market, offering your business zero profit. Although you’ll never know for sure what sells and what doesn’t, understanding your market can help you minimize risk to your company.
Keep a positive mindset while selling. Remember, for every Nike, there are hundreds of businesses that end up not making it. However, don’t let this discourage you. If you can’t think of a new product to sell, it isn’t time to close up shop. Instead, work on ways of improving your project for future releases.
At any point of your company’s life, there are going to be customers complaining about a certain problem with your product. Companies that end up dead in the water don’t appeal to customer concerns. Businesses are successful by listening to their customers and growing on that support.
However, if you’re still not sure where to start, Shopify can help you settle on an idea for your shop.
Benefits of Using Shopify
Shopify all started when three friends came together to create one simple solution to sell snowboard equipment online. Shopify is currently used today by large companies such as Evernote, Wikipedia, Pixar, etc. However, no matter how large or small your company is, Shopify is the one-stop solution to all your selling needs.
To help prove our point even more, see how your business can benefit below:
– Expanding your store has never been easier.
Whether you’re starting a store with a single product or a large inventory, Shopify can help you and your business grow. To do this, they offer five alternate membership plans that can help suit your budget. The cheapest plan only starts at $15/month and the largest plan starts at $179/month. Plus, they even offer flexible payment options in case you or your company is ever in a slump.
– They offer a variety of apps for you to use.
When offering better options on your online store, you usually look towards apps to provide that experience. Luckily for you, Shopify offers dozens of apps that you can use in your store, including shipment options, loyalty programs, product reviews, and much more!
– You don’t need to know how to code or design a website.
Shopify offers hundreds of professional templates for free, along with paid ones that you can use to house your online store. Due to this, you don’t need any coding or design experience to create a great store.
– They offer a variety of shopping options.
If other eCommerce platforms have far too limited shipping options, you’ve come to the right place. Shopify offers dozens of shipping options that can be used for each product you sell. This includes flat rate selling, or standard shipping costs plus the weight of each individual product.
– It’s easy to use!
The big reason why so many businesses use Shopify is because it is so easy to set up your shop and start selling. Especially if you’re new to this whole process, you can set up a store within minutes and start getting your company off the ground.
How to Sign-Up for Shopify
Signing up for Shopify is incredibly easy. They even offer a 14-day free trial to make sure you like what they have to offer. All you have to do is head over to their main site, enter in your name, email, password, and click the “Create Your Store Now” button.
From there, you will be directed to another screen where you will have to enter in your location information for, shipping and tax purposes, as well as product information. Once you’ve filled everything out, click on “enter my store” to head over to your dashboard.
The very last thing you need to do to set up your online store is to initiate your domain. Of course, you can purchase your domain through Shopify, but you can also buy it from third-party domain registrars such as Namecheap or Godaddy.
How to Choose Your Store’s Theme
Once you log back into your dashboard, you can choose from dozens of different themes to house your online store. Although plenty of them are free, you can also pay for a more premium theme as well.
You should see a number of options on your navigation bar at the top of your site, which can help you further decide what type of theme best suits your business. So, if you’re going for a colorful or easy going theme, don’t choose one that is too dark or serious.
Also, be sure to keep in mind what you’re selling before opting in for a new theme. Remember, you can always view a demo before setting it as the new template for your online store. Feel free to keep a list of themes you are considering for your online business before settling on a final decision.
However, once you’ve made up your mind on the theme you’re going to use, click on the “install theme” button to make it official. You can always come back to this step if you ever change your mind since these themes are interchangeable. Plus, you can customize this theme on your site by clicking on “edit your theme” on your dashboard.
Introducing Your New Products
Here comes the best part of making your online store on Shopify! Now, you get to add your products to your store. But, before we actually start adding them, let’s talk about deciding on what products your business should sell.
1. Start Your Inventory with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
It’s best to start your inventory with an MVP, which is the most basic type of product that you plan on selling. This way, you can spend more time on fixing it and getting reviews from customers before you plan on releasing different products.
However, you want to make sure you’re not offering your customers a poor quality product. All you need to do is avoid packing it with features that you can add on down the line to prevent a loss of interest in your products.
The best way to do this is to decide on the type of product that can offer a variety of solutions to your target audience. After you decide on a single product, create a simple image of it and see if people are interested in it. If it makes a lot of public interest, you can then brainstorm on a final product to sell as your MVP.
2. Ask Your Customers For Feedback
Now that you have a functional product, it is time to get some feedback on it. You may be able to get reviews directly on your Shopify store. By getting valuable feedback from actual customers, you can learn how to improve your products and your business on the whole. With this information, you can also begin to prepare your business to appeal to a broader market.
The best ways to get necessary feedback on your product is through social media, emails, surveys, and phone calls. Build up a client list for yourself that you can contact and see what does or doesn’t need to fix in your product line. Ask general questions about their happiness with the product and if there is anything that could have improved their experience. You may also want to offer some kind of incentive to entice customers to share their opinions, like a discount code or access to an early release of a product.
3. Analyze Your Feedback and Improve
Now that you have gathered all that feedback from your customers, it is time to actually use it. Read what your target audience has to say, take everything with a grain of salt, and make changes as necessary.
A lot of business owners have trouble making changes to their business, especially if their customers suggest they change something they really love. However, it is important to realize that the point of your business is to make your customers happy. The happier your customers are, the more likely they will be to do business with you again and spread the word about your shop to their friends.
For the success of your shop, it is important to put your ego aside and do what is best for the business. Doing so is the only way to expand and grow.
How To Add Products Into Your Shopify Shop
Now that you have opened your Shopify account and decided what to sell, it is time to start uploading your inventory. After all, your products are perhaps the most important part of your business.
Adding products to your shop is fairly simple. First, click on the “Products” tab. Then, click “Add Product.” Once you do this, a new page will open, called your product page. On this page, you will be prompted to enter information about your product. There are more than a few boxes that you can fill out but be sure to include details for these ones:
– The product name
– Multiple photos of your product
– A detailed description
– Price and price comparison, if applicable
– Any taxes or fees
– Shipping information
– Product’s category
– Vendor name
– The product barcode or SKU, if you are using either of these systems
When filling out these boxes, be sure to be as descriptive as possible and provide your customers with every piece of information they will need. Once you have finished entering the information, don’t forget to click the “Save” button. Otherwise, you will lose all of your hard work. Once you save your product, it will appear on the storefront of your shop.
The Grand Opening of Your Shopify Store
The big day is finally here! You have created your Shopify store, added your products, and you are ready to launch your new store! However, if you are expected a huge response immediately, you may be a little disappointed. Many new shops open to nothing but silence. While this can be discouraging, there are steps you can take to avoid this sort of opening reception.
Even before your initial launch, you should be marketing your business. If you want to see any success at all with your business, you need to spend a little time and money on advertising. This is the only way that people will learn about your store and all of the awesome products you have to offer. Be as creative as you can with your marketing efforts. After all, these are the ads that people remember the most.
Expand Your Reach
Growing your business and reaching new customers is vital for the survival of your shop. Without much experience, though, it can be hard to know where to start. There are tons of people out who claim to have a miracle method to becoming an overnight success. However, there is no easy way to grow your business and make a lot of money. All it takes is a lot of hard work and patience.
There are a few ways you can begin to market your shop. Thanks to the Internet, there are a lot of low cost marketing techniques that are perfect for small and emerging businesses. Some of these methods include social media marketing, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertisements or PPC. In order to create the best marketing plan for your business, you will need to do some trial and error. Experiment with different combinations to figure out what draws the most people to your Shopify store.
As a small eCommerce shop owner, you should begin on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect with potential customers, promote your products, and share posts and content that are relevant to what you sell. Many online store owners like to use Instagram and Pinterest as well. These are highly visual mediums which allow you to showcase your products even more so than other social media websites. This is a great way to generate buzz about your products and expose them to a larger audience.
Also, having active social media accounts can help you to boost your SEO and help your shop gain even more of a following. The more followers you have on your accounts, the more professional and trustworthy your business appears. When potential customers see that you have so many fans and happy customers, they will be more inclined to check out what you have to offer.
Get Ready For Success
Success is a funny thing; you never know when it will strike. It may take years or might happen tomorrow but as long as you stay focused and work hard, success will come. Since it is so unpredictable, it is crucial to be prepared for whatever comes your way. After all, you don’t want to finally receive a large order and be unable to fulfill it. Though you may not want to have an excess of inventory taking up space in your home, this is better than having a bunch of unhappy customers. It is a smart decision in the long term to be prepared and spend a little more than the converse.
As a business owner, you should always be ready to meet your goals and go beyond them. In fact, you should have a plan in place for expansion. Of course, you should still start out small, but you should be able to tell when the time is right for expansion and how you will go about it. This way, you can continue operations without any delays or hiccups.
We hope you enjoyed this extensive guide on setting up your very first Shopify store! Now you know how to launch your shop, market it, and continue to grow for many years to come. Do you have any advice for new Shopify owners or questions about the process? Let us know in the comments below!