shopify 101

How To Create A Shopify Store From Scratch (9 Simple Steps)

With this simple guide, it’s easy for you to learn how to create a shopify store from scratch…

Have you been thinking about starting an online store or maybe even a dropshipping business?

I can say comfortably that Shopify is a great place for anyone to start.

Shopify was established in 2004 by three entrepreneurial Canadians who’d had enough of bad online shopping experiences.

Their headquartered is based in Ottawa, Canada and their company is now one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market.

According to a recent study they boast a market share of around 20%.

In terms of users they are currently second to WooCommerce…

Shopify currently outpaces BigCommerce, Weebly, Wix, and Magento.

These are all very popular ecommerce sites.

In a February 2019 report, it was established that Shopify had more than 800,000 merchants using the platform actively…

The currently have online stores spread across 175 countries worldwide!

Shopify is regarded as one of the best ecommerce platforms, that’s no secret…

I’d say it’s primarily because you are able to create a complete and fully functional online store in such a short amount of time.

Learning how to create a shopify store from scratch is also very VERY straight forward.

Shopify encapsulates the features and tools of the best website builders out there…

This enables you to stand out whilst offering your customers the best experience possible.

Getting started with shopify is very simple..

In the video below you can watch me build a shopify store in minutes.

As you can see you won’t have to worry about hiring a professional since everything is straightforward.

If you are a beginner the process can seem a little bit daunting but trust me it doesn’t have to be.

In this article we are going to run through the following questions!

  • Why Shopify?
  • How exactly do you build a Shopify store?
  • How do you sell on Shopify?
  • How easy (or difficult) is it to add new products to the site?

If you want help with any of the above questions, you are in the right place!

First things first, why Shopify and not any other ecommerce platform?

Why Shopify?

  1. If you are a beginner, Shopify is a solid tool, especially if you don’t want to spend much time or money developing the website.
  2. Shopify is a one-stop solution for everything ecommerce-related. They integrate with pretty much everything.
  3. You don’t need any technical coding skills or prior experience, and the signup process is quite easy.
  4. Lastly, Shopify boasts a good reputation, which is seen in its 1M+ active users, 600,000+ businesses powered by the platform and the fact that over $55B of products have been sold on the platform.

Features of Shopify

Shopify offers a huge range of apps, features, and support functions to all its users, and its features are ideal for individuals at different levels of growth (and budgets).

The top features include:

  • Pricing plans – Different pricing plans to suit a variety of business sizes, plans range from as little as $29 all the way up to $2000 per month.
  • Store templates – They understand that the success of your online business depends on the branding features employed, which is why there are over 100 templates for store themes. Out of the 100, 10 of these theme templates are free, and the rest are paid for or premium themes. Whether you choose the free or the premium themes, you should know that the templates are modern-looking, and they’ve been professionally designed to enhance the success of your business.
  • Mobile App – The ecommerce platform launched its free mobile application in 2010 to give users more management control.
  • Support – The company offers 24/7 technical support via live chat, phone, and email support.
  • Low transaction fees – Transaction fees are comparably low as they range from 0.5% to 2%. This fee is on top of the monthly service fee paid by the merchants.

If you’d like to enjoy these benefits, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a Shopify online store today.

How To Create a Shopify Store

If want a bit more information on the basics of Shopify, watch the video below.

If you want to go ahead and set up a store follow these simple steps.

  1. Sign Up for Shopify

This is the first step when you want to create a shopify store from scratch.

Click Here to grab a free trial and then fill in the following details:

  • Your preferred email address
  • The store’s name (keep it short, unique, and memorable)
  • Your chosen password

Regarding the store name, it’s important that you choose a unique name for your store…

If you choose a generic or a pre-existing store name, Shopify will ask you to choose a different name.

Click Next.

On the next page, tell Shopify a bit about yourself.

To do this, you need to specify numbers, for example, If you already have an established business enter the amount of products you expect to sell.

If you already have products selling from another online platform, select ‘I’m selling with a different system’ or ‘I’m selling offline’…

If you are starting out for the first time, choose the ‘I’m Just Playing Around’ option.

create a shopify store

When you’re done with this section, click on the Enter My Store button.

Your store will be live and ready for the set up.

Shopify will then ask you If you’d be interested in making a brick and mortar store or if you are setting up an online shop.

Select the option that apply s to you and click next, for this example we’ll assume you are setting up an online store.

The next section will ask you to provide your personal information.

Here, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number

This information will be used to configure the tax rates and currencies.

Please remember, if you are setting up a store for the first time make use of our 14 day free trial offer!

This way you can cancel before paying anything if you decide you don’t want to use the platform.

  1. Add or Buy Your Custom Domain Name

Your online store must have a domain name.

When building your Shopify store, you will be assigned a specific URL/ domain for your store.

The URL will look something like this – ‘MyStoreName.myshopify.com.

However, Shopify understands that no one wants a shop URL with the Shopify extension hence their customization options.

For a more professional and authentic look, you can customize your site to something like YourStore.com.

You will need to buy your own domain, i always use a service like Godaddy or namecheap.

For customization, follow these steps:

To customize your domain name, you’ll need to do the following:

Click on the Add Domain tab on the dashboard, then click on the Buy a Domain button or the Connect Existing Domain button.

Since it’s likely that you don’t have a domain name for your store, you should click on the Buy Domain option.

Next, you’ll need to register the domain via Shopify and then connect the domain to your store.

If you struggle connecting the domain, follow this article step by stepTrust me it’s easy.

Note that if you have an existing domain, you’d have to connect it anyway using the above setup guide.

  1. Add Products

Adding products to your online store is the next important step in set up process.

This step takes place in the backend, but it’s just as easy.

To add products, do the following:

  • Click on the Add Product tab
  • Add images
  • Add title & description
  • Set your price
  • Complete inventory details including quantity
  • Add the shipping information

Save these details! And just like that, your first product will be live within your Shopify Store.

Next we can start thinking about customizing the look of your store!

  1. Customize Your Store

The customization option makes it possible for you to customize the features and the appearance of your new store.

Your customization options and tools include the themes, apps, and plugins.

Go to the dashboard and then select the Customize Theme tab to change the look of your store.

Choose the theme (It’s up to you to select a free or the paid theme templates)

I’d advise for you to pick a theme that compliments your brand…

Ensure that the font and colors are a true representation of your brands identity.

We want everything to look as professional as possible.

I like simple looking stores that provide all the information your customer might be looking for.

The theme sets the entire mood for your online store…

It creates a lasting image that your customers will associate with you and your brand.

It really is okay for you to take time to think about the best theme for your store.

You can learn a lot about the theme by reading reviews of the theme.

If you are struggling for ideas, go and have a look at some of your top competitors…

The most successful stores will be using certain colours and fonts strategically.

When building your store keep your ideal customer in mind!

Imagine you are the customer, what sort of store would you like to see?

Before your store goes live, you need to make sure that everything looks good.

To preview the different features of the store, use the “View Demo” option.

Only click on the Add Theme button once you’re satisfied.

To install the selected theme/ make it the default theme for the store, select the Actions tab, then click Publish.

Once you’re done with the theme, don’t leave things are they are.

Customize the theme further by tinkering with following:

  • Colors
  • Logos
  • Font
  • Social media emblems
  • Product image carousels
  • Adding related images to your product pages
  1. Install Plugins on the Store

Shopify includes an app store which allows you to integrate and connect with a lot of different apps and plugins.

Thanks to these apps, you can boost the different functions of your store.

The apps you could install will depend on you and your business…

The popular ones are based on:

  • Dropshipping tools
  • Shipping tools
  • Invoice creation
  • Payment integrations
  • Marketing tools
  • Plus a lot more

To install different apps or plugins, what ever you’d like to call them, do the following:

Go to the Apps section on your dashboard, at the left sidebar, and install your chosen apps.

If you aren’t sure which ones you need, do a little bit of research…

Then go to the app store and browse through the app catalog.

In the catalog, choose the plugin or the app you’d like to install.

To pick an app or plugin, click on Get, and the app/plugin will be installed on the Shopify store.

After the plugin or the app is installed, you’ll need to set it up.

Most apps have tutorial videos but if you are struggling head over to YouTube and look for tutorials.

  1. Creating Pages

Since your store is new and almost in skeleton form, it will only feature product pages for the products you have listed.

You’ll need to think about adding the following types of pages:

  • Contact Us
  • Returns
  • Refunds Policy
  • About Us
  • FAQ pages

These pages are crucial since they offer useful information to your customers…

A good customer experience is essential to your stores success, try and put yourself in their position…

To add any of these new pages, you’ll need to do the following:

Go to your dashboard, click Online Store, Pages, and Add New Page.

From these pages, you can add the page title, page content, and the page’s SEO details.

Create all the pages relevant to you and your customer.

Remember, you can always add and edit pages as you go along! That’s the beauty of an online store!

  1. Add Payment Gateways

Shopify offer you a lot of protection when it comes to payment gateways.

Using shopify pay is a popular option, you can see why here.

Shopify integrates with a lot of the main payment processors.

For each i like to use Shopify payments.

Setting Up and Activating Payment Processors

You cannot do much without a payment processor in place.

First of all choose the payment method available for your country/ region.

Here are a few of the different payment options:

  • Stripe
  • Shopify Payments
  • PayPal
  • Bitcoin
  • Most Major Credit Cards

You can also direct your customers using manual options like Cash on Delivery or Bank Account payments if you’d prefer.

On the Settings tab at the bottom-left corner, select Payment Providers option, choose the preferred method of payment, set it up, and then hit Activate.

These steps allow you to enable the preferred payment methods for your store.

  1. Set the Transaction Fees

Since the gateway transaction fees are charged on top of Shopify’s service fees, you need to factor in these costs.

The fees also vary depending on where you are based, and online stores set up in the US or the UK could use Shopify Payments.

This can allow you to save money depending on the Shopify plan you choose.

The transaction fees you should be aware of are:

  • Basic Plan fees -2.4% + 20p
  • Professional plan fees – 2.1% + 20p
  • Unlimited Plan fees – 1.8% + 20p

Once you have all these details and steps covered, click on the Launch Website button and voila, your online store will be up and running.

  1. Market Your Store

create a shopify store

Remember that having an online store running on Shopify is not enough.

You need to ask yourself the following question.

How are your customers going to find you?

Below is a list of tips and tricks you could employ to boost the visibility of your store and the traffic to your store.

  • Connect with Influencers
  • Optimize your product titles, descriptions, and images
  • Build an Instagram audience by providing value 
  • Build an email list and send newsletters regularly
  • Create fun, useful, and relevant content on the blog
  • Leverage Facebook Advertising
  • Launch sales. Black Friday offers give you a great opportunity to attract new buyers and to increase traffic to your site.
  • Use Google Ads
  • Get involved within relevant forums
  • Provide value within relevant sub reddits

My biggest tip for anyone is don’t focus on hard selling your products.

Look to build a community of people by giving people relevant value by providing things for FREE.

All you have to focus on is helping people, this is the best way to build and audience.

Remember once you have an audience you can serve them with your products 😉

Concluding Words

If you’ve managed to come all this way, congratulations!

Not very many people will read this article all the way to the end.

Even fewer people will take action after reading this blog post.

If you really want to see results, put what you’ve learnt into play straight away!

I’ve put together a much longer guide for anyone that wants more help with this topic.

Your results will depend entirely on the action you take.

If you’ve got any questions please ask away below.

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