One major change in the world of business due to the COVID pandemic was the shift from buying in physical stores to using online shops. As a result, the eCommerce industry has seen significant growth in recent months, with more than 2 billion online shoppers worldwide currently.
If you have decided to launch your online store, you may be wondering which platform you should use. One of the most popular eCommerce platforms currently is Shopify, but you can also choose to use one of the Shopify alternatives and build a great-looking website and a functional eCommerce store in no time.
This guide will teach you a few important things you should consider when creating your online store in Shopify.
1. Start with a proper domain name
Before you can actually start your online store, you need to come up with a domain name that you need to register. When you own an online business, the domain name plays an important role and makes your company look professional.
Many people still don’t trust the internet and eCommerce, so picking a domain name that is too generic won’t do the trick. On the other hand, if you choose a domain name that is unique and matches the concept of your business, you might attract more potential customers in search of that topic.
Finally, more than anything else, a domain name can increase awareness of your brand. When the domain name matches the company name, it reinforces your brand image and makes it easier for customers to remember your business and come back to buy again.
It would be wise to do thorough research on domains and domain names, and try to figure out what name would work best for your organization.
Pro tip: Focus on finding cheap domain registration when you’re starting out, as there are a few additional fees you would need to pay in order to keep your domain and website safe and secure. Look into all of the options a domain name provider offers in order to find the best one that can give you the full online experience.
2. Choose an adequate theme
Shopify, as a platform, has its own official theme store and the themes found there are guaranteed to have full support from the designers. All Shopify themes come with a wide range of modifications that can be made and none of these requires users to code or do anything too technical.
Logically, the premium themes come with more modifications, but users can also achieve a great looking website using a free theme. And if you wish to make significant changes to a theme, there are very few limitations on what can be achieved by accessing the HTML and CSS.
If you don’t have any coding experience, you don’t need to worry. There is an international team of design agencies Shopify offers, called ‘Shopify Experts,’ that you can hire to fully customize the website.
To choose a theme for your shop, log into Shopify, and visit the Shopify Theme Store. There are over 70 theme variations to choose from, including the free ones. Also, it is worth noting that there are other marketplaces where Shopify themes can be found.
Once you have found one that seems suitable, check its functionalities and reviews. Click on the theme’s sample image to see more information about the theme, such as whether it is responsive/mobile ready among other features.
3. Edit Shopify settings
A lot of Shopify themes allow users to make changes that can impact the appearance of the store. This means that you can have a website that looks different from other websites that use the same theme.
To make the necessary changes, go to the Themes section in the navigation menu. This is the page where you will see your live theme in a box at the top.
Look at the top right corner of that box and you will see two buttons, one of which allows users to make a duplicate of the theme. It is recommended to do this in case you make some changes you don’t like since it allows you to delete the duplicate and start over.
The second button is the button that leads you to the theme customization section. This page controls all the basic functionalities of your web store.
The most common features include:
- Uploading logos
- Uploading slides to a homepage carousel
- Adding related item functionality to product pages
- Choosing how many of them appear on each line of the collection pages
- Color schemes
- Font choices
Last but not least, some themes allow users to reposition elements on pages, such as product images. And there is also a possibility to add and place social sharing buttons, which is great if you want to draw more traffic to your website.
4. Add products properly
Adding products is one of the most important things to do when creating your own Shopify store.
Go to the ‘Products’ section to create your first product listing. This page will offer you numerous choices and options for your products, but let’s place emphasis on product titles and descriptions, since they are very important.
Each product page should tell its visitors every detail they need to know about the product, so the product title needs to make it clear what the product is. This is what customers see as they browse the store, so keep it short and effective.
Always bear in mind that product descriptions are there to describe and sell your product, so before you start writing your product descriptions you should keep a few things in mind:
- Your audience and how it behaves in various situations.
- Emphasize incentives.
- Anticipate and address common questions or issues.
- Make the textual content scannable.
- Help your customers see themselves using your product to increase your chances of securing sales.
5. Go live
It is time to launch the store and you’re probably impatient. However, there are a few important details that should be taken care of first, such as deliveries and taxes.
Ensure that all your business information is filled out in the bottom left settings area. Make sure to use the Google Analytics feature for tracking your store visitors.
Then head to the Products page. Click on the name of a given product, scroll down to the Variants section and make sure the checkboxes next to Charge taxes and Require shipping are checked if you wish to include these with your products.
Know that if your shipping rates are too narrow or you don’t provide enough options, you might lose some customers.
Shopify will determine a shipping rate for your customers based on the rules that you define in the Shipping page of the admin board.
Finally, test out your order system with Shopify’s Bogus Gateway, which will allow you to make a mock transaction just to see if it will work.
When testing things with a real payment gateway, make sure you have set it up properly and just make the purchase. Then, cancel the order right away to trigger a refund and log in to your payment gateway to make sure the funds went through.
Ready for launch?
Hopefully, you are now equipped with enough knowledge to start your own Shopify store. Let these tips serve as the foundation that you will use to build your business on.
Once you have a fully operational online store, you will get new ideas about what and how you need to modify or upgrade it, but these should work for the time being.