Entering the e-commerce space can seem intimidating for newcomers. That’s especially true for brick-and-mortar business owners with no online experience. Thankfully, Shopify makes setting up an e-commerce site totally effortless. Even if you have no technical skills at all, you can still use Shopify. That’s good news for business owners, as e-commerce is the way of the future. If you don’t have your products available online, you’re missing out on a lot of revenue. The fact is that a majority of consumers do their shopping online. That’s why we’re here to teach you how to create a Shopify store.
In this comprehensive step-by-step guide, we’ll teach you all you need to know to set up a Shopify store. You’ll learn how to sign up for a membership plan, design your theme, add products, and more. Along the way, we’ll provide ways for you to save time and add functionality to your store.
Step #1: Signing Up for a Membership Plan On Shopify
The first step to create a Shopify store is to sign up for an account with Shopify. The platform has several monthly subscription options for users. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of their pricing plans:
Shopify Lite: $9 per month
At only $9 per month, this is Shopify’s cheapest membership plan. While it’s very affordable, it’s only for users that have an existing website. That’s a significant distinction to make.
If you don’t already have a website that features your products, this program is not for you. If you do have an existing website, then you can benefit from Shopify Lite. So what does it do?
It allows you to add a ‘buy button to an existing page. From there, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments from anywhere in the world. That’s thanks to the POS app from Shopify, which grants you access to the Shopify payment gateway.
This plan does not contain any website hosting, store builder, or other significant tools. If you don’t have an e-commerce page or website, you need to go with other plans.
Shopify Basic Plan: $29 per month
The basic plan is Shopify’s most popular option for membership. Its $29 per month price tag is the one you’ll most commonly see associated with the Shopify name. It’s a great plan that encompasses a ton of great features. The plan has a few pricing options, including:
- $29 if you pay per month
- $26.10 per month if you pay for the annual plan
- $23.20 per month if you pay two years in advance
If you know that you’re going to use Shopify well into the future, paying for a two-year plan offers the most savings. This plan includes complete domain hosting and access to the user-friendly website builder. Other features include:
- Unlimited product listing
- 24/7 online support
- Multiple sales channels
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Discount card and gift card support
As you can see, the basic plan packs a serious punch. However, there are some small fees involved in your transactions. The costs can range from 1.75% to 2.9%. While this is a minuscule amount, it’s essential to know about it.
The Shopify Plan: $79 per month
Next, we have the standard Shopify plan. It’s a tad more costly than the basic plan, but it has some more perks to make up for it. Just like the basic plan, there are a few pricing options:
- $79 per monthly payment
- $71.10 with an annual plan
- $63.20 for two years in advance
Once again, the two-year plan offers the most savings. You should use it if you know that you’re going to stay with Shopify for a long time. Of course, the plan includes everything that you get in the basic program. Added features include:
- Lower transaction fees of 1.6% to 2.8%
- A professional report builder
- Support for up to five staff accounts
The report builder allows you to analyze your data in lots of different ways. That will enable you to plan and forecast for the future accurately. The main benefit of the Shopify plan is the lowered transaction fees. If your online store does a high volume of transactions, upgrading to the Shopify plan is worth it. If you have a lower transaction volume, sticking with the basic plan will suffice.
The Advanced Shopify Plan: $299 per month
Next, we have Shopify’s advanced plan. It’s a hefty price tag, but it comes with lots of great features. It’s reserved for online stores that have a huge transaction volume. The main perks of this plan are meager transaction fees and the ability to manage 15 staff accounts. If you have a massive online e-commerce operation, this is the plan for you.
The Shopify Plus Plan: $2,000 per month
This plan is reserved for high-end clients on the enterprise level. The reason why it’s so pricey is that the program includes a gigantic infrastructure. It’s what’s necessary to handle such a massive amount of transactions per day. You should only consider this plan if you are a very successful and high-volume business.
So there you have a breakdown of all the membership plans Shopify has to offer. If you’re new to the game and don’t have a website yet, we recommend the Shopify basic plan. There’s a reason why it’s the most popular membership option. It’s affordable, effective, and you get access to million-dollar tools. Now that you know which plan to select let’s move on to the next part of signing up.
Step #2: Setting Up Your Shopify Account
The next step necessary to create a Shopify store is to set up your account information. To get started, you’ll need to enter in three things:
- Your email address
- A unique and secure password
- Your store name
The hardest of these three will be selecting a unique store name. If you already have an existing physical business, you can go with that. If you’re creating a new title from scratch, take care so that you come up with a catchy and original name. If your name is already taken, you’ll need to create a new one. Try to come up with a name that embodies the heart of your business.
Once you’ve got everything filled out, it’s time to select ‘Create Your Store.’
Before you can start building your store, you’ll need to fill out a few more details. Shopify wants to know if you’re already selling products, what your revenue is, and your industry. Each option has a drop-down menu to make things easier for you.
The last step is to enter your business address. If you don’t have a physical address, you can easily skip this step. If you eventually do get an address, you can add it in later on. Once that’s done, your account is officially set up, and you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Try Shopify for free.
If you are interested in Shopify and want to try it out, Shopify is offering a 14-day free trial here. The free trial is great because you get to see how Shopify works before committing to one of their monthly programs. If you decide to start the free trial, you can pick up right where you left off when you switch to the monthly plan. If you’re looking to grow or start your online business, this is an excellent opportunity to try Shopify.
Step #3: Add Your Products
After you enter your details, you’ll show up at the Admin Dashboard. You can think of this page as the command center for your online store. This area is where you’ll make all the crucial decisions related to your Shopify store.
On the left-hand side, you’ll see a navigation menu containing four steps. These are the steps that you’ll need to complete to publish your site. The first option of which is ‘Add Products.’ After all, you can’t have an e-commerce store without products, so let’s start there.
Luckily, adding products is intuitive and nearly effortless. Here’s a breakdown of what the process entails:
- Hit the green button to add a product
- Name your item and describe it
- Upload a photo or photos for it
- Set the product’s price
That’s just about all it takes to set up a product on Shopify. Ensure that you take the time to enter every product you intend to sell through your website.
If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a few extra fields. It’s crucial NOT to skip these, as they’re essential for managing inventory. The additional areas include:
Filling these out will help you manage your inventory without any hassles. Speaking of stock, you can manage your inventory under the ‘Inventory’ tab under ‘Products.’
Before saving your products, scroll down to the search engine preview button. That will let you see how your product shows up on a search engine page like Google.
Step #4: Choosing a Theme for Your Store
When you think of how to create a Shopify store, you probably imagine this step. It’s also arguably the most fun step with the most creativity involved. Creating a theme is something that you can change at any time, so you won’t be stuck with one you don’t like. We encourage a lot of experimenting in this phase. Also, there are some helpful programs that you can try to make things easier:
- Shopify’s Theme Store. Shopify has its theme store with tons of beautiful themes. These come with lots of functionality and features built right in for you. Their theme library is extensive and has something for everybody.
- ThemeForest. This program is a world leader in designing website themes. In particular, they have some truly great options for Shopify storefronts. If you want a theme that stands out, using ThemeForest is a great idea. If you are interested in finding great themes for your website here’s the link to Themeforest.
- PageFly. If you’re more of a fan of originality, then you can use PageFly. It’s an intuitive program that allows you to create a custom theme from scratch. This app is perfect if you have an idea for a theme but can’t find it anywhere. If you want to create your own themes here’s the link to try pagefly for free.
Every theme on Shopify is fully customizable. To change any aspect of your theme, hit the green ‘customize’ button. It will lead to a drop-down menu with many options to tweak your storefront as you see fit.
The editor has two sections. On the left, you’ll see each element of your page broken down into sections. You can select and edit these selections.
On the right, you’ll see a preview that will show your changes in real-time. This double-view lets you edit and monitor your changes on the fly.
For some tips on designing your Shopify website check out our article at this link.
Step #5: Adding a Domain
If you want to learn how to create a Shopify store, you’ll need to opt for a paid domain. It will boost your professionalism as well as give your customers a way to find you. What is a domain? It’s the name of your webpage that users will type in to reach you. An example of a domain is www.shopify.com. For your e-commerce website, you’ll need a domain so that your customers can find your website.
You’ll need a catchy URL that will strengthen your brand. With Shopify, you can either transfer an old domain or purchase a new one. Shopify offers an affordable domain price of $14 per year.
While purchasing a domain isn’t necessary, it’s a wise step to take. You see, your Shopify website will come with an existing subdomain that’s free. The only problem is that it adds ‘.myshopify.com’ to your URL. That’s unprofessional and takes away from your branding. For the affordable price of $14 a year, you can have an original domain name without any subdomain.
Let’s say that your first choice for a ‘.com’ is taken. Don’t fret! You can opt for ‘.net’ or ‘.shop’ as a way to salvage your precious domain name.
Step #6: Enabling Payments On Shopify
So things are coming along quite nicely at this point. You’ve got a beautiful, fully stocked store with a catchy domain name. Now it’s time to start making some real money. Thankfully, Shopify is fantastic at this and makes processing payments a breeze. In fact, Shopify is the only e-commerce platform that offers a built-in payment gateway. It’s called ‘Shopify Payments,’ and it’s straightforward to use.
Of course, Shopify isn’t the only payment gateway that you can use. However, it’s the only one that’s 100% free. That’s right; you won’t have to subject yourself to transaction fees by using Shopify’s payment gateway. For this reason, we highly recommend using Shopify Payments. Other gateways such as Amazon Pay or PayPal will charge you fees for every transaction. Save yourself some money and go with Shopify Payments.
To select your payment gateway, head to ‘Settings’ at the navigation menu, and then click on the ‘Payment’ icon. From here, you can set up each payment gateway. If you choose an external provider, you’ll need to set up an account with them and connect it to your Shopify store.
You can also run a test order to make sure your payment gateway is functional. If you use Shopify Payments, this is a straightforward task. Under Shopify Payments in ‘Payment Providers,’ select ‘Use Test Mode.’ Once you hit save, you can order from your shop like you’re a customer. That will allow you to make doubly sure that there are no issues with your site or payment gateway.
After you’re done testing, don’t forget to turn it off before publishing your store. If you fail to do so, your customer orders will count as test orders, so make sure to turn the test mode off immediately after trying it out.
Step #7: Add Shipping to Your Shopify Store
The next step of learning how to create a Shopify store is to set up shipping. After all, your customers can’t receive your products unless you ship them to them. Like everything else, Shopify makes setting up shipping pretty easy. There are also multiple shipping options available, so it’s essential to pick the right one.
From the navigation menu, hit ‘Settings.’ This time, select ‘Shipping’ instead of payments. This page will contain everything you need to know about shipping your products. You’ll be able to buy shipping labels, add shipping zones, and decide on your prices.
You can choose your shipping rate based on price, weight, and more. You can also select a flat shipping rate if that works best for you. It’s critical to take some time to determine what type of shipping will work best with your business.
Step #8: Add Apps to Your Store
Next, you’ll want to head over to the Shopify App Store to see if you need any apps. There are thousands of apps on Shopify, and new ones pop up all the time. Third parties develop apps that integrate with Shopify to make your life easier.
There are apps for marketing, dropshipping, delivery, and so much more. If you want to see our full guide on dropshipping follow this link. It’s worth spending some time browsing the store to see if any apps can enhance your selling experience. If you want to see our list of essential Shopify apps visit this link here.
Spocket for Dropshipping on Spotify
Spocket is an app we love as it is the #1 dropshipping app on Shopify. Spocket is an app with access to tons of great suppliers in the US, Europe, Canada, Asia, and more. It pairs perfectly with Shopify, as you can add new suppliers to your store in just a few clicks. It’s an intuitive app that’s very easy to use, and it’s an excellent source for suppliers. Spocket currently boasts the highest reviews among all the dropshipping apps.
Critical features of Spocket include:
- Speedy shipping times. Keep your customers happy with lightning-fast shipping. You can say goodbye to month-long waits forever with Spocket. It also works with other apps like Oberlo, Shogun, and more. You’ll enjoy quicker shipping times and lower prices than other options such as Etsy and Amazon.
- Access to the highest discounts. Competition is fierce, which is why you need to feature the best prices. Luckily, the products on Spocket feature 30-60% discounts. The low prices will do a lot to help you stand out amongst the crowd.
- Auto-updating inventory. Spocket will auto-update your merchandise without you having to raise a finger. That means you’ll never sell out-of-stock products. Your products will be available and ready to ship whenever you need them.
- One-click orders. All it takes is one click to complete an order. Spocket will take care of the rest so that you don’t have to worry about it.
- Real-time order tracking. You’ll always know where your orders are to avoid confusion and delays. Your customers will also have access to this information. That will do a lot to reassure them that their product is on the way and will arrive shortly.
- Branded invoicing. With Spocket, you don’t have to sacrifice your branding when dropshipping. Your invoices will contain your logo and brand images, which will make your brand more recognizable to your customers.
- 24/7 customer support. You’ll never have to wait to get an answer to any question when you use Spocket.
As you can see, Spocket has a ton of unique benefits. If you’re new to dropshipping on Shopify, then Spocket is a must-download. Its myriad of features will do a lot to save you time and money, to get this awesome app click here.
Step #9: Publish Your Store On Shopify
All right, so now we’re finally at the finish line. You’ve chosen your payment plan and set up your store. Shipping and payments are up and running, and you’ve tested everything. Now it’s time to take the final step and make your site go live so you can start making money!
All you need to do is head to the admin page and go to ‘Online Store.’ From there, hit ‘Preferences’ and select ‘Password protection.’ Make sure that ‘Enable Password’ is not checked. That means customers won’t have to enter a password to view your site. Once that’s done, your site is officially live and ready to go!
How To Create a Shopify Store ( quick video )
So that’s how to create a Shopify store. The platform makes setting up an online storefront so easy that anyone can do it. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of Shopify’s unique 14-day free trial! You can set up your store and start using it without having to enter any payment information. It’s worth trying out if you’re new to Shopify.
For more great content to help you develop your Shopify strategies, check out the rest of the merchant posts on the site. If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.