Shopify is a software service subscription that allows you to create a website and use a shopping cart solution to sell, ship, and manage your products. By using their service, you can access an easy-to-use management panel where you can add products, process orders, and enter store data.
For a monthly subscription of $29, you can create a fully functional online store that you can use to sell digital or physical products. Shopify also offers a limited free trial.
If you want to use Shopify to create an online store, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Shopify so you can launch your online store as soon as possible.
What is Shopify (and what is not?)
Since we have received many similar questions in the comments, we would like to take a moment to clarify what is Shopify and what it does and what it does not do and what not to do.
Basically, Shopify is a software solution that allows you to set up an online store quickly and easily. It has all the functions needed to design a store, display products online, track inventory, accept payments, calculate shipping and tax rates, and more. This service is paid for and obtained by you as a user.
However, this is where it stopped. In addition, Shopify does not provide any assistance with e-commerce entities. They do not provide products for selling, storing goods, or shipping your products (although they do help you print shipping labels). It all depends on the individual store owner (ie you).
Whether these things are done on their own or outsourced to compliance companies is another matter. However, make sure you understand that Shopify does not provide these types of tasks as part of its service.
Well, let’s continue our tutorial and learn how to use Shopify.
How to build your own online store with the help of Shopify
Registering with Shopify and starting your store is very easy, they even offer a 14-day free trial to start. It allows you to enjoy Shopify without having to enter your credit card information. All you need is an email address. Once you decide to go public with your online store, you just need to choose a plan.
Sign up for Shopify
Use the registration form to create an account. Enter the required details and click the “Start Free Trial” button. The name of your store must be unique; otherwise, Shopify will ask you to choose another name.
After this initial screen, you will be asked to provide more detailed information, including your name, address, country / region, and contact number.
You will also be asked if you have a product and, if so, what you plan to sell. If you just want to try Shopify to see if it’s right for you, you can select “I’m just gaming” from the “Have a product?” Dropdown. And select “I’m not sure”. in the “What” box. Will you sell it? `Part.
When done, click “Done”.
Start setting up your online store
After registering, you will go directly to the store administration screen. Now you’re ready to start customizing your store, uploading products, and setting up checkout.
Choose “Theme” or “Design”
Shopify has its own official theme store. All these themes are guaranteed to be fully supported by the designer, so you know that your store is in good condition. They all come with a complete list of changes, you can make changes without touching any code. However, advanced themes often provide more modification options and a more elegant design.
If you decide to buy a premium theme, the cost is between US$100 and US$180. However, they are a good investment, especially because there are many topics specific to certain industries or products. Therefore, you can immediately get a suitable appearance at a reasonable price. However, you can also use free themes to achieve beautiful-looking websites. We will describe the detailed steps in the next section.
If you want to make bulk changes to the theme, there are almost no restrictions on what you can do with access to HTML and CSS. If you have no coding experience, don’t worry. Shopify has a team of international design agencies, they are called “Shopify Experts”, and you can hire them to completely customize your website.
To find a theme that suits your needs, we recommend the following:
3.1 Browse the theme store
Log in to Shopify and visit the Shopify theme store on themes.shopify.com. You will find more than 70 theme variations to choose from, including a selection of free themes.
You can also find Shopify themes in other markets, such as TemplateMonster. Just choose, category, function to choose your theme.
You can filter by paid or free, department and function. You can also sort the topics by price, popularity, and update.
3.2 Check features and revisions
After you find a theme you like, click on the sample image of that theme. You will get more information about the theme, such as whether the theme is responsive/mobile-ready, and other features.
Scroll down to read some comments on the opinions of other retailers who use this topic.
3.3 Theme Preview
To view the running theme, click View Demo.
If your theme has multiple styles, you can also click to view presentations of different styles.
3.4 Get themes
After you find a theme you like, click the green “Add Theme” button. Shopify will begin the installation, and when the installation is complete, you will be redirected to the Shopify “Themes” manager.
In “Theme Library”, you can customize your theme or select “Publish” from the “Action” drop down button to replace your current theme. If you’re not 100% sure this is the right theme for you, don’t worry. You can change your mind at any time in the future.
Your theme manager displays published themes (themes that you recently installed or activated) and unpublished themes (previously installed themes).
Edit Shopify settings
Most Shopify themes allow you to make simple changes that can drastically change the appearance of your store, so you can be sure that you won’t end up with a clone that looks like thousands of other websites shop.
On the management screen, select “Themes” from the left navigation menu. On this page, you will see your live theme in the top box, and there will be two buttons in the upper right corner of the box. The first is “Operation”, which provides you with some basic configuration changes. One of them allows you to copy the theme. We strongly recommend that you do this in case you make some changes that you don’t like, you can delete the duplicates and start over.
The second button displays “Custom”. If you click on it, you will be taken to a page that controls all the basic functions of your store. This is a good time for you to thoroughly use the settings and test all features so that you can understand the functionality of your site.
Common features will include:
- upload logo
- upload slideshow to home page carousel
- add related item functions to product page
- select number of items to display on each line of page collection
- color combination
- font selection.
Some themes also allow you to reposition elements on the page, such as displaying product images on the left, right, or center of the page. You can also choose if you want to display the Like / Tweets / Pin / +1 buttons from social media.
Add your product to the store
Select “Products” on the left side of the navigation bar. Then, you will see a green “Add Product” button in the middle of the page. Use the next screen to add as much detailed information about your product as possible. Pay special attention to content that helps SEO, such as names, descriptions, and URLs. Include as much detailed information as possible to help customers understand your article.
This is the screen where you load the product image. After uploading the images, you can rearrange them, so you don’t have to worry about uploading them in a specific order.
Product images can drive sales, so be sure to showcase your products in the best light and use close-up photos to highlight any special or unique features. To keep the store tidy, we recommend that you keep all pictures at the same size. Unless you plan to make your favorite page look like a Pinterest board.
After completing all operations, always remember to click the “Save Product” button in the upper and lower right corners.
Set up product lines (product groups)
Product lines are groups of products that have certain common characteristics and customers can search for these products when they visit your store. For example, your customer might be purchasing:
- Clothing designed for men, women, or children
- Specific types of products, such as lamps, cushions, or rugs
- Special offers
- Products in specific sizes or colors
- Seasonal products, such as holiday cards and decorations .
Products can appear in any number of collections. Typically, it will display your favorites on the home page and in the navigation bar. This helps customers find what they are looking for without having to click through the entire catalog.
Manual and Automatic Collections
When adding a new collection, you can choose how to add products to it. There are two options:
- Manual – You can add and remove products individually in the manual collection.
- Automatic: You can set selection criteria to automatically include products that meet certain criteria.
Select a payment gateway Payment gateway
(Settings> Payment) allows you to receive payments from your customers through your website. Prices and commission rates are important, but it is also important to look at the features they provide. Not all payment gateways are the same.
When choosing a payment gateway that suits you, you should consider the following points.
When you make a payment, some gateways reserve a small portion or fixed fee (sometimes both) to allow you to use their services. Compare these based on your expected sales.
You need to know which types of cards are accepted by your chosen payment gateway. All accept VISA and MasterCard, while most accept American Express. Paypal is also becoming more and more popular in online payment.
Some gateways accept payments on their servers through their own forms. This means that the customer withdraws from his payment and pays on the form provided by his payment gateway. Once the customer has paid successfully, they will be redirected to your confirmation page. This gives you more control over the checkout process.
You can bypass Shopify restrictions; they do not allow you to customize the payment except to use CSS.
Payment gateway transaction fees are in addition to Shopify transaction fees. Shopify Payments is available for stores in the US and UK. Depending on your Shopify plan, you can save on these additional costs. Depending on your plan, you will get these attractive prices.
Get your online store “live”
Before your website goes live, you need to add more details about your business and how you plan to deliver and pay taxes.
Ensure that all company information in the configuration area at the bottom left is complete. Make sure to use Google Analytics features. This can be a valuable source of tracking store visitors.
- Go to the product page of the management panel.
- Click the name of a specific product.
- Scroll down to the section called “Variations”.
If you need to include them in your product, make sure to check the checkboxes next to Charge Tax and Require Shipping. Some stores will not have to charge taxes or shipping charges for digital products and other products. On the other hand, t-shirt stores may need to charge at the same time.
If you plan to ship products to customers, be sure to enter the weight of the product in the appropriate field.
If your shipping rate is too limited or doesn’t offer enough options, you may lose some sales. Shopify will only calculate shipping for your customers based on the rules you defined on the admin shipping page. Make sure you don’t miss any sales:
- From your store manager, go to the “Settings”> “Shipping” page.
- In the “Shipping” section, check if you have set a shipping rate based on weight and adjust it according to your product specifications.
- Test your ordering system
- To test your system, you can use Shopify’s fake gateway to simulate transactions.
Use a fake gateway
In your store manager, click Settings and then click Payment to go to the payment settings.
If you have a credit card gateway enabled, disable it before continuing. (Click Edit, then Deactivate, and then confirm deactivation.)
In the Accept Credit Card section, click Select Credit Card Gateway to open the drop-down menu. Scroll down the list to Others and click (to test) Fake Gateway. Click Activate (or reactivate if you have used a fake gateway before). Go to your store and place an order as a customer. At checkout, enter the following credit card details instead of the actual number.
Use a real transaction to test a real payment gateway:
- Make sure you have configured the payment gateway you want to test.
- Buy products from your store as a customer and complete the payment with the actual credit card details.
- Cancel the order immediately, refund yourself and avoid paying transaction fees.
- Please log in to your payment gateway to ensure that the funds have been transferred.
If your billing cycle arrives after you place the trial order but before you cancel, the transaction fee will be shown on your invoice. After paying the invoice to Shopify, you can still cancel, but you will receive a refund as a transaction credit for your account. You can use transaction credit to pay future transaction fees.
Add a domain name
In order to get your website online, you need a domain name. You have two options.
First, you can purchase a domain name from Shopify and it will be automatically added to your store. This can save you time, especially if you don’t know how to host your website. Typically, these domains cost 9 US dollars and 14 US dollars per year. Your second option is to buy a domain name from a third party such as GoDaddy. Prices for these domains start at $10.00 per year. The disadvantage is that you have to redirect the DNS records yourself, which seems overwhelming at first glance.
If you can’t think of a good domain name, read our tips on choosing a good domain name.
Here are the steps to put your new Shopify store on a third-party domain name.
- Add a new domain in Shopify
In the Shopify backend, go to the online store in the left navigation panel, then go to the domain and use the “Connect to an existing domain” button to add your domain name .
- Update DNS record
Now, log in to the account you have with the external domain provider. Find your DNS settings and follow the steps below:
- Replace @ or master A record with the following IP address: 188.8.131.52 (that is, Shopify’s IP address)
- Add or replace www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com (i.e your The Shopify store Link does not have HTTP, you can see it on the domain settings page)
- Remove all store passwords
- Otherwise, even if your website is online, no one will be able to visit your website.
- If relevant, set it as primary: In Online Store> Domains, you can select your primary domain by clicking “Change Primary Domain”:
- Make sure that the “Redirect all traffic to this domain” box is also checked. This means that traffic from all other domains will be directed to your primary domain. This is essential for good SEO.
Add another domain:
You can repeat steps 1 and 2 for other domains that you own. All domains will be redirected to the “main” domain, and you can change it at any time using the “change main domain” option.
Please note that the number of domain names you own will not affect SEO.
If you did it, congratulations. You should now have a fully functional online store.