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Shopify is the biggest eCommerce platform in the world that hosts over 1M stores around the globe! So, you’re considering dipping your toe into the eCommerce industry but are wondering how to start a successful Shopify store, hum? Luckily, this is what I’m about to share with you!
With the hidden power of an innovative drag-and-drop website builder like Shopify, starting a dropshipping business is incredibly simple, and you can have your store up and running in a matter of minutes, with no hassle! Thanks to platforms like Shopify! It allows you to create the store of your dream even without any technical or coding skills!
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the exact 7-step process of starting a complete Shopify store from scratch, in a matter of minutes.
If you want a better visually appealing version of this article, I’ve created for you a FREE Shopify 8-video mini-course that shows you how to launch your store without paying big bucks for some “guru”.
If you find this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and awkward hugs to all my sharers out there ✋)
Is Shopify Good For Dropshipping?
One of the main reasons I recommend Shopify is that they are supportive of dropshipping, they provide a variety of integrations to make the process easier and smoother.
You simply edit the storefront, adding products, editing the navigations, buttons, pages and you are good to go.
In addition, Shopify has the capabilities to handle your sales, marketing, and payments.
While retail is dying, entrepreneurs are flocking towards e-commerce and looking for ways to create digital storefronts.
There are certainly many e-commerce solutions, for me, I had huge success with Shopify, it’s one of the best and the easiest to use.
It’s also important to mention that beyond all of this, Shopify may seem complicated, but it’s actually very easy to use, they provide a range of features and tools, besides several guides on how to make the most of its solution.
The Advantages of Shopify
- Shopify will act as your hosted e-commerce solution – This will allow you to easily create a professional-looking store, display your products, and take payments from your customers.
- Integrate a custom-branded domain – Shopify allows you to add your very own unique domain name that will represent your brand and set you apart from the competition.
- They are supportive of dropshipping – Shopify provides a variety of integrations to make the process easier and smoother for you, as well as to increase the functionalities of your store.
- It’s very easy to set up a store – Through their innovative drag and drop builder, you don’t need to do any coding, they do the hard work for you, you simply edit the storefront.
- Professional tracking and reporting system – Shopify tracks, processes, and manages all your payments and orders, allowing you to focus on building a brand.
The Downsides Of Shopify
Shopify doesn’t let you control the backend (website, coding, hosting, etc…) which may make you feel a bit restrictive, to be honest.
You truly have an alternative which is WordPress. But if you’re looking for an easy and simple method, choose Shopify!
As I’ve mentioned earlier, and always do, I had a huge success with Shopify, for me, it’s definitely worth giving Shopify the control of my backend.
I don’t need to worry about hosting, coding, or anything related to this time-consuming stuff.
Another great point to mention is crucial when it comes to eCommerce and online presence, Shopify is a big company, they are the leaders in this industry, and the chances of a Shopify store getting hacked are quite low compared to a WordPress website.
I’ve got you this proof from our friend Google. This image below shows the most hacked platforms:
You can’t even see Shopify on the list, and WordPress accounted for 90% of all the hacks.
What Are The Steps To Starting A Store?
If you don’t need any further convincing, and just want to know how to create a Shopify store, follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign Up To Shopify
Head over to the Shopify homepage and click on “start a free trial” to create an account.
Since that Shopify offers a 14-day trial, you don’t need to enter your credit card details.
All you have to do is to provide a valid email, choose a password, and pick a name for your business.
In this section, it asks for some personal information, name, address, phone number, etc.
Once done with this, you will be taken to your Shopify backend panel, and your free trial starts counting.
Now, you may be wondering what happens after the Shopify trial ends. Don’t you?!
Well, you’ve got two choices; you either continue using the platform and pick a paid subscription plan or simply get your account closed and inactive by not paying for a paid package. To learn about the different packages and features, this ultimate Shopify pricing guide good be of great help!
Step 2: Surf The Shopify’s Panel
Now you need to understand the Shopify admin panel and start getting familiar with the different tabs available in your dashboard!
You will notice that there are several clickable tabs as you can see. Here’s a quick brief of each:
- Home – Where you can see what’s happening on your Shopify store.
- Order – The place where your first order shows up (You’ll get in love when you receive your first order)
- Product – Here you can manage your items, adding products, collections, setting up a gift card, and more.
- Customers – This area will give you access to customer’s information, personal details, their sales volume previous orders, and more.
- Analytics – Here where the reports of sales performance are made, you can also have a live view for all visitors on your store, by having the ability to know where they are located on the world map.
- Apps – This is where you can manage and add apps that can extend the functionality of your store.
- Online-store – The place where you can find your store’s settings, including personal info, taxes, checkout setting, and much more.
Step 3: Add your products
This is how you add products to your store, here is where I recommend Oberlo to import products.
Oberlo is an app and browser extension that allows you to import products into your online store with a click of a button! It’s one of the most popular apps in the Shopify App Store, and the best part is; it’s FREE!
You will only be paying once you start receiving 50 orders a month, at that level, you’ll still be making money, good money actually!
Head over to apps, and search for Oberlo.
By downloading its extension on your Chrome browser, you can import any product from Aliexpress to your Shopify store, edit prices and descriptions and boom, it’s live!
Oberlo is a fulfillment app at a first level, besides that, they have a marketplace for products and suppliers.
Now, if you’re hesitant about dropshipping from Aliexpress, you can always leverage premium supplier marketplaces like Salehoo and Spocket to find trustworthy suppliers from USA, UK, China, or any country around the world!
In SaleHoo & Spocket, You Can Assess The Reliability Of A Supplier Using Various Factors:
- The cost of goods
- The number of suppliers on the platform
- The number of products the dropshipping supplier offers
- Do they fulfill orders automatically?
- What is the product’s quality?
- Shipping times
- Will the supplier let you brand the products in your store’s name?
- Do they ship globally?
Step 4: Setting Your Product’s Prices & Descriptions
Your customers won’t get the chance to physically touch your products, so your images should deliver high experience expectations.
It’s important to have a good description of every single product as well, indicating all benefits, features, and what problem does the product solves.
This is how it looks like after you import it to your store.
This gives you the flexibility to add tags to your products, which are used and act as labels, allowing you to categorize your products with ease.
Now, An Important Topic To Dive Into; Pricing!
Pricing is a very important component of your store when it comes to pricing, you’ll get these three fields to work with:
- Price – This is the price of the product that will appear to customers.
- Compare price – This option is when you want to show your customers that an item is on sale. It will display this field as the previous price before the discount.
- Cost per item – The cost from the supplier.
In this case, you’re selling this item for $300, and it will show people the previous price before the sale, which will create scarcity, and make it seem like a good deal that they cannot miss!
According to the previous example, if you sell 20 of this item, Shopify will display it as “Out of stock”,
If you have the stock-keeping unit (SKU) available for the product, enter it in the SKU field.
For those who aren’t aware of SKUs, they’re internal identifiers that help you find products faster. I recommend you to insert a standardized SKU for every item right from the beginning.
Save product when done with it, and it should be displayed on your store, in the section of the product, at that point, Congrats, you’ve just added your first product to your Shopify’s store.
Step 5: Customize Your Theme, Pages, & Navigations
What if I tell you that you’ve only got 3 seconds to catch the customer’s reaction?
Always remember, when it comes to dropshipping, speed is everything, you don’t want a slow theme with a bad user experience, and here comes the premium paid theme role.
It’s also good to enhance the appearance of your online store, to make it look inviting. Shopify has a variety of free themes that you can choose from, and the one they give you by default is called (Brooklyn).
Now, you’ve got two options; you either replace this free theme with a premium theme from the Shopify theme store or purchase one from an external theme marketplace.
Alternatively, you can use a free theme from the ones that Shopify offers, but your store will have basic features and functionalities.
It all depends on your budget, but investing in a premium and functional theme is an investment of around $180 that’s totally worth it!
Congratulations… 🎉 A new look has successfully been given to your store!
Now, your website should contain the needed pages that will take responsibility to educate people about what is your business all about.
To add a new page, simply navigate to the online store section, pages, add a title, body and hit save.
Once you’ve created the needed pages, now you need to create a path for shoppers to navigate these pages.
Some pages take place in the header of the homepage, like collections, about us, and contact us.
You are the one who’s responsible for which ones should go in header and footer, to do so, then follow these steps to create navigation on your website.
Head over to the online store section, navigation, select the header or the footer. Click “Add menu item” next.
Give a name to this item, then go to the “Link” field to select it from a list of products, collections, and pages you’ve already created.
Repeat the steps until your header and footer menu gets populated.
Now, you are getting closer to the professionalism that you are looking forward to, and in order to achieve more and more, and capture people’s trust, you need to be having a unique domain now.
Step 6: Setup A Unique Domain For Your Store
Shopify domain names originally will have this format by default: your-store-name.myshopify.com/admin.
Now it’s time to set up a domain to make your store official, which means that you convert the above domain into a proper www.mystore.com domain. To do so, head over to the admin’s panel, online store, domains, and there you will be able to get a new domain.
The domain’s cost is ridiculously cheap, it’s something between $5-15 a year.
After successfully connecting a domain to your Shopify store, all that’s left is to set up your payment methods, in order to be able to start receiving orders and capture payments.
Step 7: Setup Your Payment Methods
To receive money in your corporate bank account or activate an alternative payment processor, go to your Shopify store’s Settings.
Now choose “Payment providers” to configure what account you want to receive your money in.
While Shopify supports several alternative payment methods, PayPal Express and Shopify Payments are configured by default. Both of these charge their standard fees on sales.
For using PayPal, you’ll need to create a merchant account. This can be done by logging into your personal PayPal account and finding the option to upgrade to a merchant account.
Regardless of the payment method, you end up choosing, Shopify will sync your customer’s payments with their orders, allowing you to track what has been bought, who bought it, and how, without leaving Shopify if you’re using the native payment configuration.
Also, you get access to accelerated checkouts such as Apple Pay. These enable prospective customers to check out seamlessly, enhancing their experience, and helping you increase sales.
Now after you’ve learned how to set up your Shopify in 7 major simple steps, that’s basically it! You have a well-optimized website, filled with products, with all the needed pages, navigations, and a very good-looking theme.
It’s time to introduce it to the world by signing up for a paid Shopify plan.
While the free trial lets you use most of Shopify’s features, you can’t sell anything until you become a paid monthly user.
Overall, Shopify will be ideal for you, whatever you want to sell online, and the good news; if this is a business model you’ve liked, but still not convinced, you’ve got a 14-days free trial, that you can take advantage of and learn about this platform.
Start by testing its waters, you don’t need to provide your credit card details for the purpose.
I’d like to thank you for taking it that far, and finally, if this is a business model you like to be involved in, give it a try, because you’re armed with knowledge now, claim your Shopify free trial, and enroll in our free 8-video course!
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