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If you’re in a hurry, then click here to skip to Step 1 of launching your new Shopify store.
If you’re looking to launch a successful eCommerce business, but don’t have much knowledge or money on hand to invest in this business, then Shopify is your best solution here. And hence, you must know how to launch the Shopify store today in the correct way. This means that you have to follow the steps in the same order as I’ve written them down below.
With the Shopify eCommerce platform, by spending only a $29 per month at minimum, you’ll be able to create a fully functional and professional-looking eCommerce website. And the best part is that you don’t need any complicated skills and you don’t need to hire any staff to create and run your eCommerce website on Shopify.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is built to provide the maximum ease of use and comfort to even the beginners in this business. Even the big celebrities like Logan Paul, Kylie Jenner, etc are also running their eCommerce stores on the Shopify eCommerce platform.
So, you don’t have to worry about anything while launching your first Shopify store today.
In this article, I’ll take you with me step by step on how you can easily launch your Shopify store before going to your bed tonight.
But before I start, let’s quickly go through the advantages and disadvantages of using the Shopify eCommerce platform for your business.
Pros And Cons Of Shopify eCommerce Platform
- In Shopify, you can easily and quickly create your eCommerce store even if you have no coding skills at all.
- Shopify will host your website on their servers due to which you don’t have to pay extra for the web hosting services.
- You also don’t have to pay for a shopping cart as it is already integrated into Shopify’s system.
- You can easily customize the Homepage, products, collections, etc on your own.
- In Shopify, accepting and fulfilling orders is like a cakewalk.
- Shopify also has a really huge list of themes and apps, both free and paid which you can use for even better productivity of your eCommerce store.
- You can also publish blog articles here. Although they won’t be as good as on WordPress, still good enough to get you going and to rank you in Google search results.
- In comparison to an eCommerce store built through the WooCommerce plugin on WordPress, Shopify may look a bit expensive to some of you. But I’m sure you don’t want to go through lots of hassle just to save few bucks here and there.
- Buying a custom domain from inside the Shopify dashboard is expensive as compared to if you buy that same domain from Namecheap website. However, if you want, you can easily connect your existing or new domain from external sources to Shopify.
- As your website will be hosted on Shopify servers, so you won’t be able to control the extreme backend of your site, but it’s better that way as it reduces the chance of you messing something up big time.
Follow These Steps To Launch Your Shopify Store
1. Create Your Shopify Account
Open www.shopify.com website and click “start free trial” after entering your new email address there to create your new Shopify account which will be FREE for the first 14 days. This will help you test and understand how Shopify store’s backend works before you actually start paying for your monthly subscription.
Although you don’t need to enter your credit/debit card details to create your Shopify store, you’ll need to enter them in order to unlock your store’s frontend for the public. So, I would suggest you put your card details even in the beginning. And don’t worry as you won’t be charged any fee (except for the approximately $1 and refundable card authorization fee) until your 14 days trial period has expired.
Once you click the “start free trial” button, you’ll then need to enter your store’s new password and the store name.
NOTE: Adding a space between your store’s name will add a hyphen symbol in your domain. So, you should write your store’s name without space for now and change it later as I’ve mentioned it a little down below. But as you’ll be using a custom domain anyways, so it’s not much of a concern.
Once, you click the “Create your store” button, you’ll be asked a few more questions on the next page which you can skip if you want as it’s just a survey from Shopify to understand how they can help you better in launching, running and growing your eCommerce business.
Moving on to the next page…
Here, you’ll have to enter your basic details. Here, you can either enter your company details if you own one, otherwise, you can also just use your own name and home address or a P.O. box address whichever makes you feel better.
NOTE: If you don’t know what a ZIP code or Postal code is, then just do a quick google search for the ZIP code or postal code for your area.
And yes, you’ll need to show your contact details on your Shopify store to make it look trustworthy. Also, showing your contact details is a mandatory requirement for running advertisements to your Shopify store on Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc.
Now, click that blue “Enter my store” button to access your Shopify dashboard page.
This was your first step towards launching your Shopify store today!
2. Understand The Shopify Admin Panel And Settings
Once you’ve finished Step 1 above, then you’ll be redirected to your Shopify dashboard which will look something like this as shown in the below image.
As you may have noticed that there’s a menu on the left side of your Shopify dashboard. That’s the place through which you’ll be using to surf through your Shopify store’s backend.
Here’s a basic explanation of all these Shopify dashboard menu items:
Home: This is what you’re seeing right now on your Shopify dashboard. It’ll show you a summary of total website sessions, number of orders, sales, etc without having to go deep into the menus.
Orders: It’s the location where you’ll see all the orders placed or abandoned on your Shopify store. You’ll also be able to create draft orders which you would use if you’re getting orders through a phone call for example. Moreover, this is the place where you’ll be able to track as well as fulfill your orders by sending your customers their order tracking numbers.
Products: In this section, you can create new product entries and customize them. Here, you also get to create different product collections similar to what you may have seen on other eCommerce websites.
Customers: Customers section of your Shopify dashboard will allow you to manage, edit and download the list of your customers which you can also use for running different ads to your customers on Facebook.
Analytics: Analytics section lets you generate and analyze sales reports and store’s performance reports. Although how detailed reports you can generate depends on what Shopify payment plan you’re on at present.
Marketing: In this section, you get to create ads for your Shopify store without having to leave your dashboard. Personally, I never used it.
Discounts: If you want to create any sort of discount coupons whether manual or automatic to be applied at your Shopify store’s checkout page, then this is the place where you’ll do this task.
Apps: To extend the functionality of your Shopify store to far beyond, you’ll need to install some apps which you can access and setup from this section. Now, which apps to install is up to you, but do not install too many apps as it’ll slow down your store website.
Online Store: This is the place where you’ll find a few store settings, themes section, checkout settings, navigations (menus), etc. This is where you’ll go to select a theme for your Shopify store.
Settings: The settings tab which is at the bottom of your left panel lets you manage your store’s main settings, tax details, legal pages, shipping settings, payment processors, etc as you can see in this image below.
3. How To Change Your Shopify Store Name
If you ever feel the need to change your Shopify store’s name, then you need to open settings and go to the “General” option and then change your store’s name over there.
Once you change your store’s name, then make sure to change it in all the places throughout your Shopify store otherwise it’ll create unnecessary confusion in the customer’s mind.
The “Account email” above is where the Shopify team will contact you and the “Customer email” is where your customers or any website of your visitors will contact you
Do not leave any blank space on that page as empty. The few blanks in my image are empty because I’m looking to reveal my personal details.
In the “Order Id Format” at the bottom of the page, enter some random numbers in the Suffix and the Prefix, so that the final order number doesn’t make your customer feel as if he’s the first customer on your store.
4. Buy Or Connect A Custom Domain To Your Shopify Store
Until this point, you had a Shopify subdomain which is yourstore.myshopify.com. But to look professional and to build trust in your customer’s mind, you do need to buy a custom domain for your Shopify eCommerce store before launching it for the public.
The first and easier method is to just go to the Domains area inside the Online store section of your admin panel and Clicking the blue “Buy new domain” button. After this, just follow the simple instructions on that page.
The second and cheaper as well as more control giving method is to buy your custom domain from Namecheap. For this method, follow these steps:
Step to buy your custom domain from Namecheap:
- Create your free account on namecheap.com.
- Search for your required domain name and add it to the cart.
- Do Not add any extra services or items in your cart.
- Install and Use (click on) this free chrome extension on the cart page to ensure that you’re paying the best price available.
- Make sure that the cart is showing only the domain’s fee and the ICANN fee (if any).
- Now, just finish your purchase by clicking the “continue” buttons and entering your required billing details.
Steps to point your purchased custom domain to the Shopify servers:
- Click the Manage button on the thank you page or go to the Domain List in the left admin panel of your Namecheap dashboard and click the Manage button in front of your domain name.
- Go to the Advanced DNS option from the top menu bar.
- Now, scroll down to HOST RECORDS and create/edit these 2 records as shown in this image below.
- Also, make sure to click those green tick marks in front of both the records to save your changes.
Steps to connect your purchased custom domain with your Shopify store:
- Go to Online store > Domains.
- Click the “Connect existing domain” link.
- On this page, enter your purchased domain and click the blue “Next” button.
- Now, click the “Verify connection” button.
By the time, you’ll finish your store setup, this domain will be ready to function properly. This can take a maximum of 24 hours, but mostly gets processed within a few minutes.
So, if clicking the above “Verify connection” button gives you an error, then just come back and repeat this step 4 once after finishing your whole store setup.
5. Create Product Listings In Your Shopify Store
On clicking the “Products” tab in the admin panel, you’ll see a blue button saying “Add product“. Clicking it will give you all kinds of things to setup for your product like its name, description, variants, prices, images, SEO data, etc.
NOTE: SEO title and SEO description are what you want people to see about your page in the Google search results.
As you may know that images are a really important part of a product page. So, make sure to remove any logos from the images as well as the texts that are not in your target customer’s language. Also, try to keep all the images of the same pixel dimensions for a better appearance of your product page.
After finishing everything you wanted, make sure to click the “Save product” button otherwise you’ll lose the changes that you made on that page.
6. Price Your Products Correctly
The general rule of thumb while pricing the dropshipping products is to either multiply the product’s cost (including shipping fee) by 3 or adding $10-$15 to the product’s cost (including shipping fee).
The basic idea is that you should be earning at least $15-$25 as profits after paying for the product cost as well as the advertising costs.
However, the pricing strategies vary depending on the wholesale cost of the product. This is done to avoid making your products look insanely expensive. For example, you can’t source a product for $200 and sell it for $600 unless you’ve seen it being sold at such price on other successful websites.
NOTE: In the pricing section of your product pages, the price is what you want your product to sell at and the compare at price is what will be shown like
$500 on your product pages.
If you’re using an app like Oberlo or Dropified, then you should not touch the Inventory settings in your product pages unless your connected supplier’s inventory went down to zero and you have another supplier to source your product from.
7. Create Product Collections For Your Shopify Store
The product collections add life to an eCommerce store. You can use these product collections to put similar products in the same groups. And sure you can add the same product to multiple collections like Sports, Clearance Sale, Halloween Sale, etc.
So try to have some product collections on your website before you launch your Shopify store.
To create your product collection, click the “Collections” tab inside the “Products” tab in your admin panel and then click the blue “Create collection” button.
Here, you can setup these collections to either add the products automatically based on the conditions you set here… or you can add the products manually to these collections however the way you like doing it.
And feel free to add a featured image and a small description to your collections. This will improve the SEO (search engine optimization) of your collection pages.
As you can see at the bottom, you can also add SEO Page title and SEO Description for your collection page as well. Here, you’ll write how you want this collection page to appear in the Google search results on doing a related keyword search.
Make sure to click the “Save” button after once you’re finished setting up your product collection.
8. Setup The Shopify Shipping Settings
Shopify allows you to setup your shipping prices according to both the cart price amounts as well as the total weight of the products in the customer’s cart. Here, you can also setup different shipping fees for different countries.
Unless you really feel the deep need of charging for shipping separately, I would suggest you add the shipping cost within the product price and then provide free shipping to your customers.
This keeps your customers happy and you’ll also be saved from the complications of setting so many shipping fees here and there. Also, you want to quickly launch your Shopify store today and not 2 weeks later.
9. Setup The Shopify Taxes
Now, this is something that only a lawyer or a chartered accountant can tell you. And this differs for each city, state, and country.
However, there’s always a minimum revenue threshold that you need to reach after which you’re required to charge and pay these taxes.
So, if you don’t want to set this up in the beginning, then it should be fine. But again I don’t know what are the legal requirements in your area.
10. Create The Important Pages For Your Shopify Store
The Legal section inside the Settings menu provides you the templates for your 3 pages:
- Refund policy
- Terms of service
To create these pages, click the “Create from template” button under each of the 3 boxes as shown in the image below.
This section also gives you a blank box to write your Shipping policy which you’ll have to create on your own. But then make sure to make the required changes in the Refund policy.
Links to all 4 of these pages will show up at the bottom of the checkout page. So, make sure to check that all the required changes are done on these pages.
After this, go to the Pages section in the Online store area of your admin panel and create these 4 pages there as well. In total, you’ll need to create these pages over there:
- Refund Policy
- Terms of Service
- Shipping & Tax Policy
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- About Us
- Track Order
Now, you will copy the first 4 pages from the Legal section in the Settings area.
For setting up the questions and their answers for your Shopify store’s FAQs page, you’ll have to look at the FAQs pages of other similar eCommerce websites in your industry.
In the Contact page, you can write a few lines if you want, otherwise, just change the page template as shown in the image below and this page will be all set.
For the Track Order page, you can either add a link to your order tracking app like Aftership’s order tracking page in your menu bar… or you can write up the steps on this page that your customers can follow to track their order on the courier’s company’s website.
11. Install And Setup Shopify Store Theme
Shopify theme or what many call them Shopify website templates are the basic framework and layout of your website.
Your Shopify store by default comes with the free Debut theme which is a great theme, but if you want, then you can check 7 more free themes provided in Shopify’s theme store.
However, if you’re looking for building a much more enhanced Shopify store, then you should check this list of best premium themes for your Shopify store.
Although the premium Shopify themes come with a lot of customization options and it may overwhelm you a bit in the beginning, but you don’t have to worry much as most of it is a simple toggle or drag & drop customizations.
Once you’ve decided which Shopify theme will best suit your brand, then quickly get it downloaded (if you’re getting it from outside the Shopify theme store) and go to the “Themes” section inside the “Online store” menu from your Shopify’s admin panel.
Click the “Upload theme” button and select the downloaded zip file.
Once the theme file is uploaded to your Shopify server, then just click the “Publish” button and then click “Customize” to start customizing the Shopify theme according to your brand’s identity.
NOTE: If you’re looking to install a theme from the Shopify theme store, then you just have to click the Install button over there and the rest theme installation part should be almost automatically done for you.
12. Customize Shopify Theme Correctly
Look, if you don’t have any creative skills, then that’s fine. Do not try to create something new if you can’t… because most probably you’ll end up creating something really ugly. I’ve seen many such Shopify stores.
So, you should just create the exact same homepage layout as you are seeing on the demo store of your chosen Shopify theme.
And for store colors, you can either go with the usual but amazing black & white color scheme or click here to get some cool color combination ideas for your store.
13. Get A Logo For Your Shopify Store
I’m sure you may have heard about the website canva.com which is used by a lot of people for creating different images like Logos, YouTube thumbnails, Facebook banners, etc.
But what I’ve noticed is that the final output image from canva.com isn’t sharp enough. It doesn’t look that high quality when you upload it to your Shopify store.
So, I would rather suggest you pay someone $5 (+$1 processing fee) on Fiverr and get a professionally done high-quality logo of 300 dpi.
You can also use Adobe Photoshop to create your logos and you can find many tutorial videos on YouTube for the same.
In the end, also make sure to upload your logo to the checkout page as well. This creates a sense of continuity from the Store’s homepage to the checkout page in the customer’s mind.
14. Setup The Payment Processor For Your Store
Without setting up a payment processor, you can’t accept payments from your customers.
Every country supports different payment processors. To know which ones are available in your country, just do a quick search on google and there you should see a link to Shopify’s payment gateways page in which you’ll get your required list of available payment gateways.
However, the most commonly used payment processors are PayPal and Shopify Payments (Stripe). If these are available in your country, then it’s better that you setup both of them in your store. But if only one of them is available, then that’s fine too. Don’t freak out on such little thing.
NOTE: To setup a payment processor on your Shopify store, you’ll first need to remove the password from your store. This can be done only after you authorize your credit/debit card on the billing page/ However, you still won’t be charged any fee until your 14 days trial period has expired.
To finish this task, just click the blue “Select a plan” button on the dark blue bottom bar that you can see in all these images here.
To setup the payment processors on your Shopify store, go to “Payment providers” inside the Settings tab from your admin panel. There, just activate your chosen payment processor.
But first, you’ll need to create your supposedly free account on that payment gateway’s website.
For PayPal, if you’re creating a new account, then create the business account. If you already have a personal account om PayPal, then you should see an option somewhere there to convert your account to the business account.
If you decide to use a 3rd party payment processor like 2Checkout or CCavenue, etc, then you should know that the approval process is a bit complicated and it’ll easily take you around a month or 2 to get approved (if you get approved). Most payment processing companies don’t support dropshipping business because of the bad reputation that some really dumb and idiot dropshippers have created of this business.
NOTE: After connecting the payment processors, If you put the password lock on your store again for maybe to do further store customizations, then it may disconnect the payment processors from your store. So, make sure to check if all your payment processors are properly working every time after you unlock your Shopify store.
15. Unlock Your Shopify Store
To unlock and remove the password from your Shopify store, you’ll need to go to the Preferences section under the “Online store” menu in your admin panel. There, “uncheck the box” in front of the text “Enable password” as shown in this image below.
It’ll then ask you enter your card details. Once you enter the details and click the button, you’ll be charged around $1 on your card which will be instantly refunded back to you, although it may take 3-7 days to get back into your bank account.
After this successful card authorization, your store will be unlocked and opened for the public to visit and purchase stuff from you.
16. Install The Facebook Pixel On Your Shopify Store
Facebook pixel is a script that lets you track the sales, ad post engagement and many things on your Shopify store which then you can use to scale your store even more.
To install the Facebook pixel on your Shopify store, follow these steps below:
- Signup on business.facebook.com using your Facebook account login details.
- After getting into the dashboard, click on the “3 bars icon” on the top left corner to open the menu.
- Click “Pixels” under Data sources section.
- Create a new pixel there and then copy and paste that numeric code into the Facebook pixel box in the “Preferences” section inside the “Online store” tab from your Shopify admin panel.
NOTE: If you can, then also install the Google Analytics and a Heatmap tracker for even better analytical data. I could show the steps here, but then it would become too long of an article.
17. Ensure Your Shopify Store’s Proper Functionality
It happens so many times with people and this happened even with me a few days back that I forgot to setup the payment processor due to which my Facebook ad account got disabled.
But this is just one setting.
You actually have to take a few good minutes and go through all the parts of your Shopify store to ensure that everything is correct and is working at its finest. Otherwise, you’ll also be sitting there with a facepalm like me at that moment.
Make sure to verify your custom domain if it wasn’t verified earlier and then try opening your website and see if everything including the URL is coming up fine.
Final Wrap Up
Now, your Shopify store should be completely ready to sell products to the public.
One thing that I forgot to mention is that you don’t need to subscribe to a higher payment plan unless you really feel the need to. As a beginner, you’ll be totally fine with the Basic Shopify plan at $29 per month as well.
And if you haven’t started your Shopify store even yet, then this is the time!
Click here to visit the Shopify website and start creating your eCommerce store right now.
If you ever feel stuck in the process somewhere, then you can always contact the Shopify support team through their 24×7 live chat option.
Now, make sure to comment below exactly how much time did it take you to launch your Shopify store?