Shopify Tutorial for Beginners- Create an Online Store

A few years ago, for a business to venture into ecommerce, they had to hire a web designer to create for them a website, include all the information about the business, include all the photos and all the other details required to run the business. Although this was, and still is effective, it is tedious, a little bit expensive and time consuming.

To help small businesses to set up online stores and sell their goods to an online audience, Shopify created a software which lets business owners to organize their products, customize their storefronts, process payments and track orders using their computers or mobile phones.

Ever since Shopify debuted their services, millions of business worldwide have taken up their services and kick-started their ecommerce journeys without breaking a sweat. So popular is Shopify that as of December 2017, there were more than 2.5 million active users on the Shopify backend platform which represents more than 1.4 business across 170+ countries.

So how does Shopify work? Are you looking to start an online store and don’t know where to start? Well, here is a detailed look at how Shopify works right from the sign up process to the checkout of your first client;

Shopify Tutorial for Beginners- Create an Online Store

Sign Up process

The sign up process for Shopify is very easy and quick. From their Shopify website, select the sign up option and fill out the form to create an account and you are good to go. After creating your account using your email address, you’ll be required to choose a unique business name and provide more details of your business including the address, country, contacts and your name.

Set up Your online shop

Once you have agreed that you have products you intend to sell and have created an account, you will be directed to the store admin interface. Here, there are very many features which you can use to customize your store.

You can upload the pictures of your products, give descriptions of the products, the prices and also include the payment details. If you intend to offer shipping, you can also include the shipping info from this screen.

Customize the layout or theme of your storefront and add new features to the storefront

Although Shopify comes with a default theme store, it is possible to customize the theme of your store by choosing from a list of modifications which are available in the theme store. It is important to note that a lot of these customizable themes are premium and you’ll be required to part with some money to make changes to the official Shopify theme.

There are close to 200 themes in the theme store which you can choose from. They are classified by industry, features and their price. You can also filter them by popularity and their date of release. Always choose a theme that is consistent with your brand story, is affordable and suits your products. Always try out a demo of the theme before you can purchase them and use them in your storefront. 

To avoid creating storefronts and websites which are identical, Shopify lets users to add new features to their stores which will make the stores unique. Some of the features which you can add include business logos, incorporating slides to the home screen, choosing new fonts, choosing color schemes, choosing the number of items that appear on the collection pages et cetera. To add all these features, go to the Themes page in the admin screen and choose customize theme.

Upload your products to the store

This is where you add the photographs of your products. Upload well taken images of your products, provide detailed descriptions of the products and then click save product.

Set up payment options

From the payments options, include information on how you intend to take payments from your customers. Remember that depending on the getaway you use, some will keep a small percentage of the payment a customer makes. As for the payment options accepted, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most popular although PayPal is growing in popularity by day.

Include shipping information and how you plan to pay tax

Some stores charge taxes and shipping costs on certain products and you will need to confirm this from the Inventory and variants page. Click on the product variant option and make sure the checkboxes next to Charge Taxes and Shipping are checked.

Get your online shop live by purchasing a new domain

Once all these steps described above have been achieved, you can then get your store live and ask a friend to try and make an order or try it yourself. To get a store live, you’ll have to buy a domain name either from Shopify or from a third party. Add the domain to Shopify in the settings- Domains- Add an existing domain and your store will be live.

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