A step-by-step guide to creating a Shopify store so you can finally launch your business and start selling
- Shopify is the tech company behind more than one million ecommerce merchants globally, from buzzy startups like Lively and Allbirds to major corporations like PepsiCo and Heinz.
- Launching a Shopify store can take just seven days, providing an easy solution for the many brands pivoting online during the pandemic.
- Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your store on Shopify, including how much it will cost and the free tools and resources you have access to that can help grow your business.
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If you've purchased a product online that wasn't on Amazon, it's likely that order was powered by Shopify, the tech company behind more than one million ecommerce merchants globally.
Founded by Canadian entrepreneur Tobias Lutke in 2006, Shopify now has a market value of $88 billion.
As more brands pivot online during the pandemic, Shopify's stock has nearly doubled since January, Bloomberg reported, and the number of stores started on Shopify's platform between March and April jumped 62%. The company's second-quarter revenue increased by 97%, CNBC reported.
Companies big and small use the platform, from buzzy startups like Lively and AllBirds to major corporations like PepsiCo and Heinz. The latter of which just launched its first direct-to-consumer store in seven days, Ian Black, Shopify's head of retail previously told Business Insider.
To help businesses regain sales during shutdowns, Shopify launched a point-of-sale (PoS) system that allows merchants to quickly set up their online businesses and facilitate curb-side pickups.
Creating an online store on Shopify comes with benefits, whether you're starting a business, making a pivot to online, or upgrading your previous site. As a Shopify client, you can integrate your shop with more than 4,100 apps, use a database of tools to manage and market your business, and you have access to Shopify Capital loans to help scale your business as you make sales.
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your store on Shopify.
Step 1: Purchase the plan that best suits your business needs
Shopify offers a 14-day trial to test out its features before officially launching your store. After that, you'll have to pay for a monthly subscription to the service.
The starter plan "Shopify Basic" costs $29 per month, offers most features, and supports two user accounts and up to four locations. The mid-tier "Shopify" plan costs $79 per month, offers all the basics, plus professional reports, and supports five user accounts and up to five locations. Finally, the top-tier "Advanced Shopify" plan costs $299 per month, offers all basic features, plus advanced reporting, third-party calculated shipping rates, and supports 15 user accounts and up to 8 locations.
The higher the level of your plan, credit card payment rates decrease and shipping rate discounts increase. All three plans include fraud analysis and Shopify's point-of-sale for in-person transactions.
Step 2: Find your business name and buy your domain
Before you build your shop, you'll need a clever business name and the domain to match. That's where Shopify's name generator can help. Type in one word to describe your business, and the page will return a list of phrases — some are a bit wacky, others are coincidentally clever.
When you decide on a name, Shopify will tell you whether the domain is available to purchase and gives you alternative options if it's taken.
Step 3: Create a brand logo that will set yourself apart
You'll need a dynamic and unique logo to be the cornerstone of your brand — recognizable to your customer base, but simple enough to translate to a variety of mediums. Shopify's logo maker, Hatchful, gives you tools to create your own or templates to customize.
Step 4: Choose a fresh layout with free and paid website themes
Shopify users can choose from a multitude of website themes, some are free and others can be purchased for a one-time fee which typically starts at $160. These themes help take the work out of designing your site from scratch and provide a template to plug in your products, images, copy, and content.
Step 5: Free stock images make your site more visually appealing
Shopify-powered site Burst gives entrepreneurs access to royalty-free stock images for their sites. The images are shot by the company's network of independent photographers and are free to use for commercial purposes with no attribution.
Step 6: Find products to sell if you don't have inventory
So you're starting a store, but have yet to build up your inventory. Or maybe you're looking for fresh products to add to your existing offering. Shopify has yet another solution called Oberlo, the company's dropshipping site that sources products for your shop. It's free to use if you're a Shopify user. When a customer purchases a product from your store, it's processed, packaged, and shipped by Oberlo suppliers.
Many businesses choose the dropshipping method because it frees up physical space (there's no need to store inventory) and time so you can focus on marketing and customer service.
Step 7: Quick integration to other apps and websites
Integration is a key element to marketing on other sites and social media accounts. Since Shopify is so widely used, there are more than 4,100 apps in its app store to connect to local delivery, sales and discounts, advertising, search engine optimization, emails, and conversion services.
Some sites like We Buy Black, a directory of Black-owned businesses, are set up so vendors can quickly migrate their stores from Shopify, making it easier to build an omni-channel business.
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