Let me give you a tip, this is actually the perfect time to build your online store or put your business online. I mean right now! Aside from the fact that e-commerce sales are rising as time goes by almost half of US businesses still don’t have a website. There’s that golden opportunity. But how, you might ask? Luckily, building an online store has been made easy. Thanks to an e-commerce builder called Shopify. If you stick around and read on, this blog post will guide you on how to build your e-commerce website with Shopify.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is the leading e-commerce builder that lets you build your very own online store. And you can do that without even having advanced tech skills and knowledge with programming or coding. In fact, just a bit of computer literacy is required. The platform made it easy for its users. But I suggest finishing this post so you know what to expect and be guided along the way.
How to Build an Online Store with Shopify?
Step 1: Go to Shopify and create your account. The best thing about this platform is it allows you to use it with a 14-day trial (starts when you first sign up). And any work you completed during the trial won’t lose when you decided to choose a paid plan. About the plans? The price is actually reasonable for e-commerce businesses. Here’s a bit of preview of the plans:
- Basic Shopify – Monthly payment price is $29. For annual payment, the monthly price is only $26. It’s best for launching your full-fledged online store.
- Shopify – The monthly payment price is $79. For annual payment, the monthly price is only $71.10. It has added features that you may find useful for growing your online store.
- Advance Shopify – Monthly payment price is $299. For annual payment, the monthly price is only $269.10. This plan has added advanced features that are great for scaling up an established business.
You can find more information about the plan’s features on the Shopify website.
Step 2: After your registration, you may now begin working on your store. Before adding your products, you should first choose a template or a theme. This will be the overall design of your online store. It’s what your customers will see once they visit your website. And Shopify has prepared a lot for you to choose from. And they are built for any type of product or service that you want to display. But when choosing the right template, consider these things first:
- Features – Some templates are made simpler and some are advanced– which means there are features that the other one can do and the other isn’t but for good reasons. So it’s better to make a list of the things you need for your website. Like for instance if you want a video on the homepage, you better choose a template that has that feature.
- Homepage Style – The look of your homepage is really important. It is the first thing that your customers will see so get them to stay at that first glance. Your homepage should show what type of business are you through simple or stylish images, or through slideshow or videos.
- Ease of Navigation – Your shop should be easy to navigate and with minimal or zero hassle for customers. Your navigation bar should let your customers move around your site. Make them always see how they can find what they are looking for using category filtering, featured products section, etc. Keep in mind that customers won’t adjust to your store, it should be the other way around. I suggest checking other webpages from well-established stores to get a clearer idea.
The whole template should fit your industry, like its color schemes, positioning of items, and etc. Good thing that Shopify also allows users to customize their template. Meaning you can change the colors, font size or style, and so on.
Step 3: After working with the store’s design you may now add your products. Another great feature of Shopify is its capability to allow users to add unlimited products in their store. You read it right! And that has no extra charge. It comes with any of the plans. When adding a product, it should have these things:
- Measurement (Weight, Height, Dimension)
- Product Description (a winning or a detailed one, but non-cliché, not-hard sell)
- Product Images (High-quality photos, All angles of the product or 360-degree view, Zooming option, style or color variations of the product)
Shopify also has features like allowing your customers to leave a review or a rating to a product. Which will really come in handy.
Step 4: Your online store is nearly ready. Just a few more simple steps after adding your products. The next one is setting up payment methods for your customers. Luckily, Shopify made it easy and convenient for you and your patrons. It can help you connect with multiple different payment options such as PayPal, Visa, Amazon, Apple Pay, and 100+ more. And they also process every fee and whatnot for you. The platform itself can also guide you on setting this up, and it has built-in SSL (Secure Socket Layer) that encrypts your users’ data to secure their shopping experience.
Step 5: Shipping is important for your online business. Thus, setting up shipping methods is crucial for your e-Commerce website. But this is another thing that made simplified by Shopify. Setting this up has been made easier by the platform too. In fact, aside from pre-setup shipping providers, options like dropshipping, shipping management tools, and printable shipping labels are available on the platform.
Step 6: After the previous steps, and after testing your website, just one more step left. The launching of your online store is at hand. All you need now is a domain name for your store. This is what your customers will see on the address bar or the website address that they will search for to visit your store. By default, creating an e-commerce website with Shopify without a domain will give you an address that has “.shopify.com”.
For example, it will be www.shopify.com. Don’t get me wrong, a web address with Shopify is okay. But to build trust with customers and helps establish your brand, you should consider getting your own domain. Like well-established brands nowadays. So how, you might ask? You don’t actually have to look far, Shopify can help you with that too. You can but a domain through the platform and it only costs $10 to $20 per year.
Pretty much that’s it with creating an e-commerce website. But don’t forget adding or setting up these things to your online store before launching it:
- Currency Preference
- Store name and about
- Address details
- Contact Details
And then proceed with your final testing. Try the functions of your website, checking out of products, etc. There might be more stuff that you need to add depending on your business industry. Luckily, Shopify can see through almost all of your needs with unlimited 24/7 support.