Having an online store has never been as popular as it is today. It makes sense since you do not need a lot of money or almost any technical knowledge to set up an online store and on the other hand, online purchases are persistently rising – by 21% in 2019 and 19% by 2020.
You can see many online stores all-around social media reaching millions in revenue per month. And according to eCommerce growth, ‘it’s about to become even crazier.
Of course, you cannot expect you will immediately start generating millions with your store. But you can reach a few percents of that which is still more than 5 figure revenue per month or more than 6 figure per year. And this is a damn good offer. Don’t you think?
You probably already had thoughts of owning an online store, or perhaps you know someone who is already in the eCommerce business. Or you have already started setting up your online store, but you have stuck somewhere in the process. ‘Don’t worry. You are in the right place, so keep reading.
Before I reveal the steps how to set up an online store without technical knowledge in 24 hours, I will briefly explain some fundamental ‘store’s characteristic you have to look for, if you want to achieve that.
When I talk about the highly responsive online store, I think about the store that load quickly, is optimized for mobile devices, enables high conversion, is reliable, secure, and offers simple purchase process. A platform that comes closest to these criteria is Shopify.
Shopify is a fantastic eCommerce platform, which can make a difference. The platform has been in an uptrend in popularity for the last five years, and since 2017, it has overtaken all other platforms (source: google trends).
Dropshipping contributed massively to Shopify’s recent popularity, for sure. But even more than that added the fact that Shopify is simply created for eCommerce. Proof for that is the highest market share Shopify has among the top 10k web sites on the internet.
If you want to achieve amazing results, you need a great tool. Online Store is your tool and the engine of your eCom business. That`s why you shouldn’t expect less than great. What can you expect from Shopify? Many things and a little extra:
Before you register at Shopify, it’s useful to have a complete business plan for your sales (niche, products, market, advertising channels, etc.), descriptions, image and video material somewhat ready (more info about that you can get by signing up to my free BootCamp).
Shopify offers a free trial for 14 days, so it makes sense to start selling as soon as possible after the registration.
First, visit Shopify.com website and create your user account -> click »Start free trial« at the top right, and enter the required information (email, password and store name) and confirm by clicking »Create your store.«
The store name must be unique. Otherwise, Shopify will warn you that you need to choose a different name.
Then Shopify will ask you a few questions about your online sales experience and what your purpose is with the Shopify platform. After this step, provide all other information and enter the store (»enter my store«).
Your Shopify account has now been successfully created. Great! 🙂
Now, the most exciting part of the online store setup begins: selecting and installing a template, editing it, adding apps, products, collections, shipping settings, payment methods, domains, etc.
All activities take place on the platform’s control panel, which looks like this:
Shopify offers themes on its marketplace where you can choose from 70 free and payable (premium) themes. Each has an option of custom-made changes. The free ones have more restrictions than payable ones.
All themes on the marketplace are user-friendly, which means that for basic editing you don’t need any technical knowledge or programming skills. If any problems arise, you can reach support in any step by Shopify or dev team.
You can access the marketplace via the Shopify control panel, click on the »online store« on the left side of the menu. As you can see default installed theme is »debut theme,« which is quite okay for a start.
If you still want to select another theme, go to the »visit theme store« section where you will be redirected to the Shopify theme marketplace. By clicking on »all themes« you can filter themes on the left side by price, the number of products, style, type of online store, etc.
Once you find a theme you like, check its functionalities, opinions from other customers, and view the demo. Then upload the selected item to your store by clicking on “Add Theme” (free themes) or “Try Theme” (payable themes). In the latter case, you will see a preview theme with your name of the store.
That is an excellent feature since you can see what adjustments it offers before you buy a theme. If everything is ok, close the editor and buy the (PayPal or credit card) theme. It will be automatically uploaded to your online store.
You can access »theme editor« via the control panel, simply click on the “Online Store” and then “Customize” on the right. The vast majority of the Shopify themes allow you to easily change the look of your online store with some simple changes.
In the editor you can change colors, fonts, header, footer, add store logo, banners, sliders, change the display of product pages and collections, change content on the home page, etc.
The vast majority of the themes allow for editing through sections, which certainly makes work more comfortable, while some allow only editing through the settings.
More technical knowledge is required for more complex changes and adjustments to the theme.
Shopify offers an option to work with Shopify experts or partners who are well-versed in programming and who have specific knowledge of the Shopify code. I think if you are just starting with eCommerce, any significant changes of themes or functionality are not necessary. It’s much more effective to do this later when you get first sales, and you have more information available.
Adding products to Shopify is very simple. In the menu on the left, click on »Products« and the top right, »Add product.« Then enter the name of the product, properties, price, product variant, quantity, product type, etc., and at the bottom add SEO – meta description and URL.
You can add images by marking them and move them into the »drag & drop« field. You can edit the order in the same way: you select an image and drag it to the desired location.
Product images make sales, so make sure that the product is perfectly presented. For the product page to appear as tempting as possible, I suggest that all images are of the same dimensions (usually 800 × 800). When you add a product, save it multiple times just in case (at the top or bottom right).
The process of creating collections is as easy as adding products: “Products” -> “Collections” -> “Create Collection.”
The collection is any product group that has specific properties in common, for example:
Shopify makes it possible for an individual product to be located in more than one collection. These are usually visible on the first page of the store or in the navigation above or on the left side. With collections, you make it easy for your customers to find products.
You can create a collection manually by manually adding/removing the desired products. In case of large quantities of products, this is rather time-consuming work.
That is why it is possible to create collections automatically, by adding the rules under which products fall into each collection. For example, a collection of T-shirts covers all products that have the word “T-shirt” in their name.
If you want to be successful with online sales today, then it’s not enough to sell just through your online store. You need to sell from multiple channels such as social media, Amazon, a blog or a physical store (omnichannel sale).
For Slovenia (where I live), Shopify allows selling through an online store, Facebook page, Instagram, Messenger, blog, or physical store. Some options might be different for your country – you can have them more or less.
To add a sales channel, click the plus (+) next to »Sales channels« and select the desired channel (s). With Facebook and messenger, you need to link your Facebook account and your Instagram account with Instagram. The very convenient channel is so-called »Buy Button,« which is a code that you can insert on any website or blog.
If you want to add an application, you can click on “Apps” in the menu, and then click “Visit Shopify App Store,” which will redirect you to your store.
In the Shopify app store, you can choose from more than 2.500 different applications, of which more than 1000 are free or at least offer a free trial.
Why even need apps? Because with them you add functionality to the store, with which you increase sales, take care of customer support and optimize the work process. In other words, applications are tools for marketing, multiple languages, support and administration (orders, tracking, stock, documentation), etc.
To search for the desired application, enter the keyword in the search engine. Then check the results and select the one that has the best ratings. Before downloading it, read the description and individual reviews. Download the app by clicking on “Add app.”
You should not get carried away with too many apps, as they can slow down the loading of the store. So I advise you to download only the most necessary ones: to increase the traffic, sales, average order value, and page load.
Well, we are almost at the end: we sorted the theme, added collections, products, sales channels, and applications. Now we have to arrange the “administration” part as well so that the store can function normally.
All administration (payment methods, shipping, currency, email messages, etc.) is arranged in the control panel under the “Settings” section in the lower left part.
The most important thing is to edit the following:
In addition to the fields mentioned above, you have access to the monthly invoices you receive from Shopify, user accounts (your, employees, partners), the legal pages and files that you can upload on Shopify.
Before you start advertising your online store on Google and social media, you need to add navigation to help your customers find products and the information they need before making a purchase.
You create a header and footer by clicking on the “Online Store” -> “Navigation” -> “Add menu.” Now define the names of individual sets of navigation, such as “main menu,” footer1, footer2 … (main menu and footer menu are pre-set), and define the content and link.
For example, the main menu contains categories: men’s clothing, women’s clothing, etc. and subcategories: men’s shirts, women’s pants. You create a subcategory just like the main category, except that you then move it with your mouse below the category. Once you are done adding main categories and subcategories, remember to save the menu.
A similar form will open, as when adding products or collections, the difference being that here you are only adding the page title and content (text, images, links, etc.). Some themes have pre-set page templates such as “contact page” and “FAQ page.”
Follow the same procedure when creating a blog site – “Online Store” -> “Blog Posts” -> “Create Blog Post.” I would not pay too much attention to the blog, because in my opinion, it does not belong to the online store anyway. Its purpose is selling and not reading. There is some other solution available for free (SEO) traffic.
At the end of the “administration” work, you still need to add a domain, with which your online store will become online (example www.yourstore.com).
As all the tasks in Shopify, adding a domain is also very easy. You can access it by clicking on “Online Store” -> “Domains.” If you already have your domain and want to transfer it to Shopify, click on “Connect Existing Domain.” If you do not have a domain and want to buy it, click “Buy Domain.”
In both cases, enter the name (preferred) domain and follow the instructions. If you are connecting a domain from another provider, you must correctly set DNS servers on their control panel (Shopify IP address: 220.127.116.11 and CNAME: shops.myshopify.com).
It usually takes 24 hours for DNS servers to be refreshed. The procedure is purely technical, so contact the provider where you purchased the domain if there are any problems.
Facebook pixel and Google analytics code are “must have” for any online store today. You can add both by clicking “Online Store” -> “Preferences.” First, you have Google Analytics code field and below its Facebook pixel field. In case you don’t know how to get the codes, you can get help by clicking links above the fields. Important: don’t forget to insert the name of your store and meta description for SEO.
If you have come to this point and done each step right, it means you have a brand new online store! Yeeee, huge congrats! Now, you are ready to launch it and get the first sales.
As you can see, setting up your own online store is easy today. You don’t need to be a computer freak or IT guru with mad technical skills or in-depth programming knowledge. All you need is a computer and access to the internet.
However, setting up an online store is just a beginning. The real party starts after that when you start promoting and selling your products. Many people think that eCommerce is easy business because it is a reasonably simple setting up an online store and everybody are making millions. Well, it is not like that.
Competition is getting bigger and tougher every day. Due to that, you have to know, not only how to set up an online store, but how to set up it properly. You have to include all the features and tactics, which will help to convert your visitor into a customer. I believe it is important to have realistic expectations. No, with that step-by-step article, you won’t make millions, but you will start with the first step, and that is worth millions.
If you want to make it successful and skyrocket your eCommerce business, you need something extra. You need dedication, hard work, and focus. And money, of course. It is a real business, and starting a real business or scaling it requires funds.
Luckily much less as anytime before. This fact has some pros (everybody can do it) and also cons (too much competition). But you know what? You are not alone in this.
Everything you need to launch your eCommerce business and skyrocket it is here. If you need help or a mentor, ask for that. You will reach your goals and success faster, with fewer mistakes and stress.
But remember that.
With or without help put all the effort you can into your eCommerce business: stay focused, always do a little extra, help people, listen to them, and you will easily attract new customers, get more sales and beat your competition. You can do it!
Did you like this article or you think this is all BS? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below.