Everything You Need to Know about Setting Up a Shopify Store

Running a successful online store requires a well-thought-out plan about the business tools you’ll need to manage inventory and orders. It also means making sure your website is well designed, and easy to use. You also need to understand how to get payments into your business checking account, and balance your business budget to make sure you’re making a profit. Shopify store setting up picture

You can use a million different tools, from pencils to calculators to Excel, to accomplish these goals. Or you can do it all through Shopify.

Shopify is an all-in one platform that allows entrepreneurs to establish and manage their online businesses efficiently. In this extensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a Shopify store. If you get overwhelmed, you can always hire us to set up a Shopify store for you. 


What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online platform that allows you to manage all aspects of a business, including the website, from a user-friendly dashboard. Shopify potentially offers everything you need to manage a website, including pre-designed templates that are SEO friendly, website hosting, and easy ways to make updates.

Shopify also offers any business tool you may need, from ways to manage inventory, process payments, handle employees’ timesheets and more. 

With Shopify, you pay for the features you need, so you can grow your business as you expand sales. 


What Shopify Costs?

Shopify, of course, is a business. Like you, they want to make money. Therefore, they charge for their services. They offer various pricing plans to accommodate businesses of all sizes. Based on the plan you choose, the tools you have to operate your website and manage your business vary, as do the fees they get for processing your online sales.  The primary plan price points are:

Basic Shopify: This tier is geared towards newcomers and small businesses. It provides the essentials for starting an online store, such as customizable templates, unlimited products, and 24/7 customer support for building your site. It costs $39/month. 

Shopify: Designed for growing businesses. This plan includes additional features, such as professional analytics reports and abandoned cart recovery tools (for when people put items in a cart then leave the site for whatever reason), to help you scale your business. It costs $105/month. 

Advanced Shopify: For $399/month, this plan is best for larger businesses with big onlines sales volume. If you have ten or more employees, this can really help. It offers advanced features, including third-party calculated shipping rates and custom report building.

Custom Shopify: This plan is tailor made for your business and the amount it costs per month varies. You need to talk to them in order to find out what tools you want. It’s used by companies like Kylie, to give you an idea of the size and scope of businesses who use this top level. 


How to Start a Shopify Store?

If you are starting from scratch, it’s easy. You visit the Shopify website and click the “Get Started” button. You’ll be prompted to create an account by providing your email address, password, and store name.

If you already have a website that’s stored and hosted elsewhere, you may want to enlist a third party vendor like us at SEO Design Chicago to “migrate” to Shopify so your customers don’t lose one second of service, or purchasing opportunities. 

Remember that if you have an online store, you’re not stuck with the name or branding or website design. When you switch to Shopify, or start a new business with Shopify, it’s the perfect time to reconsider things like your store name, tagline or logo. 

Your store name and tagline (i.e. a slogan) is a crucial part of your brand and business structure. You want to make sure that other stores don’t have this name, or this domain name. Shopify will alert you if you are trying to use a URL that already exists. Ensure that the name you choose is not already in use by another business, and consider registering a domain name that matches your store name for a professional online presence.

Once you’ve created your account, Shopify will guide you through prompts to help you add basic store information, including your business address, contact details, and more. Don’t rush this part. Starting shopify store picture


How to Decide on a Website Design?

Shopify offers a variety of professional, high quality website templates. You can browse the Shopify Theme Store and filter styles by industry, look, and features.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can customize it to align with your company’s identity, and your personal tastes. That means you can change colors, fonts, images, videos, text and layouts, so your store is extremely unique. It’s easy to do so – most people say Shopify is easier to use than WordPress, which has long been the front runner in e-commerce. 

What’s great about templates is that they come pre-populated with ideas for pages and menu designs. Menus are key to making sure your store is easy to use, and  that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Keep menus simple, in terms of word choice and where to find them. 


How to Add Products to a Shopify Store?

Adding products to a Shopify site is easy. Go to the “Products” section in your Shopify dashboard  and click “Add product.” You’ll be prompted to enter details such as the product’s title, description, and price.

You also, of course, want to make sure you have well-written descriptions and high quality images. That’s often why people turn to us. AI tools will produce generic descriptions. 

We are skilled in writing detailed, informative, and engaging descriptions that highlight the benefits and features of your products. We’ll even take and upload high-quality images to showcase your products from multiple angles.

One of the biggest perks to Shopify is that the platform allows you to track your inventory to prevent overselling or empty bins. 


Shopify and Getting Paid

We assume you want to make money from your site, right? At least eventually? Shopify makes this easy. 

They offer several payment gateway options, including Shopify Payments, PayPal, Stripe, and more. To get money from a customer and into your bank account, you’ll need to set up a payment gateway. Keep in mind that you must pay fees to Shopify or to other gateways, like credit card companies. So that means you need to adjust your price accordingly. 

When it comes to pricing items, you also want to factor in shipping. 

Shopify walks you through several  shipping methods, such as standard, express, or free shipping. Additionally, you can configure shipping rates based on factors like weight or location. The key is making sure your shipping speeds and prices are transparent. 

Of course, you’ll need to pay taxes. Shopify can automatically calculate taxes based on your location and the locations where your customers are located. Ensure that your tax settings are accurate and compliant with local tax laws. Shopify store getting paid picture


Shopify and Checking Out

The number one barrier to closing a sale? The checking out policy. 

Think about brick and mortar locations. People dread buying cars, because the checkout takes so long. People put tons of items in their cart, but if they get to the register and the line is too long, they’ll leave the cart and go back to their car.

There are barriers to online checking out too. Shopify helps you get over those humps. 

Shopify offers a tool that allows you to recover potentially lost sales by sending email reminders to customers who abandoned their shopping carts. People do this online for a lot of reasons. Their doorbell rings. Or they get a phone call. Prompts like emails help them remember, “Oh yeah…I wanted that stuff.” 


Shopify Checklist

We get it. We get it. When you want to start a business and you’re really excited, you just want to hit publish and let the world know about it. But first impressions count, so you want to either hire a third party vendor, like us, to make sure every i is dotted, or use this checklist. 

  1. Is every word spelled correctly and does the copy make sense? Copy your text and paste it in Word or Google docs so you catch any errors. It also helps to take a break and get another set of eyeballs on your word choice.
  2. Do your hyperlinks work? If they don’t, Google will penalize your site and rank it lower.
  3. Do your visuals really stand out? You also want to make sure they’re the “right size.” Slow loading visuals make your website load slowly. Google dings sites that load slowly. We can help you make sure your site loads fast.
  4. Are you sure the money gets to you? Make a few test purchases to make sure the money gets from your wallet into your own account. Have friends do this too.
  5. Have you installed analytics? You want to install Google Analytics 4 (again, we can do this for you) or other forms of analytics to learn more about your customer base, like where they’re located and when they purchase items. You want to learn whether most people use their phone or a computer to look at your site, then adjust your design accordingly. You want to learn why people leave your site. You can only learn these things through analytics. We can help you install analytics software, and walk you through your first few reports so you can make strategic decisions moving forward.

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