Online sales have evolved from curiosity to a critical component of current corporate success. Do you recall Amazon’s 1995 launch? Originally an e-commerce platform for books, Amazon expanded into the giant we know today as customer habits changed, and confidence rose in online purchasing.
A few years after Amazon went online, PayPal, the e-commerce payment system, was introduced. It was a vital technology that streamlined the purchase process and included new digital security features.
Shopify completed the e-commerce puzzle in 2004. This e-commerce platform enables non-programmers to create their internet businesses. Shopify created a new age of business by leveling the playing field. The platform currently supports over 1 million enterprises, proving that being among the first in their area pays off.
Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake, the minds behind Shopify, had simply followed the tried-and-true business model of creating a previously unmet need. When they sought to open an online snowboard store, they discovered that no platforms existed that could provide them the autonomy and assistance they needed. So they made one.
With e-commerce systems like Shopify, internet buying has gone mainstream. And it shows no signs of slowing down. This year, about 2 billion individuals will purchase online. In 2016, it was 1.66 billion. To take advantage of the record-breaking e-commerce sales, now is the time to open an online business.
Shopify: How Does It Work?
For ages, two or more individuals have traded. Whether it was an olive vendor in Pompeii or an Aussie guide in the Outback, money was exchanged to cover the cost of commodities or services.
However, sending and receiving money securely over the internet requires further assistance—e-commerce solutions like Shopify bridge this gap, allowing consumers and sellers to transact quickly.
Customers may browse for items or services, learn more about them, and purchase them if they choose when it functions as planned—both the customer and the company owner benefit.
Launching a Shopify Store
It is obvious that your company requires an e-commerce platform to survive in today’s market. This post will show you how to build up a Shopify store and increase e-commerce earnings.
What is Shopify? Here are the 8 critical steps:
- Open your account
- Add your products Items
- Add pages
- Pick Shopify templates
- Organize shipping
- Set up tax info
- Create payment gateway
- Open your online store.
The Setup: Activating Your Account
Sign up for a free trial first. But why do I need a trial period if I already know I want Shopify? There is no harm in taking advantage of the free trial period offered by Shopify if you are confident that it is the perfect platform for your business.
After your trial has started, you may build and name your online store.
You must choose “Online Store” instead of a Facebook store or a physical location if you want to market your things online.
Now you may start adding goods. Don’t hurry it. Before going on to the next step, make sure you have all the product names, information, and photographs ready. A pound of product cure is worth an ounce of product prevention.
After adding items, you may start adding pages to your site. Popular choices:
- Terms of service
- Return policy
Each site page should tell the brand’s narrative and demonstrate how your capabilities benefit customers. For example, the Shopify About Us website tells how the founders intended to sell snowboards online but couldn’t find a suitable platform. Faced with a market hole, they established a user-friendly platform by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
See why the Shopify About Us page works so well? It tells a good narrative and improves your life. The narrative is so relatable that it is often featured in the media. Consider this customer-centric approach utilized by NPR in a 2019 piece on Shopify:
In 2004, Tobias Lütke lived in Ottawa with his girlfriend. He wanted to open an online snowboard business, but the e-commerce software offered was clumsy and pricey. So he created his e-commerce software. After launching his online snowboard store, Snowdevil, other online merchants were so delighted that they asked to license Tobi’s software.
After reading that, who wouldn’t want to utilize Shopify? The platform is portrayed as a savior for struggling businesses. And you can do the same for your online store by harnessing this exciting convergence of company goals and a customer’s wants.
The Design: Using Shopify Templates
Now that you have your items and pages, you can pick the design that will include them all. Because there are millions of generic companies online, knowing how to use Shopify templates is vital. Goals: Choose a design that symbolizes your distinct flair while providing customers with a seamless and delightful shopping experience.
The Shopify builder is one of the most simple available. For example, it has fewer designs than Squarespace and fewer customization options than Wix. But Shopify’s simple method helps newbies create online shops since they won’t be overwhelmed by alternatives and considerations.
With e-commerce platform knowledge comes the ability to construct more sophisticated online stores. Just know that a design-centric platform like Squarespace or WooCommerce is best for you.
Shopify can help you design a stunning website even with its basic builder. There are various free templates to pick from, each with a different theme. Among our favorites:
If the free templates don’t meet your needs, browse Shopify’s vast selection of premium templates. The design and features are superb.
Some entrepreneurs feel you should always use free templates to earn money from your internet business. It’s stupid. A premium template from Shopify costs around $180, which is a small investment if you think it would improve your store’s design and operation.
All Shopify templates, free and premium, are completely responsive. It implies they’re mobile-friendly, which is vital in today’s world. There are billions of smartphone users worldwide, and approximately 80% of them made a transaction in the last six months. You can’t focus on sales until you focus on mobile devices.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal site template, you can start building your online store using drag-and-drop. With Shopify’s builder, you can easily add, delete, and rearrange components. Fun to see your site come to life.
Not to get carried away with the site components. Even the most well-intentioned entrepreneurs tend to overcrowd their internet businesses. Customers typically leave overcrowded locations as soon as they arrive. Even if they stay and try to buy, the lack of clarity may deter them.
Here’s a brief homework project to avoid this. Visit your top 5 e-commerce sites. Take note of the vital aspects on these sites… and what is missing. Your favorite sites are probably simple and easy to browse, which is why you keep coming back. Apply these same techniques to your Shopify site.
The Shipping and Payments: Using Shopify
Now that you have a well-tuned sales conversion engine, you must handle the back-end transactions. Begin by defining the valid destinations in the “Shipping” section of the options page. You can choose to send domestically or globally.
You must also pick your preferred shipping prices. Free delivery is a popular choice, but you must decide if it is right for your company. If you wish to charge shipping, you must select a carrier. Using Shopify Shipping will get you lower prices for USPS, UPS, and DHL.
Next is the sales tax component. Online sales aren’t exempt from taxes, so you’ll need to collect them. While Shopify automatically calculates applicable taxes, we advise you to consult your tax expert. So you may proceed confidently.
Now that we’ve reviewed the shipments and taxes leaving your doors let’s talk about the earnings entering. Shopify Payments makes payment processing simple. This system is user-friendly and secure.
But, before you sign up for Shopify Payments, be sure it fits your company model. It only supports transactions in the following countries:
- Hong Kong SAR
- USA (all 50 states and Puerto Rico)
Can you use this list of valid countries? Otherwise, you’ll need to integrate a third-party payment solution. Compared to other e-commerce systems, Shopify offers more than 100 possibilities. Just be aware that Shopify charges extra costs when integrating with third-party services. You should do the math ahead of time to see if adding a third-party service pays off.
The Launch: Show the World Your Store
It’s time to launch your store. It’s wonderful to press the button that allows customers worldwide to engage with your brand. It’s time to go past the free trial as an online business owner. How much will Shopify cost? You have several possibilities, so let’s look at the advantages of each. Here are the 5 possibilities (prices in USD):
- Shopify Lite: $9 a month
- Basic Shopify: $29 a month
- Shopify: $79 a month
- Advanced Shopify: $299 a month
- Shopify Plus: $2,000+ a month
While the price of Shopify Lite is tempting, you can easily avoid it. You have an online store, yet Shopify Lite doesn’t enable stores—it only allows you to sell via social media or your existing website.
Start with Basic Shopify for $29/month. An abandoned cart saving function sends follow-up emails to consumers who place an item in their cart but don’t check out. Basic Shopify also has no sales restrictions, so if you like the assistance it provides, you won’t outgrow it. Other systems, like BigCommerce, force you to upgrade when you reach certain sales thresholds.
Upgrade to the Shopify tier if you need performance reports. You’ll get basic reports plus an extra staff account.
Advanced Shopify is overpriced unless you require 8 staff accounts or more in-depth reporting. Finally, Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level solution that you don’t need right now.
As you progress with your online business (dreaming of the glorious day when you’ll require Shopify Plus due to your operations’ size), know that Shopify has your back. Their customer service team is available 24/7. Better still, you may reach them via phone, chat, text, or email. It allows you to quickly swap gears if a channel is overcrowded.