How to Use Shopify to Create an Online Store - Tutorial for Beginners - Top Ecommerce Platforms

Are you planning to start your own online store? In this Shopify setup tutorial, we will cover the basics of signing up, setting up your shopping cart, customizing the platform, adding your products and more.

So what is Shopify? It’s a subscription-based online store builder and/or software that you can use to create an e-commerce site. It’s fully hosted and comes with a ton of e-commerce features, including marketing, payment gateways, tax calculation, and more.

For those who want to know how to build an online store from scratch, Shopify is the one-stop shop for all the tools that you need. It’s also the top choice among beginners due to its intuitive UI and functions.

Shopify eCommerce Tutorial for beginners

We will cover the following in this e commerce tutorial for beginners:

Step 1. Signing up to Shopify
Step 2. Setting up your online store
Step 3. Adding your products
Step 4. Setting up payment gateways
Step 5. Shipping and taxes
Step 6. Going live!

Step 1. Signing up to Shopify

So how does Shopify work? The first thing you have to do is to sign up for a Shopify account. Just enter your email, password, and the name of your store. Take note that your store name should be unique for Shopify to process your account.

After that, you will fill out more information like your contact number, country, address, and more. Make sure that you enter these bits of info properly. Your address will serve as the default Shipping Origin which you can edit later on if need be.

If you’re not yet going to setup a full store right away, you can look around the platform by clicking “I’m just playing around” under the “Do you have products?” dropdown query.

For the revenue part, just click “I’m just getting started”.

 

Shopify will also ask what you’re selling. If you’re just playing around, just choose the “I’m not sure” option.
Once you get this step done, you can now move on to the next phase.
 

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Step 2. Setting up your online store

After you finished the signup process, you’ll be redirected to the e-commerce admin dashboard. From here, you can access all the settings and customization options for your site.

Let’s start by choosing the theme of your storefront. You can choose a theme from Shopify’s theme store. Even if you’re not a web dev geek, these themes come fully designed. You no longer have to write a single line of code.

You can explore free themes or premium ones. When choosing a theme, you can search either by industry, collections, or randomly by clicking “All Themes”. You can check some demos before settling in one.

 

You can filter your options on the left side by ticking some of the categories. If you’re planning to make massive changes to your chosen theme, you have to know that there’s limited access on the HTML and CSS aspect.

After that, you can now add your shop’s logo, images, fonts, color schemes, and more. If you’re new to this platform, you’re free to explore the features. In fact, they offer a 14-day trial so you can check out the store builder before you decide if it suits your business.

You can change your Shopify theme any time you like. Just select the new theme and click the “Publish as my Shop’s theme” button.

Overall, there are more than 180 themes to choose from on the Shopify Theme Store. Still, you can source a theme from third-party providers like ThemeForest. Just upload it and you’ll have your store’s theme all set.

Step 3. Adding your products

Once you’re happy with the customization of your store’s look, it’s now time to add the products. You can sell physical goods as well as memberships, digital items, services, lessons, workshops, and other things. As long as you have a commodity, you can sell it on your Shopify store.

To start adding products, just click “Products” on the left side then “Add Products”. If you’re in the dropshipping business, you can also click the “Find Products” button to import your preferred products to the Shopify store.

If you’re new to sourcing products for drop shipping, you can use this list from Shopify to source your goods: https://www.shopify.com/blog/product-sourcing-apps

Once you add a product, you have to add the product title, description, images, pricing, inventory (SKU), shipping, and other details. When writing the description, it’s best to optimize it with keywords that will make it easy for potential customers to discover.

Everything is on the page, you just have to supply the information and save it. You can re-arrange the photos upon uploading so you don’t have to fret about uploading it in a specific sequence.

You can also set up a “Collection” for products that you want to display on your homepage or navigation bar. This allows customers to browse products per categories so they don’t have to open your entire product list.

Step 4. Setting up payment gateways

After adding all your products and filling out all the necessary information, we will proceed to set up your preferred payment gateway. This is important so you will receive payments and that your customers can pay for the goods conveniently through your online store.

To get started, click on “Settings” and then look for the “Payment providers” button.

The default payment gateway is PayPal, but you can select a third-party provider on the same Shopify page. Shopify supports over 100 payment providers around the world. You can set up VISA, Mastercard, Apple Pay, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, Maestro, and more.

Depending on your target market, choose the payment gateway that’s most convenient for your customers.

Take note that some of payment gateway providers have an off-site checkout process. This means that your customer will be redirected to the provider’s form where they will process the payment.

Also, you should know that there are transaction fees for every purchase of your product. Depending on the provider, it can be a flat fee or a percentage of the sale.

Step 5. Shipping and taxes

So you’re all set with the products and payment gateways. But before you can launch your store, you need to set up the shipping rates and logistics of your product. Also, you have to be clear with taxes.

Under your store’s “Setting”, click “Shipping” and you will be redirected to a page where you’ll ask to enter the Shipping Origin and Shipping rates.

You can edit the shipping rates based on the weight range of the package. Also, you can customize the packing slip that you’re going to print when fulfilling orders.

For the sales tax, you can also access it on “Settings” > “Taxes”. You can configure how your store charges tax rates. Once you set a shipping rate upon checkout, make sure that you revisit your tax configurations to make sure that you’re not undercharging.

Step 6. Going live!

After filling out all the necessary information for your products, shipping, taxes, and payment gateways, you can launch your online store. But before you can do so, you have to add a domain name first.

For this, you have two options: purchase a domain name from the Shopify platform or source it from third-party providers.

Purchasing the domain name on Shopify is more convenient since it will be added to your store automatically. No more technical steps or whatnots. Also, these domains only cost around $9 to $14 a year.

To buy a domain, just go to “Online Store” > “Domains” > “Buy Domain”. Just type your preferred domain and you’ll see its availability and cost.

The next option is to purchase the domain from third-party providers like GoDaddy, Hostgator, Namecheap, and more. Most hosting services will offer domain names too. These domains cost about $10 a year depending on the provider of your choice.

For this option, click “Domains” and choose “Connect Existing Domain” on the upper left side. If you want to transfer your existing store to Shopify, just click “Transfer Domain”.

However, you’ll have to redirect the DNS records manually. This is simple if you have a background with website setup, but for newbies, this can be very complicated and time-consuming.

After you configured the domain properly, remove any storefront passwords so your site will now go live. Also, select your main domain so all the traffic from your other domains will be redirected to it.

You’ve just finished setting up your Shopify store!

Once your store is live, customers can now start placing orders. You can also add more applications through the Shopify App Store. Some are free while others should be purchased separately.

Take note that knowing how to start a successful Shopify store is more than just creating a shop. You have to market your store and make sure that your products are visible to your target market. Fret not because Shopify has all the tools to make this happen.

What do you think of our Shopify tutorial for beginners? Do you have any points to add in this Shopify setup tutorial? Feel free to drop a comment below!
 

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