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“Did you know – It was just over 28 years ago (1994) when the first documented online purchase was made?”
Over time, online shopping has developed from a novel concept into a multi-trillion dollar industry. We now shop online more than ever before. Searching online for a product will likely reveal that there are a number of companies competing to sell it. This is why you will enjoy numerous online-only benefits as a web retailer once you put your business online.
Even if you decide to keep your store in a brick-and-mortar location, the advantages of online stores will have you welcoming the wave of online shoppers.
From online websites to social media sites, shoppers prefer searching, comparing, and buying fluidly. Thus, moving your offline business online while making sure all your customer requirements are met is quite imperative today. If you’re looking to start an online store, Shopify is one of the best options available. And setting up your account is surprisingly simple!
Let’s dig in to answer all your hows and whys!
Starting Your eCommerce Business With Minimum Investment
With Shopify, you can sell goods to customers worldwide using the Shopify checkout. This will relieve you of the hassles of maintaining an e-commerce website on your own.
The following sections will guide you through the process of starting an online business on a budget:
If it’s a new business, work on your business idea, unique store name, brand logo, and the products you want to sell. Remember to do proper research before jumping into an online store!
Even if you are moving an established business online, you’ll need to dream up what you want the online store to be like. What does it need to be able to do? Though you’ll use it later, now is a good time to obtain a domain name you like for your online store. It’s also a good time to think about how you’ll create content like product descriptions and images.
2. Create a Shopify Account
The first, the easiest, and the most essential step is setting up your Shopify account and taking advantage of the free 14-day trial. Visit Shopify’s website and click the Get Started Button. This will give you access to the section to fill in your information like email address, password, and unique store name.
Just a few clicks, some store and payment details, and voila! Your eCommerce store is ready.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Shopify Dropshipping
One easy option for starting out with online stores is dropshipping! Shopify dropshipping allows you to get started quickly so that you can spend more time and energy on generating sales while cutting down on overhead costs. With drop shipping, you don’t need to maintain any inventory or worry about shipping products yourself.
Simply add products to your online store or website, and when a user places an order, the supplier ships it directly to them. This means there’s no need to pay for a warehouse or worry about what to do with the unsold stock.
Coming from a brick-and-mortar store means you already hold stock and carry overhead, so in this step, you’ll want to think through how you’ll arrange in-store pick-up and ship your products to all your new clients! Also, look at dropshipping to see if it can add any simplicity to your process.
4. Add Products to Your Store
Once you’ve filled in the necessary details and signed up with Shopify, the software will take you to the admin dashboard. Here you’ll be able to customize your store and upload products for users to browse through. Customers enjoy learning details about your products.
The product page comes with numerous options – title, description, product image, price, vendor, and more. All you need to do is click on “Add Products” and list your products. Additionally, you can organize the products using different labels like product availability, product type, tags, vendors, and collections. This way you will be able to group your products and make it easier for your customers to shop.
5. Customize Your Store
At this point, you already know what your store should look like – so finally, it’s the right time to choose your store theme!
Fortunately, Shopify offers an array of themes for its users to easily customize their stores however they feel like. You can find Customize the Look of Your Site button on the primary dashboard. Now, you can access hundreds of free and premium themes that’ll give a customized and professional look to your website.
Pro tip: Browse through other popular Shopify stores to get ideas for customizing your website theme!
6. Add The Standard Pages
Usually, customers look for certain information on websites before making a purchase. You can start by adding the following pages, such as Contact, About Us, FAQs, Shipping & Delivery, Privacy & Returns Policy, and Terms of Service.
To create new pages, you can “Add Pages” from the “Pages” section.
7. Set Up Shipping & Configure Taxes
Shipping is another key aspect of your eCommerce store that needs attention. This includes several factors and variables, such as product weight, shipping destinations, packaging costs, marginal profits, and carrier rates.
You can simply set it up from the “Settings” section.
Furthermore, like all other businesses, you also have to remit taxes to the government on each sale you make. And, Shopify makes it easier by handling the tax calculations automatically.
You can edit the rates or override the default rates from the “Settings” section.
8. Activating a Payment Gateway
The payment acceptance options offered by Shopify are extensive. You can use Shopify’s payment processor or a third-party system to do so. This will enable you to accept payments from customers in a bank account. The choice of a payment gateway depends on the following factors:
- Transaction Fees, a small fee charged on each purchase.
- Transaction via Cards. Choosing a payment gateway that accepts cards adds convenience to a user’s shopping experience.
- Offsite Checkout, involving redirecting the payment processes from the Shopify shop website to your own server.
9. Prepare For The Launch!
After setting up all the required fields, you need to look into the last step for a perfect Shopify store!
Once you’ve chosen your template and designed the website to your liking, the next step is to select a domain to make your site official and live. Clicking on the “Add a Domain” tab will provide two options – transferring an existing domain or registering for a new one. A domain can either be purchased from Shopify, after which one can add it to the store or an existing domain can be added to Shopify. In the latter instance, the DNS records have to be updated.
Benefits of Starting Your Online Store
Business is about customers, having proper connections, and regular interactions. The happier your customers, the more sales you make. Shopify store is an all-in-one online platform that not only keeps you connected with users but also helps you identify issues and customize your store as per user requirements and trends.
Owning an online store comes with 7 key benefits:
- Direct, personalized, and regular communication with customers
- Improved user loyalty and retention
- Access to customer information for better interaction
- 24/7 support for faster dispute resolution
- Optimized business operations, decisions, and products
- Resilience against similar companies and products
- Complete business autonomy (you set the store rules)
Launch Your Online Store!
After completing all these steps, you are finally ready to launch your new store! You can keep on adding products, make changes to the theme, change settings, add shipping charges, and adjust your store to meet the customer requirements.
“457 million buyers place an order with Shopify merchants each year.”
eCommerce opens innumerable doors of opportunity for business. But it can be hard for businesses to get started online. Platforms like Shopify are designed to cater to people who want to start small, explore their business idea, and grow from there.
Get in touch with the Threeacres team to plan and start your business the right way!