FREE Professional Installation*

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Steps to Start a Shopify Online Store for Your Small Business on the Internet


In the past, setting up an online store required tons of time, effort, and expertise. However, today you can set up an online store for your business on the Internet in just a few minutes with little to no coding and design experience. That’s all thanks to Shopify.

Shopify is an online platform where you can create a website and sell, ship and manage your small business’s products. In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of Shopify and outline the steps to get started with an ecommerce business on the Internet.

What is Shopify and How Does it Work?

Shopify has become one of the most well-known brands in the ecommerce world. Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows users to create and customize online stores. It has become the leading ecommerce platform because of its low startup cost and ease of use. Shopify is incredibly user-friendly, so business owners can quickly and easily create beautiful online stores without coding experience.

With Shopify, you can manage products, inventory, payments and shipping. It offers a full suite of powerful ecommerce tools with all the features you need to start, run and grow your online business.

Create your Shopify account

Shopify offers a free, 14-day trial so you won’t have to commit financially before getting to know the platform. To create your account, go to Shopify’s website, enter your email, and click ‘Start Free Trial’. From here, create a password and add your business name. You will then be prompted with a few questions about your small business. Once you’ve entered this information, you’ll be redirected to Shopify’s admin panel so you can start setting up your store.

Choose a theme and customize your store

From here, you can start designing the look and feel of your online store. Shopify offers hundreds of free and premium website designs, or themes, in its website themes store. If you’re just getting started, a free theme will have everything you need. With a free theme, you can edit your website’s logos, fonts, colors, and more.

If you’re looking for more flexibility and advanced capabilities, you can consider a premium store. The premium themes allow even more modifications through access the CSS and HTML coding. If you don’t have coding experience but want help setting up and customizing a premium store, you can get support from Shopify Experts. This is a network of free-lancers and agencies that Shopify has hand-picked.

Add products to your store

Once you’ve chosen your website’s look and feel, you can start adding products to your store. Product listings are the most important aspect of your website as they help users decide whether to purchase anything from your online store. To decide how to format your product listings, you can browse through other small business Shopify stores to see how they display their products. This can give you a good sense of what can work for your small business.

Once you’re ready to add a product to you store, go to the products tab and click ‘Add Product’. The most important aspects of your product listing are:

Product title: Your title should clearly communicate what you are selling. It should be concise and use terms that customer would use when they’re searching for your specific product.

Product description: Your description should outline your product’s features and benefits. It should clearly explain everything your customers need to know before purchasing your product. Today’s website users do not spend much time reading through web pages, so make sure you make your description is easy to scan and use bullet points when possible.

Product photos: A product photo is typically the first thing a customer sees. Make sure that your product photos are high-resolution. Include multiple different photos if necessary to show different sides and angles.  

Price: You will also need to include your product’s price. Pricing your products is one of the more important decisions you’ll make since it impacts so many different areas of your business. If you need help pricing your products, check out Shopify’s article, How to Price Your Product.

Set up a payment processor

Once you’ve added your product listings, you can set up a payment processer so you can accept online payments. Shopify offers many different options for accepting payments – you can use Shopify’s built-in payment processer or a third-party system.

There are a few factors you should consider when making this decision. Most payment processing companies charge fees for each transaction, so consider the options with the lowest fees. You should also prioritize options that accept a wide variety of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and even PayPal. This will help lower the barriers for purchasing a product on your online store. 

Choose your domain name

Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be ready to choose your website’s domain and launch your store. By default, Shopify will include as part of your domain, so we recommend purchasing a domain. To do this, go to the main dashboard and click ‘Add Domain’. From here, you can connect your website to an existing domain or buy a new domain.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you will have a professional, modern and fully functioning online store for your business on the Internet. Once you launch your store, make sure to spread the word that you’re officially open for online business.

* Free standard professional installation applies to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Limited-time offer.