Starting an eCommerce business is the best decision you could ever make if you want to be your own boss and take charge of your future. Over the years, eCommerce has become an indispensable part of retail.
With the advent of the internet, there’s a drastic change in how consumers buy and retailers sell products, given that the number of users adopting and accessing the internet has increased to over 5 billion users between 2005 and 2022.
With such rapidly rising internet users over the years, the number of people making online purchases is also increasing. As per a report, retail e-commerce sales in 2022 were estimated to exceed 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide and are expected to reach new heights in the coming years. Also, in 2022, online marketplaces accounted for the largest share of online purchases worldwide.
All these statistics testify that there is no better time to start an online store than today. Besides these encouraging numbers, there are a host of benefits that eCommerce offers to merchants that drive merchants to go online over selling through traditional retail.
Relative to the traditional retail, eCommerce stores are cheaper and easier to maintain. Plus there are many eCommerce platforms and tools that help merchants just get started with selling their products.
One of the popular and in-demand eCommerce platforms is Shopify. What makes this tool most sought after is the exhaustive features that it offers to merchants to start selling online easily and seamlessly.
Nowadays, anyone can set up a Shopify store and start getting new online customers, provided they set up their Shopify store keeping in view their customer requirements.
In this article, we are going to walk you through the step-by-step process of how to set up a Shopify store. Also, we will provide you with the guidelines on how to set up your Shopify store keeping a view of your customer requirements.
How Do I Set Up A Shopify Store Step By Step?
The following are the steps that explain how to set up a Shopify store.
1. Create A Shopify Account
The first step in setting up a Shopify store is to create an account on Shopify by registering for the 3-day free trial period. To register on Shopify, go to Shopify.com and click on ‘Start Free Trial’.
Once you click on it, you will to the Shopify sign-up page. On this page, fill in your email address, password, and store name.
Once you fill in all the details, then click on the ‘Create You Store’ button.
Once you do that, Shopify will ask you to take a survey, which you can skip for the moment. Then, you need to fill in all your details like your name, address, postal code, mobile number, and business website. Once you fill in all the details, click on ‘Enter My Store’ to finish creating a Shopify account.
This will take you to your Shopify store’s dashboard.
Also Read: How To Set Up Dropshipping On Shopify?
2. Choose A Theme
The next step in how to set up a Shopify store is to select a theme for your website. To select a theme, select ‘Online Store’ on the left bar menu of your Shopify dashboard.
Then, from the drop-down menu, select ‘Themes’.
Once you select Themes, you will see a default theme that Shopify has already selected for your store.
To select a different theme for your store, scroll down and click on ‘Explore Free Themes’.
On doing so, you will see a list of free themes that come along with the Shopify Plan that you choose. Spend some time checking out these themes and selecting the one that meets your business requirements.
To select a theme, choose the most appropriate one and then select ‘Add To Theme Library’. Once you do this, you will see that on your Shopify dashboard, the theme is added under the Theme Library section of the Themes page.
To publish this theme, click on the Actions drop-down and then select ‘Publish’.
Once you hit publish, a popup will appear that will ask you to either ‘Cancel’ or ‘Publish’ the theme.
Once you hit the Publish button, you will see under the Current Theme section of your Themes page that the new theme that you just added starts displaying.
Now, to personalize the theme as per your branding guidelines, click on the ‘Customize’ button next to the Current Theme. This will take you to the Theme Editor where you can customize different pages on your website such as your homepage, product pages, collections, pages, and so on.
Now, the left bar of your Theme Editor showcases the structure of your theme. Here you can select different sections and start editing.
On the top bar of the Theme Editor, you can see a drop-down field that showcases the various pages of your online store. You can click on the drop-down and from the drop-down menu, you can select any of the pages and start editing them.
For this article, we are going to begin with the homepage. From the drop-down on the top bar of the Theme Editor, select Homepage.
On the left bar menu, you can see the structure of your homepage starting from the header on the top and footer on the bottom, and in between there are sections like slideshow, rich text, collection list, featured collection, featured product, and newsletter.
In the middle, you can scroll and see these sections, the changes that you make to each section, and how these sections get displayed on your web pages.
Then if you want to change the order of these sections, you simply need to click and hold the section and simply drag and drop to the position where you want to place that section.
Furthermore, if you want to delete a section, then on the left-bar menu, simply select the section you want to delete and click on the ‘Remove Section’ button at the bottom of the theme Editor on the bar menu.
If you want to add a new section, then simply click on the Add Section button on the left bar menu. Once you do this, you will see a list of items that you can add to a particular section. You can choose any item that you want to add to a section from the given list.
You can also search for an item by typing its name in the search bar at the top of the list and simply selecting the item that appears on the list.
3. Add A Logo
Now let’s start adding content to the homepage of your Shopify store. The first item we will add to your homepage is your store’s logo. To add a logo, we are going to select ‘Header’ on the left bar menu.
Once you do that, you will see various options like logo, transparent header, transparent logo, navigation, menu, secondary sidebar menu, announcement bar menu, and so on. To add a logo, click on the ‘Select Image’ button under the logo section. Upload the image for your store here and then click on the ‘Select’ button at the bottom of the left bar.
Do not forget to add a white version of your logo so that whenever there is a dark background, your logo will automatically turn white. To add a white logo, go to the ‘Transparent Header’ section and check the ‘Enable Transparent Header On The Homepage’. Then click on the ‘Select Image’ button to add the white logo to your store.
As you make these changes, you can see on the right side of your Theme Editor that the logo turned to white on your homepage. If you go to a different page, say the Collection Page, you will see that your logo turns black again.
Now go back to your homepage and scroll down the left bar menu to go to the ‘Announcement Bar’ section. Make sure that both the ‘Show Announcement’ and the ‘Homepage Only’ boxes are checked. Then, under the ‘Text field’, change the text of the announcement to what you need to display on the homepage of your Shopify store. Note that this is a good place to put the promotional messages, say for instance, a discount code or free shipping. If you do not want to display an announcement on the homepage of your store, you can simply remove it by unchecking the ‘Show Announcement’ box.
4. Add Cover Image
The next step in how to set up a Shopify store is to add a cover image to your online store. Note that the theme that we have chosen for this article has a slider on the cover image area. To add a cover image, you simply need to simply click ‘Slideshow’ on the left bar menu.
Once you do that, you will see the various sections for different slides that you can add as cover images in the slider area. For this article, we will choose only one slide. Therefore, we will delete all the other slides and just keep one slide. To remove a slide, select the slide that you want to remove and then click on the ‘Remove Block’ button at the bottom.
Now, to add a cover image to that slide that you want to keep, click on the slide and then click on ‘Select Image’.
Then upload the hero image that you want and then click the ‘Select’ button at the bottom to finally upload the image.
This is the image that people will first see when they visit your store. Then, we will align the text as per the image. To align the text, go to the ‘Text’ Section and click the drop-down against the text alignment. From the drop-down menu, select the direction where you want to align the text. We have chosen the right direction for this article. Then make changes under the ‘Heading’ and the ‘Sub-Heading’ sections as per your need.
You can also add a ‘Shop Now’ button under the cover image so that your customers can directly purchase the product displayed in the cover image area. To add a Shop Now button, go to the Button Label section, and change the text to the one that you want. Then, in the ‘Button Link’ field, click the field and you will see the list of pages and collections that are on your website. You can either choose to add a single product link or you can add the link to collections that you want people to view and then make a purchase decision.
To personalize this button all the more, you can change the color of the button to the one that matches your brand style guide. To save the changes that you have made to the slideshow section, do not forget to click on the ‘Save’ button.
5. Create A Collection List
Once you set the logo and the cover image of your Shopify store, the next step is to create a collection list. To create a collection list, go to the ‘Collection List’ on the left bar menu and click on it.
You will see the Heading field of your collection list. Change the heading to what you want the Heading to be.
Once you do that, the next step is to delete the extra collections that you do not want. Only keep the collections that you want. To delete a collection, first click the collection that you want to delete and then hit the ‘Remove Section button at the bottom. For this article, we are just keeping two collections and deleting the rest of the collections.
Once you have the necessary collections, the next step is to customize a collection as per your needs. To customize a collection, right-click on the Exit button on the top left of the Theme Editor, and then from the menu list, select ‘Open Link In A New Tab’. This will take you back to your Shopify store.
To create a collection, click on the ‘Products’ tab in the left bar menu of your Shopify store.
Then from the list select ‘Collections’. Once you do this, you will see a default collection list that your Shopify store already has.
To delete the default collection list, click on the checkboxes against the list.
Then, click on the ‘More Actions’ tab on the top bar of the Collection List page. From the drop-down menu, select Delete Collection. Once you do this, Shopify will ask for confirmation before deleting the collection list. If you want to go ahead with deleting the collection list, then click on the ‘Delete’ button to delete your list.
Then you will see that your Collection List page has turned blank as there are no more collection lists displayed on the page. To create a new collection, click on the ‘Create Collection’.
Once you do this, you will see the Create Collection page. On this page, you will see certain fields like Title, Description, Collection Image, Collection Type, and so on. In the Title field, give a title to your collection. Then under description, you can add an SEO-Optimized description that explains what this collection is all about. Do not forget to add the keywords with which the consumers are trying to find your kind of products online. Then on the right-hand side, you can add an image for your product.
Finally, under the Collection Type, choose the type to Manual.
Once you make all these changes, click on the ‘Save’ button in the extreme right upper corner to save the changes that you have made to your collection list.
Repeat the same process for all of your other collections.
Once you have created all your collections, the next step is to put each of these on the homepage of your Shopify store. To do this, go back to your Theme Editor and choose the first collection under the Collection List section on your Homepage.
Once you do this, click the ‘Select Collection’ button to assign the corresponding collections. On doing so, the list of collections that you have created on the backend of your store, as explained above, will appear.
From that list, choose the collection that you want to display on your homepage and then click the ‘Select’ button to finally display the collection on the homepage.
Likewise, you can also set the Featured Collection on the homepage of your Shopify store. To set up a feature collection, click on the ‘Featured Collection’ tab on the left bar menu of your Shopify store.
Once you do this, you will see certain fields appearing on your screen including heading, collection, and grid style. Under the heading field, give a suitable heading for your collection. Then in the collection field, click the select button and choose the collection that you want to showcase in the featured collection section of your homepage. And in the Grid Style field, choose the grid style as ‘Grid’. This means that your featured collection will now be showcased in the form of a Grid.
Finally, to save the changes that you have made under the Featured Collection, click on the ‘Save’ button in the extreme right upper corner.
You will notice that we have not added any products as yet. Therefore, after creating different collections, the next step is to start adding products to each of these collections.
6. Add Products
The next step in setting up a Shopify store is to add products to your store. To add products to your store, you first need to leave the Theme Editor and go back to your Shopify store dashboard. On the dashboard, click on the ‘Products’ tab on the left bar menu, and under the Products tab, click on the ‘All Products’ tab.
On the Products page, you are going to see the ‘Add Product’ and ‘Find Product’ options. Click on the ‘Add Product’ option to start adding products. On the Product page, you are going to see various fields like Title, Description, Media, Pricing, Inventory, Shipping, Options, and Search Engine Listing Preview in the middle of the Product Page and fields like Product Status, Organization, Product Type, Collections, and Online Store on the right side.
Fill in the necessary details in all the fields like title, description, pricing, shipping, quantity, and product image. Do not forget to add the collection name under which you want the product to be displayed.
When you fill in all the details, click the ‘Save’ button on the upper right corner to save the changes that you have made to the product section so far.
Now, go back to the Product section and follow the same process to add the other products to your Shopify store. Once you have added all the products to your Shopify store, you need to change the status of the products from ‘Draft’ to ‘Active’. To do this, select all of your products and click on ‘More Actions’. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Set As Active’. When you do that, your Shopify dashboard displays a pop-up asking for a confirmation whether to change the status to active or not. To change the status to active, click the ‘Set As Active’ option.
Once you do this, go back to your Theme Editor. You will see that the products that you have added to the specific collection are displayed under that collection.
Besides adding products to various collections, you can also add products to the Featured Product section of your homepage. To do that, go to the ‘Featured Product’ tab on the left bar menu of your Shopify dashboard and click on it. Once you do this, you will see various fields under the ‘Featured Product’ section on your Shopify dashboard. Under the product field, click the ‘Select Product’ tab. On doing so, you’ll see that your product list is displayed. From that list, choose the product that you want to display under the Featured Product section, and finally, click the ‘Select’ button on the bottom to complete the process.
7. Add Email Newsletter
The last section on the homepage of your Shopify store is the newsletter section for email marketing. To make changes to this section, go to the ‘Newsletter’ tab on the left bar menu of your Shopify dashboard and click on it. Next, you will see various fields like the heading and the subheading. Make changes to both fields as per your requirement. In case, you do not want the newsletter section on your homepage, simply remove this section by clicking on the ‘Remove Section’ button at the bottom.
8. Create A Footer Menu
Another important section of your Shopify store is the Footer Menu. The Footer Menu must display all the links that are related to terms and conditions and various policies of your store. These policy links may include return policy, terms of service, shipping policy, and so on.
Once you create content for each of the policies, click on the ‘Save’ button in the upper right corner to save the changes that you have made to the policy section.
Now, to display these policy pages on your Shopify store, you need to go back to your Shopify dashboard and then click on the ‘Online Store’ tab on the left bar menu. Under the ‘Online Store’ menu, click on ‘Navigation’. On the Navigation page, under the ‘Menus’ section, click on the ‘Footer Menu’ link. Once you do that, the Footer Menu page will be displayed. On that page, you will see various sections like Title, Menu Items, and Handle.
Under the Menu Items section, click on the ‘Add Menu Item’ link to start adding links to your Footer Menu. Once you do this, you will see a pop-up window on your right. Add the name of the link under the ‘Name’ field. Then, under the ‘Link’ field, select ‘Policies’ from the drop-down list menu and then select the policy whose link you want to paste here. Repeat the same process for each of the policy links that you want to add to the footer menu.
Once you put all the links in the footer menu, click on the ‘Save Menu’ button at the bottom right to save the Footer Menu that you have created.
Then, to display the links on the footer menu, go back to your Theme Editor and click on the ‘Save’ button in the upper right corner.
Besides the legal policy links, you can also add the links to your social media accounts in your footer menu. To do this, select the ‘Footer’ tab on the left bar menu. Then, go to the ‘Theme Settings’ section under the Footer tab and add links to each of the social media fields like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram, and so on.
9. Create A Main Menu
Once you finish designing the homepage for your Shopify store, the next step is to create the header menu of your homepage. This will define how the customers should navigate your Shopify store.
To adjust the header menu, go back to your Shopify store dashboard and then click the ‘Online Store’ tab on the left bar menu. Under the ‘Online Store’ tab, click on the ‘Navigation’ tab. Once the ‘Navigation’ page is displayed, click the ‘Main Menu’ button under the Menus section.
Once you do this, the ‘Main Menu’ page is displayed. On the Main Menu page, you will see various sections like the Title, Menu Items, and Handle. This is exactly like the Footer Menu that you edited before.
To add a section in the Main Menu, simply click on the ‘Add Menu Item’ button. On doing so, you will see a pop-up window appearing on the right side. In that window, you will see the ‘Name’ and the ‘Link’ fields. Simply add the name of the main menu section that you want to add in the ‘Name’ field. Then, in the ‘Link’ field, select the link associated with the name of the section that you want to add from the drop-down list menu.
Repeat the process for each of the items that you want to add to the Main menu. Once you complete this process, go back to your Theme Editor and click on the ‘Save’ button in the upper right corner. On the Theme Editor, you can see the customized main menu on top.
Once the Header, the Main Menu, the Homepage, and the Footer Menu are in place, the next step is to change the overall settings of your online store as per your brand style guide. To make changes, go to your Theme Editor and then click on ‘Theme Settings’. On the Theme Settings Page, there are two options: Theme and App Embeds. Click on the ‘Theme’ option. From the menu list, make changes to all the elements to match your store’s brand guidelines. For instance, you can make changes to the colors, typography, favicon, and so on. Once you make changes to all the elements, click on the ‘Save’ button on the extreme upper right corner.
Make sure that you view the mobile version of your store as well to ensure that the changes that you have made to your Shopify store look good in the mobile view as well. To preview the mobile view of your store, go to the ‘Desktop Icon’ in the upper right corner and click on it. Then, from the drop-down menu, click on the ‘Mobile’ icon. Typically, when you see the mobile view on your Shopify store, everything is optimized. However, if there’s anything that is not all; signed, you can any day make changes to it.
Now, just the way you made changes to the Homepage of your online store, you can also make changes to the other pages of your store like your Product page and the checkout page. To make changes to any of the pages, just go to the top bar of your Theme Editor and choose the page that you want to make changes to from the drop-down menu as shown in the image below.
11. Other Settings
Once the main pages of your online store are in place, the next step is to make changes to the other settings on your store that are important to make your store fully operational.
First of all, go back to your Shopify dashboard and click on the ‘Online Store’ tab. Under the online store, click on the ‘Preferences’ tab. On the Preferences page, first of all, make changes to the Homepage Title and Homepage Description under the Title and Meta description section. This will help your customers find your store on search engines.
Then go to the ‘Password Protection’ section on the Preferences Page. Make sure that you disable the password protection so that people can visit your new Shopify store. Note that you can only disable the password once you have chosen a Shopify plan. To do this, first click on the ‘Save’ button on the upper right corner and then choose a plan.
Then, click on the ‘Pick a Plan’ link given in the Password Protection section. In doing so, you will see the various plans that Shopify offers to its customers. For this article, we are choosing the ‘Basic Plan’. Click on the ‘Choose Plan’ button on the Basic Plan.
Once you do this, you will see the invoice page where the billing cycle options are displayed. Choose the billing cycle that suits you the most. For this article, we are choosing the ‘Monthly’ billing cycle.
Then, select the ‘Payment Method’ through which you want to make payments each month for the Shopify plan that you intend to purchase. For this article, we are choosing the Credit Card option.
So now that your plan is active, go back to your Shopify Dashboard and click on the ‘Online Store’ tab and then the ‘Preferences’ tab. Then scroll down to the ‘Password Protection’ section and uncheck the ‘Enable Password’ check box. Then to save the changes, click on the ‘Save’ button on the upper right corner.
After you make changes to the Preferences section, go back to the ‘Settings’ tab and click on it. Then, select the ‘Store Details’ tab. On the Store Details page, make sure that your details are correct including your store name, store address, contact information, store currency, and so on.
After making changes here, you also need to set your payments. To set payments, go to the ‘Payments’ tab and click on it. Then, on the payments page, click on ‘Activate Shopify Payments’ if you want to use Shopify Payments as your payment method. Fill in the details to finally set up Shopify Payments.
In case, you do not want to use Shopify Payments as your payment method, then go to the ‘Alternate Payment Methods’ to select some other payment method. To set an alternate method as a payment method, click on ‘Choose Alternative Payment’ and select the payment provider that you want to choose. There are tons of options, so you can choose the one that’s most appropriate for you and that is accessible in your location.
Also, note that by default PayPal is set as a Payment Method in your Shopify store. Thus, customers can use PayPal to make payments for the orders in your store. However, if you do not want to offer PayPal as a payment method, make sure to deactivate it by clicking on ‘Deactivate PayPal Express Checkout’.
In addition to the payment method, you also want to set Shipping and Delivery for your store. To set shipping, go to read our article on how to set up shipping for Shopify and read all the steps that are necessary to set shipping and delivery.
Now, apart from shipping, you also need to ensure that your domain URL is legit and professional. To set your domain name as per your brand, go to the ‘Domains’ tab on the left bar menu of your Shopify dashboard and click on it. On the domain page, you will see that your current domain URL is not as per your brand, rather it’s a Shopify link. To customize the URL, you will see three options on the top bar of your Domain page. These include ‘Connect Existing Domain’, ‘Transfer Domain’, and ‘Buy New Domain’.
In case you have already purchased a domain, then click on the ‘Connect Existing Domain’ button. However, if you do not have a domain and want to purchase a new one, then click on the ‘Buy New Domain’ button. This will allow you to purchase a new domain using Shopify and connect it with your online store.
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