Learn the basics of shopify

what is shopify

Shopify is one of the eCommerce platforms that you would have come across if you had been searching for a content management site for building your website. Over 600,00 online businesses from around 175 countries have preferred Shopify. This cloud-based platform comes with a low-cost setup for a start-up while the interface is simple for the users. The lowest cost for running an entire web store is around $9 per month. The only thing that is dragging is the setup at the beginning. And running the entire store might seem tedious at the beginning and one has to put a lot of work into it.  

Shopify is the one-stop-shop for any eCommerce site as it comes with all the features that include payment and marketing. To make the working experience smooth, this eCommerce platform provides a complete package in its web builder where the user can customize the templates to suit the brand. Shopify also offers a free trial for 14 days. During this course of time, you can check if this platform meets your expectations. It involves directly into the setup because you can find a lot of sources that are of great help for anyone setting up an account in Shopify while also offering assistance through the chatrooms.      

PRICING

It will be a surprise for you if I say that Shopify comes at an affordable price. You can find 4 flexible main plans. The only work of the admins is to select the right plan to suit the business so that the users can have an upper hand on the interface and the features. The plans are as following:

  • Plan Lite costs around $9 for a month
  • Basic Shopify Plan costing around $29 for a month
  • Shopify Plan that costs around $79 for a month
  • Advanced Shopify Plan costing around $299 for a month

Besides these plans, Shopify also comes forward to provide an advanced solution to handle huge numbers of merchants and a large business through its Shopify Plus option. All the plans come with free setup, limitless uploads of products and storage. The eCommerce platform also offers 24/7 support by both phone and online mode. The cost for bandwidth and the transaction during payment is zero. You can also get templates and extensions, either paid or for free from the Shopify store. The only drawback is that the user should pay for hosting services and domain names.

WHAT TO SELL?

Everything that is ethically acceptable in society is permitted to be sold on Shopify. It can be a digital or physical product or service. However, products like alcohol, marijuana, or anything related to gambling or pharmacy are not allowed for sale in this eCommerce platform. It is highly recommended that you refer to the terms of services before uploading the products to your website.

SIGNING UP

Firstly go to the official Shopify site. You will have to fill in certain details in the respective fields. Let me guide you step by step.  

  1. Click here to land on the official sign-up page of Shopify.
  2. Enter your email address and click on the “Start Free Trial” button. You will receive the emails regarding marketing from Shopify to the email address you have provided.
  3. On the next page, you should choose a password of your wish and fill it in the respective. 
  4. Now enter the name of your store and press the “Create your store” button. 
  5. Shopify will direct you to another page where you should answer a few questions. You should fill in the details of your sale status, revenue, and what kind of industry your business belongs to. For each question you will find a drop-down list from where you can choose your answers. Be it an amateur or an expert, you will find your answers here. Once you have entered the details press the “Next” button. If you do not want to disclose any of the details, press the “Skip” button to land on the next page.
  6. You will land on a page where you will be asked to enter personal details like name and contact details. As soon as you have entered the details, press the “Enter my store” button.

ADMIN INTERFACE

Now you will land on the admin interface. This is your control center and the fun part of setting up your eCommerce store starts from here. You can customize your website and choose the products for display. It also allows you to set up the mode of payment and add shipping details. Let us take it one by one.

THEME CUSTOMIZATION

Themes bring a unique look to your website. It is of course very important to look different from others. This will indeed add a wow factor to your store. You will initially see a default theme. You can either change the entire theme or make modifications to the default theme. Over 180 themes are available in the Shopify store, either paid for or for free. You can use filters like industry, features, popularity, and features to easily find the right theme. Before making your decision, have a look at the user reviews, previews, and demos. Let’s quickly get to the steps for selecting a theme. 

  1. Under the “Online Store” menu click on “Free Theme”. 
  2. To have a demo of a specific theme click “View Demo”.
  3. To add that theme to your store press the green button. A dialogue box for confirming the installation will pop up. And then press the “Publish as my shop’s theme” button. You will now find the theme in the published themes list.   
  4. It is to be noted that at a time only one theme can be published. There are other third-party themes at different marketplaces. If you cannot find the right theme at Shopify, you may find one at the third-party theme houses. All these themes can be personalized to suit your business. 
  5. Click on the “Customize” button to modify your theme. You can drop the logo, images and make changes to the fonts as you wish. However, an advanced change will require HTML or CSS knowledge. 

ADDING PRODUCTS

Now it’s time to upload products that you wish to sell. 

  1. Click on the “Products” option from the left-hand menu.
  2. Select “All Products” and click on “Add Product”. Now upload all the details of the products that you prefer to disclose with your customers. 
  3. Do not forget to upload the images and the corresponding descriptions. Professional and clear photography will do good. All these details should be in such a way that they pave the way for the customers to find your products with no difficulties. For this, you need to come up with a descriptive title. This will be displayed in the search engine as a link. 
  4. To do this, press the “Edit Website SEO” button from the preview division of the Search Engine listing. Here the user can upload a description that is filled with keywords, make changes to the URL or create URL redirects. 

Further, this eCommerce platform facilitates the admin to make copies of product pages, edit the product details, and include the functions to make variants that can be modified as well. The bulk editor option enables the admin to edit products as a whole. Shopify makes it easier for the user to select the appropriate channels to sell your products under the Product availability division. Tagging the products helps tremendously for the customers to find your products easily. A maximum of 250 tags can be added to each product. Do not forget to separate the tags with commas. After filling up all the details click on the “Save Product” button.

SETTINGS

This is the place where you can enable or disable many features. Let’s get to know each of the main elements.

General: You are expected to update the general details here. You can also view them later. 

Locations: This element facilitates the user to fulfill the orders, handle the inventory and sell the products. Any place or application that is concerned with the inventory should be mentioned here. It can be a warehouse or a retail outlet. You can set as many locations as defined by your plan.

Shipping: Firstly decide as to which method of delivery would suit your business. Shopify will display these methods on the checkout page. On the Shipping page, you can also view the shipping zone, rates applicable for the regions, and the countries your products can be shipped to. Shopify comes in handy with USA and Canada-based shipping services. You can buy their shipping labels and speed up the delivery. Many customers tend to discard their carts after looking at the shipping cost. So set up a fair shipping rate for your customers depending on the actual shipping rate, the weight of the product, and the packaging. One good thing about the shipping labels is that they cut down the shipping rates by almost half comparatively. If you can afford higher plans, your shipping rate becomes even more impressive as they sum up to zero when the customer purchases more than a certain price. 

Checkout: This is the interface where you can accept customer orders. In the theme settings, you can modify the layout and the appearance. Shopify facilitates your customers to create a private account to store information like address, order history, and email, all protected by a password. While at the checkout, these pieces of information are pre-filled.  

Payments: To collect the money from the customers, you will need a payment gateway. 

Go to Settings and click on “Payments”.

Multiple payment options offer different features. We will have a look at some of the payment methods.

  • Transaction Fees: Shopify can deduct a certain percentage of money or a flat fee when you get paid. This is because you use their services.
  • Card Types: firstly find out what all cards are compatible with making payments through your payment gateway. Generally, VISA and Mastercard are accepted. Recently Paypal is accepted.
  • Offsite Checkout: Shopify can facilitate payments through other external servers. The customers are redirected to a different page from the checkout page. This may be a little inconvenient as the customer will have to switch between sites to make payments. 

Each of the payment gateways possesses a certain set of rules and regulations while they also put charges for the payment. Depending on which payment gateway suits your business, choose it wisely. Shopify Payments do not charge any transaction fee. Offsite checkouts may charge up to a 2 % additional fee.

Once you have done setting up the payment gateway for your eCommerce site, click on “Complete Shopify Payments account setup”.

The most important step is to set up the currency. 

  1. Go to Settings and click on “General”.
  2. Select the “Standards and formats” option and press the “Change formatting” option. 

Here you can set up the currency.

Taxes: Usually the state laws will impose the seller to collect tax while selling the products and pay it to the government later. The tax calculations are made by Shopify itself. 

TESTING

It is more like a preview. Before you launch your store it is recommended that you test the store to check if it works as intended.

  1. Under the setting, menu click on “Payment Provider” and deactivate the already enabled provider for your payment. 
  2. Select the “Accept credit cards” option and choose the “third party credit card provider” option under the “Add a Provider” option.
  3. Now press the “Provider” button and then on the “Other” button.
  4. You will find the “Bogus Gateway” option. Click on it.
  5. Press “Continue” and then the “Activate”.  
  6. Go to your store like an outsider and make an order. Now you will be able to see if your eCommerce store is working fine. Cancel the order to get away from transaction charges. This way you can also check if your money will be refunded.  

DOMAIN NAME

Being going live, you need to add a domain to your Shopify account. Shopify offers you a solution to find a domain name. You can either afford to buy a domain from this platform or use the custom domain that you have already purchased somewhere else. Domain names are for the visitors to find your store. The price of Shopify domains starts from $11 for a year. Even after quitting Shopify, you can still own this domain. 

FINAL WORDS

Now you can go live on your eCommerce store. Comparatively, Shopify might seem to be a better option when it comes to building an eCommerce store. There are other content management sites, like WordPress or Drupal, that offer a wide range of functionalities. These platforms enable the user to be a blogger as well as manage an eCommerce site efficiently. But Shopify is exclusively built for creating and managing websites. 

By