With a growing number of stores, more and more budding entrepreneurs want to start selling online with Shopify. Why is it a popular eCommerce platform? Is it right for you? If yes, how to sell on Shopify?
Working with a lot of store owners over the years, I’ve heard their stories when they first started setting up their Shopify store. It’s true that it’s much easier for non-technical people to start creating a Shopify store.
However, it’s more than that. The entire process involves many details that can overwhelm you. Good news — this Shopify guide will help you navigate how to sell on Shopify so you can start the ball rolling and focus on scaling your store next.
If you’ve been researching into the best eCommerce software, you’ve probably stumbled upon Shopify. It’s expected because it’s one of the most popular platforms with shopping cart software.
Shopify is a hosted platform, an all-inclusive software built to create online stores. It’s basically a one-stop shop offering everything that you need to sell online — it incorporates the hosting, order management, and anything needed to for a ready-to-sell online store, within a couple of hours.
As of today, there are more than 800,000 active Shopify stores in the world, generating more $100 billion worth of sales.
Because it’s an all-in-one solution, Shopify is mostly recommended for those who want to focus more on the selling part, rather than the technical aspects of creating an online store.
Moreover, Shopify is one of the best choices for small and new businesses as it provides convenience for those who are just starting up, especially if they have little to no coding knowledge. Although, even those with a coding background still prefer to use Shopify to minimize technical labor and focus their efforts into selling and marketing their products.
*New update Dec 2019: If you’re about to open a dropshipping or print-on-demand business, there is a better alternative for you to choose from. Introducing ShopBase, a new eCommerce platform specialized for dropshipping and POD has just launched this June and already serving more than 2,000 dropshipping stores around the world. You can give ShopBase a try or join its international community here.
How much is Shopify?
Aside from its easy-to-use interface, Shopify is highly popular because of the low startup cost associated with it. But, how much will you shell out to sell on Shopify?
Shopify pricing ranges from $9/month to $299/month for its regular plans. The good thing is there are no contracts for you to sign or any other transaction fees, except for paying on an external payment gateway. If you commit to paying an upfront one-year or two-year plan, you can save 10% or 20%, respectively.
To give you a full idea, here’s the complete rundown of Shopify‘s pricing tiers:
Depending on the features you need, you can choose which of the 3 above plans will be most suitable for your requirements. If you are small and medium business, we suggest you start with the basic plan. This will allow you to understand your needs as you go along.
The good thing is you can change your plan later on. If you start big but you realize that it’s too much for you, then you’re just wasting money. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, so there’s no rush on getting the advanced plan.
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What is Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus?
Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus are different types of solutions, specifically designed for varied business needs. Here are their differences:
- Shopify Lite is a $9/month plan that allows businesses to sell on Facebook and chat with their customers on Messenger.
- Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/month. It is designed for enterprises that want a completely scalable platform. Because it’s an expensive enterprise-grade solution, it’s highly customizable depending on your needs. Plus, you’ll have a dedicated support team to help you launch with a 24/7 priority support.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell on Shopify
Now that you know Shopify is the most suitable eCommerce platform to start your online store, you’re ready to take action.
Here are the basic steps on how to sell on Shopify and get you a highly converting store in no time:
1. Set up your Shopify account
Shopify is built for technically challenged individuals. It’s, by far, one of the easiest platforms to add products, create discounts, and process orders — and it all starts by getting and setting up your Shopify account.
The first step on how to sell on Shopify is to register an account on Shopify.com. Then, sign up in a matter of seconds. For starters, begin with a free 14-day trial first. It won’t require a credit card to sign up successfully.
This will allow you to test and play around the tool before shelling out some money. The account will be automatically canceled at the end of the trial’s duration; activating it requires a purchase plan.
Your store name is important at this point. You will receive this error message below if your store name has a duplicate. Your Shopify store name will become your primary domain, but you can alter your domain name as you please. We will discuss this in the next step.
Once you’ve created your Shopify store credentials, you will be prompted to answer if you’re already selling or not. If you’re already doing business, you will also be asked for your current revenue.
The first two questions above will branch out to several questions that you need to answer before you can proceed. You have the option to skip this part, but it’s better if you answer it truthfully so Shopify can recommend the best course of action to take.
Either you answer or skip the first step, you will already be required to add your default business address in the next section:
After your store is created, you will see this admin panel below. Congratulations! You’ve just set up your first Shopify store!
The homepage will prompt you to either: add product, customize a theme, or add domain. As a beginner, we recommend you add your domain first. Let’s cover that on the next step.
2. Enter a domain address
A domain is a URL that links to your website, such as beeketing.com. It is what customers will type when they look for your store online. In Shopify, a primary domain is given to you like the domain name that visitors see in the address bar while they browse your website.
As a default setting, your primary domain is written as examplestore.myshopify.com, but you can purchase a different custom domain or connect a custom domain that you already own. You can choose your root domain or a subdomain as your Shopify store’s primary domain, but you can have only one primary domain.
If you choose to buy a new domain, you can go to Bluehost or GoDaddy. If you have a unique company name, you can choose this as your domain name. But, sometimes availability of the domain name will prevent you from doing so. Here are some characteristics of a perfect domain name:
- Short and easy to recall: Choose an acronym or a word with less than 10 characters so that people can quickly remember it.
- Easy to spell out: Keep away from using punctuation marks like a hyphen. Also, look closely for repeated letters.
- Keyword relevant: Keep in mind the relevant keywords that people will use when they’re searching for you online. This will give them the idea on your products even before they enter your site. Plus, it will also positively impact your SEO ranking later on.
3. Select a Shopify theme
Your Shopify theme is what your customers will see when they visit your store. Thus, choosing an attractive and highly functional theme plays a crucial role in making sure that you’re conveying a professional, engaging, and high-quality store.
In Shopify, you have the flexibility to do the following:
- Customize your own theme: You are in control here. Shopify will provide you with a basic but functioning look and feel but you have to plan, create, and optimize your Shopify store from the ground up.
- Select a pre-designed theme: Shopify has a large selection of both free and paid themes via Shopify Themes.
You’ll be confronted with a dilemma between saving money with a free theme or investing in a sleek design with a premium one. While being economical is not a sin, a premium theme will give you access to more functions and features so you can make your Shopify store stand out.
For example, Testament is a premium Shopify theme ideal for stores with large imagery and featured collections. This will surely help you captivate your audience.
Remember, you also have to check how your design will look both on desktop and mobile. Some texts and images will vary how they appear on mobile devices. Make sure that you have a fully responsive Shopify store for a seamless shopping experience.
4. Add products
Now that you’ve got a sleek and good looking Shopify store, it’s time to focus on what really matters on how to sell on Shopify: your products. You can’t be an online store with anything to sell.
This step is probably the most time-consuming portion but it really requires your full, undivided attention. Your products are what will generate your revenue. Without a highly curated product selection, your potential customers won’t convert.
On your Shopify admin panel, just click on Products to manage your inventory. You have the options to:
- Manually add a product: If you have less than five products, manually adding them won’t be such a burden. You will need to fill out product details like product name, description, type, etc. You will also have to manually upload the product images.
- Import products by CSV file: If you have a huge inventory, bulk upload products by importing CSV file is a better alternative to manual uploads. Here is Shopify’s official guide on importing products with a CSV file.
- Find products to sell on Oberlo: If you’re eyeing to be a dropshipping business, you will never have to worry about shipping, packaging, or holding inventory. You just need to connect to Oberlo and it will help you find and add products directly into your Shopify store.
5. Install apps to support and expand your business
Shopify is very flexible and easy to customize. With a large number of Shopify apps, you can extend the functionality of your online store for you to sell more and grow faster. An app will help you enhance your Shopify store and embrace new technology trends to help you keep up and survive the eCommerce industry.
Just like themes, apps or plugins come in two forms: free or paid. For Shopify stores, you have infinite access to 2600+ Shopify apps as of today. From marketing, sales, inventory management, reporting, analytics — there are many different apps that you can use to help your Shopify ready to scale and grow.
Here is a rundown of Top 21 Best Shopify Apps to help you boost your conversion and generate more sales.
6. Market your business and optimize for conversion
Time flies, doesn’t it? You’re already at the end of this Shopify guide. Hurray! You’re now ready to promote your Shopify store and get your first customers lined up.
Our last step on how to sell on Shopify is marketing and optimization techniques. Marketing will help you drive a steady flow of traffic into your site, but you also need to make sure that you continue to optimize your site to increase your conversion.
If you are unsure about how you can get people to start talking about your store and optimize it, here are some best practices that we’d love you to try:
- Build your email list: Even with the explosion of new digital media, email marketing is still one of the most vital channels for online stores. Strategically place an email subscription form on your website to capture visitors. Once captured, you can nurture them into paying customers.
- Advertise on social media: If you are serious about growing your Shopify store, then investing in paid ads is inevitable. Two of the most go-to social media platforms by savvy marketers are Instagram and Facebook. Here’s a guide on how to advertise on Facebook or advertise on Instagram.
- Improve your product page: It’s not enough that you get people to visit your site, your ultimate goal is to get them to buy. Make sure that you optimize the product page so that your visitors will be compelled to convert as soon as possible.
Boost Sales allows your Shopify store to automatically create upsell and cross-sell offers on your product page. Upselling and cross-selling techniques will help you maximize the average order value by recommending products that your visitors are most likely to buy.
Do you want to know how much money you can actually earn with Boost Sales? And which apps are suitable for your online store? Read this article, it’s our detailed report on how much can you make with Beeketing Shopify apps.
You’re ready to sell!
There are many all-in-one eCommerce software solutions out there, but Shopify store continues to be on top of its game. From inventory administration, order management, and anything needed to help you create a powerful online store, Shopify will build that for you within a couple of hours.
With no coding skills necessary, Shopify has helped thousands of established entrepreneurs out there who have started building their Shopify store from the ground up.
This basic tutorial should be enough to help you get started, but you will probably have more questions while setting it up yourself. Don’t worry then, because you will always discover things yourself while seriously working on it, and find support in Beeketing Blog with tutorials, tips and tricks to boost sales on Shopify stores.