No matter what you are looking to sell online, Shopify is definitely a platform to consider. It is suitable for any business, no matter what size or focus. Shopify is a great e-commerce site that really helps you to run your online store, whether you are a complete beginner or have years of experience.
Shopify is a very useful tool that can really help you and your business grow substantially and make a ton of profit. Although it isn’t for everyone, my goal is to inform you about everything that you should know before you get started, and to show you if it is the best option for you and your business.
What to Sell on Shopify
Let’s start of with explaining what you can sell on Shopify. Here are some things that they allow you to sell:
- Physical ProductsThe most obvious thing to sell on Shopify is of course physical products. I am just mentioning this briefly to inform you that it is something you can sell, just to straighten that out. This applies to everything from video games to clothing, and can be used to sell tons of your businesses inventory.
- ServicesCharge customers for you to complete a certain task is the obvious example of a service. That does work, but you could also allow customers to book an appointment to your business. For example; Let’s suppose you own a hair salon. You can sell hair-care products online and at your physical location, but you can also allow customers to book appointments for haircuts on your site.
- MembershipsOrganizations can sell memberships to customers through Shopify using a simple app. Memberships are a lot like subscription box businesses, that rely on a recurring payment setup. The app I would recommend you use is “Recurring Memberships”, which allows merchants to sell one-time or recurring memberships online, and can also be used for physical businesses or to manage member-only access to content on a website.
- Digital DownloadsDigital downloads refer to anything along the lines of ebooks, music, and design elements. Some apps I would recommend you use would be “Sky Pilot” and Digital Downloads” that can instantly deliver the files to your customer after their purchase, or send them a link where the files can be downloaded.
- RentalsRentals are kind of self-explanitory. They are technically service-based, even though a physical product is involved. Just put your product up, then allow customers to select a rental period, and the date they would like to rent, and that’s it.
- ExperiencesExperience-based businesses can range anywhere from travel to wine hands-on workshops. You can use a company such as “Aspen Expeditions Worldwide”, which sells rock climbing adventures, international trips, and camping trips through its e-commerce store. Creating product pages for a trip requires a lot of copy, but Aspen organizes the information by adding tabs to the product description.
Shopify has very flexible pricing plans that allow for businesses of any size to use their program at a price they can afford.
There are 3 main pricing plans based on increased functionality and additional features and tools that allow you to further build your store. These plans include the following:
- Basic Shopify – $29/month
- Shopify – $79/month
- Advanced Shopify – $299/month
Features of each are shown below:
All the plans include no setup fees, unlimited uploads, unlimited file storage, 24/7 phone support, no bandwidth fees and no transaction fees when using Shopify payments.
Please note that I am not counting the free trial as a plan, though I should mention it, and that it gives you 14 free days to try out Shopify and see how you like it.
Create a Shopify Store
If you think that Shopify is the best choice for your business, and have decided what plan best suits your business, it is time to focus on opening your Shopify store. Even if you haven’t decided what plan you want to use yet, you can still create your store using the 14-day free trial.
The first thing you need to do is create an account, which you can do by going to the main homepage or click the “Free Trial button in the menu bar. Then enter your business email, a password, and the name of your store.
If you already have a name for your store, great, enter that, but if not, take some time to brainstorm and think up some names. Don’t spend to long on your name, it can be anything, you can name it something relating to your business, or something completely different. It is your brand, it doesn’t necessarily have to say what it is you sell.
Just remember, you can change it later, so for right now, spend 10-15 minutes thinking of something to use for now. Once you have entered your information, Shopify will create your account, and then proceed to ask you to fill out some basic details; name, address, phone number, etc. Then you will be brought to the admin dashboard where you can begin setting up your online store.
Set Up Your Shopify Store
With your store created, it is now time to set it up. At first, it may seem like a very daunting task to set up your site, but I have broken it down into 7 steps to make it a little easier.
1. List Your Products
Right off the bat, you will want to add your products to your store. For physical products, you can enter them manually, bulk upload them from a CSV file, or import them from other platforms like Magento and eBay.
For digital products, you will need to install an app for digital product delivery, and then add your products using that app. Shopify has an online manual to answer any questions you have about selling digital products.
For service based products, you may want to consider an app like Product Options, that will allow you to customize your service offerings. You can have up to 100 variations per product in your Shopify store that fall into three options such as size, color, and finish.
2. Customize Your Stores Design
You should next add a custom design to your Shopify store by first selecting a theme. The Shopify theme store has the whole gamut of designs to choose from, some free, some not. Assuming that you are not using the free trial, you can edit your chosen theme by using the theme settings editor or template editor to modify the coding.
On most themes, you will want to go into the settings to modify the footer, as that is where you add your social links, payment methods and other important links.
3. Set Up Your Domain Name
If you want to use a custom domain for your store, you will need to set it up. The Shopify online manual has all the documentation you need to set up your custom domain, with everything from purchasing one from Shopify to using one that you already own.
4. Set Up Payments
One of the most important steps, just behind adding your products, is setting up how customers will pay you. You can integrate many different payment methods including PayPal, Amazon Payments, and Google Wallet. If you are from the US, Canada or the UK, you can accept payments via Shopify Payments that accepts credit cards, without needing to set up a third-party payment gateway.
5. Shipping and Tax Rates
You will need to choose to add additional shipping costs and fees to your items, or let Shopify know that you have included them in your item price. Shopify includes some basic rates to get you started, but depending on what you sell, you may need to customize this.
6. Configure Your Settings
You should make it a point to go through your Shopify settings thoroughly. Nearly all of your settings will be auto-filled out in completing previous steps, but a few things, such as where to put your Google Analytics code, store title, and description are to be filled out withing your general settings.
7. Open Your Store to the Public
Once your store is ready, the only thing left to do is open it to the public. Before you do, your shop will be password protected, so you can do some testing to make sure things look and function the way you intend. As with everything, be sure to do a lot of testing and work out the kinks, so your customers aren’t the first ones to find mistakes and glitches. Once everything is to your liking, make it public and you’re done.
At this point, your Shopify store is set up and ready to go. If you have done all that has been told, your store is ready to make you some serious cash. Continue to list more and more products, keep working, and keep making profit. You have come this far, great job, and I wish you the best of luck in further expanding your Shopify Store.
If you have any questions about anything I talked about today, leave them down below and I will be sure to answer them as soon as possible.