How to Start a Shopify Online Store for Beginners.
You’ve always dreamed of starting an online (Shopify) store. Financial freedom, the ability to work from home, be your own boss, whatever your reason, the time is now! Today, I’m going to show you how! You’ll learn how to start a Shopify online store. Here are some things that I’ll cover:
- Picking your niche
- Getting started with Shopify
- How to set up your Shopify store
- Making your first sale and what happens next
Running an online store is very rewarding. Take it from this e-commerce mama who has successfully launched, operated, and sold multiple e-commerce businesses, all on Shopify! Shopify is an incredibly powerful platform that has it all! I’ve tried many different e-commerce store platforms and Shopify shines through as the VERY BEST!
Excited yet? Here we go:
How to Start a Shopify Store for Beginners
Step 1-Picking Your Niche
Your niche is your topic or product of interest. You’ll be an online store owner so, what will you sell? You can sell products or services that you are passionate about, super knowledgeable about, products that are fun, whatever you like!
Take your time and think through what your store will be selling. Questions to ask yourself:
- Will you be making the product yourself or reselling a wholesale product?
- Will you need to store inventory?
- How will you market the products?
- How often will you need to reorder?
- Will you be drop shipping?
These are just a handful of important questions you will ask yourself. I strongly suggest you create a business plan. This will lay it all out, answering all your questions.
It doesn’t have to be a big, fancy business plan, Just a thorough outline of your store’s mission or objective, short term and long term goals, marketing plan, social media strategy, etc.
It will be a lot to go over but SO WORTH IT, trust me.
A handy list of examples of products to sell:
- Women’s fashion apparel
- Men’s fashion apparel
- Kids Wear
- Home goods
- Digital products (like printables, spreadsheets, artwork, etc.)
- Fashion accessories
- Kitchen appliances
Once you pick your niche, move onto sourcing.
Sourcing is the process of finding the supplier of your product. If you will resell fashion apparel, for example, your source will be manufacturers or wholesalers.
If you will be making products yourself (like knits, artwork, etc.), you’ll need to source where you will find your supplies, business equipment, etc.
Consider where you will store your inventory. A spare room in your home, a closet, a business office, or warehouse are all examples. If you drop ship (your supplier ships direct to the customer), you’ll need to thoroughly research and find reputable drop shippers and be well versed in their production times, shipping, costs, etc.
Ok, so let’s recap real quick!
- You’ve decided to start an online store, yay!
- You have picked your niche
- You have sourced your products and/or supplies and decided on you shipping model (inventory held vs. dropship)
Next, is getting started with Shopify.
Getting Started with Shopify
Click here to open Shopify:
Click Get Started in the upper right-hand corner and fill out your store info (see screenshot below)
Psstt..did you notice the 14-day free trial?
You are taken to your backend dashboard where all the magic happens!
How to Setup Your Store
Store setup is pretty simple. You will go through each section and tailor it to your needs.
In your store dashboard, you’ll do things like pick a store theme, set up your store categories, add products, add product descriptions, create pages (like About Me, Contact Us, etc.), add plugins, and more!
Take your time through this and set up each section according to your preferences.
Some recommendations to help:
- Plugins: Social share and social follow plugins are recommended
- Theme: The Shopify theme store has a huge selection of free and paid themes. You can switch or redesign your theme at any time. I recommend a paid theme.
- Must have pages: About Me, Contact Us, FAQ, Sizing Chart (if applicable), Shop
When you’re ready, time to launch!
Note: This site is not owned by me. It’s a lovely boutique owned by a dear friend of mine.
Making You First Sale and What Happens Next
Once your site is live, you will want to focus on driving traffic to your store so you can make sales.
Pro Tip: Sign up for Wanelo plugin and Pinterest buyable pins (yes you can actually sell on Wanelo and Pinterest..best thing ever!)
There is paid and unpaid traffic. If you have a marketing budget, paid traffic will most likely get you results and sales a lot faster than unpaid traffic. Some paid traffic ideas include social media ads (like Facebook ads, Promoted pins, etc.), advertisements (like Google Adwords), sponsored posts (working with bloggers for features and shout outs), etc.
Examples of unpaid traffic include email marketing, forum marketing, unpaid social media marketing (like participating in Facebook group threads, Pinterest group boards, posting to Stumbleupon and other social media, etc.).
When your first sale happens, you will feel on top of the world!
Don’t rest on this feeling, it’s just the beginning. Continue to actively work on your store, promote and market it, add new products, tweak the design, and other ongoing maintenance.
When you’re ready to upgrade, Shopify has 3 affordable packages available:
You’ll wanna go with the $79 plan. The reports are nothing short of awesome and great for tax time and to dive deep into your sales and analytics data. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time.
That’s it, my friend. If you’ve ever wanted to run your own online store, NOW is the time. Take my advice: dive in with both feet! I certainly did 4.5 years ago when I left my corporate finance job for entrepreneurship, rewarded with seeing my family much more, not missing important moments, and making 3 times as much as I did at my job!
Got questions? Comment down below. I’d be happy to help.
(FYI, this article contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my links, I’ll receive a commission at no expense to you.)