Chapter 1 The complete step-by-step shopify tutorial for beginners: our ultimate 17 steps guide for you
Starting something new can be a bit overwhelming specially if it’s something that you’re quite not familiar with. Well, let’s face it in life not everything comes with an instruction nor a guideline. So, trust when we say that we do understand how frustrating and time consuming it can be doing your own research and after all the information gathered still, you’re lost in the process. All the if’s, why’s and but’s is still hanging and leave unanswered.
This why Creative971 come-up with our very own complete and step-by-step Shopify guideline just for you. We want to be your partner on this journey. Being the leading expert Shopify and Shopify plus partner agency it allows us to know the in and out of the platform. We don’t want to overwhelmed you with the process as it shouldn’t be confusing in the first place.
Starting your Shopify store is not a rocket science anymore, you just need to have the right partner and the right knowledge on hand to help you kick start the process. In this guideline, we’ve structured 17 steps to get you started. Yes! you heard it right – “17 steps”
Is all you need to help you start – we’ve structed these steps starting from planning, creating, building until the actual execution and we will walk you through the process and have everything in detailed. This is an exciting journey for you and at the end you’ll be more confident is starting your own e-commerce store So, sit back and join us on this learning experience!
Step 1 Before you start the Shopify tutorial for beginners 2021: Plan your Shopify store
Planning is part of our daily life and can be considered as our standard practice. As a matter of fact, setting up your alarm clock on the next day is already planning. However, in this guideline your plan doesn’t need to be too into detailed. As this doesn’t include the actual execution. However, it’s important to outline your plan properly and it’s best to incorporate deadlines or target dates in your planning. This will help you start on the actual steps and helps you to stay on the course from start up to finalisation.
- whom you gonna work with, supplier?
After you’ve mapped out your plan, you’ll ought to figure out where and how you’ll acquire your product. Finding a supply for your product can be tough, but it is important to bring your ideas to life. As a result, you’ll need to connect with a supplier; you could choose between dealing with a domestic or international source. It will be a brilliant idea to consider domestic supplier as your plan B. This is mainly in case your international supplier encounter issues or unfortunate turn of events; you’ll have a backup plan. Domestic suppliers are usually more expensive due to the convenience they provide. However, aligning your distribution to make your clients satisfied is far more essential.
Keep in mind that when choosing a supplier, you should opt for the most cost-effective and high-quality options available, as suppliers have such an impact on both costing and quality of your products. It’s best to note that your supplier will be one of your partners on this journey. Thus, it can make or break your business reputation. You should look for a supplier who will be able to help your business in the long run and who will be able to meet your needs.
The next approach is to determine your product niche, which is key when starting a business. A product niche by definition is a segment of a larger market that can be determine by its own unique needs, preference, or identity that makes it different from the market large. For example, selling make-up is a large market so instead you’ll decided to sells organic cruelty-free makeup, makeup for sensitive skin or makeup for transgender community. Now you see the market is more focused, to have it as a business you need to form out a niche. It’s important to consider your expertise and skills, you’ll also need to know if you’re skills ideally fit in the market.
A product niche can help you increase the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Knowing your product niche will allow you to appeal directly to your target market. As a result, the competition will be minimized, and you will be able to evaluate a better profit margin since your product speaks directly to your target audience compared to your competitors who’s more focused on a larger segment of the markets. One of the great examples is smartpet.ae – smartpet provides a niche of smart items that aid in the development and nurturing of your furry friends’ intellectual talents. Smartpet’s ideal consumers are either trainers, animal lovers, or pet owners who wish to train their pets to improve their physical and mental abilities.
- do you plan going full time at one point?
The truth is that launching a business takes time and difficult. Even if you’re starting this a side hustle it will soon consume the majority of your time, preventing you from engaging in other enjoyable activities. Hobbies and interacting with friends, for example. While your new business may be lucrative, it may also provide you with a lifestyle that you do not enjoy. And if that happens, you’re likely to lose interest in your company. It will also not motivate you to come up with new business enhancement ideas. Anyone who loses interest in the process will be unable to create a long-term business
The only thing you need to do to avoid this feeling is to stay focused. Make a business out of something you enjoy and are passionate about. Begin your business with not only dedication but also determination. Because you’ll need to consider becoming full-time at some point — this is critical. It’s a significant leap of faith to turn your side business into a full-time business and replace your 9-5 job. This is necessary be able to structure your business more and properly set it up for success.
- how much time do you have
It’s always good to have a timeline in business, as we mentioned before in the planning stage. This will help you to start the process, laying out your thoughts and plan will be useless if you do not have a strict deadline to adhere to. This will keep you focused and will push you in starting the actual process. You’ll need to consider when would you like to launch. Usually, merchants outline their go-live date in consideration to their products.
For example, if you wanted to sell Jalabiyas or Hijabs which is a traditional wear for Arab women. It’s best to align your launching date during Eid holidays as this complements the season. Please make sure that once you’ve established your timeline, you’ve carefully planned out your phases and each step predate your store’s opening date. You don’t want to miss out on any business possibilities.
Knowing your budget is essential for planning your business strategy. Your online store’s pricing must be carefully planned. Since every business, you must first plan an initial investment before beginning the actual procedure. Though, as we all know, an online store is more cost-effective than a brick-and-mortar store because due to multiple reason’s and one of it is that you don’t need a monthly rental space for your store.
However, you need to budget for your license, one-time setup of your online store, and how much you’re willing to invest in your digital marketing strategy for your website. Would you collaborate with a variety of social media influencers? Would you also consider hiring professionals from different areas, such as Creative971, to design and develop your website? Or are you the type of person who prefers to learn from the experience and like to do things on your own? If that’s the case, this is fantastic news for you! Aside from a professional website design and development service, Creative971 has you covered in both directions. We also provide a master class which allows you the do-it-yourself approach.
We understand how difficult it may be to start online business. And that, as a business enthusiast, you’d like to weigh your options and choose which technique is the most cost-effective. If you want to go with one of the latter possibilities. We recommend that you look at our E-commerce masterclass course, as it may be of interest to you.
It is useful to you because it is a cost-effective approach. Furthermore, the masterclass is not focused solely on setting up your Shopify store; it also covers offline business setup and every aspect that must be addressed in order to build your store from the bottom up. Thus, it’s vital to identify your approach and know how much are you willing to invest. After all, starting a business is an investment that will pay out for the rest of your life.
- create a mindmap with mindmeister for example. what the structure of your website could look like, what product categories you want to offer etc
After considering your initial budget for the business and your vision for the store. You’ll also need to structure a mind map. This will help you to organize your collections or categories for your products. Also, this will help you save time on a later stage.
Categorization properly of your products would be beneficial as well for your customer, if you have properly aligned your products, it would be easier for your customers to explore on your listed products. Having said that, you wouldn’t buy to a store if you’re confused in searching for what to buy and what the store has to offer so this will smoothen out the shopping experience of your customers.
There’s a lot of tools online that can help you structure a proper mind map and let you jot down your ideas. One of it is through www.mindmeister.com this software is easy to navigate and will give you a flexible option to be creative and see your ideas comes to life.
- what products do you want to offer?
Here comes the star of the show as you know, you will not be able to start your online store if you don’t have products to offer. So, it’s a must to know what type of products you’d like to sell – you can consider here your personal experience. As a consumer or a patronage of certain products or service, is there something that you feel it’s lacking in the market? Or is it too manual that you’d feel that there’s a room for more innovation?
Aside from identifying the products, you need to stablished the sourcing of your products. There’s a different way to have this address, and your well aware that there’s an ongoing trend for a drop shipping approach a lot of startups would opt to this direction for a start since its easier due to easement of logistics and shipments. But of course, all approach has its own pros and cons. However, if you’re interested to know detailed information about drop shipping approach, I suggest to visit our Academy as we have our Masterclass for Drop shipping here in UAE.
Another option is to have a direct supplier whether international or domestic. It’s important to bear in mind that you have to established a solid partnership with your supplier as this affects your product costing, quality and shipment. It’s advisable to have a robust supply to keep the logistics efficient and optimized to make sure that you’ll be able to meet your consumer’s demand.
Now that you’ve identify your niche and your clear on the approach of how you’ll source your products. You can now proceed on searching on products to sell. Products – can be something that is drawn to your expertise and skills. For example, if you’re a makeup-artist then you can definitely produce your own makeup brand.
If you’re going on this approach, it’s always best to understand the competition. You need to analyze what’s missing on the markets. What makes your products different from any other brands? It’s also worthwhile to visit your competitors’ website just to understand their best sellers’ products. However, don’t get this wrong. This is not to encourage you to copy your competitors’ footsteps. It’s mainly about gathering points for yourself as this is will help you to further understand what products to offers. Keep in mind that this is your discovering phase, this will help you understand what products sells best in the market.
Step 2: Shopify for dummies beginners guide: choose your store name
Choosing a store name can be an easy task for most of the people. But in reality, choosing a name requires deep creative thinking and can take up most of your time. There’s no exact mathematical formula or ways to come up on the exact perfect name for your business. As simple as it may sounds this is not always the case, a lot of people tends to be perfectionist and this is human nature. Especially if we’re talking about naming your online store.
To choose a name it should be simple and straightforward as you would like to be easily remembered by your customers. Remembering one brand takes time to remember from a customer stand point, even if you’re doing an advertisement on your social media or all over the internet, for a startup brand the customers need to see your brand at least 7-8 times before a they can remember it. Imagine how much more if you’ll choosing a brand name that is more complex and harder to remember.
No wonder why bigger brands tend to name their business simpler and mostly maximum to one word, brands like Adidas, Nike even Google is best example of this. Always opt for a unique name and from SEO standpoint it’s important to have your keyword in the URL. This means, if you wanted to sell “sports nutrition” you could incorporate this on your domain. However, we don’t recommend that. Since the starting page of your store should rank for your brand. Hence, we recommend to go for a unique name like Creative971.
On a later stage, if you would like to rank higher with your Shopify store you can always write us directly. We are working with a partner agency who’s 100% specialized in SEO for E-commerce and Shopify. Get in touch with us if you need help for your SEO and we’re happy to discuss this with you and be your partner to increase your rankings for long term and help you position your brand in the market.
How to find a great brand name?
Creating a brand for your business. Is one of the exciting and crucial part for your business. In here you’ll need great attention to detail and creativity. You have to consider that this is one of the first things that the client will remember you. You’re not only simply creating a brand you should also have a meaning behind it. Most of the successful brands established story behind it, and this contributes in the success of your business in the long run.
Just like creating a pillar of a building – It is vital to have make it solid to make sure that the structure is stable and strong as it holds the weight of the entire building. Same goes with your business, a strong brand can help you set the structure of your business.
As soon as you’ve set your brand you can then structure your whole organization in line with the other important steps. Hence, if you’ll set a brand that is shallow your whole business then will take the fall. Now that’s it’s clear to your how critical the brand name for your business, it’s good to recognize the value it can bring to the whole organization. Hence, you should invest your time and creativity to make sure that you’ll be setting your brand right.
But don’t worry, because we’ll give you a reference on these aspects to assist you establish your brand. A brand that will matter to your customers, a meaningful brand lasts with them throughout your company’s existence. Shopify has a brand generator tool that can help deciding for the name of your brand you can visit this link for reference: https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator
Step 3: create your Shopify account
Now that we’ve established the brand, we can now proceed in signing-up on creating Shopify account. The good thing is they also offer 14-day trial upon signup so you would not need to pay anything up front. So, it this should be enough time for you to be familiar on the standard functions of the platform. Shopify is super easy to use and perfect for beginners.
When you sign-up on your trial you’ll need to provide an email address and password and a default store name. I choose to name my business as Skincanvas so in this case it will be (skincanvas.myshopify.com) The store name can’t be change in the future. However, no need to stress about it since you’ll be able to buy custom domain on the later stage like (skincanvass.ae) so you don’t need to worry in perfecting it now.
After registration, the next steps are to answer some points regarding your business. Shopify would like to know more about your business. The question is mostly about your products industry, will it be purely online selling. Also, it will also ask you to input your business billing address and details as part of their standard questions.
Note: In the example above Skincanvas is about skincare products. Hence, we’ve opted to the beauty category. Once you’ve answered all of the above points. You’ll find yourself in your Shopify account dashboard.
Since we’ve discussed the brand name, store name, products etc. on the previous topics. It’s easier for me to go through this step as I have a ready outline of my business. Hence, it’s super important for you to go through the step-by-step process. As the guideline is structured to help you start as smooth as possible.
Step 4: choose your Shopify plan
Since you’ve already gone through the 14-day trial and was able to have a better understanding of Shopify platform. We can now go through choosing a perfect plan for your business. The platform offers options for the monthly plan (Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify) those plans are different in terms of pricing and functions. However, if you wanted to save more you can opt an annual plan or yearly plan.
So, to further understand each plan, it’s best to go through their differences aside from the pricing points. Basic plan cost 29USD/month whereas the most expensive plan cost a lot more. This is merely because of the features offered in each plan. In the bottom of the pricing page, you’ll be able to view the detailed pricing features offer on each plan.
One of the features that can impact on your decision is the staff accounts. In the pricing plan offered the higher your plan is the more staff account you can have. Having multiple staff account can have different rights and restriction that you can set to as an owner so you don’t need to share access. Another feature that you can consider on your decision is the transaction fee this is the fees that Shopify charge for using Third party payment provider since Shopify pay is not yet available here in UAE. The transaction fee charges are different depending on the plan you’ll choose, the higher the plan the lower the transaction fee.
For a start, we recommend to proceed with the 79USD/month this would be ideal plan for a start as it allows you to have more features compared to basic plan. Also, transaction fee is cheaper compared to basic plan. But, at the end as we say you can review the plan features take a deep breath and review carefully what you think suits best for your business.
Step 5: Choose your Shopify theme
Now more than ever, it’s way easier to build your online store. Most importantly, Shopify made it all easier for you to launch your own ecommerce store. They’ve created a pre-built theme that you can use for your website design. This will be the front end of your online store and how will it look like on the client’s naked eye. The themes are categorized depending on your industry. All of these themes are design and develop from different agencies and undergone thorough Shopify quality checking before having it listed in Shopify theme store.
Since we’re working on a skin care store, I’ll opt for a health and beauty industry and I’ve chosen the pipeline theme.
For this brand it’s important that my website is on the cleaner minimalistic approach. And the way that this theme was developed and design it’s perfectly showcasing my brand clearer, straight forward, naturally eye pleasing and highlighting that less is more. Since for my brand, I wanted to advocate woman to invest more into the skin care rather than the actual makeup. As you’ll only get one skin and whatever you put on top of it can be considered as extra. Thus, its super important that you have a very well-maintained base.
The carousel in the homepage is design and develop for a better user experience. Its gives you a preview of my products. And what I really like about this as well is that it allows you to customize your content, it has a built-in color palette, Built in SEO features and a free theme update assistance. So, you’ll have a bit of freedom to work within your creativity. However, if you wanted more personalization on top of this – this is when you need to work with industry professional such as Creative971 – this is where we can help you carve out and customized your store aligning to your brand requirements. You can get in touch with us through our website www.creative971.com and we’re happy to help you developed and design your dream store for your brand.
Shopify themes with great conversion rates / recommended themes
Shopify theme is not only helping you to have a good-looking website. This isn’t the case why you need it. Your website design contributes to you customers behavior and overall experience on your store. As a customer yourself you wouldn’t want to trust a brand that confuses you upon visiting the online store. You’ll immediately leave the website and jump to another if that happens.
Online store is different from a retail store, wherein you can have a sales person that can further guide the customers upon entering your shop. It’s best to acknowledge that your website should resonate a good impression and smooth experience for your clients. And every second’s counts. Website design is important but it’s not only about that your website theme should be able to sell your products. So, it’s equally important that you’ll be selecting a theme that’s design to sell and help you with your website conversion.
Fortunately, we’re here to show you some examples of themes that can do both.