Whether you’re looking to make a change for your business or have decided to start a new business, it’s always important to do your research on what tools can give you the best bang for your buck. Logistics for Hire and CommerceBlitz work closely with Shopify, which couples a powerful storefront platform with a trove of information that makes your digital retail shop easy to set up and maintain. Shopify is leading the way in powering diverse business solutions without sacrificing what matters most: exceptional service at an affordable cost. Here’s a quick guide to getting set up:
1. Sign up for Shopify
Shopify is a subscription-based, SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform with a tiered pricing system that’s scalable depending on the number of users you need and number of products you plan to sell. The basic monthly subscription starts at $29, and at that level you’ll get access to everything you need to create a website with the capability to sell, ship, and manage your inventory. Navigate to the Shopify website, click on their pricing guide and find what subscription works best for you, then go ahead and create an account to get started. (Pro tip: the current coronavirus pandemic is making online sales skyrocket, and Shopify is offering 90-day free trials for new customers, as well as extended free trials for existing customers – just visit their COVID-19 page.)
2. Add products
Once you’ve decided on a free trial or a specific plan, you’ll be directed towards the administration screen to begin building your new website. From this home page you’ll be able to start customizing your website (store), upload products, and more. In order to add your products to the store, click Products in the left-hand sidebar, fill in the details in the fields provided, such as title, description, price, vendor and quantity, and upload product images with ease. (Pro tip: if you’ve got lots of products to upload, or if you’re coming from another platform, you can bulk upload with a CSV file.) Shopify also allows you to create personalized groups for your products to appear as a collection to make it easier for your customers to shop on your website.
3. Customize your storefront theme
The customization feature of your storefront is immersive and fun to play with. The Theme tab on the admin page is where you’re first introduced with the customization process of your website. You can browse through the selection of pre-set free themes, buy a theme that works for you, or code your own; no matter what you decide, Shopify gives you full control of your website setup. (Pro tip: need help custom-coding a theme? Hire a Shopify Expert.)
4. Go live
Once you’re finished with your template and website design, it’s time to activate a domain and go live! Head to the home dashboard and click on the Add a Domain button. A prompt will ask you want to transfer a domain or register a new domain. Select the appropriate option and continue through the process. (Pro tip: Shopify has domains for sale, if you’re in need.)
5. Testing and Activating your Payment Gateway
Head back to the main area of your Shopify website and ensure that your tax and shipping information are correct (you’ll see boxes that you’ll have to check off). Prior to making your first official sale, Shopify allows the testing of your merchant portal; you can do this by clicking on Settings > Payment Providers > Shopify Payments > Manage > Test mode > Enable test mode. The last step is to select a credit card to test and select “Practice Gateway” to place a test order for the system. (Pro tip: you can find a bunch of test credit card numbers here.)
Payment gateways are the most important aspect of any e-commerce website. The needs of your business will determine the payment processor you choose (PayPal, various credit card types, etc.). It’s important to take into consideration the transaction fees, card types, and whether the payment gate will force an offsite checkout. Shopify offers their own version of a payment gateway as well. Once you’ve made your choice, you can finish the website launch by clicking the “Launch Website” button!
Hope this guide has been helpful! For more Shopify walkthroughs, e-commerce news, and technical details about our products, check out the main blog page. The pandemic has got us all working from home, so we’ll have plenty more material out in the coming weeks.