Ready to sell your goods using ecommerce as your platform? Ecommerce is basically what Amazon.com does. They sell without a brick and mortar store front and sell online instead. Even though you are selling online, you still should start with an ecommerce business plan. If you have started selling online, you know how difficult it can be. First you have to list all of your items, set prices and find a way to drive traffic to your store. If you've read Caveman Simple SEO, then you know the ways to drive traffic from Google but what happens when your customer shows up? Will they leave because your store is ugly? That's where Shopify comes in. I know of a few young entrepreneurs that have used Shopify to build a successful online store front.
Getting Started with Shopify
The great news is that you can take advantage of the 14 day free trial to create your store now. Let's see how this works.
Enter a store name, your email address and a password. You can change the name of your store later.
Wait a few seconds while your store is created.
Once your store is created, you have a preliminary link that has myshopify in it. In my case it was ecobabyhq.myshopify.com. You can change this by purchasing a custom domain name.
After filling in the preliminary information, you will be taken to your dashboard. This is your behind the scenes set up. You can add products, customize your design, and continue the steps to opening your store. I recommend that you take your time on these steps to get things right. In the meantime, be sure to inform your fans and friends on social media that your store is coming soon so they can be ready for the launch. There's nothing like building anticipation but you want to make sure it's worth it.
Choosing a Theme for Your Store
You'll want to change the theme to customize your store. The standard theme is not bad but if you want to stand out from the pack, you should do a little work to be different. Visit the Theme Store to find more free themes that match your store's product line or you can purchase a theme as well. I'm going to go with this minimal theme that is free and comes with 4 different styles. All you have to do is click install theme and it will be installed like that.
If you are looking at paid themes, the prices will range from about 80 dollars to 180 dollars. Be sure to choose a theme that has a mobile option. With desktops going the way of the dinosaur, it's important to help your customers access your page easily.
When you view your shop from the outside, you will see the picture options and be able to load images to make your shop customer friendly.
Adding Products to Your Shopify Store
You can start a service site or a typical product based shop. Either way, it's pretty easy to add products to your Shopify store. Once you click the add new product link, you will be able to include the product name, a short description and further details such as quantity, the tax rate and so forth. This part of the process will probably take the most time so I recommend enlisting a friend to help or hiring a virtual assistant that can take care of this for you.
Blog With Shopify
One of the nicest features about a Shopify store is that it includes a blog feature. Blog stands for Better Listings on Google and it is one of the best ways to drive free traffic to your new store.
One last item! You probably have this already, but I think an About Page is possibly the most important pages on your site. Make sure that you connect with your customers and potential customers. Include a little about yourself and why this is your passion. Share why you will make sure their shopping experience is the best and keep your promises! Customers and clients are hard to gain but easy to lose.
Making Your First Sale with Shopify
Congrats! You have a brand new store. Be sure to set your payment preferences. You can automatically get started accepting payments with Paypal as the default. However, there are other options for accepting payments available from the preferences drop down box.
Overall Shopify is very easy to use and great for young entrepreneurs starting to sell online. The steps are easy and perfect for a beginner or someone who is not familiar with web coding language. Remember our interview with Raw Denim Boutique owner Emily Lipman? She started an online store to complement her brick and mortar store and used Shopify to set it up. Check out Raw Denim Boutique and pick up a new pair of denim while you're there!
Shopify Instant Online Store
"Easy and perfect for a beginner ..."
"Overall Shopify is very easy to use and great for young entrepreneurs starting to sell online. The steps are easy and perfect for a beginner or someone who is not familiar with web coding language.."