You only need an email address to start a successful Shopify store. Shopify lets you create free eCommerce websites and use its shopping cart solution to sell and ship the products to your customers.

You get access to an admin panel where you can design your store, add or edit products, process orders, and payments, track inventory, and more. You can start a Shopify store on a 14-day trial period, where you can test drive the platform without having to enter your credit card details.

How to start a Shopify store?

Go to Shopify.com and click on 'Start free trial.' Enter your business email address and password along with your store name. If you can't come up with a name, use the business name generator by Shopify. After entering your store name, click 'Create your store.'

Shopify asks you for more information about yourself and your business. You can either fill out the information or skip it for now. You can add the details later using the dashboard settings panel.

Sign up on Shopify
Sign up on Shopify

Design your store with themes

Shopify provides free and paid themes. You can also build a custom theme for your store with Shopify Experts. Modify them to your liking using Shopify's no-code interface. Premium themes have more modification options and better designs.

If you're new, find a great-looking free theme for your store. On the left-hand side of your dashboard, go to Online Store > Themes. Under "Theme library," click "Explore free themes."

Explore free themes on Shopify
Explore free themes on Shopify

(1) Once you’ve found your preferred theme, click on ”Add to theme library.” 

(2) Under "Theme library," click on the "Actions" dropdown menu under your selected theme and choose "Preview" to view it, or choose "Publish" to replace your current theme.

(3) Next, click on "Customize" to edit the theme template and basic functionality of your store. You can upload logos, add slides to the carousel, add details related to product pages, color schemes, font choices, and more.

Customize themes on Shopify
Customize themes on Shopify

Create Standard Pages

Your eCommerce store needs more than just product pages. Create the following pages to start your online store.

To create a page, visit → Online Store → Pages → Add Page.

(1) About us: Add information about you and your business. What triggered you to create your online store? Why should someone buy from your store? Tell your unique story to the visitors.

(2) Shipping and delivery: Add your shipping and delivery vendor details, as well as their availability times. 

(3) Contact us: Click "Add page" and change the template to "page.contact."

(4) Policy page: Create a basic policy page for your store by going to Settings → Checkout and scroll down to the Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements section to generate a sample.

Add products

To add products, go to Products → Add Product.

Add products in Shopify
Add products in Shopify

(1) Ensure to add a detailed product description to help your Shopify store SEO, such as unique page title, description, tags, images, videos, and other media files related to the product. Be as descriptive as possible. 

(2) Add high-quality close-up photos and highlight features of your products in the images. Keep the images in the exact dimensions to provide a seamless user experience.

(3) Click "Save" at the top or bottom right of the page.

Create collections

Every product or item belongs to a collection. For example, a shirt belongs to a men's collection, and a toy belongs to a children's collection.

A collection is a group of products that share some standard features. Most of the time, customers search for features rather than any specific product. For example, people usually search for an oscillating fan with more than three blades, a green colored shirt, and a laptop with 16GB RAM.

To create a collection, go to Products → Collections.

(1) Add title and description. Under "Collection type," you can select "Manual" to add products one-by-one or select "Automated" to let Shopify automatically add products to a collection that match specific conditions.

Create collections in Shopify
Create collections in Shopify

(2) When you select “Automated,” add the condition that the product must pass to belong to that category. For example, for a holiday card, add a product tag as “seasonal” to automatically add it to the Seasonal collection.

Display your collections on your homepage and navigation bar. Customers can easily navigate through your products categorically.

Select payment gateway

Go to Settings → Payments.

Payments allow you to set up a payment gateway for your customers. Not all payment gateways are equal, and every service has different prices and commission rates. 

Every payment gateway will earn a small percentage of the amount charged to the buyer for letting you use their service. Also, select a payment gateway that allows the most popular card types so most users can pay quickly. Most payment gateways accept VISA, Mastercard, and American Express for online payments.

Get a domain name

You can buy a domain from Shopify or a third-party site such as HostGator. If you do not know about setting up a website, you can purchase a Shopify domain and automatically get it added to your store. 

The downside with third-party domain providers is that you have to redirect the DNS records yourself, which can be overwhelming for starters. 

Sync Shopify with your other stores 

Do you wish to sell your products on multiple channels, like Etsy and Shopify? Managing your inventory between your two stores can be challenging. 

Integrate your Shopify with Etsy to automatically add or update any product on Shopify for every new listing in Etsy. Sounds easy? Yes, it's even easier to create the integration.