I’m going to walk you through how to set up a Shopify store.
I have been extremely happy with the platform, and recommend it to anyone who asks me for advice on next steps for their burgeoning boutique.
Please note that I am a Shopify partner. This means that you get a FREE 14 day trial of the platform and if you decide to use Shopify as your boutique’s online headquarters, I’ll get a small commission for referring you. As always, I only partner with companies that I am familiar with and truly love, because your trust in me is my #1.
So you’re ready to start your own boutique but your biggest question now is, “how do I start a Shopify store?” I got you!
Go to Shopify.com and click on “Get Started” in the upper right hand corner. You will be prompted to enter your personal information and your shop’s information.
Make sure that you type your shop’s name the way you’d like it displayed, as this is the way your customers will see it.
Answer some basic questions about the products you’ll be selling and where your business is as far as stages of growth.
I didn’t realize this right away, but Shopify has many services to offer, including web development, product photography, logo design and more.
So take an extra minute to answer these questions correctly so that you are getting services tailor made for your business.
Select a plan.
Shopify offers 3 plans – a basic, a mid range and a deluxe level package, each with a different monthly fee.
When I started out, I had no idea how my shop was going to do, so I went with the basic plan. I have upgraded to the midrange plan in the past month, because I appreciate the larger shipping discount, have sold enough in gift cards per month to make the $50/month increase worth it and played around with the “abandoned cart recovery” and have a close to 90% conversion rate on those, so I know that the cost increase is worth it for my business.
My number one reason for upgrading my plan, though, is that I have a small pop-up boutique and had been running my payments for it through Square, and trying to manually keep track of inventory that way. I was constantly overselling or forgetting which inventory was where, and with the middle package, you get a Shopify card reader for a point of sale (POS) location that is separate from your online storefront.
This has made an incredible difference for me. If I could do it over again, I would just start with the midrange plan for my business.
Okay, your brand new Shopify store is set up, now let’s add your first product!
You do this by simply clicking on “Products” on the left and then the blue “Add Product” button.
You’ll notice on the right hand size it says “Sales Channels” – this is where you can add your product as a “buyable pin” with the Pinterest for Shopify app, or where you can add the product to your POS location.
If you haven’t done any keyword research yet, you should stop now and do that, and then come back.
If you have, this is where you are going to want to use all your juicy keywords for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) gains. Keep the title fairly short, but in the description you’ll want to show your customer how to use your product.
You can see on the right side of the page you are able to enter in the brand and the collection. You will want to do this properly so that you can find items easily later!
Upload photos of the product here, and be lavish with your tags. I wish that I had started out doing tags for everything (“floral! pockets! super soft! can be worn 2 ways!”) because one of the easiest ways to freshen up your storefront is to rearrange collections, and you can do this easily by sorting by tag.
How To Set Up A Shopify Store
You also enter each item’s price here. The “compare at price” box is for when items are on sale and you want your site to reflect that.
If you’re awesome about planning ahead then absolutely enter each items’ weight now.
Ditto tariff codes.
I recommend that you enter each items’ tariff code now if you plan on shipping internationally,
Doing both of these tedious tasks will save you tons of time when you’re ready to start fulfilling orders.
The “variants” section is for variants such as color and size. This is the one area of Shopify I have found a little bit clunky. If you add a color after you have been carrying the item for some time, you have to manually enter each size and color combo one at a time instead of the blanket “add variant.”
Down at the very bottom, you can tinker with the SEO. This allows you to customize the meta description of the product as well as the permalink.
How To Set Up A Shopify Store
On the left side of your dashboard, you’ll see the analytics section. I love Shopify’s analytics, though I suggest you also install Google Analytics.
Not only does Shopify provide you with your sales reports, but you can also track funnels, traffic sources and marketing campaigns this way.
Clicking on “Apps” will take you to the Shopify apps store, where you can find pretty much anything you could ever imagine needing.
My suggestion is to take an hour or two and poke around. I added the Pinterest app and a customer loyalty app immediately, and soon after wanted to add a newsletter and Instagram app as well. App prices range from free to mega bucks, so keep an eye on that as well. Depending on which plan you purchased, Shopify itself may have the capabilities you’re looking at in an app, so make sure you check that out before paying for a third party app.
The “Discounts” section is where you – duh – enter discounts. You create the code, and then set the parameters for who can use it, how many times, when they can use it, and what items they can use it for.
Before you launch your Shopify shop and go live, you’re going to want to pick a theme.
I’ll be honest with you – I wouldn’t bother spending money on a theme. I started out with a free theme and it worked out great. I spent a little of my birthday money on a new theme, and it was a pain in the butt to install and I don’t think it did anything for me as far as increasing traffic or sales.
Once you have installed your theme, you can customize the look of your shop.
Do not get overwhelmed!
When making your Shopify store look like you, have fun! It’s like putting together a puzzle. Go slow and bit by bit it all comes together and looks cohesive.
Experiment with adding your logo or images and text, see how it looks on your screen, and then tweak it. Have fun, be creative, and remember your ideal customer and what (s)he is looking for.
Shopify gives you the option to write blog posts that are posted in a specific section of your shop.
By all means, go for it! This is just another free SEO tool for you to utilize.
You will also see on the left sidebar underneath the Online Store heading is the subheading “Domains.” This is where you can customize your shop’s domain to take “myshopify” out of the domain name for a small fee.
The “Preferences” tab under Online Store is where you can use your keywords to optimize your page title and description, and install your Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel.
Finally, at the very bottom, you’ll find “Settings.”
Make sure you peek at each of these sections and set it up appropriately for your shop before you launch.
One of my favorite resources in creating my boutique, funneling and learning about retail businesses has been Shopify’s blog articles.
Whether you sign up to open up an online shop with Shopify or not, I highly recommend you read some of their blogs. There are lots of helpful tidbits in there, particularly if you are new to an online retail business or just branching out on your own.
I am thrilled to be a Shopify partner, so I can offer you a free 14 day trial to get your shop up and running! Just click here.
I am also available for one on one coaching, and I’ll even set your shop up for you if you’d like!