1. Sign Up for Shopify’s Free Trial
You can learn how to sell on Shopify completely risk-free for 14 days, and that includes all of the bells and whistles Shopify offers. You can launch your online store, sell in person and on social media sites and explore other sales channels during the free trial period. If you decide Shopify is right for you, simply choose your plan level and continue growing your business. Learn more about Shopify pricing for help choosing the right plan for your business.
2. Select Your Sales Channels
After registering, Shopify’s quick-start wizard pops up to help you set up the essentials. Shopify automatically gives you an online store, but that’s just one of many ways to sell on Shopify. You can connect to other sales channels now, such as social media sites and in-person sales, on this screen.
The quick-start wizard also helps you connect Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok to your Shopify dashboard. Don’t be afraid to explore your sales channel options in Shopify, you can change your selections anytime under the Sales Channels tab in your Shopify dashboard.
3. Set Up Payments
You can activate Shopify Payments in the quick-start wizard to accept credit card, debit card and in-person payments with simple flat-rate processing fees. You can connect your own credit card processor instead, but Shopify tacks on a separate transaction fee if you go this route.
Not sure which payment processor to use? Check out the best credit card processors for small businesses.
If you sell in person, you can also add manual payment methods such as cash and checks. Click the Payments tab under Settings to add or edit your payment methods anytime.
4. Create Some Collection Pages
Collections help you organize products and you set these up in the Collections tab under Products in your Shopify dashboard. Give each collection a title and short description to help with search engine optimization (SEO). Collection pages can even self-populate using tags or other product details as you add products to your Shopify store.
5. Add Some Items To Sell
You can sell all types of goods through Shopify’s versatile platform. If you already have items or services to sell, you can enter those by clicking the green Add Product button under the Products tab in your Shopify dashboard.
Shopify’s product detail screen includes:
- Item title: Input a descriptive item name to appear on your Shopify store’s pages, on sales channels and in search results.
- Item description: Enter a detailed description of your item with features, benefits and sizing tables or options lists.
- Photos and videos: Showcase product features and details with images, videos and 3D model files.
- Pricing: Enter your retail sale price, compare-to price plus track your product cost. Hint—to show sale items in Shopify, use the sale price/compare-to price feature.
- Inventory data: Add the product stock keeping unit (SKU), item barcode, stock quantity and location it’s sold or shipped from.
- Shipping data: Enter item weight for printing shipping labels and customs details for international sales.
- Product options: List all of the options that shoppers can choose, such as size and color.
- Item page SEO: Customize a short product listing snippet to help with search engine optimization (SEO).
- Select sales channels: Select where you want to display and sell each product.
- Organize products in your store: Use item type, tags and vendor details to auto-populate collection pages and improve store search features.
Here’s a peek at how product data appears on your Shopify product entry screen:
The details you enter produce shopper-friendly layouts in your Shopify store:
You can also tweak Shopify product details based on your sales needs:
- Selling products online and in store or in person? Shopify can track item inventory in different locations, such as a store, pop-up shop and shipping warehouse. Add locations in the Locations tab under Settings to enable inventory locations for your products.
- Selling services or digital products? Uncheck “This is a physical product” in the product’s shipping data field. Then add a digital sales app to manage digital downloads, and organize your service sales with a booking app.
- Not sure what to sell? Explore Shopify’s app market to find dropship and print-on-demand vendors, or explore digital product options such as e-books, music files, online courses and webinars.
6. Set Up Your Shopify Online Store
Once you have a few collections and products set up in your Shopify dashboard, you’re ready to build your online store.
- Select a theme for your store: Shopify assigns a default theme, but you can replace this with your choice of nine free themes or shop hundreds of paid premium themes.
- Customize theme settings: Head to the Theme Settings tab to personalize your store. You can quickly change colors and fonts to make your store your own for a quick launch. Over time, you can explore other options, such as adding new block sections to your home page and building out blog content.
- Edit the store header: Select Header to edit content that appears at the top of every page of your store. This is where you edit your store name typeface or add your logo.
- Customize your home page: The versatile home page is built using Sections such as slider images, collection collages, contact forms and featured products. All themes have home page sections already in place for a quick launch.
- Create store menus: Head to the Navigation tab under Online Store to set up store menus. For a quick launch, populate your header menu with product collections and add policy pages to your footer menu. These are easy to edit as your store expands.
- Edit the site footer: Select Footer to edit content that appears on the bottom of every page of your store. This is an ideal spot for contact information, an email list sign-up and a menu with links to policy pages.
- Set up SEO details: Customize your store’s SEO title and meta tag in Preferences under the Online Store tab.
- Connect a custom domain name: By default, Shopify store URLs appear as https://yourstorename.myshopify.com. In the Domains tab under Settings, you can add a custom domain such as yourstorename.com. You can purchase a domain through Shopify or connect your own registered with GoDaddy, BlueHost or other domain registrars.
7. Place a Test Order and Go Live
Now you’re ready for the final step in Shopify’s online store setup, and that’s placing a test order. Once that is complete and the order appears in your store, you’re ready to go live. You will need to pick a Shopify plan to launch your store, but you can sell items while under your 14-day free trial. You won’t be charged until your trial period is over.