We live in crazy times! Who would have thought a pandemic will shut the whole world in and cause an economic turmoil within just a few months.
While we all hope this is a temporary phase and it’ll all be back to normal before we know it, it’s a good opportunity to learn some new skills – such as building a Shopify store.
Please note: This blog post was originally written to share tips on how to pick a domain name for Shopify stores. But we have updated it with information on how to build a Shopify store in an hour so you can get started with right away.
Here’s what’s included in this article:
- How to start a Shopify store
- Why use Shopify to build an Online Store in the Time of Corona
- How to Build Your Shopify Store in One Hour – A Video Tutorial
- The Role Of A Domain Name in Branding Your Shopify Store
- What Makes For A Great Domain Name for Your Shopify Store
- Why Pick A .store Domain For Your Shopify Store
- 500+ Shopify Store Names to Inspire You
- An Interview with a Shopify Expert
Let’s dive in!
How to start a Shopify store
With a growing number of people shopping online, it makes perfect sense to take your business idea where your customers are.
Selling online does not have to be hard. Know how to start a Shopify store can help you get started immediately. And no, you do not need to be a Shopify expert for that.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to sell your products online. You can manage your online store and backend using its software without needing a Shopify expert.
For a small fee, Shopify serves as an easy-to-use technology for beginners to carry out your business idea online, given that you do not need to develop a website and you can set up an online store within minutes.
Shopify works as subscription software for the product idea of store owners. It helps you create an online storefront, use a shopping cart solution, manage your product pages, process your orders, and much more, all from one single place.
If you’re ready to take your products online, here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to start a Shopify store for a complete beginner:
Step 1: Sign Up On Shopify
Visit shopify.com and fill the signup form to create your account. You can begin by using a free trial that Shopify offers for 14 days before you start the paid subscription.
To create an account (even if it’s on free trial) you’ll need a store name. After this, you will need to fill in details such as your name, address, location, and phone number.
Step 2: Set Up Your Online Store
Once you have signed up, you will be directed to your admin screen. Here, you can add products and set up your payments and shipping options. The admin panel has several options such as:
- Home, which gives an overview of what’s going on at your Shopify store
- Order, which helps you track and manage orders
- Products, where you can add and manage your products by creating collections
- Customers, which give you details regarding your sales volumes, previous orders, etc.
- Analytics, which is a business report that provides insights regarding your performance
- Apps, which can you can use to extend the functionality of your Shopify store
- Online store, where you can find all of your settings including checkout, personal information, taxes, and more.
Search your .store domain NOW!
Step 3: Choose Your Store Theme
The next step on how to start a Shopify store is to choose a theme from the many themes available. Shopify provides store owners with several free options available; you may also choose from the paid options.
After you decide on a theme, you can customize it and play around with it until you love the look of your online store.
Once ready, you can preview the theme and also view different styles of the same theme in the preview mode by clicking on them.
When you have zeroed in on the final look, you can publish the theme. It may also be wise to add a store logo. If you don’t have one, you can create it using some simple online tools.
Step 4: Add Products To Your Store
After customizing your theme and building your online store, the next step is to add products to your Shopify store. If you don’t want to do this manually, you can also upload a .csv file to upload your product catalog.
Two key aspects here are your product descriptions and product photography. Use this space to create an enticing product description with all the relevant keywords. This will help with your SEO and drive organic traffic to your storefront.
If you have products to sell under different categories, note that putting your products into collections makes it easier for people to arrive at what they are looking for faster.
As for product photography, ensure that you put up professional-looking product images. Use multiple angles to ensure that your customers know what to expect.
Also, be sure to highlight any unique features of your product in the product pages under the description and the images.
Provide as much information as possible about your product. An informed customer is a happy customer.
Step 5: Set Up Product Prices And Payment Gateway
The next step on how to start a Shopify store is to set a price for your products. You have three fields for that:
- Compared Price
- Cost for Item
Compared Price is essential if you want your visitors to know that an item is on sale. The displayed price is the original one before the discount. You can leave the “Compare at Price” field blank if you do not want to put the item on sale.
To receive payments in your bank account when you make a sale, you would also need to set up what is known as a payment gateway. A payment gateway is primarily an application that allows you to receive payments from your customers via your website.
While Shopify supports various alternative payment methods; by default, however, Paypal Express and Shopify Payments are configured. Note that both these methods charge a standard fee on the sales that you generate.
You may also use an external payment gateway instead of Shopify payment. To know what suits you best, consider factors such as transaction fees, payment options, etc.
Step 6: Provide Shipping Options And Shipping Costs
Visit your shipping settings in the admin panel, and choose the shipping options you want to provide the customer. Ensure that you give enough options to your users concerning shipping.
Shopify calculates the shipping costs for customers based on the rules that you define on your shipping page.
You may choose a free shipping option for all your orders initially and adjust it later to include more options such as weight-based shipping rates.
Step 7: Set Up A Domain Name For Your Store
Finally, you need to select a domain name for your online store. This will be your store’s online identity and it’s crucial you get it right.
For this, Shopify gives three options:
- Connecting an existing domain,
- Transfer a domain to Shopify, or
- Buy a new domain.
Shopify domain names, by default, have the yourstorename.myshopify.com URL.
You can convert this into a proper www.yourbrandname.store URL by purchasing a domain from Shopify for a fee. If you have already purchased a domain from an external web hosting company like Godaddy, all you need to do is connect it with Shopify to use it as your online store’s address.
You can also transfer your domain to Shopify if you want to pay a single provider rather than paying your domain host and Shopify separately.
Search your .store domain NOW!
How to Sell Subscription Products On Your Shopify Store
Subscription products are one of the fastest-growing segments in the eCommerce industry.
According to a McKinsey survey, as of 2018, 15% of online shoppers had signed up for one or more subscription products. By 2018, the subscription market had grown by over 100% a year over the past 5 years.
The recent pandemic has further bolstered the subscription market. Demand for subscriptions in food-and-beverage, educational kits, and healthcare categories has surged during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
For sellers, subscriptions are a great way to generate recurring payments without extra effort to acquire new customers.
Types of Subscription Products For Your Shopify Store:
This is the leading category of subscription products, with 55% of subscriptions falling under this category.
Essentially, this type of subscription model involves surprising customers with product variety.
An example of such a subscription is Stitch Fix. They offer personalized clothing for men, women, and kids. Subscribers get a clothing box as per their preferred schedule – monthly, three months, bi-weekly, etc.
Next up are replenishment-based subscriptions, which account for 32% of total subscriptions. As the name suggests, this service involves replenishing regular use items such as disposable razors, vitamins, etc. Dollar Shave Club is a prominent example in this category.
Subscribe For Access
This is a smaller category, accounting for 13% of total subscriptions. Subscription for access involves gaining exclusive access and VIP perks. Naturebox is a good example of this category.
By signing up for a membership, subscribers of Naturebox get healthy snacks regularly.
Shopify is a great platform for offering subscription products. In the coming section, we’ll dive into how to sell subscription products on your Shopify store.
Give Complete Control To Customers
The first step is deciding upon a subscription flow. The flow involves making decisions such as the frequency of offering products (weekly/monthly), the number of products to be provided in each shipment, payment methods, etc.
Ideally, it is better to have a flexible subscription flow that gives customers full control over the frequency of getting services and billing.
Shopify’s Bold Subscriptions gives full control to customers to manage their subscription, change their payment method, and delivery dates.
Customizing Subscription Boxes
Shopify allows sellers to customize their subscription boxes. This way, customers get to choose what they want in each shipment.
For example, Sock Fancy gives customers the option to customize their sock subscription. At the first stage, customers can choose whether they want to opt for a monthly subscription, a gift subscription, or a seasonal subscription.
Within a monthly subscription, customers get multiple choices to customize their subscriptions. For example, they can choose whether they want 2 pairs or 3 pairs. They can also choose from different style options.
Offer Pre-Paid & Gift Subscriptions
The option of gift subscriptions can help generate recurring revenues. For example, someone may want to gift food or an apparel subscription to their loved ones.
Likewise, customers should also get the option of choosing prepaid subscriptions. As part of pre-paid subscriptions, customers can prepay for up to 3 months and get an attractive discount.
This way, they can get products for 3 months, without bothering about making payments, thus giving them mental peace.
Offer A Discount For Subscribing
A discount for subscribing can help in converting visitors into subscribers. Shopify’s subscription solutions allow the option to give dynamic discounts.
These include setting up introductory discounts on the first order to acquire customers as well as retention discounts on subsequent orders to retain customers.
Integrate Your Payment Gateway
While setting up subscriptions on Shopify, you need to integrate your payment gateway. Shopify supports the integration of more than 20 payment gateways, including all leading ones like Stripe, WorldPay, and more.
Why use Shopify to build an Online Store in the Time of Corona
Before we delve into how to build a Shopify store in an hour, it’s important to understand why to use Shopify over other online store builders, especially when you need a simple solution in a stressful time such as this one.
To begin with, Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to seamlessly set up your online store and sell your products.
Shopify allows you to organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit cards, track and respond to orders all with a few clicks.
Shopify is reasonably priced and there are some amazing add-ons such as third-party shipping, and order fulfilments to equip your eCommerce website with.
In a complicated time such as this one, Shopify is a simplified tool to help you get your online store up and running, in an hour – as you will see in this video tutorial.
How to build your Shopify store in one hour – a video tutorial
You can now set up a Shopify store in a jiffy, that too without using any code or programming language.
The video guide from OSTraining included below will help you understand how to set up a Shopify store in an hour.
Here’s an outline of what you will learn in this comprehensive and supremely insightful video tutorial:
- How to sign up and get started
- How to set up your .store domain
- Understanding General Settings (Payments, Shipping, Notifications, Checkout, Taxes, and Managing Sales)
- How to add products and variants
- How to add discount coupons
- How to track customers and orders
- Understanding the app store
- How to make the most of different sales channels
- How to add blogs and inner pages
- How to find and customize Shopify Store themes
- How to use analytics and reporting
Do You Get A Domain Name With Shopify?
Yes, Shopify provides a free domain name that looks like yourstorename.myshopify.com.
However, you cannot customize your MyShopify domain.
Instead, you can change your domain name by either purchasing one from Shopify itself or from a third-party provider.
Alternatively, you can also connect a domain name that you already own by linking it to your Shopify store.
It’s best to purchase a domain as it gives you the flexibility to create a domain name of your choice, which is clean and catchy.
Can I Use My Domain Name On Shopify?
Yes, absolutely! If you already have a domain name then you can connect it to your Shopify store and start using it. That way you won’t have to buy a domain name from Shopify and can use the platform primarily for selling and building your online store.
Does Your Shopify Store Name Matter?
The first step towards setting up a Shopify store begins with selecting a brandable domain name for it.
Not many realize that a domain name makes for the first touchpoint for your customers to get an understanding of what you do.
That’s probably why marketing gurus and brand experts are of the opinion that owning the right website address is key to successful branding.
They also strongly believe that a domain name happens to be one of the most valuable assets a brand can own.
And they’re not wrong, because a clunky, awkward, and complicated URL will dissuade people from trusting your brand and will hamper your brand building agenda.
Search your .store domain NOW!
However, finding the name of your choice on traditional domain extensions may seem challenging due to the unavailability of names and high costs.
This is why you should explore your options on new domain extensions such as .store.
As a domain that is meaningful and definitive of what you do, the .store domain makes for a relevant choice for your Shopify Store.
Can I Change The Domain Of My Shopify Store?
Yes, you can but changing your domain name can cost you precious SEO juice. You may lose some traffic and bringing your website back to its original glory can take some time.
It’s advised to choose the best online store domain name in the beginning so that you don’t have to change it later.
What Is A Good Business Name?
Selecting a business name is the most exciting and crucial part of building your online store. A good company name is the one that best describes you and your business. Keep it short, simple, and easy to spell and pronounce. Make sure your business name is catchy so that it facilitates brand recall and is worthy of long-term use. Also, ensure your competitors aren’t already using the name you’ve chosen or a variation of it.
What Makes For A Great Shopify Domain Name?
Your Shopify Store deserves an identity that is worth the efforts you’ve put into establishing your business.
You need a Shopify domain that shatters stereotypes and piques the interest of your stakeholders.
So, before you begin the hunt for a Shopify domain name, take some time out to understand the qualities that make for a great domain name.
Here are a few parameters that make for a great domain name:
- A domain name that is short, easy to type, and easy to remember
- A domain name that is definitive, relevant, and meaningful
- A domain name that is unique, innovative, and memorable
- A domain name that is clean, crisp, and uncluttered (free of any lingual or grammatical errors)
- A domain name that is descriptive of what you sell and the industry you belong to
Can You Rename Your Shopify Store?
You can change your Shopify store name any time through our Shopify admin. However, no edits can be made to the Shopify domain name (storename.myshopify.com).
If you are using the free storename.myshopify.com domain and want to rename your store, you will have to purchase a custom domain name from Shopify or a third-party provider.
Why Pick A .store Domain For Your Shopify Store
The biggest advantage of choosing a new domain extension such as .store is that you can find a name on it that covers all the qualities mentioned above.
Having said that, here are a few noteworthy reasons why you should consider picking a .store Shopify name:
The smartest and most logical way of denoting that you are in the business of selling online is to get your Shopify Store on a .store domain extension.
For example, www.juliesoutlet.store
Easy to understand
As a word, ‘store’ stands for a place where people can purchase from.
This means your domain name will be easy to understand on a global scale so you can conduct business around the globe without having to create multiple location-specific websites.
For example, www.supercoolsupply.store
.store is clear in what it means.
It is definitive and this quality makes it well-suited, not just for online stores but even for brick and mortar retail businesses looking to establish an online presence.
For example, www.ecobeings.store
The probability of finding the name of your choice on .store is very high since it’s a relatively new domain.
This means you can opt for a short, memorable, and brandable online identity for your Shopify Store.
For example, www.nickelbrook.store
How To Pick A Brandable Shopify Domain Name
We’ve listed three essential parameters to keep in mind when selecting a Shopify domain name:
Your name of choice should be unique to what you are offering. It’s wise to do some research and study what names are trending in your niche.
Doing this will help you understand which names are successful, and which aren’t.
This exercise will also help you to unravel what you must do to pip the competition.
New domain extensions like .store make for an innovative choice.
Take for instance, www.husk.store, a name that is innovative, easy to remember, and one that instantly conveys the nature of the business.
Hunt for a name that is in sync with the most intuitive search keywords.
To rank high on search engines, you should ideally look for a name that has a reasonably decent search volume and a low keyword competition.
Picking a name that is searchable means you’re investing in a name that is future proof.
Since voice search is changing the way people search the web, your domain name should pass the radio test.
The radio test checks if people can spell your domain name correctly when they hear it for the first time.
For instance, www.sweetheart.store would easily pass the radio test.
Choose a name that is snappy and short.
A name that is easy to remember, easy to type, easy to pronounce, and free of any lingual or grammatical flaws makes for a supremely brandable choice.
Ideally, your Shopify Store should sport a name that has 1-3 words and is limited to under 18 characters.
Avoid including any misspellings or abbreviations or hyphens or numbers as part of your domain name as this will severely derail the searchable criteria mentioned above.
For example, www.emirates.store is a crisp and simple web address.
Search your .store domain NOW!
500+ Shopify Domain Name Ideas to Inspire You
How do you know if a Shopify store is legit
Though Shopify is a great platform for eCommerce businesses, it is prone to scams. Several stores operate under the MyShopify domain name since it is free. You can identify the real ones from those that sell fakes on Shopify by:
- Checking and cross-checking their contact details since fraudsters don’t give
correct and consistent information.
- Being wary of unrealistic offers and large discounts. It’s a great way for
scammers to lure in customers.
- Paying attention to the website’s security. Look for clickable trust seals, verified logos, privacy policies and terms of service.
Can you get scammed on Shopify
Shopify being one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world, it is safe to buy from and sell on. It adheres to the payment guidelines and credit card security. Having said that, like most internet portals, Shopify isn’t free of scammers who misuse the platform and commit fraudulent activities via their Shopify stores. Therefore, it is necessary to check the store information, read reviews and be alert while transacting with Shopify stores.
An Interview with a Shopify Expert
To bring you some practical tips, we spoke with Matthew Palfrey, Director at BretContreras.Store and a Shopify expert, to understand how entrepreneurs can start their eCommerce business with a Shopify store and make the most of SEO and social media marketing. Read on!
Tell us about your journey as a Shopify expert.
I stumbled upon Shopify in 2009 when I was searching for a way to build my own website.
I didn’t have a big budget and so I needed an affordable platform that would permit me to make edits and changes as and when needed, without having to hire a web designer.
Fast forward to today, I now run one of the most successful Shopify development agencies in Asia-Pacific, with a portfolio of stores under my belt. My company, Digital Start Lab, focuses on eCommerce without barriers.
How does social media help eCommerce businesses in building a strong customer base?
Like SEO, social media (and marketing in general) is unique to your business. While most find that social media can be a useful channel to market their website or business, it is not a pre-requisite to having a successful business.
I know many 7-figure business owners who don’t focus on social because they have such a strong referral business. But if you are going to indulge in social media then do it well.
Use your social media channels to engage, delight and help your customers – not just because you feel you have to.
Could you share some tips for individuals who wish to start their Shopify store?
The most important advice I can give to anyone considering starting a Shopify store is to just start! Entrepreneurs typically don’t stumble upon million-dollar ideas, however the most successful share one common trait – the ability to take action.
Yes, it’s important to be diligent and you need to focus on a great product or service coupled with fantastic customer service. But these things can also develop over time.
My mantra is that if you have a great product, service or idea then the only way to prove it is by putting it out to the market and to start selling.
How important is it to invest in website SEO for eCommerce businesses?
SEO is important for search results, but it’s one part of the puzzle. And it’s always important to view SEO as a dynamic multi-faceted medium, not simply keyword-optimized blog posts.
My priority isn’t just SEO, but in ensuring that my websites are the most useful locations for the search terms they are associated with. We always devote as much effort to answering the question “How can we be the best location for a user to find what they need?”
Why did you choose a .STORE domain name for Bret Contreras’s website?
We definitely gain an SEO boost from the .STORE domain and it helps us to differentiate from our content site. Our customers know that they are at the right location for purchasing our range of products and services, which is a great benefit.
It’s super easy to build your Shopify Store, and with a .store domain, it’s super easy to transform it into a promising brand.