A Non-Techies Guide to Shopify

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Shopify has quickly become one of the world’s most popular and widely used eCommerce platforms. With its user-friendly interface, features, and customizable design options, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes are flocking to Shopify to create their online stores. However, setting up a store can be daunting and overwhelming for a non-techie. This article will break down Shopify’s key features and essential information so everyone can confidently navigate the platform and create a successful online store. Whether you are a small business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or just someone trying to figure out if Shopify is the platform for you, this guide is here to help.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce solution that allows you to sell products efficiently online. Since the brand began, it has focused on providing a seamless solution for merchants. It has added functionality to sell multiple types of products from one dashboard, including dropshipping, print-on-demand, and third-party providers such as Etsy, Walmart, and Amazon.

Shopify masterclass

Here’s an in-depth free masterclass on the Shopify platform

Features

Shopify offers several solutions for a range of business owners:

Online Selling

Online selling allows you to build an e-commerce home for your brand that branches to different channels such as TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Walmart, and Google search.

Cross Channel Selling

With selling options growing increasingly, having a space to connect all the options is essential to your brand’s success. Shopify connects your social media, online search, and marketplaces to your inventory and order management dashboard.

Point Of Sale (POS)

A point-of-sale system (POS) is for merchants who want to sell in person at vendor shows or brick-and-mortar retailers. The Shopify ecosystem allows you to seamlessly connect your online store inventory and POS system.
Shopify is an eCommerce solution that is perfect for several merchants.

Shopify Email

Shopify has a built-in email marketing system that allows you to pull in customers and order information without a third party. The system is completely integrated into Shopify so that you can create, manage, and automate emails based on customers’ behavior and purchases.

Shopify Balance

You can access your Shopify balance when you take payments through Shopify Payments. It is an all-in-one financial tool that allows you to get next-day payouts, zero fees, and 3.86% APY on all money in your balance account.
Using balance, you can automatically set aside tax, sync your transactions with accounting software, and earn automatic 2% cashback with business purchases.

Shopify Capital

Having a Shopify store for at least 90 days allows you to access Shopify capital and receive funding within two days of approval. Once you receive funding, you will pay back with a percentage of daily sales.
Your offer amount is based on your sales – not your personal credit.

Shopify Flow

Shopify Flow is a visual automation builder that allows you to create steps based on a trigger, such as automating inventory tasks based on incoming stock. It has different presets that can be used with tags, meta fields, and Google Sheets.  

Some sample flows:

  • When a product inventory is low, send a message to a Slack channel and change the product status to “draft.”
  • Create a task in Asana when a product inventory is low
  • Get an email when an order contains a product. is cancelled
  • Track pre-orders and add them to a spreadsheet for marketing campaigns

Flows are available on Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Shopify Plus plans.

What do you need to get started with Shopify?

Now that you have decided to start with Shopify, how do you get started?

1. Prep Your Brand Assets and Information

Before diving into the technical aspects of setting up your Shopify store, it’s crucial to gather all your brand assets and information. This includes your logo, product images, descriptions, pricing details, customer-front contact information, and other relevant materials that will effectively showcase your products or services. Shopify has a brand area where you can add all your assets, and it populates across your store.

2. Create a Shopify Account

The next step is to start your free trial. Currently, you can get your first month for $1. 

Once your account is created, you want to add your payment and store settings. 

3. Add and Organize Your Products

Once you have set up your account, it’s time to add and organize your products on Shopify. The platform offers an intuitive interface that allows you to easily input product details such as title, description, price, SKU (stock-keeping unit), and inventory levels.

To ensure efficient inventory management, consider organizing products into categories or collections that align with customer preferences or industry trends. This will help customers effortlessly navigate your store.

4. Add Brand Elements

Go to “Settings” > Brand in the Shopify dashboard and upload your brand assets. These will show up in various places across the platform, making setting up your store quicker. Consistency across all touchpoints also helps establish a strong brand identity and build customer trust.

5. Select and Publish a Theme

Shopify offers a wide range of professionally designed themes that can be easily customized to match your brand aesthetics. They have a set of free themes available to get started with, and they make it painless to add a paid theme later if you want to make the switch.

Each theme has its own features, which can be found on the Shopify theme store pages. 

Once you select a theme, click “Customize” to personalize it further. You can modify the layout, colors, fonts, and other visual elements until you achieve your store’s desired look and feel.

 

6. Connect Your Social Media Pages

Social media presence is vital for attracting customers and building brand awareness. Shopify allows you to integrate your social media accounts with your store seamlessly by listing your profiles and sales channels for select networks. Most platforms now allow you to add a store to your profile, allowing your visitors to shop from your profile. 

Connect platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest directly through sales channels in the Shopify App Store

 

7. Pick or Connect Your Domain Name

Now that your store is complete, you can sell on the name.myshopify.com domain every store receives, but you can add a branded domain, making it easier for your customers to find your new shop.
If you already have a domain name registered with another provider, such as Name.com or GoDaddy, you can connect it to Shopify with a few updates.
If you don’t have a domain, you can purchase one in your Shopify Settings > Domains. It will connect automatically after purchase.

8. Setup Shopify Email

Having branded email addresses adds professionalism and enhances trust among potential customers. Shopify provides an integrated email hosting service that allows you to create custom email addresses using your domain name. Currently, it is free for 10,000 emails sent and $1.00 per thousand emails sent.
This allows you to email your customers for store notifications, cart abandonment, and more from your Shopify dashboard.

9. Setup Shopify Flows

Automating certain aspects of your store’s operations can save you valuable time and effort. Shopify Flows is a powerful tool for creating automated workflows or triggers based on specific events or conditions.

For example, you can set up a flow to send an automated email confirmation when a customer purchases or create a discount code triggered by abandoned carts. 

10. Validate Your Email and Authenticate Your Domain

Before launching your Shopify store, it is essential to validate your email address and authenticate your domain. This step verifies that the emails sent from your store are legitimate and reduces the chances of them landing in spam folders, especially with the recent February updates.

Shopify provides an easy-to-follow procedure for validating your email address and authenticating your domain through DNS settings. Completing these steps will enhance your brand’s credibility and improve email deliverability.

11. Remove Your Password Page

Finally, as you prepare for the launch of your Shopify store, remember to remove the password page that prevents public access. Head to the “Online Store” section within Shopify’s dashboard, navigate to Preferences > Password Protection, and disable this feature. (This is only available after choosing a new plan)

Essential Apps for any Shopify Store

Shopify Search and Discovery

This app adds filter and search capabilities for your customers to easily navigate your store and add related products on product pages.

Linkpop

Linkpop is a Shopify app that creates a one-page shareable link. Connecting directly to your Shopify store lets you pull in your products, email signups, and track what your customers view.

Smile: Loyalty & Rewards

Customer reviews help build the reputation of newer stores, allowing potential customers to see verified reviews about your products. Smile.io has a point and referral program that rewards customers with every purchase, which you can customize for your shop.

Smile.io Shopify App Information Page

Reconvert Post Purchase Upsell

One area commonly overlooked is the order confirmation page your customers see every time they complete an order. Reconvert allows you to reclaim that space. Adding this app to your store takes the hot leads and customizes it to gather additional information or sales.

Shopify Marketplace Connect

Having your products on multiple platforms helps with visibility. Still, the hassle of keeping up with orders, customer inquiries, and product listings is enough to make it a dream. You can connect your Shopify store with Amazon, Google, eBay, Walmart, and Etsy with Shopify Marketplace Connect. It tackles real-time syncing of your product listings, inventory, and orders for each platform, funneling them into your Shopify dashboard.

Tiny SEO Image Optimize and Speed

Two of the most significant factors of an online store are speed and visibility; Tiny SEO App helps with both. If your website takes too long to load when customers visit your store, they will create a bounce rate that Google uses as an SEO factor. Ensuring that your photos are small enough to load quickly without losing quality helps with impacting your store speed. 

Tiny SEO Image Optimize And Speed Shopify App

Ai Tool to help with your Shopify store

Utilizing AI to create the right way helps speed up your shop’s setup using Shopify Magic.

Shopify AI is integrated into the platform through various tools, including email, products, images, and pages. 

Adding information for products or scheduling emails will create suggestions and generations for you to utilize in your store. As always, for any AI generation created, you need to make your own, use it as an idea, and craft an answer with your own words. 

Common Pitfalls

When getting started with selling on Shopify, new store owners struggle to take their store to the next level mainly from these common pitfalls:

Not doing sufficient audience research

When selling a product, it is challenging to start gaining visibility and sales when products are being marketed to the right audience or subset. Pushing your products in avenues your audience doesn’t reside in is like having a house with the wrong address. They can never find you, and you can’t find them- make sure you know whom you’re talking to and what they need. Help create a product that is easy to market and build brand recognition.

Not implementing SEO practices

Search engine optimization is usually pushed to the side for paid search ads. The difference in focusing on organic before paid is that when you stop running ads, your organic still works for you. It shows up where your customer is looking for it—in search. Where do you usually go when you start trying to figure something out? Don’t leave this area for your competitors.

Installing unnecessary apps

Keep your apps to your essentials and ones that work for you. Ideally, you should test an app for at least 90 days to see how your customers interact with it and to get a good measure of success. 

Only making sure the site looks good on the desktop

One of the biggest mistakes that happens across all websites is when website owners focus only on the desktop experience or only on mobile. When creating your store, you need to ensure that both the mobile and desktop experience are good before launching. 

Neglecting analytics

Having an e-commerce store means constantly testing; with each test, the only way to see what works and what doesn’t is through your analytics. Your analytics can show you a problem before your audience reaches out. Try to review your website every quarter to track changes.

Neglecting customer service

Excellent customer service is crucial. Respond to inquiries promptly and provide a smooth shopping experience to build trust and loyalty. You can add live chat or AI chats to train and answer common questions in the ordering process.

No customer reviews

With online businesses, having products with reviews helps build trust with potential customers browsing your site. Verified reviews, including photos of products they receive, show what they can expect from your brand.

Not customizing for brand

Going through your entire store and ensuring your website looks like your brand is essential, including checkout pages, printing labels, and packing slips. By now, everyone has encountered a Shopify store and seen the difference between a branded one and one that isn’t. Typically, during checkout, customers leave because they question if they can trust the site.

FAQs

Not at all! Shopify is designed to be user-friendly, and you can customize your store without any coding knowledge.

Shopify offers Shopify Payments, and you can also integrate third-party payment gateways like PayPal or Amazon Pay for secure transactions.

You can manage shipping through Shopify's integrated shipping solutions. You can buy shipping labels, print manifests, and update your client's order status right from the dashboard.

Yes, you can sell to customers worldwide. Shopify provides tools for managing international sales and shipping, called Shopify Markets.

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