How to Launch a Shopify Store: Complete Shopify Tutorial
Learn how to build your own Shopify store, and start selling online with this detailed Shopify guide.
Shopify is the easiest way to start an online store and over 1 million businesses are using Shopify to sell online.
This tutorial will teach you how to build and customize your own Shopify store in less than 30 minutes.
Shameless plug: We offer a Shopify store setup and design service (link opens in new tab) for those who want to have their Shopify store setup and designed for them. However I still recommend going through this tutorial to learn how Shopify works.
Ready? Let’s get straight in.
- Step 1: Create a Shopify account
- Step 2: Select a Shopify Payment Plan
- Step 3: Choose a free Shopify theme
- Step 4: Customize Shopify theme
- Step 5: Add products to your Shopify store
- Step 6: Add Free Shipping
- Step 7: Create pages for your Shopify store
- Step 8: Setup Payments & PayPal
- Step 9: Choose or add a Domain name (custom URL)
- Step 9.5: Upgrade Shopify Plan
- Step 10: Take your Shopify store live!
- Final Step: Start Selling!
Step 1: Create a Shopify account
Shopify works by combining ecommerce, web hosting and web design into one easy to manage platform. All you have to do is create an account and get started, they even offer a 14 day free trial.
To create a Shopify account, sign up for the Shopify 14 day Free Trial here.
You just need to enter your email, store name and a password for your admin panel. On the next page you’ll see a “Tell us a little about yourself” section, skip this section and enter your address and phone number on the following page.
Naming troubles?: If you are struggling to come up with a name for your business, use Shopify’s free business name generator.
Step 2: Select a Shopify Payment Plan
Whilst the Shopify 14 day free trial is a great way to become familiar with the platform, you need to purchase a Shopify subscription to actually sell your products to your customers. The subscription only starts after the 14 day trial period so you have plenty of time to cancel.
Luckily the Basic Plan is suitable for most sellers. To select a Shopify Plan, go to “Settings” on the bottom left side of the menu.
On the settings page, click the “Account” button, then on the Account page click on “Compare plans”.
On the next page you have 3 options:
- Basic Shopify — $29 per month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify — $299 per month
Most of you will need the $29 per month, “Basic Shopify” plan. It’s the most affordable plan whilst still having all the features you need to build and grow your online store.
However if you want to add gift cards to your store or you have more than 2 staff members who need access to your store, the more popular “Shopify” plan would be a better fit for you.
You can always upgrade your plan later so choose a plan you can afford for now, in this tutorial we will use the Basic Shopify plan as an example.
Go to the Basic Shopify plan and click on the blue “Choose this plan” button.
On the next page you can choose to pay monthly, pay an upfront yearly payment or an upfront payment every 2 or 3 years. Choose how you want to pay for your Shopify subscription.
If you are not sure just choose the monthly option so you can see how your business performs before committing to yearly payments.
After choosing your payment plan, the next section is the Payment Method section.
You can pay for your Shopify plan using a credit or debit card or you can use PayPal. You can use both payment methods at the same time and I recommend using both if possible to ensure you don’t miss a payment.
After you have selected how you will pay for the plan, you just need to fill in your payment details and then click on the blue “Start plan” button.
Note: The $79 per month “Shopify” plan is more suited towards online stores that need more than 2 staff members to manage. It also offers gift cards, professional reports and lower transaction fees.
The “Advanced Shopify” plan adds up to 15 staff accounts, even lower fees, advanced report building and the option to integrate third party shipping rate calculators.
Unless you already have an established online business and customer base, or you need gift cards or extra staff accounts, don’t worry too much about the higher plans.
Step 3: Choose a free Shopify theme
After creating your Shopify account and choosing a plan, the next thing you want to do is choose a theme for your online store.
Every theme comes with a list of features and modifications you can make using Shopify’s theme editor.
Premium themes come with additional features but you can still build a beautiful online store using a free theme.
Here’s how to choose a theme for your Shopify store:
On your left side menu, go to Online Store > Themes, by default you will already a theme installed which you can view using the preview on the right.
For my store, the free Shopify theme “Debut” is activated by default.
When you scroll down you will see the Theme Library section with two options, Free Themes and Shopify theme store.
Click on “Explore free themes” and browse the free theme collection, if you want to try out a theme, click on your chosen theme, choose a style then click “Add to theme library”.
For this example I am going to stick with the Debut theme, but I will be using the “light” style.
Next scroll back down to the Theme library section then click on “Actions”, if you want to preview the theme first, click “Preview” and a preview store will open in a new tab.
If you like the preview, click on “Actions” and click “Publish”. Shopify will ask you to confirm this action so click on the blue “Publish” button to confirm.
Shopify theme store (If you want a paid, premium theme)
This section covers the Shopify theme store, if you want to use a free theme instead you can skip this section.
1. Browse the Shopify theme store
On the Themes page, click on “Visit Theme Store”, this will take you to the Shopify Theme Store.
There are currently 72 themes, with 8 of them being free and the rest being premium themes.
The premium themes offer more customizations, however the free themes are still great to start off with if you are on a budget.
If you want to explore the Shopify themes in more detail, scroll down and click on the “Explore Themes” button.
You will be taken to a page where you can filter the themes based on whether they are paid or free, the number of products and layout style.
You can also sort the themes by the page features, industry and other options.
All themes on the Shopify theme store are fully supported by the designers, so the themes are regularly updated and the designers can be contacted if you have any issues.
2. Pick a theme, then checkout its features and reviews
Once you’ve found a theme you like, click on it and scroll down to see its features. You can also see real Shopify stores currently using the theme and customer reviews.
3. Preview the theme
Scroll back to the top where you can view a demo of the theme or try on it your store.
For free themes click on “Start with this theme” to install the theme on your store directly or “View demo” to view a demo store that uses the theme.
For paid themes the steps are the same, except the “Start with this theme” button is replaced with a “Try theme” button if you want to view the theme on your Shopify store.
Make sure to go through the different styles above the “Try theme” and “View demo” buttons, so you can see some of the different starting looks possible with the theme.
4. Get the theme
Once you’ve chosen a theme you like, click on the “Start with this theme” button for free themes. For Paid themes click “Buy theme” under the “Try theme” button.
Shopify will then ask you to confirm that you want to install the theme. Click “Publish as my Shop’s Theme.”
You can always change the theme later so don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure on the theme, good enough and done is better than perfect when getting started.
After the theme has been installed, Shopify will notify you and give you the option to “Go to your Theme Manager.”
Your theme manager shows you published themes (currently installed or activated themes) and unpublished themes (previously installed themes).
Step 4: Customize Shopify theme
Now that you have installed a theme for your Shopify store, the next step is to customize it.
Shopify themes come with a variety of styles and customization options that enable you to build a truly unique online store, the only limit here is your imagination.
Reminder: To find the Themes page (Go to Online Store > Themes on the left navigation menu.)
On the Themes page, you will see your activated theme on the right, in the top right corner of this box will be two buttons, “Actions” & “Customize”.
Click on “Actions” and you will see an option to Duplicate the theme. I recommend that you duplicate your theme and work on the duplicate so you can start over in case you make any changes you don’t like.
To edit your Shopify theme, click on “Customize” and it will take into Shopifys theme editor.
In the theme editor you will see a blank preview of your active theme.
On your left you will see the theme sections, in order of how they appear on the theme itself.
For example on the Debut theme, the “Image with text overlay” section is above the other sections since it appears first on the theme itself.
To edit or change a section just click on it and change the options. This is also a good time to become familiar with theme customization:
Try rearranging sections
On the section you want to move, click the drag button and drag the section to a different position:
You can also drag a section by clicking and holding anywhere on the section, but for beginners using the drag button will be easier.
We are going to cover the following features in this step:
- How to add a logo to your Shopify store
- How to upload images your Shopify store, in particular the image slider (carousel) and image with text overlay
- How to add text to the text sections of your Shopify theme
- How to delete sections from your Shopify theme
- How to edit or remove the announcement bar
- How to change the footer text in your Shopify theme
You can also change the colors, fonts (typography), add a favicon and customize the checkout page. These features are under Theme Settings, next to the Sections tab on the theme editor.
You can view how your store looks on Mobile, Desktop and Fullscreen view using the responsive buttons on the top center of the page.
You have probably noticed how the buttons moved to the side once I clicked the fullscreen button.
This is because when you enable the fullscreen view it pushes the theme editor settings out of view, making room for a fullscreen view of your store.
How to add an image
To start off, upload an image to your theme’s homepage, use a photo of your product or a picture related to your niche. If you have a clothing line you can use photos of models (or people you know) wearing your clothes.
To insert an image, double click on the section where you want to upload an image, then click the “Select an image” button. For this example I’ll upload an image to the Image with text overlay section.
Next click “Upload an image” or drag an image from your folder in the upload section.
Once you have uploaded your image, click the blue “Select” button on the bottom left.
If you are using an Image with text overlay section, make sure you scroll down on the settings and replace the default text with your own.
Use the “Heading” to change the title text and “Text” to change the text under the title.
Tip: To see which section enables image upload, simply click on the section and the preview screen on the right will scroll to that section. The preview screen will include the word “image” on any section that can display images.
Always remember to save, you can do this by clicking the blue “Save” button in the top right corner.
Next, we’ll add some images to the slideshow.
Click on Slideshow, on the slideshow settings you can change the slide height, text side, text alignment and change the transition time.
In my case I’ll change the the transition time to 3 seconds and keep the rest of the settings the same.
Next scroll down and click on Image slide, if it doesn’t open up, try pressing down hard when you click or clicking and holding for 3 seconds.
Once open click on Select image and upload the images you want to use on your slider.
Once you’ve chosen your image, adjust the image position if you like and don’t forget to replace the default heading and text with your own. You can also add a “Button link”, but I would leave this for later once some products have been uploaded.
Once you have edited all the slides, click the blue “Save” button, then click the back button (the “<” icon) in the top left side.
Add your logo
To add a logo to your Shopify theme, click on Header, on the top right. Next click on the blue Select image button.
Upload your logo and adjust the size if necessary. Click Save when finished.
To go back to your other sections, scroll to the top left and click on the back button (the “<” icon):
Edit or remove announcement bar
If your theme has announcement bar you edit the text or remove it. To edit the announcement bar, under Header scroll down to Announcement bar.
To change the text on the bar, go to the Text field and change it to whatever you want.
I recommend adding only promotional text to your announcement bar, for example, “Free shipping on all orders” or “SALE 20% off all of our shoes”.
If you want to remove the announcement bar uncheck the Show announcement setting.
Click Save when finished.
Add Text to your Shopify theme
Finally, lets edit the default text section, if you are using the Debut theme, go to Talk about your business:
Once there, replace the default heading and text.
This is the text I used on my store:
“The Finest Clothing, All Year Round
MyClothingStore stocks the finest selection of clothing for every season.
Checkout our collections and find whats right for you.
Worldwide shipping and Free delivery on all orders placed in the USA”
If you plan to offer free shipping (I highly recommend that you do this) highlight the free shipping portion of text by changing it to bold so it stands out.
Once you have edited the text save, click Save, then click the back button in the top left side (the “<” icon). We won’t be customizing the collection sections yet so you can ignore that until you add some products and create collections for them.
If your business already has some testimonials you can add them in the Testimonials section, if you don’t have any testimonials you can delete that section for now.
To delete a section click on the section, in this case Testimonials (if you don’t have any testimonials or reviews), then in the settings scroll down and click “Remove section”.
The next section on the Debut theme is the Map, if your business has a physical location where customers can walk in and purchase your product, you can add a map here.
To add a map to your Shopify store you need a Google API Key. If you don’t have a Google API Key, don’t have a physical location, or don’t want to use maps on your Shopify store, then delete this section.
You can always come back later and add new sections to your theme so delete the ones you don’t need for now.
Edit Shopify theme “Footer” text
The final section of every theme is the Footer, here you can add Quick links, a description for your business and change the title for your Newsletter.
For now don’t worry about the Quick links section, once you have created additional pages and created a menu, you can then add that menu in the section. We will look at pages and menus further down in this post.
At this stage we will just edit the footer text.
Reminder: If you have trouble with any section settings not opening up, try pressing down hard when you click or clicking and holding for 3 seconds.
Click on the Footer section.
To replace the footer text, click on “Talk about your business” and replace the default Heading and Text with your own.
For inspiration, here is what I used:
The finest clothing, all year round. For all seasons.”
I used my store name as the title, then I just added a short and sweet description.
Two short sentences if all you need. Once you have done this, click on the blue Save button on the top right corner.
This brings us to the end of the theme customization for now. Once you become familiar and confident with Shopify’s theme editor, customizing your Shopify store will be a piece of cake.
To go back to your Shopify admin area, click the back button (the “<” icon) in the top left and then click on the blue Shopify logo in the top left corner.
Step 5: Add products to your Shopify store
Now that you have customized your Shopify theme, the next step is to add products you want to sell to your store.
On the left side of the Shopify admin panel click on Products. On the products page you will a big blue “Add a product” button in the middle of the page.
The button next to this is the “Find Products” button which will take you to Oberlo, a dropshipping app for Shopify.
For this tutorial we will focus on adding our own products instead.
Click the “Add product” button and on the next screen you need to enter the product information.
Add a title for your product, for this example I’ll type “Men’s Bomber Jacket”. Next write a short description for your product.
Here is my product description example if you need inspiration:
“MyClothingStore bomber jacket.
Made from a cotton and polyester blend, this bomber jacket is both warm and breathable. Suitable for fall (autumn), winter and spring temperatures.
Sizes: S, M, L
Colors: Black, Navy”
How did I come up with this description? I simply wrote how the bomber jacket is beneficial, I then added the sizes and colors I want to sell.
Next we’ll see how to add images to a Shopify product.
To upload an image, scroll down to Images, click on “Add Image” and upload your product photos.
I like to highlight all the images and click “Open” to save time.
You can always rearrange the images so don’t worry about uploading them in any particular order.
As you can see, before uploading the product photos, I arranged them in their own folders under Products > Bomber Jacket > Black. You can see this just above the images highlighted in red.
I recommend you organize your products, photos and text in folders if you haven’t done so. Store these folders inside a main folder and name that main folder after your Shopify store.
Note: The images might not show up straight away for some of you but don’t worry, the images have uploaded successfully and will show up on your store when you save.
Product images not visible before saving the product…
Product images are now visible! So don’t worry if you do not see them right away.
Add your prices
Scroll down to Pricing and add the price you want to sell your product for. You will see 3 fields:
The price you will sell the product for, for example $49.99.
Compare at price
If you want to put your product on sale, add a higher price in this section. For example I can change the price to $39.99 and set the compare price at $49.99 (the original price). This now shows the customer the bomber jacket is one sale for $39.99 and the usual price is $49.99.
Cost per item
This field is optional and simply helps you track your profit margins. Add the cost of your product into this section and Shopify will compare this to your selling price to calculate the profit percentage.
This feature is more beneficial to sellers on the $79 per month Shopify plan, since that plan allows sellers to create sales & profit reports.
Enter your price and if you want your product to be on sale, add a higher price in the compare at price section.
Leave “Charge tax on this product” checked.
Scroll down to Inventory and you will see the following fields:
First we’ll look at the SKU field.
Note: If you have more than one variation of a product (i.e different sizes or colors), I recommend adding the SKU only after you have created the variations.
We’ll look at variations after the Shipping section.
What’s an SKU?
A SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique number used to internally keep track of a business’s inventory. Whilst not always necessary, it can be helpful when dealing with a large number of products or product variations.
When creating product SKU’s I like to use what I call the Brand, Product Method (BP Method). This method breaks the SKU down to its Brand and Product, additional details are then added using a hyphen (-) for easy identification.
A good form of this method is BP-C-S (Brand, Product — Color — Size) for creating a product SKU.
Brand, Product — Color — Size
So for a large black bomber jacket the SKU would look like this:
As you can see the Color and Size are separated using hyphens to make the SKU easier to read and understand.
“Mcs” is the abbreviation for the brand, “MyClothingStore”, next it is followed by “bomber” which is the name of the product.
Next I added a hyphen (-) and the letters “Bk,” which describe the color of the product, black. Finally another hyphen and the letters “lg” which describethe size of the product, large.
When using the BP Method always abbreviate the brand name and shorten the product name if it is too long.
Below is another SKU example for selling shoes, using the BP-C-S form of the BP Method:
“Mcs” for the brand, “loafer” for the type of shoe, “br” for the color brown and “10″ for the size of the loafers.
When using the BP Method you can also add Gender into the SKU, when adding Gender, add it after the product name and use a comma instead of a hyphen to keep the SKU looking neat. (BPG-C-S).
This is how the formula should look:
Brand, Product, Gender — Color — Size
This would be useful if you are selling the same product for both genders, you can just add “m” or “w” after product.
For example, an SKU for men and women’s tracksuits would look like this:
“Mcs” for MyClothingStore, “track” for tracksuit, “m” for men and “w” for women, “gy” for color grey and “med” for size medium.
Remember any value you add after the Brand & Product must be separated using a hyphen for easy readability. The only exception is Gender which is separated using a comma instead: Brand, Product, Gender (BPG).
- BP: Brand, Product
- BP-C: Brand, Product — Color
- BP-C-S: Brand, Product — Color — Size
- BPG: Brand, Product , Gender
- BPG-C-S: Brand, Product , Gender — Color — Size
Note: Subscribe to the HomeGrownIncome newsletter below and you’ll receive the full Product SKU Guide, 3 “About Us” page templates, a shipping policy template and access to future free resources when released.
After the SKU field, the next two fields are Barcode and Quantity.
You don’t need a barcode to sell on Shopify so you can ignore this field, especially if you are a new seller.
Add the quantity of of the product you are selling.
In the shipping section go to Weight and add the weight of the product. This will be used to calculate shipping rates at checkout and label prices during fulfillment.
I recommend using the weight of the product when it is boxed up and ready for delivery.
Next, under Customs information, select the country of origin, this is where the product will be coming from. In most cases you can use the country where a product is manufactured as the country of origin.
Click on Select country and choose the country of origin.
If your product comes in different sizes, colors or materials etc. This is where you can add those additional options.
If your product does not have variations, click on the blue “Save” button and skip this part.
To add variations, click the “This product has multiple variations” checkbox.
The first variation that appears is Size but you can change this by clicking on the variation type and choosing another from the dropdown menu.
If you want to add another variation, click “Add another option” and another variation option will be added in order of how it appears on the dropdown menu.
Add the variations, separating each one with a comma, for example: Small, Medium, Large.
Next scroll down and add your prices, quantities and SKU’s for each variation. Once you are done, click Save.
Add images to variations
Once you have finished adding the product details, click the “Save product” button.
After you Save, you will be able to add images to your variations. Click on the empty image next to the variation and upload or select your image for that variation, then click Done.
Once you have added all the variation images, click the blue Save button.
On Shopify, a collection is a group of products that have features in common, it also acts as a product category for your store.
Collections make it easier for customers to find specific products without having to go through your entire catalog.
For example if you sell clothes you could have the following collections:
- Coats & Jackets
You can also organize collections into size, color, products on sale, age (children’s clothing) and gender (men’s clothing & women’s clothing).
Products can appear in more than collection, “Slim fit jeans” for example can appear in both “Denim” and “Jeans” collections.
The “Denim” collection could include denim jackets, denim rompers, jeans and other denim based clothing, whilst the “Jeans” collection stays specifically for denim jeans.
Collections will show up as a page on your Shopify store, accessible through the top menu. Collections may also show up on your homepage depending on your Shopify theme.
Create product collections
You can create two types of collections on Shopify:
- Manual — In manual collections you add individual products to collections.
- Automated — In automated collections you setup selection conditions to automatically include matching products.
To create a collection, go to Products > Collections and click on Create collection.
On the next page type in a name for your collection, the description is optional so you can leave that empty.
On the right you will see the option to upload an image for the collection, click “Add image” and choose an image for your collection.
Scroll down to Collection type and you will see the option to create a manual or automatic collection.
I’ll show you how to create both an automatic and manual collection.
Create an automatic collection
To add products to an automated collection, you need to set specific conditions for the right products to be added.
Conditions for an automated collection include product title or type, tags, price and even inventory stock.
To add a condition to an automated collection:
- Under Conditions, make sure the “any condition” circle is selected.
- Click the drop-down menu under “Products must match” and choose a condition. For this example I am using “Product Title”.
- In the second drop-down list, select how a product needs to match the condition to be included in the collection. For this example I am using “contains”.
- Enter a condition value in the third field. For this example I am using “jacket”.
So from now on, any product I add to my Shopify store with the word “jacket” in the title automatically ends up in the Coats & Jackets collection.
If you want to add more than one condition, then click “Add another condition” and repeat the steps.
For this example I will add the same condition but I will change the third field to “coat”. Now any product with the words “coat” or “jacket” will automatically be added to this collection.
Click Save to automatically add all matching products to the collection.
Create a manual collection
Go to Products > Collections.
Enter the title and add an image for your new collection.
Under Collection type choose Manual.
Save your collection.
After saving your collection, the page will reload and you should now have the option to search for products to add.
Use the search bar or click Browse and select the products you want to add, then click the blue Done button.
That’s it, you’ve now created a manual collection.
Add your Collections to your Shopify theme
Finally we are going to add the collections to your Shopify theme so customers can see them on your store.
Go to Online Store > Themes, then click on Customize.
Next double click on a theme section that contains the word “collection”.
For this example, I’ll double click on Featured Collection first, next click “Select collection” and choose the collection you want to be featured.
Next, Save then click the back button (the “<” icon) and do the same for the other theme sections that contain collections.
For the Collection list section, scroll down to Content where you’ll see multiple blank collections. Next, click on one of the empty collections. If the drop-down tab is too quick try tapping or clicking hard.
Next click “Select collection” and choose the collection you want to show. Again, if the collection tab doesn’t open, click hard on the collection button.
I created 3 different collections to show you how a Collection list will look with all three collections filled:
Click Save when finished.
Step 6: Add Free Shipping
I highly recommend that you offer free shipping as a delivery option for your customers.
Offering free shipping increases customer conversions and reduces “checkout friction” (any event that gets in the way of a customer completing a purchase).
Create free shipping as a separate rate:
You can add free shipping rates to any shipping zone so customers don’t pay anything for shipping at checkout.
You can offer free shipping on all orders or you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain value.
- Go to Settings > Shipping, on the bottom left corner.
- Next to the shipping profile where you want to add a free shipping rate, click Manage rates.
3. Scroll down to Shipping from. Next to the zone where you want to add a free shipping rate, click Add rate.
In most cases you want to add free shipping for Domestic orders (orders in the country the product is shipped from). Domestic orders are cheaper to ship than international orders.
4. Enter the name for the rate, “Free Shipping” for example. Make sure that the value of the Cost field is “0” then click Done.
Optional: Free shipping based on weight or order value
You can set conditions for free shipping too, for example “Free Shipping for Orders over $40”.
If you want customers to order or spend a certain amount before qualifying for free shipping follow these steps.
- Click Add rate
- Click Add conditions.
- Select whether to base the condition on the item weight or order price. For this example I am using order price.
- Enter the minimum and maximum value for the condition. For this example I am setting the minimum price at $40 and leaving the maximum at “No limit”.
5. Click Done, and then click Save on the top bar.
How to set free shipping as default
If you want free shipping to be the default or only option for your store you can follow these steps:
Go to Settings > Shipping and delete all shipping zones that are “Domestic”.
To do this, click on the 3 dots to the right of the shipping zone, then click Delete.
Next, go to Rest of World, click on the three dots to right of the rate below the zone and click Edit rate.
Change the rate name to “Free” or “Free Shipping” and make sure the Cost field is set to “0”, then click Done.
Next click Save. That’s how you set free shipping as the default or only option for your Shopify store.
Step 7: Create pages for your Shopify store
Next your online store will need some informational pages, in this step we’ll see how to create an “About us” and “Contact Us” page.
To create these additional pages just repeat the process for the “about us” page, then add the policies which you can generate for free here.
The whole process is actually quicker than it seems.
Create an About us page
On the left menu, click on Online Store > Pages and then click on the blue “Add page” button in the center or the top right side.
Go to title and type in “About Us”. In the content section write a short summary about your store.
Below is an example you can use if you need inspiration:
“About Us” Page Template:
“Welcome to MyClothingStore, the home of the finest affordable clothing and accessories.
We stock a variety of garments for all seasons so you will never run out of quality clothing to choose from.
MyClothingStore was founded in 2019 with a vision of creating affordable clothing with the quality of expensive, higher end brands.
Starting out with only a few t-shirts, we soon expanded our range to include denim clothing, coats, accessories and shoes.
We hope you enjoy our products as much as we enjoy offering them to you. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us.”
Note: Subscribe to the HomeGrown Income newsletter and you’ll receive 3 different versions of this template plus a shipping policy template and additional free resources.
After you have written your text, you can also place an image above the text using the Insert/Edit image button (the photo icon).
Once you’ve uploaded the image, click on the image and click again on Insert/Edit image and adjust the alignment and image size.
For this example I will just keep the text without an image.
Once you’ve finished editing, click the blue Save button on the top right side of your screen.
Create a Contact us page
Now we are going to create a simple Contact page. To do so, go back to the Pages section (Online Store > Pages on left menu) and click on Add page again.
In the title section, type in “Contact Us”.
Next go to the Template section on the right, then click on the dropdown menu below Template suffix and choose “page.contact”.
Click on the blue Save button in the top right side.
Generate Policies for your online store
Every serious ecommerce business needs it’s store policies, including privacy policies, refund policies and terms and conditions.
You can also use the direct links to the free policy generators below:
Once you have generated the policies, copy and paste them into the Content section of your pages.
Note: Shopify does not have a shipping policy generator but that is actually simple to make:
- Find out the shipping times & prices for your chosen courier (USPS for example).
- Add your processing time, this is how long it takes you to prepare the product for shipping. Ideally this should be 0 (same day) or 1 working day.
USPS First Class Mail
Shipping time: 1–3 Business days
Note: If you joined the HomeGrown Income newsletter, you’ll receive a free shipping policy template for your online store. If you haven’t joined yet, feel free to use the form at the end of this post.
Next you want to create a site menu for your pages. If you have generated policies for your store I recommend adding the policies to the Footer Menu, whilst keeping the “About Us” and “Contact Us” page on the Main Menu.
To create or edit a menu go to Online Store > Navigation then click on Main Menu:
Next click “Add menu item” and click on the Link field, then click on Pages to select a page you want to appear on the menu.
Once you have selected a page click the blue “Add” button
Repeat this process for the Contact Us page and click on “Save menu”.
For the footer menu, go to back to the Navigation page, click on Footer Menu and repeat this process for the policies you generated.
Step 8: Setup Payments & PayPal
Now we will look at how to setup payments for your Shopify store so you can process customer payments.
Standards & Formats
Click Settings on the bottom left side of the menu, then click on General. On the next page scroll down to “Standards and formats.”
If you are targeting US based customers, for Unit system select “Imperial system” and make sure that Default weight unit is set to “Pound (lb)”.
Next go down to store currency and select “United States Dollars (USD)”, then click Save.
If you are not targeting US customers change the currency to the currency of your target country.
Note: The USA, Liberia and Myanmar (Burma) use the Imperial system, whilst the rest of the world uses the Metric system.
Now, go back to Settings and select “Payment providers”, on the next page Shopify payments should be the first option you see, if you see this click on “Complete account setup”.
If you don’t see Shopify payments, click Add a provider, make sure “Shopify Payments” is selected and click on Continue.
If Shopify payments isn’t available in your country then you can use PayPal instead which we look at after this step.
After you click on Complete account setup under Shopify payments, you need to fill in your business and personal details.
Under Product details you can just include a simple sentence explaining what your store sells. For example you could write “Men and womens clothing”, “Beard oils and accessories” or “Pet clothing & accessories”.
Under Customer billing statement make sure you add a current and accurate phone number.
Under Banking information make sure the information you enter is accurate since that is how you are going to get paid. The payout currency will be set to your local currency and this can’t be changed.
Now just click Complete account setup on the bottom right.
Note: It is very important that all the information entered here is accurate.
For some users PayPal might try and associate itself with the email you used to signup for Shopify.
If this is the case, you will see a notification saying PayPal will send you an email with instructions for setting up a business account after your first sale.
So if PayPal is already enabled as seen in the screenshot above you don’t have to do anything else until you get your first sale.
If PayPal Express Checkout is not enabled
If PayPal is not enabled, click on Activate PayPal Express Checkout.
On the next page you need to enter an email address to either log in to your PayPal account or sign up for a new one.
If you do not have a PayPal account, don’t worry, on the next page you’ll have the option to sign up. You can also sign up directly on PayPal’s website.
Once you have entered your email click on “next”, on the next page enter your password and click “Log in” if the email address you entered has a PayPal account.
If the email you entered does not have a PayPal account, click on the grey “Sign up” button instead and follow the instructions.
Once you have logged in, click on “I give permission”, then on the next page click on “Go back to Shopify”.
Now you have successfully enabled Shopify Payments and PayPal for your store.
Step 9: Choose or add a Domain name (custom URL)
By default every Shopify store will have a “myshopify.com” URL, with the store name in front.
For example if your store name is “MyClothingStore” the URL would be myclothingstore.myshopify.com.
A better option would be to have the store/business name in the URL only, for example “myclothingstore.com” without the “myshopify.com”.
Not only does this give your brand a more professional look, it also increases customer trust since it will make your business look more established.
- Always use a “.com” domain if it’s available, it is seen as an international domain and is the most common.
- If “.com” is still not available try adding “shop”, “buy”, “store” or “online” to your domain name.
- Try and keep your domain name short, no longer than 4 words. Shorter domain names are easier to remember and less likely to be misspelled.
- Choose a name that is easy to pronounce, something a customer can pronounce to a stranger on the street.
- Make it memorable. Good examples of short, memorable and easy to pronounce names are“nastygal.com” (Nasty Gal) and “boohoo.com” (Boohoo).
How to get a new domain name
On the left side menu, click on “Online Store”, under “Sales channels”. On the sub-menu click on “Domains”.
On the Domains page, click the blue “Buy new domain” button. On the next page type in the name that you want to use for your URL.
Shopify will tell you if the domain name you want is available. If the name you want is not available, try adding “shop”, “store” or “online” to the domain name.
For me “myclothingstore.com” was not available so instead I searched for “myclothingstoreonline.com”.
If the name you want is available you will see a blue “Buy” button, click on it and then click “Buy domain” on the next page.
Note: You can choose if you want the domain to auto-renew every year, that decision is up to you. If you have a long term vision for your business you can leave that box ticked.
On the other hand you can untick the box and see how your business performs over the year.
After making the purchase you will be asked to confirm your email address if you haven’t done so yet. Check your email inbox and look for the Shopify confirmation email to verify your email address.
If you already have a domain name
Here is how you can use a third party domain name with your Shopify store:
Add the new domain in Shopify
Whilst logged into Shopify, go to the left side menu and click on Settings and then Domains and then click on “Connect existing domain”, which is right under Domains.
On the next page enter the domain you want to transfer, then click Next.
On the next page you have two buttons, View instructions and Verify connection.
I have added the instructions to this guide so you can keep reading below but if you want to see the official Shopify instructions click “View instructions” or click here for the direct link.
Domain Connection Steps
Login to your account at your domain provider, look for DNS settings, this can usually be found under domain management.
Once on the DNS settings page, make the following changes:
- You need to point the A Records to Shopify’s IP address. Look for “@” or “A Record” and replace it with the following IP address: 188.8.131.52.
- Save the A Record (click Save, Save Zone File, Add Record, or similar).
- Next you need to point your CNAME records to Shopify. Look for your “www” CNAME records and replace it with “shops.myshopify.com”
- Save the CNAME Record (click Save, Save Zone File, Add Record, or similar).
- Click Verify connection in your Shopify admin to confirm that your custom domain has been connected to your store.
Set domain name as primary domain
Go to Online Store > Domains, then choose your main domain by clicking “Change primary domain”.
To redirect traffic to your primary domain click on Enable redirection.
This means that traffic from any other domains setup with this store will be redirected to your primary domain.
Adding additional domains
To add additional domains to your store, simply repeat the steps under Domain Connection Steps with any other domain names you own.
Any domain names you add will redirect to your “Primary domain”, which can be changed any time with the “Set as primary” option next to each domain name.
Step 9.5: Upgrade Shopify Plan
If you decide to upgrade your Shopify plan you can do this by going to Settings > Account.
Click on Upgrade plan.
Reasons you may want to upgrade:
One major reason you might want to upgrade your Shopify plan is you get the ability to sell gift cards.
Gift cards allow customers to place orders that match the value of the gift cards they own. For example, a $50 gift card allows a customer to buy $50 worth of products from your store, just sell the gift card for $50.
As well as being sold on your store, gift cards can be issued for free to customers as a rewards.
For example, as a reward customers can earn a $5 gift card for referring new customers to your store or for spending $100 on an order.
Gift cards can be very useful as a part of a referral program to attract customers to your store, or as part of a loyalty program to increase repeat orders. Companies like Uber use referral programs to grow their customer base.
Customers can also buy gift cards as birthday or Christmas gifts if they don’t know exactly what someone would want from your store.
Companies like Amazon use this method to increase sales, especially during the holiday periods like Christmas and special occasions like new graduations and weddings.
Other benefits you get from upgrading your plan include professional reports, 5 staff accounts, lower transaction fees, shipping label discounts and the ability to sell offline with Shopify POS.
Step 10: Take your Shopify store live!
This last step is really simple, all you have to do is turn off password protection for your store.
Note: I know the name “password protection” might be confusing to some people but disabling password protection simply removes the “coming soon” page so customers can view your store and buy your products.
It does not refer to your admin password so don’t worry.
Remove “password protection” for your Shopify store
Shopify allows you to hide your store with a password protected “coming soon” page.
You can view this page by opening your store URL in a private browser window or incognito mode.
Only logged in users (staff) or people who you give the store password to can view your store when password protection is enabled.
Whilst this is a good feature to use whilst setting up your store, you will have to turn it off once you have finished so customers can access it.
To remove password protection from your store:
- On Shopify admin (left menu), go to Online Store > Preferences.
- Click Disable Password if you see it at the top, or scroll down to the Password protection area.
- Uncheck Enable password.
- Click Save.
Another way you can do this is by going to your left side menu and clicking on Online Store, then on the next page click on “Disable password”.
This will also take you to the preferences page where you simply and “Enable password”.
Final Step: Start Selling!
Now your store is live and you are ready to start selling! 🥳
Congratulations on building your Shopify store and completing this tutorial.
I hope this tutorial was helpful in getting you to setup and customize your Shopify store, if it did help you, feel free to share this tutorial with anyone else who would find it useful (remember, sharing is caring).
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