Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or starting a side hustle, when it's time to sell products online, you'll need an online storefront that keeps up with an ever-evolving landscape. But where to start? With the vast number of options for eCommerce website builders and so-called coding 'experts,' getting your first online store off the ground can quickly become a nightmare, especially when you consider everything involved in running a business. Shopify's eCommerce solutions are hard to look past when choosing a platform to build your online store, especially if it's your first. The user-friendly system has easy drag-and-drop page builders, free themes, email marketing integration, customer support, payment gateways, and custom themes. It's a one-stop-shop for all your eCommerce needs.
This article will delve into what Shopify is and why it's the best option on the market for creating a successful, user-friendly eCommerce website. We'll also give you an essential step-by-step guide of how to set up your first online store with Shopify and when you might need to consider getting help to build a website that makes an impressive statement.
Not all website builders are equal, but Shopify is at the top of the list for an eCommerce platform. A content management system (CMS) Shopify is the difference between spending days or hours on your online store. As an 'all in one eCommerce business solution, Shopify is the complete package to help you start, grow and manage your business.
Initially created only to sell products online, the rise in its popularity means Shopify has had to adapt and upgrade its features to remain top of the market. These upgrades have improved functionality, design, and user experience. Shopify allows you to build an eye-catching online store all by yourself, at an affordable price, with no coding experience required, and the best part is it won't look like an amateur web developer has built it. It also provides the flexibility to customize and develop apps specific to your business's requirements, more on customizing later.
Shopify is all-in-one, making it one of the most accessible and affordable platforms. There is no need to find a host, connect to a server, purchase an SSL certificate, manually integrate a payment system, and troubleshoot; Shopify takes care of everything for you. With the help of the Shopify app store, the eCommerce benefits include:
In-depth analytics to understand your customers
Shopify app store
Email marketing integration
Stock management integrated with a physical store
Drag and Drop page builders
Free Shopify themes
Easy payment integration
Customizable themes and templates
Headless CMS (for more extensive or international websites)
Customer support 24/7
Regularly updated software
Yes. While there are other eCommerce CMS on the market, the two things that make Shopify the best are integration and automation. Imagine being able to send an automated email to a customer who abandoned their cart and made a sale, all without lifting a finger.
Beginners will get their money's worth from the basic Shopify features. However, when scaling up and taking your business to the next level, it's time to delve into Shopify customization and app development.
Just as you'd style your physical store for a memorable customer experience, you should invest the same attention to detail on your website, if not more. While Shopify has hundreds of free out-of-the-box themes, they won't showcase your unique style without a custom theme. Have you ever wondered how a website has hovering graphics, interactive quizzes, or pages so engaging you get lost exploring? That's customized Shopify theme development, with most likely many privately developed apps.
According to Shopify, 87% of entrepreneurs rely on apps to run their online stores. The Shopify app store separates Shopify from the rest of the CMS market, and they're a unique selling point with the ability to enhance functionality and customize integrations. While downloadable apps are abundant in the store, custom websites' may require Shopify app development to fulfill their unique needs.
If you're not quite ready for a customized Shopify store and apps, you'll be able to whip up your first out-of-the-box Shopify site in just a couple of hours. All you'll need is an idea of what you want your store to look like, products ready to list, descriptions, and images or videos.
Once you've started a trial or paid Shopify subscription, it's time to unleash your creativity and build a website that reflects your brand's personality. Following the user-friendly step-by-step actions on Shopify’s homepage, you can set everything up from shipping to product pages in a matter of hours. What sets Shopify apart from competitors are the video tutorials showing you exactly which button to press and at what stage of the process. We've also created a checklist to ensure your first eCommerce website gets off the ground smoothly.
Checklist of setting up an online store with Shopify
Name your store and connect your domain name
Choose and customize the theme of your website
Add your billing information and payment methods
Set currency options, calculate shipping rates, and set up taxes
Integrate and explore the app store
Upload product images and descriptions
Organize your products into collections
Create collections and product pages
Add a blog to your online store
Customize the main navigation, headers, and footers
Test your payment methods, shipping options, and refunds
Promote and market your eCommerce website
Optimize your website's metadata to improve SEO
Use and integrate Shopify marketing apps