A Beginner’s Guide To Shopify Store Development
Looking at the popularity of eCommerce nowadays, every entrepreneur wants to take part in the race of online business. But, which one to choose from the array of popular eCommerce platforms is the million-dollar question. Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, trusted by millions of businesses worldwide. According to the company, millions of businesses have already generated sales worth $543 billion.
The platform is well known for its ease of use and has become a premier choice for most business owners. Customizable themes & templates, low pricing, SEO & marketing tools, and 24/7 customer support are reasons to choose Shopify for your eCommerce store.
If you are thinking about setting up a Shopify store and are confused about where to start, reading this beginner’s guide to Shopify store development will help you! 😊
So, without wasting further time, let’s begin with the Shopify store development guide! 😃
Table of Contents
- Complete Guide to Shopify Store Development (Step by Step)
- Skip The Above Steps & Hire a Shopify Developer
Complete Guide to Shopify Store Development (Step by Step)
Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform allowing store owners to create online stores without technical know-how. Here are steps that you can follow to get started with Shopify.
Step 1: Create a Shopify Account
First of all, head toward the Shopify website and follow the given procedures to sign-up for a 14-day free trial (after that, you can choose any subscription plan as per your convenience):
- Enter your email address and click on the “Start free trial” button.
- Select the “I’m just starting” option and click next.
- Choose as many places as you like to sell your products and click next. (You can change this later)
- Provide a name for your store and click next. (You can also change Shopify store name later)
- Select your country/region and click next. (Shopify will set up default shipping rates and provide other recommended apps according to your location)
- You must continue with the appropriate option, like your email or Facebook account. Choose the option that suits you.
- Now, set a password for your store and can click the “Create Shopify account” button, and your 14-day free trial setup is complete.
Step 2: Customize The Theme
After signing up, Shopify stores will start with the default theme. You can continue with this default theme or customize it per your requirements. In case you want to customize your default theme, follow this process:
- Find the “Online Store” channel at the Sales channels to the left panel of the Shopify backend. Under it, click on “Themes”.
- You will see two sections:
- Current theme: Tweak the look of the current theme by editing the code or through the drag-and-drop editor as per your requirements.
- Theme library: Explore and add new themes to your Shopify store. You can find plenty of free and paid Shopify themes in its official store. If your business doesn’t fit any theme from the library and if you want to use a custom Shopify theme, you can upload a theme zip file or connect from GitHub.
- The theme you added will appear in the theme library section. Select the “Publish” option from the dropdown list. A window will open to confirm changing your store’s theme. Click on the “Publish” button, and the current theme will be changed per your choice.
An important thing to note here is that the theme of your online store may significantly affect your overall store’s performance. Therefore, it is vital to choose an SEO-friendly Shopify theme.
If you are planning to sell fashion apparel online, you’d love to take inspiration from the fifteen best Shopify clothing stores.
Step 3: Upload Your Products
After setting up your store on Shopify and customizing its theme, it is time to populate the store with products. Below are the steps you can use to add products to your store:
- On the left side panel of your Shopify admin panel, click on the “Products” tab and select the products option.
- You can add products to the Shopify store in two ways:
- By uploading a CSV file
- By entering details manually
- Select the “Add your products” button to manually add products to your store.
- Add the following details about the product:
- Images, Videos, or 3D Models
- SKU and Barcode Details
- You will find other sections to provide your product details, such as quantity, shipping, custom information, SEO listing preview, product status and organization, and theme template. Add details relevant to the product, click the “Save” button, and your product is added.
Add all the products to your store using the above steps.
Step 4: Set Up Collections
If you are selling over one type of product, you must categorize your products to give your customers the best user experience. You can do that by creating collections in Shopify. You can create product categories (known as collections in Shopify) to categorize the products and add products to them using the following steps:
- On the left side panel of your admin panel, click on the “Products” tab.
- Tab will expand, and you will see some options. Click on the “Collections” option.
- Click on the “Create Collection” button in the displayed page’s upper right corner.
- Add the basic details about the product collections, such as title and description.
- You can add products to the collections automatically or manually as per your requirements.
- You will find other sections to provide details such as SEO listing preview, collection availability, image and theme template. Add details relevant to the collection and click the “Save” button, and the collection is created.
- The Collection you created will open once you hit the “Save” button.
- In the products section, click on the ”Browse” button.
- Select relevant products per collection and click on the “Add” button, and your products will be added to the collection.
Step 5: Create And Arrange Pages
Your online store should have some default pages that target customers, help you gain their trust, and make your store look resourceful. Creating a page is very easy. Follow the steps to create pages in Shopify:
- Find the “Online Store” channel at Sales channels to the left panel of Shopify backend, and click on “Pages”.
- Click on the “Add page” button located in the top right corner of the page.
- Add title and content for your page.
- Edit website SEO, select visibility, choose theme template and click the “Save” button to create the page.
You can create essential pages for your online store, such as Contact Us, About Us, etc. You can also show pages in the navigation (Shopify refers to the menu as Navigations). To add your pages in Navigations, follow these steps:
- Find the “Online Store” channel at Sales channels to the left panel of your admin panel. Go there and click on “Navigation”.
- Add a new menu or click on the default menu titles to add your pages.
- In the menu item section, click on “Add menu item”.
- Add a name you want to display in the navigation for your page and click on the search link bar.
- Clicking on that and you will see a dropdown list, click on the pages option.
- A list of the default pages and your created pages will appear here. Select the pages you want to show in the navigations.
- Click on the “Add” button at the window’s bottom right corner.
- You will see your pages listed in the menu items section. It means your pages are added to the navigations.
Step 6: Set Up Payment And Shipping Methods
Payments: Setting up payment methods for your Shopify store is the most crucial part of creating a Shopify store. You need to consider how your customer will make a payment and how you will accept it. Shopify provides a default payment gateway for your store, and also, you can use any third-party payment provider. But before choosing any of that, consider your store’s location and customer base. You should keep in mind some things before you choose any payment methods, such as
- Charges per transaction.
- Type of cards accepted like credit and debit cards.
- Support internet banking or cash on delivery options.
You can choose default Shopify Payments, Paypal or any other from over 100 third-party payment providers. Here are the steps to set up a payment method in Shopify:
- At the left side panel of your store-front, go to the “Settings” and click on the “Payments” tab.
- Click on the “Choose a provider” button.
- Click on any of the many third-party payment providers.
- After clicking on any third-party payment provider, you need to add your account information like merchant code and secret word.
- Scroll down and select as many cards as you want from the list of cards supported by a third party.
- Click on the “Activate xxx” button to activate your payment method. (xxx will be your third-party provider name)
- In the supported payment methods section, you can choose Shopify supported payment method or add any payment method of your choice by clicking on the “Add payment methods” button.
- In the Manual payment methods section, click “Add manual payment method” and select any method such as cash on delivery, money order, and bank deposit from the dropdown list.
- Add some additional details and payment instructions for the selected method and click on the “Activate xxx” button, and your payment method will be added. (xxx will be your selected method name)
Shipping: You should explore the best-suited shipping methods for your business that you can provide to your customers. Only after that can you allow your customers to choose a particular shipping method of their convenience at the checkout page. You must sign up or deal with any delivery provider company to activate shipping methods. Then follow this process to activate shipping methods.
- On the left side of your Shopify admin panel, go to the “Settings” and click on the “Shipping and delivery” tab, and you will see the shipping section.
- You will see two sections: general shipping rates and custom shipping rates.
- Click on the “Manage” button in the general shipping rates.
- Check your “Shipping from” location. Next, you will see the default shipping zone. If you want to sell your products to other countries, you can create a new shipping zone by clicking on the “Create shipping zone” button.
- Next, you will see standard shipping rates for domestic and international. You can change them by clicking on the “Add rate” button.
- Click on the “Save” button at both the page’s top and bottom right corner to save the general profile.
- If you want to set custom shipping rates for custom products, click the “Create new profile” button.
- Add a name for your product and add your custom products by clicking the “Add products” button.
- Create a shipping zone, add a rate and click on the “Save” button at both the top and bottom right corner of the page and your profile is created.
- Now manage delivery and local pickup by store’s location.
- In the packages section, add package attributes such as length, width, height, and weight and add the package.
- Finally, click on the “Edit” button in the packing slip section if you want to customize packing slip templates, and you are ready to go.
Also, set up tax information to charge sales tax in Shopify and comply with the legal rules.
Step 7: Test Your Store’s Order System
You are all set with your Shopify online store now. Before going live, test your store’s order system. You can use Shopify’s Bogus gateway feature for this purpose. With the help of this feature, you can test whether your order process, shipping methods, and other essential settings are fulfilling their duties or not. You can activate the bogus gateway feature by following this process (First, deactivate any other payment method if already sign-up for any method):
- At the left side of your Shopify admin panel, go to the “Settings” and click on the “Payments” tab.
- Click on the “Choose a provider” button.
- Click on the “Bogus Gateway” button.
- A new page will open, Scroll down and select the “Bogus (for testing)” checkbox.
- Click on the “Activate (for testing) Bogus Gateway” button, and it will be activated.
After successfully activating the bogus gateway system, go to your Shopify store as a customer and order any product with authenticity as any potential customer to test your store’s order system.
Step 8: Go Live With Your Store
You are only one step away from going live with your Shopify store. Like every other website, you need to set a domain name for your store to be found by customers and search engines. Shopify, by default, provides a default domain name. Besides, you can add your custom domain name by purchasing from Shopify. Follow this final process:
- At the left side of your Shopify admin panel, go to the “Settings” and click on the “Domains” tab.
- Click on the “Buy new domain” button to purchase a custom domain name.
- Here, enter the custom domain name of your choice in the text box.
- After entering a domain name, you will see a list of other extensions and their prices.
- Click “Buy” against the domain of your choice and confirm your subscription.
- If you want to connect your old domain to Shopify, click on the “Connect existing domain” button, enter your old domain name in the text box and click the “Next” button.
- Add your desired domain name in the text box and click on the “Add domain” button. (You can only change your domain name once, so choose carefully)
Now your Shopify store is officially ready & the guide to Shopify store development ends here. If you have scrolled this far, you may also love reading our informative blog post on ‘How to Grow Your Shopify Store?‘
You’re ready to go now!🚀
Skip The Above Steps & Hire a Shopify Developer
Although creating a Shopify store manually is a straightforward task but involves many steps to follow carefully; it can be a very tedious task if you are a newbie to technology usage and developing your store from scratch. Remember, not just huge and big-budget businesses can hire a Shopify developer agency. You can hire a Shopify developer too. He/She can assist you in every matter you intend to require, whether it is basic or high level, and they can take care of everything for your Shopify store development. Here are some things that a Shopify developer can help you with:
- Make your Shopify store up and running in no time.
- Customize Shopify stores as per your business needs.
- Provide a mobile-responsive store-front that works seamlessly across the devices.
- Provide the best solutions for any upcoming challenges to your Shopify store.
- Make your store SEO friendly.
- Make you free to have more time to make new business strategies.
Managing everything single-handedly in Shopify can be tedious. You can hire Shopify virtual assistants to aid you with day-to-day tasks. Know the benefits & cost of hiring a Shopify virtual assistant.
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms available in the market for merchants willing to go online. Setting up a Shopify store is easy with its user-friendly interface. There are plenty of things to be considered while setting up a Shopify store. This complete guide to Shopify store development highlights all the major steps you can consider for setting up an online store on Shopify.
You can also hire a dedicated Shopify developer to set up your Shopify store and get it developed as per your requirements. In case you are going global or launching multiple brands, you may love reading our comprehensive guide to Shopify multiple stores.
I hope this informative guide to Shopify store development will help you with the Shopify store setup. In case you are facing any issues or have any doubts, feel free to comment. I’d love to help you! 😊
Also, do not forget to share this Shopify store development guide with your merchant friends via social media. 🙂
Thanks for reading. 🍀