1. Select a Shopify plan.
When selecting a Shopify plan, it's important to consider the size of your business and its specific needs. The most basic plan for small businesses is the Basic Shopify plan, which gives you access to all the features you need to build and launch a successful store. It includes unlimited products, two staff accounts, and 24/7 support.
2. Set up payment methods.
Before launching your store, you need to make sure that customers can easily pay for their orders online. Shopify offers secure integrations with a range of payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, as well as other third-party services like Amazon Pay. You'll also need to set up currencies and taxes in order to accept payments from international customers.
3. Design the store’s look and feel.
This is where you get to express your creativity by creating a unique design for your store. Shopify's themes offer an easy way to customize the look of your store with color palettes, fonts, and images that represent your brand. You can also use Shopify apps to add features and functionality to your store, such as product reviews, live chat support, and more.
4. Add products and set product details.
Before launching your store, you'll need to add all the products that you want to sell and provide detailed information about each one. This includes choosing the right images for each product, setting prices and stock levels, creating descriptions that accurately describe the products’ features and benefits, and making sure that each item is properly categorized into collections.
5. Test shopping cart functionality.
It's essential to test out your store's shopping cart before launching it to make sure that everything works correctly when customers are trying to buy from your store. This includes testing out the checkout process, adding and removing items to the cart, applying coupons or discounts, and making sure that taxes are calculated properly.
6. Configure taxes & discounts.
Depending on where you're selling your products from and where customers are purchasing them from, you may need to configure different tax rates for each country or region. You can also set up discounts for specific products or customers in order to encourage sales.
7. Set up customer service options.
Your customers should be able to easily get in touch with you if they have any questions about their orders or other queries related to your store. So it's important to include a customer service contact page as well as a phone number and email address on your website. You can also use live chat apps to provide more immediate support to customers.
8. Install necessary apps & plugins.
To help you run and manage your store, you may want to install a few Shopify apps and/or plugins that add extra features and functionality. This could include anything from order tracking and abandoned cart recovery to customer reviews or product subscriptions.
9. Secure the website with an SSL certificate.
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is essential for any online store as it helps protect the data sent between customers’ browsers and your store's servers. It also adds an extra layer of security, which makes customers feel more comfortable entering their personal and payment details on your website.
10. Promote store through various marketing channels.
You can create a blog or newsletter to share product updates and special offers with customers, advertise on popular social networks like Instagram and Facebook, or use paid search marketing options such as Google AdWords. Whichever method you choose, the goal is to get your store in front of as many potential customers as possible.
11. Ensure store is mobile-friendly.
Given that more and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the web, it's important to make sure that your store is optimized for mobile. This means making sure that all of its features and content can be easily viewed on different screen sizes, as well as ensuring fast load times on both desktop and mobile browsers.
12. Monitor analytics & customer feedback.
By keeping track of how visitors are using your store, what they're buying, and what issues they may be experiencing, you can make the necessary changes to ensure a better user experience. Additionally, if customers have any suggestions or complaints about your store, it's important to address them promptly.
13. Finalize launch preparations.
Once the store is ready, it's time to do a final check before launching. This includes making sure all the content is up-to-date, double-checking that all payment gateways are working properly, testing out any promotional campaigns or coupons you may have set up, and ensuring that your website meets the necessary legal requirements. Once everything looks good, you’re ready to hit launch!
14. Launch store.
It's time to launch your store! Make sure you let everybody know about it; post updates on social media, send out emails, or even run an ad campaign. It's also important to let customers know what makes your business unique so they'll be more likely to shop with you rather than your competitors.