1 Sign Up
This initial step requires signing up for your Shopify account which basically involves:
- Password protecting your account
- Providing a name for your store
- Adding your business name, address and billing information
- Adding your custom domain name.
Here you will get two options while adding a domain name, you can either buy a new domain from Shopify itself (which will normally cost $14.99 for a dot-com domain) or can easily connect one you have already purchased elsewhere.
This step involves organizing the way your store will appear to your potential customers. You can initiate by exploring the free themes (or can go for the paid ones if you aren’t satisfied) available as part of your Shopify package, thereafter you can customize your theme (if you feel the need) though most themes work just as fine on their own.
This is an important step related to loading and organizing your first products along with learning about the Shopify product listing features. And for your convenience, I have broken it down into mini-steps to follow-
- Use good quality images and optimize them for faster loading.
- Your retail pricing should be reasonable and intelligent.
- Use clear product descriptions (aim for writing a unique description for every product, not the one provided by the manufacturer).
- A basic understanding of how Shopify uses categories to differentiate products.
- Duplicate well-published product pages to add products faster.
This is a crucial pre-launch step that involves connecting your payment gateways way before you start driving any traffic to your webstore. Here PayPal (by plugging in your PayPal account details in the dashboard) and Shopify Payments (activate it by connecting a bank account in the payment section) are sufficient to provide you with enough options to cover this step. Manage your overall tax related settings at this point as well.
A Tip: Do a test transaction by going through the checkout process to ensure everything is functioning properly with accepting payments.
Next step includes creating at least 7 standard static pages apart from the ones Shopify template will automatically create for every one of your added products. These pages are-
- About Page
- Contact Page
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Shipping Details
- Return Policy
- Terms of Service
- Private Policy
It may seem like a lot of work but is very easy once you get started. Simply, click on ‘Online Store’ in the side menu, choose ‘Pages’ and then click ‘Add Pages’.
A Tip: Do not copy paste other people’s ideas into these pages but write your own content, hiring a professional copywriter at this point might be a good investment.
Now, this step is totally dedicated to writing and managing blog related content on your website, so ensure before the launch that you have some launch-specific blog content added to your website. You can do this by clicking on ‘Online Store’ icon on the left side menu, then choose ‘Blog Posts’ followed by ‘Create Blog Posts’ and write your articles therein. These blogs will not only make your website more attractive but can also improve your site’s ranking among search engines through targeted keywords.
This final step involves devising a launch plan even if it’s a small one. It includes cold emailing at least 5-10 online publications informing them about the launch of your website. Also, announce this launch on your personal Facebook page and your immediate circle. Another effective way is publishing several guest posts on several websites on the day of your release.