Have you ever thought about upgrading yourself? Not about completely changing your whole personality, but about becoming a better version of yourself? We’re sure the answer is ‘yes’ because absolutely all of us have our share of aspirations and dreams that we believe can transfer us to happiness and fulfillment. And perhaps there was a time or two, when you read a success story of a teenage millionaire, who’s built his fortune in same timeframe as you managed to accumulated a lot of… stress, frustration and fatigue? Oh, not just couple of times?
Well, believe us or not, you are more capable of attaining aims than you give yourself credit for. Christmas, a time of miracles and presents, is just around the corner, and can you think of better time than now to turn the tide and change your fortune? Enough lyrics, let’s get down to business of creating a miracle in a quarter of an hour.
Fifteen minutes is all the time you need to create totally free and totally your own online Shopify store. Why online store? In this modern world of technology, e-commerce is expanding tremendously every day due to the ever growing demand. There’s a lot of niches and opportunities for everyone, even complete newbies, to get rich, reach full potential and enjoy yourself along the way.
Why Shopify? Shopify is a system, where web design, ecommerce, and product management tools are all packaged into one, so signing up with them and starting your store couldn’t be any easier. They even offer a 14-day free trial to get you started. It’s a perfect solid place for beginners, offering them a chance to avoid a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo needed for designing and setting up a site. Later on you could easily scale up but for now let’s start building the foundation of your business.
1. Signing Up
Visit Shopify.com, use the signup form and create an account. Enter the required data and click ‘Create your store now’. Don’t bother with name too much at the moment (you can work on it later on), but you do need to choose a unique name, otherwise Shopify won’t accept it. Proceed to filling up all the standard details, including your name, address, country and a contact number. Then you’ll have a choice to specify the products for sale or just choose ‘I’m just playing around’ and ‘I’m not sure’.
2. Setting Up
After signing up you’ll go right to store administration. Here you can deal with customization of your store and configuring payments and shipping.
Spend as much time and effort as possible on ‘Products’ section because bad presentation can kill your sales. Go to the bar on the left and choose ‘Add a product’ in the top right corner of the page. Fill all the needed details about the products all the while remembering about SEO. Include as much information as possible since it will make the choice of products for customers easier and the number of potential queries smaller. Сhoose the most flattering main product photos and additional pictures of any special features.
After you’re done, click ‘Save product’ button.
Remember, that hierarchical approach makes your products easy to view and even easier to sell, so set up group of products or collections. A few recommendations:
- Shoppers expect to see the products right away, so display list of collections on the homepage and in the navigation panel. It makes for an easy and efficient search.
- One product can be included in several collections.
- A collection should NEVER be made up of one product.
- Use tags to optimize your products for search results.
- Use categories within categories, arranging products in a tapering structure. Start with the most generic group like ‘Sunglasses’, then make ‘Men’s’ and ‘Women’s’, then ‘Polarized’, ‘Mirrored’ and ‘Non-Polarized’, etc. Again use tags for flexible and meaningful structuring and labeling, like by material (wood, plastic), status (bestsellers, staff choice) or style (vintage, goth).
3. Which theme? Choose ‘Star’ for future commercial stardom
Selecting and tuning up the theme is the most important stage, which in many parts can make or break your store in all aspects, from popularity to conversion rate. And yes, we are proud of our theme, think the world of it and can think of no worthy alternatives for beginners. In order to prove our point, let’s spend a little more time here.
At this moment you’re probably uncertain, whether you’ll like having your own store or not. Time will tell (though we’re positive that you would), but the chance of getting a good-looking start without spending a dime on web-design is wonderful.
We don’t need to drone on and on about the importance of website speed. Both for search engines who provide traffic for you and for the customers who shop in your store, page speed is probably second important thing (first being the visual but we’ll come to that later). With Star your site will be lightning fast due to the large image optimization and smart use of SEO.
Everybody likes clean and clear design. Statistic says that many companies after changing complex designs to simpler form were able to generate about 40% additional revenue within a few weeks. Do we need to say more? In Star your customers won’t need to search and search for a ‘Buy Now’ button inside a crowded bunch of texts, pictures and widgets. Both styles (‘Polaris’ and ‘Sirius’) while offering different looks, vivid and laconic, provide consistent, easy on the eyes and user-convenient structure. Which means increased on-page time, decreased bounce rates and, as the result, better search engine rankings.
Star is very easy to manage. Unlike expensive themes with lots of elements and tools, where customization takes a lot of time and effort, here you can configure most of the elements with one click. Moreover, you will not have to fight any compatibility issues, as Star is fully compatible with the most popular Shopify apps. That means saved time, which would be spend otherwise on fixing those problems.
You want people to be impressed the second they see your landing page. Internet users are notoriously quick to judge the quality and integrity of a website, and if they aren’t immediately engaged they leave that very second. When visitors will land on your storefront page they won’t see anything that could irritate or frustrate them. It won’t be bulky, slow or cluttered. Visuals will be stunning, structure familiar and navigation will be obvious and straight-forward. You can use announcement bar to draw attention to a sale or a promotion, ‘Social links’ and ‘Share’ buttons to engage active social media users and later on add ‘Product reviews’ for social proof. What’s not to love? Play with all the tools until you like the picture and go to the next step.
4. Standard pages
You’ll need to create expected standard pages in ‘Online Store’ → ‘Pages’ → ‘Add Page’. For starters choose ‘About Us’, ‘Terms & Conditions’, ‘Privacy & Returns Policy’, ‘Shipping & Delivery Information’, and ‘Contact Us’.
To set up payment processing, choose ‘Settings’ in the bottom left column and select ‘Payment providers’. You can choose Bogus Gateway to test how the payments work on your online store. Then you can setup Paypal Express Checkout, it is the easiest and fastest way to enable payment and start accepting credit cards on your store.
Last thing you need to do is enter your billing info. You can do it in ‘Settings’ → ‘Billing’.
Ta-da! Your miracle is all set and ready.
Of course, that’s not all. There’s a thousand and one things to do, including identifying your niche on the market, deciding on whether you want to dropship or hold your own products, looking for suppliers, setting up a company… However, the skeleton of your business is all formed now, so to speak, and the rest will revolve around your store.
If you’re thinking about setting up store on the web quick and effectively, you’re really not going to do much better than Shopify and Star, especially if e-commerce is terra incognita for you. Functionality, efficiency, chances to get creative and rip profits, it can be all yours to sink your mouse in.
Try your hand at online retailing and who knows, maybe the next success story that would give courage to someone to change his or her life will be yours? It’s a holiday season, after all, time when anything can happen. One thing we all know for sure, it’s a time of crazy shopping, so why let get all those lovely $$$ go someplace else? Believe in yourself and merry trading to you!
Open a Shopify Online Store For Free!
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