Shopify is an ecommerce platform that can help you start, grow, and manage a business. Millions of merchants use Shopify’s services to build and offer customized business solutions. Shopify allows you to create an online store and sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, in-person, brick-and-mortar locations, pop-up shops, and across multiple channels, from social media to online marketplaces. It’s an all-in-one selling solution. Read on to learn how to sell on Shopify.
What to Do Before You Start Selling on Shopify?
Before you start selling on Shopify, you’ll need to consider the following:
1. Figure Out What Products to Sell
You can set up an eCommerce storefront in just a few simple steps, but you’ll need market research. Before creating a Shopify account, it’s important to research the products you’d like to sell. Consider your interests and expertise, as well as sourcing, pricing, and demand, when looking for products to offer in your Shopify store. Create financial projections of sale volumes to access the products that can offer strong sales and profit margins.
2. Conduct Market Research
Market research involves looking at existing brands within your target industry and niche. Look at their total sales volume, product offerings, and pricing. Consider also whether you want to offer a unique combination of products or packages that appeal to specific customers. Other common market research tools include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observations. You can hold surveys on free sites, paid sites, or social media.
3. Draft a Business Plan
A business plan will include your company vision and mission, what you plan to offer, and how you can fulfill the needs of your target market. Your Shopify business plan can be as simple or complex as you like. Other traditional elements of a business plan include:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- Details of product offerings
- Marketing and sales strategies
- Financial projections
- Necessary funding or loans
4. Decide on Your Business or Store Name
Your business name is your company’s unique interface with the world. You’ll want to choose a name that is not already used by another business in your state or industry. You can check available business names with your Secretary of State’s business database by doing a web search for the name. You can also confirm with the US Patents and Trademarks Office that the name isn’t trademarked or restricted
5. Buy a Domain
Domain names cost as little as $5 a year or up to thousands or millions. While deciding on a business name, you’ll want to confirm that your desired web domain is available. For e-commerce sites, .com is a preferred top-level domain or TLD. You can also consider city or country-specific web domain TLDs if you plan to target a more local market.
You can buy a domain name from various sources, although some of the most popular are Godaddy, Wix, Dreamhost, NameSilo, and Namecheap.
6. Prepare Your Media
To build your website, shop, and social media presence, you’ll need logos, graphics, photos, and videos of your products. Prepare unique and interesting photos and videos highlighting your products and their uses. If you’ve already started selling products, gathering customer testimonials (including photos or videos) can be a powerful way to build trust.
7. Get Your Business Essentials in Order
How will you launch your business? It’s important to decide whether you will give your business a legal structure and, if so, which one. A limited liability company or LLC offers legal protection and simplified administration for most small business owners.
After creating a legal business entity, you’ll want to get an EIN, open a business bank account, and get business insurance, if necessary. You can also speak to a CPA or tax consultant to understand tax implications and business accounting. Consider LLC name ideas here.
How to Sell on Shopify in 7 Steps
Here are seven simple steps to start selling on Shopify:
1. Sign Up with Shopify
To sign up with Shopify, all you have to do is click “Get Started” at the top right of the homepage. You’ll be asked to enter your email address and a password. Next, you’ll be asked for your store name.
2. Choose Your Sales Channels
Next, you get to add sales channels. Sales channels are different platforms where you can sell your products. Connecting your sales channel to Shopify allows you to simplify inventory management, orders, and customers in one place. Popular Shopify sales channels include:
- Amazon channel
- Messenger channel
- Point of Sale
- Cross‑Store sales channel
- uAfrica Shipping & Multichannel
- SiBi ‑ See It Buy It
You can add more sales channels on the Shopify channel screen anytime.
3. Set Up Payment Methods
You can select payment methods anytime by going into settings on the Shopify site. You can add or remove payment methods or payment providers. Just remember to click “Activate” to save the changes.
4. Choose Your Shipping Methods
Shopify is a customized solution, so you can select the best shipping methods you prefer for your products. You can change this anytime in your Shopify settings’ “Services” section. Select the options you want to provide your customers at checkout.
5. Design Your Store
Shopify can help you create a customized store. It has a website creator, which uses a simple drag-and-drop functionality so you can easily customize and build your company website without needing specialized skills. Consider the colors, fonts, and photos you use in your store to showcase product offerings.
Shopify offers a wide selection of free and for-purchase themes to customize your store. You can give a unique look and feel to your online store.
6. List Your Products
Listing products on Shopify is simple. You will navigate to “Products.” Then, you can add products by tapping the plus button. You will be prompted to add a title for the product, along with additional product details. Finally, click “Check” to save your product.
7. Start Fulfilling Orders
How you will fulfill orders depends on the product offering. You could set up automatic fulfillment if you offer a digital download or a digital gift card. You also have the option to fulfill orders manually, either with Shopify shipping or with another shipping method. Learn more about fulfilling Shopify orders here.
What to Do Once Your Shopify Store Goes Live?
Once your Shopify store goes live, it’s time to market products, build a customer base, and analyze trends for continuous improvement. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll want to consider.
1. Market Your Products
Once your shop is up and running, the first step is driving customers to the site. Consider using social media channels to both educate and inform potential clients. You can also consider paid marketing campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever your target audience spends time.
2. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Building a dedicated customer base requires exceptional customer service. Deliver what you promised and stand by the value you offer customers. Aim to deliver products on time or early and respond promptly in case of any questions or issues.
Always communicate with buyers professionally and timely as part of your regular customer support. In case of any problems or complaints, address them immediately, apologize, and offer a possible solution. Great customer service can increase customer satisfaction and help build a loyal customer base.
3. Continuously Analyze and Optimize Your Store Performance
Check sale stats, views, and profit margins to assess your store performance accurately. In addition to Shopify’s tools, you can use Google Analytics to track your customer’s journey on your company website. This will help you determine the most effective marketing strategies, the most popular pages, and when clients typically visit the shop.
Leveraging Shopify’s Tools for Growth
Shopify offers an all-in-one solution to start and grow your business. Creating a Shopify store could be the first step towards long-term financial freedom. Remember that as you grow as an entrepreneur, you will want to protect yourself from liability.
Forming an LLC offers liability protection while adding professional credibility to your company. Get doola LLC formation services for fast, low-cost LLC formation in any state. With doola formation services, you will also get an EIN and help to open a business bank account. That way, you’ll have more time to focus on building your Shopify brand.
What are the advantages of selling on Shopify?
There are numerous advantages of selling on Shopify, including low startup costs, beautiful and customizable themes, capable support, and support for multichannel with Shopify pros. Shopify is great for dropshipping while offering your company safety and reliability. Shopify’s marketplace also offers great sales opportunities to build your business faster.
Who should sell on Shopify?
Anyone can sell on Shopify. Entrepreneurs who want a quick start-up solution with customized features can use Shopify to start selling. If you’re considering launching a business, you can consider Shopify.
How much does it cost to sell on Shopify?
Shopify’s basic seller package starts at just $39 per month, and advanced solutions cost $399 per month. Shopify plus for high-volume businesses starts at $2,000 per month.
Can I sell physical products as well as digital downloads on Shopify?
Yes, you can sell physical products and digital downloads on Shopify. You can even combine offerings and include an optional digital download with a physical product.
Can I sell internationally on Shopify?
Yes, you can sell internationally on Shopify. The settings and customizations you need to sell worldwide are built into the admin of every Shopify store. Whether you want to offer your products worldwide or to certain regions is up to you.