Do you have a product you want to sell? Or maybe you want to expand your retail store to a wider audience, possibly even have a global reach. You have probably realized that constantly posting your products on a social media site such as Facebook is not scalable. There is no better way to expand your market reach than by creating an online store.
Why You Should Create An Online Store
<strong>a) Less Costs</strong>
In general, an online store costs less to set up and run than a physical shop, although it’s important to recognize that making e-commerce work requires continuing investment. It also allows for lower marketing costs and better targeting. Online promotion can be more precisely aimed at potential customers than using conventional media. It’s also much cheaper, for example, to send a marketing message by e-mail to 1,000 customers than it is to send 1,000 newsletters by post.
<strong>b) Access to Larger Market</strong>
A local business can become nationwide or even reach an international market just by having an effective e-commerce strategy. Since your store can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection, you are no longer constrained to customers within your geographical region.
<strong>c) Open 24/7</strong>
Since an online store is not restricted to operating hours, you can earn money 24/7. It also allows automated order and payment processing. Sales can be made at any time, and customers can buy when it suits them. Research shows that the most popular time for online shopping is 12 pm to 2 pm weekdays, and on Sunday evenings.
What is Shopify
Shopify is an e-commerce platform where you can create your online store. It also is a SAAS based platform, which means Software as a service and you can start your online store on this platform along with managing orders, capturing payments, fulfillment, shipping and much more. Shopify also has an app store from where you can purchase and install various related apps for your online store to have added features.
Basically, it is an all in one platform that allows you to create an online store without having to worry about coding. This allows you to create an online store in as quick as 30 minutes. To learn more about them, click HERE.
Step by Step Guide to Making Your Online Store with Shopify.
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify
Navigate to the Shopify website HERE, and click on the Get Started button. Fill in your desired email address, password and store name.
It will then ask you if you’d like to make a brick and mortar store or an online shop. For this tutorial we’re only going to make an online shop, so select that option and click Next.
The following page asks you to fill in personal information such as your name, address and phone number, all of which is used to configure currencies and tax rates.
After you click Next, tell Shopify about yourself by specifying how much you plan to sell and if you’re already selling. Click on the Enter My Store button when complete.
Step 2: Add a Product to Your Shopify Store
When going to your Shopify backend it outlines a nice step-by-step process on how to completely setup your shop. The first button asks you to add a product, so you should click on that first.
The Add product page is similar to something you would see on WordPress. You can fill in details like a title, description, price, and vendor. Feel free to complete however much of the product page you’d like. Just make sure you save the product at the end.
Step 3: Customize the Look of Your Site
Go back to the main dashboard, and select the Customize the Look of Your Site button. This area asks you to customize anything from logos to colors. This takes a bit of tinkering, but the main part you want to focus on is the link that asks you to Visit the Theme Store.
Here you can browse through the hundreds of themes in Shopify to make your site look awesome.
Step 4: Setup Your Domain
After you choose your template and design your website to your liking, it’s time to select a domain to make your site official and make it live.
Go back to the dashboard and click on the spot that asks to Add a Domain. This asks you whether you want to transfer a domain or register a new one. Choose the domain you like and walk through the steps to make the purchase. You’ll also need to specify which Shopify payment play you’d like to go with.
Upon activation, you can then go to that particular domain and see your website.
Step 5: Activate Your Payment Processor
Click on the tab to the left of the dashboard called Payments. This area allows you to select from dozens of payment processors such as Stripe and Authorize.net. Shopify also has its own payment processor which is super easy to implement. Simply walk through the steps to activate your payment processor. This allows you to accept payments and put those payments in an account.
After all, is said and done you can click on the Launch Website button to make the store live. Congratulations! You now have a fully functional Shopify store.