It’s time to make the transition to an online store. But where do you start? There are a multitude of tutorials, resources, and tips online that showcase what you must know before making an e-commerce store. Why should you choose e-commerce? The world, in response to the pandemic, has shifted consumers to prefer online shopping to avoid having to go into brick-and-mortar stores and risk their health.
To read more about the importance of e-commerce and how it can benefit your business, click here.
Let’s dive in and take a look at the key highlights to consider when creating your first website. Once you follow this guide, it will enable you to enter the online world with more confidence and understanding of the platform.
1. Shopify Pricing
When you go into the Shopify’s pricing, it lists off all the features available at each price point. The only things missing from the “Basic Shopify” that you get in the “Shopify” plan is that you get gift cards, professional reporting, lower credit card rates, and 5 staff accounts instead of 2.
When upgrading to the “Advanced Shopify,” it has the best credit card payment rate, customized reporting capabilities, better shipping rates, and 15 staff accounts.
If you want to read more about pricing, check out this comprehensive guide to find out what specific plan will best suit your needs!
2. Online Store Set up
Now it’s time to set up your store from the ground up, it doesn’t take long to get a store functioning, but you should follow a step-by-step process to get this done correctly.
Please take 10 minutes and watch this video on How to Set up A Shopify Store, then join back with us to go over key takeaways and other helpful resources.
Choosing a Domain: One of the most challenging parts of starting a business is giving it a name unless you already have a business. If you need help to come up with a business domain, check out this business name generator to see what names are available to use.
Hosting Options: When it comes to hosting, Shopify doesn’t provide email hosting but can provide a domain if you purchase it through them. The best and cheapest route is to buy your hosting from an external internet domain registrar like GoDaddy. For the first year of your registered domain, it will cost you as little as 99 cents. You can add email hosting on top of that within GoDaddy, and when you add another user to the account, it will cost $2 per person.
After setting it up, go to Shopify’s Help Center to connect the domain from GoDaddy to Shopify. If you don’t choose a domain name, you will be given a website URL that would look like “https://yourstorename.myshopify.ca,” which won’t help build a strong brand for consumers to recognize.
Domain Connection: Initially, when you try and connect your domain, it could take up to 24 hours to do so. It may also say there is an error. Don’t worry, as this is normal because DNS records take time to transfer and update.
Choosing a Design: Depending on how design-savvy you are, you can choose to either add a ready-made theme to your website for free or with a one-time fee, or you may want to design your theme from Liquid: Shopify’s Template Language.
Check out Pop Chart’s website for inspiration!
3. The Launch
Now that your store has all the main components taken care of and it is functional, it’s essential to run your store through a Shopify Checklist to ensure you are not missing anything. You want to be sure you are taking full advantage of all the platform has to offer.
Remember, even after the launch of your store, you can always go in to modify and customize anything you’d like and then publish your changes online.
Enable Sales Channels: Use all the available options available to you that would drive the most business for your brand. Always be open to testing these channels to see if they work and keep working on different strategies to increase sales. Integrating your store with Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger is an excellent way to connect your store with your social media business pages. Learn how to incorporate them here. It’s also worth considering going on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay as well to expand your brand’s reach. Keep in mind your target audience and the best platforms to reach them, as not every marketplace suits every brand.
Shipping Options: Making sure your shipping rates have accurate pricing can help you understand what you need to be charging customers to give free or discounted shipping. Follow this shipping guide to figure out how to set it up properly.
Set up your analytics: Your Shopify store already comes with analytics built-in, but if you want in-depth reporting, it is best to connect your store to Google Analytics. Additionally, linking your Facebook Pixel to your website to track user information coming from Facebook over to your online store to provide well-rounded data.
4. Tracking Analytics
Now that you are online, and you have all your sales funnels in place, you need to learn how to track the data of your visitors. More importantly, how to use it to make data-driven business decisions. Use HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics to learn how to use it thoroughly. This will help you understand what you’re looking for and how to pull helpful insights to ultimately sell more.
Pay Attention to Key Metrics: There is a lot to see on Google Analytics and will take some time to learn it all. That’s why you should always look for these key metrics every time you check your data. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to increase customer retention on your site or find out your store isn’t functioning correctly.
Track your Social Media: Monitor everything you post and advertise on social media to find out what ads are performing the best and the posts that are getting the most engagement. When you create a campaign on Facebook, there are key measurements that you should monitor to gauge its success, and there are key metrics you should continue to watch as well. It’s crucial to find out if your money was well-spent!
5. Find Helpful Plugins
There are so many plugins out there to choose from that it is hard to narrow it down to the most important ones you should install. Go through this list of 10 of the Best Shopify Plugins for Optimizing Your E-Commerce Store and see what plugins will enhance your user experience and streamline processes for you.
Set clear goals for plugins: Are you trying to upsell or cross-sell? Increase the average order value? Or improve your customer loyalty? Once you understand what you are trying to achieve with each plugin, you’ll be able to deem if it’s necessary for your website at this time.
6. Improve Shopify SEO
Now you want to improve your chances of Google finding you when customers search for keywords related to your business. Use Search Engine Optimization throughout your entire site to give Google the ability to find your website. There could also be issues with your site that could change its performance online.
Focus on your sitemap: This is a file that provides information about your websites such as the images, pages, videos, and files to make it easier for Google to crawl your site and indicate which pages are the most important.
Once you have your sitemap, upload it to Google Search Console to measure your site’s performance, fix problems, and improve your website’s findability. One
Work on meta descriptions: A common mistake people make is never populating their store’s description or providing alt-text for their images. Adding all the right keywords will improve your store’s search ranking.
Other Details to Consider:
We hope these tips and resources gave you some structure and information while building your new store on Shopify! There are many layers to having an e-commerce site, continue to research and find more ways to improve your online presence as things are always changing!