Apr 30 , 2021
A comprehensive guide and tips to making the best store possible on Shopify Of all the website builders and Ecommerce platforms out there, Shopify seems to be one of the most popular and successful ones out there. The versatility and ease of use the platform provides are just some of the reasons why Shopify is a great place to create and online stores.
That being said, the actual process of building an online store, let alone a successful one, can be quite daunting for a beginner or a small business. To not end up like the plethora of failed online start-ups, you need to know how to create the best possible store that'll attract the most number of customers.
Luckily, we have taken the liberty of enumerating all the steps and tips that goes into creating a profitable online business:
Know What You're Going to Sell
If you are looking to start an online store, chances are you already have an idea of what kinds of products you are going to sell. That being said though, there are a few things you need to take into account before settling on your final list of items.
Do Your Research
You must be aware of whether or not your products are already being sold or if the market for what you're selling is already saturated. Looking at other online stores, Amazon's Best Seller list, eBay's Trending, and other such places can give you an idea if similar products to yours are in demand.
Have a Supplier
If you have a storage place, work out from where you will be ordering the bulk of your stocks. Sourcing your products is a major consideration you need to make as it will affect the overall pricing and availability of the product.
If you make your own product, finding suppliers for the raw materials to make it is what should be a priority early on. Finding quality raw materials available in bulk and affordable is the ideal scenario.
On the other hand, you can also look into finding dropshipping suppliers and set up an online store as a reseller. The dropshipper will have the stocks ready in their own warehouses be responsible for the shipping of the products - all you do is take in the orders.
Determine the Best Price
This part will require a lot of math and thinking but it is one of the most essential steps in building an Ecommerce business. Too high a price will force most customers to find cheaper alternatives unless you're selling a luxury product. Too low a price will draw some customers to question your product's quality.
When calculating the overall cost or the cost per unit, keep in mind these things:
- Cost of Materials to make your product or the cost of ordering the products already made.
- The cost of web hosting and web building (the cost of Shopify)
- Shipping and Packaging
The percentage deducted by the payment processing services Cost of marketing and paid advertisement (Including professionally done product images or videos, social media boosting for posts and pages, and payment to influencers for recommendations)
Open a Shopify Store
Now that the sourcing of your product and pricing has been worked out, it's time to actually create the store on Shopify. Though the site guides you through the process of creation step-by-step, it always helps to know what to expect to be fully prepared with a strategy:
Add the Products
The first and most obvious thing to do first is uploading your products to your store. This can be done by selecting the "Products" tab on the right side of the screen, then clicking on "Add Product".
You will then proceed to put in a title and product description. Be sure to make it short but comprehensive. You can use bullet points to highlight your product's qualities and positive features.
Upload then your images and other media so customers know what the product looks like. Shopify even lets you add GIFs, videos, and even 3D models of your product - all of which adds credibility and user interactivity to your store/product. Then set the price and, if you wish, use the Compare Price fields in order to let the customer know what the usual price of the product is as opposed to the deal they're getting with you.
Creating all the necessary pages for customers to be informed is essential for lending your store credibility. Building a Shopify store does not stop at a products page alone but must also have useful information on you or your business. Some of the usual pages most online business have are:
- Contact Page
- About Us Page
- FAQ Page
- Policy Pages
Select an Eye-Catching Theme
The Shopify Theme Store boats a large number of themes both paid and free. Selecting the right theme can give your store the look and feel you want your customer to have when entering as well as compliment the products on display.
The overall look must match the products in color tones and themes as well as seem easy to navigate for uses. Know that certain features like fonts and color schemes of most layouts are customizable. It must also be optimized for mobile versions to appeal to the widest possible audience.
Having a nicely designed Home page too is as important as having a beautiful storefront. First-time visitors need to understand immediately what your business is all about while also not bombarding them with too much info. You can do this with Slideshows, Image with Texts, a Newsletter sign-up box, and the top featured products.
Customize you Shipping
Shopify allows users a host of options with regards to setting up a shipping process. You have the choice of charging real-time carrier rates, charge a flat rate (ideal if most of your products are similar in size and weight), or offer a local pickup/ delivery for buyers within your area.
You can also set up Conditional Shipping rates based on predetermined zones that will automatically calculate the shipping cost for you and your customer.
Work Out Your Taxes
With Shopify, you need to worry about calculating the taxes each sale incurs. The platform will automatically calculate most of your taxes using pre-set sales tax rates. All you need to do is go to Settings > Taxes to set the rates of your region.
Have an Easy Payment Method
Go to Settings > Payment to select the payment provider you'd like to use. Shopify accepts most major payment providers so long as the business operated in their list of supported countries. You may also opt for Apple Pay or Shop Pay options wherein any customer that has used either one of the two can make payments using saved credit card information.
Launch Your Store
Now that the major steps to the creation of your Shopify store have been made, the time has come to officially lunch your store to the public. Make an announcement of it on all social media channels and begin the work of marketing to drive traffic to your site. Shopify also has in-house marketing and analytics tools which you would be wise to get familiar with.
Utilize Social Media Marketing
Open accounts on the main social media platforms and work out a regular posting schedule to drive interest in your product and brand. Where more and more people are doing their shopping through social media, having a presence can greatly drive traffic into your store and promote customer retention.
Social Media Platforms include but are not limited to:
Advertising on social media is also a very cost-effective means of marketing as it costs very little to perform. Long as you are posting quality content in the form of images and videos, your pages will grow in following soon. On top of that, you can also boost your following by paying minimal fees for having the social media platform sponsor your accounts.
Web Design is Key
When creating the best Shopify store, consider utilizing the services of a Shopify Expert or a freelance professional web designer (those can be found on sites like Upwork or Fiver). The price for their services can vary but the results of having your website professionally designed are worth it.
A well-designed website is easy to use for new customers, visually pleasing to the eye and gives you all the important things to know about your business from the onset. A web designer will also add such information as Product Policies, Return and Refund Policies, an About Us page, and all the details you might otherwise neglect to include.
They will also optimize the online business to be more mobile-friendly. According to Business Insider, 45% of all online shopping is done through mobile phones since 2020.
If you are on a tight budget as it is though, you can always learn web design tips on YouTube tutorial videos or take a quick easy online course on the subject.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process by which you make your site more findable. With SEO, whenever a person searches for something close to your product on the internet, your website has a higher chance of popping up on top of the ranking of search results.
This goes directly into driving up the traffic of people into your Shopify store. This is done through using certain SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner or opening an SEO Blog. The SEO Blog can serve articles that people might find useful in their everyday life but also double as a marketing scheme for your products. These SEO articles also serve as a hook to get people into your site.
Consider using Discounts and Free Shipping
This is an old but effective trick that sellers use to incentivize sales. Offering discounts or free shipping can act as a call to action for potential customers or to returning customers to make a purchase right away. Most customers cannot pass up the opportunity to purchase something they think they're getting at a sweet deal.
Work out a limited-time-only discount or sale which will run for a fixed amount of time - usually a season like Christmas or summer. Also, think about making use of free shipping promotions for customers whose orders reach a certain amount - this is one effective upsell technique that gets the customer to buy more than they originally intended.
Use Only the Best and Most Relevant Images
It goes without saying that to get the customer interested in your product online, they need to be able to like how your product looks. That will entail crisp high-quality images and videos done either professionally or look professionally done.
Uploading these images not just on your website, but on your social media accounts too can greatly increase your online store's presence and create a more well-known identity for your brand.
A good Shopify store has at least 2-3 images for each product on sale. A great Shopify store will have images to accompany the blog posts, announcements, and promotional material too. Having a large pool of images is essential to the design and layout of your store.
For this, consider hiring a professional photographer skilled in product shoots and editing to create content for you quarterly. If you are apprehensive of adding to your growing costs, then most new models of phones can suffice so long as you do enough research on proper lighting, backgrounds, and photo editing.
Study Up on the Competition
In spying on your competition, you'll learn two very valuable things to do with your online business: what to do and what not to do.
In seeing what the competition is doing right, you can learn important tips that you can emulate in your business model. Doing so will greatly improve your chances of success of maintaining success since you are constantly looking to be ahead of the trend.
At the same time, no business is perfect. In look what similar businesses are doing wrong can give you important insight into what not to do with your own business. See what are the shortcoming of their products are, what are the common negative reviews saying about the product, and how to set your own online store apart from all the rest.
Learning from other businesses' mistakes will help you avoid making the same costly mistake or even provide you will a chance to be ahead of the competition.
Use Email Marketing
In Ecommerce, an email marketing strategy is essential in making sure customers keep returning to your store. A large email list allows you to send news, promotional material, and abandoned cart reminders to customers of the past. All this reminds them of your brand and increases the likelihood of their return.
On top of that, a comprehensive email marketing strategy can, in the best scenario, build customer loyalty to the brand. To ensure this is the case, make sure the emails you send out are full of enticing messages on the latest sales, discounts, new product releases, or timely blog posting.
Incentivize Positive Product Reviews
Positive product reviews and testimonials are as good a marketing tool as any. These things go a long way in getting people to trust your online business as well as the quality of your products. People are more likely to buy something that other people have tried out first and enjoyed. This will then go directly into letting your Shopify store grow in popularity and respect.
Make sure to have a system in your store of customers review the product once it's delivered and/or use follow-up emails that promise discounts on their next purchase if they leave a review.
Related to this is getting prominent influencers on social media platforms to give positive testimonials of your products on their social media pages or blogs along with a link to your site. This is another word-of-mouth technique that going into increasing the traffic of people into the Shopify store.
Include a FAQ and "About Us" Page
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have a FAQ and About Us page on your Ecommerce website is. Though these things do not help score sales directly, they do wonders with customer trust and the perception of reliability on your business.
An FAQ page should provide relevant information on your business and products that are important for customers' education. You should create it to answer the most common questions customers might have when interacting with your online business.
An About Us page is important for your business to seem more than a business. Visitors who which to know more about your online business should be able to see your history, mission, vision, and objectives on the About Us page. It should strive to be either social conscious, funny, or inspiring but must always seek to endear the visitor to what your store stands for.
Videos can do easily what written content or still images have a hard time doing - they can show the product in action. A good video promotion should show the main features of the product and/or how it's used. It should also highlight the benefits of the product to the user or what problems it can solve.
Having videos in the layout of your Shopify store can provide the visitors with something more stimulating to the senses. It also adds more SEO content to your online store, increasing the chances for more traffic.
The videos can also be testimonials of customers who have used the product and enjoyed it deeply.
Have Helpful Customer Support
Having FAQs on your website is not enough to actually be there for the customers. Sometimes questions will arise that, if not answered by a caring and well-trained customer support team, can lead to dissatisfaction.
Customer support can address concerns and issues with customers before they turn into negative reviews or lose the customer for good. They can also serve as a source of customer feedback that lets you know what aspects exactly of your online require improvement.
You can provide customer support with minimized cost by utilizing a chatbot plug-in on your Shopify store that can handle basic customer concerns that do not require a live agent.
Stay True To Your Brand
The final thing you should know when trying to create the best Shopify store possible is that you need to stay true to what sets your store apart from the rest. Ask yourself what are the specific things that make your online store unique or lack there off.
Though there are pre-set themes and layouts that make designing easier, they should not get in the way of carving out an identity for your store. The people who visit your store will see and feel this identity and come to associate it with your brand as a whole.
Style and the tone of everything from the colors to the writing should all be coherent and stand out from the others within your chosen niche. Doing so is essential not only to stay in customer's minds but to be appealing to you as the store's creator. Staying true to your brand means being proud of the finished outcome of your online store.
And those were the main and most important steps you should take when crafting an Ecommerce business. Though not as easy as one would initially think, being the founder of a successful business can certainly be one of the most rewarding things a person can do.
As we move more and more into the digital sphere, it isn't too much to imagine that soon all if not most of our shopping will be done online. It is important as an entrepreneur that you capitalize on this fact and take part in the ever-growing Ecommerce market. With proper research and planning, your online store will undoubtedly be a successful one.