How to Create a Shopify Store for Your E-Commerce Brand: 7 Surefire Steps
So, You Want to Create a Shopify Store for Your E-Commerce Brand
Congratulations on being ready to take the next step with your e-commerce brand.
After all of your hard work, it’s finally time to share your brand with the world on your very own online store – entering a world that is expected to grow by almost $11 trillion between 2021 and 2025.
This step may also bring mixed feelings, as it does for everyone who’s never done this before. It can be stressful to even think about creating an online store, even though it’s also exciting.
Take some deep breaths because it doesn’t have to be that bad. The internet has progressed so far that there are many ways to do this that don’t require an advanced tech degree.
For this article’s purposes, we will assume you have a business plan and have created your product and the branding. If not, you need to do that before diving into the following steps.
7 Steps to Creating Your First Shopify Store
Step 1: Select and Secure Your Domain Name
Your domain name is how your customers view your business and your brand identity.
- Make it memorable in a good way.
- Keep it short and easy for customers to remember.
- Try to get a dot-com name if possible.
Step 2: Pick Your E-Commerce Platform
Below are things to consider when making this decision. While we highly recommend Shopify, we also suggest creating your own comparison chart to ensure you get the best platform for your specific needs.
When you have a tight budget, the temptation is to go with the cheapest one. Sadly, cost should be the last element you consider. What seems cheaper initially may cost much more because it’s limited, or your company may outgrow it far faster than a platform that costs slightly more.
Does the platform include what you need for your online store to function in every core area? If not, how much will it cost you to invest to make that happen? Also, if not, is it even possible to add that functionality? Don’t find yourself locked into a platform that won’t function as needed.
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical considerations in which platform to use. One security breach can destroy your online store. It becomes harder to protect websites and online stores from malicious hackers each year.
- Does the platform offer SSL security at checkout?
- What kind of payment processing system does the platform offer, and how secure is it?
- What kind of data storage does the platform offer, and how long does the platform keep pre-breach data for recovery purposes after a hacking attack?
- How many attacks did the platform suffer in six months or the past year? If any, what steps were put in place to ensure it won’t happen again?
Every online store must be automatically sizable to show correctly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and cellphones/mobile devices. Most people in 2022 live on their cellphones. So many people search the internet on mobile devices that Google looks for mobile optimization when ranking websites. Your SEO and SEM results will suffer if your online store doesn’t perform well on all devices.
Step 3: Pick Your E-Commerce Website Builder
Yes, you will need a builder or a big tech team. Tech.co offers a 2-page comparison chart of the seven best e-commerce website builders for 2022. They also provide detailed analysis and pros and cons for each one. Here’s their list:
- Shopify (again, highly recommended!)
- Square Online
- Big Cartel
Step 4: Design your Shopify Store’s Look
Some people get bogged down here, but you don’t have to. Look at your platform’s available templates. Pro tip: If possible, look at those before choosing your platform instead of just the professionally designed end products used in sales material.
Designing your store’s look means just that. It’s your branding, short and straightforward. That means this is the time to look seriously at how you want your target audience to perceive your online store.
- Design includes everything from your logo to the typeface for your store name.
- It includes the predominant colors you believe will appeal to customers while staying true to your brand’s image.
- It includes the type of graphics, photos, and possibly videos you include in your online store.
- It includes the font types, sizes, and colors used in your content and any buttons used.
- Although not a design element, writing all non-product content for your online store is also done in this step. Content and design elements work together to provide a cohesive shopper experience.
- Lastly, it includes the placement of those items on each store page.
Don’t forget to add Shopify Apps to help you further optimize your store and e-commerce brand.
Step 5: Add Products to your Online Store
Each product gets its product description page that includes a product image and a product description.
- Each product needs to also fall within an easily recognizable product category, so set those up in your store. Those categories are critical so shoppers easily find precisely what they want.
- In addition to types of products, add filters that shoppers can use to help them further refine their searches. Remember, shoppers have very short attention spans and will only give your store seconds to provide what they want.
Step 6: While Setting up Your Shopping Cart, Set Up Your Shipping Method and Policies
Shoppers need a clear picture of the different available shipping methods.
- They also need your shipping policies on everything from insurance to vendors used to return policies.
- They also need to know if you ship to other countries, including if you don’t ship to certain countries.
Step 7: Turn Your Store On and Market It ASAP
Creating a Shopify store is not a case of “if you build it, they will come.” They won’t unless you market it in every way possible. Here are three ways to do that for fast results. Using SEO and other methods may produce results, but they take longer.
- Social Media
- Influencer Marketing
- Paid Marketing
Are You Ready to Start Building Your Online Store?
The best way to build your Shopify store is in baby steps, if you plan to take this on yourself. That takes more time, but the results are more personal.
If you feel you need to get it done faster, you’ll need help.
If you want to let someone else take part or most of this task or the marketing once you launch, contact us. That’s what we specialize in, and we’re happy to help you make your e-commerce brand’s dream come to life.
About the author: About the author: Merikay Noah has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. She worked with e-commerce B2C and B2B websites of all kinds, from Fortune 100s to small start-ups, at two of the top three search engines and at a Los Angeles ad agency. Her successful e-commerce book publishing website, PopcornReads.com, attracted an international audience of bookaholics for over eight years. She now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she works as a copywriter and loves to hike with her small but fierce doggy protector – Miss Lucy.