This post “How to Initial Set Up Your First Shopify Store” is intended to guide you through the initial setup of your Shopify store. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, things may be a slightly different when you read this, since Shopify could change the way their platform works at any time. However, it should allow you to set up your site even if the instructions have changed because Shopify is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use platforms out there.
Let’s start with the initial sign-up if you haven’t already done it. You can sign up easily by going to shopify. At the time of this writing, the platform offers a fourteen day trial that will allow you to explore and test out the interface without spending a dime. When you visit the site for the first time, and you click the free trial button right in the center, you will only need to enter three pieces of information to get started: your name, your email and your store name. Don’t worry – if you want to change the name of your store later on, you are free to do so from the ‘Settings’ page.
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How to Initial Set Up Your First Shopify Store
Getting Started: The Shopify Interface
The great thing about the Shopify interface is that it is very similar to WordPress, a platform that most people are already familiar with. It includes the same backend design where you would normally create pages and posts with WordPress. In this case, you are managing your orders, adding products and changing your settings. So, your initial interface has the following sections on the left-hand sidebar.
Search: This is the first item on your sidebar – a universal search function that allows you to find just about anything within your site, including a specific customer, a certain product or even blog posts that you have made.
Home: This button simply takes you back to your initial “home” page within the backend interface.
Orders: The third item on your sidebar list is the ‘Orders’ section and it has three subsections within the orders page. You can take a look at any abandoned carts as well as any actual orders that have come in. You also have a ‘Drafts’ section that will allow you to send orders from your admin page as well as invoices and more.
Products: Next up are the products that make up your store. We’ll get into products in much more detail in the next post, but as a basic overview you have a place for you to add products to your store, a place to manage inventory, and get detailed reporting on your stock, a place where you can transfer and track incoming products, a section for gift cards and a section for collections.
Customers: One of the major benefits that Shopify has over other ecommerce platforms is just how much information you get and this section is a perfect example of that. You can keep track of all of your customers with this feature, allowing you to instantly see someone’s name, past purchases, pertinent information like location and this section even stores a picture for you so that you can recognize them if you are meeting them face-to-face for the first time.
Reports: Again, Shopify is so powerful specifically because of features like this. You have the ability to run reports on almost any aspect of your business and you’ll be able to see everything clearly and understand how your marketing efforts are going, what products are moving and which ones are selling too slowly as well as a number of other options.
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Here are some of the nearly two dozen different types of reports that you can run.
- Visitors by referral site
- Visitors based upon what kind of device they are using
- Visitors by location
- Analysis of shopping habits and carts
- Tax reports
- Payment methods
- Sales for a month, hour or by customer as well as several other powerful sales reports
Discounts: The next section that we’ll look at is discounts section where you can create promotional codes and rewards programs in order to get customers to return to your store or to track various promotional channels and determine which marketing efforts are the most effective. You can create any sort of promotional code you want and three are three different ways that you can give them a discount.
First, you can give them a percentage discount which means that they get a certain percentage off of their entire purchase. You specify what the percentage will be and then decide whether they get that percentage off of the entire amount, or a percentage off of orders of a certain amount or over. You can also specify a percentage discount for a specific group of products or for one specific product. Finally, you can give an individual customer a discount.
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The second type of discount that you can do is a discount dollar amount. Rather than give customers a percentage off, you can give them a specific amount of money off of a product and again, you have various options as to where you want them to be able to apply this discount, including orders over a certain dollar amount, for a particular product or category or for an Individual customer.
Finally, you can do a free shipping discount which applies to orders over a certain amount and can be customized for the U.S. only, non-US shipping or anywhere in the world. Promo codes can also have a certain number of times they can be used so if you only want the first 100 people to get a working promo code for example, and you can set the dates that your promo codes can be used.
The next sidebar section is the ‘Online Store’ which is a series of settings that control your store being launched, the theme that you choose and how it is configured, your blog posts that work side-by-side with your store, the way that your navigation is set up and the domains that you have being directed to host your store, including subdomains or forwarding domains.
The Apps setting will give you two options. The first is the option to see what apps you already have installed and to configure them each individually, similar that the way that plugins work with WordPress. You can also visit the Shopify app store which doesn’t just contain apps that are created by Shopify, but is actuall sort of an ‘open source’ bype area where anyone can create an app that can then be installed on your Shopify site. Many of the apps listed here are free, but others cost anywhere from a dollar or two to twenty dollars or more.
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Finally, there is the settings area, which allows you to set everything from the name of your store (if you want to choose a different name) to setting up your payment details and choosing what type of payment option you are going to use for your store. You can also set up all of your standard ecommerce options like which states you are going to choose sales tax in and how much that sales tax will be. You’ll also configure your shipping options here and we’ll get into most of the items in this area in a different post..
I hope you liked this How to Initial Set Up Your First Shopify Store article.