If you’ve ever dreamed about or thought about owning your own e-commerce store, chances are Shopify might be the best place to start. In this article, we will be discussing how to get started with Shopify by diving into what Shopify is, the tools it offers, and the pros and cons of using Shopify to start your own e-commerce store.
- What is Shopify?
- Have I ever used Shopify before?
- My personal experience with Shopify
- Why should you use Shopify?
When you think about it, in today’s world, we spend a considerable amount of time online. From checking our favorite social media apps, checking emails, messaging friends to catching up on the latest news, the internet has become a big part of our daily lives. And that list certainly doesn’t exclude shopping online.
Online shopping and e-commerce represent a great opportunity for anyone who wants to start an e-commerce store. And getting started with your own e-commerce store may not be as hard as you would think, thanks in large part to tech solutions like Shopify.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all in one e-commerce solution that allows anyone with access to the internet to set up, launch, and grow their own e-commerce store, without having to have a coding or technical background. According to their website, Shopify is “not just an e-commerce software, Shopify is the best e-commerce platform that has everything you need to sell online, on social media, or in person.”
I found out about Shopify shortly after I got laid off from my job and started to think more seriously about online business. I wanted to find a way to make an income outside of traditional employment, and I was determined to do just that. At first, I didn’t think I could launch my own online store. What did I know about selling online or e-commerce? I thought I needed to have a tech background or that I would need to know how to code. It turns out none of those things are needed to start your own e-commerce store. We live in an age where there are countless tools and resources to help us achieve almost anything we set our mind to, and Shopify is one of the tools that offers an all in one platform to set up and launch your own e-commerce store.
You’ve probably used Shopify before
Chances are you have probably already interacted or used Shopify without even knowing it. The Shopify platform hosts millions of e-commerce stores from big and small brands all around the world. If you’ve ever bought clothes from an online fashion boutique, or tech gadgets, chances are it was a Shopify store.
Brands like Kim Kardashian West’s makeup collections or Kylie Jenner’s makeup and beauty empire are all hosted on Shopify. And although these are mega influencers with large amounts of money to spend, they are not the only ones cashing in on Shopify’s platform. Thousands of small and very tiny brands have launched and grown to success on Shopify. That’s because Shopify provides affordable solutions to help anyone own their own e-commerce store.
My personal experience with Shopify
Like I mentioned earlier, I used Shopify to launch my own e-commerce store called I Love My Newborn, a store dedicated to babies and new moms. I chose to sell jewelry made specifically for moms. Things like necklaces and bracelets with their babies’ birthstones or necklaces with their babies’ names engraved on it (see pictures below). I was really excited about launching my own e-commerce store, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to actually set up and launch a store online using Shopify.
Why should I use Shopify?
Shopify provided everything I needed to get started, including a custom domain, a wide selection of free templates to use in my e-commerce store, an easy to use website editor, and a custom dashboard to track orders, sales, and inventory.
A domain is a unique name given to a website. It’s basically the address where anyone searching can find your site. You can find the domain name or URL in the top search bar of your browser. An example of a domain name is www.thebraveselfstarter.com. This is what you would type into your browser to find this site. A unique domain is good to have as it establishes your brand identity and gives your e-commerce store credibility. A good domain also allows you to rank higher in SEO and stay top of mind. Shopify allows users to brand their website by offering a custom domain that is connected to their e-commerce store.
Customizable themes and templates
Shopify offers more than 70 themes and templates to make your store not only stand out from the competition but also look professional, creative, and clean. Depending on the type of e-commerce store you want to start, you can choose from both free and paid options to suit your needs. All the themes Shopify offers can be customized to include your choice of font, colors, and logos to make your site unique. For my site, I chose the xxx theme. This theme was great as I wanted a minimalist look and feel, so visitors could focus more on the products I was offering.
Easy to use website dashboard
For me setting up the website and updating the theme to look the way I wanted was easier than I thought it would be. Shopify’s website builder and dashboard make it easy to customize without having to code. It does take some getting used to, but by playing around with the settings, you can master it in no time. In no time, I was adding product pictures, creating shopping categories, and setting prices for my products on ilovemynewborn.com.
Valuable training and resources to get started
Of all the tools Shopify provided, I think the best one was the helpful articles, training, webinars, and guides that discussed exactly how to get started with starting your own e-commerce store. They are very detailed and in-depth but make for easy entertaining reading. Most of their content is laid out in step by step instructions. From researching products to sell, the industries you should focus on to determining pricing and marketing strategies are all covered on their website. They have even launched a podcast, called Shopify Masters, that discuss how small and large brands got their start in e-commerce and how they managed to grow their business.
Recently my sister Tara also started using Shopify to launch her early-stage fashion brand aptly titled Marie Elaine — a homage to our mom. She wanted a way to secure this domain name that means so much to her and her brand, and she also wanted to begin preparation for launching her own e-commerce store. Like most things, it’s still a work in progress, but I am very proud of her for taking the steps to launch her own e-commerce store.
When starting anything new, it’s a good idea to do your research and learn as much as possible about your specific area of interest. Shopify does a great job of doing that by giving you the tools and resources to learn about starting, launching, and growing your business. Every day I would pour through the content on their blog, and I began to understand more and more about e-commerce and how it works. From selecting a niche to target to figuring what products to sell by looking at current and future trends
If you are interested in testing out Shopify for yourself, they are offering a special 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. After that, they have plans starting at 29/month to get your e-commerce store off the ground.
Before getting started with Shopify, I would recommend testing it out by taking advantage of the 14-day free trial. Here is where you will get a chance to jump into the tool and play around to see how it works and, more importantly, to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Another tip is before you take advantage of the free trial, I would recommend sitting down and thinking about what your goals are for your e-commerce store, what products or service do you want to share with the world, what industry or niche interests you, who do you want to target? Be very clear on your goals, and once you have a good idea, do the free trial to see if Shopify could work for you. It doesn’t make sense to waste the free trial if you aren’t clear on your goals and then start paying for something you aren’t going to use.
Luckily with Shopify, it’s easy to cancel your subscription without any hassles or penalties. So, why not get started!