Are you ready to learn how to create your own Shopify store? Maybe you just came up with a wonderful product idea and now you'd like to see if people are willing to buy it. Well, you're in luck, because you no longer have to be an experienced web developer to build a Shopify Store in less than 15 minutes.
What is Shopify and How Does it Work?
Shopify might be one of the best-known brands in the ecommerce world, but not everyone knows what this tool is, or how it works. In simple terms, Shopify is a software that you pay for using the SaaS model – in other words, you subscribe for the service. Usually, if you pay for a year’s worth of support at once, you’ll benefit from a slightly reduced cost.
With Shopify, ecommerce business owners and merchants can create a website and use an in-built shopping cart solution to sell both digital and physical products to customers around the world. Shopify even offers a system that allows customers to quickly and easily manage things like shipping requirements, and inventory tracking. Using Shopify, you can get access to a state-of-the-art admin panel, where you can see the products you have for sale, write descriptions, process orders and so much more.
Shopify Pricing – How Much Does Shopify Cost?
Here's a breakdown of the pricing for each plan:
- Starter Plan – $5 per month
- Basic Shopify Plan – $32 per month + 2.9% and 30¢ per transaction
- Shopify Plan– $92 per month + 2.6% and 30¢ per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan – $399 per month + 2.4% and 30¢ per transaction
- Shopify Plus Plan – pricing plans start around $2000 per month + 2.15% per transaction
How to Create Your Own Shopify Store With in 15 Minutes
It is no secret that we think Shopify is a great ecommerce platform, there is a reason why it tops our list. It used to be that setting up an ecommerce store took a lot of hours as well as a lot of know-how. Today, however, that has changed and setting up an online store only takes a few minutes. With a few mouse clicks and a little typing, you can set up your own online store on the web.
There's a reason why Shopify is such a popular platform. Perhaps the biggest reason lies in the fact that creating your first online store has never been easier. In the video below, we show you how you can set up your own Shopify online store in less than 15 minutes. If you want to learn more about Shopify, then you can either sign up for their 3-day free trial, or you can read the full Shopify review here. If you want to discover more ecommerce websites for inspiration check out our sister site ecommerce design.
👉 Click here to go to Shopify * 👉 Shopify Launch Checklist * 👉 How to Start a Shopify Store
Try Shopify with $1 per month for the first 3 months!
Shopify has begun offering a special deal for sellers who sign up for a new Shopify plan. That deal? Pay Shopify $1/month for 3 months of full access to the platform!
This offer is is now available on all standard plans: Starter, Basic, Shopify, and Advanced.
Btw, here's a video created by my colleague Joe. 🙂
If you're more into reading, here's a detailed tutorial for you to walk through:
How to Use Shopify – Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify
The first stage of setting up your Shopify store is also the easiest. In order to start using Shopify, all you need to do is sign up for an account.
Navigate to the Shopify website, and click on the Get Started button. Fill in your desired email address, password and store name.
Remember, you’re going to need to choose a unique name for your store, otherwise Shopify won’t allow you to purchase the domain.
After you click Next, tell Shopify about yourself by specifying how much you plan to sell and if you're already selling. Click on the Enter My Store button when complete.
It will then ask you if you'd like to make a brick and mortar store or an online shop. For this tutorial we're only going to make an online shop, so select that option and click Next.
The following page asks you to fill in personal information such as your name, address and phone number, all of which is used to configure currencies and tax rates.
Step 2: Add a Product to Your Shopify Store
Once you’re properly signed up with Shopify, the software will take you directly to the admin screen for your new website. Here is where you’ll be able to start customizing your store and uploading products for your customers to browse through.
When going to your Shopify backend it outlines a nice step-by-step process on how to completely set up your shop. The first button asks you to add a product, so you should click on that first.
The Add product page is similar to something you would see on WordPress. You can fill in details like a title, description, price, and vendor. Feel free to complete however much of the product page you'd like. Just make sure you save the product at the end.
Remember, the images connected to your product can make or break your chances of a sale, so it makes sense to choose images that will appeal to your target audience. Don’t make the mistakes of overlooking the importance of your website visuals.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can set up collections or groups of products according to your individual needs too. For instance, if you were a clothing website, you would be able to set up a page that was specifically for men’s clothing, or specifically for shoes and accessories.
With Shopify, you can arrange for the same products to show up in a number of different collections, making it easier than ever for your customers to find the items that they need. When you do add a collection to your store, you’ll be able to select how products should be added to it. For instance, you can have products that meet with a certain criteria automatically added to your store.
Step 3: Customize the Look of Your Shopify Website
Go back to the main dashboard, and select the Customize the Look of Your Site button. This area asks you to customize anything from logos to colors. This takes a bit of tinkering, but the main part you want to focus on is the link that asks you to Visit the Theme store.
Here you can browse through the hundreds of themes in Shopify to make your site look awesome.
While free themes are great, premium themes can be very appealing to. Premium themes will come with extra modifications, so if you want to dive down into the very smallest details of how your website looks, then it might be a good idea to pay a little extra for a professional theme. You’ll also find that you can make a lot of adjustments to how your site looks and performs if you access the CSS and HTML aspects of the theme. If you don’t have a coding expert in-house, you can always check out the Shopify Experts page for some extra help.
There are plenty of Shopify experts that specialize in product descriptions, Shopify themes, email marketing, and lots more. You can tap into the Shopify Experts community for almost anything.
Some of the things you’ll be able to change about your Shopify theme:
- Color schemes
- Items that appear on the page
- Related item functionality
- Homepage carousel slides
Step 4: Setup Your Domain with Shopify
After you choose your template and design your website to your liking, it's time to select a domain to make your site official and make it live.
Go back to the dashboard and click on the spot that asks to Add a Domain. This asks you whether you want to transfer a domain or register a new one. Choose the domain you like and walk through the steps to make the purchase. You'll also need to specify which Shopify payment play you'd like to go with.
Remember, you can either purchase a domain from Shopify and have it added directly to your store, or you can buy your domain name elsewhere and add it into Shopify – it’s totally up to you. You will need to update your DNS records if you’re uploading an existing name, however.
Upon activation, you can then go to that particular domain and see your website.
While you’re in the main area of your Shopify website, make sure that the following information is complete:
- General: Keep all of your information filled in the settings area, including your billing information and legal details.
- Taxes: Ensure that you’ve got the box next to “charge taxes” in the Variants section of your website clicked to help with your accounting.
- Shipping: You’ll need to click on the “requires shipping” option next to products so you know which products need an extra price adding for postage and packaging. Remember to select either a weight-based shipping specification or choose something that helps you to sell as many products as possible.
You can also test your order system before you jump into selling online by going to the Admin section of Shopify, clicking on Settings, and going to your Payments settings. From the Payments area, deactivate it before you continue, then select a credit card gateway to test. You can click “Bogus Gateway” for testing, and then place an order just as if you were a normal customer.
Step 5: Activate Your Payment Processor
Click on the tab to the left of the dashboard called Payments. This area allows you to select from dozens of payment processors such as Stripe and Authorize.net. Shopify also has its own payment processor which is super easy to implement. Simply walk through the steps to activate your payment processor. This allows you to accept payments and put those payments in an account.
Payment gateways are some of the most important things you’ll need to consider when you’re building the ultimate Shopify store. Remember, the gateway that’s right for you will depend on a lot of different things, including:
- The transaction fees: Most payment gateways will charge you a small fee every time someone purchases something on your website. Make sure that you go for the gateway that gives you the lowest possible price.
- Card types: It’s important to select a payment gateway that accepts a wide variety of card types and other payment options, including things like PayPal and Stripe.
- Offsite checkout: Some payment gateways will take the payment process away from your website and into their own server using a form. This payment gateway strategy can be slightly more secure, but it’s also a bit of a pain for customers.
After all is said and done you can click on the Launch Website button to make the store live.
Congratulations! You now have a fully functional Shopify online store.
How do Shopify Payments work?
Once your Shopify store is ready and set up, the next thing you’ll need to think about is how you’re going to start taking payments from your Shopify customers.
Shopify offers the “Shopify Payments” option is probably one of the simplest ways to access and manage your payments online (read our Shopify Payments review). The Payments system means that you don’t have to set up a merchant account with another provider like Square or Stripe. What’s more, Shopify Payments integrates fully with your online store, so you can view all your payouts as a Shopify admin easily.
If you choose to use Shopify Payments for accepting customer cash, then you’ll need to set up something called a “Pay Period”. Basically, this is the amount of time between the day that your customer places their order on your store, and the time that the order funds are sent to your bank account. Funds from orders placed on Friday and the weekend are usually grouped together and sent in a single payment.
Crucially, just because there’s an option to set automated payout dates on your Shopify account, doesn’t mean that you have to wait forever to receive your money. By default, the Shopify payments gateway will give you the money you’ve earned for a specific day as soon as those funds are processed and therefore available. However, if you’d prefer to get paid weekly, or at another interval rate, then you can choose to do that too. If you select a recurring date for when you hope to be paid, then the payout will be scheduled for that specific day. To schedule your payouts:
- Go to Settings and Payment Providers
- Click on “Manage” in Shopify Payments
- Click on “Payout Details” in the Payout Schedule
- Click Save
Shopify Payments does come with access to a few useful features, such as payout balances and fee tracking. Within the admin section of your Shopify account, you can sync your payments with their orders, and therefore see how much you’re receiving from an individual order. The Shopify Payments system also comes with just one fee – the card rate that you need to provide to the card company for the transaction. There’s no subscription transaction fee.
A lot of third-party payment processors do come with a subscription fee that you need to pay alongside the price of typical credit card fees.
How Does Shopify Shipping Work?
We addressed Shopify’s shipping options briefly in the sections above. However, if you’re planning on selling physical products from your online store, then you’re going to need a plan for how exactly you’re going to ship items to your customers.
The good news is that the Shopify store builder does come with a built-in suite that allows you to automatically calculate the rates that could be right for you and your customers using reliable sources like DHL, and UPS. With the Shopify Shipping feature, you’ll be able to process online orders rapidly, and print valuable shipping labels without worrying about issues like dealing with additional plugins. This is one of the features that really makes Shopify stand out over other ecommerce website builders.
Unlike other online software solutions like WooCommerce, Shopify has pre-existing arrangements with some of the world’s largest shipping carriers to help customers reduce the costs of serving their customers as much as possible. What’s more, shipping features are included in every Shopify platform, to find them, you just need to go into your Settings page and click on the Shipping option.
To make the most out of Shopify Shipping for your business, you’ll need to make sure that you fill out all the available details that you can. This means listing dimensions and weights for your products and your available variations. Once you have your carriers linked in with Shopify, you’ll be able to start fulfilling orders for your customers.
Usually, there will be several shipping options available underneath your product information. You’ll be able to choose to leave your customers to choose the selected speed that’s right for them, or you can upgrade your customer to a cheaper or faster service. Remember, while Shopify gives you the option to choose from a wide range of shipping options on your back-end, your customers will only see the calculated shipping rates that you’ve already given them.
How Does Shopify Dropshipping Work?
One of the main reasons why people love using Shopify as their online store building solution, is that it’s incredible flexible. You don’t have to follow a one-size-fits-all strategy for selling. With Shopify, there are many different ways to sell the products that appeal most to you.
One option is to switch from the standard store and ship strategy, to dropshipping. Dropshipping is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods of order fulfilment available in the market, because you don’t have to find places to store and manage your products before you deliver it to customers. Additionally, with dropshipping, there’s no risk that you’re going to end up spending all of your money on stock, just to find that you can’t shift that stock when you need to.
Dropshipping allows merchants to choose a supplier or someone else in the eCommerce world to do the fulfilment part of the sales process for them. You simply list an item that another person has on your website, and when someone orders the product, you send their details through to the company that you’re dropshipping with. That company will then send the item to the customer.
Only a handful of tools available for CRM management ecommerce store building can offer dropshipping at this point. Fortunately, Shopify is one of them. Shopify offers a range of ways for you to take dropshipping credit card orders as part of your Shopify plan.
With Shopify dropshipping, you can link digital products and physical products from dropshippers to your website with services like DSers. DSers is a dedicated dropshipping app that works exclusively with the Shopify environment.
How Does Print on Demand Work with Shopify?
If you’re currently learning how to make Shopify work for you, and dropshipping isn’t your preferred option, then you can always look for other ways to enhance your ecommerce store. For instance, one of the advanced Shopify features available for today’s users includes “Print on Demand”.
If you’ve never heard of Print on Demand before, it’s a lot like dropshipping, in the way that you’re working with a third-party supplier. With print on demand, you create a pricing plan with a supplier who customizes white label products for you, like bags and hats. It’s a great way for online businesses to add something unique to their sales strategy. Learn more about the Print on Demand online business strategy here.
Like dropshipping with Shopify, the print on demand Shopify account ecommerce solution works through add-ons that you can implement into your Shopify experience. You’ll find dozens of tools on the Shopify app store that you can use to bring customization to your ecommerce site. Most of these add-ons are very user-friendly and convenient. For instance, some of the add-on options include:
- Printful: Printful is one of the best-known Shopify apps for print on demand services. It offers a wide selection of products and brands to explore, as well as easy to use generators for mockups. Aside from a user-friendly interface, Printful comes with access to direct to garment prints that are excellent for direct material printing, cut and sew printing, and embroidery. With Printful, you’ll also be able to add your own features to the unboxing experience, going beyond product descriptions and unique payment methods with stickers, package inserts and more.
- Lulu Xpress: Another common print on demand option specifically for Shopify account holders, Lulu Xpress ensures that business owners have all the tools that they need for printing and distributing and printing eBooks. While other basic Shopify app solutions for printing on demand are all about clothes and smartphone cases, Lulu Xpress is unique because it focuses exclusively on books. The great thing about this add-on is that it comes with downloadable templates to get you started, and a transparent pricing calculator. Unfortunately, there’s no in-built editor or free multi day trial to check the system out.
- Printify: Printify is another very well-known solution for people using Shopify plans to build their online website. If you want to Use Shopify to enhance your online store, and you’re looking for a printing system, Printify will allow you to access a wide range of white-label products that you typically can’t find anywhere else. Alongside clothes, you can also find customizable jewelry, shoes, clocks, and water bottles too. The lite plan for Printify is free to use, there is a premium subscription available that will give you access to 20% off all of your products for a base price of $29 per month. This could be a good option for some Shopify account store owners that want to save some money.
What is Shopify Starter?
If you’ve been searching through Shopify account options lately, wondering which one might be suitable for you, then you may have come across the Shopify Starter account. The Shopify Starter plan is a solution for anyone who already has an existing website that they just want to upgrade with some state-of-the-art Shopify functionality.
Essentially, if you want to sell products without maintaining an entire ecommerce store for your company, then Shopify Starter could be just the thing for you. This plan allows users to sell their items on social media, add shopping carts to existing blogs and more. What’s more, although it’s available for a very low price, the plan comes with access to all of the standard Shopify point of sale systems that you need. There’s no option to build your own website or fiddle around with things like SEO (Search engine optimization) or domain names with Shopify Starter. However, you can use the application to access a point of sale when you’re selling at tradeshows or pop-up stores.
The Shopify Starter is perfect for social media selling and basic Shopify shopping cart features, and it comes at a much lower pricing plan than most of the other options on Shopify. For only $5 per month, you can embed shopping cart functionality into any existing website, whether it’s with Wix, Magneto, Squarespace, or something else entirely.
One important thing to remember is that although you can sell offline with Shopify Starter, you can’t build an online store with the
Are you ready to learn how to create your own Shopify store? Maybe you just came up with a wonderful product idea and now you'd like to see if people are willing to buy it. Well, you're in luck, because you no longer have to be an experienced web developer to build a Shopify Store in less than 15 minutes.
Selling on Facebook with Shopify Starter
The Shopify Starter plan is appealing to some companies because it also allows them to take the selling out of the ecommerce site and into social media. If you’re looking for a new sales channel to help you capture your audience and sell more products, Shopify Starter offers a fully integrated Facebook store option.
The Sell on Facebook option comes with a fully-integrated store for your Facebook account, which allow you to sell your products seamlessly on Facebook. Shopify Starter will also merge with the existing Facebook Business account that you already have set up for your business. The system creates a Shop tab for your social media campaign which comes with product galleries and a secure shopping cart. The Shop tab will also be fully mobile optimized for on-the-go buying too.
The merged experience between Shopify Starter and Facebook Business will simplify your product management strategy by putting all of your product information and any changes you need to make into the Facebook space. You won’t have to worry about updating pricing and availability or even product descriptions and product images on both channels.
The user-friendly interface available with Shopify Starter also comes with collection ordering only available in Shopify. If you save this feature in Shopify, everything changes on your Facebook account. When your products are no longer available or out of stock, then Shopify will automatically remove that item from your store, so you don’t disappoint your customers.
Connect with customers and sell via Facebook messenger
If you choose the slightly less expensive version of Shopify Starter, then you’ll get the live chat module for Facebook messenger included. This is a fantastic extra feature, as it offers businesses an excellent way to connect with customers whenever they need it.
The Shopify Facebook integration comes with a simple and efficient checkout module inside of the Facebook interface. This reduces the number of steps that your customers need to take before they purchase something from your brand. This is an important thing when you consider the fact that 73% of customers say that customer experience is crucial to their purchasing decisions.
Facebook messenger is more than just a basic chat box – it’s a way for customers to browse your products and make purchases using the messenger app. There are automated responses built-in, and customers can even get instant answers to their most common questions this way.
Each response that you can automatically send from Facebook Messenger has a call-to-action at the end of each response, so shoppers can continue their buying journey with things like reading a product description or just making a purchase. Facebook messenger also ensures that your customer is in the know after the purchase, with automated messages that include shipping information and tracking codes.
Setting up a Facebook Shop with Shopify
Remember, with Facebook and Shopify, you can display Shopify products directly on your Facebook page with the Facebook shop option. This is crucial if you’re planning on adding Shopify’s Facebook messenger feature to your online selling strategy.
When you set up your Facebook Shop solution, Facebook will automatically create a shop section on your Facebook page, displaying your Shopify products. You’ll be able to make changes to products, review your sales strategy and check orders using Shopify. To get started, make sure that your store meets the requirements that have been listed for merchants on Facebook. You’ll need a Facebook page for your business, and you’ll need a thorough understanding of the required policies for Facebook selling too.
Add your Facebook shop into your Shopify admin portal when you’re ready, and Facebook will review whether it’s suitable. Once your shop is approved, you can add collections and products to your Facebook page and make them available in the Facebook shop. This will allow your customers to automatically purchase products from Facebook, without having to jump to another page.
To add a Facebook shop to your Shopify experience, here are some of the steps that you’ll need to take:
- Click on the + button in the Sales channels section of your Shopify admin page.
- Click on the “add Sales channel” option then click on the Facebook option
- Choose “Add Channel” to connect the Facebook account that you want to link to your business.
- Click on the “Facebook Shop” option and go into the Account settings to connect your account.
- If you’re already logged into Facebook, then you might just be asked to confirm if you want to connect that account.
- Follow the information provided when you attempt to Log into Facebook to allow Shopify to link to your business Facebook page
- Wait for your store to be reviewed by Facebook. This process can take up to two days, and you’ll receive an email alert when you’ve been approved.
There you go! You’re ready to start selling directly with Facebook through Shopify.
How Does Shopify Work with Amazon?
One of the things that makes Shopify such a great choice for many companies is how easy it is to integrate with other leading sales solutions. We’ve already discussed how Shopify integrates naturally with Facebook. However, Shopify can also combine forces with Amazon too. Shopify’s integration with Amazon makes it easier to list your products using one of the world’s largest marketplace environments, so that you can access next-level reach as a growing brand.
While your personal online store will help you to gain more control over the way that your business connects with customers, selling on Amazon can significantly increase your sales by helping you to reach new customers who aren’t yet familiar with your company.
To get started, you’ll need to visit Amazon Services and create a professional seller account with the Amazon merchant program. While adding Amazon as an integration to your Shopify experience is free on the Shopify end, you do need to pay for your Amazon seller account. To become a professional seller, you’ll have a charge of $39.99 per month to pay. There’s also a small referral fee to deal with, but the cost of that will depend on your product’s category or niche.
Once you’ve got your seller account, you can check to find out whether you have a product that fits into the Amazon “approved categories” section. If approval is required for you to sell your products, you’ll need to make sure that you apply as early as possible. The quicker you get your application in, the faster you’ll be able to start selling.
With your professional sellers account ready and approved, you can add your Amazon Sales channel to your Shopify store. Just go to your Shopify admin page and click on the “+” button next to your sales channels option. From there, click on the “Amazon by Shopify” section, and select “Add channel”.
Creating Amazon Listings for your Product
There are a few more things that you’ll need to do before you can begin selling with Amazon using Shopify. For instance, you’ll need to purchase something called a UPC for your products. This is basically a unique identifier for your item. If you don’t give Amazon a UPC or an ISBN for your products, then you’ll end up with nothing but error messages.
If you’re using the dropshipping method to resell someone else’s products, then you might already have access to UPCs that you can use. However, if you’ve made the product yourself, then you’ll need to purchase a UPC instead. If you’re an Amazon registered brand, then Amazon waives this requirement for you.
With your UPC lined up, if you’re not currently selling on Amazon, then you’ll need to start making some product listings that convince your audience to buy whatever you have to sell. You can design and implement product listings from within your Shopify account. Simply head over to the Amazon sales channel and fill in the details required. If your product has been made by another brand, you might need to include some specific information shared by that brand.
If you’re not sure what to write, you can always check out Amazon’s search function to see if something similar has already been posted on Amazon.
Remember, you can also claim any existing listings that you already have on Amazon in your Shopify store. If you’re selling any category on Amazon, then you can claim existing product listings on your Shopify Store, and simply improve your product’s visibility. In the same vein, if you want to begin selling products on Amazon in unsupported categories, then you’ll be able to create listings using Amazon and add them to your Shopify store.
Any existing listings that are associated with your professional seller account on Amazon should be visible from the Amazon Listings page in Shopify. Just start off by selecting “Link Products”, and make sure that all of your sales strategies are connected.
The great thing about the seamless integration between Amazon and Shopify is that your products and listings will automatically sync up with Shopify via the Orders page. If orders are placed on Amazon, then they’ll be marked as such in your Shopify Admin portal, so you can see exactly how well you’re selling on different platforms. Remember, you’ll need to fulfil the orders that you receive from any account through Shopify. If you don’t then your order will continue to appear as unresolved.
How Does Shopify Work with eBay?
Amazon isn’t the only merchant environment that you might want to sell with when you get started on Shopify. If you want to expand your sales strategy even further, then you could choose to explore the Shopify and eBay integration too. After all, eBay does have around 170 million buyers to appeal to all around the world.
Just like Shopify’s integrations with Facebook and Amazon, you can expect the eBay integration to sync naturally with your Shopify store. All you need to do is change a couple of things in your admin account to get started.
Start by adding all the products that you want to sell on eBay to your Shopify account, then sync your product information in the available eBay sales channel to create a new eBay listing. You won’t need to manually enter the same product information twice this way, which should save you some time and effort. Shopify also saves you some hassle by allowing you to sync your available inventory on Shopify with all the active sales channels that you have accounts for. Remember, you will need a sellers account on eBay to start selling products that way through Shopify.
To make life even easier, Shopify also provides some snapshot reports of which of your accounts are performing the best, from Amazon to eBay and beyond. With eBay and the Shopify integration, you can:
- Manage all of your eBay orders and inventory through the familiar Shopify interface
- Fulfil your orders from eBay directly within your Shopify admin account
- Reconcile your revenue from eBay sales using your Shopify reports
- Set specific prices for eBay listings that are separate to other prices
- Manage your business policies on eBay within Shopify
- Communicate with your customers using eBay messaging features
As with the other integration options available from Shopify, you’ll need to click on the plus sign (+) underneath the Sales channels option on Shopify admin to select eBay as a selling option. You can also visit the Shopify App Store to learn more about the eBay integration.
Selling Offline with Shopify
Clearly, there are a lot of ways to shop and sell online with Shopify – but what if you want to get out into the world and meet your customers in person? Can you still access the excellent functionality of the Shopify experience? You can with the Shopify POS feature.
If you’re selling in person at pop-up stores, exhibitions and markets, then Shopify Starter comes with a standard point-of-sale feature, including the option to accept credit card payments in-person using PayPal, Square or Stripe. With Shopify Starter, you’ll also access a plug-and-play card reader that you can take with you on the road if you need to accept payments online and offline.
The POS feature allows companies to accept credit card payments, customize tax requirements, and apply discounts. You can also offer to ship products at checkout, process refunds, and take gift cards for partial payment. Shopify also comes with its own dedicated POS team as part of the deal. You even get automatic inventory syncing across all the channels that you’re selling with!
Shopify Website Builder: What are the Differences Between Shopify and WooCommerce?
If you’re looking for an ecommerce selling solution for the first time, then you’ll probably have noticed that there are a lot more options available aside from Shopify. One of the most popular choices is the tool that’s designed to integrate directly with the world’s leading CRM tool, WordPress. WooCommerce is a digital selling solution similar to Shopify, but it works exclusively with the WordPress environment.
While Shopify offers an all-in-one commercial system where you pay a monthly fee to use the company’s ecommerce, web design and product management features, WooCommerce works in a slightly different way. The WooCommerce service is a plugin that needs to be installed into a WordPress website.
To help you get a better insight into what sets Shopify apart from other ecommerce site-building tools on the market, let’s take a look at when you would use Shopify, and when you might use another service like WooCommerce to build your store.
When Would You Want to Use Shopify to Create an Online Store?
Shopify is a solid tool for beginners and people who don't want to spend too much time with development. It's also nice for straying away from hiring a developer. You can sell however many products you want, and most companies don't have any problems scaling up.
Read our Shopify review.
Create Your own Online Store: When Would You Want to Use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce works wonders for those interested in the ultimate customization. Since WordPress is opensource you can implement a wide range of plugins and code enhancements to brand your site however you want. It's also viable for those with a little extra development knowledge. If you like more of a challenge and want absolute control over the way your site looks and runs, WooCommerce is worth looking into.
Read our WooCommerce review.
What About Creating an Online Store with WordPress?
Clearly, Shopify has a lot to offer for today’s online merchants and sellers. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll decide that Shopify is the right option for you. Instead, you might want to explore some of the other leading sales options on the internet today. For instance, as we mentioned above, one of Shopify’s main competitors is WordPress, with the WooCommerce sales solution.
Here’s what you can do if you want to create an online store with WordPress instead of Shopify.
Step 1: Choose a Domain and Hosting Account
The first step in implementing a WooCommerce shop is to choose a hosting account to host all your website files. We recommend Bluehost, since it's a reliable, secure and easy to use platform, and they offer a one-click WordPress install button.
Not to mention, the Bluehost company provides a great monthly service that integrates WordPress with WooCommerce, so you don't have to do a thing.
Go to the Bluehost page that explains the entire integration. Click on the Get Started Now button to proceed. With the WooCommerce package you receive hosting, positive SSL ecommerce security, at least 100GB of website space and much more. But most importantly, WooCommerce is already installed and optimized.
Choose a plan, then move onward.
The next page asks you to choose a domain or transfer one over. After you punch in a domain it will tell you if it's available. The next page then requests your personal and package information. I would recommend simply choosing your desired plan and skipping over the extras.
Continue walking through the setup process where it asks to make your own Bluehost login credentials. Once it brings you to the Bluehost CPanel you can locate the WordPress button under the Website Builders header. This allows you to walk through just a few steps to complete the entire WordPress installation.
At the very end, it will tell you the domain you can go to for logging into your WordPress backend.
Step 2: Purchase the Divi Theme
This part is simple. Go to the Divi purchase page and go through the steps to buy this WordPress theme.
Step 3: Install the Divi Theme
If you opted for the WooCommerce/Bluehost service, you already have WooCommerce installed on your website. If not, download WooCommerce and install it on your website.
Now it's time to install a theme that's optimized for WooCommerce. Plenty of options exist, but we recommend the Divi theme since it's extremely easy to brand and design for your own purposes.
Purchase and download the Divi theme. Upload the file to the backend of your WordPress dashboard and activate it as your primary theme. This can be done by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
Step 4: Add a Product to WooCommerce
Navigate to Products > Add Product.
This brings up a new page similar to a blog post you would generally create on a WordPress site. Create a title for your product, along with a description. If you scroll down a bit you'll notice plenty of other details to fill in, such as inventory, shipping, pricing and linked products.
Keep in mind that there is plenty more to do with your WooCommerce website, but you can find most of the technical details in the WooCommerce documentation. For now, this should be enough to have your site ready to go!
Regardless of whether you choose Shopify or WooCommerce, we wish you luck on your ecommerce journey! Feel free to drop any questions you may have in the comments section below.
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