How to Start Your Own e-Commerce Site Right Now

After our recent post how to create a blog, we got few requests to write about creating an e-commerce site. So, here is the step by step guide on building e-commerce site by yourself. Yes, you read it correctly. You can make it by yourself.

A few years back, you may need huge investment to develop an online shopping site for your business. But these days there are plenty of ways to create a shopping site within a minute or few and without a huge investment. I’m not going to talk here about getting your first online sale, instead, I am talking about launching a platform to sell something online.

So, what are the pre-requirements?

Nothing. Seriously?

Yes, you only need a PC/Laptop with Internet connection. 😉

As Srilankan merchants, the main problem we face is getting Payment gateways for our online stores, which is not an easy task. We need to submit the business registration, have to pay setup & maintain fees which can’t be afforded by small business vendors.

That’s where Shopify became a lifesaver. You don’t have to submit any business registrations except few details about yourself. You can create your ready to sell store within an hour.

It, itself has payment gateways to receive money from customers. So, no more headache.

Before getting into the guide here is the quick view of why Shopify?

Why Shopify?

  • Fully functional shopping site.
  • Hosting with Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Inbuilt Payment Processor. (You can accept Credit/Debit Cards and Paypal)
  • 24/7 Support(Live chat, email, call, and forum)

Shopify Plans

Shopify Lite

This is the very basic plan from Shopify which allows users to sell products on social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, integrate it into their existing blog or website, and accept payments. If you already have a self-hosted blog/ website this option is pretty good for you. Check out our guide to create a self-hosted blog in 15 minutes.

Shopify Plus

This plan is for large enterprises. If your store is huge you can get custom pricing from Shopify. It’s not good for you if you are new to eCommerce.

Other Plans

Other than above plans Shopify have other plans for users who need an own e-commerce site,

Plan featureBasic Shopify
Shopify
Advanced Shopify
Monthly price$29$79$299
CREDIT CARD RATES
Online2.9% + 30¢2.6% + 30¢2.4% + 30¢
In person2.7% + 0¢2.5% + 0¢2.4% + 0¢
TRANSACTION FEES
Using Shopify PaymentsNoneNoneNone
Using external payment gateways2.00%1.00%0.50%
FEATURES
Staff accounts2515
Number of productsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
File storageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Retail Package+ $49+ $49+ $49
Shopify Shipping discountGoodBetterBest
Print shipping labelsYesYesYes
24/7 supportYesYesYes
Fraud analysisYesYesYes
Manual order creationYesYesYes
Discount codesYesYesYes
Website and blogYesYesYes
Free SSL certificateYesYesYes
Gift cardsNoYesYes
Professional reportsNoYesYes
Abandoned cart recoveryNoYesYes
Advanced report builderNoNoYes
Third-party calculated shipping ratesNoNoYes

Not convinced with the pricing?

Try Shopify free for 14 days.

This 14 days trial is enough to get handy with their system.

Tip: You don’t have to add credit card details for the trial account.

Start your own e-commerce site using Shopify.

Shopify Registration

To begin your eCommerce site creation process first you have to signup with Shopify. Go to https://shopify.com/ enter your email and click Get Started.

signup-with-shopify

After that, it will ask you to enter password and name for your online store.

Tip: Add a complex password for your store account to keep it secured.

ecommerce-site-development

Once you click Create your store button it will take some time (just a few seconds) and prompt a message requesting you tell about yourself. Select the appropriate answers and click Next.

create-shopify-store

Once you completed step 4 there will be another form. Don’t get frustrated it is the last form that you are going to fill and this is the most important form. Check twice the fields before hit the Enter my store button.

shopify-registration

Add Product to Your Shopify Store

After completing the registration process, you have to add products to your shopping site.

Here is the screenshot of add product page. You can add product categories, tags, descriptions, titles, images for each product.

add-products-to-shopify-store

Customise Shopify Store

Shopify itself has a drag and drop website builder which is very easy to use and free themes. You can design your site on your own style or simply install some themes from themes library.

create-shopify-store

Add domain to your Store

By default, you will get your store on a subdomain(lk-pedia.myshopify.com). You can add your domain (eg: lkpediastore.com) to your store in two methods. Buying domain from somewhere else and add it to your store or simply buy it from Shopify. If you are planning to buy a domain from somewhere else, try Namecheap. Lkpedia.com is registered with Namecheap. 😀

adding-domain-to-shopify

Adding Payment Gateway

Next part is the important part. Because it will directly play with your income. You have to consider few things before choose payment gateway.

  • Transaction fees
  • Card types
  • Offsite Checkout

Compare the above things and add your selected payment gateways by navigating to Admin -> Settings -> Payments.

shopify-payment-gateways

A bit more before launch your store.

Before making your store live complete the following things.

  • Verify your account using the email you provided to Shopify while creating the account.
  • Make sure that the details you gave to Shopify are accurate.
  • Check your order system whether it works fine or not. You can use their bogus gateway to check.
  • Add Google analytics code to your Shopify store.

Congratulations!

Now you have your own store sell products.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that this guide is just introduction guide to launch your online store, you can do more with your Shopify store. For now, this guide should be enough. You can also check their blog & documentation section to get handy with Shopify.

Don’t hesitate to drop any queries you may have in our community or the comments section below.

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