Top Tips To Plan a Shopify Store

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E-commerce businesses have been constantly witnessing a rise. According to the recently released stats by the Office of National Statistics for 2019, just e-commerce businesses generated about £693 billion for the country.

But you probably already knew that. That is why you are reading this article in the first place, right? So, you can start your own e-commerce business. And, yes, Shopify is the platform for e-commerce. It’s also quite easy to set up. However, you shouldn’t just open up your computer and come up with things as you follow the steps to set up your store.

Even if it is e-commerce, a business is a business and it requires proper planning. Otherwise, it can easily fail before even taking off. If you are worried about how to start planning for it, don’t worry. This guide will help you to come up with a plan that will help you set up your store in no time.

But, before that, you need to give things a little perspective and get the basics out of the way, like:

  • A deep understanding of what your business entails
  • Identified and acquired the required resources to run the business
  • A defined roadmap for your business
  • Detailed analysis of your competitors
  • An open mind to spot any opportunities that come your way

While these few points are just the tip of the iceberg, having done your homework in advance will increase your chances of success. Now, let’s look at that plan, shall we?

Step 1: Business Name

Believe it or not, coming up with a name is one of the most difficult aspects of any business. You can quickly decide what to sell, where and how to sell, and to whom to sell, but when it comes down to choosing a name for your business, you’ll be dumbfounded.

All the good ones are already taken and if you aren’t clever enough, you will want to ask around friends and family for a name suggestion, which isn’t possible when you are sitting in front of a computer set up your website. So, coming up with a business name comes before anything else, but after the earlier discussed basics. 

Step 2: The Budget

One of the core business activities is to design a viable budget, which is easier said than done. You may be planning to invest your life’s savings in e-commerce, but budgeting out all the necessary costs is vital. You can’t, after all, put all your eggs in one basket.

You will have to buy a domain name, hosting server(s), Shopify subscription, a website theme, and more, to get your website rolling. You will even have to spend on marketing. Having laid out everything in terms of costs and what you are willing to spend will help you gain an understanding of your position and know where you will have to cut corners to get the ball rolling. Spend as much time drafting a detailed budget as possible.

Step 3: Branding

When starting a new business, it is important to stand apart from the crowd and the competition. Your business name will help you with that, but only in part. The rest of it will be covered by branding. Branding helps your business find its identity and become distinct. It can be a lengthy process, one that must be preplanned. Or you will find yourself making regular changes to it, which never reflects well on a business.

Branding includes your logo, tag line, fonts, content tone, colour palette, just to state a few things. The process involves a lot of trial and error, whether you decide to do it yourself or outsource it to a design agency. Having these things finalised earlier in your planning will save you a significant amount of time in setting up your Shopify website.

Step 4: Necessary Partner Resources

You may be able to handle all your business operations yourself, but you will require outside help to source merchandise and manage deliveries. Again, these processes require time and research to find the right businesses to partner with. Having the right suppliers and logistics company is integral in keeping your business afloat. So, you can’t put these on the back burner to revisit after setting up your Shopify store.

When finding the right suppliers and delivery partners, make sure you analyse the partners of your competitors. Try to partner with companies that offer equivalent rates, if not lower. This way you will eliminate any advantage that the competitors might have over you. 

Step 5: The Payment Gateway

So, you have the name, the brand, and the partners, next come the payment gateway that you want to integrate within your website. A great thing about Shopify’s platform is that it seamlessly integrates with more than a hundred payment gateways.

Their list is pretty diverse and divided as per the location of the store. You can check out the complete list here. But it is one thing that you don’t have to worry about as most of the more common and globally recognized gateways like Skrill, PayPal, Paysafe, and Shopify payments are all acceptable.

Step 6: Domain Name & Hosting

Shopify does let you try its service for free for a small trial period, with a subdomain name, but after it ends, you will have to buy a domain name for your website. You can either buy from a third party and integrate it with your Shopify store or you can directly buy the domain from Shopify, which is a little bit expensive but integrates automatically.

The good thing about Shopify’s subscription plan is that you will not have to pay for the hosting additionally. So you will save some money there. The bandwidth you get, however, will depend on the subscription package you choose.

Step 7: Website Design

Designing a store on the go isn’t easy, despite a simple-to-use UI. It’s not necessary to invest a boatload of money in a professional design. Even a roughly sketched idea can be helpful. You can browse the vast library of themes that Shopify offers and choose the one that’s most similar to your sketched design.

You don’t even have to pay for a theme. There are a lot of free themes available that can meet your requirements. Although, you must remember that free themes have limited functionality. It’s also very easy to upgrade to a paid theme. So, you can easily give your store the premium look and feel once it starts to rake in the money.

A sub-step that can be included here is the website’s content. Of course, you will have to prepare some information to include on your homepage along with product descriptions and some basic information about the business. All this cannot be written on the fly, believe us. We have tried and failed miserably. We suggest you take your time in writing the best content that you can come up with. Just remember that it has to be synonymous with the voice of your brand.

Step 8: An Email Address

This is more of an optional step. The reason for including it here is that I like to keep my personal email separate from my business email. And, you will require an email account to sign up on Shopify. Whether you choose to do it with your personal account or a separate account is your choice.

Nonetheless, if you are like me, I suggest that you create a new account in the name of your business and use that to sign up at Shopify.

Well folks, there you have it. That’s how I suggest you start planning a Shopify website. The list can include a couple of things more, but they are not as significant as the few steps shared above. Once you have this plan ready, you will find it much quicker and easier to set up your website on Shopify. Also, the plan doesn’t need to be limited to just Shopify alone. Most websites will require the same amount of effort and information to go live.

We have been partnering with small businesses and E-retailers to help them stay connected with their customers 24/7 and with order fulfillment since 2008. 

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