This is a collection of quick articles to help new users discover Shopify and get started.
A. Finding Resources & Answers
After starting your online store, it’s normal to have many questions. Here are some tips:
- The Wiki is the fastest way to find your answer with its detailed instructions and step by step tutorials.
- Looking to hire a designer? Use the Job Board to post your projects and have them send you quotes.
- Engage fellow shop owners on the community forums and share ideas about running your online business.
B. Setting Up Payment Gateways & Domain Addresses
For your store to accept credit cards, you need a payment gateway, which is like a point of sales terminal in a brick and mortar store. Choose one of the many gateways Shopify supports – each has its own benefits which might depend on your geographic location. If you need help picking the right one, email us.
After setting up a payment gateway, link it to your store by logging in to your admin panel, clicking on “Preferences”, and going to Checkout & Payment. If you’re not sure what to do, check out the more detailed extra instructions on the wiki.
Shopify provides you with a free “yourstore.myshopify.com” domain address. You can also use your own domain name such as “yourstore.com”. Your own domain name is often seen as more professional and makes it easier to promote your brand. Learn how to set up your own domain name with Shopify here.
C. Traffic & Getting Customers via Adwords
The more traffic you get, the more chances of sales happening. An easy way to increase traffic is by advertising using Google AdWords. Adwords promote your store and products alongside or above Google search results, letting you reach customers looking for things you sell.
Our most successful stores all use AdWords, so we’ve decided to set up all new Shopify stores with free AdWords credits to get you started on the right path. Click on the Marketing tab, then Online Promotion in your Shopify store to claim your AdWords coupon.
We can’t emphasize enough how effective AdWords are in generating sales, so here are 4 simple tips from our top sellers:
D. Designing & BrandingThe shopping experience you create for your customers is just as important as the product you sell. If they don’t enjoy it, they won’t come back to make purchases.
It’s easy to choose one of the beautiful hand-crafted themes our in-house designers have created and customize it with your logo and colors by clicking on the Assets tab, and playing around with the Theme Gallery and the Theme Editor. The following blog post covers this section in greater detail.
Are you a more advanced user or a “DIYer”? Tailor a theme to fit your shop’s personality by adding graphic elements, asking customers for additional information, displaying lightboxes, or changing menu navigation. The ways in which you can customize your shop are limitless. Learn more about theme customization on the Shopify wiki.
Leverage the expertise and talent of a professional designer to optimize your store’s layout while you can focus on other important elements of your business. Find a list of some of our more well-known third-party Shopify designers here.
Note that Shopify doesn’t officially support design questions. However, the answer you’re looking for is likely in the wiki, or in the forums. If you’re still unsure, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help you find your answer.
E. Enhancing with the App Store
The Shopify App Store offers a selection of upgrades and integrations with other services to extend the functionality of your shop.
Product Tweeter is a great first App to install. It makes it very easy to promote a product via your twitter account. Get it for free here.
Here are some other examples:
- Fetch – Securely and automatically deliver digital products
- RateVoice – Add customer reviews and ratings to product pages
- StoreSync – View orders, statistics and more on the iPhone
- OrderCup – Print shipping labels for UPS, FedEx and USPS faster
- Campaign Monitor – Send email campaigns without managing contact lists
- Less Accounting, Xero, Freshbooks, KashFlow – Work seamlessly with your favorite accountancy and bookkeeping software
Visit the App Store to see what’s out there for you.