My First Try at Building a Shopify Store

I am going to create my first Shopify store today. Dammit!

Project 30+30+30+10 
 2 of 100
 May 13, 2017

How much did I get done… and how much do I have left to do?

I’ve chosen Shopify as my e-commerce platform. Shopify has broad and deep integration with a wide variety of other software platforms, allows for extensive store customization, provides a choice of payment gateways and has a very low barrier to entry.

Shopify offers a free test drive of their software. Sign up here and your first 14 days will be free. This should give you enough time to get under the hood and take the product for a decent test drive. Also, it is sometimes possible to find promotion codes online that can extend the free trial period… at times up to 60 days.

After the free trial, you can choose between at least five levels of service: Shopify Light at $9 USD per month, Basic for $29/mo, Shopify at $79/mo or Advanced Shopify at $299/mo. You can browse the detailed breakdown for each of the packages here.

Unfortunately I am not able to find a coupon today, so I will opt for the 14 day free trial and get to work.

Note: I don’t intend for this to be a step by step, click by click instructional post. I will leave that task to the YouTube tutorials crowd; there are incredible resources available to anyone with an internet connection.

Instead of a step by step how to article, I am writing a detailed overview of my experiences. I am including some external links to tutorial videos and other online goodies.

Daydream interlude — — photo by Scott Lumley

What do I need to build a basic Shopify store?
Today I am going to walk you through my experiences with opening my first Shopify store.

Fast and Easy to Get Started
To begin, you will only need to provide your name, email address and an optional store name URL. Then you will answer a few simple questions about your store and your experience level. And just like that your new e-commerce store trial has started. With only 14 days of free trial available

Here is a list of items that you will need when setting up your store. Not all of them are essential, but they are all recommended.

  • Dedicated store name URL. (You can buy them here on the cheap.) I have chosen TheFriendlyMercantile.com for the name of my store. I plan to sell a variety of products which is exactly what Mercantile stores did in the past. I registered my URL with 1and1.com because of an ongoing business relationship that I have.

If I were to start from zero, without having an existing relationship with a domain purchasing or web hosting company, I would choose BlueHost.com .They are consistently referred to as one of the best hosting companies out there.

Your store will convert more sales if it looks nice. 
But, our immediate goal is to get the store up and running.

So, right now we must focus on building the house. We will paint and decorate it later.

My first goal is to get the site up and running. The Shopify site first presents the user with several themes to browse. I will quickly select a theme and move on to adding a single product to my store. Because my store name is The Friendly Mercantile, I will look for a vintage or retro theme style.
 
 I selected the “Boundless” theme and installed the Black and White version.
 
If you have done spent any time with wordpress, the software layout will seem familiar. Along the left edge of the screen you will find a list of items to select and modify. The right side of the screen shows you feedback on your changes.

After my new URL was activated, I pointed it’s DNS to my Shopify account and then added Oberlo from the selection of Shopify Apps.

Oberlo is a super handy tool that gives you the ability to quickly select and add products to your store from AliExpress.

More details about Oberlo can be found here:

A quick sidenote:

One of the features that makes Shopify so powerful is that is supports third party apps. These third party apps do all sorts of cool stuff. Many are free and you can take a browse here.

After setting up a new free account with Oberlo, I then added the Oberlo Chrome Extension. This extension lets me browse items online and then quickly add them to my Shopify store.

Wow that was really easy. I will edit the item descriptions to be more reader friendly and then work out the details for the automated pricing options in Shopify.

Once I have the template looking ok, I will move on to the task of adding more products from Ali Express.

After I have succeeded with these two tasks, I will check out some options for customizing the look and feel of the template.

In order to prepare myself I spent some time on YouTube watching “how to” videos.

The end of my day. To Recap today’s accomplishments

  1. Created a new Shopify Account
  2. Connected Shopify with Oberlo and AliExpress
  3. Added Oberlo Chrome Plug In for Adding Products
  4. Created and inserted store logo graphic
  5. Began customizing layout template
  6. Wrote this much of my first how to /overview article

Up Next

  1. Continue the graphic refinement of the site

2. Add more products and refine titles

3. Adjust the automated pricing tables

4. Begin Development of Facebook Ads

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