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Module 4: Build Your Store

What we'll cover in this module:

Introduction

In Module 1 of this free training course we chose a niche to build our online store around, and in Module 2 we sourced wholesale products, so now here in Module 3 we can finally build our online store!

HINT: Just like in Modules 1 & 2, each step below contains a 'Learn' section (indicated by the icon) that teaches you why the step is necessary, then an 'Execute' section (indicated by the icon) that indicates how to actually complete the step. We'll again indicate the differences between model 1 and model 2 stores, and if you need a definition of each you can see that here.

4.1 Launch Your Store

LEARN

Alright, now is when the fun begins, we are ready to start working on our store! In this first section we'll discuss the vital accounts you need in order to really get started, so let's get rolling!

Shopping Cart

We truly love Shopify, it's the best shopping cart solution on the planet today! And believe us, with launching nearly 200 of our own stores over the past ~15 years, combined with building (and consulting on) hundreds of others for clients, we've tried every major shopping cart solution out there!

Nothing even holds a candle to Shopify, in our opinion, and their monthly fee is amongst the lowest (just $29/month for their starter plan after your 2-week free trial ends!). This is especially amazing when you consider that web hosting and the merchant account provider are built in for no extra cost!

Here are some key factors that make Shopify truly stand out:

  • Set up payment processing (to take credit & debit cards) instantly within your admin
  • The app marketplace has thousands of apps that you can add to make running & marketing your store easier
  • Instant connection to an outside domain name
  • Free SSL certificate and secure checkout system (built in)
  • Free blog solution built right into admin

None of their competitors offer all of that, and most of them offer a fraction of these features yet cost more. With Shopify you bring the domain name to connect and everything else is included on the platform, it's truly phenomenal!

Toll-Free Phone Number

A toll-free # makes your store look that much more professional and is one of the biggest factors we'll discuss later in this module for improving your conversion rate.

You can get a toll-free number that connects to your personal mobile phone, a desktop or mobile app, or a Google Voice # for as little as ~$10/month.

Create a Support Email Address

I'd recommend snagging a store domain based email address (i.e. support@everythingbirds.com) for communications with your customers - it just looks more professional! You can easily connect the email address to the GMail account that you created in Module 2 so emails just flow into that.

HINT: You can just use your @gmail.com email address if you'd like, now and really, forever, but I don't recommend that route if your gmail address doesn't clearly state your store's brand in it (i.e. everythingbirds@gmail.com would work fine for any & correspondence for EverythingBirds.com, but dandjventuresllc@gmail.com would look terribly unprofessional!).
EXECUTE
  1. Start your Shopify Free Trial (here's a video showing how).
  2. Connect the domain you registered in Module 2 to your Shopify store (here's a video showing how).
  3. Buy a private email for a 'support@storedomain.com' email address, and connect that email address to your business's GMail (here's a video showing how). (This is optional at this point, but highly recommended if your company's GMail doesn't match your store name!)
  4. Get a toll-free number (here's a video showing how). (This is optional but highly recommended before you start paid advertising.)
  5. Complete the general settings within your admin panel.
  6. Sometime before your free trial w/ Shopify ends, avoid losing your work by moving to a paid plan! (This can be done at any point, you don't have to wait!)
  7. Remove the password protection on your store.

4.2 Your Store's Theme & Logo

LEARN

Store Logo

Before we get into the theme we need to get a logo, because the theme's colors will be dependent on the colors you choose for your logo.

Having a fancy logo isn't really necessary, it just needs to be "passable" as a legit store's logo! In other words, people can't think "yuck!" when they see your logo! :)

Choose your color scheme

As a starting point I recommend using this free tool to choose the 3-4 colors you'd like to use together for your logo and within your store's theme (they should match!). Once you know what colors you want to use for your logo & theme (write down their 6-digit hex codes), you can then proceed with getting a logo.

There are many ways to get a logo built for your store, but our favorites are:

Build Your Own w/ Canva

We've had a premium Canva account for years, and we create about 98% of graphics for our stores (and Store Coach) ourselves with it. The monthly fee is very low, and there are many tutorial videos on how to create good graphics with this program.

A Canva subscription also includes access to thousands of stock icons & graphics, so it's easy to find one to use in your logo. Place a nice icon to one side (or above), and spell your site's brand name off to the side in a nice font style, and wallah... you have a pro looking logo!

You can also build all of your pro looking sale banner graphics and other nice "trust graphics" for your header, footer, and around your 'ADD TO CART' buttons w/ Canva. Take a good look at AdoredByDesign.com, virtually every graphic on that site was created with Canva. We cannot recommend that program strongly enough!

Run a Logo Competition

If you want to outsource the logo you can run a logo competition at Crowd Spring. When you run a competition you can choose the best one that's submitted by the professional graphic designers who compete there. This generally yields the best result, but it also costs a lot more than doing it yourself w/ Canva because you have to offer $250+ prize to get a lot of entries. So we really only utilize this option when we are launching an extremely important project that we don't feel good about using a DIY logo on (i.e. when we are remodeling an already successful store and we're going to take it to the next level!).

Shopify Themes

With Shopify, moving between themes is a breeze and you can do it right inside the admin panel. Simply navigate to 'Online Store' > 'Themes' and choose one of the free or premium themes to make active as your published theme (we'll provide a link to a video that shows this process in the 'Execute' section below).

In the end it doesn't matter much which theme you use, as long as it looks professional & trustworthy enough to not discourage visitors from buying.

Shopify has some solid themes built right into it that you can choose from, or if your budget allows, you can go for the premium theme we use on most our stores (this is the same theme used on AdoredByDesign.com, and the featured one in all of the Watch Coach Build (WCB) videos!).

Your Store's Color Scheme

It is recommended that you use the 3-4 colors used in your logo to configure your theme as well, that way you end up with a seamless visual between your logo and the template of your store. (The EXECUTE section below has a link to a video that shows you how to configure your site's color scheme & typography.)

EXECUTE
  1. Choose 3-4 colors to use for your color scheme with this free tool.
  2. Get a Store Logo at Crowd Spring or create one w/ Canva. (This video shows the basics of creating a logo & favicon w/ Canva.)
  3. Buy the Empire theme by Pixel Union, another premium theme, or choose a free one from Shopify's Theme Marketplace. (This video explains how to activate a theme and complete some basic customizations.)
  4. Upload your store's logo & favicon.
  5. Apply your selected color scheme to the theme.
  6. Choose your store's typography within your Theme settings.
HINT: There are several important settings within Shopify admin that we will ignore for now because we will return to complete them once all standard build tasks are complete.

4.3 Build Out Your Catalog

LEARN

In order to complete the steps in this section you need to have already completed the steps in the 'Establishing Supplier Accounts' section in Module 2, and you must have full product details and a good understanding of the supplier's policies.

Adding a product in your Shopify store

The basics of adding a product manually are covered in this WCB series video, and the basics of using a feed file for mass product uploads are covered here. Watch those to get a good idea of how to create a product in your Shopify admin panel.

Here's a list of the info you'll need to provide in order to create a product in Shopify (regardless of whether you're adding products manually 1-by-1 or using a feed file to do mass uploads)...

  • Title: This is the product's name (and the large/bold heading text across the top of your product page). Use common sense when creating your product title, and take a look at what the top retailers in your niche are doing, but typically we like to mention a) the product's brand name, b) the model name/number, c) the common name (i.e. "Apple Slicer"), and d) the top feature (i.e. "with built-in WiFi"), when logical.
  • Description: This is the section that makes up the majority of the real estate on your product page. In general, the more expensive and/or more complex your product is, the more info you'll need to provide here to turn visitors into customers. This is where you would list detailed specifications, a textual description of the product, and potentially even add small graphics about "exclusivity" or the brand of the product. For model 1 stores this is a great place to list details about the manufacturer's warranty, provide a link to the instructions/manual (if the supplier provided one), or compare this model to others in the product line (or similar products from other brands). For model 2 stores this is where we brag about the (made up) brand and talk about the exclusivity and what makes it better to similar products on the market.
  • Media: Upload any and all images & videos you have available to you for this particular product in this field. Keep in mind that the order of your media in Shopify admin will match the order of your media on the public product page. (If you have a model 2 store and you created custom photos & video for your product, this is where you would use that (in addition to using it on paid ads in Module 4).)
  • Price: This should be the dollar amount you intend to sell the product for (minus any sales tax or shipping fees that can be added during checkout, which we haven't set up yet). model 1 store owners should price products at MAP (if their supplier enforces it) or at the same price that the top competitors were listing the product at (which you determined during the 'Analyze Margins' step). model 2 store owners should be listing the product for a mark up of at least $15-20, but no more than what you expect people to be willing to pay for your "exclusive" product (we'll talk more about how to price your products in the remaining portions of this section!).
  • Compare at price (optional): For model 1 stores we always list either the actual MSRP of the product (from the supplier's price list) or a price that's 120-140% of the price we are selling it (then we match this discount when we talk about our sales event mentions - which is covered below). For model 2 stores we always just show a price that's 125-150% more than the price we are selling the product for (which can be determined by using a calculator and multiplying your price by 1.25 for 125% or 1.5 for 150%). (If you have a boutique type model 2 store it often times looks best to not list a 'Compare at price' at all!)
  • Cost per item (optional): This field is generally not used, but if you do know the exact amount you will paying for this product delivered to your customer's home you can enter it here. (This is really only used for reports within Shopify's admin, which we haven't talked about yet!)
  • Charge tax on this product: We generally leave this ticked since only customers in areas you specify will be charged sales tax anyway, so if you opt to not add any taxed areas in the checkout settings nobody will be charged sales tax anyway. (We'll set up the checkout setting in an upcoming section within this module.)
  • (Entire) Inventory section: If you are having products drop-shipped we recommend un-ticking the 'Track quantity' field and leaving the SKU & Barcode fields empty. However, if you're carrying inventory (i.e. at a fulfillment center) you'll most likely want to keep the 'Track inventory' box checked, and the number of units available into the Available field (under QUANTITY), and add a SKU or Barcode (depending on which one your fulfillment center's integration app (i.e. ShipStation) is using to tie your store to your inventory).
  • (Entire) Shipping section: We generally leave everything "as is" in this section. The only time you'd want to use it is if you were selling product from your location and using a real-time shipping integration (i.e. UPS, FedEx, etc.). Since this course is all about shipping from a FC or utilizing drop-shipping, we will not get into that here.
  • Variants: You'll only utilize variants if your products how options that the customer must select (i.e. size or color of t-shirts). If you need to use variants for your product you can learn how to by watching this video.
  • (Entire) Search engine listing preview section: We will get into optimizing your site for the search engines (i.e. Google & Bing) in Module 5, but for now you can just let this section auto-populate and there's no need to alter it.
  • (Entire) Product availability section: You can leave this "as is" for now.
  • Product type: You can leave this blank for now. Down the road if your catalog gets extremely big you may want to separate products into product types as this gives you some advanced functionality we're not going to go into here.
  • Vendor: Enter the brand name of the product. This controls the brand name that appears below the product's title on most Shopify themes. If you are listing a generic product or a product you plan to private label, your "made up" brand name would go here.
  • Tags: You may want to utilize tags later when you're setting up your Collections (we'll be discussing that soon), but for now you can leave this blank.
  • (Entire) Theme templates section: There's no need to alter this, just leave it on what it defaults to.

That's really all there is to creating a product in Shopify, but in the following sections we'll get into the specialized approaches for each store model and how to further improve your product pages to improve conversions.

Advice for model 1 stores

model 1 store product pages require a serious emphasis on trust & information in order to convert visitors into buyers. If you followed our advice on niche selection, you are offering higher ticket products, and people won't fork out a bunch of money if they don't feel confident in the product and the merchant they're buying from.

Let me get into more detail on each of these two conversion factors:

Trust

Trust is really all about you, the merchant, and whether the customer feels like you're trustworthy enough to order from! Here are some tried & true ways to build trust with your visitors:

  • Trust graphics - We call graphics that build confidence and make the visitor feel warm & fuzzy "trust graphics". Your Shopify theme may have some built into it (like credit card icons in the footer), but the most important ones are the ones that appear around the 'Add to Cart' (aka "ATC") button and towards the top in the header area. Here's a trust graphics bundle to get you started, and if you opted to sign up for Canva you can easily create more of them there. At bare minimum we recommend putting a 'Secure Checkout' graphic, that shows a padlock for SSL and credit card icons, directly below the ATC button.
  • Sale banners - We like to always have a sale going on in our stores, regardless of the time of year. People like to order during sale events because they love to feel like they're getting a deal. We generally tie the sales event to the season or closest holiday, and it justifies the "discount" you're offering off the product's "regular" price. If you signed up for Canva you can easily create as many of these as you need.
  • Toll-free number - Place your toll-free number in the header and on your 'contact us' page, it makes your store look so much more legit & professional!
  • 'Why buy from us?' blurb - You should find a way to highlight your superior customer service and the more favorable store policies you have in place (i.e. free returns and/or free shipping and/or no sales tax - which is really driven by your drop-ship suppliers' policies). Many stores these days do so using a combo of graphical icons w/ blurbs of text (for example see the dark full width horizontal bar above the footer of all pages on AdoredByDesign.com).
  • Product reviews - As you build up product reviews for a product it will start converting better. Obviously you won't have any at first - unless you create them yourself ;) - but you should get set up to now, just so you can start getting them with your earliest orders. Our favorite Shopify app for product reviews is Judge.me because a) it allows photos on reviews and that makes them more believable, b) it's very customizable, but inexpensive, and c) it has a includes product Q&As (once you move to the paid plan).
  • Merchant reviews - Merchant reviews are different from product reviews, they are reviews of the actual store itself (and the ownership). Obviously you won't have any merchant reviews day 1, but it's pretty easy to get them with a solution like ShopperApproved. We love it because people are asked to review the merchant immediately after checkout, in addition to after they receive the product. So this encourages more reviews, and customers are almost always happy the moment they finish an order. Once you have some merchant reviews you should insert their included seal either into the header of your entire site or near the ATC button on product pages.

Information

Providing enough info on model 1 store product pages is vital because the higher the product price the more information shoppers will expect to see on product pages! Here are the key ways to make sure you're providing enough data for your store's visitors:

  • Detailed specifications - Don't make customers call/email in to figure out basic stuff like the dimensions or basic specs of an item. Most of the time you will be unable to get back to customers quickly and the longer they wait the more likely they are to buy elsewhere. You don't want to make your product pages too wordy and complex, but you do want to cover all the core info you'd expect a shopper to be looking for.
  • Good media - The more high quality & info packed images & video you can provide your visitors the better! Ask your supplier for any & all media they can provide. If all else fails, buy a product from them and take your own videos & photos and then sell it as an "open-box" special item on your store to recoup what you spent on it originally.
  • Warranty details - If the manufacturer includes a warranty with their product (98% of them do!) you should highlight that (or at bare minimum mention it in the detailed specs within the product description).
  • 'About the brand' blurbs - It's always a nice touch to have a blurb about the brand manufacturer on product pages, especially when you're selling high ticket products. This can be nothing more than the brand logo followed by a paragraph about the manufacturer and why they make great products.
  • Product Q&As - There are apps on Shopify (like this one) that allow customers to ask questions on every product page within your store. When you (or one of your hired team members) answers the customer's question, you have the option to publish the answer that's sent to the visitor on the product page. This is great because it a) answers the customers question and makes it more likely they'll convert, b) adds textual content that could help your store rank better, c) reduces customer service hours moving forward (because future visitors will get that question answered without needing to write/call in), and d) increases conversion rates on the product page. You obviously won't have any FAQs in there to begin with (unless you create some by finding questions customers ask about that product on competitor's sites), but you may as well have this in place for the beginning in order to get them rolling in ASAP.

Feel free to look at product pages on NFCPerformance.com (one of our model 1 stores) to see what components we're utilizing to build trust and provide info to our visitors. You should also check the top ranking stores in your niche to see what they're doing on their product pages.

HINT: Don't get too hung up on making your store "perfect" at this point. That's a trap that many newbies to e-commerce fall into, and you should try hard to avoid it. Your online store is always going to be evolving, so you should worry about most conversion rate testing & improvements after you're launched & profitable.

Advice for model 2 stores

model 2 store product pages require a serious emphasis on trust & necessity in order to convert visitors into buyers. If you followed our advice on product selection, you're selling products with a $15+ markup that can be private labeled if they succeed during the ad test phase. Creating solid product pages that convert well will greatly increase the chances of your products succeeding during the ad test phase that's coming up soon.

Let me get into more detail on each of these two conversion factors:

Trust

Trust is really all about you, the merchant, and whether the customer feels like you're trustworthy enough to order from! Here are some tried & true ways to build trust with your visitors:

  • Trust graphics - We call graphics that build confidence and make the visitor feel warm & fuzzy "trust graphics". Your Shopify theme may have some built into it (like credit card icons in the footer), but the most important ones are the ones that appear around the 'Add to Cart' (aka "ATC") button and towards the top in the header area. Here's a trust graphics bundle to get you started, and if you opted to sign up for Canva you can easily create more of them there. At bare minimum we recommend putting a 'Secure Checkout' graphic, that shows a padlock for SSL and credit card icons, directly below the ATC button.
  • Sale banners - We like to always have a sale going on in our stores, regardless of the time of year. People like to order during sale events because they love to feel like they're getting a deal. We generally tie the sales event to the season or closest holiday, and it justifies the "discount" you're offering off the product's "regular" price. If you signed up for Canva you can easily create as many of these as you need.
  • Toll-free number - Place your toll-free number in the header and on your 'contact us' page, it makes your store look so much more legit & professional!
  • 'Why buy from us?' blurb - You should find a way to highlight your superior customer service and the more favorable store policies you have in place (i.e. free returns and/or free shipping and/or no sales tax - which is really up to you with a model 2 store). Many stores these days do so using a combo of graphical icons w/ blurbs of text (for example see the dark full width horizontal bar above the footer of all pages on AdoredByDesign.com).
  • Product reviews - As you build up product reviews for a product it will start converting better. Obviously you won't have any at first - unless you create them yourself ;) - but you should get set up to now, just so you can start getting them with your earliest orders. Our favorite Shopify app for product reviews is Judge.me because a) it allows photos on reviews and that makes them more believable, b) it's very customizable, but inexpensive, and c) it has a includes product Q&As (once you move to the paid plan).
  • Merchant reviews - Merchant reviews are different from product reviews, they are reviews of the actual store itself (and the ownership). Obviously you won't have any merchant reviews day 1, but it's pretty easy to get them with a solution like ShopperApproved. We love it because people are asked to review the merchant immediately after checkout, in addition to after they receive the product. So this encourages more reviews, and customers are almost always happy the moment they finish an order. Once you have some merchant reviews you should insert their included seal either into the header of your entire site or near the ATC button on product pages.

Value

Proving value to the customer on model 2 store product pages is vital because customers won't pay for a product unless they are confident it will enhance their lives (either through feeding a passion or solving a problem). Here are the key ways to make sure you're making your products seem like they're must-haves to your visitors:

  • Demonstration of value - If you took our advice and brought in samples to create custom videos & photographs with, it's highly recommended that the media you create demos how the product will enhance the shopper's life. For example, if your product is a problem solver / time saver like the stainless steel apple slicer, you should show how fast & easy it is to slice apples with it! If your product is a matching 'Like Mother' & 'Like Daughter' morse code necklaces, your media could show a mom & daughter bonding because of the jewelry.
  • Emphasize quality - Even if the product isn't great yet (since it's just a generic product at this point), it will be once you're done with your Phase 2 & Phase 3 improvements (discussed in Section 2.4 of Module 2). So talk about how "well made" the product is by bragging about durability, the way it's made, what it's made of, etc. (this requires some BS'n on your part!). We like to use small graphics that can be inserted into the descriptions of all products to accomplish a lot of this.
  • Exclusivity- Much like emphasizing quality, it's a bit tricky to emphasize exclusivity before you've actually made your products unique, and therefore truly exclusive to your brand! However, it's vital in order for your product to succeed, so we encourage you to give the impression that your products are exclusive to your brand. If you took our advice on creating your own images & video you've already taken the most important step, and that's showing your logo on the product (or at least on its packaging). It also makes products look exclusive when the retailer has photos & video that other retailers just don't have. You can also accomplish giving your visitors an feeling of exclusivity by using catch phrases like "Limited Time Only" & "Exclusive Offer" - which is why you see phrases like this used so regularly when you are shopping for retail products!

Feel free to look at the product pages on Adored By Design (one of our latest model 2 stores) to see what all components we are using on our product pages.

HINT: Don't get too hung up on making your store "perfect" at this point. That's a trap that many newbie to e-commerce fall into, and you should try hard to avoid it. Your online store is always going to be evolving, so worry about most conversion rate testing & improvements after you're launched and profitable.

Collections - Both Store Models

Typically products within a store are broken up in categories or departments, but in Shopify these groupings are called "Collections". Shopify collections are extremely powerful because you can group like products together dynamically in numerous ways (i.e. using simple keyword tags within product pages, prices, vendor name, keywords in the title, etc.).

You can learn about collections and how to create them in this Watch Coach Build video. Shopify also has a good tutorial on Collections, and I recommend checking that out.

When creating your collections consider the visitors to your site and what logical groupings they may want to shop by (i.e. Shop by Color, Shop by Size, Shop by Price, etc.). We also always look at what categories (aka collections) the top retailers in our niche are using in their stores.

EXECUTE
  1. Add all of the products you've sourced to your Shopify store
  2. Create Collections to group like products into logical shopping categories
  3. Create a navigation menu for the header & footer of your store so exploring your site is easier for your visitors (this is also a great time to update the default catalog link)
HINT: You can make filtering products within collections possible by using tags within your products. For example, on Adored By Design we tag each product with its finish (i.e. Gold, Silver, etc.) and that allows customers to filter out products that aren't a certain finish within any given collection.

4.4 Your Store's "Outer" Pages

LEARN

"Outer" pages (aka 'support pages') are basically any & all non-product related pages on our website. Generally outer pages are: homepage, contact us, about us, store policies, and sometimes a "buyer's guide" (generally just for model 1 stores that are selling higher ticket products).

All of the outer pages on your website are important because they are a vital part of the customer journey and they can aid in turning your visitors into customers. You want a coherent page-to-page experience for your customers that tells them you are trustworthy enough to purchase with and that your products & service are superior to what your competitors offer.

EXECUTE

I'll break this into logical sections so you can knock out one task at a time.

Homepage

Let's go into detail on a handful of homepage components we suggest activating & editing for your store:

  • Add a sales banner: This can be created in Canva or whatever image editing program you prefer (or you can outsource the work on Fiverr or find a graphic designer on Upwork). The messaging of the actual sale banner is up to you, but it's typically smart to highlight something that makes you stand out from the competition (i.e. if most retailers in your niche charge sales tax & shipping you could say "FREE SHIPPING + NO SALES TAX"). For model 1 stores you can see what we're doing on this store, and for model 2 stores you can look at this store (and always look at what the top retailers in your niche are doing for inspiration!).
  • Add heading text and some textual content up top: The main heading text (aka the H1 tag) is the largest text that should be towards the top of the page, and you always want your main keyword phrase in it (i.e. if 'parrot cages' was your main niche phrase a good h1 tag would be: Parrot Cages For Sale). Note: We will come back and massage this once we've done some keyword research in Module 5 and know what keyword phrase we want to target for the homepage. For the textual content, just keep it super basic and generic at this point. I'd recommend a 3-5 sentence paragraph about the quality of your products and how great your customer service is. All of this can easily be massaged later, so just make your best guess of what to say at this point, we're mainly doing this so our site looks complete at this point.
  • Add a 'Why Buy From Us?' section to your homepage: Much like the textual content that we added in the last section, this will simply add a 'Why Buy From Us?' section to the homepage with a heading title and textual content. Here's the templated text you can use that's referenced in the video. Note: to complete this you'll need to learn how to add homepage content using a page in your Shopify admin.
  • Add a 'featured product' or a 'featured collection' to your homepage to make it look more professional & complete. If you have a collection or product that you expect to perform best go with that. Otherwise just follow suit on what the top retailers in your niche appear to be doing.
  • Add a 'featured reviews' section to your homepage: I recommend adding a section featuring your Loox reviews to your homepage as soon as you have at least 4-5 positive reviews.

Store Policies Page

It's important that you cover yourself with store policies from the very beginning, especially since some potential suppliers & advertising platforms (that we're using later) will require them to be in place. Here's a video that shows how to add them to your store (and here's the zip file that contains the templated files mentioned in the video). Note: It's totally up to you whether you create a page for each policy or put them all on the same page with a list of anchor links up top.

HINT: Be sure to match your suppliers' policies when it comes to shipping & returns so you don't want to be left "holding the bag" later on down the road.

Contact Us Page

Every store needs a 'contact us' page, and yours is no exception. Here's a video that shows how to add one to your store (and here's the txt file that contains the 'contact us' template mentioned in the video).

About Us Page

This isn't absolutely necessary at this point, or really ever, but an 'about us' page can give your store a nice personal touch (which can help with conversions in certain markets where the store owner's story is important to the visitors). Here's a video that shows how to add one to your store (and here's the text file that contains the 'contact us' template mentioned in the video).

HINT: All of this can be returned to and "massaged" at any point down the road, so don't stress over trying to make it perfect right now. What's important is getting launched and getting some orders coming in, and then you can perfect it while you're making money!

Buyer's Guide - model 1 Stores

Creating a buyers guide is really only necessary for stores that have extremely expensive/complex products, and most stores can get away with not offering a buyer's guide. A buyer's guide is simply a page that explains the components of the product, the basics of how it works, what features to look for and/or avoid, and how to choose the best one for that individual's situation. If you're in a market where a buyers guide is really necessary, you can create one yourself (here's a solid tutorial) or you can hire a service like My Blog Squad to create one for you!

4.5 Polish Your Website

LEARN

Miscellaneous Settings

There are some Shopify settings you will need to configure before going live, these include shipping setup, sales tax, and your store profile. In the EXECUTE section below we will go through each and provide a video that walks you through doing it for your own store.

EXECUTE
  • Set up & configure your payment settings. We recommend leaving all the payment methods that are active within Shopify Payments when you activate it turned on, because it requires no extra steps or effort from you to accept those payment methods and allows customers a wider range of payment options. You will also want to get a free PayPal Business account and configure it.
  • Configure your store's checkout settings so the correct customer data is being collected during checkout.
  • Configure your store's shipping settings. We recommend following the shipping set up of the top retailers in your niche (if they're offering free shipping do that same, if they're doing a flat fee do the same!). I would say 90% of the time in our stores (for either model) shipping is either always free or free after $XX amount is spent (with a flat rate shipping fee applying until that spend threshold is met).
  • Configure your store's tax settings. If you live in a low population state it typically makes the most sense to charge sales tax in no states, and just manually calculate the sales tax owed from your profits for the few (if any) orders that occur in your state. The other option is to collect sales tax in any & all states you have a nexus (typically just the state you're HQ'd in) and then you know exactly how much you need to remit to your state's tax commission quarterly (or whatever increment of time your state uses!).
  • Customize your store's header & announcement bar. Now that your store is mainly complete it's time to polish your header and the announcement bar that appears above the header. We generally use our announcement bar to either talk about the sales event we claim to be running (which coincides with the "mark down" on all products) or "free shipping" or "no sales tax". (Look at our latest model 1 store, our latest model 2 store, and the top ranking site's in your niche for inspiration.)
  • Customize your store's footer. Now that your store is mainly complete it's time to polish your footer. The footer area doesn't need much, just a group of links to your catalog pages, a group of links to top level pages, and a newsletter opt in box. (Look at our latest model 1 store, our latest model 2 store, and the top ranking site's in your niche for inspiration.)
  • Customize your Collection page's settings to make shopping easy for your visitors.
  • Customize your Product page's settings to make shopping easy for your visitors.
  • (OptionalChange verbiage used in labels & links throughout your store if there are any confusing or misleading ones.
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