How To Start A Shopify Store: Tips From The Experts

Shopify is a top-rated eCommerce platform that allows you to create your own website and store. It's the most popular boutique store platform in the world. Just like any business, there is a lot to consider. But once you get into the swing of things, you should find it easy to get set up. So, if you want to know how to start a Shopify store, I hope this post will help!

how to start a Shopify store

The following may include affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links, I may make some commission. But this will be at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend things I trust and use myself (or have used). You can use my full disclaimer here.

Before we go on, I ought to remind you that Etsy and Shopify are not the same types of business tools. Shopify is a platform that allows you to build your own online store; however, Etsy is an online marketplace where you list your items alongside other sellers.

For this reason, Shopify may well be one of the biggest brands in the e-commerce world, but not everyone knows how to start a Shopify store. That's okay; it can be tricky. I build websites myself, and even I had some learning to do when I tried Shopify out.

With Shopify, business owners can create a website and use it as a solution to sell digital and physical products to customers worldwide. The software does have several extras and features that help to boost your sales. You can use it to view your website performance and purchase advertising to attract more customers. These extras may, however, come at a higher price.

How to start a Shopify store

Unlike what I said about Etsy, I now wouldn’t be tempted to start an Shopify store as a means to build up my business. Not because I don’t like or see the benefits of the platform. Far from it, I think it is an amazing option for online business owners (which is why I'm writing this post). My reasoning is purely based on the fact that I like the total flexibility I have with my websites. 

But I will say that the learning curve I had to go on to get to this point is possibly much steeper than that needed with Shopify. As such, my way is not necessarily the right way.

If I was just starting out, would I consider using Shopify? Probably.

I've collected a stack of tips from Shopify users and experts from across the web. Full credit goes to these people who know a lot more than I do about starting a Shopify store.

Because of this, I am by no means a Shopify expert. Lots of my customers ask me about Etsy and Shopify. My expertise lies with building WordPress websites, as that is where I started and stayed. However, I am always keen to help people out. If you want to know how to start a Shopify store, I will find a way to guide you.

Therefore, I've collected a stack of tips from Shopify users and experts from across the web. Full credit goes to these people who know a lot more than I do about starting a Shopify store. Be sure to visit their websites or YouTube channels to get even more information from these fantastic people.

In future posts, we'll be diving a bit deeper into more specific Shopify topics. But for now, I hope you're able to learn lots of helpful stuff from the resources I've found for you.

checklist for starting a new Shopify store - Shopify

Shopify wants people to be happy with its product and they provide a lot of support and helpful guides to its users. I really like this collection of checklists that cover every step of setting up a store: from things to consider even before you open an account all the way to promoting on social media.

Keeping your online store Organised 

If there is something I have learnt over many years of running an online store, it is that organisation is king! I am happy to see that the folks at Shopify agree:

"Depending on how many products you plan to offer, adding and organizing your product listings can be the most time-consuming step of setting up a Shopify store.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to add your products, to organize them into groups, and to set the necessary tax and shipping information."

Check out all of Shopify's very useful New to Shopify Checklists for an an effective way of tracking important steps when setting up your new store.

Shopify Tutorial for Beginners (Full Tutorial - YouTube Video

This is a long video, almost a whole hour, I know everyone is busy. But this hour will be an investment in your business.

This is a great getting started walkthrough video. Especially if you want to know what you'll see before you start setting up your Shopify store.

The video walks you through the whole process of using Shopify. You could watch it before you even get started to see what you'll be getting if you sign up. And then once again when you have signed up to make sure you pick up all the tips.


Next up, we have a great post from a drop shipping company. The post is primarily about drop shipping - as you would expect. But they do offer tips for all Shopify users, too. I certainly wouldn't rule out giving Oblero's post a read.

If you've paid attention to online shops, you have probably come across the term 'drop shipping'. It is understandable that you may not be interested in drop shipping if you sell printables. But if you want to branch out into physical products, it won't hurt to learn about it. 

Drop Shipping

Oblero's article explains what this means in a simple way anyone can understand, and why you may want to look into it as a business model.

Oblero say, "Drop shipping allows people who are just figuring out how to start an e-commerce store to get started quickly so that they can spend more time and energy on generating sales. With drop shipping, you aren’t required to hold any inventory and don’t need to worry about shipping products, which also saves you time and money."

Fine Tune Your Settings

But, if you're only interested in learning about Shopify, you can scroll down where you will find some very useful information for new sellers, including setting up you shopping cart for maximum results!

The guys at Oblero say, "Shopify also lets you see and modify your checkout settings. For new store owners, I recommend keeping customer accounts as optional so that customers can also check out as guests."

Read How To Launch Your Shopify Store In Less Than 30 Minutes by Oblero for more useful tips on drop shipping and general Shopify tips.

The Complete Shopify Store Launch Checklist - Launch Tip

If you like checklists as much as I do, you'll love this one. In this post, the guys at Launch Tip include a very useful research section, a pre launch section, and a post launch section.

If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post, you'll find a collection of short (but very useful) tips. One of my favourite ones has to do with inventory.

Shopify Inventory

The Launch Tip post says, "Inventory can be a major challenge for the Shopify store owners in the beginning. If you are managing your stock, there is quite possible that you would end up with too few things and too many of other.

A simple way to handle stock shortages without wasting money is to spend some moments setting up BackInStock and notifying consumers when there is an item they want."

Research new tools

Something I am very fond of: trying new things. I am constantly researching new tools and products, and I believe everyone else should too.

One of my favourite points they make is: "It takes to experiment, focus and time to scale a Shopify store. You can start looking at things with the best Shopify tools once you’ve reached the basics on this list, go deeper into the SEO of your store, or create seasonal or holiday-specific business strategies."

Read The Complete Shopify Store Launch Checklist by Launch Tip for more useful tips on how to start a Shopify Store.

Checklist Before Launching Shopify Store - Avada

Another checklist? Yes! And I won't make any promises that it will be the last.

Avada are a e-commerce solution company with a focus on workflow automation. Their pricing isn't as high end as you might expect. So, you may well find that you want to use their services. But they do have tons of free information that you might find super helpful

The Look of your store matters

My favourite tip might just be the first one, this one alone makes adding this link worth it. The way your online store looks matters. In fact, it matters a lot! If customers see an unprofessional-looking website, they'll leave and never come back. And I would hate for that to happen to you!

The Avada post says, "There goes a saying, “The first impression is the last impression.” This saying fits in precisely this way. Users can first see how beautiful the interface and navigation are, how simple it is to browse items, and how useful the information you have for them is."

Start Small

Something else to keep in mind is to start small, but give yourself space to grow. Shopify is extremely popular, and that means a lot of companies have created a lot of apps for it. You don't need them all when you're just starting out. Your store can grow as your business grows.

In terms of starting small, Avada say this about the apps you add to your Shopify store:

"You need to ensure that all essential and appropriate apps are linked to your Shopify website. Again, don’t bother overloading your website with needless applications right at the start. It’s going to slow down your website, which doesn’t bring any benefits."

35 Best Shopify Apps to Sell More - Omnisend

If you are at the point where basic Shopify is not enough for your needs, then you want to start looking at apps. There are loads of apps around, luckily this roundup lists some of the best.

I don't personally use Shopify, but these are some I would definitely be looking at if I did!

Loyalty Apps

Rewarding customers is a tried and tested way to keep them coming back and becoming regulars. Omnisend has this to say about using loyalty apps:

"Simple loyalty programs help online stores increase customer activity and happiness. [They can] result in bigger revenue and long-term loyalty."


I am a self-confessed SEO fan. I've spent more hours than I should've reading about SEO. If you want to use your time more wisely than me, getting an SEO app is the way to go.

This list of apps says, "To start selling more you have to take care of the traffic to your store. Here the search engine optimization (SEO) comes to help."

Read 35 Best Shopify Apps to Sell More by Omnisend for more useful apps you might use for your Shopify Store.

41 Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales Instantly - Optinmonster

Another app list? Yes! You can never have enough tools that simplify your work and optimise your store. And most of these are even free. In fact, even if you don't end up using tools that you try out, the time you take to explore is worth it

apps for Social media

I won't go as far as recommending any tools I haven't used myself first, but I do know that social media is a must for any successful online business.

Optinmonster say, "While email marketing is more effective than social media at driving sales, social media is still an important referral source for online stores. In fact, both Facebook and Twitter can help you gain product recommendations and actual sales."

Read 41 Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales Instantly by Optinmonster for more useful apps you might use for your Shopify Store.

How Does Hosting Work With Shopify? -We Make Websites

If you've gone through all of these suggestions, congratulations! You are now probably an expert on Shopify.

But you may still be asking yourself, why bother with Shopify when I could be hosting my online shop myself? This article answers that, and a few other things. It is definitely worth a read. Here's a few things the post covers.

Sorting out your domain 

Shopify helps you with the set up of the store, for example with your domain and emails:

As this, super useful post, says, "You can also buy a new domain name through Shopify, if you prefer. One bonus of this is that it comes with unlimited forwarding email addresses. These work by directing all incoming mail to an existing email account of yours, keeping your on-site contact information on-brand, consistent and professional."

What's the catch?

What about everything else? The article explains all different aspects that are different between self-hosting and Shopify, and you do want to read them carefully. But this quote sums up the opinion of the author opinion quite nicely:

"The main difference between Shopify, as a hosted platform, and a traditional, self-hosted platform, is that you don’t get access to the full code base. Truth be told, this can make customising certain features for your online store quite tricky. But does this outweigh the above? We think not."

Read How Does Hosting Work With Shopify? by We Make Websites for more useful tips on starting an Shopify Store.

If you've been looking for the lowdown on how to start a Shopify store, hopefully this post has pointed you in the direction of some super useful information. Don't forget, all of the websites and YouTube channels I've linked to will have more information about Spotify. So, have a dig around. Plus, be sure to come back for more posts in this series.

Do you have any burning questions about opening an Shopify Store? Let me know in the comments below...

The following may include affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links, I may make some commission. But this will be at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend things I trust and use myself (or have used). You can use my full disclaimer here.

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