Hossein A.
September 6, 2020

Shopify Beginner Tutorial: Learning the Basics

What is Shopify?

Selling products has never been easier, because Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms that lets you sell physical and digital products on your own website without having any technical knowledge, and its trusted by over a million businesses worldwide.

Setting up the online store

We're going to start off by heading over to Shopify.com and create an account. Once the account is created, it'll ask you to fill your information and re-direct you to the dashboard once its done. We're also going to select a plan, however it won't charge you until the free trial is over. I recommend going with the basic plan.


On the homepage is where you'll see the basic information about your store, such as the daily sales and visitors, recommendations, and other resources provided by Shopify.


The orders page is obviously where you'll see the orders placed by the customers.


Next, the products page is where you'll add your products to the store. Lets go ahead and add a test product. On the page, it'll ask for some information about the product that needs to be filled out.
If you're product comes in different size, color or whichever form it may be, check the variant checkbox and you'll be able to add multiple variants.
Once the product is saved, click preview to see what the product page looks like.


Moving on, we'll head over to the customers page, this is where you'll see your list of customers once they place an order. For now, lets just create a customer to see how it works. On the customers page, you'll be able to see their email, address, order history, track the status of their order shipping, issue them a refund, and more.


Inside Analytics, you'll be able to see how your store is doing based on the timeline you've set it to. You can see how many sales the store is making, average order value, conversion rates, location, traffic sources, and more useful statistics.


Speaking of numbers, you can also integrate advertising platforms into your Shopify account and view how well your ads are performing right from the dashboard. However, this topic is for another video.


If you want to run a sale, head over to Discounts. There are two types of discounts. Discount codes are the ones that customers have to manually type inside checkout. Automatic discounts will apply discounts once the set conditions are met, such as adding a specific product or the items reach a minimum purchase amount.


Next, Apps basically extend the functionality of your Shopify store in many ways. The Shopify app store has thousands of apps from different categories, and they can be installed with a click of a button. There are apps for installing reviews, email marketing, live chat support, upsells, and many more.

Online store:

Now its time to design the site. Go to where it says "Online Store" from the left dashboard. On this page you'll see the current installed theme. If you want to change it, simply go to 'Explore free themes" and Shopify provides with couple of options to choose from. In addition, Shopify has premium themes that have more customization features compared to the free ones.

You don't have to learn coding to customize the online store, because Shopify has made it very easy for the average person to design pages without writing a single line of code.
On the left side of the screen, you'll see a list of sections that you can edit. The order of the sections are in the same order they're shown on the store. For example lets say we want to edit the first section of the page, simply click the first tab to make the changes.

To switch the position of the section, simply click and hold the tab associated with that section and drop it anywhere you prefer. To hide it, check the eye icon or delete it by going into the tab and scroll all the way down where it says "Remove section".
If you like to add a section, click add and choose any the section type.

The settings tab allows you to change the color of the text and buttons as well as the font and couple of other settings.


If you want to create a blog, under "Online store", select "blog posts", create post and fill out the content.


Sometimes your customers may need additional information about your products, thats why we have the ability to create additional pages on our store. For example you might want to create a page about sizing charts, shipping times, frequently asked questions, refund policy, and much more.


Next, we have navigation, this is where you'll add links that your customers can navigate too from the navigation menu. First, we have the "main menu", this is shown on the top of every page. The footer menu is shown at the bottom of each page.

To create a dropdown menu, drag any of the items, hover them on the main item that you want to act as the dropdown, and move your mouse slightly to the side. To remove the link of the dropdown, you do the exact opposite.


To make the site more professional, you must connect a custom domain. The domain is what you see in the top search bar of the browser. In this case, our domain is "store name".myshopify.com, this is the default domain for every Shopify store. To get a custom domain, you can either buy a domain from third-party domain providers like BlueHost or directly buy one from Shopify which is what I recommend because its a lot easier to set up. If you already own a domain, I will provide Shopify's guide to setting up the domain with your store. Thats all for domains.


Lets move to Preferences. The first part is writing a title and the meta description, this what people will see on Google's search list when they search for your store.

Social sharing image is the image preview that is shown when you post a link to your store like in Facebook as an example.

Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are very similar, basically they're a tracking software installed on your site to track the actions being taken by the users such as viewing a page, add to cart, checkout, and making purchases. I'm going to go over this part in more details for another video.

When the password is enabled, users can't access your site and make purchases. This is useful when you're making changes to your store to avoid interrupting the customer experience. You can write out a message explaining why is the store is closed for the time being.

General settings:

Lastly we're going to go over settings. First we'll start with General, this is where you'll fill out the general information of your business such as the legal name, address, customer email, and industry. You can switch the store's currency by scrolling all the way down and choose the currency you're selling your products with.

Payment settings:

To start accepting payments and getting payouts to your bank account you have to set up Shopify payments. Note that Shopify payments is supported only in some countries, so if you live elsewhere, then you have to use other providers like PayPal or any provider that is supported in your country. You can check what providers are supported in Shopify by clicking "choose third party supplier".
Make sure you have both Shopify payments and PayPal enabled, so customers can choose how they prefer to pay.

Checkout settings:

Next is the checkout. Make sure you check "Accounts are optional", so users have the option to purchase as a guest or with an account. There are more settings down there, but we're keeping this short.

Shipping/delivery settings:

Shipping & delivery is the part you have to make sure its set up correctly. We have three types of delivery methods: shipping, local delivery, and local pickup. In this video we're going over shipping, and if you're a local business, you can check out Shopify's guide to setting up local delivery and pickup.

For shipping, first you need to pick what countries you ship to. Click on "manage rates", and then "Create shipping zone", once the country is added, you'll have to set the shipping rates.
We can set up rates manually or use a carrier to calculate the shipping rates automatically based on the customer's location. By using your own rates, you can set a flat rate and add in conditions based on weight or price. Additionally, you can leave the price blank to offer it as free shipping. If you're a beginner, I recommend using the carrier option to automatically calculate shipping costs based on the customer's location.

If you're using the carrier option, you must make sure the rates are calculated accurately. First make sure you're filling out each product's weight information by going to the product's setting and under "shipping" you'll see the weight that you have to type in. Secondly, type in the dimensions of the packages from the shipping settings.
Also, if you're using fulfillment services, make sure to set them up as well. I will provide Shopify's fulfillment guide to set up this part.


Next step is to enable taxes. Simply go to the tax settings and set it up where you have a registered tax account.


Inside Locations, include all the places where you stock inventory, fulfill orders, and sell products.


Notifications are basically emails that are sent to the customers, such as order confirmation, fulfillment, shipping updates, and more. To see what those emails look like, click one of the notifications and then preview. This part is already set up, unless you want to make advanced modifications, but thats for another video.

Sales channels:

We're not going to go into the details of sales channels, but basically they're channels where customers can access view your products. For example you can add the Facebook sales channel so people can see the products from the shop section of your facebook page. We'll cover this in details for another video as well or you can follow Shopify's guide to sales channels.

Plans and permissions:

If you want to add staff to manage the Shopify store, Inside Settings, go to Plans and permissions, and then "Add staff account".


Lastly, we have the legal side of things. You don't have to create your own policies because you can automatically generate them and do some modifications that fit your business.


We pretty much covered most of the things you need to know as a beginner when it comes to creating a store using Shopify. This post isn't meant to cover everything in detail, its for giving you the foundation when it comes to using the e-commerce platform. Speaking of details, I'll post more content covering other topics as well.

If you have any questions or feedback about my videos, feel free to put in the comment section of the video or go to the comment section of the blog post. Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more videos.

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