The ultimate guide to starting an online store
Welcome to The ultimate guide to starting an online store, presented by Pixel Union and Out of the Sandbox. Below you will find articles from both brands that are packed with helpful tips, tricks, and best practices for starting an online store.
This resource is designed to guide you through starting a Shopify ecommerce store, from concept to your first sale and beyond. Whether you choose to read every article or dive into the topics that pertain to where you are now in your ecommerce journey, how you use this tool is completely up to you.
Let’s get started!
You want to start an online store but don’t know where to begin.
You’ve decided to create your own online store. How exciting! So, what now?
Before we can get into the nuts and bolts of setting up an online store, there are a few details to iron out. Check out these articles to make sure you’re laying the right foundation for your ecommerce business.
You have a business model, now you need an ecommerce theme.
Building an online store from scratch requires time and specialized experience in ecommerce development. Luckily, brands like Pixel Union and Out of the Sandbox are here to do all the heavy lifting for you with beautiful, high-performance Shopify themes that give you the foundation for a great online store.
There are a lot of ecommerce themes out there, so here’s some information about finding one that works for you.
- How to find out which ecommerce platform or theme an online store is using
- 8 questions to ask before buying a new Shopify theme
- The difference between free and premium Shopify themes
- Single-product ecommerce: Turn your small store into a big success
- Why you should register your Shopify theme and how to do it
You’ve purchased a theme but need help setting it up for success.
It can be hard to know where to start when you’re setting up an online store for the first time. Not to worry, we’ve compiled these articles to get you started on the right foot.
- How to organize your online store for better conversion rates
- How to design large, full-width hero images for landing pages
- 9 tips for creating product photography that sells
- What to include in your online store's product descriptions
- How to write website copy that converts shoppers
- Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization: The basics
- Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization: URLs and image alt tags
- Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization: How to write SEO-optimized product descriptions
- Why you should optimize your store for mobile (and how to do it)
- Using product filtering to improve findability and conversions
- 10 ways to improve accessibility in your online store
- 9 trending ecommerce design features you might want to try
Your store is set up and now you need to price your products.
How to price products in an online store is a common query among new ecommerce business owners. As a store owner, your product pricing is ultimately decided by you but there are best practices that will help you find a balance between making a profit and making your customers happy.
- What are your products worth? How to price your products for profit
- How to offer wholesale pricing in your online store
- How to increase your average order value with volume discounts
Your store looks great! Time to set up your logistics.
Shipping rates, return policies, terms and conditions, product liability, accounting, and more! These things may not be the most exciting aspects of your new ecommerce business, but they are extremely important. Managing customer expectations and protecting your business right from the start will help keep things running smoothly and might prevent disaster in the long run.
The following articles cover things that every ecommerce business should address before making their first sale.
- A new merchant's guide to shipping and fulfillment options
- 8 tips for creating a better return policy for your store
- How to manage your ecommerce business' cash flow
- 5 ecommerce accounting tips to make tax season easier
- Ecommerce product liability 101: Protecting yourself & your business
- Terms and conditions: what they are and why your online store needs them
Improve your customer experience and boost sales with apps.
Your online store is all set up and now you might want to add some extra functionality with the help of an app or two. Here are some of our favourites.
- Our favourite Shopify apps to boost your sales
- Using Popups to Boost Clicks, Conversions and Sales
- Adding live chat to your store: easier than you think
- Set yourself up for app success with Premium Onboarding
You’re ready to make your first sale. How can you get the word out about your online store?
Getting the word out about your ecommerce business involves using multiple marketing tools. These days email and social media marketing are must-haves, so below we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to get you started with both. Plus, you’ll find some additional marketing tactics that might fit your online store’s branding.
- 6 tips to help you create great ecommerce marketing emails
- 4 ways to use Instagram to boost your online store’s revenue
- What you need to know about Facebook advertising
- 7 ways blogging can help your online store
- Using influencer marketing to grow your online business
People are shopping in your online store! Time to run a sale?
If your online store has been getting traffic and converting shoppers for awhile now, you might want to run a sale. So, how do you go about running a successful promotion?
- How to decide what kind of sale to run in your online store
- 5 ways urgency and scarcity can help drive conversions
- Using your store’s data to create personalized shopping experiences
- How to get more positive customer reviews for your store
Automated marketing techniques to help you sell more.
Setting up automated marketing tools in your online store is one of the easiest ways to passively keep customers engaged and shopping. Here are the most common ways to do just that.
- 7 tips for upselling success on Shopify
- 10 tips for reducing shopping cart abandonment
- Using loyalty programs to maximize customer lifetime value
- How custom landing pages can drive conversions and sales
Keep growing by connecting with others in the ecommerce community.
We’re continually making improvements to this guide in an effort to give new merchants like you the information they need. Is there a topic that you think is missing? Do you have a question that wasn’t answered in the articles above? We’d love to hear it. Reach out to us with any content suggestions you have.