How to Sell on Shopify: A Complete Guide

The internet has made life easier than ever. You can now achieve almost anything from the comfort of your home. The ease with which we can accomplish tasks online means that more traditional commercial methods are fast becoming obsolete. Online stores have become the go-to option for consumers looking to purchase products or services. It’s therefore no surprise that Shopify is home to hundreds of businesses, collectively reporting billions in sales. 

Businesses of all sizes can tap into the popularity of this online retail platform. You just need to understand how it works. Running a successful business on Shopify can be tricky, especially when you are new to the platform. We’ve put together a helpful guide for how to sell on Shopify, from creating an account to gaining an audience. 

The Right Business Model 

With Shopify, you can sell almost any product or service. Entrepreneurs can sell physical products  or virtual products. They don’t even have to have a store of their own, with increasing numbers operating Shopify dropshipping services. 

The platform is flexible enough to suit many different business models, and it’s easy to get started as a merchant. With so many options, the key to success is identifying where you can make the most gains.

Finding Your Niche

This is where many entrepreneurs falter. It’s one thing to start up a business, but the right tools will only get you so far. You need to be selling the right product. The first part of learning how to sell on Shopify is coming up with  great product ideas. 

What to Sell on Shopify in 2019: Where to Get Ideas

Use Keyword Insight

A great way to direct a business venture when you haven’t locked down your product is to go with what’s in demand. For figuring out what’s in demand, there’s no better way other than keyword analysis. 

In an era where we all rely on search engines for the answers and information we want, keyword analysis is the most effective way to find out which products or services are in high demand. What tools you can use for that? KWFinder can be a good option. They have a free plan.  Or you can go to Amazon and see what products are popular there.

Shortlist products that consumers search for frequently. Then identify which of those products have underdeveloped markets. It will be much easier to enter a market with low competition. 

Tap Into Passion 

Some products are always in high demand. People invest in things they are passionate about, like sports and hobbies. Whereas physical needs can be limited (you likely don’t need more than one desk), the passion of a cyclist, a fisherman or a painter creates an open-ended, long-term demand. Enthusiasts are always looking out for different ways to experience their passion, whether that means new and improved gear or clothes and decorations that let them express themselves.

Create Product Value 

When you’re deciding what to sell, look for something that you can add value to. Chances are high that a similar product is currently available on the market. Listen to what consumers have to say about this existing product. What are its shortcomings? What improvements do they want? Based on consumer reviews, you can come up with a product that better satisfies their needs. 

Geek Out 

Would you buy a guitar from someone with no musical knowledge? Entrepreneurs who are passionate about their products or services tend to go the extra mile to ensure success, and customers recognize this. Also, if you are an avid user yourself, you possess an excellent understanding of the product’s strengths and its applications. This is vital for introducing products to audiences as well as improving engagement. 

Set the Pace 

Ideally, you want to be among the first set of businesses to make use of a trending idea. Find out what society is buzzing about before anyone else. Check in on social media platforms, local media, online marketplaces, etc. to look for ideas on what to sell. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting What to Sell on Shopify 

Now that you have a shortlist of products you might want to sell online, the next step is selecting the right product to start with. Here are a list of factors to help narrow it down:

Assess Product Popularity 

Go for products that are on the rise. Online tools such as Google’s can help you determine whether a trend is petering out or just getting started. 

Be Specific 

What subset of the market do you want to break into? Suppose an entrepreneur wants to break into the outerwear industry. He or she should first identify whether they want to sell peacoats or snowboard jackets. Which type of person are they targeting, and what is their price range? 

Define your niche in terms of culture, quality, price, etc. Search engine suggestions and keyword analysis might help you identify niches you didn’t know existed. 

…But Not Too Specific 

While serving a niche is great, you don’t want to exclude potential customers unnecessarily. Having a product that has the potential to appeal to a large target audience is ideal. 

Sourcing Your Goods 

Once you’ve chosen the right product niche, you have to find manufacturers. This could mean suppliers of finished products for resellers or dropshippers, or vendors of raw materials if you plan on making your own products or customizing them. 

Search engines, obviously, are a great starting point to help you find a manufacturer. Search for manufacturing firms as well as distributors and wholesalers online. 

Other methods that can help you find manufacturers include:

  • Directories 
  • Social Networks 
  • Referrals 

Shortlist companies that could be ideal for your business. Go through each company’s website and any social network platforms where they have a presence. Look through verified client reviews and request samples before making any decisions. You want to cooperate with companies that are reliable and professional. 

Creating an Account on Shopify 

First Menu 

Shopify gives entrepreneurs arguably the easiest UI of any online business platform. Get on the website and sign up as a business. You’ll have to provide the following information. 

  • A unique store name 
  • An email address 
  • A Password 

When setting a store name, pick something that describes your product. It should be short, catchy and easy to remember. 

Subsequent Menus

You are immediately prompted to answer a few questions about your business, providing some personal information and a business address. After this, you’re done! You have successfully created a Shopify account. Now, let’s make it one of the most successful Shopify stores.

Add Your Domain Address 

There are two options available to entrepreneurs selling on Shopify. The platform provides you with a domain name by default, but you can also use a custom domain if you own one. A domain name should have the following characteristics: 

  • The ideal length is 10 characters or shorter. 
  • It should be easy for customers to recall and spell. 
  • Ideally, include a keyword or phrase that your target audience will use on search engines. 

Setting a Theme for Your Store 

When customers visit your online store, what they see is your Shopify theme. It’s up to you to create a theme that’s both functional and visually appealing. There are two ways to set up a Shopify theme. You can go the DIY route, where you create a custom theme from scratch. Alternatively, you can use a pre-designed Shopify theme. You can choose from hundreds of premium or free Shopify themes on the site. 

For the best results when selling on Shopify, if you’re not an expert designer, it’s advisable to choose a premium Shopify theme.

Adding Products to Your Shopify Store 

Now that you know what you want to sell on Shopify, you need to add it to your store. Make sure you include the following: 

  • Product name and type 
  • A short description 
  • High-quality product images, etc 

You can add products manually if you are looking to sell just a few, carefully curated selections. For adding multiple products, it’s more convenient to import a CSV file containing your product inventory. 

Managing Your Shopify Account 

Incorporate third-party apps into your Shopify profile to help you manage it better. These apps come in many categories, and you can obtain them from the Shopify store. 

Building Your Engagement Level 

After creating your store on Shopify, you need to build awareness about your business. Having an amazing Shopify account won’t help you drive engagement if nobody sees it in the first place. Here are some effective ways to get the word out.

Social Media

Make use of major social networks to improve audience engagement. Facebook and Instagram are often the go-to options for advertising products or services, but you should focus on the platforms that your target audience uses. The most successful Shopify stores have a presence on at least five social networks. 

Emails

Email advertising is still very much in use by successful businesses. Give your Shopify visitors and customers the option of subscribing to your newsletters.

Conclusion

Shopify lets anyone become an online entrepreneur. The platform is an ideal avenue to kickstart a business or improve a previously existing enterprise. How to sell on Shopify is a matter of choosing the right product, having a well-structured supply chain, presenting an appealing website, and having a strong social media presence. 

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