Have you always dreamed of starting your own online business?
I know I always did.
Well, in today’s post, I’m going to help you get there!
Want to know the best part?
I have found a way to start if for free. No upfront cost. No risk. Just a few clicks and you will be good to go.
As many of you may know, I have had the fortune of running several successful online businesses using Shopify. I will be the first to admit that it didn’t happen overnight though. It took a lot of action. A lot of learning. A lot of failing.
But I kept pushing through and eventually was able to find what I think is the winning formula for success.
Typically the information I am going to share would cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to purchase.
However, because I am a big believer in providing value, I have decided to practice what I preach and share this method with everyone at no cost by creating a complete Shopify tutorial.
To me, there is no other way.
My goal here is to walk you through it step by step, so that you have the best chance of setting yourself up for success.
It is going to be a monster post, but if you work through it, I think you will be amazed at how simple the set up is!
So are you ready to start your future? Lets do it.
If you are not familiar with dropshipping, it is basically a business that moves product directly from the manufacturer to the customer without you ever touching it.
This system is great because you literally never have to touch the product. That means no upfront fees, no storage, no shipping. With a few clicks, you can literally just ship the product directly to the customer and collect the profits!
We will be using a program called Shopify to set up the actual store. The Shopify platform is a great tool because it it very user friendly and also offers a free 14 day trial.
The goal of this tutorial is to provide you with a solid Shopify template which you can build your store from.
Once our Shopify store is up and running, we will add an app called Oberlo, which is a program that automates the entire dropshipping process for you. This app also offers a free 14 day trial so you have plenty of time to try it out risk free.
Here is a general outline of the entire set up process:
- Shopify Sign Up
- Sign up for Shopify
- Online Store Configuration
- Main Menu
- Select Theme
- Select Domain Name
- Product Selection
- Download Oberlo
- Sign up for Aliexpress
- Select Products
- Import Products
- Start Selling
- Store is complete!
You guys ready to get rocking?! OK, lets do this.
The first thing we need to do is sign up with Shopify by going to the Shopify log in screen.
You can click HERE to sign up for Shopify’s free 14 day trial.
- On the home screen click the GET STARTED button on the top right hand corner.
- Enter your email address, password and store name (you can always change this later)
- Next you will be taken through a few screens asking for basic background information such as your name, address, etc. Fill out the forms, hit enter and your store will be created!
Next lets sign up with Oberlo so that we have it ready to go. You can open an Oberlo account for free using this link HERE.
Simply start by clicking the button that reads “Add Oberlo to Shopify”. Go through the setup prompts and you are all set.
Congratulations, you now have opened your first Shopify store.
Lets now go through the basic set up to get you going.
On the left hand column, select the option for settings. You will see a menu like this:
On the settings menu, click General and fill out the form. This should be mostly filled out already. If you have a LLC or business established, you can enter the name here (don’t worry if you do not).
Next on the settings menu, click Payments. This is where you will set up the payment system for your store. For this menu you will want to accept credit cards and paypal.
On the top right, click the button that says “add a provider”, then click “accept Shopify payments”. This will make is so Shopify automatically takes care of the payments when a customer makes a purchase.
I would also suggest setting up paypal for your store as a lot of customers like paying with this option. To do so, just click “add paypal” and follow the prompts to connect your paypal account and you are all set!
Go to Settings, then Checkout. Here we will quickly set up your settings for when a customer picks a product and decides to check out. For this screen, the settings I pick are as follows:
- For Customer Accounts, select Accounts are optional.
- For Form Options, select “Require First and Last Name”, “Company Name Hidden”, “Address line 2 Optional” and “Phone Number optional”.
- For Order Processing, select ” Use the shipping address as the billing address by default”
- For If the customer abandons their checkout, send them an email reminder to complete their order, select “10 hours later”
- For Ask for permission to send promotional emails to customers from your store, select “Never”
- For After an order has been paid, select “Do not automatically fulfill any of the order’s line items.”
- For After an order has been fulfilled and paid, check the box for “Automatically archive the order.”
The last section is the Refund, privacy, and TOS statements Section. These are the official legal documents that your customers will have access to when they make a purchase.
Shopify will actually generate these documents for you with your store information automatically included! All you have to do for each document is click the button that says “Generate” and you are good to go!
Ok, here is how I do set up my Shipping settings. Feel free to change this as you want, but for the purpose of this business model, I have found it best to offer free shipping on everything.
This option converts the best for the type of items we will be selling and it also makes setting up much easier on you.
- To set up free shipping on all products, scroll down to the Zones and Rates Section.
- Next to Domestic, click edit. Once on this screen, scroll down to the section titled Price Based Rates, then click “Add Rate”.
- A popup will be shown. In the name field, type “free shipping” and under rate select the box next Free Shipping rate.
- Exit out back to the Shipping screen and then do the same exact process for Rest of World Shipping.
Congratulations! We are now done with the settings section! You will notice several more categories in the setting menu, but don’t worry, these are all the settings we will need to get started.
The next thing we will be working on is the Online Store settings.
From your Home Screen, on the left hand side, click on “Online Store”. Once you click this, you will see a menu with several options appear underneath.
For this section, I prefer to go slightly out of order, but do not worry, we will hit all of the options.
The first thing we are going to do is set up our pages. These are all the different areas where the customers will be able to visit on your store.
It is important to note that none of these pages are absolutely required, although, they are nice to have and will definitely help with converting customers into sales.
- On the “Pages” menu, click “Add Page”. In the title field, type “About Us”, then under content, write a paragraph or two about yourself and your company.
- Next, you will want to go back to the Pages menu and again click “Add Page”. In the title field, type “Contact Us”, and on the right hand side of the screen you will see the Template selection. Switch this to “page.contact”. This will automatically set up a field for customers to contact you via your email address that your provided.
- Repeat the add page process again for FAQs. On this page you will want to write a few facts about your site that may answer customers questions, such as shipping times and return policies that you would like to implement.
- Ok the last two pages are real easy to set up.
- Repeat this exact process for Terms of Service page.
Great job so far. You still hanging in there? Don’t worry, we are coming up on the home stretch.
Next lets go to the Navigation section. Here we will set up your Main Menu which will be displayed at the top of your store’s website and also the Footer Menu which is a menu at the bottom of your store’s site.
For the main menu, go to Online Store -> Navigation. Once on this page click where is say Main Menu.
On this page, you will lines in the Menu Items section; Home and Catalog. Leave those as is.
Next click Add Menu Item and in the blank box that appears, type “About Us”, then in the next box to the right select “Page”, then in the next box to the right select “About Us”. This will ensure your About Us page is visible from the Main Menu.
Repeat this same exact process for your FAQs page and your Contact Us Page.
The final Menu Items section should look like this;
Click “Save Menu” and you are all set.
To set up the footer menu, go to Online Store -> Navigation -> Footer Menu.
The final product should look like this:
Awesome job! Menus are now set up.
Here is where the fun starts. Time to pick our Theme.
Ok, now we are going to select our theme. The theme you select will automatically set up how your store looks by setting the colors, layout and font in a custom pattern.
The theme you choose is entirely up to you. This will not effect how the store runs or anything we have set up so far.
I personally like the free Brooklyn theme for my stores. It has a clean, elegant look to it which goes well for just about any niche.
- To select your theme go to Online Store ->Themes, then click the Visit Theme Store Button on the top right.
- Once in the theme store, select any theme then click install.
The theme will automatically install and you are all set!
The last thing we will need to do is set up our domain name. Now it is important to note that a domain name is not required, however, I highly suggest getting one as it will look more professional.
If you do not purchase a domain URL, Shopify will assign one to you, however, it will look like www.yourstorename.shopify.com.
If you do purchase your own domain, it will look like www.yourstorename.com.
As you can see, it looks much neater a professional with just your store name in the URL.
The good news is Shopify makes the process of assigning your URL really easy if you purchase through Godaddy.com. I would suggest going there, pick out a available domain name and purchasing.
Once your name is purchased through Godaddy, go to Online Store -> Domains and follow the automated guide for assigning your new URL to your store.
Shopify makes this super easy and will be completed with just a few clicks!
Download Oberlo App
Now we will start adding products to your store.
The first thing you will need to do is download the Oberlo App.
You can get the Oberlo App for free by clicking here.
Open Aliexpress Account
Next we will sign up for Aliexpress. Click here to sign up for an account with your email address.
Aliexpress is where we will be sourcing all of our products from. Once you are signed up, you can see that Aliexpress has hundreds of thousands of products available for wholesale prices.
Now its time to select the products you would like to sell inside your store.
To select the products simply go to Aliexpress.com and begin searching.
Start by typing in a keyword or keywords related to your store. For instance, if you open a store for dog lovers, try searching for “dog necklaces” or “dog clothing”.
PRO TIP: When you search for products, be sure to sort them by the tab that is labeled “orders”. This will display the items by the number of products the manufacturer has sold.
This will give you a great idea as to which products are the best sellers. Try to pick items near the top of this list.
Once you have your products picked out, the last thing you need to do is import them through the Oberlo App.
Here is the magic of Oberlo. You can import products, their description, their prices and pictures all with one click.
There are two ways to use Oberlo, either through Shopify or a downloadable extension through Chrome.
They are both really easy to use.
Congratulations, you are now ready to start your online business!
Your store should now be at a point where you are ready to go out there start selling. Feel free to continue making improvements to the store where you see fit.
For example, you may want to take this time to add a logo, add some pictures to your homepage or spruce up your about us page.
Please let me know what you think of this tutorial. If you guys enjoyed it, I can write more tutorials on advanced topics such as sales techniques, social media marketing and generating organic traffic.