When it comes starting an online business, things can be very daunting. There are endless things you have to consider such as how to achieve a successful start, how to not lose all the money,
how to modify the website and increase the conversion rate, and so on. However, there are other ways to build an online store with a hassle-free experience. There are various popular e-commerce platforms through which you can open an online store and Shopify is one of it. If you’re thinking about starting an online store in Sri Lanka, Shopify can be your most preferable to open an online store with complete superiority, efficiency, simplicity and best user-friendly features.
Shopify offers you one of the easiest and reliable ways to build an online store by yourself. It does not require any technical specialization except that you know how to use the internet and how to browse through a website features. Shopify provides you with an opportunity to earn some extra cash and open a store as a full-time business. Whatever you choose, you will get to enjoy lots of benefits from both the options without facing any serious complication like losing your business.
By the way, If you are looking for a web design Sri Lanka agency to handle your shopify shopping cart setup process, you can drop us an email to get our premium help too.
One of the most attractive thins about choosing Shopify is that it don’t take days or hours to open an online store. It will just take a smooth internet connection, a desktop or laptop, and 15-20 minutes of your time and your job will be done. From there you can list your products and bring your website into the public eye. Now, before we begin with the Shopify tutorial for beginners, let’s have a look at some of the factors that make Shopify the best choice for building an online store:
Benefits of Choosing Shopify For Opening An Online Store
- A user-friendly platform – At Shopify, it is very easy to setup and works on an online store. It is one of the most effective choices for those who are looking for a comprehensive solution for their online business and that too without facing any technical issues that come with the development of an online store. Shopify has assisted many store owners in the past in building their online store website in the easiest way possible. It doesn’t involve any wastage of time, money, and other resources on your part. Shopify offers a wide range of benefits, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to start an online store.
- Easy and uncomplicated procedures – The best part about Shopify is that it is quite effortless and unambiguous to use. Shopify’s admin interface is not difficult to use. It is distinct, spontaneous, and straightforward in nature. Even if you are just a regular internet user, you can still open an online store with Shopify easily. In addition, if you already own an online store and having difficulty running it smoothly and successfully, you can easily operate an online store on Shopify. It’s that easy.
- Safety and Reliability – Another advantage that comes with Shopify is that this platform offers the high level of security and reliability for both sellers and the customers. When it comes to buying and selling online, security is the main concern for both sellers and buyers as a weak security system can leak their confidential personal and financial information to the harmful entities. Likewise, online store must always be accessible to the customers, otherwise, the store might lose its competitiveness and also current and potential customers. Shopify is not only safe and reliable, it also looks after upkeep and upgrades.
- Helpful customer support – Shopify employs very effective and efficient customer support teams, that provide all sorts of help whether it is related to marketing, website developing or designing. They are always available and fully equipped to help you with your online store website. The Shopify team includes skilled and experienced people such as developers and designers. They create some very informative and engaging content for their audience, which also helps the online store owners in promoting their products and grow their online business.
- Catchy Online Store – Shopify platform offers a wide range of professional templates that will allow you to create well-defined and attractive looking online store. Also, the customer support team also helps in creating an exceptional UI and UX based online store.
- Low-cost – Shopify is an affordable e-commerce platform. Here, you can start your online store with a very low fee as compared to some other popular platforms on the Internet. Shopify is equipped with advanced software and tools and one can easily afford them without burdening their overall budget. From the starting of your online store to running it smoothly, Shopify is dedicated to optimizing the online sales for your business. It helps with SEO, social media marketing, improving conversion rates, safe payment system, and many more. Shopify charges a low fee for every month and helps you in concentrating on your business and increasing the brand awareness.
- Superior website loading speed – One of the most important in the success of an online store is the website loading speed. Slow speed can be very damaging for your online store as your customer will move on to the next option if your website takes too long to load completely. Shopify comes with a dependable structure together with advanced software and hardware. This platform allows your online store a faster loading speed.
- Mobile-friendly features – Shopify offers mobile responsive themes. It means that users can access your online store through their mobiles without compromising the quality of your online store. Your website will be optimized for mobile, and you can even manage your store using some free Android apps from a mobile phone like iPhone.
How To Make a Shopify Store In Sri Lanka?
Now that you know why Shopify is an ideal e-commerce platform for building your online store business, you must be wondering how to make a Shopify store in Sri Lanka.
Given below are the step by step guidelines for how to create Shopify Online Store Sri Lanka store:
01) Join Shopify For Free
The first step is to sign up with Shopify. You will have to provide your details for signing up. Initially, you will get a free trial of 14 days so as to provide you with a chance to see and try all the features of Shopify. When you decide to upgrade your membership, you will be able to enjoy more advanced features offered by Shopify.
To sign up for free, follow the steps mentioned below:
1a) Go to the official website of Shopify.
1b) There enter the email address and click on “Start free trial” ( or on the top right corner, click on ‘Start Free Trial. )
A pop window will appear with the registration form.
1c) Enter your email address & password, the name of the store in that form. Then click on ‘ Create Your Store ’.
Tip : When choosing a store name, make sure that you choose a unique name so that you won’t have any difficulty in filling the registration form.
A pop window will appear with another form.
1d) If you are simply looking to try the Shopify features, then click on ‘I’m just playing around’ from the drop-down menu ‘Are you ready selling?’
Next, Choose ‘I’m just getting started’ from the drop-down menu of ‘What is your current revenue?’.
Do not tick on ‘Yes, I’m designing/developing a store for a client’.
Now, click on ‘Next‘.
1e) Next, you will be taken to the page where you will be required to give your details including your real name, valid address, country name where you are residing, your contact number etc.
At last, click on ‘ Enter My Store’.
You will be taken to Shopify Dashboard ( Incase if it does not show, you can login with your username and password )
Important : You will get a message to your email in order to confirm the email address of yours. So login to your email and confirm ( Email will expire within 24 hours )
02) Shopify admin dashboard
Once you have signed in with the Shopify, then you will be directed to your Shopify store admin dashboard. Shopify interface is very easy to understand and it won’t take you long to understand all its features and settings. On the dashboard, you can start building your store, upload information about your products, set up a payment and shipping system. For Shopify payment gateways in Sri Lanka, use 2checkout ( International Gateway ) or Payhere ( A popular local gateway ).
03) Pick A Layout For Website Design ( Optional)
At this stage, pick a theme for your store.( It is not necessary. You can continue with the default theme settings too ) Shopify themes are attractive and will enhance your store’s features in the best possible way. You can go to Shopify theme store where you will get to choose from hundreds of official Shopify themes, both free themes and premium. You will also get to see review and 3D demo for each theme.
3a) After choosing your favorite theme, you can click on ‘Start with this theme’, which is a blue color button on the theme page ( using ‘View Demo’ button, you can see a live preview ).
3b) Then enter your store url ( If you cannot remember it, Go to Dashboard > Click on the ‘eye’ symbol in front of ‘Online Store’ link on left hand side menu )
3c) Then click on “ Add Theme”
3d) Once the theme has installed, a confirmation message of successful installation will appear in dashboard. Now, scroll the page down, choose ‘Action’ and click on ‘Publish’ from the drop-down menu. . Again click on “Publish” button on popup window.
( You can also click on ‘Online Store’ and then choose ‘Theme’ from the left-click menu and choose ‘Publish’ )
You can change the outlook of most of the Shopify themes from the Shopify store. To make the small changes, go to the admin page where you can choose ‘Themes’ from the left-hand menu under the ‘Online Store’ button.
Shopify provides a very interesting feature for themes recognized as ‘ Duplicate’ which creates a duplicate copy of the original theme. Just click on ‘Action’ and choose ‘Duplicate’ from the drop-down menu. This will create a duplicate of the original theme and you can make the changes you like in the duplicate theme. If you are not happy with the changes, you can go back to the original theme.
Next, near the ‘Action’ button, there is another button ‘Customize’. This button will help you control the primary functions of your online store. You can change colors, upload logo, images, font, etc.
04) List your products in your online store
Once you have decided on your theme and made whatever changes you want, add products to your online store. On the left side menu of the admin page, click on ‘Products’ and then click on the ‘Add Product‘ button that will appear on the screen.
Enter the product name, its description, and URL based on how to optimize your product’s visibility.
Along with the description, you can also add high-quality images of the product.
You can also upload the product pictures. If you keep all the images of your products in the same size, your online store will look neat and attractive, making it easier for users to navigate through your products. Once you are done with the name, descriptions, images, etc. click on ‘Save Product’ button. It will add the product to your online store.
05) Categorize or Group Your Products (Collections)
After adding products to your online store, you would have to categorize your products, i. e.. you would have to create Collections for your products. The collection is a feature that has been added by Shopify in order to make it easier for your customers to browse through your products. For example, you can create collections based on your product types like clothes for men, clothes for women, clothes for kids, jewelry, footwear for men or women or kids, etc. You can also create Collection based on Sales, different promotions, colors, sizes, etc.
At Shopify, Collections are quite flexible and you can add one product under different collections. The collections of your online store will be accessible on the home page of your store. To create Collections you can follow these steps:
5a) Go to ‘Products’ accessible from the left-side menu of your store’s home page. Then click on ‘Collections’ from the list under ‘Product’
5b) Now click on ‘Create Collections’ and then you can enter the details based on the types of your products. You can check other websites like Amazon / Ebay / Aliexpress to see how they have categorized their product collections.
Shopify allows you to set collections both automatically and manually depending on what you prefer.
Manual – When adding Collections manually, you can add or take out products from the manual collection.
Automatic – In this, you will just have to select some conditions and the Shopify system will automatically categorize your products.
You can update the main menu using “Navigation” link under “Online Store” on left hand side.
Eg : If you want to add a collection as a menu link. Go to “Navigation” > ” Main Menu”. Then Click on ” Add menu item”. Next type a “Name” for menu item and choose Collection from “Link” drop down list. Choose a collection and then click on “add”. Same way you can add any type of link to main menu.
07) Shopify Payment Gateways in Sri Lanka
A payment gateway can be defined as an e-commerce platform that processes online payments. At payment gateways, your customers will be able to make payment for their purchases from your online store. These gateways allow you to get paid directly through your online store website. Before you choose a payment gateway service provider for your online store, make sure that your chosen service is accessible in the country where your target audience lives.
For hiring the services of Shopify payment gateways in Sri Lanka, you would have to pay some fees. It can be in the form of a percentage or flat fee or it can be a combination of both. One of the best things about hiring payment gateway services is that they only charge a fee when your customer makes a purchase and makes payment on your website. As a result, you won’t have to keep track of the gateway fee on regular basis or on monthly basis.
With payment gateway, you would also have to pick payment methods. You would have to see what type of cards are acceptable with your payment gateway service, and whether those cards are accessible to your target audience or not. For Shopify payment gateways in Sri Lanka, you should pick 2checkout or Payhere ( for both ipg’s, you will have to apply individually at respective websites with your Business Registration details )as these are the payment gateways that are supported in Sri Lanka.
Not all payment gateways are created equal. You can also set up Paypal as a payment gateway, however, it will only work if you have a receivable Paypal account.
Let’s have a look at these payment gateways:
- 2checkout – 2Checkout is one of the payment processing platforms all over the world. It allows its clients to receive payments from their customers from all over the world. Customers can make payment through mobile and other online payment methods including localized payment choices. 2checkout comprises of a pre-integrated payment system, merchant account for payment processing, and protection against fraud. You can receive Paypal ( Yes, you can receive paypal payments to your 2checkout account ! No need to have a paypal account ! ), master card, visa card payments from your customers easily.
- PayHere – PayHere is one of the first ever low cost internet-based payment gateway from Sri Lanka. PayHere lets you receive payments from multiple means of online payment like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, ezcash, mCash & Banking. It offers a variety of user-friendly features and has a very secure andsmooth payment infrastructure.
Enable a payment gateway in Shopify – mentioned below are the steps:
- Click on ‘Settings’ and then go to ‘Payment Providers’.
- Then you can use the ‘Accept credit cards’ to change the existing payment gateway.
- You can pick 2Checkout, Paypal or other gateways based on your preference. ( in order to add Payhere, refer the Payhere Knowledgebase for step by step instructions )
08) Manage taxes and shipping information
In tax and shipping section, you would have to update information about how do you want to approach taxes and shipping details of your online store.
8a) For general settings, you can go to ‘Settings’ and then click on ‘General’. There you will be able to modify or update the details pertaining to your address including store address, currency info along with formats. It is better to recheck everything before moving on to next phase.
8b) Next, for taxes rates, go to ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Taxes’. In this section, you can either enable or disable features related to your tax details. Using “Edit” button you can adjust the general tax rate.
To update tax settings for each product individually, click on ‘Products’ on the left side menu and then tick on ‘Charge taxes on this product’ below price segment. If your product is tangible, then you tick ‘This is a physical product’ and also enter the product weight. And if you are selling a non-tangible product, you won’t have to tick this box.
8c) For shipping details, choose ‘Settings’ and then click on ‘Shipping’. In this section, you will find an ‘Edit’. Using this, you can change or update your Shipping Address. Now for Shipping rates, it is important that you provide your customers with a variety of choices, or your customer might move on to next choice in online store. You can choose shipping rates based on different locations by using the ‘Add shipping zone’ button. You can also update packaging details, other ship
09) Test your order system
After updating shipping and tax details, test your order system. For testing your order system, you can use two methods. First is ‘Bogus Order Test’, and the second is ‘Real Order Test’. Let’s have a look at them:
Method 1 : Bogus Order Test
You can perform an order testing before your customers actually start placing an order with you. It will help you see whether your system is working well or not and if you need to make any improvements or corrections. Given below are the steps on how to do it:
- On the Admin page, click on ‘Settings’, choose ‘Payments’ from it, and then go to ‘Payments’ settings.
- If your credit card or debit card gateway is activated, then deactivate it before moving on to the next stage. For deactivating it, click on ‘Edit’, then choose ‘Deactivate’, and then again confirm the deactivation.
- Go to ‘Accept credit cards’ section. Then click on ‘Select a Credit Card Gateway’ and a drop-down menu will appear. Move down on the list and then click on ‘(for testing) Bogus Gateway’.
- Then click on ‘Activate’ or ‘Reactivate’ in case you have used the Bogus test method before in the past.
- Now go to your store-front and place an order with your online store as a customer. Then for payment at checkout, enter the bogus credit card details instead of authentic numbers.
Method 2 : Real Order Test
Now when you choose real order testing method, in this you test your order system using a real payment gateway with a real transaction. Given below are the steps on how to do it:
- Now before using this method, make sure that you have set up the payment gateway that you are going to test
- Then make a real purchase of a product from your online store ( You can set the price of the item to lowest possible value and test it ! ) and make the payment with real credit card details instead of fake ones like Bogus test method.
- Then cancel your order straightaway in order to get a refund
- Do a cross check with your payment gateway service provider to ensure that your transaction was completed successfully. ( If your gateway provider has a different way to test the gateway. You may use that method )
10) Think about purchasing a Domain Name
In order to make your website accessible to internet users or potential online audience, you will have to take your store website live and for that, you will be requiring a domain name. You can pick from two available choices.
The first choice is that you can purchase your domain name from Shopify and the name will be placed with your online Shopify Sri Lanka store automatically ( Easiest way for you ). It will save you lots of time and it is especially useful for those who have almost no prior knowledge about how to host a website. These domains are usually priced around aprox. $9-$14 USD annually.
- Fist click on ‘Online Store’ on the home page, and then go to ‘Domain’.
- There you must click on ‘Buy New domain’ and buy the domain name accordingly.
The second choice is to buy your domain name from a third party. Charges can vary based on the party who is selling the domain name. The main disadvantage of this method is that you would have to perform the intimidating task of redirecting the DNS records by yourself. The top domains are .com, .net, .info, etc. Ensure that you come up with a nice domain name. Now once you’ve found the name of your domain, you can take your online store live using a third-party domain name.
At last, you would have to take out any store-front passwords or customers will not be able to access your website. For this go to ‘Online Store’ on the admin page, then choose ‘Preferences’, and there untick ‘Enable Password’. Then click on ‘Save’.
( Note : You may not be able to disable password, if you are using the trial. So once you upgrade to a paid package. You will be able to do it easily ! )
By following these steps in Shopify tutorial for beginners, you can successfully build Shopify Sri Lanka online store and start selling !
If you are looking for a Shopify Web Designer or Web Developer in Sri Lanka to build your online store for you or need any technical assistance, We can help you and our service charge is starting from $200.