How to set up Shopify store without tech – Episode 2

Your Shopify store is ready, the basic settings are all set (If your store isn’t ready yet, our Episode 1 will help you on that). So, how to set up Shopify store that engages customers? You must be super excited to work with it, right? What are you going to do now?

  • Make some modifies to fit your style
  • Start adding products to the Shopify store to make it look better
  • And overall, you want to have the first orders come in.

If you answer “Yes” for all, it’s time to start working with Shopify, the fastest-growing eCommerce platform, preferred by over 820,000 merchants all over the world.


It’s time to dive in!

How to set up Shopify store – Theme customisation

Your Shopify store is ready, and you want it to look nice. But, you’re not a web designer, you’re not interested in learning to code your own theme for the store. Shopify offers lots of theme templates, both free and paid. They all have cool capabilities, and importantly, they’re all customisable. No coding skill required, visit their theme store to pick up the most suitable theme to set up your store!

How to choose a theme

Go to your Online Store > Themes. Scroll down then click on Explore free themes.

Choose Explore free themes

There are lots of Shopify themes, free and paid. But for now, we stick for free ones. Later on, if you want to explore more and pay for your theme, you can do that. Many themes offer many options. If you know how to work with one of them, you will be able to work with any theme. Free and paid themes work in the same way. If they have any other option, you can ask for support, or they will come with tutorials to show you how to work with them. So don’t worry.

We’re gonna choose the Simple theme, Beauty style.

Choose the Simple

Select the Beauty style then click Add to theme library

Theme customisation instruction

How to set up Shopify store by customising your theme? Go back to the dashboard.

Click on Customize. Here you will find all the options will be able to change your theme.

This is how the store looks like. The logo isn’t in the store, so we need to customise it. You can scroll through the preview area on the right and see all the different possibilities and we’re gonna start going through this part of how to set up Shopify store.

The video below guides you in detail how to add the logo to your Shopify store:

Adding logo to your Shopify store

Every theme has the Sections area

A quick note of how Shopify themes are structured: each theme has different options and it’s really up to the theme developer of what the options are and how they’re structured. However, they all have the Sections area which has some cool capabilities. 

For example, if you click into the Featured collection, you’ll then get to edit the settings for this section. However, if you don’t want this section to appear, you can actually just hit the eye icon to hide it. Now, it’s hidden and it isn’t gonna show up on the live version of your store.

Hiding section you don’t want to appear

But, it’s still in the Sections area so that you can start customising it, and then just turn it back on as soon as you’re ready. 

You can also drag and drop it and you can see that it’s gonna change its positioning on the page.

Drag & drop sections within your Shopify store

So, there are lots of cool capabilities you can do and we’re going to start going through all of this now.

Customising Announcement Bar

The first option is the Announcement Bar. If we click into that, you can click to Show announcement, and this would be something if you were doing a sale or free shipping after a certain bulks amount is reached. You would want to have it right at the homepage to really kind of call attention to it.

Type in your announcement

Then, you can come in and customise the background colour. All the changes you made wouldn’t be live until you save and publish this theme. It lets you really see in real-time what it looks like.

Change the colour of the Announcement to make it stand out

Adding sections to theme

For those who don’t know how to set up Shopify store, it’s necessary to know that Shopify also lets users add a section to their themes. For example, we want to add a video telling our brand story. Click into Add section, then it will show you different options to select.

You can add different sections into your theme

After adding a video to the store, we can optimise its heading, put a link to it. If you don’t want to help this section anymore, just click Remove section.

Adding a section to your store


Let’s go ahead and customise the Header area. 

Customising Header area

The first option is adding a logo. So we’re going to just select it and we’re gonna upload from computer.

Upload your logo to store

Next, you have the Navigation. For this theme, the Main menu will be customised in the Sidebar.

Go to Sidebar to edit or make any change for the Main menu

You’ll be delivered to the Navigation in the Store admin.

Click on the Add menu item

We will add the Contact us page to the Main menu, but before to be able to add that page, you should have this page before. We’ll show you after. But for now, we need to know how to add pages to the store.

Adding pages

We’re going to create pages. Pages are very important as they’re going to be used in the Header (the Main menu). 

Go back to your Online Store > Pages > Add page

We’re going create Contact Us page, for example

Fill in your Page title and give it some descriptions, then click Save.

Create your Contact Us page

Make sure you choose the template. And this is how the page looks like:

Contact Us page is created

So, How to add pages to the main menu?

Go back to Online Store > Navigation > Main menu > Add menu items

Add About Us page to your main menu

Choose Pages

Find for About Us > Add

This is the new main menu:

New main menu after adding pages

How to add products and collections?

How to set up a Shopify store that engages customers? Fill it with products and collections. Of course, you should know what to sell on Shopify. You can add products before creating collections. But we’ll create collections first, then assign products to collections. Let’s go!

Creating a collection

Go to Shopify Admin > Products > Collections

Adding collections from Shopify Admin

Name and describe your collection

Scroll down to Conditions, check the Automatically select products based on conditions. Then you add the condition of the products that belong to this collection.

Select the Product tag from the drop-down menu.

Assign product tag

When you have this tag on your product, this product will be automatically added to this collection. 

Now your store has product collection. Now, let’s see:

Adding products to Shopify

There are two ways to add products to your store: manually and automatically. Take a look at manual approach first!

Manually adding products to store:

From your Shopify admin, Go to Products > All products > Add product.

Manually add products to Shopify store

To add a product, give it a title, the description and some images, the price, and shipping information. 

Start by giving the product name, then add a description. Describe your product in detail to inform and persuade potential customers. If you’re using Oberlo, it’s best to rewrite the provided description.

Give your product a title and clear description

Next, click Upload image and select images to include. Remember, the visuals are a key factor in whether a customer decides to make a purchase or not.

Upload product images and set price

If you run a sale campaign, you might need to set the compare price (before and after the sale) as a trigger to push customers to place an order. 

Compare at price is the original price for a product that’s on sale. For example, if you enter 20$ as the compare at price and leave the price at 10$, the product displays as 10$ off. 

Cost per item is how much the product costs you. If you resell a product, enter the price you paid the manufacturer, excluding taxes, shipping… Or, if you create the product yourself, enter a value that is based on your labour and material costs. 

Click Charge tax on this product if the product is taxable. 

If your product comes with various choices, like a T-shirt in different sizes, Shopify will deal with this for you. Simply tell it what sizes, colours or materials are available for each product.

Adding variants for your product

Quick note:
Keep in mind that Shopify allows maximum 3 variant options (size, colour, etc) and the number of variants in total doesn’t go beyond 100. It’s the limitation of Shopify. To find out more about this, refer to this post.

To assign a product to a collection, go to Tags, add the tag of the collection we’ve created before.

Assign product to a collection

After entering the collection tag, the product is automatically added to that collection.

Now, you know how to add products to your Shopify store manually, but if you have lots of products, what should you do?

Bulk import products into your Shopify store

To do this, you have to have a certain type of formatting to import your products. The best way to go about this is to actually download the sample CSV file that Shopify provides. To get this file, hit Import and click “Download a sample CSV template”. Once you click that, it will download it to your computer and you can open it with Microsoft Excel.

Download the CSV file to import your products

Then, this is the sample template set up for you:

CSV sample file from Shopify

So, we’re going to put in some information pretending like we’re going to pull in new products. 

Take these 3 products as examples:

  • Deniferymakeup Bridal Rose Gold
  • Artio Bride Wedding Hair
  • Barogirl Crystal Hair Piece
Get to know the sample file

We’ll go through each column to ensure you understand the function of each.

  1. Column title: Title of your product
Fill your product title to Title column

2. Handle column:

The handle is what the product URL will display as on your site in the URL bar. And you can see that in the given example, there are lots of dashes. So you can just copy the titles, paste them to the “Handle”, and put in dashes between. And, remember to lowercase everything.

For example: 

  • Product title: Deniferymakeup Bridal Rose Gold
  • Handle: deniferymakeup-bridal-rose-gold
Handle column is product titles with dashes

3. Column Body HTML:

This is actually your product description, so just put the description into this column.

Body HTML: product description

4. Column vendor:

If you want to do a vendor, you could put a name to this column. If you didn’t, you could just go without it.

You can have vendor or not, it’s up to you

5. Column Product Type:

Just put in your type of product here.

Your product type

6. Column Tags:

You can put in your tags in here, or not, it’s up to you. 

Put your product tags into this column

7. Column Published:

For Published, you do need to have either TRUE or FALSE. If you want to publish your product on the site, just give it a TRUE value.

Give your products TRUE value if you want to publish them on the site

8. Column Option1 Name:

This is a little bit different. Right now, we have 3 products with 3 rows. However, the options for this field might be size/colour… So we need to break the product down into multiple lines.

Give your product an option name (size for example)

9. Column Option1 Value:

You can see in the example that it has the Title for Option1 Namethen it has small, medium and large for Option1 Value. So for these 3 products, we have small, medium and large. Insert 2 rows for each, so we have small, medium and large size for each product.

Option1 Value: small-medium-large

We’re not going to do any of the other options, so the next field is the variant SKU. You can do an SKU and this can be whatever you want it to be named as. So we’ll copy from the Handle column then put it to the Variant SKU column. Then put the “small” at the end, do the same with “medium” and large, like the picture below:

Column Variant SKU

10. Column Variant Inventory Tracker:

This is if you want Shopify to manage the inventory or if you don’t want any inventory tracked at all. For this example, we’re going to have Shopify track the inventory:

Put “Shopify” if you want the platform to track your inventory Column Variant Inventory quantity:

Just enter the quality of products you have in your stock here.

Enter the number of products you have in stock into variant inventory quantity

12. Column Variant Inventory Policy:

This is whether someone can purchase the product if it’s out of stock. So, if you’ve sold your only one of this version, are you going to let people still purchase it, even though you don’t have it in stock? Or are you going to show it as Sold out? For this example, we’re just going to have it deny to not allow them to purchase that.

Leave deny if you don’t allow people to purchase your out-of-stock products

13. Column Variant Price:

As its name, you put your products price in this column

Fill this column with products price

14. Column Compare at Price:

If you want your product to be on sale, you could have that compare at price. For example, the Deniferymakeup Bridal Rose Gold, Size Small is 15$ but originally it was 20$.

Variant Compare at Price shows a product is on sale

13. Column Variant Requires Shipping:

This is TRUE for lots of merchants. Almost all the products (we mean physical) need delivery service. However, it’ll be FALSE in case you are selling digital products.

Set Variant Shipping as TRUE if you’re not selling digital products

16. Column Variant Taxable:

Again, this is gonna be true for lots of merchants. Of course, you can set up your tax settings in Shopify in terms of which states and countries get taxed but you want to make sure if the products are set up is true if you have a wholesale product. Then that would probably be a FALSE for that but that’s going to be really depending on your inventory.

Fill this column with TRUE if your products require taxes

Some of the other fields are not as necessary so there are things like your barcode which you may not have.

In terms of images source, you can actually go ahead and upload your images to Shopify, then put the link in the file. However, we find it a lot easier to actually just add the images once you have the product set up. But if you did add an image, you could do an image alt text (this is for SEO settings). 

The other fields here are in terms of the gift card and then you go through a lot of Google and SEO settings which you don’t have to set up.

So, we’re going to go ahead and not fill out this information and a lot of that will auto-populate based on the import when you add in products with your description and everything. 

It’s a lot easier to go in and actually edit that in Shopify.

Upload your file

So, before importing products, delete the sample rows to avoid confusion. Save the file and upload to Shopify.

Go back to your Shopify admin > Products > All products > Import

Then choose the upload file.

You’d see a preview of what it looks like. We’re importing 3 products with a total of 9 SKUs which was small, medium and large, and no images:

A preview of our import products

And this is the total products of our store after importing:

Our store products after importing

Quick note:
Filling information to Shopify CSV file is still way too handy, what about if you want to import thousand of products from another eCommerce platform? Shopify apps store provides some apps help you handle this like ExcelifyEZ Importer. The first one offers both free and paid plan, while the latter charges you 20$ for 100 imports.

And now, your store looks just like you imagined, doesn’t it?

We’ve shown you how to add products and product variants to Shopify store. So what’s the next important part of how to set up Shopify store?

Set up payment and shipping information

Payments information set up

Go to Settings > Payments

There’re so many options for you to choose, but we recommend you 2 most popular methods: Paypal and Credit Card.

  • Paypal is widely used
  • Some people use a Credit card rather than Paypal
Go to Settings to set up payment information

There is also Shopify payment but we don’t suggest you use this. To use Shopify payment, you must reside in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hongkong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, UK, and the USA. While we think not all of all residents in those nations. So, we’re not gonna walk through setting up Shopify payments.

Now, you choose your payment methods

If you’re not using Shopify payments, you can choose from over 100 credit cards payment providers for your Shopify store. Check out this to see what payment providers are available in your area. Check the available list carefully and make your own decision. 

You did add payment information. Let’s see how to put shipping information to your Shopify store!

Shipping information set up

Go to Settings > Shipping

Select Shipping to add information

Look at Rates at checkout > Manage rate

Manage rates at checkout

When you sign up to Shopify account, you are asked to add your business address. This address is automatically used in the Shipping from section.

Click to Create shipping zone to define the destination

Then, fill in the destination you want to ship to:

Click Add rate button to add a shipping rate

To add shipping rate, click into Add rate:

Click Add rate button to add a shipping rate

Then, you define your rate.

Define your rate

And, this is the shipping rate we’ve added:

Our store’s shipping rate

If you find it hard to manage shipping, you might want to seek for apps help you with this. AftershipEasyship and ShipStation are shipping apps you can consider trying.

We made our store look and feel more like a store! 

It all took about an hour to set up a Shopify store. There’s plenty of work to be done, but it’s worth having your own online store. There are many more things to do with your Shopify store, but for now, this should be enough to have your site ready to go! 

Before leaving, we want to announce an Advanced guide on how to set up Shopify store in our next episode! You will find awesome instructions and tricks that might help you boost your Shopify store conversion! See you in the next article!

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