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How to Start an Online Store - Part 3: Develop

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Well hello again and welcome to part 3 of this four-part series on how to start an online store.

If this is the first article of the series you’ve landed on, then I highly recommend starting at the first part in the series How to Start an Online Store - Part 1: Define

I wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the valuable information that I shared in part one and two.

Okay, so as a recap. In part one of this series, we went through defining your brand by:

  1. Define your customer avatar

  2. Choose your niche product

  3. Decide on your business name

  4. Create your mood board and basic branding

  5. Set-up your custom domain

  6. Set-up your social media accounts

In part two I talked about how to create and/or source the perfect products for your online store and then how to create product mock-ups and images to upload into your online store.

Okay, so ready for part 3? This is the fun part: developing your online store!

Part 3: Develop

Step 1: Sign-up & Create an Account With Shopify

To get started, you’ll want to sign and create an account with Shopify. Use my link to get access to a FREE 14-day trial with Shopify so you can get your account up and running today.

Side note: This is also the easiest step in this framework, as it takes less than 5 minutes to get signed-up and start working on creating your online store.

Step 2: Choose & Upload Your Theme

So once you've signed up with Shopify, you'll want to head on over to the Shopify theme store and browse the available theme templates to use in your online store.

Here you’ll discover hundreds of different paid and free themes. I recommend starting with a free Shopify theme as they’re perfect for beginners. All of Shopify’s themes are customisable so you can truly make it your own.

If you're looking for theme recommendations then check out this video where I review 3 different free Shopify themes that are perfect for beginners.

Once you have chosen your theme, you’ll then want to upload it to your online store ready for you to start customising.

Step 3: Customising the Theme to Match your Brand

Remember in "Part One: Create" of this series, where we went through creating a mood board and basic branding for your business? Well, this is where it all starts to come together.

So with your mood board and branding elements handy, you want to use these as inspiration to start designing and customising your online store.

Use the colours, text and images from your mood board to start editing elements and sections within your theme.

You’ll also want to insert your logo, add in your social media links and create the overall design of your online store to make it your own.

Think customising your theme is too overwhelming? I promise, it's not. But if you need some guidance, please feel free to sign-up for my FREE course, Build Your Online Store with an easy to follow training module that goes through this EXACT process.

Step 4: Set Up Preferences & Settings

Within the Shopify dashboard, you will want to make your way to the 'General Settings' and 'Preference Settings' to update your general business information.

As every business and online store is unique, selling their own individual products and business structure, I would highly recommend you take your time, going through each setting section carefully.

You want to ensure your online store is set-up correctly and updated with all the relevant information regarding your unique business type.

Step 5: Set Up Product Listings with Descriptions & Images

Once you’ve reached this point, you’ll have created and/or sourced the products you’re going to sell, along with your all your product mock-ups ready for you to add them into your online store.

To add your products to your Shopify store, you need to navigate to the Products tab and then click on Add new product. This is where you'll start adding your product information. Start with the product title, product description, your images, add in the item price, add in any variations (if required) and any other information that is specific to your product.

A bonus tip: Be sure to add captivating and TRUTHFUL product descriptions that go in-depth about your products. Add as much product information as possible to help your potential customers visualise the product they're about to purchase. This also helps to eliminate returns based on the item not being delivered as promised in your description.

Here's the overview:

The steps that we covered in part 3: develop:

  1. Create an account with Shopify

  2. Choose and upload your theme

  3. Customize the theme to match your brand

  4. Set up your store’s preferences and settings

  5. Set up your product listings with enticing descriptions & images

In the fourth and final part of this series, I’ll be going through launching your online store, ready for you to make that oh-so-exciting first sale.




I'm Alicia.

I'm a wife & mama from the beautiful city of Adelaide in South Australia.


A self taught business owner who loves geeking out over all things business & strategies.

I'm here to provide guidance & tools to help you start & launch a successful online business selling digital products.

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