Hello, everybody. Anton Kraly here from dropshiplifestyle.com. That is where we help our members build highly profitable semi-automated stores by drop shipping high ticket products from domestic suppliers. Now, to build these stores, the platform that I recommend and the platform that I've been using exclusively since way back in 2012 is Shopify. Ever since I started using it, it just blew the competition out of the water, and that's why today in this episode, I want to share eight things to know before building a Shopify store for yourself. These are things that should help anybody that is either thinking of moving their existing store to the Shopify platform, or for anybody out there that's looking at building their first store using Shopify. These are some things that get questions about, some things I think it's important to put out there that will help you make better decisions from the first time you launch a Shopify store.
So, the first thing that you should know is that you can migrate an existing store to the Shopify platform. So let's just say you're already up and running somewhere else. Maybe you're on big commerce, Magento, Volusion pretty much any eCommerce platform out there in the Shopify App Store, they have different importers. Now what these importers will do is connect to your existing store and you can basically grant access to Shopify where it will pull in all of your information; your product pages, your contact pages, your About Us pages, and your products, even previous orders, you can migrate into Shopify. So what I don't want anybody to do is think, "I'm going to switch from so-and-so to Shopify," and then think they have to start over. No, you can literally click a few buttons and have all of your previous store information, go straight into Shopify, and of course there'll be some tweaks and things you need to do, but it's much, much less work than starting over. So if the migration process has been holding you back, again, just know there's apps that will do the majority of the work for you and save you a ton of time.
Now, second thing that is extremely important to note is that you can actually get a 30 day free trial with Shopify. Now, the standard free trial is 14 days. We have a deal with them where our members and our community can get 30 days for free. If you want to take advantage of that, it should be a no brainer. You don't need to put in a credit card, you don't need to build a store. You can literally play around, see if you like it, and after 30 days, if you do enter a credit card number and keep it. Now, if you want that special link, it is dsl.life/shopify. I'm going to link it up as the top link in the description of this episode as well, so definitely, again, even if you're considering playing around with Shopify and giving it a chance, take the 30 day free trial, no credit card required dsl.life/shopify, really an unbelievable offer.
I'll also mention before we move on that, this is for a limited time. So at the time of recording, this, that offer is available, but I don't think it's going to be around forever. So if you want that, get it sooner rather than later. Also is our partner link, so if you decide to take it, you stick with Shopify, we earn a commission, you get an extra 16 free days. It's a win-win for everybody.
Now, the third thing that everybody needs to know before signing up for Shopify is that they're $29 a month plan is more than enough for the majority of merchants, meaning us, right, online sellers out there. Now Shopify has multiple plans. And the ones that they'll show you when you're actually going to sign up and pay is a $29 a month plan. That is the basic Shopify. Then they have a plan for $79 a month, then they have a plan for $299 a month, then they have Shopify Plus, which is a lot more. And when you're looking at these options, you might think, "Well, I should probably go for the $79 a month plan." Listen, again for most sellers, I think almost everybody that I've helped, which is over 10,000 students, from over 50 different countries, and even including myself, almost all of our stores are on that $29 a month plan, so don't just upgrade because you think you want to a higher tier package. I'll post the link that shows you what comes in each but $29, more than enough, don't overspend where you don't have to.
Now the fourth thing that everybody should know before building a Shopify store is that you should choose your theme wisely. And what I mean by this is, when you first sign up with Shopify, you basically get a blank template, right? You have their default theme that you can then edit to control how your store looks. Now, Shopify has a built in theme store, and in the theme store, they have free themes, they have paid themes. Either way, you can choose any of these, and it can change the way your store looks. Basically, give you something different to work off of, something different to edit. Think of it as just a overarching design of your store. That's what a theme is, and from the theme, you then make your edits to make it your own.
The first thing I would say is the Shopify Theme Store, most themes in there are great. There's also third-party markets where you can purchase themes outside of Shopify. For the majority of them, I don't recommend. Out of the Sandbox is a company that has great ones. We also have a theme for Drop Ship Lifestyle members, but if you're not using something from Out of the Sandbox or from Drop Ship Lifestyle, I would recommend choosing a theme from within the Shopify Theme Store, because those themes have been vetted by Shopify. Now, the reason you want to choose wisely is because some themes are faster than others. Some themes have extra code that you might not need, that's going to slow down your website and that's going to hurt you because speed is the name of the game; you want your site to load as fast as possible. So you don't want some big, bulky, outdated code theme that you don't need.
The other reason it's important to choose your theme wisely from the beginning, is because let's just say, you sign up today, you build a store, and three months go by, or six months go by, or a year goes by, and you decide you want to change your theme. Now you can do that, that's totally fine, very easy to do within Shopify. But the thing is, when you change your theme, it doesn't just transfer everything over to the new one. It transfers things over like your products and your product descriptions and prices, that all goes over, but things like your color schemes and things like the images that you add to certain pages of your store, and things like different code you might have added in, that will have to be added if you switch themes. So it's possible, but it's better to choose a theme you think you're going to use for a while from day one, so you don't need to do double work. And of course, so you have a theme that actually loads fast and gets people to stay on your store and buy from you.
Now, the fifth thing you should know before you build a store on Shopify is that you should purchase a domain name. So when you sign up for Shopify on a free trial, it asks you for your store name. So let's just say I called mine, Anton's Online Store. Okay? If I gave that to Shopify when I was signing up then by default, my domain name would be antonsonlinestore.my shopify.com. So that could be a working URL. I could send people to that. Don't do that, okay? When they give you that, it's great, it's something to have just to start with, but as soon as possible, what you want to do is go into the back end of Shopify, click on, "Online Store," click on, "Domains," and then purchase an actual domain name.
Now I've done other episodes on how to come up with domain name ideas. I will link to that in the description if that would help you, but basically what you want is whatever your store name is.com and you can purchase it on another domain registrar, if you want it to buy it on namecheap.com or GoDaddy, my advice is just buy it through the backend of Shopify because it's only $14 a year, and it's extremely easy to link. It takes no time at all and this way, your store, instead of showing whatever it is.my shopify.com, wills show your domain name.com. It's much more professional, it's much more memorable, and again, you want to do this from day one.
Now the sixth thing you should know before building a Shopify store is that if possible, if you're in a country that supports it, you should use Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments is basically their way of allowing you to accept credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, basically any way your customers want to pay you. If you use Shopify Payments as your merchant accounts, then you simply set it up in the back end of Shopify, and the integration is as clean as it could be, right? Because it's a Shopify product, and it's how you can accept money from your customers. Now, if you're in a country that does not support Shopify Payments, then you can use basically any other merchant account you want. The thing with that is there is an extra fee associated with that. If you use Shopify Payments, you're saving money because you're using their internal payment processor, so you don't have any transaction fees tacked on besides the normal 2.9% credit card processing fee. If you use another merchant account, there will be a transaction fee associated. So if you can, use Shopify Payments, it's amazing, it works all the time, you get paid within 48 hours, and it's just extremely easy to set up and it saves you money, so highly recommend that.
Now the seventh thing you should know before building a Shopify store is that you do not need to hire an expensive designer. Now, of course, if you want to outsource your store design, you can, but just know that Shopify is extremely simple to use, and it's something that a person can go into with no prior experience, and within maybe a few days or a couple of weeks of just playing with the platform, that's why the 30 day free trial is amazing, it's more than enough time to figure it out, you can build yourself a gorgeous store that does exactly what you want it to do, without having to pay somebody $10,000 to put together a store for you.
So my advice is, in the beginning, play around with the platform yourself, take advantage of that 30 day free trial, and don't just go out there and hire a designer because they are most likely not needed. Now, maybe you get some sales, you make some money, you want to reinvest into an upgraded design. Sure, think about it then, but totally not necessary from day one, because of how easy Shopify makes it.
Now, the eighth thing that you should know before building a Shopify store is that as soon as you sign up for your trial, you should already sign up for a Google Analytics Accounts and a Facebook Ad Accounts, and in the backend of Shopify, you want to link those to your store as soon as possible, because that way, once your store actually goes live, and people start visiting it, you're going to have tracking enabled.
Now the beauty of Shopify, amongst many other things, is that they have a very deep integration with Google Analytics and with Facebook Ads, so as soon as you link these accounts, data is going to start coming into Google, it's going to start going into Facebook, and as soon as you start getting traffic and sales, it'll all be tracked, and you can know where your sales are coming from. You don't want to let time go by where Facebook and Google aren't linked, and then all of a sudden be like, "Oh yeah, I should set that up," because every day that goes by that they're not linked. You're losing data that can be very valuable to you in the future, for conversion tracking, for remarketing, and for making your business just more profitable in general.
So that's it for this episode, guys, just eight things I think everybody should know before building a Shopify store. Hopefully as always, you got value from this one, if you did be sure to give it a like and leave a review if you're listening on Apple Podcasts. As always, if you're brand new and you want to know how we build highly profitable semi-automated stores, I would encourage you to go to dropshipwebinar.com. Again, that's dropshipwebinar.com, where I have a free training showing you how we do everything from A to Z. And of course, if you're looking to build your first Shopify store, or even your second, third, fourth, whatever, I would highly encourage you to take advantage of our special partner deal, where you get a 30 day free trial with no credit card required. That link is dsl.life/shopify, and I will post that up in the description as well. So as always, thank you. I appreciate you. And I'll talk to you on Thursday for the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. See you, everybody.