What You will Need as a First-time Ecommerce Shop Owner
If you're serious about starting your own shop and need a handy list of everything you need, start here.
Regardless of which stage of shop-building you're in, a Shopify store should be doable—you can do it! In this post, learn about everything you need to get started on your very first Shopify store:
- Your own domain
- Your brand's visual assets
- Product photos & information
- A payment gateway
- A registered business
- A credit card for subscriptions
You don't need to have all of these at once. Feel free to work on these later while we're building your shop or after it’s done.
You'll need to purchase a domain and secure your address on the web.
Even with hundreds of top-level domain options aside from .com available (.io, .net, .shop, .studio, .xyz, etc.) try your best to snag .com because most people remember it better. If you can still change your shop name, consider it. If not, go for a sticky URL that’s easy to type and memorize. You will struggle changing domains later on, so make this decision count.
We like buying domains from Namecheap, but go ahead and purchase from any company you trust. Most available domains typically cost somewhere around $5-$25/year.
Once you've bought a domain, we can help you connect it with your Shopify store.
Branding & Visuals
When you unveil your shop to the world, you want to look the part. Make sure to get your details ready:
- Your logo
- Your photos
- Your colors
- Your illustrations/icons
- Your fonts (lots of free options on the web!)
Needless to say, great visuals sell goods. An ugly storefront is like wearing a penguin suit to a wedding. Unless you’re the mascot, not a good idea.
In an ideal world with infinite time and money, you hire a top-tier agency to design you a dreamy, A-list brand identity. But sometimes you’re in a pinch. If you’re short on time, budget, or both:
- Hire freelancers in Upwork or Fiverr. (Quality can vary wildly so make sure to inspect portfolios before hiring!)
- Find a friend who does this thing and work out a deal.
- An even cheaper option: Do-it-yourself with Canva.
- In appropriate situations, try using stock images from places like Shopify Burst, Unsplash, or Shutterstock.
Product Photos & Information
People need to see what you're selling. They also want you to know what they are and why they're good. You'll need clear and well-lit product photos that show people how they look and how to use them.
Together with your product shots, you'll need well-written sales copy for each of your product, describing and selling them.
Since plenty of people these days know how to take great photos and write, you can probably do this yourself or find a friend who'll help you out. If not, you can hire professionals over at Upwork or Fiverr and look up “copywriting” or Instagram for freelance photographers.
To receive money, you'll need a payment gateway that will let you collect payment online. Paypal is the brand most people know. (But we don't recommend them because they can make withdrawing your money very difficult. If you like money, stay away from Paypal.)
If you're based in the Philippines, we recommend PayMongo for ease of use. Their service allows you to receive payments in credit card, GCash, and manual bank deposits. They are also the only payment gateway in the Philippines that lets you connect online without the hassles of speaking with an agent or developer.
But if you want to play it safe, you can also install multiple payment gateways. The popular ones are PayMaya, Dragonpay, iPay88, and Paynamics.
For your payment gateway to give you an account that allows you to receive payment, you’ll need business documents to get approved. If you’re a built-from-the-bedroom small business, this blows.
At this stage, companies need to verify who they’re allowing to collect money online to prevent criminal activities and regulate taxes. Not fun, but you can’t go around it.
If you're based in the Philippines, the simplest (it’s still a hassle!) and cheapest way to create a corporation is through a One-Person-Corporation.
Once you have your shop running, you'll need to pay some fees to online services:
- Shopify's subscription fees
- 3rd party app subscription fees (depending on the features you want)
- Custom fonts (optional)
Of course we'll never ask for your credit card details, but we'll direct you to the proper areas where you'll need to enter them to get your shop working.
Some parts of the requirements may sound daunting but it can all be done. Business registration could be a hassle depending on the efficiency of your government, but it should be doable. If you haven’t gotten to branding, that would probably take some time too. But other than that, everything else should go smooth and steady.
If you need any help or have questions, feel free to reach out. We're happy to help!