Back when we started Talkvisor, we knew that online customer service was a problem from talking to friends and family. But we didn’t know know in the way you know from getting angry emails from a dissatisfied customer. So we decided to open an online store. And it’s been a great decision. At the time of writing this blog post, there are 2.14 billion global digital buyers out there, and more than 18 percent of retail sales world wide are happening online!

We got to chat with and meet so many people through our store, that we wanted to write up a quick guide on how to get started quickly.

1. Sign up for Shopify

To get your online business kicked off, you need a Shopify store. Shopify is a platform that provides an online storefront (a website). It’s not free, but trust me, it’s worth every penny. It’s $29/month (as of October 2022) but they provide free trials and no credit card is required. So, don’t be scared of commitment, you can always choose not to add in your credit card if things don’t work out (but they totally will!).

First, go to Shopify and put your email address on the page.

Then, you will be prompted by a setup flow where you can follow along and put all the necessary information to set up your store.

After completing the flow, Shopify will create an online store for you!

You have successfully created a Shopify store! The screen you see there is your admin page, where you can change settings and themes for your online store.

2. Set up a payment gateway

Now, let’s set up a payment gateway. A payment gateway is a service that authorizes credit card processing for online businesses. As an online business, you need one set up as well! Fortunately, Shopify has a built-in payment gateway. So all we need to do is put all the money related information on Shopify!

Go to the "Settings" on the left bottom.

You should now see this settings screen. Now, go to "Payments" on the left menu.

Click on the "Activate Shopify Payments" button.

Fill out the form and submit it via the green button in the bottom.

After filling out the form for the payment gateway setup, now fill out the form about your business and submit it via the green button in the bottom.

Shopify requires you to set up a 2-factor authentication to set up a payment gateway. 2-factor authentication means it will require you to have two means of verification (e.g. password & SMS code) to sign in to your account to ensure better security.

Put your phone number and click on "Send authentication code". Then, your phone should receive a code via SMS momentarily. Put that six-digit code you got in the form and click on the "Turn on" button.

After setting up 2FA, download recovery codes just in case you lose your phone. Save the file somewhere safe, and continue.

Click on "Choose account" to put your bank account information to receive money!

Fill out the form and hit "Save".

After following the flow, you’re ready to sell products online! Here comes the fun part.

3. Choose a theme

Next step is choosing an appealing theme for your store. Make sure your store looks professional so that your customers can trust that your store is legitimate. Remember, a undone, broken online store doesn’t make sales!

To change your theme, click on "Online Store" on the left side menu in the admin page.

This is where you can change/fix the appearance of your online store. If you like the default theme, you can go ahead and customize texts, pictures, or logos by clicking on the "Customize" button. It should be pretty intuitive. If you don't get it, feel free to reach out to Talkvisor, we can help you set up!

If you don't like the default theme like me, scroll down to the bottom portion of the page. You can check out other themes by clicking on the "Explore free themes" button or the "Visit Theme Store" button.

After this, your store should start looking pretty awesome!

4. Upload your product information

Now, it’s time to add your products.

If you already have something you want to sell (maybe you already have an offline store and want to establish an online presence, etc), it’s easy! You just type out your product information, and upload some photos of your product.

To add a new product, click on "Products" on the left side menu in the admin page.

Click on the green "Add product" button.

Type out all the details of a product you're trying to add! Make sure the description helps your customers understand what your product does.

What if your customer has a question about your product? There are multiple ways of addressing that.

  1. Add contact info so customers can reach out to you
  2. Look for a live chat solution (like Talkvisor!)
  3. Add a frequently asked questions section in your description

Before a customer decides to buy something on your shop, they will typically check if your store has a way to contact someone if something goes wrong! This increases your store’s trustworthiness, which increases the chances of a sale.

5. Let the world know you’re in business

Your online store is 100% ready! However, your customers don’t know about your store yet.

If you already have your audience and community built, make sure you let them know you started selling products online!

If you don’t have customers already or if you want to reach out to more potential customers, you can start an online ads campaign via services like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. We’ll talk about that in a separate post!