Setting Up Your Own Online Store Is Easier Than You Think, and No, You Won’t Have to Pay a Fancy Web Developer.
Having an online presence for your side hustle, no matter how small, means you can reach more customers and potentially earn money while you sleep. With all the online tools available today, setting up a digital storefront can be done in a couple of hours. Shopify is the most commonly used e-commerce platform and the easiest to set up on your own, although there are others such as Wix and Squarespace. It offers a two-week free trial, so you can play around and see whether it works for you before committing to a fee – plans start at $29 per month.
STEP 1: Pick a name
When signing up for Shopify (Shopify.co.za) you’ll be asked for your store name, which will eventually be the site address, for example ‘yourstorename.myshopify.com’.
Unless you’ve called your business something very inventive, chances are the name is already taken. Try adding ‘the’ to the beginning or prefixing it with ‘store’ or ‘online’. You’ll then be asked a little about yourself and your business.
Once you’re through to the dashboard you’ll be able to add your own customised domain, under the ‘add domain’ button. This means your customers will be able to find you at ‘yourstorename.com’ instead of ‘yourstorename.myshopify.com’.
If you’ve already bought a domain you’ll be able to connect it here. If you don’t have your own domain yet, you can purchase it within the same section for $14.
STEP 2: Make it look appealing
The next step is window dressing the front of your digital storefront. To do this, click on the ‘customise themes’ button and choose between free and paid themes. There are 10 basic free themes that will more than fulfil the needs of a small business owner.
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