Skip to content
  • Trusted by over 100,000 merchants

Newbies welcome: How to get started with Shopify simply and easily

Newbies welcome: How to get started with Shopify simply and easily

One of the great things about Shopify and prebuilt Shopify themes is that they significantly lower the barrier to entry for creating an ecommerce business — but how much can you expect to do yourself if you’re a novice and beginner?

While Shopify is an extremely powerful platform, it can also be relatively simple to get up and running selling your products or services.

While later stage businesses or speciality stores may have more advanced requirements that make getting launched more complex, many new or early-stage business owners won’t find this to be the case.

MVP — not 'most valuable player'

Easy Shopify store setup

One concept that’s key to understanding as a novice, newbie Shopify store owner, is something called “minimal viable product.”

Often used in bootstrapping startups, this concept is generally interpreted as creating a product (or, in this case, online store) that performs the basic functionality needed. It still has enough value to be useful and adopted by the target audience, while remaining open to feedback and refinement after its launch.

For most stores, an MVP version of an online storefront includes these essentials:

  • Display products and pricing
  • Allow users to add products to their carts
  • Let products be purchased 

When you think about it, these are pretty simple requirements and, luckily, are also possible to do, with little or no advanced knowledge, even by the inexperienced thanks to Shopify.

Since Shopify comes with such a rich “backbone” of features, many more advanced features aren’t always necessary to get started, such as:

  • Inventory management
  • Complex variants or options
  • Related products or upsells
  • Translations or currency conversion
  • Advanced lead generation
  • Discounts or special offers
  • Filtering and complex collection setup
  • Advanced features that require apps
  • Theme customizations

Before worrying about these more advanced areas, carefully consider whether or not they are necessities for accomplishing the three main goals of an online store.

In many ways, even a Shopify MVP store has a richer feature set that is beyond “minimal.”

You can do it yourself

Easily customize your Shopify theme

While there are numerous Shopify Experts out there that can help out newbies to the Shopify universe, these also require an investment.

If you’re starting your online store on a small budget, your best defense is to read, research and educate yourself:

  • Read the sections of the Shopify manual that are relevant to what you need to do to get started selling
  • Shopify also offers plenty of free resources for your shop and business, such as free stock images, branding tools and document generators
  • Explore blogs (like this one) and articles with best practices, tips and ideas
  • When you hit a stumbling block, remember there are numerous resources out there that can help — often within minutes, with a skillful search
  • For Shopify theme questions, consult your theme documentation for details on how to get up and running

It’s also important to keep in mind that if you’re not able to invest money in your business at this time, which is nothing to be ashamed of, you may need to focus more on an MVP without the bells and whistles — at least as you get started with your new business.

Other areas that don’t cost money — but that can have a huge impact on your store:

It’s also tempting to start tinkering with your Shopify theme’s design. However, when purchasing a Shopify theme from a premium theme developer, you’ll likely get these advantages that make it easier to get an MVP store online:

Best practices Shopify themes

  • Premium Shopify theme developers use ecommerce and user experience best practices to create layouts that are designed to convert
  • Each premium theme comes with three to four style presets to choose from with different color and font configurations, which you can use right out of the gate for a well-styled shop
  • Well crafted Shopify themes still give you flexibility to make the theme your own by changing color settings, fonts and other core options — be sure to explore all of the options under Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Customize.
  • Finally, themes such as Turbo come preloaded with an advanced set of signature features that reduce the need for apps and help maximize your theme investment

At the end of the day, if you have a strong product with compelling copy and a well organized store, you will likely be able to grow beyond a simple basic store and start investing in theme customizations, apps and more.

But a decent MVP will suffice to get the ball rolling in the meantime.

Not a technical whiz?

Shopify code optional

Given that Shopify is an ecommerce platform, it’s only natural that some technical knowledge is needed to get started.

However, keep in mind that the Shopify platform and premium Shopify themes give you access to simple — and even more advanced — functionality and settings without touching code.

Not only does not editing code reduce the potential for conflicts or errors, this also means that most new, non-technical Shopify store owners can get up and running by using the more user friendly Shopify backend and “customize theme” editor interface.

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping