Starting Out in Ecommerce
Here’s how to set up your first online store

Warning: this post reads like a love letter to Shopify, which we recommend as your platform for so many reasons.

Making the leap from brick and mortar to the world of ecommerce can be scary, but, with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple steps and get your business online quickly:


If you haven’t already, register your business’ domain name. You can do this very easily through Shopify, which provides tools to manage email forwarding as well. 

If your brick and mortar name is already taken, don’t give up; you can choose a different, yet memorable name that’s still evocative of your brand. For example, our friends at Annapolis Cider Co. chose the accessible (Here’s their case study.)

If you build it

Again, Shopify has you covered. For the quickest launch, choose your favourite pre-built theme and create customized messaging for the home page. Just add your product(s) to the store, set up shipping details (if applicable) and add your banking information. And that’s it. 

Seriously, Shopify walks you through the entire process. (You can also easily add more functionality for you and your customers with countless app integrations.)

Make a list, check it twice

So, you want your platform up and running yesterday. You’ve followed the steps, and you’re ready to go. But remember: your online presence is a reflection of not just your products and services, but your very business. While you can take orders and receive funds with as little as a product page, you'll want to go over a few more details before you launch. 

  • Check all email touchpoint copy (order notification email, shipping confirmation email, etc.)
  • Make sure your notifications and alerts go to/from the correct email address
  • Get your store address correct
  • Configure Shopify Checkout with your logo and colours

Finally, we strongly recommend that you run a real order or two with friends and family before you take the password off the storefront! 

Launch your store!

It’s a process, but it’s worth it. You’ll be part of a wonderful community of merchants, entrepreneurs and Shopify Experts, people who can help build your online store into something even more amazing. 

Want more guidance? Rather leave it to the professionals?

We always recommend starting with Able Sense’s Ecommerce Action Plan.