Quick setup guide
Follow this guide to get your business set up quickly in Canada, so that you your customers can browse and order your products while you finish off the finer details of your online business.
Step 1: Start your free trial
When you sign up for Shopify through Go Digital Canada, you begin with a 90-day free trial. Even when you choose a pricing plan to open your store, you don't start paying the subscription fee until the end of the trial. If you cancel your store within the trial period, then you aren't charged for any subscription fees.
When you sign up with Shopify, you enter your store name. This store name is used to create your store's default URL. A store name of johns apparel would create a default URL of
johns-apparel.myshopify.com. If another account has previously used your store's name, then alter your business name slightly, and then change your store name after your account is created.
- Go to shopify.ca.
- Enter the email address that you want as the owner of the online store, and then click Start free trial.
- Enter a password and store name.
- Click Create your store.
- Go through the questionnaire and enter your business details.
- Optional: Change your business name:
- Go to Settings > General.
- In Store details, change your Store name, and then click Save.
Step 2: Add your products
You can set up your products in a few different ways. If you have only a few products, then it is likely quickest to set them up manually. If you have a large product catalogue but want to get set up quickly, then consider adding only a portion of your products to start.
Consider the following guidelines for the best method to add your products:
- If you already use another ecommerce platform, then check the migration guides to see if you can import your data.
- If you have a large product catalogue, then consider uploading your products through a CSV file.
- If you have a small product catalogue, then consider adding your products manually.
After you add your products, consider putting them into collections, which can be used to highlight specific products on your homepage, build out the pages in your online store's menus, or apply discounts to select groups of products.
Step 3: Set up your theme
When you sign up for a Shopify store, you are given a default theme for your website. You can change themes at any time and work on new ones while your current theme is live to customers. All Shopify-made themes are free and supported by Shopify. You can also purchase themes from the Shopify Theme Store.
The instructions to set up your theme vary depending on the theme you choose, so review your theme's documentation to find the steps to do the following:
- Add a logo and favicon to your website. If you don't have a logo, then you can create one through Hatchful or another online logo generator.
- Add images to your homepage. You can browse free high-quality images on Burst or other stock image websites.
- Choose your colors and fonts.
- Add highlighted products to your homepage.
Add additional pages
You can add additional pages to your only store, such as "About Us" or "Contact Us", in Online Store > Pages. For detailed steps to create them in the admin, refer to Pages. If you want to use an app to help create the pages, then visit the Shopify App Store.
Set up your menus
You can set up your main menu and footer menu in Online Store > Navigation. Add any additional pages that you create, as well as links to collections of your products that will make it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for. For detailed steps to create you menus in the admin, refer to Menus and links.
Add policy pages
Add your store's policies for refunds, privacy, and shipping so that customers can learn about how your company operates. You can add the policies in Settings > Legal. Shopify provides a default template for the refund and privacy policies, which you can edit to better suit your business. For detailed instructions, and for steps on how to add other policies to your store, refer to Adding store policies.
Your refunds, privacy, and shipping policies are automatically linked in the footer of your checkout pages.
Step 4: Set up a payment provider
By default, you are set up with a Shopify Payments account, which you can use to accept the following payment types:
- American Express
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Shop Pay
You are also set up with a PayPal Express account.
You don't need to complete the account setup for Shopify Payments or PayPal Express to begin taking payments, however, you must finish the account setups to receive the payments.
Before you complete your Shopify Payments account, make sure that you read and understand the Shopify Payments Canada Terms of Service, and aren't selling any products in the "Prohibited Businesses" section (Section B.5.).
To complete account setup for Shopify Payments, go to Settings > Payment Providers. For more detailed information and steps, then refer to Shopify Payments.
To complete account setup for Shopify Payments, go to Settings > Payment Providers. For detailed instructions and steps, refer to Set up PayPal on your store.
If you don't want to accept PayPal payments, then go to Settings > Payment Providers and click Deactivate PayPal Express Checkout.
Use a third-party payment provider
If you don't want to use Shopify Payments to accept credit card payments, then you can deactivate Shopify payments and then connect to a third-party payment provider. Review the list of available payment gateways for Canada. You need to set up an account with the payment provider before you connect it to your Shopify account.
- From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Payment Providers.
- In the Shopify Payments section, click Manage.
- Click Deactivate Shopify Payments.
- Select a reason, and then click Deactivate Shopify Payments.
- In Third-party providers, click Choose third-party provider.
- Choose a gateway and follow the activation steps.
Add manual or alternative payment methods
You can also accept payments through alternative methods, such as Bitcoin, or manual methods, such as bank deposits or cash on delivery. You can add these methods in Settings > Payment Providers in your Shopify admin. For more detailed information and steps, refer to Alternative payment methods and Manual payment methods.
Step 5: Optional considerations
Consider the following additional steps before launching your website.
Add a custom domain
By default, your website through Shopify can be accessed through your .myshopify.com URL. You can add custom domains to Shopify so that your default domain is branded entirely on your business. You can adjust your domain settings in Online Store > Domains:
- If you have your own domain and want to move the domain hosting to Shopify, then refer to Transferring a domain.
- If you have your own domain and want to keep you hosting and point it to Shopify, then refer to Adding a third-party domain - quick guide.
- If you want to purchase a new domain through Shopify, then refer to Buying a domain from Shopify.
Set up your shipping rates
When you sign up for a Shopify account in Canada, you are set up with discounted Canada Post rates in your checkout as a part of Shopify Shipping. When a customer reaches your checkout, they see the applicable Canada Post shipping rates for their order. The following information is used to determine the applicable shipping rates:
- weight of the product
- weight and dimensions of your default package
- your business address (origin address)
- the customer's address (destination address)
You can then purchase Canada Post shipping labels directly through your admin, print them at home, and schedule a pickup for Canada Post to come and collect your shipments.
From this default, you make any of the following changes from within Settings > Shipping:
- update your default package details
- add new flat rates
- add free shipping rates
- create unique shipping rates for specific locations or products
- remove the default Canada Post rates
- connect your own shipping accounts through UPS, Canada Post, or FedEx (requires the carrier-calculated shipping add-on to your store's subscription plan)
Review your taxes
Review the default taxes for your business in Settings > Taxes. Shopify adds the general default for charging tax in Canada, but you must verify that those are the tax rates that your business needs to charge. Shopify can't determine the correct rates for you, so instead work with a local tax professional.
Step 6: Launch your website
To make your website live and open your checkout to customers, you need to choose a plan and remove the password page.
Choose a plan
To open your checkout to customers, your Shopify account must be on a paid subscription plan. Choosing a plan does not end your free trial, and you are charged the subscription cost only after the trial is over.
You can choose a plan in Settings > Plan and permissions. For details on the available pricing plans, refer to Shopify's pricing page.
You can change your subscription plan at any time.
Remove the password page
To remove your password page, go to Online Store > Preferences. You must choose a subscription plan before you can remove the password page. For detailed steps on removing your password page, refer to Remove password protection from your online store