So as I highlighted in ‘How Not to Start & Grow an Ecommerce Business‘, it took me almost 3 weeks alone to get this part done, but as I explained that was simply because I was a bit of a slacker / busy with other stuff in between.
I could have done this in 2 – 3 dedicated days if I had put my mind to it.
I stupidly created 187 products.
I do not recommend that. At all. Not even close.
How many products you start with really depends on the type of store and the model you’re choosing.
- If your goal is to sell print on demand watches for example, you might want to start with one style of watch, but 5 – 10 different colours.
- If you want to sell novelty t-shirts, you might start with one style of shirt, but 5 – 10 different slogans or designs.
- If you’re following the drop-shipping model and want to test a few different niches before you pick the one you want to work with, you might pick 5 different niches and offer one product per niche to begin with.
- If you’ve defined your niche, you might find 2 – 3 different products within that niche that you really want to focus your time and energy on.
There really are no hard and fast rules, but when you’re just starting out, I would start small.
The work that goes into enhancing quality product images, creating product descriptions and then marketing those products is quite time consuming and right now you have little evidence your products are going to sell.
So you do not want to be creating hundreds of products only to find 99 of them are duds and it took you hours and hours to get them up and running.
Test & measure is the key here my friend!
So if you’re only going to add 1 – 10 products to your store there is absolutely no reason you cannot do it all in one single day.
1. Print on Demand
So adding your products here will depend entirely on which print on demand platform you have chosen to use.
But you will need to have decided the range of products you’re going for, i.e., t-shirts, socks, bags etc., and you will need to have prepared the designs to go on those products.
Each platform will have specifications for sizes and style of designs.
(As a previous user of teelaunch however, I recommend you look at each product for the specific file guide to ensure your image is sized correctly for that specific product as 2400px may be the minimum but it certainly is not the maximum.)
Adding the App
So firstly you’ll need to install the relevant app to your Shopify store.
1. Head to ‘Apps’ in the backend of your Shopify store & click ‘Visit the Shopify App Store’
2. Add the name of the app you’re looking for
3. Select the correct app
4. Click Add App
5. Then Install the App
6. You may have to create an account with the app platform at this stage
8. Then just follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation of your app.
Add Your Products
Now it’s time to add your products!
Here is a fab video from the team over at Printful showing you how to create a t-shirt on their platform!
If you’re not using Printful, check out the support section of the app you’re using or head to YouTube and type in ‘adding a design on X’ (x being your print on demand platform of choice), I’m pretty sure you’ll find someone to show you how.
Create Your Product Descriptions
So once you have uploaded your designs, created the product and added it to your store, you now need to ensure you have included the correct pricing and written a fabulous product description for each of your products.
I challenge you to be super creative here!
Don’t just go with the standard ‘White cotton T-shirt, safe for the washing machine, all sizes available’.
Go crazy! Appeal to your ideal audience by attracting them to your products with educational, informative or entertaining copy.
In fact the super talented writer Henneke Duistermaat from Enchanting Marketing wrote for the Shopify blog 9 Ways To Write Product Descriptions that Inform and Persuade Your Customers
Now whilst our product descriptions weren’t the best in the world by far mainly because there were just far too many to write…
At least they were a little creative and a good starting point. Remember you can always come back and play & tweak with everything later. For now be as creative as you can but don’t try to be perfect because perfection leads to procrastination!
Lastly, particularly if you’re selling apparel or accessories, head to placeit.net and create some images of actual real people interacting with your designs, either wearing them or using them.
Get some nice real life images you can add to your product so that when your visitor is hovering over the images on your product page they can see the products in action!
At some stage in the future you can swap these out for images sent to you by your customers! We’ll get to that in the marketing section.
So that my friend is that! In summary;
1. Select product
2. Upload design / choose colours, sizes etc
3. Add pricing info
4. Add product description
5. Add some ‘real life’ images of your product in action.
Do that for all your products and get them live on your site (which is not yet live I’m presuming), so you can see what they all look like and get excited!
If your plan is to launch with just Print on Demand products then you can almost call it a day now and go and get a cuppa! But before you do just take a quick look at the section at the bottom of this post titled ‘General Product Settings‘.
I just want to touch on Shipping & Collections before you run off.
However, if you want to launch a drop-shipping store, then stay with me here as that’s next!
In theory adding products for drop-shipping is far simpler.
This is because some super clever people have created apps like Oberlo that work directly with drop shipping suppliers allowing you to basically click a few buttons and get your chosen products live on your store.
I say in theory because of course these things never quite work out as simply as we would like right? 😂
Add Your App
Firstly as with Print on Demand above you will need to add the Oberlo app to your Shopify store. Please see above for directions on how to do that (choosing Oberlo as your app of choice of course).
Find and Add Your Products
Once installed you’ll be taken to the Oberlo dashboard where you’ll be asked to select a product.
There is also a playlist of videos walking you through exactly how drop-shipping with Oberlo works.
The Shopify Help Center YouTube channel also has a playlist of 16 videos specifically about Oberlo if you want to get your head around how it all works before installing the app.
Click ‘Explore Products’ in the dashboard and enter the search terms you used when originally sourcing your products or the actual product name and fingers crossed your products should magically appear!
Hover over your product of choice and click ‘Add to Import List’.
Select any other products you would like to add to your import list and either click ‘Edit Import List’, or simply click on “Import List’ in the left hand menu bar.
Add Product Descriptions
Here your chosen products will be displayed and you can now go about the task of changing the titles, description etc.
Please read the section on adding product descriptions above as it’s equally as pertinent here.
When you’re ready click ‘Import to Store’ and you will now be able to see and edit your product directly on Shopify.
(Note you can do this as soon as you have added the product to your Import List and do all of your editing from within the Shopify store if you choose.)
Here you can change the title, description, price, add more images, create tags to make the product easy to find, add to a collection etc.
And that my friend is that, your product is live on your store.
Wow! Super easy right?
There is a ton of information on drop-shipping. So much that you can become quickly overwhelmed.
Personally I would start with the video playlist I linked to above and then the videos freely available from within the Oberlo app. That’s certainly going to help you get your head around how it all works.
Helpful Drop-Shipping Resources
If you’re looking for further resources particularly regards product selection, niches, setting up your drop shipping store, working with suppliers etc, here are some resources (non affiliated) I hope will help;
1. The Oberlo Course – $49.90 (I haven’t taken it so I can’t vouch for it but the information they freely publish is pretty darn good, so it bodes well for their paid course).
2. My pal Nick Peroni’s Ecom Empires. Completely free with lots of very solid information on finding great products, store case studies etc.
3. Justin Woll’s Beyond Six Figures – Definitely for the more data driven entrepreneur, his group has hundreds of success stories and he’s super generous with his information.
4. Adrian Morrison’s Profit Power Hours – Another very generous guy who hosts weekly webinars on all aspects of ecommerce (primarily marketing strategies).
Alright so in summary;
1. Add Oberlo app to store
2. Search for selected products
3. Add to Import List
4. Add to Store
5. Add product descriptions, titles, prices, more images etc.
Boom! You’re up, up and away!
Now you can go and grab a cuppa or something stronger which you may well need to start working your way through all those Oberlo videos! 😂
Although before you go, do please take a quick look at the section at the bottom of this post titled ‘General Product Settings‘.
I just want to touch on Shipping & Collections in case you were wondering…
Lastly for uploading products I want to talk about adding your own products that you make or have supplied by a local supplier.
3. Adding Your Own or Locally Supplied Products
First things first, you do not need an app! Yippeee.
You will be loading your products directly onto Shopify and adding your product descriptions, images, pricing etc, directly into the products section in the backend of Shopify.
Here is a short video from the official Shopify Help Center YouTube Channel explaining how to add a product;
As explained in the video you won’t need to add every setting they explain, just go through the process and add what’s relevant to you and your business.
Here’s a detailed article also if you prefer to walk through it step by step with screenshots.
1. Add product
2. Create headline (title)
3. Add description
4. Add images
5. Add your price (and sale price if applicable)
Bob’s Your Uncle! Your product can now be viewed on your store.
General Product Settings
1. Compare at Price
The compare at price is the higher price you’d enter if you wanted your product to display a sale price.
The only time I have ever used inventory is to post 0 when we’ve run out of stock so it says ‘Sold Out’ on the product.
Getting started you won’t have much call for the inventory settings so you can probably leave them for now but should you want to know more in the future here is the Inventory help doc from Shopify.
3. I talked a bit about Shipping yesterday.
My recommendation at this stage to get off the ground would be to offer free worldwide shipping and price your shipping costs into the price of the product, but at some point you may want to revise that especially as your store gets more popular.
It would be lovely to have Amazons deep pockets I’m sure but you are just one small store in a sea of stores and you’ve got to make a living right?!
Take a look at yesterdays post and section 4 Shipping to see the video on setting up your Shipping profiles.
Also here’s an article from Shopify which explains how to create free shipping rates if that’s what you want to do.
I love collections and this is basically the fundamental way you will organise your store.
If you look at the menu bar of Legends Not Ladies, when you click on any of those menu headers a collection of my products will display organised by tags or type (in case you were wondering what they were for). But you don’t have to create collections just for your menu bar, you can create collections of specific types of products, sale items, from a specific supplier and more.
Here is a video showing you how to create a manual collection;
But the magic my friend is in the automatic collections! Here is a video showing you how to set those babies up!
Phew! I told you today would be a long one!
I hope this has helped.
Your work here is done my friend. I’ll see you tomorrow for creating and adding email campaigns!