Starting an e-commerce store can be a daunting undertaking for both rookies and seasoned pros. But using Shopify as the foundation for your e-commerce business puts you on the fast track to success. The Shopify team has put a massive amount of brainpower into solving all the individual friction points that you will experience as an e-commerce entrepreneur. The below list contains 10 free tools and resources to help you make your e-commerce dreams a reality in 2020.

Shopify Academy

As of February 2020, the Shopify Academy has 13 free courses. These courses are:

  • Advanced Facebook Ads: Customer Acquisition
  • Build a Print-on-Demand Empire
  • Ecommerce Email Marketing 101
  • Getting Started with Shopify
  • Facebook Ads for Beginners: Retention and Loyalty
  • Goal Setting with Daymond John
  • Google Ads for Ecommerce
  • Grow Your Business with Instagram
  • How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience)
  • How to Start a Dropshipping Business
  • Product Photography for Ecommerce
  • SEO Training for Beginners
  • Turn Your Hobby into a Business

I recently finished the “How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience)” and found it incredibly helpful as it went over both general e-commerce design best practices as well as tactical Shopify specific design tasks. The courses are beautifully shot video lectures and they also come with additional supplemental resources to help you get the most out of the course. I’m committed to taking all 13 courses in 2020 as I look to ramp up my general Shopify and e-commece knowledge so if you are serious about building a business on Shopify I would recommend you do the same.

Shopify Theme Store > Free

As of February 2020, the Shopify Theme Store has 8 Free themes. These themes are highly customizable and a lot of the knowledge you need about editing the theme can be found in the design elearning course mentioned above. This is a no-brainer for Shopify e-commerce entrepreneurs just getting started. Use a free theme, learn how to customize it and then once you have built up your store with revenues then you can look to evolve into one of the paid themes. 

Burst by Shopify

Burst is a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. The photos do not necessarily require attribution and they are royalty-free. Quality product images are a key driver of store engagement, conversion, retention, and overall customer lifetime value (CLTV). Leveraging free tools like Burst will help your e-commerce store look and feel more professional without breaking the bank.

Shopify Logo Maker / Hatchful

Hatchful is a perfect place to start when creating the version 1 logo for your store. In the early stages, there is just no need to spend $100s on a logo right out of the gate. Use Hatchful to get your early logo created for free then you can do something like a 99Designs paid contest once you have the additional capital resources further down the road of your e-commerce journey.

Oberlo Shopify App

Figuring out what products to sell is another major friction point for entrepreneurs wanting to get started in e-commerce. Oberlo helps alleviate this pain point. Oberlo allows you to easily import and sell almost any product on Ali Express into your Shopify store. Oberlo has a free plan so it is perfect for securing your initial round of merchandise. Think of Oberlo product as your “back catalog.” Use these products to populate your store and get it off the ground. As your store evolves you can diversify your supplier base into other apps or direct supplier/vendor relationships. 

Shop Hacker Shopify App

Ok, I’m biased since this is my app but c’mon the Shop Hacker app is pretty cool! This free app allows Shopify merchants to add 1000s of elearning courses to their stores. Shop Hacker has several free courses as well which can act as lead magnets. These freebies allow you to build up your email list by giving away 100% free courses. Shop Hacker also offers courses for merchants to resell. Think Oberlo for elearning courses. You are only charged when you actually sell the product. Digital ecommerce is such a nice place for beginners to start since the shipping and physical product fulfillment is completely removed from the equation. 

Free Udemy Shopify Courses

What can I say? I love elearning. Udemy is the elearning gorilla in the room with 60K+ courses. As of this writing, they have 162 free courses on Shopify. The quality is not as professional as Shopify Academy but still some solid free info to review. 

Shopify’s Terms and Conditions Generator

Having legal counsel draft up a T&C’s this early in the game is a misallocation of capital. No need to get this deep in legal until your store has a lot more traction. Use Shopify’s Terms Generator to knock out this important page quickly.

Shopify’s Refund Policy Generator

Having a clearly defined refund and returns policy is a major key for any ecommerce store. Make it simple for your buyers to return items they no longer want and you will increase your customer lifetime value. Shopify’s refund policy generator makes creating the legalese around this policy a breeze.

Unsplash Free Stock Photography 

Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing stock photography. The website has a library of over 1.5 million photos. I love the user interface and ability to create collections etc.

With all these free resources at your disposal, there are no more excuses. Dig into the Shopify tools and training above and launch your own Shopify business in 2020.

About the Author

Matt Smith is the CEO of Shop Hacker. The app allows any Shopify merchant to seamlessly add 1000s of elearning courses to their store instantly. If you are looking to sell elearning courses in your Shopify store today you can download the Shop Hacker app here.

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