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As a skincare entrepreneur, crafting your products and deciding on branding details are just the beginning of your journey. Now it’s time to build a strong online presence using Shopify to reach your customers effectively!

In this stress-free checklist, we’ll explore the essential tasks to set up Shopify’s backend for your handmade skincare business website. From configuring payment gateways to setting your domain, this will walk you through the initial process of creating a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Get ready to be SIXTEEN steps closer to a thriving, profitable online business!

Shopify Backend Setup Checklist for Handmade Skincare Businesses Social Image

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links (at no cost to you). Please read the disclosure for more information.

Backend Setup Note:

In this step-by-step checklist, we will be working in the ‘back end’ of Shopify, mainly in the ‘Settings’ section.

Please note that there are several topics in this section that will not be covered in this blog post, as they are more complex and deserve separate tutorials of their own.

The following settings will be covered separately (coming soon!):

  • Shipping and Delivery
  • Apps and Sales Channels
  • Branding
  • Custom Data
  • Customer Privacy
  • Policies

1. Start Your Free Trial

If you haven’t already, start your free Shopify trial here to follow along with this stress-free tutorial!

After you sign up for your free trial, Shopify will ask you a series of questions in order to set up your store. Don’t let these questions worry you if you don’t know the answer!

Any setting on Shopify can be added, replaced, or changed at any time.

Just answer the best you can and keep clicking forward!

Shopify Onboarding Questions:

  1. Which best describes you?
    • I’m just starting
    • I’m already selling online or in person
    • This question is so Shopify knows whether to offer you migration services or not
  2. Where would you like to sell?
    • An online store
    • An existing website or blog
    • Online marketplaces
    • In-person
    • Social media
    • Not sure
    • This question is to let know Shopify what types of sales channels and account to set you up with. For this tutorial, I will be assuming you are setting up ‘an online store’.
    • In later tutorials, I will show you how to sell on these other channels after this initial foundation is set. Patience, grasshopper.
  3. What do you plan to sell first?
    • Products I buy or make myself
    • Dropshipping products
    • Print-on-demand products
    • Digital products
    • Services
    • I’ll decide later
    • This question will change your shipping and tax settings. For our purposes as handmade skincare makers, we will choose the first option, ‘Products I buy or make myself.’
  4. Where will your business be located?
    • Country/region dropdown
    • This question will impact the markets that Shopify initially sets you up with. Markets can easily be added or removed during this tutorial.
  5. Add your account
    • Name, email, and phone number verification

Poof! And just like that, your store ‘bones’ will be built and bring you to your Shopify backend Home Page!

Bookmark this page on your computer for easy login access to your NEW WEBSITE!!!:

The back end of a newly start Shopify trial site

2. Password Protect Your Store

The first thing we’re going to do is password-protect your store so that if it is found in a web search, it cannot be viewed while it is under construction.

Click ‘Online Store’ in the left sidebar and then ‘Manage Password’.

Password protecting a Shopify store

This will bring you to the Online Store > Preferences section where you can create a password and ALSO add a message for site visitors so that they know what to look forward to!

When done, click ‘Save’.

Adding a message to visitors on the password protection page of Shopify.

3. Store Details

Click on ‘Settings’ in the lower lefthand corner (it has a gear icon)

Name Your Store and Set Your Legal Business Name

Starting in the ‘Store details’ section, click on the pencil in the first section titled ‘Profile’

Add your Store Name (the name of your skincare business), *Store phone number (if desired), and **Store email.

If you don’t have a business name yet, read this post: How to Name Your Skincare Business

Click ‘Save’.

Adding Your Store Name to Shopify

*I never provide my phone number on e-commerce sites or marketplaces. Email and Contact Pages have been more than efficient for my customers’ needs in over a decade of business. My two cents.

**This email is for Shopify to get in contact with you. You already received emails from Shopify about your free trial and updating your store password.

Even if you already have your business email address, I highly recommend providing a personal e-mail address here.

If you should change your business name and terminate the associated business email address, it becomes very difficult for Shopify to help you with any future troubleshooting.

You will be able to provide a different address for email marketing if you choose to go that route later.

Click ‘Save’.

Billing Information

Click on the pencil one section down titled ‘Billing Information’.

Add your Legal Business Name (this may be the SAME as you entered in the ‘Store name’ area in the previous section, or may be DIFFERENT if your Store name is a DBA.)

Add the address that is connected to the credit card you’ll be using for your monthly (or annual) Shopify subscription fee.

Click ‘Save’.

Adding Your Business Address to Shopify

Set the Default Currency for Your Store

Your default currency should already be set based on the Country/region you selected during the Free Trial questions, but change accordingly now if needed.

Setting the default currency for your Shopify store

Time Zone and Units of Measurement

Set the time zone of where you will be shipping packages from (this helps to calculate the expected shipping time for your customers).

Set the unit system and default weight united based on what your shipping service provider uses (this will be used to calculate shipping rates).

Setting the time zone and units of measurement in your Shopify store.

Order ID

Order IDs are visible to your customers and show up on the order confirmation screen, emails, and invoices.

I recommend adding a single digit in the Prefix area, as this will present you as an established and reliable store (rather than a customer receiving an order #1).

You want your customers to feel confident and safe with their purchase.

Click ‘Save’.

Changing the prefix of order IDs in a Shopify store.

4. Plan

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Plan’.

Plan Details

In the ‘Plan Details’ box, click ‘Choose plan’.

The ‘Basic’ plan is all I have ever needed as a business of just me, selling from my own home. Even when you choose your plan, it is still $1 for the first month.

Choosing a plan for your Shopify store.

Choose your plan and add payment information if you didn’t already do this in the ‘billing’ section above.

5. Users and Permissions

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Users and Permissions’.

The ‘Basic’ Shopify plan doesn’t allow multiple users; however, you may need the ‘Collaborators’ section in the future.

There are hundreds of apps available through Shopify, all owned and managed by different people and companies.

If you ever need assistance in setting up one of these apps (for example, a review app, a funnel-building app, a photo compressing app, etc.), the creator of that app may ask for a Collaborator Request Code so that they can gain temporary access of your site to assist you.

This is where you would retrieve that code.

But for now, you can leave everything as it is!

Setting users and permissions in a Shopify store.

6. Payments

Let’s set up how YOU get paid from your customers (wahoo)!

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Payments’.

Shopify Payments allow you to accept credit cards (all the major ones), Paypal, and manual payments of your choosing.

You will need your legal business information (business type, EIN, etc.) for this section.

Read more here if needed:

Do You Need an LLC for Your Skin Care Business?

Benefits of Having an EIN for Your Skin Care Business

In the first box titled ‘Shopify Payments’, click on ‘Complete account setup’.

This will verify your business through a financial service called ‘Stripe’ which is well-known and typical of most all e-commerce platform payment processors.

In the ‘Submit information about your business’ box, click ‘Submit details’.

In the dropdown, choose your business type and enter all relevant details.

Editing the Payments section of a Shopify store.

Take note of the last box that says ‘Customer billing statement’.

Whatever you write here will show up on your customers’ charge statements; you can choose either your store name or your legal business name (if they differ).

The descriptor only allows 22 characters, so this is your chance to shorten your Store or Business Name in a way that you’d like (your goal is to keep it recognizable for your customer as they’re reviewing their statements).

Adding a customer billing statement descriptor in Shopify.

Going back to the main Payments page, click on the ‘Manage’ button (in the Shopify Payments box).

Scroll down to the ‘Payouts’ section and consider how often you would like to get paid!

While it may sound GREAT to receive payouts every single day, this will create extra work and more to look at when it comes time to do your bookkeeping.

As your finances allow, I recommend getting paid once a week (or even once a month) to cut down on your bookkeeping time.

Editing the payout schedule for your Shopify store.

Going back to the main Payments page, navigate to the second box titled ‘Additional payment methods’.

Connect Paypal using the prompts provided (I highly recommend creating a Paypal Business Account to keep your personal and business money separate for liability reasons).

Connecting Paypal to your Shopify store.

If you will be doing in-person deliveries and accepting cash, using Shopify for Farmer’s Markets or other events, scroll down to the ‘Manual payment methods’ box.

Click on ‘Cash on Delivery (COD)’ to make this payment option available in your checkout process.

Adding a 'Cash on Delivery' option to your Shopify store.

7. Checkout

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Checkout’.

All of these selections will change the information your customers provide during the checkout process and is completely up to you.

(Again, don’t worry about selecting the ‘wrong’ things – after your Shopify site is completely set up, we’ll run test transactions before going live. If things don’t look the way you’d like, we can come right back and change them.)

Pay special attention to the ‘Order Processing’ box.

As a fellow handmade skincare entrepreneur, I recommend unchecking the ‘Automatically archive the order’ option, as open orders are the only way we know what still needs to be created and shipped.

You will have the choice to archive an order once a shipping label has been created.

Choosing gift card options on your Shopify store.

8. Customer Accounts

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Customer accounts’.

As skincare businesses, we receive many repeat customers. Allowing them to create an account for easy access is a great feature of Shopify!

To enable this, click on the blue ‘Edit’ link in the top right corner of the ‘Accounts in online store and checkout’ box.

Check the ‘Show login link’ box and choose your preferred version of accounts.

Adding customer accounts in the Shopify backend setup.

9. Taxes and Duties

Taxes and Duties have different rules and percentages based on your city, county, state, country, and even the type of product being sold.

This section that could be an entire business all on its own…and it is!

Janet LeBlanc, founder of Paper + Spark, specializes in all things taxes and finances for handmade businesses – she’s our GO-TO expert.

Download her free Get Legit Checklist here to get walked through the steps of setting yourself up correctly on the state and federal level, including getting a sales tax permit.

Once you understand which state(s) you will collect taxes from, if you need to collect sales tax for shipping, and have your sales tax ID, come back and enter them into this section of Shopify.

Taxes and Duties > Regional Settings > Choose Region > Scroll Down to ‘Regions you’re collecting in > Click on the 3 dots ••• to add your sales tax ID > ‘Add more regions’ if necessary and repeat

10. Locations

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Locations’.

Click on the ‘Shop location’ box.

This is the location that will show up on shipping labels, local pickup info (if that is an option you will make available on your website), and will impact the sales tax that you collect.

Adding shipping locations to the Shopify backend setup.

11. Gift Cards

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Gift cards’.

If you would like to offer gift cards, click on the blue ‘Edit’ link in the right-hand corner of the box to select your choices.

You can also choose to add branding information, such as your text colors (your color palette hex #s), custom logo, and a custom banner.

Don’t have these branding basics locked down yet? Discover them here:

Editing gift card options in the Shopify backend setup.

12. Markets

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Markets’.

This is how you will choose what locations in the world you will sell to.

Your current market is selected by default, with the option to add any variety of countries and regions.

Keep in mind that selling in markets different than your own will require research on taxes, duties, customs, and best shipping practices.

As a handmade skincare maker, also take the time to consider your products’ quality if shipped internationally (would any melting or expansion occur during shipment to other climates?).

Choosing your markets in Shopify's backend setup.

13. Domains

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Domains’.

If you purchased a domain through a third-party such as GoDaddy, click on ‘Connect existing domain’ and follow the prompts.

If you would like to purchase your domain through Shopify, click on ‘Buy new domain.’

Enter your desired domain and it will generate options for you to choose from. Any domain purchase will be added directly to your Shopify bill.

Adding a domain to your Shopify store.

14. Customer Events

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Customer events’.

Pixels go beyond the needs of this backend setup tutorial, but I wanted you to see this section in case you are considering adding GA4 analytics or Facebook Ads to your shop at any point.

A pixel is what tracks your customers’ activity click-by-click on your site and is needed to gather reliable data for use in marketing.

An overview of the Customer Events section of Shopify's backend.

15. Notifications

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Notifications’.

In the ‘Sender email’ box, add the email address that you want used to send emails to your customers.

As a skin care business owner, you will want to set up a professional email address and not your personal email address (for professionalism and for security reasons).

If a professional email address was not given to you through your domain provider, create an associated email through Google Workspace here (all you need is the Business Starter plan).

If you purchased a Shopify domain, you can set up email forwarding to dodge the Google Workspace monthly fee for a moment, but keep in mind that this is not ideal for long-term use.

Next, enter this professional email address into the ‘Sender email’ section as shown below.

Be on the lookout for an email from Shopify to verify that address.

Editing email notifications in Shopify.

After you verify your email, click on the ‘Customer notifications’ section.

This is where you can view, test, and edit all of the emails that go out to your customers for order confirmations, shipping confirmations, local pickups, local deliveries, gift cards, invoices, refunds, etc.

Click the ‘Customize email templates’ button in gray on the top right-hand side of the ‘Customer notifications’ screen.

Easily customize your emails with your skincare business logo and your color palette hex numbers.

Take the time to send yourself test emails!

You want to make sure your email address is set up correctly and that you know what emails look like that are being sent out to your customers.

Customizing email templates in Shopify's backend system.

16. Languages

In the left sidebar of your Shopify Settings page, click ‘Languages’.

If you have decided to sell internationally, adding your customers’ language may be helpful for conversions (this feature translates your entire store’s content).

However, keep in mind that they may also assume that YOU speak the language, including customer inquiries or any items in the shipped package.

Stick to languages you can communicate 100% effectively in.

NEED HELP WITH ANY OF THE TASKS ON THIS CHECKLIST? Reach out to our like-minded community in the DIY Skin Care Business Private FB Group to ask any questions you need!

Celebrate!

You set up the backend of your new Shopify website, congratulations!

Maybe not the most GLAMOROUS of tasks as a handmade business owner, but you sailed through with flying colors!

Now, do something TO CELEBRATE YOURSELF and this business milestone!

You’re 16 steps closer to seeing your passion and dreams come to LIFE!

Grow Your Skin Care Business!

Browse through the resources below to boost your handmade business visibility and profitability!

Shopify Backend Setup Checklist for Handmade Skincare Businesses Pin

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