Starting your Shopify site can seem overwhelming but, it doesn't have to be!
Let's take it one step at a time.
If you haven't done so yet, choose and write down the # of at least 3 brand colors you will be consistently using throughout your site, banners, graphics etc.
I always like to choose one bold color, one neutral color and one complimentary color. These are colors that go with the designs and aesthetic you will be offering to your customers so, keep your niche in mind.
Choose your theme. I like to shop on sites like Etsy, Creative Market, ThemeForest, etc for themes that have features that I like. A few themes I have used in the past are Foxic and Dubai Bold.
Once you choose your theme, you will need to upload it to your site. Most themes should come with instructions on how to upload it.
When you upload your theme, you will be able to "customize" it. This is where you will jump into all your settings and change them to match your branding.
BRANDING & SETTINGS: All themes have different settings available so, be sure to to play around with all of them until you get the look that you want. The most important thing to pay attention to is updating your headings, font colors, and button colors with your branded colors. After you do that, you can update all the other "little" things like what style buttons you want, etc. Take your time with this and get it looking and feeling like your BRAND.
COLLECTIONS: I think setting up collections up front is one of the most important things you can do for your store. Navigation is so underrated and if a customer can not easily find the products they are looking for, they will bounce off your site quickly. That's why we are going to setup collections so customers can easily shop your site.
Think about your Main Menu (the menu/bar on top) and how you like to shop other stores. Check out department stores or your favorite shops and see how they do it. What do you like, what don't you like.
On a Google sheet, title a row "Collection" and the other row "Tag". Write down all the collections you want to offer and the tag you will use to put them into that category. Do the same for your sub categories.
Now, it's time to setup your categories. In the main dashboard, click "Products" and then "Collections". Click "Create Collection".
Title your collection accordingly
Scroll down to conditions and select "product tag" and then select "is equal to" and paste the tag you will use for this collection.
Repeat these steps for all the collections you'd like to offer.
PHOTOS: photos can be good to use for you "covers" for your collections. They will be the first thing customers see if you are going to be adding a "shop by collection" section to your site so my big suggestion is to make sure that your photos are consistent in style, lighting and feel. If you are a bright, fun, and exciting brand, make sure your photos show that so the customer can feel that emotion when they land on your site. If you're more cozy and neutral, use a more muted tone.
Setting up all these things up front can help you build out your brand and make you recognizable in the future and doing it right the first time is KEY!