Shopify For Musicians
Attention Artists: If you want to sell merch or music online, this article is for you.
We’ll walk you through the easiest way to build a functional webstore and ultimately create a one-stop shop for your fans.
When your Shopify store functions as your artist website, the Shopify Admin becomes mission control for your entire web presence. Design your store, create products, manage orders, install apps and more.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll break this into 8 steps you need to follow to get your e-commerce off the ground.
1. Create a Shopify Account
Your first task in building an online storefront is to create a Shopify account. While there are many e-commerce platforms available, Shopify is without a doubt the most powerful and easy to use.
When you create a new Shopify account, your 14 day free trial of the Basic Plan begins. This plan gives you sales channels and a customizable storefront for $30 / month. If you already operate a website and don’t need an entire webstore, you can opt for Shopify Lite. This allows you to sell from your preexisting site using buy buttons, or through sales channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Read more about Shopify Lite in our past blog post.
2. Choose the “Simple Theme"
Let’s assume you’d like to start from scratch and build out your artist webstore. Easy enough. There are a handful of free official Shopify themes to choose from, but today we’ll choose the Simple Theme. Within each theme are various styles - the Simple Theme includes Light and Beauty. For this demonstration, choose the Light version.
3. Upload some photos and place them inside your store
Now it’s time to customize the look of your store. Upload some photos and rearrange the sections to fit your ideal design. You can change the layout, colors, text - let your store reflect who you are as an artist. Or think about it another way… by going through the process of creating and designing a webstore, you are defining your brand as an artist.
| Hint: Use large, high-resolution photos as banner images for your shop. If you don't have any, that's okay! Here are a few huge collections of free & royalty-free photos: Burst, PikWizard, Unsplash.
4. Create a physical product (like a t-shirt) in your Shopify admin
Once you finish designing your shop, it’s time to start creating products. Enter your Shopify Admin and go to the products tab. In the top right there is a button to "Add Product". From there you will enter details and upload a couple of pictures for each product. As soon as you save it, the product is added to your shop. If you choose to manage inventory in Shopify, this is where that takes place.
5. Install Single Music
Shopify rocks at generalized selling online. But if you’re a musician, you’ll likely want some music-specific features. Single Music fills those gaps, and then some. This includes digital album creation and release tools, digital + merch bundling, and reporting to SoundScan.
6. Create a digital album inside your Single dashboard
Once you’re ready to create a digital release, enter your Single dashboard. We’ve written out a detailed support article on exactly how to do this. After you finish, you’ll be prompted to create a standalone digital album or bundle the release with physical products. Creating a standalone digital album publishes the album to Shopify immediately. Attaching to a physical product includes the digital music with the product in your Shopify store.
7. Tag physical albums in Shopify store for auto-reporting
For those who sell physical albums via Shopify, reporting these to SoundScan can be a time-consuming and costly process. Registering to even be able to report is expensive, not including the time spent sending them a report every single week. Automate this process away for just $10 / month. Learn how to tag physical records for reporting here.
8. Find a custom domain & connect it in Shopify admin
Finally, to add credibility to your online store, consider obtaining a custom domain. Services like Namecheap and GoDaddy offer affordable hosting. Once you register your domain, connect it to your new store with just a few clicks inside your Shopify admin.
Finished but hungry for more? Check out our Musician’s Automated Store blog post to learn about how to expand the functionality and autonomy of your e-commerce with the use of a handful of digital services.