Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner living in Pakistan?
Starting an online store is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your products out there.
Shopify makes launching a professional and functional eCommerce website easier than ever.
This step-by-step guide will help you set up a successful Shopify store in Pakistan.
From selecting a domain name and hosting plan to pricing your products and marketing your new venture, everything you need to know is outlined here.
What is Shopify?
To create an online store in Pakistan, you can hire a web developer with knowledge in this industry.
This is the route most people take, especially those with no coding experience.
But there’s another option that doesn’t involve you splashing a lot of money on someone to get the job done.
And that’s the Shopify way.
Shopify provides you with a wide range of features to create your own personalized store, such as:
- customizing themes and templates
- adding products or services to their catalogs
- accepting payments from customers through various payment gateways or digital wallets
- tracking customer orders and analytics data
- setting up shipping rates if applicable and managing customer support inquiries.
It started in 2006 as a solution for selling snowboarding equipment online.
Nowadays, Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms worldwide, powering over 4.4 million websites and stores in more than 175 countries across the globe.
With this platform, you can create an online store in minutes and start selling online in Pakistan.
Is Shopify available in Pakistan?
Yes, Shopify is definitely available in Pakistan! There are thousands of successful Shopify stores operating in the country, selling a wide range of products and services. In fact, as of June 2023, there were over 25,000 live Shopify stores in Pakistan, according to Store Leads.
While Shopify’s own payment gateway, Shopify Payments, is not currently available in Pakistan, there are many third-party payment gateways that can be used by Pakistani businesses. Some popular options include EasyPaisa, JazzCash, 2Checkout, and Checkout.com.
Here are some of the reasons why Shopify is a popular choice for Pakistani businesses:
- Easy to use: Shopify is a user-friendly platform that is even suitable for beginners. You don’t need any coding experience to set up your online store.
- Scalable: Shopify can grow with your business. You can start with a basic plan and upgrade as you need more features.
- Reliable: Shopify is a trusted platform with a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
- Mobile-friendly: Your Shopify store will look great on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
- Wide range of apps and extensions: There are thousands of apps and extensions available for Shopify, which can help you add all the features you need to your store.
Why Choose Shopify Over the Others?
Yes, there are other platforms you can use to power your online business in Pakistan.
Like WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, among others.
But why Shopify?
Well, Shopify is one of the leading platforms in the world and is used by online sellers in over 175 countries.
It offers an easy-to-use website-building platform, along with secure payment processing and a host of other features that make setting up shop easier than ever.
In fact, celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham are Shopify customers too, demonstrating how popular it has become among those who want to start their own store.
But that’s not all.
What sets Shopify apart from the competition is its comprehensive suite of features for merchants.
From marketing tools to customer support services, Shopify provides everything you need to set up a shop quickly and securely.
Plus, it boasts a global market share of 10%, meaning more customers can be reached through this platform than many others (Statista).
What to Do Before Setting Up Shopify Account
Before you start creating your Shopify account in Pakistan, there are some important steps.
First, decide what products you plan to sell in your store.
I mean, you are starting the store to sell something, right?
So, what will that be?
Pick something unique, profitable, and with less competition. This is your chance to enjoy more profits.
That said, here are some of the best selling products online in Pakistan:
- Home décor
- Textiles and apparel
- Phone and phone accessories
- Beauty products
Look into these products and find a unique angle to exploit in your store.
After deciding on the product, take the time to research the competition.
This is to ensure that you’re offering something unique or better than what others are selling.
You should also consider your target market – will they be interested in the items you’re selling?
This is an essential step in determining whether your store will succeed.
One more thing.
It may be helpful to create a business plan that outlines all aspects of running your store, such as pricing strategies, customer service policies, marketing plans, and any other considerations related to running a successful shop.
With this out of the way, you are ready to start a Shopify store in Pakistan.
Shopify comes with a free trial, which means you don’t have to pay anything for the first 14 days.
To get started, click Start free trial and then follow the prompts to proceed.
There will be simple onboarding questions, which you can answer or skip them.
a. Setting up Your Shopify Account
Creating your Shopify account is the first step toward launching your online store.
Luckily, it’s a straightforward process requiring you to provide basic information about yourself and create an account with Shopify.
The first step is entering your email address, selecting a password, and selecting the “Create Shopify ID” button.
You will then be taken to your dashboard, where you can start building up the store to your taste.
b. Selecting a Shopify Plan
To unlock the full power of Shopify, you must upgrade your plan to a paid one.
There are three plans available on the Shopify platform are Basic, Shopify, and Advanced.
Each tier offers access to different features depending on the size of your business or budget.
The Basic plan is perfect for those just starting out with a small shop or side business.
This plan provides all basic essentials such as secure hosting and SSL encryption, customer accounts, unlimited products, file storage, manual order processing, and more.
And you can get it at $1 USD/month for the first 3 months.
The Shopify or Advanced plans provide additional tools such as real-time carrier shipping rates calculation and abandoned cart recovery options for larger businesses looking to expand their operations further.
Additionally, these tiers offer more seats for your staff, locations, and reports compared to those offered in the Basic Plan.
Pick one according to your budget and business size.
Shopify website price in Pakistan
The cost of a Shopify website in Pakistan can vary depending on a few factors, such as:
- The Shopify plan you choose: Shopify offers three main pricing plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. The Basic Shopify plan is the most affordable, at $29 USD per month. The Shopify plan costs $79 USD per month, and the Advanced Shopify plan costs $299 USD per month.
- The complexity of your website: If you need a lot of custom features or functionality, your website will cost more to develop.
- The web developer you hire: If you hire a web developer to build your Shopify website, you will need to pay their hourly rate.
In general, you can expect to pay between Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 95,000 for a basic Shopify website in Pakistan. However, if you need a more complex website, you could pay more.
Here are some tips for saving money on your Shopify website:
- Choose the Basic Shopify plan if you are just starting out. You can always upgrade to a higher plan later if you need more features.
- Use a free Shopify theme. There are many beautiful and professional free Shopify themes available.
- Do some of the work yourself. If you are comfortable with technology, you can save money by doing some of the work yourself, such as setting up your products and shipping settings.
c. Connecting a Domain
The next step in setting up your Shopify store in Pakistan is to connect a domain.
This is the address that users will enter into their web browser to find your website.
You see, your free account comes with a free subdomain. It looks weird, and unprofessional, and it may scare away customers from buying from your store.
With Shopify, you can purchase and manage your domains from within the platform.
To start, you’ll need to log into your account and click on ‘Domains’ from the Settings menu.
From here, you’ll be able to search for an available domain name related to your business and add it to your store.
Once you’ve found a suitable domain name, Shopify will take care of all of the setup process for you including registering the domain with ICANN and pointing it towards the right server.
You can also transfer any existing domains over to Shopify if needed.
When everything has been set up correctly, customers can now access your store via this new domain address!
Now that you’ve taken care of the domain, the next thing is to make your store look unique and inviting.
a. Choosing a Shopify Theme
Choosing the right theme for your Shopify store is crucial in setting up a successful business.
Pick a theme that will make customers feel comfortable and confident when they visit your store.
To do that, consider your website’s overall design and how it will interact with customers.
Your theme should be easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and able to highlight the products you’re selling.
Luckily, the Shopify Theme Store has hundreds of themes available for free or purchase that you can use for your store.
You can browse themes by a category and find one that suits the look you want for your website.
Don’t forget to test out different styles before making a final decision so you can find one that works best for you and your business goals.
b. Customizing Your Theme
This is your chance to create a unique look for your store that fits your customers’ needs.
Shopify provides several ready-made themes, but if you want to customize them further, you can take some simple steps.
First, choose a theme that best suits the products and services offered by your store.
Next, add any additional features or plugins necessary to create a great user experience.
This includes adding menus, shopping carts, product galleries, and more.
You can also customize colors to match brand colors and upload logos or other images for branding purposes.
These customization options ALLOWS you to create an online shop tailored specifically for Pakistani consumers and businesses alike!
c. Setting up Your Logo
A logo is essential for branding and recognition.
It is the first thing customers will see when they visit your store.
As such, make sure that it stands out and accurately represents your brand.
To begin creating your logo, you can either use a free online logo maker or hire a professional designer.
When using an online logo maker, you’ll have access to ready-made templates and design tools to help you create an eye-catching design.
This may be the most cost-effective option if you have limited funds for branding.
If you choose to hire a professional designer, make sure to provide them with specific instructions so they can create a custom logo according to your vision
Before you can start adding products to your Shopify store in Pakistan, you need to streamline the logistics.
How will you collect payments?
What’s your shipping address?
a. Setting Up Your Shopify Payment Gateway in Pakistan
A payment gateway is an online option for customers to pay for their purchases.
Without it, you can’t process payments from customers, and you won’t be able to make money from your shop.
Several payment gateways are available for Shopify stores set up in Pakistan, such as FreeCharge, PayU Money, and JazzCash.
These offer secure, encrypted transactions that ensure your customer’s privacy and security when making payments online.
To set them up, you must register with each provider and enter the relevant API details into your Shopify admin area.
Once this is done, customers can easily checkout using their preferred payment method upon completion of their purchase.
b. Configuring Shipping Settings
Head to Settings > Shipping and Delivery to start configuring your shipping settings.
Here, you can enter the details of your business, such as the sender’s name, address, and contact information.
Next, add a zone for Pakistan and select any international countries you’d like to ship products to.
You can also specify which carriers you want to use for various orders based on their cost and speed.
For example, you may choose a domestic carrier if an order is placed within Pakistan. At the same time, you can opt for a reliable international courier service if it’s an international order.
You can also set up a Local Pickup.
Here, you let customers pick up their orders at your locations.
Once the payment and shipping logistics are ironed out, start stocking your online store.
a. Creating Product Listings on Shopify
Creating product listings involves adding details about your products, such as titles, descriptions, photos, and prices that will help customers find what they’re looking for.
The more detailed the product listing, the better chance it has of being seen by potential buyers.
You can do this by going to Products >> Add Your Products.
And then upload product images,
Alternatively, you can import from a file or use Shopify apps to find the products, which works if you are dropshipping in Pakistan.
When creating product listings for your Shopify store in Pakistan, include accurate information about your products.
This includes images that accurately reflect what you are selling and detailed descriptions that provide clear information about the features and benefits of each item.
Make sure pricing is up-to-date so customers can easily compare items and decide which one fits their needs best.
Once you have all this information ready to go, you can begin the process of submitting your product listings to Shopify’s online marketplace.
b. Uploading Images and Videos
This is another one of the most important steps in setting up an online shop in Pakistan.
Not only will these visuals help attract customers, but they are also crucial for showcasing products or services.
To get started, you can either upload one by one as your add the products (see previous step).
Or create a directory on your server where your photos and videos can be stored.
After logging into the back-end of your Shopify admin page, go to Settings > Files > Uploads, click ‘Add File’ and select the file from your computer.
To ensure that the images appear properly on all devices, it is important to upload them in the correct size and format.
Use a free photo editor such as Canva or Gimp if needed for image optimization.
c. Optimizing Your Product Pages
Product pages are a key component of any Shopify store in Pakistan. Optimizing them can make a tremendous difference to the success of your business.
Here are some tips for optimizing your product pages:
Start by adding helpful information and visuals to each product page.
Include high-quality images, detailed product descriptions, features and benefits, customer reviews, and other relevant details that will help customers make an informed purchasing decision.
Add videos or user-generated content showing potential buyers how to use the product when possible.
Next, pay close attention to how you structure your product pages – from the layout to navigation options to CTAs (calls-to-action).
Make sure everything is easy for users to find on the page without feeling overwhelmed with too much information or too many choices.
Keep it simple so customers can find what they need quickly and smoothly.
Promote Your Shopify Store in Pakistan
Without traffic, you can’t make any sales.
So, how will you get your Shopify store noticed in Pakistan?
a. Use Social Media Marketing
There were 71.70 million social media users in Pakistan in January 2022 (Source: Datareportal.com).
And that’s why SSM is becoming increasingly popular among eCommerce businesses in Pakistan.
Utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help to reach a wide range of potential customers quickly.
Online stores can grow their brand recognition and customer by sharing content such as product reviews, promotional offers, and new product launches on these platforms.
To make the most out of social media marketing for Shopify stores in Pakistan, create well-crafted posts that target the company’s desired audience.
Additionally, using appropriate hashtags and leveraging trending topics will ensure that the content reaches an even larger pool of customers.
Not to mention, engaging with existing followers by promptly responding to comments or messages will build trust and loyalty towards the store’s brand.
Take advantage of these powerful tools and significantly grow your online store sales by driving more traffic.
b. Create a Blog for Your Store in Pakistan
A blog is a great way to engage with customers and provide them with useful information about your products.
Having a blog will not only help you stay connected to shoppers, but it can also be a great marketing tool.
Starting a blog for your store can initially seem intimidating, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
To start, select an appropriate blogging platform such as WordPress or Blogger that offers features like custom domain names, content management systems (CMS), and analytics tracking.
Alternatively, you can use Shopify native blogging system.
Next, create content that’s engaging and informative for potential customers.
This could include tutorials on how to use certain products, highlight customer reviews, or write about current trends in the industry that could benefit customers.
And be sure to include keywords that are relevant to your product offerings so your posts come up during relevant searches.
c. Set Up Email Marketing
Email marketing is essential to setting up a successful Shopify store in Pakistan.
While it may seem like a daunting task, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your email campaigns are set up and running smoothly.
The first step to setting up email marketing for your Shopify store is to create an email list.
This will allow you to target customers interested in your products or services and reach out directly to them with promotions, discounts, and other useful information.
You can create an email list by creating forms on your website or using third-party software like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
Once your list has been created, you can begin sending emails to customers regularly.
Another important step is segmenting your customer base into different groups so that you can customize the messages sent out based on their interests and preferences.
This will ensure that you send out messages tailored to each customer, increasing their chances of engaging with your emails.
Once all this is in place and running smoothly, track results from your email campaigns so that you can identify any areas for improvement or optimization.
This could include improving open rates by testing subject lines or optimizing click-through rate (CTR) through A/B testing different versions of an email message.
There are many Shopify stores in Pakistan, with over 25,000 live stores as of January 2024.
Some of the top Shopify stores in Pakistan include Outfitters Official Online Store, Asim Jofa, Beechtree Online, and Mistore.pk.
Other successful stores include Maha Fashions, Suzclothing, and Lime Lyf Online Products.
The majority of Shopify stores in Pakistan are based in Punjab and Sindh provinces, with Lahore and Karachi having the most stores respectively.
Pakistani Shopify stores cover a wide range of categories, including casual apparel, women’s clothing, mobile and wireless, and food.
When starting a Shopify store in Pakistan, many considerations must be considered.
Understand the local market, find reliable suppliers and shipping partners, and ensure the store has a quality user experience.
Remember that success does not happen overnight.
Building a successful online shop takes time and effort, but anything can be achieved with dedication.
Setting realistic goals and staying organized will help entrepreneurs stay on track throughout their journey.
Keeping an open line of communication between customers and suppliers is key to long-term success, which will help build customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.