General Settings

Let's start with the general settings. Click on Settings in the navigation panel, which will then update to reveal the eight sections that make up the settings. In the navigation panel, you'll see that "General" is highlighted and on the right-hand side you'll see the general settings for your store.

In this section, you will find:

  • Shop description & address: Specify some general information about your store and your business. This information will be used on your store and in the invoices that Shopify issues you.
  • Standards & formats: Specify the format of order numbers in your store. Also select the timezone, whether your store should use imperial or metric units, and the currency to be used in your store.
  • Google Analytics: Set up Google Analytics, an excellent and free service that provides very useful statistics for your online store.
  • Storefront password: Enable or disable password protection for your store.

Remember to click the Save button to save and apply the changes you have made to the settings when you have finished. Also always check your admin or your storefront to see the result of the changes.

Shop Description And Address

These first two subsections contain some essential settings for your store:

  • Shop name: This is the name of your shop, or store, as it appears on your storefront and in invoices issued by your store.
  • Shop title: To optimize your store for the search engines, you can specify this field which will be used as the page title for your store's homepage.
  • Shop description: A short description of your store that will be used as a meta description on your store's homepage. It will not be visible on your storefront but the search engines may use it in search results.
  • Account email: This is the main email address for this Shopify account. This address will receive emails related to the account including notifications of invoices.
  • Customer email: This should be your main customer service email address. Emails sent from your store, for example order confirmations will be sent from this address.
  • Phone: This is a phone number that Shopify can use if they need to contact you.
  • Address: This is the address of your business. It will be used on the invoices that Shopify issues you for the use of its service.

The customer email, phone and address are not displayed on your storefront. To display these you will have to specify them in your theme settings. These are generally found in the footer subsection of your theme settings.

Standards And Formats

Scrolling further down through the general settings, we come to the standards and formats to be used for your store. Let's look at each setting one by one:

  • Order ID: Every order that is created for your store will have a unique number to identify it: this is the order ID. The standard format is to have the number sign (#) and a unique number. But you can customize the format to some degree. You must keep the placeholder {{number}} intact: this will be replaced by the unique order number. You can put whatever ordinary text you want before or after it.

  • Timezone: Use the dropdown menu to select the timezone for your store. This will be used for example to date and time orders and blog posts.

  • Unit System: Choose in the dropdown menu if your store should use imperial units like pounds and inches or metric units like kilograms and centimeters. This will be applied to product weights for calculating shipping costs.

  • Currency: From the dropdown menu, you can select which currency will be used in your store. It is only possible to use one currency in a store. Although some individual themes now come with currency conversion, orders are still processed in the currency that you specify here in the settings.

  • Currency formatting: For most store owners the standard formatting for currency will be fine. For those that it is not, click on the blue link change formatting beside "Currency" to reveal how money is formatted in your store. There are four settings, the first two are used on your storefront and the last two are used in emails to your customers. In some countries, a comma is used instead of a point to indicate decimals. To put this in place, replace {{amount}} with {{amount_with_comma_separator}} for each of the four settings.

Google Analytics

As noted earlier, Google Analytics is an excellent and free service that provides statistics for websites or in your case for your store. I highly recommend you put in place Analytics for your store. For an online store, you can't actually see the people that come to visit like in a store with a physical location. Statistics are essential to be able to see what is happening.

I have published a free introductory guide and ebook to Google Analytics for ecommerce.

It includes instructions for how to take full advantage of Google Analytics. You can download it for free right here.

Storefront Password

When you first create your Shopify account, your storefront will automatically be password protected so that it is only accessible with a password. You'll have to provide a credit card to remove the password though you won't be billed for the account until the end of your trial. At a later stage, after launching, you may want to password protect your storefront again. This is easily done:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the general settings where you will find the "Storefront Password" section.
  2. Select the "Password protect your storefront" checkbox to reveal the password and message fields.
  3. Type in a password. You can always give this password to other people if you want them to see the storefront before it is reopened.
  4. Write and format a message that will be shown to those that try and access your store while it is password protected.
  5. Click the Save button to put the password protection in place.

When you are ready to remove the password protection, return to the "Storefront Password" section, deselect the "Password protect your storefront" checkbox and click the Save button.