Before you start

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” - Winston Churchill

Building an online shop is not difficult to do, but building a great online shop does require some planning. To make it easier for you we have created a basic list of things you should have in place before starting your online shop. You are also more than welcome to email us at for some advice.

30 days free trial

If you follow the steps below, you should be up and running in 30 days. The great thing is our trial period ensures you do not even have to pay us whilst doing it.



Put together a basic plan of how you would like your shop to look, your product descriptions, will you add any content pages, what lifestyle shoots will you be using.

Prepare product images and content

Prepare Product images
and content

Use Excel or Numbers to prepare your product catalogue with product ranges, descriptions, prices and properties. You will be able to import this spreadsheet later (you will find a format example once you register).

Prepare images

Preparing your images

It is really important to have good photography. If you can afford to work with a professional photographer. If not then do some research in how to take your own photographs, these days everyone is an instagrammer ;)

Register your payment gateway

Register your payment gateway

You will need a payment gateway to accept credit cards. Shopstar has integrated PayPal and PayFast. If you are planning on selling locally we recommend you stick to PayFast. For international trade we suggest PayPal. You can also use both. You will need to setup an account with them. It is really easy, browse to their website and start the registration process.

Your brand, logo, colours and design

Your brand, logo, colours
and design

Although a well designed site does not automatically provide you with more sales, it does give you more credibility. Remember that many clients will only know your brand online. Put your best foot forward.

Shipping options

Prepare your shipping options

Keep it simple. Offer three options (postal, courier road, courier overnight) to your customer, based on your average product offering. We recommend you contact Shopstar for our rates and logistics process in partnership with Dawn Wing/DPD Laser. Alternatively obtain a quote from a preferred courier partner and/or the post office.

Structure your terms and conditions

Structure your terms
and conditions

Shopstar has partnered with Michalsons Attorneys to offer you free terms and conditions. These terms are automatically available after you have registered your online shop. Find them under >> Settings >> Manage shop design >> Content pages >> Terms. Although they will meet most of our clients’ requirements we advise that you read through them. Avoid copying and pasting terms from other online shops. Not only is this illegal it, but other shops terms may also not fit your requirements. Contact us we are always glad to help.

Register a custom domain

Register a custom domain

A custom domain is great in making your shop look that much more professional. Instead of saying you can just say Sounds better doesn’t it?!