How to Easily Create Onboarding Processes for Your Shopify Customers and Merchants

Recently, I have seen an amazing ad while I was doing research about marketing campaigns.

This specific ad made me laugh until my stomach hurt:

shopify onboarding process

That’s right!

You need actual people to actually grow a business. And those people need high-quality onboarding experiences to help you grow.

Everyone is already talking about app onboarding or software onboarding processes. However, many people who use complete commerce SaaS platforms forget that they also need to create an onboarding cycle.

And luckily, that process is neither difficult nor complicated.

As long as you know how to do it easily.

And luckily, I’m here to tell you.

So, let’s dive into the essentials about Shopify Onboarding:

What Is Onboarding in Shopify?

Onboarding in Shopify is a process that walks your merchants and customer base through each feature that is on your Shopify page. There are different types, and each type of onboarding has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of user experience acceleration.

Or as Shopify puts it:

“Well-designed onboarding flows increase engagement with a product or feature. They’re efficient and they gradually introduce merchants to tasks that have a clearly defined goal and benefit.”

So if you have a Shopify app or shop, you must onboard users and merchants to achieve success.



Why You Should Onboard Your Customers to Your Store the Right Ways

An average app loses 77% of daily activation rates within the first three days of installation, and this rate goes up to 90% in 30 days.

In other words, people decide not to use your app in only three days.


Because they either don’t know how to get the most out of the app, or they are bombarded with spam notifications or ads and they don’t want it anymore.


Because people don’t easily convert into customers, but quickly get a tendency to churn.


Because if you lack these three qualities, you won’t get recognized as a solid and trustworthy solution:

1- A good first impression is a must for B2C

Whether you provide an interactive onboarding experience, or you decided to go with an email onboarding process, as long as you get the user to get your value, you will bind them for a long time.

An awesome onboarding experience is like a good quality concierge of a hotel.

It greets you well.

It treats you well.

It leads you well (to your destination, which is probably the room. I wanted it to rhyme.)

No customer will be interested in your core company values (or shop values) unless you greet them well.

So, providing an amazing onboarding experience is the easiest and cheapest way possible.

On top:

2- If your customers don’t know how to navigate, you won’t be able to grow

Quick growth tip:

Investing in an action-oriented remote onboarding program will be the best choice you ever made.

Here is why:

  1. You create an accelerated onboarding process,
  2. People easily get to the “Aha!” point through the amazing onboarding flow,
  3. The number of customers who make purchases increase,
  4. Your growth strategy becomes a model for every other shop.

The fact that you have an online shop means that you are responsible for providing your customers with proper navigation. You don’t have shopkeepers, you don’t have cashiers, you don’t have a supplies office, but you must have an onboarding program that compensates for all these.

And also,

3- If your merchants can’t use your shop, you won’t be able to sell

What are you going to sell if your merchants don’t know how to update stocks and availability?

An amazing onboarding experience is not only the right of users, it’s also necessary for merchants to sign up for and access your storages.

Here is an in-depth guide by Shopify that explains how the in-app merchant onboarding process works.

And as for the rest, here is how to create a fail-proof remote onboarding process for your Shopify users and Merchants:

8 Steps to Create a User Onboarding for Your Shopify Page

To give you clear demonstrations, I created an onboarding process for a Shopify store with UserGuiding.

The first thing I did is to:

1- Decide on the type of onboarding

There are various ways of creating a good onboarding.

The most effective and popular methods are:

  • Modal-based onboarding,
  • Video onboarding,
  • Interactive onboarding.

I decided to go with the third, and here is what I did next:

2- A welcome modal is a must-have

Remember when I was talking about first impressions? Now is the time to show your customers how good you are at it.

Don’t just jump into showing people how good you are at creating interactive tours. Greet them first.

Get them excited and willing to take the tour.

a welcome modal created with UserGuiding for onboarding

And also, never keep an interactive process longer than 8 steps.

As for the copy:

3- Use educational content, not dictational

In a nutshell, educational content should:

  • Inform, but not overwhelm.
  • Incorporate feedback at every step, whether successful or not, so merchants know the effect of their actions.
  • Use plain language.
  • Use consistent terms about the core benefit across the flow. Clarify confusing or unfamiliar terms with tooltips.
  • Always offer a next step. Use step terminology such as “next, first, then.”
  • Explain why new tasks need to be completed.
  • Reinforce and repeat key concepts. Start with detailed explanations and steadily simplify for subsequent steps in the flow.

4- Stress on the most important parts only

So, not any tour shall be longer than 8 steps.

Right? So you have to cherry-pick what you are going to show-off with those 8 steps.

I personally created a 6-step tour in which there is a welcome modal, and an exit modal.

Except for those two, here is what I did:

user onboarding for shopify

I directed the attention straight to the point where I want the customers to be at.

And there is one more thing that could possibly distract people:

5- Keep the copy short

People don’t want to read paragraphs over paragraphs.

They don’t want to listen to you bragging about how amazing your services are. They want to see what value you provide.

So the copy you write should represent you.

It’s not about what you write, it’s about how you write.

Here is how I wrote:

how to onboard users for shopify

I believe the funky tone of the copy matches with the purpose of the cookies.

And the only thing that is more convincing than words in onboarding is:

6- Use visuals

Use gifs. Use photos. Use your own face. Use an avatar.

Use an attracting element, a visual, to act as your focal point so that you catch the users’ attention.

Because no matter how short your copy is, if it’s not supported with visuals, it can turn out to be boring.

user onboarding for shopify

The visual in the image is actually a gif. You can find it in the conclusion part of this article.

But does the onboarding end with one product tour?


7- Ask for feedback

People love to be heard. And you need improvement.

You also need your customers to trust you with their whole hearts. And you know that they love to be heard.

That’s why you should conduct NPS surveys, ask for feedback, ask for reviews, and keep them in the loop along with you as much as you can.

NPS for shopify

8- Keep them in the loop

Onboarding is not a one-time thing. You should keep your users in a loop, and your merchants up-to-date all the time by integrating a continuous onboarding cycle.

You can regularly ask for feedback, put announcement banners once in a while, or send them emails or newsletters – depending on your user base.


Here is what my complete onboarding process looks like:

For legal purposes, the discount is not real and I made it up for the sake of creating an onboarding demonstration.

The free shipping thing is true, though.

All in all, if it weren’t for the sake of the interactive onboarding, I wouldn’t be as interested in Partake as I am now.

I bet you feel the same way.

And that’s exactly why you should include an onboarding process on your Shopify page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is onboarding in Shopify?

Well-designed onboarding flows increase engagement with a product or feature. They’re efficient and they gradually introduce merchants to tasks that have a clearly defined goal and benefit.

What is the best tool for Shopify Onboarding?

The best tools for Shopify Onboarding are 3rd party digital adoption platform software. UserGuiding is one of the leading companies that are also affordable.

What is eCommerce onboarding?

eCommerce onboarding is mostly similar to website onboarding and user onbaording. Here you can find detailed information about it.

how to onboard users for shopify

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Hilal Yıldırım

I’m UserGuiding’s growth-obsessed creative content writer and junior journalist. I like to research and write about growth, onboarding, and inbound marketing. If you feel like we could exchange ideas, feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or email! P.S. If I don’t respond, please know that I’m on a road trip with my camera and motorbike.

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