You’ve poured over your Shopify store design, you’ve carefully curated your store’s offer, and you’ve even uploaded everything necessary to make your business successful. Now, it’s time to do the actual launch! Here is the market share of Shopify:
You’ve spent countless hours setting up your store and preparing to launch it, but you can never be too careful. There are many tiny details that can easily slip through the cracks, but if they do, they could cause major issues down the road. To make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, we put together this ultimate Shopify launch checklist so you don’t have to worry about any of those pesky details again.
Why is a launch checklist so crucial?
The process of launching a new store on Shopify can be intimidating, but with a proper launch checklist, it doesn’t have to be. This ultimate Shopify launch checklist was designed with first-time entrepreneurs in mind and is meant to take you from idea to online store quickly and easily. With step-by-step instructions for everything from creating your branding, marketing, design, and product pages, integrating payment methods, setting up your shipping strategy, and more, you’ll learn how to quickly launch your new business.
You don’t want to launch your store half-heartedly and accidentally leave out a vital step in your planning. You could end up with customers who are confused, frustrated, or even angry because of it, not to mention damage your reputation as an ecommerce store owner right out of the gate.
But worse yet is when you don’t make enough sales to meet costs and you have no product images or inventory to sell. You can avoid all of these problems by creating a detailed list of things you need to do before you hit publish on that big launch button.
1) Add your chosen sales channels
If you’re using Shopify as your storefront, then you should really get familiar with these sales channels. They’ll help you promote your store to a huge number of potential customers. The channels we’ve listed below can give you a general sense of what they are and how they might fit into your marketing plan:
- Facebook Shop
- Google Shopping
- Buy button and checkout links
Launching a product is a bit like going on the offensive: the faster you move, the more ground you can cover and the less time your competition will have to take you out. The best sales channels for your launch are often dictated by your product and target audience—but popular apps like Shopify can help you get up and running with ease. If you’re planning to sell using a platform like that, make sure to check out their featured apps or speak to an expert about which will work best for your store type. If you don’t choose an app right away, be sure to give it some thought well before launch so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
2) Add a custom domain
Adding a custom domain is one of the easiest ways to make your store look more professional, and adding it should be pretty straightforward. All you have to do is find out which registrar your host uses (i.e., GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Namecheap), go there, and follow their instructions. Most registrars have walkthroughs online that can help you through every step of setting up a new domain name in less than five minutes. This has become much easier with Shopify, too: instead of having to register your own domain and then associate it with your store via a third-party service like Namecheap or Hover, all you have to do is provide your website address when you’re setting up your store.
Did you know that you can set up a custom domain for your store in under 5 minutes? Now is when it’s time to go make that purchase. Head over to your Shopify Domain Manager and make sure to use a domain registrar that supports Route 53 (like Route 53 Domains by Amazon) and give them all of your details. Once you are done with that, forward any new domains using an Amazon S3 bucket or add on like Pagely if they are not available yet. Then, log into Shopify Admin > Online Store > Settings and enter in your newly registered domain name! And that’s it…you’re now ready for launch! It’s so simple.
3) Review your payment gateway settings and checkout experience
Payment gateways are where you and your customers connect to complete a transaction. To ensure your store checkout process is smooth, make sure you review it carefully with each payment gateway before going live. It’s also important to confirm that all of your settings are correct; if they aren’t, you could end up losing out on sales or getting hit with fees. For example, some payment gateways will charge additional fees for international transactions or low-dollar value orders. Take time to confirm that each gateway has its settings in place to avoid any costly mistakes!
It’s crucial to make sure your payment gateway settings and checkout experience are in order so you don’t scare off any shoppers. Before you open for business, it’s important to make sure your payment gateway settings are up-to-date and that your checkout experience is easy and seamless. Payment gateways require a lot of specific information from you; taking care of those details now means less stress later. Think about how buyers will checkout on your site—you can set them up for a positive experience by making sure there are no unexpected prompts or steps along their way.
4) Prepare your standard pages
This way, even if your products change frequently, you have something static to direct people towards when they visit your site. We’ve talked about how important it is to have a contact page that helps you stand out in your customer’s mind—and contact forms can be particularly effective because they help your customers get in touch with you without having to leave your site. The same goes for an About page. If people want to find out more about what you’re doing, why not make it easy for them?
5) Review your email notification settings
Email notifications are an essential part of any well-run store. You should receive an email any time someone makes a purchase, leaves a review, or visits your store. However, some things should not be set to email—and there are two main reasons why. The first is that you don’t want to get bombarded with hundreds of emails each day; after all, you can still see everything by logging into your online store at any time.
On Shopify, go to Settings > Notifications and select an option (you might try limiting emails for only critical system alerts). Or, if email notifications are too disruptive for you, give Slack a try—it’s a great tool for alerting your team about new orders.
6) Conduct a content audit
Conducting a content audit is an important step for launching your online store. First, you want to look for quality in your content; is it up-to-date? Is it valuable to your customers? Then, check broken links and 404s. Google will send traffic to these 404s, and you don’t want that because they’ll see broken pages on your website. The next thing to check on is image-rendering and mobile responsiveness—in other words, are all of your images showing up properly? If not, those visitors could lose sales for you.
7) Optimize all images on your website
When you’re launching a new store, you want to be sure that every visitor has a positive experience. And one of your best tools for ensuring that? Optimized images. Photos make up much of what people remember about your brand and its products—it makes sense to use every available opportunity to make sure those images are doing their job. That means making sure you have large, high-quality versions of each image on your site so that when someone drops by they get an immediate visual impact. A keyword in optimal image sizes is optimal—not just big or small, but smartly sized so they appear quickly and beautifully on different screen resolutions and browsers.
Not sure what your website’s loading speed is? Run a quick audit with Pingdom. If you have too many images on your site, try compressing them. Each image takes time to load and slow-loading images can hurt your site’s user experience. Make sure to optimize all of your images so they are as small as possible but still look great. Image editing software like Photoshop or GIMP can help you do that in just a few clicks. If you don’t have those programs, there are a ton of online options—like TinyPNG and Compress JPEG—that can do much of that heavy lifting for you automatically or for free.
8) Have a pre-launch marketing plan
Building a pre-launch marketing plan is an essential part of every good store launch. You’ll want to document your marketing plan so once you go live, you know exactly what you need to do next. Use your pre-launch marketing plan as a guide to help you manage your store in its first few weeks of existence. Add in tasks for content creation, email lists, partnerships, and more. Make sure each task has a deadline so you can work on tasks that require immediate attention first and get them out of the way quickly.
9) Adjust your tax and shipping settings
Tax and shipping settings are two of your most important options when creating your store. These options will affect how much money you bring in through sales and how much you can pay to advertise on social media and other platforms. Unfortunately, tax and shipping settings aren’t set-it-and-forget-it deals.
For example, if you decide to start selling internationally, you’ll need to adjust your tax settings for each country’s tax code. Similarly, your average order size will fluctuate over time (maybe people just buy one thing at a time, or maybe they bulk up their orders) and that means your shipping rates will have to change accordingly so it doesn’t cost too much for you to send out a whole package of items from one location.
10) Make it easy for shoppers to contact you
If a customer can’t easily get in touch with you, they might lose interest in your product. A simple way to fix that is with an email opt-in form at your store’s homepage. That way, when customers want to contact you about purchases or something else entirely, they can get in touch via email and it will be as easy as possible for them. Even if a customer isn’t ready to buy from you yet, every sale starts with an email address. Use it wisely!
No matter how many social media accounts you have, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to keep up with a flood of requests and questions once your store goes live. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make it easy for shoppers to contact you.
The easiest way to do so is by offering a contact form on your homepage or providing a link on any other site where you might be promoting your product. If something goes wrong with a customer’s order, they’ll want an easy way to reach out, so don’t make them dig for it!
11) Install only the essential apps
It’s tempting to fill your store with apps. But resist the urge! You only need to install apps that will help you run your business. Having too many apps could slow down your site or make it look cluttered and unprofessional, which can turn customers away. To set up your store effectively, take a step back and figure out exactly what you need it to do.
This exercise is especially important if you’ve never had an online store before; there are no right or wrong answers here, just an honest assessment of what tasks you need the app to perform for your brand in the long run (and not just during launch). Start with these essentials: Payment Processing — Because every sale needs a payment processor.
There you have it, a complete Shopify store launch checklist to help you ensure your successful store launch. It’s an exciting time when you finally push that button to make your store live. Make sure that excitement doesn’t turn into heartbreak or stress by being prepared with a solid plan before that big day. After all, when done right, launching your new eCommerce business
There you have it, a complete Shopify store launch checklist to help you ensure your successful store launch. It’s an exciting time when you finally push that button to make your store live. Make sure that excitement doesn’t turn into heartbreak or stress by being prepared with a solid plan before that big day. After all, when done right, launching your new eCommerce business should be a blast and not a headache! You can also take help from shopify website development company, if you face any difficulty in launching your checklist. Remember if you enjoyed reading my checklist leave me a comment below!