Checklist Essentials for Launching Your Shopify Store
If you’ve managed to set up your Shopify store, congratulations! Everything should look good and ready to go! But, what if you forgot something? Having a checklist is great so that you can run through every aspect of your store.
Look at it this way, event organizers use a checklist to make sure that everything is going to run smoothly before their event starts. Big concerts, for example, go well because organizers do multiple test runs, rehearsals and finally, run through their checklist to make sure there are no problems before they let anyone through. It would be a disaster if the speakers or mics didn’t work because no one had checked.
To help you cope with your store launch, we’ve compiled some key items for your checklist that you are free to use and adapt right before you launch. We’re all about creating that successful Shopify store. Now, let’s explore.
- Check everything that your customers can see
Your store’s visual impact makes an impression on your customers. A good looking website, logo, URL, and product shots can say that “this store is professional”. Customers will want to be able to easily navigate through your store, find the FAQ, or read clear and well-written information before they trust your store enough to buy.
These can be small things but they do add up. Just make sure you go through the following:
- Well designed logo
- Product photos are clear and direct
- Any photos on the website should load quick and are sized properly (not stretched out, too small or too big, not pixelated)
- The layout works for all browsers and is mobile friendly
- There are CTA (call-to-action) buttons
- Search navigation works and is easy to find
- Any offers like discounts or free shipping are strategically placed
- Prices are visible and correct
- Website translator work (if you have one)
- Add a brand domain
A domain, or domain name, is the address that customers and visitors will use to visit your online store over the Internet. The default Shopify domain name which is shop.shopify.com is free but a shorter, brand-focused, or product-focused domain name makes it easier for customers to remember and helps avoid any confusion. This also helps with brand recognition and in the customer’s eye is more professional. It also works as your identity over the other many, many websites on the Internet.
There are many domain providers so just choose the best plan for you, and select a domain name that fits your brand. Some names you think of may not be available but get creative and typically, it needs to be short, related to your product or service, simple and easy to spell, does not have hyphens or numbers.
For example, if you had an apparel brand called Milkshake, you could use MilkshakeApparel.com or MilkshakeUSA.com.
- Proofread content and check for grammatical errors
Sometimes when you or your writer has too much content writing on their plate, they get tunnel vision. This happens when the writer, even if you’re really good, have written a lot of content (like product information, descriptions or blogs) and are then unable to spot spelling and grammatical errors. These small errors can add up and have an effect on your credibility. If your product names are misspelled, they won’t show up on your search engine, or your SEO might not work properly. We suggest that:
- Get another person’s (someone you trust) point of view and have them look at your content
- Have a professional proofread it for you
- Install an app like Grammarly which helps with detecting typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors
- Prepare your essential pages
It is necessary to create confidence that is possible through static pages, policies, norms, declarations, etc. Such important pages and you can keep them ready and readable right before you bring your website live. You need to ensure that all help pages are fully updated and are functioning correctly.
It is important to build your website’s credibility by providing all of the necessary pages that your customers will be looking for. When customers visit your website, they hope to also find answers to any questions they may have. Here are some pages we recommend you to have:
- Home: The home page or landing page, establishes the overall look of your website and is usually the first one customers will see. Everything here should function and be able to navigate customers where they need to be.
- Contact page: A contact page shows you are trustworthy, that your shop is real and reachable. Just make sure to include a contact number, email address, or retail address (if applicable). You can also include a contact form for people to leave inquiries without leaving your website.
- About: The about page tells your customers about your company. It is where you can tell your company’s story, showcase the people behind the company, and let them get a feel for what you stand for. This is key because a lot of customers will go through your website to check if it is legitimate and safe to buy from. By getting more information about you and the company, it ensures them and also lets them know the shop is authentic. Some will also be looking for your company’s goals, mission and vision, brand purpose, or principles to check if it aligns with theirs.
FAQ: Just in case your other pages don’t provide the information that you foresee customers might ask, a good FAQ page is in order. Usually, customers will ask about the materials or ingredients, shipping, returns, or how they can contact you. You can check out similar stores to see what questions get asked often and craft your own from there.
- Social media integrations: If you have any social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any chatbots, make sure that they link properly and that these are also filled with content and are cohesive with your brand.
Just go through these pages and make sure that any info is updated and that they are functioning properly.
- Provide contact information
In eCommerce, it is extremely important that customer experience is smooth and problem-free. This can be done by providing working communication channels. Customers like to know that there is someone on the other end of the store that they’re looking at, and they also like knowing more about your products and services.
By providing a working email, phone number, or even a responsive chatbot, you can make sure that customers are accommodated. Chatbots have been quite effective in increasing revenue. According to ICMI, 53% of customers would prefer to use online chat before calling a company for support, and for those customers who chat before making a purchase, there is a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% conversion rate.
- Integrate payment gateways
Everything is pointless if customers aren’t able to make a purchase. Reducing errors or any point of friction during checkout is a big help in converting potential customers to actual customers. Check for the following:
- Shipping rates are visible and accurate
- Discount codes are working
- Popular payment methods are offered
- Customers can track their orders
- Contact info is provided in case they have questions
- Email notifications are sent after customers purchase
The checkout process is one of the most important parts of the customer experience. Making sure to include popular payment options like Paypal or Square can really boost your sales because it makes it easier and convenient for customers to pay.
If you’d like to integrate Square payments, check out our app: Connect your Shopify Store with Square Payments
- Optimize images for fast loading speed
Users will not wait around for your page to load and every second, every millisecond counts. It can also affect your website’s performance on search engines. It will also hurt your conversion rates. If your images are optimized for the web, it ensures faster load times. Here are some things you can do:
- Describe image names: Don’t stick to random numbers or letters. Your image names help with your SEO ranking.
- Optimize alt attributes: Be descriptive and check your target keywords
- Reduce image sizes: Shopify allows you to keep images at the same quality as for print but it will be very helpful to use reasonable pixel sizes. Typically, a thumbnail image is only 50x50 pixels.
- File types: Most images are JPEG (photography) and PNG (icons and graphics)
- Review your email notification settings
Email marketing is very useful in eCommerce and can really help boost your Shopify store’s conversions. Your emails can be used to notify customers about their orders, inform them of sales, or be used to get back customers who abandoned carts. You may want to check email marketing apps like Shopify Email, Seguno, or Klaviyo.
Here are some automated emails you might want to consider:
- Welcome emails (if they subscribe to your newsletter or sign up to your site)
- Abandoned cart notifications
- Order confirmations
- Shipping notifications
- Adjust your tax and shipping settings
Make sure that all your tax and shipping rates are accurate so as not to overcharge or undercharge. Make sure to check your shipping settings before you launch. Don’t forget to check for sales tax which may differ per location. Talking to an accountant or tax expert may help.
- Set up your billing information
Remember to set up your billing information, billing cycle, and Shopify plan to avoid any problems when your store is live.
- Install an analytics tool
Data analytics provides you important insight on how your website is performing, your customers, and site visitors. Amazingly, Shopify has it’s own analytics tool but you might want to install other tools to really provide you all-around data like Google Analytics , and SE Ranking.
- Be present on social media
A social media presence adds to your brand’s credibility and lets your consumers know more about your products and services, as well as the brand. It can also help build your social proof when you collaborate with influencers, ambassadors, and experts, or by sharing user-generated content. All of this helps you stay relevant and in touch with your target audience.
- See everything from your customer’s point of view
The best way to see how your website will function is to be a customer yourself. Put yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself, “what do you want to buy?” and note if there are any problems when you try to select items, add to cart, or check out and pay. This will put things in perspective and helps you find any issues that customers may encounter when trying to browse your store. Try to check these:
- Is your website loading quickly?
- Are there any images or pages that don’t show up
- Are the navigation or menu buttons working and do they link to the proper pages?
- Were you able to checkout smoothly? Or was there anything that stopped you?
- Are the product descriptions accurate? Is there any missing info?
- Is your contact information correct? Are they all working?
- When you call your phone number, does someone answer?
- Do emails to your email address get sent or do they bounce back?
- Did you get an order or payment confirmation?
- Are you able to track your order?
And that’s it! We’ve managed to cover a lot of bases so you should get ready to launch. If you encounter any hiccups, make sure to check back on what you’ve done and fix it as soon as possible. Now it’s time to launch and start selling!
If you’d like to get professional help launching and developing your Shopify store, look no further than your Shopify experts at Webinopoly!
Who is Webinopoly and what can we do for you?
- Webinopoly houses a team of Shopify experts in web design and development and can customize a design for you to match your vision and brand;
- Webinopoly's developers are experts in providing the most efficient solutions to your customer’s problems
- We specialize in e-commerce marketing and advanced eCommerce Analytics for eCommerce and Conversion Rate Optimization service
- All examples used in this article are satisfied clients of Webinopoly
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He is an author, entrepreneur & founder of Webinopoly & multiple IT companies. Moe has been featured multiple times as one of top Shopify experts, Entrepreneur Magazine says he is a “Shopify Wizard” one of the 100 most brilliant Shopify Experts.Learn More