The Ultimate Shopify Store Testing Checklist
Ah, the pre-launch checklist. It's like the pre-flight safety demonstration on an airplane. You get it—you know you have to do it, but you're not looking forward to it.
But once your product is launched? That's where the real fun begins and where the real work needs to be done!
We've got a checklist for that too. We've been through this process more times than we can count at this point, and we've seen what works and what doesn't when it comes to getting your product from launch to success. So here’s everything you need to know:
Why Do You Need a Shopify Store Pre and Post-Launch Checklist?
You might not think that a checklist is necessary for a new Shopify store. After all, you've got the software and hosted your store in Shopify for free. In addition, you already know how to take the screenshots that'll show up in the product description and how to add photos to your e-commerce store.
But there are two reasons why we think a checklist is essential:
- First, they help you avoid mistakes and unnecessary friction when launching your e-commerce store. Second, they help you identify areas of growth.
- Sales and traffic numbers aren't the only metrics that matter in e-commerce. You also need to know whether your customers are satisfied with your product, services, and support—or if there's room for improvement.
What Types of Pre-Launch Checklists Should You Create?
There are two main types of pre-launch checklists: one for before you launch and another for after you launch.
The first checklist is all about gathering information to help you understand your customer better and ensure that your launch goes as smoothly as possible. It includes things like:
- Preparing the store for the launch
- Preparing and uploading your brand assets (logo, branding, and layout)
- Preparing promotional materials (e-mail marketing, blog content, etc.)
- Creating a plan to distribute promotional materials to influencers and the press
Make sure you've done all of these things before you're ready to actually launch!
The second type of checklist focuses on what's happening after your Shopify store is live.
Here are some things to think about:
- How can you make your store more user-friendly for first time customers?
- Where is the kink in your e-commerce flow? Maybe you need a video or FAQ section.
- How can you get noticed? Perhaps you'll need local brand ambassadors.
- Where are you losing customers? Do you want to run a survey to find out why?
- Customer support is an often overlooked aspect of the e-commerce store building, but it's essential!
- How will you keep your visitors up-to-date on sales, new products, and events?
- How will you handle returns? What happens if a customer doesn't like a product and wants to return it? You need to have a plan in place for this.
- What happens if something goes wrong with the product itself (i.e. a defective item)?
After you launch your Shopify store, you'll have plenty of time to focus on growth and profit. But before you launch? Focus on the customer experience and build the best e-commerce store in the world.
Shopify Pre-Launch Checklist
Now that you have a brief background about these checklists, it's time to dive into what the checklists actually contain. Here's everything you should do before you launch your checklist.
Begin With the Homepage
Before you even start building your e-commerce store, your first step is to make sure that you have a great homepage. First impressions are important, and your homepage is the point where most of your visitors will go when they visit your site. So it's critical that the first thing they see is appealing and engaging.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- A professional logo is essential.
- Maintain browser and device compatibility.
- Graphics and links on the company's website to promote it
- Here you can find links to the most popular things on the market.
- Using powerful calls to action to promote important sales pages.
- Make sure your search bar is clearly placed at the top of your website.
- Display any discounts, freebies, or other special deals.
- For the most up-to-date information about a company or industry.
- The above links will take you to current and popular products.
- A great spot to browse for well-known brands.
- A store locator should be added if necessary.
- E-commerce sites may necessitate a number of language options.
Prepare Your Standard Website Pages
In order for you to build a functional e-commerce site, you're going to need to have pages set up for the different pages visitors may want to see. The homepage is the most visited page on your website, but it doesn't imply you've finished constructing and adding content to the rest of the site. Customers may want to learn more about your company beyond the product pages, whether to contact customer service or understand your shipping policies. Here are some important pages you should have built before you launch.
This page is an opportunity for you to tell the story about your business and attract customers. An "about" page can be used in multiple ways: a place to talk about why your business exists, your mission, how you started out and more. Provide plenty of details about how your company came to be, what sets it apart from the competition, and what makes it better than other businesses.
"Contact Us" Page
This page is also a great opportunity to tell the story about your company. A good contact page has information about how to contact you and what information should be included in each e-mail.
"Terms of Service" Page
Regardless of whether you are selling physical products or digital downloads, the "terms of service" page is still the single most important page on your website. It should explain your consumer rights, any limitations and disclaimers, return and refund policies, along with other important information.
"Shipping & Returns" Page
If you are selling products online, then you need to give details about your shipping and return policies. If a customer is unhappy with their purchase, it's comforting for them to know when they can expect a refund or replacement.
Any e-commerce website should have a page full of information about how the business is handling personal information.
For most e-commerce websites, the contact page is usually found on the footer or header in order to make it easily accessible from any page. The format of this page can vary greatly by business type. For instance, an e-commerce contact form may be more appropriate for a service provider or other business that does not sell products. The contact page should always have a telephone number in addition to the e-mail address.
Another popular place for a contact form is your FAQ page. This can be a great way for you to handle a variety of customer concerns, questions and comments in one convenient place. Also, don't forget to make sure your website has up-to-date contact information that's easily accessible by customers.
Banners or other large ads on your website can also be used to increase conversions and sales. For example, you can have a "special offers" page that features limited-time sales.
When it comes to e-commerce, shipping is an extremely important part of the entire customer experience. Customers want to know what their shipping options are and how long it takes for products to arrive.
It's much easier to convert customers when you provide them with clear, transparent shipping policies and include an estimated time of arrival with each item they purchase. For example: "If you place your order before 12 noon EST on Tuesday, you should receive your order by Wednesday, December 21. We will do our best to ship your order as soon as possible, but it may take up to two business days."
If your business sells physical products, you should put geographic restrictions on your website. These can be in the form of a "no shipping to" list for a certain territory or zip code. There's also the option of having separate shipping policies for different countries such as Canada and the UK. Knowing where you're selling to is extremely important when it comes to building an e-commerce site.
Your product page is the most important page on your website. This page is where you're going to offer a detailed description of each and every available product. Of course, if you have a large number of products, consider organizing this page in order to make it easier to browse and search for products. That could mean having subcategories by price or shipping or creating a "best sellers" section.
Develop Your Website Infrastructure and Design
You may use an ecommerce launch checklist to ensure that your ecommerce website works properly and that every page looks beautiful.
To assist you in getting started, we've created an ecommerce launch checklist of items to include on each page as well as things to keep in mind when maintaining your site.
- Throughout the website, including security certifications and reminders that transactions are safe.
- Maintain a clean, uncluttered look for ease of use.
- To ensure that your pages load quickly, have your site's speed tested.
- Repair broken links and complete any product pages that are currently unfilled.
- Category and filtering options should be available on each page of your website.
- Every page should include an email registration form.
- Your career page should be linked.
- Legal information may be found by clicking on the link.
- Link back to your privacy policies.
- Connect your Contact Page with a link.
- Create a link to your FAQs.
- Link to your social media profiles.
- Add links to your return and exchange policies.
- If required, consider adding pages for your supplier information.
- Share your content on social media.
- Add a login box to the page.
- Categories and goods should have their own section at the top of your e-commerce site.
- The top of the page should have a shopping basket button/icon for users to keep their selections.
- If you have any security measures in place, be sure to show them off.
- You should include links to your customer service webpages on these buttons.
- Make your e-commerce site mobile-friendly and test it on a variety of devices and web browsers.
- Each page should have a prominent check-out button.
- To make it easier for customers to discover the items or pages they're looking for, provide breadcrumbs at the bottom of each page.
Create Your Product Pages
Customers that come to your ecommerce site from search engines may end up on a specific product page. If you want clients to acquire your products, you must give the appropriate information on each page, as well as relevant tools, guides, and media. Your product pages should have some bells and whistles to help you stand out.
- Don't forget about your calls to action.
- Include a customer reviews, ratings, and comments section.
- Include information about quantities, sizes, and materials.
- Include shipping and handling details.
- Describe returns and refunds policies.
- Describe how your products are made (if applicable).
- Add dimensions to your product listings.
- Include pictures of the products in action or on a person.
- Add social media buttons to each product page.
- Make it simple for customers to leave reviews by adding a button for it on each page.
- Include buttons for related products that customers may also want to purchase.
- Include a page for each product listing so that it's easier to navigate.
- Use review boxes on each page with links back to your reviews profiles.
- Add a question and answer section for each product listing.
- Use videos as part of the product descriptions.
- Create an FAQs section for commonly asked questions about products and services.
- Add a video of your company's story behind the creation of the product or service if applicable.
- Add quick links to your social media profiles on each product page.
- Add a button that says "add to cart" or something similar so that it's easier for customers to complete a purchase.
- Include an autocomplete function so that people can find the name of your products more easily.
- If your ecommerce site is mobile-friendly, make certain that you include buttons for mobile devices as well as desktop ones for both iPhone and Android users. These pages should be responsive and have the same design.
Work on Your Blogs and Media Pages
Blog content and media pages enrich your site. But beyond that, they also do wonders to improve your search engine ranking. The more content you add to your website, the better it will be for your SEO. You can even take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) tips and tricks in order to further improve your ranking. If you aren't sure where to start, here are a few things you should tick off your list:
- Focus on heavy SEO research.
- Post content regularly.
- Ensure that your content is valuable and on-brand.
- Don't just focus on selling your products.
- Include lots of media.
- Get active in social media to promote your brand and gain likes, shares and followers.
- Reach out to as many people as you can.
- Inform (with links) about where your products are available for viewing or purchase.
- Include a link to your education page on the product description page.
- Post information about your company's philanthropic efforts if applicable.
- Add tools and guides for your customers.
- Include the link to your blog in the About section of each product page.
- Link back to relevant pages which should include videos, social media sites, and FAQs on your main website.
- Link back to pertinent pages on your main website.
- If you want to increase sales, send out e-mail newsletter blasts every 6 months or so that are optimized for search engines.
- Make sure that the appropriate keywords are included in your blog posts.
- Include links to related products in your descriptions.
- Be creative when coming up with titles and summaries for each post.
- Provide a brief description of each entry so that customers know what they can expect from it.
- Add a link to your video page on each product page.
- Add a button for product videos on each page for easy navigation and bookmarked sources.
Optimize Your Checkout Experience and Shopping Cart
It's important to make sure that your checkout and shopping cart experience is simple and easy. You want your customers to complete the process and make a purchase without encountering any problems. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure that the shopping cart is easy to navigate through.
- Make sure that the checkout page and process is simple.
- Ensure that your shopping cart doesn't experience any error pages.
- Make sure that you're clearly stating how much taxes are going to cost per product in your shopping cart.
- Provide a variety of payment options so customers can select the one they like best.
- Make it easy for customers to subscribe by providing a button for them to click on each product page.
- Provide a price history chart that appears under the price of each product.
- Include stock-keeping units (SKU) in your shopping cart so that your customers can see the actual product they are purchasing.
- Make it easy for customers to update their shipping addresses and shipping preferences.
- Give customers an easy way to contact you with feedback or other questions if it's relevant.
- Include buttons for social media links on every product page so customers can share out pictures and reviews on your products and services.
- Utilize a logo and brand identity management system to ensure that your branding is consistent throughout your entire website.
- Make sure that you're providing as much information about your products as possible in each product description.
- Include links to third-party sites with featured reviews and testaments on each product page.
- Link to your FAQs section so that customers can get answers to any questions they may have before making a purchase.
- Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a phone number or other contact information on each product page.
- Include a QR code so that customers can quickly scan the product and see more details and specifications of it.
- Add buttons for linking back to your website on every product page.
- Create your own unique offer codes that are relevant to each product that you sell so that you can offer discounts, coupons, and rewards points for those who buy your products.
- Try to lower your shipping costs or offer free shipping.
- Include an email list and sign-up form so that customers who want to hear about any new items or sales can easily sign up for communication.
- Include a chatbox on your website so that you can quickly respond to customer comments, questions, and concerns.
Setup Your Email Marketing and Newsletter Automations
Email marketing is important for building your brand, increasing sales, and engaging with customers. Your newsletter is one of the best ways you can get customers to engage with you. But it's also a great way to nurture them and make them feel as if they're part of your family. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when setting up an email marketing campaign:
- Change the name of the campaign every month so that your list never stops receiving new information from you.
- In your first email, include a link to your blog and website so that customers can learn a bit more about you and what you have to offer.
- Make sure that you're providing value in all of your emails by offering deals, coupons, testimonials or other incentives for buying your products.
- Make sure that you're using a professional sender's address like [email protected] so that your customers know exactly who it's coming from.
- Collect emails from your customers.
- Analyze your customers' email addresses and their buying habits to improve your future messages.
- Include a call to action in every email campaign so that customers know what to do next.
- Create custom welcome emails for new subscribers.
- Outline each piece of content in an email so that the customer will be able to easily understand what it's about.
- Include a call to action in your welcome email.
- Add links to other relevant pages of your website in order to increase awareness and the likelihood of customers buying from you.
- Take advantage of autoresponders so that you can contact customers when they click on links or elements on your website with inquiries or requests.
- Include an opt-in box for accepting email newsletter subscriptions on every product page.
- Make sure that you're sending targeted emails and reports so that newsletters aren't emailed to all customers who have purchased from you.
- Make sure that you're sending out a newsletter on a regular schedule so that customers know when to expect new information from you.
- Make sure that your email newsletters are formatted with an easy-to-read layout.
- Use your newsletter as a way to connect with customers and build relationships with them.
- Make sure that your newsletter is adding value and providing relevant information to subscribers. Include a strong call to action in every email newsletter.
- Consider adding an image to each email so that your readers know it's from you.
- Offer valuable coupons, discounts, and incentives in your email newsletters.
- Try sending out a monthly newsletter that highlights the most popular products on your website.
- Keep your email copy short and engaging.
Optimize Your Site with SEO
SEO deals with increasing your website's visibility for keywords that customers search for. There are a few things you should keep in mind when optimizing your website:
- Make sure that you're using relevant keywords so that customers are more likely to find you while they are searching on Google.
- Make sure that the page title, URL, and title tags encompass the purpose of each page.
- Choose key phrases and keywords carefully so they aren't too long or complicated.
- Use headings, subheadings and paragraph tags to break up the content of each page.
- Make sure that you're consistently linking to your website from external sources so that customers continue to have access to all of your information regardless of where they are looking for you.
- Keep track of the keywords that perform well for you so that you can include them in more pages on your site and in future blog posts.
- Make sure that you're tracking your rankings so that you know how well your SEO method is working.
- Make sure that you're keeping up with updates to the search engine algorithms so that you can continue to have the best results possible.
- Make it easy for customers to contact you by adding a link in the footer of each page.
- Add a verified business listing to Google My Business.
- Add your logo, picture and website URL to your Google listing so that customers will feel more comfortable buying from your business.
- Try to get your website listed on Google and other search engines on a regular basis so that you'll continue to appear in search results.
- Add a call to action to every page of your website so that customers know what they need to do next.
- Add your website URL in the footer of each page for easy retrieval of information.
- Keep tabs on your competitor's SEO strategy.
- Remove all duplicate content on your site.
Develop a Marketing Plan and Deploy Your Marketing Strategy
How much money you spend on marketing depends on a variety of factors. There's no rule or formula that says that you have to spend X amount of money on marketing every month to be successful in selling your product. In fact, many entrepreneurs create an ad budget that isn't based on dollars, but rather on how much time they want to put into their business and then divide that amount according to the resources available to them.
Every business is different, so what works for one company may not work for another.
Here are some things that will help you develop a marketing budget for your business:
- Tailor your marketing plan to your company's specific needs.
- Decide how much of a budget you're going to devote to marketing each month.
- Create monthly budgets for each department involved in your company's product and service offering.
- Keep promotional activities going throughout the year by planning events and leveraging social media campaigns in between seasonal sales.
- Make sure that you have a consistent, regular marketing strategy.
- Don't be afraid to try new marketing methods and consider testing out new products or styles of service if you're having difficulties selling your product.
- You don't always have to use an advertised price for the first few months before moving it up once the campaign has gained some momentum.
- Create a budget for your seasonal sales campaigns and be ready to adjust it as new information becomes available about the seasonal trends that you're anticipating.
- Test new advertising strategies and place ads on different web pages.
- Always look for ways to improve your current marketing efforts and approaches.
- Be prepared for a great deal of trial and error before you perfect your marketing strategy.
- Be sure that the images, copy or video shown in your ads are relevant to what's being advertised.
- Make sure that the length of the ad is appropriate for how much information it contains to attract customers' attention.
- Use images or video advertisements so that customers are more likely to pay attention to them.
- Encourage customers to interact with your product or service.
- Be sure that everything you do is in line with your company's core values and reflects the mission statement.
- Develop a high-level plan for how to use social media to increase sales.
- You may also want to consider hiring a marketing consultant for assistance if you haven't started marketing your company yet.
Shopify Store Post-Launch Checklist
Congratulations on launching your store! You've done the basics, but now that your store is up and running, it's time for the really hard work to start. This is no time to slack off and let your store run on autopilot. Even if you don't want to constantly monitor your sales and optimize the way you market your product, there are certain things that you should do on a regular basis to help keep your Shopify store up-to-date and running like a well-oiled machine. Here's a list of things that you can do at least every quarter:
- Set up inventory alerts so that you're notified if any of the items in your inventory are sold out.
- Set up a trial period for your new customers so that they're only charged for a certain amount of time before auto-renewing their subscriptions (if you offer subscriptions).
- Alternatively, you could also set up frequent alerts for your new customers once new products drop.
- Keep track of customer feedback by using Google Analytics.
- Keep track of where your customers are coming from so that you can make sure that you're marketing to the right places and at the right times.
- Replace the images in your product pages with newer, updated ones as often as you can (when necessary).
- Include product reviews on your product pages so that customers know what other customers thought about their experience with your store.
- Use digital marketing to encourage customers to share your store with their friends and family.
- Make sure that you're using social media tools to make it easy for people to contact you and purchase products through your Shopify store.
- Inspect your site regularly to make sure that everything is operational, up-to-date and working properly.
The Webinopoly Difference
Between preparing for your Shopify store's launch and keeping it running smoothly after, you have a lot to do to make sure your store is a success. This is where the Shopify consultants at Webinopoly shine. Our Shopify experts are certified professionals in the field and are eager to help make every step of your Shopify experience easier. Not to mention, we're well-versed in using Shopify for all of our own businesses, so you can rest assured that we'll have your business up-and-running smoothly from beginning to end.
Our Shopify solutions are:
- Cost effective, easy to implement and won't break the bank when it's time to renew.
- Developed with our clients' unique needs in mind and tailored specifically to meet those needs.
- Developed by professionals who are experts in using that particular plugin to ensure maximum compatibility and efficiency.
- Designed to be easy for our clients to maintain and update themselves, so you never have to worry about constant upgrades.
- Fully supported by Shopify experts so that you never feel on your own when it comes to your Shopify store.
We also offer the following services that have helped thousands of business owners get their brands off the ground and hit their annual goals in less than a year:
- Web Development and Design - Many of our customers turn to us for web development because they need a way to enhance their business and make it easier for customers (and potential ones) to find them. Just about every type of business uses the internet, so having a website is an important part of growing your brand. Some businesses even want a customized website that is easy for potential customers to find and easy for them to navigate. If you think web design is the answer you're looking for, then check out our design solutions.
- Development and Customization - We also offer solutions for businesses that need to develop and customize a Shopify store specifically for their needs. Many customers come to us because they want Shopify's reliability and reputation, but they want it packaged into a more customized way that works best with their brand. Website designers usually aren't the best at Shopify development, so if you're looking for a custom solution, we can help.
- Mobile Application Development and Customization - We've been in the mobile app development and Shopify app customization business for a long time. We offer solutions for all of the top platforms and offer extensive support, so we're ready to help you custom tailor our apps to your business, or even your personal needs.
- Shopify Consulting & Training - We offer Shopify consulting and training services that can make a huge difference in the success of your business. Whether you want help with your Shopify store launch, or you need continued support and maintenance, we're ready to help. We offer consulting services for businesses of all sizes and kind.
- Custom Shopify Ecommerce Solutions - Shopify is a powerful ecommerce platform that can help your business excel. Some Shopify businesses do very well with the full range of services we offer, but there are also customers that only need a portion of our solutions - one thing we can't help you with is finding out what exactly your shopping needs are. We're happy to work with you and come up with a solution for you, whether it's for an order form that works best for your brand, or an app to boost sales.
- Shopify Store Setup - Some of the most important parts of running a business are the foundations you lay down. Setting up your Shopify store correctly is one of them. If you've ever setup an on-line store and you've struggled, then you know how important it is to have someone who can help guide you through the process to success.
- 100% Mobile-ready Website - We offer a cutting-edge mobile-ready solution that works on any device. If you've been wondering how to get a mobile-friendly website, then check out our solution.
Why Choose Webinopoly For Your Shopify eCommerce Needs?
At Webinopoly, we make it a point to give you a high-quality, customized solution. If you need help setting up your Shopify store, making it easier to use or even shopping for products, we can help you. Our Shopify specialists have experience working with a wide range of businesses and understand what it takes to set up an ecommerce business and reach the goals you have in mind.
We understand the importance of keeping track of each customer that comes in and moving them through the buying process as efficiently as possible so that they become repeat customers. If you're ready to make a change for the better, get in touch with our Shopify experts today.