Starting an online business can be exciting yet overwhelming. You’ve put in countless hours of hard work, and now it’s time to launch your Shopify store to the world. But as the launch day approaches, you may find yourself wondering if you’ve covered all your bases and are ready.
- Are your products loaded correctly?
- Have you created a comprehensive marketing plan?
- Does your website look trustworthy?
Instead of letting these thoughts go through you, take a methodical approach to your launch.
Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that makes it easy for anyone to start an online business.
And with our comprehensive Shopify store launch checklist, you can ease your mind and stay organized throughout the process.
In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to launch a Shopify store, from choosing the platform to making your first sale.
We will cover key reasons to choose Shopify, best practices for marketing and design, and important considerations such as payment options, shipping, and taxes. We will also provide a checklist to help you stay on track and ensure a smooth launch process.
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned e-commerce veteran, our guide will provide you with all the information and tools you need to launch your Shopify store with ease.
- Reasons to choose Shopify
- Understanding Shopify store launch checklist
- Useful considerations for a smooth performance
Why Choose Shopify?
Shopify serves as a one-stop solution for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. The platform allows business owners to build an online store without going through hosting or technical expertise. The importance of Shopify lies in the fact that it is best for both seasoned online merchants and newcomers with little knowledge about the market.
Several reasons provide online merchants with more than enough evidence to consider Shopify as their business solution. Some of these are as follows:
- Shopify is user-friendly and easy to use. The platform has a simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone to set up and manage their online store, regardless of their technical expertise. This makes it a great option for small businesses or individuals who may not have a lot of experience with e-commerce.
- Shopify offers a wide range of customization options and themes. This allows users to create a unique and professional-looking online store that stands out from the competition.
- Shopify offers a variety of apps and plugins that can be added to the store to add additional functionality. This includes apps for email marketing, accounting, and customer reviews, which can help businesses to better manage and grow their online store.
- Shopify has a mobile app that allows users to manage their store on the go, which means you can manage your store even when you’re away from your computer.
- Shopify has a range of pricing plans that cater to businesses of all sizes, including a 14-day free trial.
- Shopify has a large community of developers, experts, and other merchants who can provide support and advice. It proves valuable for new or small businesses that may not have the resources to handle all aspects of running an online store on their own.
Overall, Shopify is a powerful and user-friendly eCommerce platform that offers a wide range of features and customization. Professional Shopify app development company such as ClickySoft can help you set up the store with minimum hassle and the best features.
Besides these benefits, you can follow the steps in the Shopify launch checklist to set up your store correctly.
Shopify Store Launch Checklist
You have finally decided to launch your online store and are ready to put all the hard work and effort into its development. The process is exciting but can become overwhelming quickly.
There are millions of thoughts in your mind, and you might doubt the smooth store launch. You might think about whether you have the right products listed and a marketing plan implemented for promotion.
Instead of feeling stressed and entertaining every thought, take a methodical approach. Before launching the Shopify store, we have organized a checklist to ease your mind and guide you to stay organized.
Let’s look at the steps in this Shopify setup checklist:
1. Add Sales Channel
One of the most important steps in launching your Shopify store is adding sales channels. Sales channels allow you to expand your reach and sell your products on various platforms, such as social media, marketplaces, and point-of-sale systems. By adding multiple sales channels, you increase the chances of reaching a wider audience and making more sales.
Shopify offers a wide variety of sales channels, including popular platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram, as well as point-of-sale systems for brick and mortar stores. Adding these channels is simple and can be done directly from your Shopify admin.
In addition to expanding your reach, adding sales channels also allows you to track and manage your sales from one central location. You can see which channels are performing well and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Additionally, adding sales channels can also help you tap into different target markets and demographics. For example, using a marketplace like Amazon can help you reach a wider audience, while using a platform like Instagram can help you target a younger, more visually-driven demographic. By diversifying your sales channels, you can broaden your customer base and increase your chances of making more sales.
2. Registering Web Domain and Hosting
Now that your niche-related sales channels are determined, your next step in the Shopify website or store launch checklist is to select a web domain and host. A domain name is necessary as it will serve as a brand name for your store and give your customers an easy contact point to visit and browse.
A pro tip here is to select a domain name that aligns with your business and products to keep it niche and relevant for maximum visit attraction. If you already have a name selected, do a quick research about its availability and ensure there is no trademark. When you find a domain name available without a trademark and works with your brand, buy it from Shopify or any third-party domain service.
Similarly, buy a hosting service that serves as a data storage function for your website. We recommend starting with basic packages as your store grows gradually.
3. Review Payment Options and Buyer Experience
Before you move on to the third part of the Shopify launch checklist, you should know that over 27% of customers leave a store due to a complicated payment transaction process that makes over 18 billion in revenue loss annually.
Keeping these statistics in mind, the selection and integration of the smooth payment gateway in your Shopify store are vital to reduce cart abandonment. Shopify has its payment system by default that is free of charge, or you can have a professional Shopify development expert integrate any other option you see fit.
You can include popular payment methods such as PayPal or Skrill that customers trust on your checkout pages, so they have multiple payment options to choose from and utilize.
4. Design Pages
The next step of your checklist is to initiate the design and development of your store pages. It is important to start with a few pages for visitors to engage and browse to learn more about the store. An online store wins buyers and customers if they have an answer to queries and products to complete their search.
Some recommended pages to design for your store are the homepage, about us, contact, and FAQ section. The homepage is the first impression for a visitor and should contain clear navigation for browsing. This is also the page that links to other categories and product pages for visitors to keep browsing.
The about us page should give all the necessary information about the company, its owners, its vision, and its objectives. Most brands overlook this page, but it can be a valuable marketing tool if managed correctly.
FAQ sections answer the most commonly asked queries that users feel confused about or clear their doubts about certain myths circling online shopping. Lastly, the contact page should have all the necessary contact information, such as email, phone number, and retail address, as a reassurance that the store is authentic. You might lose sales chances if no contact information is available for users.
Designing these pages also gives you an idea about the themes, aesthetics, and preferred color options to integrate and make the store attractive.
5. Conduct a Content Audit/Analysis
After designing the pages, analyze the content present on each. When engaged in various activities, it becomes difficult to spot mistakes, grammatical errors, spelling, or broken links. A key point of adding this point to a Shopify store launch checklist is to compel owners to regularly process content audits and keep the pages free of errors.
Consistency is the key to creating a copy, and sticking to your editorial style is necessary. It keeps the content relevant, understandable, and in the flow according to a reader’s point of view. On a technical side, you can also find and replace all the broken links within your store to give a fresh perspective to your clients.
View the content on multiple devices to ensure all the images load perfectly and are responsive. This simple step lets you clear any errors before and after your store launch.
6. Review Email Notifications
Email is a powerful marketing tool for an online eCommerce store. You need to edit and customize hundreds of emails before launching your store, and the best way is to review email notifications.
Editing your email templates and creating a nurturing sequence gives you more visitors and, eventually, better sales. On the Shopify dashboard, go to settings and make changes in your email templates for automation. You can customize them by adding a logo, image color changes, Addition of CTA, or any other change that you see fit.
Consider welcome emails, E-receipts, order confirmations, missed delivery, and shipping notifications as your customer engagement emails. Make sure to also check out our shopify newsletter guide for more tips and tricks on how to make the most of your email marketing efforts.
7. Install Analytical Tool
Installing an analytical tool allows you to monitor every store activity while a visitor browses your store. Installation of analytical tools is a precursor of search engine optimization and is one of the essential points of the Shopify website launch checklist.
Shopify has a default analytical dashboard for reporting, but you can add other tools, such as Google Analytics, for better information.
8. Set a Pre-Launch Marketing Plan
Visitors cannot automatically visit your store after launch, and you need to ensure that you are visible to your targeted audience and available online. This is where a pre-launch marketing plan comes into play, as it gives you a promotional foundation to implement at the store launch. Building a marketing plan ahead of time is an important factor, and it is always a good idea to stay ahead of the initial challenges. Document all the points in your plan so you only have to follow the steps at the launch time.
You aim to disrupt the industry, and you can add videos, email campaigns, or any other promotional aspect to share your vision and gain brand recognition.
9. Optimize Your Website/Store
Undoubtedly, most product search queries come from Google search, and improving your ratings here gives you a better chance of success. Ranking higher on SERP means boosting your sales figure significantly.
Optimizing your store according to search engine guidelines enables you to implement a positive SEO plan to attract more visitors and increase your revenue. Website SEO includes keyword research, internal linking, sitemap design, optimizing page speed, content marketing, off-page SEO, image optimization, and many other activities.
You can contact a professional Houston SEO company such as ClickySoft if you have no idea about setting your marketing plan in motion.
10. Verification of Shipping and Taxation
Another point in the checklist before launching our Shopify store is verifying product shipping and taxation prices. Double-checking the price is vital; otherwise, you might max out your profit without generating more sales.
Depending on your store’s location, you might also need to set the sales tax for Shopify. You also need to add this amount to the product price, or else you might need to pay it from your pocket. Consult an accountant if you are unsure about your area’s tax settings.
11.Ensuring Smooth Contact Process
In the earlier part of our Shopify store checklist, we recommended designing a contact us page with all the necessary information. The key here is to ensure that the contact information is correct and easily reachable.
You can make your contact process smooth by including contact information on various pages other than contact pages for better visibility. You can add live chat features, email, and phone numbers on almost every page of your website/store.
Live chat is an effective tool that increases the chances of revenue and conversions as customers feel engaged with someone and ask for all the necessary queries. Answering their questions immediately improves customer experience and drives them further through the sales funnel and eventual product ordering.
12. Install Necessary Applications
Shopify App Store has many useful apps that extend the store’s functions and gives it a boost. However, not all of them are built for a new store, and some might not make sense for an online store.
You might see many of these apps, but you have to resist the temptation to install all of them. Consider installing apps that help with customer support, conversions, and marketing. You also have apps that let customers make a wish list or automate upselling features.
Remember that the more apps you install eventually makes your store speed slower, so select only the ones you feel necessary. Additionally, each app costs resources, so selective installation keeps your store running smoothly and effectively.
13. Set Billing Information
Set your billing information before launch (if using a free trial) to ensure there are no hurdles before the final launch. You need to choose a plan at the end of the trial, so having your billing information in the system is necessary, or else you might not be able to process orders.
14. Launch Your Store
The final step in the Shopify store launch checklist is to, of course, launch your store. It means giving a go-through on content, marketing plan, contact information, etc., and removing default passwords. A final sweep of all the possible errors and then announce that you are available for business.
Some Useful Considerations
How Do I Test my Shopify Store Before Launch?
Testing a Shopify store involves checking the functionality and user experience of the site to ensure that it is working correctly and efficiently for customers. This can include testing the checkout process, product pages, and any other features of the store.
Before testing, it’s important to clearly understand the store’s features and how they should work. This involves creating test cases, specific scenarios, or actions you want to test.
Once you have your test cases, you can begin testing the store. This can be done manually by navigating Settings > Payments in the Shopify dashboard. In the Payments panel, click on Edit, check the Use Test Mode box and then Save.
It’s important to test the store on different devices and browsers to ensure that it is fully compatible and responsive. You should also test the store on different connection speeds to ensure that it loads quickly and correctly for all customers.
Finally, document all the issues and bugs you found and report them to the developer for a fix.
What are some best practices for marketing and promoting my Shopify store?
Marketing is essential as it gives you online visibility and attracts visitors to your website/store. However, you must ensure that all the best practices are followed to prevent any hurdles or penalties by search engines.
eCommerce marketing is a vital part of the Shopify launch checklist that makes or breaks a store’s success, so be very careful in every activity you perform. Pay attention to analytics and understand the trends for future marketing strategies to keep you ahead of the competition.
Some of the best practices for SHopify marketing include:
- Email marketing
- Sending push notifications with promotions
- Create a referral program
- Starting a customer loyalty program
- Sharing SMS product promotions
- Add customer reviews to pages
- Add an Instagram feed
- Advertising campaigns on Google and Social Media platforms
- Set an affiliate marketing campaign
- Promote products in blog posts
How Can I Track and Analyze Key Metrics to Measure the Success of my Launch?
When running your eCommerce store, you must keep track of all the necessary metrics to ensure your store runs and performs smoothly. These metrics are quantified factors that help you find points such as visitor numbers, their frequency, number of orders processed at a time, or the cost required to attract a new customer.
Some of the most important eCommerce metrics include sales conversion rates, average order value, customer lifetime, acquisition costs, and Shopping cart abandonment rates. Other factors include customer return rate, bounce rate, promoter score, CTR, store sessions (by device, location, and traffic), and top products sold.
What Tools and Resources are Available to Help me Plan and Execute a Successful Launch?
While many tools are available, Shopify is the one-stop platform where you can find almost every resource necessary for a successful launch. Shopify provides plugins and tools for marketing, customer support, page designing, payment gateway integration, storing billing, live chat, and many other features. Analyze these tools with the checklist provided to give you the best combination that runs your store smoothly.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Launching a Shopify Store, and How Can I Mitigate Risks?
Avoiding and mitigating risks in a Shopify store is important to running a successful online business. Risks can come in many forms and negatively impact the store’s operations, reputation, and profits.
One of the main risks to a Shopify store is fraud. It includes chargeback, fraudulent transactions, and stolen credit card information. Implementing a strong fraud detection and prevention system, such as using a third-party fraud prevention service or implementing address verification and CVV checks to mitigate this risk, is important.
Another risk to a Shopify store is data breaches. Losing or stealing customer data, such as credit card information and personal details, comes in this category. Implement a robust security system, such as using SSL certificates and firewalls and regularly updating software for maximum security.
A third risk is the failure of the website or the checkout process. It includes website crashes, slow load times, and broken links. Regularly test the website and its features with a plan to deal with any issues that may arise.
A fourth risk is the lack of customer satisfaction, which can lead to a high rate of refunds and chargebacks. Set clear return and refund policies, provide detailed product descriptions and pictures, provide responsive customer service, and a fast, efficient delivery process to avoid this risk.
Constant content and marketing audits allow you to avoid small errors and mistakes that create a risk if neglected. Avoiding and mitigating risky faults like spelling mistakes in content, irrelevancy with niche, irregular color schemes, blunt design, etc., gives your store a chance to rank higher and attract more visitors with a better customer experience.
We have laid out detailed guidelines about how to launch a Shopify store with a checklist. We hope that it will help you kick-start your journey and make your efforts fruitful. We recommend starting with a free trial to understand the basics of store development and then going for the initial plan to scale accordingly.
Launching an eCommerce store is exciting but is also overwhelming for new users. The checklist will ease your efforts by ruling out all the steps to follow and succeed.