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Complete Shopify launch checklist

Complete Shopify launch checklist

There are numerous advantages of Shopify. It is one of the best, and most trusted, eCommerce platforms in the world. 

Once you have set up your Shopify store and added all of your products, you may think that you are ready to make your Shopify store live and publish your Shopify website. But, this is not quite the case. 

There are loads of moving parts that need to work together to get your Shopify store up and running. The last thing that you want on launch day is to forget about a moving part that is crucial to the success of your store.

For this reason, we have put together a complete Shopify launch checklist. In this article, we’ll be covering everything that you need to make sure that you don’t miss a single thing. 

Shopify checklist before going live

Register your website’s name and domain

shopify store checklist

The first thing that you need to do is register your website’s name and domain. Your website’s name and domain play an important role in not only redirecting potential customers to your store, but they become a part of your business’ identity. 

The name that you choose needs to be striking and unique, as this will be what gets lodged in customers’ minds. On top of this, your store name will help to increase awareness and recognition around the brand that you are building for yourself, and discern you from your competitors. 

Luckily, though, you can change your Shopify store name at any time, so don’t be too concerned about this. But, it is better to establish a great name right in the beginning and stick to it. 

The next step is to create a custom domain for your store. Shopify makes this easy by allowing you to buy your own Shopify domain from Shopify itself. You will just need to make sure that your domain name isn’t already in use by another website. 

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Choose your sales channels

While Shopify is a great platform to sell off of, we would not recommend making it the only channel that you sell off of. 

When your online store is just starting, your SEO won’t be too powerful yet, so selling off multiple channels is very advantageous. 

Additionally, when you are starting, you want to reach clients who don’t know about your store or brand yet. That is why selling off other channels is ideal. 

Some of the best channels to sell off of are Amazon, eBay, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Create general website pages

shopify setup checklist

It is important to have pages on your store that target other aspects apart from the products you are selling. 

As Shopify has proved, standard pages that contain detailed and informative content help to gain your customer’s trust and approval. 

When it comes to creating landing pages on Shopify, the “non-negotiables” we recommend including and focusing on are as follows:

  • Homepage
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Don’t forget these pages need to be aesthetically pleasing, too. As this will attract a lot more customers. Luckily Shopify has an abundance of themes for you to choose from and play around with. 

shopify store launch checklist

Even though Shopify is pretty easy to customize, not everyone has a knack for designing web pages and making them look attractive and professional. 

If this is the case, why not ask professionals for help? Submit a task and let them help you get the most success possible out of your landing pages. 

Customize your email notification settings

There are no ifs and buts about it – when it comes to having an eCommerce store, email communication is one of the most important aspects. 

Shopify gives you the option of using automated email responses when certain actions occur. You need to go and customize those responses so that they match your store style and so they say what you would like them to. 

Luckily, it is quite a straightforward process to do this. Go into your settings, and click on “Notifications”. This will allow you to edit all of your email notifications. 

If you are wondering if Shopify gives you a business email, the answer is no. But you can easily create one. And we recommended that you do this first before editing your email notifications. 

Examples of notifications that we recommend you customize are as follows: 

  • Order confirmations
  • E-receipt
  • Shipping confirmations 
  • Abandoned cart notifications

Assess your payment process and checkout experience

what to do before launching shopify store

You must optimize both your payment process and the customers’ checkout experience. It has been recorded that approximately 27% of customers abandon their carts because the checkout process is too complicated. 

Cart abandonment can lead to a massive loss in sales, and is something that you want to avoid as much as possible. 

To help you make your checkout process as smooth as possible, we would recommend using Shop Pay. This is an accelerated way of paying that is specific to Shopify. It presents customers with a virtual assistant to help with any queries and also offers a one-click checkout, as well as smart delivery tracking. 

Additionally, you want to include as many payment options as possible. Customers don’t always have their physical cards with them when they make a purchase. So including different payment methods will help secure the sale. 

Payment methods we recommend including are:

  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Shop Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayPal

Lastly, we recommend you test all of the payment methods and the checkout experience before going live. This way you can make sure that they all work efficiently, and that no errors are displayed. 

Double-check sales taxes and shipping prices

checklist for shopify store

Before you launch your store, you want to make sure that your taxes and shipping prices are correct, and that the amounts of these are not too low. 

If you don’t charge enough for these two aspects, you may incur a loss. This will result in your business being unsustainable, and never reaching the success that you hope for it. 

So, from the get-go, make sure that these fees are high enough for you to cover costs comfortably, but also not too high that they deter customers from buying your products. 

On demand Shopify help

Enter your billing information

Make sure that you enter your billing information before your 14-day free trial ends. If your billing information is not provided or correct, you won’t be able to process and accept orders in the future. 

You can enter your billing information by going to settings, finding the billing tab, and filling in all the information that is required. 

Audit your content 

shopify checklist before launch

By now, all of your content and products should already be loaded into your store. We all know that this is a tedious process that can take hours on end to complete. 

As a result, there might be one or two grammatical or spelling errors that you have overlooked. Another thing that you want to look out for is broken links. Unfortunately, links can also be copied incorrectly, and you don’t want your customers to end up with error pages. 

So, make sure you’ve done a thorough check over all of your content before launching. The best thing would be to do this more than once or get a colleague to audit it as well.

Optimize your content

This is particularly for images and videos. The worst thing is if the page loads, but then customers need to wait an extra 30 seconds for the images and videos to load. 

This will negatively affect the user experience and lead to Google giving your website low SEO rankings. 

But, content optimization does not only come down to image and video loading speed. You can also optimize content by giving your image descriptions, using Shopify meta tags to boost SEO, reducing the size of your images, using the right file types, and adding collections to your Shopify page.

Install analytic tools

launching a shopify store

Analytic tools can be incredible tools in contributing to the success of your business. These tools give you insight into your business and customers. 

Shopify usually has analytics reporting built in, but making use of third-party analytics tools can help you to get a deeper insight into your business and what is generating sales and visits. 

Popular analytic tools are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Adobe Analytics. Using a combination of tools instead of just one can also be quite beneficial.

Get rid of any unnecessary apps 

It may be very tempting to add as many apps as possible or link all social media to Shopify. But, this can do more harm than good. 

For example, if your business doesn’t have a TikTok account, why would you want to link this app to Shopify? Make sure that all of the apps you link are there for a purpose and will be able to benefit your Shopify store in one way or another. 

Having too many unnecessary apps could increase your monthly expenses, or make your Shopify store slow and sluggish. To avoid that, make sure you install the necessary apps.

Make sure that customers can easily contact you 

There is nothing worse for customers than when they have a query and they can’t find any contact details or only one method of contact has been provided. 

As we already mentioned, you should set up a “Contact Us” landing page. On this landing page, you should include a phone number that people can call, an email address, and a business address. 

shopify pre launch checklist

But, you don’t want these details to only be present on this page. Try and incorporate them on the bottom of most, if not all, of your store pages. 

This will be much more helpful to customers and can result in more sales if customers can contact you easily. If they aren’t, they may get fed up and just leave your page completely. 

Additionally, make sure that all of your contact information is correct and that nothing has been mistyped. 

Ensure that your Shopify account is protected with two-factor authentication

If your Shopify store is not secured properly, this could lead to online hacker attacks. This may result in you losing a lot of money, or in the worst-case scenario, you could lose your business entirely.

To prevent this, make sure that you switch on the two-factor authentication before you publish your store. This makes the login process much more secure and enhances the security around your business. 

Design a pre-launch marketing strategy 

It is not ideal to just launch your website with no one knowing about it, as this means there will be no immediate traffic toward it. 

So, we would highly recommend that you create some noise around it before you launch. To do this, you will have to have an effective pre-launch marketing strategy in place. 

Your marketing strategy can include things like sales, videos, collaborations with brands or influencers, handing out free samples, using every social media platform you can to boost your brand, email marketing, and referral campaigns. 

There are so many different routes that you can explore and make use of to market your launch. 

But, because of how many marketing prospects are available, it can also get overwhelming and messy if it isn’t planned properly.

checklist before launching shopify store

So, take some time before you launch to plan your marketing strategy and create content for it. While you do want to use as many channels as possible to boost your marketing, you don’t want to use avenues that you know won’t be of any use. 

For example, if you know that your target market likely doesn’t use Pinterest, or you don’t know how to use Pinterest for marketing, there is no real point to using that avenue. 

You don’t want your marketing to become sloppy or too over the top. So make sure that you keep that in mind too when you put your strategy together.

Conclusion

When you launch a new eCommerce store, you want it to be an exciting and fun time. You don’t want the stress to overshadow this and take away from the memorable experience. 

Using a Shopify launch checklist will set you up for a successful and stress-free launch. It will ensure that your eCommerce store looks professional, that everything operates correctly, and that there are no errors present. 

We cannot stress how important it is to follow a launch day checklist, and how much easier it will make things for you when launch day arrives.

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