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The Ultimate Shopify Store Launch Checklist for Beginners

Blog, eCommerce Insights | September 4, 2020

Welcome to the Shopify store launch checklist to help you reach the ultimate prosperity on your eCommerce journey. Though It can feel intimidating as a beginner starting out in a flooded market filled with experienced entrepreneurs, there is still plenty more room for you to thrive as well. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, and if you want to become one whose efforts end in a success story, then follow this Shopify dropshipping checklist for beginners to set yourself on the right path.

 

1. Focus on Perfecting the Technical Side

 

As a beginner, one of the key things you will need to pay close attention to is your eCommerce store’s technical aspects. This goes from ensuring that the host you have can fulfill all your eCommerce needs, the Shopify package is ideal, and the site is optimized on the back end to make it function perfectly for users. Some essential aspects to this leg of the business include:

 

  • Domain: Your domain is the name that will be used by people to find and identify you on the internet. With this, make sure your domain is secured, contains a robust password, and perhaps register it as a trusted domain to increase organic traffic.

 

  • Test Site Speed: Site speed can make or break sales. About 47% of people expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will not wait longer than three seconds for a website to render before abandoning it. So, if a site takes 5 seconds or more to load, chances are your conversion rates will be low because your customers will just go to a different place. People do not like to wait long, so to keep them at your store, make sure your site speed is as fast-loading as possible. You can do this by reducing image sizes, improving server response times, enabling compression, and reducing redirects.

 

  • Test Links: Every single link you have on your store should be tested several times to make sure they lead to exactly where they are supposed to. Look to see if you are being transferred to wrong locations, or if you receive an error of any kind. If there is an issue, remediate, and test again.

 

  • Optimize All Images: As noted above, the size of your images can significantly reduce the user experience by slowing down the site. Optimize your pictures through compressing to save bandwidth and allow seamless transactions to occur without frustration on the customer’s end.

 

2. Customer Experience

 

Without your customers, you will not succeed. With that undeniable fact, you have to ensure that you are organizing and managing your Shopify dropshipping business with their best interests in mind at all times. Aside from easy navigation and fast site load speeds, things you can do to keep customers happy include reviewing your email notification settings, perfecting the checkout experience, and staying updated on the payment gateway settings to keep it as smooth as possible from the moment they arrive to the moment they check out.

 

In addition, if you monitor and notice over time that there are certain aspects that are lacking in your store that are driving sales away, you have the ability to remediate them. You are never stuck, and you can improve, update, and implement innovations to make yourself better to drive customers in and have a positive shopping experience. If there is one secret to why some entrepreneurs succeed so well, it is because they are continually evolving and altering themselves with the demand market.

 

Common online customer complaints:

 

  • Slow load time when switching through items or categories within the store
  • Customer service’s lack of communication and support
  • Email notifications are in abundance, almost spam-like
  • Checking out was a long, drawn-out process and/or hard to navigate

 

3. Legal Components

 

With any store, you have to take into consideration that no matter what, you will never make everyone happy. Sometimes orders may not be what someone expected, or maybe they simply changed their minds. Because this will happen at some point, have a transparent return and/or refund policy is a necessity to have. With this in place, it should eliminate any communication confusion and allow everyone to be on the same page of what you are able to offer and what you cannot. For example, if you want to run a clothing store, shirts and pants may be refundable, but undergarments should not, and that needs to be unambiguous.

 

Another legal aspect is a Terms of Use for your Shopify store. This is an agreement that you create that develops a mutual customer and company relationship and their time at the store. It becomes active the moment someone decides to shop at your store, and the contractual relationship ends the moment they leave your site.

 

4. Business Settings

 

Next up on this Shopify store launch checklist is your overall business settings. This is all information that must be accurate, especially when you are launched and live to avoid confusion and potential pitfalls.

 

What this means is fine-tuning your tax and shipping settings, adjusting your billing information, and taking the time to ensure that all your apps and store plans are paid for and ready to go. For instance, on Shopify, you will be able to select from multiple currencies, so making sure you are choosing the right one is critical. In addition, though there are default tax rates set in place, go over them to validate the correctness and that customers are being charged the appropriate amount. The same goes for product weights, as this can drastically influence shipping costs and showcase unwanted differences.

 

5. Website Content and SEO

 

The last part of this checklist is organizing your site content and enabling it to rank high on search results through the power of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is what allows businesses to stand out from their competition and show up on the first pages of local and global search engines like Google. In simple terms, the more optimized your site, the higher you rank, and the higher you rank, the more likely you will gain traffic/sales. And the thing about SEO is that you can implement it in every aspect of your site, not just in product descriptions or blog content. You can add keywords in your contact page, order tracking page, search box, and on external social media pages.

 

Though you can do this yourself, if you are inexperienced on this concept, you can always invest in a content audit. This is where a professional will look over your eCommerce site and highlight areas that you can improve on and where you currently stand.

 

Conclusion

 

After reading through this eCommerce store launch checklist, you may feel a bit frustrated at how complex it really is. The reality is that, yes, it does take a lot of effort, time, and patience to make it big and scale a business online. However, if you play your cards right, follow this Shopify dropshipping checklist for beginners, and adjust as you see fit along the way, your hard work will pay off. Just take one day at a time, examine every important detail that was mentioned above, and get everything in order as best as you can. If you see yourself failing, reevaluate, and try again in a different direction. Over time, you will begin to notice the benefits forming as you discover the right balance, making everything you have done worth it in the end.