7 Things You Need to Do Before Launching Your Shopify Store
There’s a reason the Shopify platform is powering 20% of all e-commerce including businesses across 175 countries—it works well. A Shopify store has the potential to include robust features and scalable convenience make it an easy choice for anyone entering e-commerce for the first time or building their second store.
But that doesn’t mean everything will be a breeze. You need a plan of action before you launch your Shopify store. Let’s explore seven key steps to minimize friction with buyers and maximize your chances of success.
1. Set Up Your Sales Channels
It’s never been more important to have multiple sales channels running at once. Doing so not only maximizes your chances of finding new customers, but retaining them. One study showed companies with omnichannel customer engagement retained about 89% of customers.
The omnichannel approach is more relevant than ever. Marketers using three or more channels, for example, have seen order rates 494% higher than single-channel campaigns. To compete in this environment, you can use Shopify with popular sales channels from social media to Amazon and point of sale.
For example, when Allbirds added Shopify POS to synchronize its customer data across multiple channels, their in-store conversions immediately went up. LeSportsac did the same online, using Shopify Plus to monitor customer data. When they knew more about their customers—and whether it was a customer’s second or third time visiting the website—they could engage each of them at multiple marketing touchpoints without missing a beat.
The result: average orders went up by 20% and ecommerce sales went up by 12%.
2. Research Your Domain Name
Before you launch, you need to know where your Shopify store will live. That means thoroughly researching your domain name. The key question here is simple. Should you emphasize keywords, or pick out a unique brand?
These days, trends favor unique brand names rather than keywords. Crowdspring’s evaluation of the “best” brand names found 72% of them were either original, made-up words, or acronyms. Some of the most successful businesses carved out their own identity with short, catchy brand names (e.g., Apple, Amazon, and Google).
The key is to create a unique word that sticks to the ribs. Statistically speaking, people typically only keep about 7-9 random digits in their short-term memory.
Additionally, avoid signs of a tacky domain name, such as letters and abbreviations (“4 u,” for example) or hyphens. Today’s brands also tend to use “.co” rather than “.net” when the “.com” domain name isn’t available. According to Growth Bader, this is especially important in memorability scores, where “.com” and “.co” outperform even “.org.”
3. Prepare to Add Products to Your Shopify Store
As your store gets closer to launch, you still have one major hurdle to overcome: your product list. Fortunately, Shopify’s platform makes it easy to upload basic information. All you have to do is click on “Products,” “Add Products,” and fill out the product details.
Before adding your products to your Shopify store, gather this information:
- Product titles
- Price comparisons
- Sales tax and codes
Shopify will save the information you entered and populate your product pages with that information.
4. Prep your Product Photos and Videos
Statistics show product images and photos are the most influential aspect of smartphone shoppers’ decisions, closely followed by product descriptions and specs.
The reason? Images stick with us. According to John Medina’s “Brain Rules,” we only remember about 10% of the information we hear three days later. But when that information comes in visually, we retain up to 65% of it.
But what if everyone is using images of your product? Add to the punch of your visuals with videos and even augmented reality. According to Hubspot, visitors are 73% more likely to purchase after watching product videos. These videos can show products in all three dimensions, demonstrate their uses, or simply make the product come to life.
Take We Makeup, an Italian online cosmetics store. With eye-popping colors and a natural visual fit in the cosmetics business, video ads make sense—but We Makeup took it a step further. They integrated Facebook’s augmented reality ads to let people “try on” their makeup, sitting at home and using their own mobile phones. The campaign boosted click-throughs for by 53% over previous campaigns.
5. Create Your Static Pages
Your customers will also need more information about your brand before they’re comfortable buying from you. Offer context with your static pages, including the following:
- About Us or a Brand Story page. In one KoMarketing report, 52% of customers said the first thing they do when seeing a new brand is check out their About Us page. Tell customers why you’re in business, how your story began, and how you went from ideation to the Shopify store they see in front of them.
- Customer support. Customer support pages help people connect with you when they have problems, and statistically boost sales. Oberlo reports that 81% of people who have had a positive customer experience are more likely to buy from you.
6. Organize Products into Collections
There’s still one step you should take before considering your directories launch-ready: organization. Organizing your products into collections promotes navigability.
Depending on your niche, Shopify recommends the following collection styles for optimization on its platform:
- Clothes for men, women, or children
- Items of a certain type, such as differentiating lamps from cushions
- Items on sale
- Items of a certain size or color
- Seasonal products, especially holiday-ready products. When the National Retail Federation asked where customers plan to shop for the holidays, 57% (the most of any category) said they look online first
7. Test Your Payment Gateway
Before you launch, you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. A slow payment gateway, for example, will cause 9 out of 10 customers to abandon a transaction before it happens.
To help mitigate these problems, Shopify Payments lets you activate “test mode” before the initial launch. This will deactivate authentic credit card transactions and may also disable local payment systems like iDeal or Sofort. But you’ll also get a chance to see how purchases feel from the customers’ side—the speed, convenience, and ease with which your checkout page gets them to your thank you! message.
Exercise caution here, as Shopify warns:
“Don’t fulfill any test orders, because you are charged for any shipping labels that you purchase. If you use an app that automatically fulfills orders, then deactivate it before you create test orders.”
Launch a Shopify Store without Hiccups
It’s not as hard as it sounds to put together a Shopify store but before you get going, you should make sure you have everything you need to impress your would-be customers off the bat.
Want more? Contact the team at adQuadrant to find out what you can do to build your Shopify store and ensure it becomes a success.
About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter!