It’s easy to get excited before launching your Shopify store, and it can be tempting to get started and publish the page prematurely. But, it is important to double-check a number of things before the website goes live to ensure a smooth launch and get the most out of your website.
Below, you will find all the essential information you will need to have a successful start to your Shopify business. We will provide a quick guide including the essential basics on how to create a website on Shopify from scratch, as well as a checklist to go through before the website can be made available to your clients. Following these essential steps, we will outline tips and tricks that are recommended to get as much out of your website as you possibly can.
After reading this comprehensive guide, nothing will stand in your way of launching your brand-new website!
The Basics - Creating your Shopify Website
To start with, let’s review the basic steps on creating a Shopify website and start right at the beginning - the creation of a Shopify account.
You can do this by following this link. When creating a store name, this will become your store address, in the format of “‘NameOfYourStore’.myshopify.com”. By adding /admin to the end of this link, you will be able to go straight to the editing page.
Once the basics of the website exist, this can then be customised by selecting a theme for your site.
You should then consider setting up your own domain for the store. While this is not necessarily essential, it is very useful in order to establish your brand and increase the trustworthiness of your website. A domain can either be bought directly from Shopify, or if you already have one, can be transferred from a third-party provider. You can access your domain settings by using this link.
Once this is set up, you can move on to a very important part of your new business - how you will get paid! Access these settings here. You will be able to choose from a wide range of payment methods - and if you operate from one of the supported countries, Shopify Payments presents an easy and simple way to set this up and no extra transaction fees will be charged using this gateway!
Equally, you will need to set up shipping for your products, considering how much you will charge for what items. Variations in price can include size, weight, or location. Speaking of items, it is now time to add your products to the site!
When you have added all your products, you will have completed the basic steps to create a functioning website.
There are still a number of things to consider before your website will be ready to launch, though. When you feel like you are ready to publish your site, ensure you have completed all the below steps to keep errors to a minimum and create a solid foundation for your business to take off.
Shopify Website Essential Launch Checklist
Double-check payment is set up correctly and check-out is possible
Of course, if you are selling products, it wouldn’t be a good experience for your customer to pick out an item with the intention of buying, but then encountering an error when trying to check out.
It is therefore essential to be sure this process is working correctly! To make it easy, Shopify has a test mode you can use before going live.
Check payment with credit cards is possible, discount codes work and for international sales, make sure multi-currency features are in place.
Review E-Mail Notification Settings
Next, you should make sure you are aware of any important interactions on your website. Not just order confirmations are essential to be aware of, but you should also set up shipping confirmation and updates, as well as refund notifications.
Check formatting, spelling, and hyperlinks
A standard step in publishing anything is to make sure your work is error-free. Carefully go through all of your content, making sure everything is displayed correctly on the finalised website, and there are no spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, or grammatical errors. Consider asking a friend to read over your work as well, as a pair of fresh eyes might be better at picking up these mistakes!
If you have added any external links to your website, check that these are working correctly and link to the correct page.
Check shipping rates, tax rates, and legal notices
Next, test out the check-out process to find out if your shipping rates are being applied correctly. If you have customised your rates, check they are correct for all types of products, prices, or shipping location.
While Shopify uses many default sales tax rates, you need to have a look at your own specific circumstances to ensure these are suitable for you, as well as double-checking if these rates are up to date.
Remove password protection
Finally, if you have checked off all the above points, you are now ready to launch your website! Now, to make sure the public can view your website and you can start making sales, ensure you remove password protection from your site!
Tips and Tricks for a Better Website
Now that you’ve got your website up and running, you have completed all of the essential steps. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement!
Consider making the following adjustments to your Shopify Store for a more successful business.
Clear and descriptive headlines
To distinguish your brand, make sure your page is easy to navigate and the main message of your store is easy to locate and laid out in a clear and simple way.
Include media and detailed product descriptions
Make sure your customers know what they are buying! Do this by including images of your product and adding detailed descriptions of it. Analysis of people’s consumer habits found adding images of people when advertising your product increases their sales, so get your friends, colleagues, or anyone else willing to advertise your products! Using stock photos decreases consumer interaction, so stick to creating your own!
Utilise Hick’s law
Without boring you with too much science, it is good to rely on proven methods when starting off your business. Hick’s Law states the more choices a customer is faced with, the longer the decision-making process will take. Simple is often better!
Ways to implement this are to reduce the number of menu items, limit form fields, only display social items for networks you are active on, stick to a simple design, and use a single-column design, rather than a sidebar.
Impulse, Kalles, Boutique - Shopify eCommerce Themes
Offer multiple payment options
Nothing is worse than finding a product you really want to buy only to have no payment method available upon check out that suits you. Offering more than one payment gateway increases the number of possible customers you can attract and can have a significant impact on your sales!
Create a content schedule and marketing plan
A content schedule gives you a plan on where and when you will release new products. To increase publicity, you can promote new releases on social media. Examples of this could be releasing products specifically related to the holiday seasons, such as Christmas products.
To keep track of important events and deadlines, consider making a marketing schedule using organisational tools like trello, which will give you a clear oversight of what needs to be done in a certain period of time. The better organised you are, the easier running your business will be!
Building your brand image
It is important to have a strong brand image to attract people to your business and stand out from your competitors.
Know your key audience and ensure the majority of your marketing is tailored to this group. There are numerous ways you can strengthen your image, for example through social media presence, creating content, events, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Use analysis tools to develop your store after launch
Shopify themselves offer analysis tools that you can easily use to check your website progress and identify areas of improvement. Understanding how these work and making adjustments based on the analytics is important in growing your business.
Set up customer support
Any trustworthy business should offer the customer an opportunity to get assistance. But it is not enough to simply have this, you should also make sure queries are answered as quickly as possible to encourage customer satisfaction. Consider setting up multiple support channels, for example including a telephone option and a message option, as different people will prefer different contact methods. As always, check that this all works perfectly and you receive messages and calls.
Enable two-factor authentication
Not only will this step decrease your website’s likelihood of being hacked, it is also useful to set up for data protection.
Make sure your customers keep coming back!
Once your store is up and running, it is vital that you give your early customers a reason to keep coming back to your store, with that being said, there is no better way to convince shoppers to return to your website than a loyalty program with 83% of loyalty program members saying that a rewards program makes them continue to buy from a business. This is where ShopHub comes in, the engaging stamp based design that customers know and love has helped stores like katepercys ensure their customers keep coming back!
Add a Favicon
Adding a Favicon, which is the icon of your page visible in browser tabs, bookmark bars, and search results, helps promote brand recognition. A guide on how a Favicon can be added to your Shopify store can be found here.
Collect and Advertise Customer Feedback
Finding out what customers think about your business and products is essential in finding out what works and further growing your business. You should therefore think about ways you want to collect this feedback, as well as consider advertising positive feedback on your website to increase trustworthiness.
You should now have all the tools you need to make your business flourish on Shopify! By building a solid foundation and utilising a few of these tips, you can put a unique spin on your website to develop and grow your brand!