The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist

The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist
The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist

You’re shaking with excitement. Today’s the day. You’re finally launching your Shopify store after all your hard work.

But then, you start panicking. You aren’t sure you’ve completed everything necessary for a smooth launch day.

That’s why we wrote this post. Today, we’ll take a look at the most important steps to take prior to launching your Shopify store to ensure a flawless launch day.

Let's get ready for lift-off!

Why a Checklist Is so Important

Your store looks great, your products are all loaded up and ready to go, and you've set up all of your social accounts.

Is there something you're forgetting though?

The fact of the matter is, you’re only human – and sometimes you can miss a simple, but critical step in a successful business launch.

Pilots and astronauts use a checklist for every flight. After checklists were created for the B-17, pilots flew 1.8 million hours with 18 B-17s without incident and proved to the government that the aircraft was safe. 

Furthermore, surgical complications drop 36% when checklists are used in standard procedures.

“Good checklists, are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything – a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps – the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.”

-Atul Gawande. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

So why don’t you use a checklist when you’re launching your Shopify store? Good question. Let's change that!


 Why a Checklist Is so Important

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1. Add Any Available Sales Channels

Want to reach customers beyond just your website? Start by adding any available sales channels to your store. 

All sales channels connect with the core of your Shopify business, so you can easily keep track of your orders, products, and customers across all platforms from within your Shopify admin.

2. Add a Custom Domain

This is usually the first thing I do when I’m opening a store, but depending on how you work, it might be the last thing on your mind.

Add a custom domain name to your store, or purchase one directly through your Shopify admin.

3. Double Check Your Payment Gateway Settings

Before you start driving any traffic to your store, you had better be sure people can actually completely a checkout on your store! I recommend placing an order on your store with a live payment gateway just to make sure everything works.

You can refund your order immediately afterwards.

4. Have Your Standard Pages Ready

It’s important to have some static pages available for visitors to click through and read when you launch your Shopify store.

At the very least have a contact, about, shipping, and frequently asked questions page at launch.

If you need help putting together a strong about page, be sure to read how to use your about page to increase your sales.

5. Review Your Email Notification Settings

You might want to customize a customer’s experience by offering them some sort of discount for future orders. The best way to do that is through editing your email templates.

6. Do a Content Audit for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Sometimes you’ll be so close to your work, you won’t notice any spelling and grammar mistakes in your website copy. It’s important to have a friend, family member, or business partner take a look at your copy to ensure there aren’t any obvious issues.

You can also use an app like Grammarly to check for you!

7. Optimize All Images on Your Website

There’s nothing worse than having images load slowly, especially if you’re running something like a flash sale for your store at your initial launch. It’s important to make sure all your images are optimized for web to ensure fast loading times.

You can try using a tool like ImageOptim to help with this too.

8. Install an Analytics Tool

Analytics are important to set up from day one. Analytics will give you valuable insight into your visitors and customers. In a physical store, you see your customer and you can easily chat with them. However, online, you’re essentially blind without analytics.

    For detailed, step-by-step instructions on each of the above steps, check out this guide on setting up Google Analytics for your store.

    9. Have a Prelaunch Marketing Plan

    So besides making sure all the buttons are pressed properly, you’ll still need to make sure you have a marketing plan set up. Otherwise, you’ll be launching your store to the sound of crickets.

    10. Adjust Your Tax and Shipping Settings

    You’ll want to check that your tax settings, and shipping rates are appropriate for the product(s) you’re selling. Double check your tax and shipping settings before launching your store.

    11. Make it Easy for Potential Customers to Contact You

    Make contact information clear on each page. Try including your business address, phone number, and even live chat on your website if you can. This has been shown to reduce buyers concerns. 

    12. Install Only Essential Apps

    It can be hard to not get excited about the Shopify App Store and all the incredible apps you can add to your store – but when getting ready for your initial launch, be sure to only install the absolute essentials.

    If it were me launching a store, I'd get set up with an email marketing app like Picreel and Mailchimp.

    13. Set up Your Billing Information

    If you’re coming to the end of your 14 day free trial and are preparing for launch, be sure to set up your store's billing information to ensure there aren’t any hiccups when your store is finally live.

    Conclusion

    Now that we've taken a look at the essential launch items for your Shopify store, it's time to flip the switch and start selling!

    Are there any other items you'd add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.


    Conclusion

    About the Author

    Tucker Schreiber is an entrepreneur and content crafter at Shopify. He writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce.

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