March 22, 2022

5 tips for a stress-free Shopify store launch (+ a launch checklist!)

It’s almost launch day! I’m sure you are extremely excited to showcase your new product or business to the world. If you’re reading this, then you probably already created and customized your storefront on Shopify and you are raring to go for launch day. I’m here for you – as a developer who has worked with ecommerce brands for over 3 years on their stores, I want to help you succeed! But I also realize that some small things can fall through the cracks as a business owner focusing on so many aspects. I’m here to give you 5 important tips to remember in your Shopify store so that your customers can have a seamless brand experience from first visit to checkout and you are ready for sales on the big day!

1. Connect your custom domain

When you start an online store on Shopify, you are automatically given a live store that everyone can find (amazing!) but with a domain ending (not so great). You should connect your custom domain to Shopify from your domain provider or transfer your domain to Shopify. If you don’t have a domain, you can also buy one directly from Shopify! 

Example of the domains section in Shopify where you can connect, transfer or buy your domain

Having your own custom domain linked to your store is extremely important because it is the first impression that people have of your business before they even visit your site. If you operate only from a domain, it can cheapen your digital brand and make people doubt the quality of your product if you haven’t done something as simple as setup a custom domain. 

2. Personalize the checkout and email templates to your brand 

You’ve worked hard on customizing your storefront to present a seamless experience to customers and showcase your story. But there are certain areas in Shopify that you don’t have direct access to but are still very important to customize and not use the default Shopify template. 

Checkout style

Your store experience should be custom to you from first look to checkout. Customize your checkout style so people still remember your brand while they are paying for your product. Upload your logo, add your brand colors and your fonts. Add a personalized thank you message and incentive with an app like Reconvert that will leave customers feeling connected to your brand and excited to receive your products. 

Customer email notifications

Customers expect to have a seamless experience across every touchpoint in your business. This also includes the emails they receive outside of your Shopify store. Shopify provides many helpful email templates that your customers will receive after they have placed an order, their order has been shipped or delivered or they have abandoned their cart.  Customize your Shopify email notifications with your branding, logo and story. This will help to provide a great post-purchase experience to customers and encourage them to refer you to others and keep them coming back. 

Need some inspiration? Here are some ways you can tailor the Shopify emails to you:

  • Add your brand colors and logo 
  • For an order confirmation email, talk about the story behind your product and how their purchase is furthering your mission 
  • If you have a mission driven brand that gives back to a certain community or charity, explain that their purchase will help someone in need
  • For an abandoned cart email, add a discount code to incentivize customers to complete their purchase

3. Test the whole buying experience at least twice

As a new brand, customers don’t have innate trust in your business so you are extra prone to customers leaving your site if one part of the buying experience is inconvenient or doesn’t work. Once you’ve launched, the website experience should be very easy for customers once they have landed.

Go through the exercise of buying different products in a variety of ways. Notice any friction during any of the steps from going to the homepage, product page, adding to cart and checkout. Can you pay for your purchase with common payment methods like credit card, Paypal, Apple Pay or G Pay? Are you seeing the correct shipping rates depending on order amount, weight and location? If enabled, do you have the option to choose local pickup or delivery? Do the emails you receive after purchasing convey what you want to say to customers?

Although testing yourself is helpful, ask friends or family test out the buying experience as well. It is very useful to have a new customer perspective so they can inform you of any confusion along the way. 

Additionally, test your site on desktop, tablet and mobile. Did you know that 72% of all ecommerce sales in 2021 happened on mobile devices? Your website experience on mobile should be easy, if not easier than on desktop because that is where the majority of your customers will get their first impression of your store. 

4. Anticipate any questions customers may have and write an FAQ page

You need to reassure your customers of your expertise in your product and answer any questions they have before they purchase. It is difficult in e-commerce by nature to guess how a product will be like since you can’t touch, smell or try it on. 

Note down any common misconceptions or provide examples of how to use your product. Compile feedback from the previous step of friends and family that tested your checkout process and note them down. Create a general FAQ page and link it in your header or footer or create separate FAQs on each of your product pages if you have a variety of products.

Don’t have many ideas of what people would ask? Here are some places to find some commonly asked questions to answer:

  1. Google your product type and a common attribute people would wonder about. For example, I searched for “jeans sizing”. If you scroll down you’ll see the “People also ask” section. This will give you an idea about what questions people have related to your product. In the case of jeans, you might answer in your FAQ the proper way to measure yourself for jeans or the meaning of different jean washes.
  1. If you sell a product that revolves around a hobby or something that people collect, search for groups or forums online to learn what people talk about and common questions they have.
  2. Look at your competitors’ websites and see what they discuss in their FAQs.

5. Write out your store policies

As said before, customers don’t have automatic trust in your brand so you need to try at every corner to instill trust. One way to do that is to have clearly defined store policies such as your shipping and returns policy and refund policy. Shopify has a convenient section in their settings to add your policies which will be displayed in the checkout section. It is also a good idea to create a new page to put your shipping and returns and refund policy and link them in your footer so customers can read your policies before adding products to their cart. 

How do you know what to put in these policies? Try out for all your policy template needs. They have policies for shipping, returns, refunds, cookies, terms and conditions, privacy policy and more. I’ve used this service to generate the privacy policy for this site!

The final word + a launch checklist! 

Planning a launch is a lot of hard work. You’ve built the hype and awareness around your product but it is also equally important to continue to lead your customers along an easy purchasing journey to make it a no-brainer to buy from you. As a new brand online, there is also a lot of uncertainty about your expertise and trustworthiness. With these 5 tips, I hope you can provide your customers with a cohesive brand experience and trust in your products so they remember and come back to you time and time again. I hope your launch is stress-free and you are ready for sales on the big day! 

Want more launch tips and a measurable checklist? 

How I can help you

I’d love to help you if you need help implementing any part of these tips or want more personalized improvements. Please fill out my contact form here if you’d like to get in touch. I’m a Shopify developer with over 3 years of experience helping ecommerce brands improve their shopify stores, increase connection with their customers and increase store revenue. My services include: Shopify store creation, theme customization, platform migration, store audits and Shopify development days. You can learn more about my services and processes here.

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