How to Successfully Launch Your Shopify Store in 7 Easy Steps
Preparing to launch a new online store can get as exciting as it can get stressful both at the same time. How? Because of a number of potential things that could go wrong during the launch process. But if you are planning to launch your store on Shopify, you will get a free trial period of 14 days (along with countless other benefits) which, though doesn’t sound much, but is more than enough to get you going. For e.g. you can use this time to build up your store idea, product information, a compelling storyline etc.
Before You Start:
After the trial period, you can choose the Shopify web development plan that best suits your needs. Currently, the three plans are available at $29, $79 and $299 per month. For beginners, the basic plan at $29 is more than adequate to suffice all their retailing requirements. Now, apart from choosing the pricing plan, you also need to select the sales channels of your choice such as Facebook, Pinterest etc. along with whether you want to sell online or in-person.
First Step: Sign Up
- This initial step requires signing up for your Shopify account which basically involves-
- Password protecting your account
- Providing a name for your store
- Adding your business name, address and billing information
- Adding your custom domain name.
Here you will get two options while adding a domain name, you can either buy a new domain from Shopify itself (which will normally cost $14.99 for a dot-com domain) or can easily connect one you have already purchased elsewhere.
Second Step: Themes
This step involves organizing the way your store will appear to your potential customers. You can initiate by exploring the free themes (or can go for the paid ones if you aren’t satisfied) available as part of your Shopify package, thereafter you can customize your theme (if you feel the need) though most themes work just as fine on their own.
Third Step: Products
This is an important step related to loading and organizing your first products along with learning about the Shopify product listing features. And for your convenience, I have broken it down into mini-steps to follow-
- Use good quality images and optimize them for faster loading.
- Your retail pricing should be reasonable and intelligent.
- Use clear product descriptions (aim for writing a unique description for every product, not the one provided by the manufacturer).
- A basic understanding of how Shopify uses categories to differentiate products.
- Duplicate well-published product pages to add products faster.
Fourth Step: Payment
This is a crucial pre-launch step that involves connecting your payment gateways way before you start driving any traffic to your webstore. Here PayPal (by plugging in your PayPal account details in the dashboard) and Shopify Payments (activate it by connecting a bank account in the payment section) are sufficient to provide you with enough options to cover this step. Manage your overall tax related settings at this point as well.
A Tip: Do a test transaction by going through the checkout process to ensure everything is functioning properly with accepting payments.
Fifth Step: Pages
Next step includes creating at least 7 standard static pages apart from the ones Shopify template will automatically create for every one of your added products. These pages are-
- About Page
- Contact Page
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Shipping Details
- Return Policy
- Terms of Service
- Private Policy
It may seem like a lot of work but is very easy once you get started. Simply, click on ‘Online Store’ in the side menu, choose ‘Pages’ and then click ‘Add Pages’.
A Tip: Do not copy paste other people’s ideas into these pages but write your own content, hiring a professional copywriter at this point might be a good investment.
Sixth Step: Blog
Now, this step is totally dedicated to writing and managing blog related content on your website, so ensure before the launch that you have some launch-specific blog content added to your website. You can do this by clicking on ‘Online Store’ icon on the left side menu, then choose ‘Blog Posts’ followed by ‘Create Blog Posts’ and write your articles therein. These blogs will not only make your website more attractive but can also improve your site’s ranking among search engines through targeted keywords.
Seventh Step: Launch
This final step involves devising a launch plan even if it’s a small one. It includes cold emailing at least 5-10 online publications informing them about the launch of your website. Also, announce this launch on your personal Facebook page and your immediate circle. Another effective way is publishing several guest posts on several websites on the day of your release.
Shopify is one of the best available options when it comes to setting up your online store as fast as possible. It can work wonders even for those who are not familiar with the technicalities of this field. Shopify provides a smooth interface along with a super easy navigation system to its clients. You can also avail the benefits of its 24/7 customer service available through live-chat to help you along the way.