As Shopify experts, Kamari Labs has helped hundreds upon hundreds of Shopify merchants go live with their new shop.
Typically this seems like a straight forward process, but having everything in place before going live can make or break your e-commerce web endeavor.
People tend to overlook the minute details which lead to hang-ups down the line. We have comprised a list of the top 10 things to ensure
are in good working order before going live with your shop on Shopify. Shopify has a short article on how to launch a Shopify store, but here is our list.
- Payment Gateway
This is #1 and for a good reason. Not having your payment gateway will end in no sales period.
Ensure you have your payment gateway not only setup but also linked to your bank account or other account correctly.
Place a few test orders a week or so before launch and ensure payment is received as intended. This can save you a lot
of pain an heart ache later once you have sales and attempt to collect your revenue. Shopify supports a plethora of
payment gateways you can find the definitive list here.
Shipping and Fulfillment are another critical operation for any e-commerce store not selling digital goods.
Be sure you have a strategy to streamline your fulfillment process as much as possible. Smaller shops just starting
out may over look this a bit. Even if you are a small shop, you should have at minimal a strategy in place for delivering
your products to your customers as quickly as possible. Shipping time is one of the number one things your customers will
rank you on when deciding to buy from you again next time.
- SEO and Marketing
SEO or Search Engine Optimization and SEM or Search Engine Marketing should be fully utilized when launching a new online business.
You will want to ensure prior to launch you have created social accounts for the various social networking sites. Be sure to brand and style your
pages for each platform to ensure brand recognition and continuity in user experience. If you are migrating an existing shop to Shopify keep in
mind your URLs to your sites pages will change and as a result you may take a hit in search engines while everything is being updated by Google, Bing,
and other search engines. A good effort on your part to make your site as SEO friendly as possible will ensure less delay during this transition.
- Sitemap Submission
This is key to getting your Shopify store well established on Google and other search engines and ties directly into #3.
Shopify creates an auto-updated sitemap for all sites on their platform. You can find yours at yoursite.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.
This is a map for Google and other search engines to locate and index all of your product, blog, and content pages. While Shopify does
generate and update this for you automatically, you still will want to be sure to submit it to Google. Here is an excellent Shopify article
on how to tackle this.
- Domain Setup
This should really be #1, without proper domain setup your site is dead in the water. Doing this early is important to ensure when you launch the site domain is mapping to your new Shopify shop correctly. Shopify makes this easy by allowing you to add a simple CNAME entry to point your www to their server. You then add your domain and Shopify will listen for requests to that domain and route them to your Shopify shop. Here is an excellent Shopify article on this topic which will help your get your domain setup correctly.
- Meta Tags
Meta tags are used by search engines to display your pages in search results. You may have seen them and not even known it.
When you search on Google for instance the blue hyper-linked title of the page comes from the title tag of the page.
The description comes from the description meta field and is also used to detect keywords for ranking your page.
Next time you search note that the keywords you searched for are bolded in the title, and descriptions. This is an insight
to their relevance in ranking the result you are seeing. Proper meta tag management upfront will ensure search engine utopia
and keep your site well ranked amongst competitors.
- Responsive Shopify Theme
Today more than ever your customers are accessing your site using an array of devices.
This means one user see your site perfectly and the next may see minor flaws in the design unless good
responsive practices have been implemented in the design of your Shopify theme. To ensure consistent user
experience use a responsive checker tool like this one to see what all devices will show when a customer visits your
site using one. If you are in the process of designing your Shopify theme consider using Bootstrap to design your site
to be compatible on all devices. Send us an email if you would like us to make your theme responsive or create a new
responsive Shopify theme for you.
You can also purchase a ready-made theme from the Shopify Theme Store and have
us customize it to save time and money.