Shopify Store Launch Checklist

As a Shopify store owner, you’ve likely encountered phases where the workload felt overwhelming, prompting you to defer some tasks “for later.” Eventually, though, you reach a point where procrastination is no longer an option: the critical period right before your store’s launch. And it is stressful enough. Let’s not make things harder: here comes a list of things you need to ensure they’re working before the launch.
And if you don’t have a Shopify store yet, but you intend to, this list may help you even more.

Table of Contents

  • Content
    • Test the look and feel of your e-shop
    • Make sure branding remains intact
    • Fix missing pages and broken links
    • Product pages
    • Essential content
    • Pages with special type of content
    • Copy that needs legal advice
  • Processes of the online store
    • Add to cart & checkout
    • Set up customer accounts
    • More processes & settings
    • Third party services
    • What about SEO?
    • Live chat and chatbots


Test the look and feel of your e-shop

Some time ago you selected a great theme for your e-shop, but how does it hold up as you approach launch? Is it still fresh and appealing? Are there any noticeable glitches? Ensure that the design is optimized for desktops, tablets, and especially smartphones, as most of your visitors will likely use mobile devices.
If you lack a variety of devices for testing, there are several simulators available to help you deliver the best possible experience to your audience.

Make sure branding remains intact

Branding includes several aspects.

  • Logos. Ensure all symbols, descriptors, and taglines are the original ones.
  • Colors. Stick to your predefined color palette and maintain consistency across the website.
  • Fonts. Pay attention to font families, weights, and sizes, especially if using multiple fonts. Consistency here is crucial.

Fix missing pages and broken links

Missing pages and broken links can severely degrade the user experience. You don’t want that. And it is relatively easy to fix such issues. Check your main navigation and other methods of linkage (e.g. links on footer, next/previous pages, image links, internal links etc). Also, review your search results.
Having a friend or family member navigate your site as a visitor can help a lot. Generally speaking, people who are not familiar to a website tend to find potential problems not easily detectable by people who know it well.

Product pages

It goes without saying that they are super important. Since each product page consists of several parts, make sure you check all of them.

  • Pricing: Double check that prices are accurately set for all products.
  • Inventory Levels: Ensure inventory levels are correct and stock quantities are updated.
  • Product Descriptions: Review and optimize product descriptions for clarity and SEO. This is an area where a person you trust can provide invaluable feedback. Find and correct errors in your copy quickly, it will help you remain calm and optimistic.
  • Product Images: Verify that high-quality images are uploaded for each product. In our post, Picture Perfect Shopify: Photography Tips for Hardware & Automotive Stores, you will find tips on how to improve and optimize your images in order to have a faster website.
  • Product Variants: Confirm that all product variants (size, color, etc.) are correctly configured.
  • Complementary content: additional information such as .pdf files, special attributes, sizes etc. must be consistent and contribute to the dependability of the store

Essential content

There are three types of content which are super important:

  • About: who you are and why you made this online store
  • Contact: how visitors can contact you. It includes at least one email account, an address on a map, a phone number and maybe a contact form.
  • Blog/News: this is the section where you are going to support your products by writing about them (and not only). Even if you are not ready to start with a Blog, make sure you are going to launch one soon.

Many online stores have pages about the history of their brand, especially if they started with a retail store, their raw materials, their method and the procedures of making a product etc. These pages help build trust and familiarity with your products.

Pages with special type of content

There is a bunch of pages each online store must include but their content requires a different approach. Pages such as:

  • FAQ
  • Shipping & Returns
  • Refund Policy
  • Help Section & Documentation

can’t include filler content. Instead, they require very clear and precise copy. It is a different type of copy comparing to your e.g. About page but it is equally important.

Copy that needs legal advice

Everything that has to do with legal content should be revised by your lawyer so you can feel safe. You can’t launch your Shopify store without taking care of the following pages:

  • GDPR & CCPA Compliance
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Notice
  • Terms of Service

Processes of the online store

Add to cart & checkout

First, review your payment gateways to ensure all are enabled and functioning. Then make a purchase. A real one. Follow all the essential steps from the very beginning to the end. Is there a flow or do you detect anomalies? This step is critical as any glitches here can cause customers to abandon their purchases, which nobody wants.
During the process pay attention to:

  • All available payment methods
  • The emails sent and received by both the shop owner and the customer
  • The functionality of coupons, discounts, and offers
  • Upselling procedures
  • Adding/removing items from the basket
  • The order status and the shipping methods

Ensure that all these elements work seamlessly and are easy for customers to navigate.

Set up customer accounts

Not all e-commerce stores use the particular feature but it is a good one. Simulate the experience of a potential customer creating an account on your store. Check the pages displaying past orders, update account settings (like name, address, and email), and try changing the password. These actions should be straightforward and error-free.

More processes & settings

Pay attention to the following processes, as they are important:

  • Store Information. Verify that store name, address, and contact information are correctly entered.
  • Order Notifications: Ensure client order notification emails are set for all order statuses.
  • Tax settings. Understand how taxes impact your profits and update prices accordingly.
  • Shipping rates. Create geographical zones and set shipping rates for each one.
  • Currencies. If you support more than one, ensure pricing updates correctly across currencies.
  • Abandoned cart emails. They happen often so you must have created a procedure in order to help people complete their purchase.
  • Inventories. Verify stock levels, manage low inventory alerts, and set up inventory tracking for each product.
  • Contact forms. Do they work properly? Do they send emails to the right recipients?
  • Do you know you have a 404 error page? Take a few minutes to improve it and to make it useful for your audience.

Third party services

First of all, make sure your online store is properly connected with your domain name. then you can go on.
The following services are almost indispensable in order to make your online store more visible to both people and search engines.

  • Connect your Shopify store with your social media accounts.
  • Install and correctly configure a web traffic analytics tool like Google Analytics.
  • Verify your site with Google Search Console for indexing.
  • Newsletters. Check the subscription process, mailing lists, and the information subscribers see.
  • If you have enabled alternative sales channels (e.g. Facebook & Instagram, TikTok, Amazon, Google Shopping) make sure they are all connected and work seamlessly.

What about SEO?

Search engines use hundreds of parameters to rank web pages. While not all are equally important, understanding the basics of SEO is crucial for generating organic traffic, which is highly valuable and free. Familiarize yourself with concepts such as keyword research, sitemaps, image optimization, keyword density, SEO titles and meta descriptions, content marketing, and good page loading speeds. These elements are vital for your store’s visibility and success.

Live chat and chatbots

If you are going to use these additional support services, you need to make sure they are working the way they are supposed to and you inform the visitors what is going to happen if live support is not available for certain periods of time.

Final words before pushing the “Go online” button

Well, this was a long list, wasn’t it?
Having an online store is demanding anyway. So please make sure you feel confident before you push the “Let’s go live and have a party” button. The best way to boost your confidence is by testing thoroughly. That’s why we created this checklist — to provide you with manageable, actionable feedback. Remember, feedback is precious, and it’s far better to address any issues while still offline. Now is the time to check all the boxes above and launch your Shopify store successfully.

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