Before you switch your new Shopify site live, you should review and update several key settings in the Shopify admin to make sure your site is configured correctly:
Payment gateways: Make sure you have at least one payment gateway set up and configured correctly so that you can start processing orders.
Shipping and taxes: Set up shipping rates, taxes, and any other relevant information that affects how orders are processed and delivered. This is a commonly overlooked, but important step as missing out on incorrect shipping cost or incorrect tax liabilities can be a huge headache.
Checkout: Review the checkout process and make any necessary changes, such as setting up discounts or customizing the checkout experience.
Domain: Make sure your custom domain is set up correctly, so that visitors to your site can find it easily. Your developer should handle this, but it's an important thing to discuss as there's often a bit of time required for the changes to propagate.
Enhancing your website's performance and tracking its success are crucial steps in achieving your online goals. From setting up Google Analytics to implementing affiliate tracking, there are various services available to help you monitor and optimize your website's performance. It's crucial to have these setup and tested before going live!
Google Tag Manager - while not necessary, often time's it's nice to manage things like Facebook pixels and other 3rd party trackers via GTM as it makes it easy to add the required code without changing the site/theme code. Note that with Shopify you'll want to use Shopify's native integration with Google Analytics, as we've found that tracking with Shopify's checkout can be a huge hassle if you try to implement via GTM.
Set up Google Analytics: You'll want to have a Google Analytics account set up to track website traffic and performance, as well as measure conversions and sales. Shopify makes it easy to install Google Analytics by adding your tracking code to your Shopify store.
Connect Facebook and Instagram accounts: If you have a Facebook and/or Instagram business account, you can connect it to your Shopify store to create and manage ads, track conversions, and build custom audiences.
Don't forget any other 3rd party services you leverage like Pinterest, AdRoll, Criteo, Hotjar etc.
Customer service: Set up customer service options, like a contact form or live chat, so that visitors can get in touch with you if they need assistance. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and build trust in your brand. Shopify's contact form will send to the email listed under Shopify's settings in the admin as the store contact email, as will all the transactional emails related to orders etc. be sent from this address. Additionally, if you're at scale this could include making sure that Zendesk is properly integrated with your store, so your customer support team has full visibility on a customer's orders.
Fulfillment: If you're using service like Shipstation to help speed up bulk fulfillments, make sure that these providers are properly integrated and pulling orders (can place test orders) from your Shopify store.
Email marketing: If you use a service like Klaviyo for marketing emails, make sure they've been added into your Shopify store and that new customers / pop-up sign-ups are being added to the correct email lists.
Social media links: Add links to your social media profiles to help visitors find and connect with you on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Often time this is controlled in Customize Theme under theme general settings.
Blog: Consider setting up a blog on your website to provide valuable content to your visitors and improve your search engine rankings. A blog can also be a great way to share news and updates about your company, products, and services. If you've migrated from another platform it's important to check internal article links to make sure they still function.
SEO optimization: Optimize your website for search engines by adding keywords and meta descriptions, creating clear and concise URLs, and using header tags to structure your content. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages and attract more organic traffic. This ties into the point above re scanning for broken links, as well as making sure any products you may have imported from another platform have clean urls.
After launching your new Shopify site, it's important to keep up with ongoing maintenance to ensure a smooth and successful online experience for your customers. Hiring a developer or dedicating a team member to handle updates and address any unexpected issues can be a wise investment, especially during peak season when lost revenue from site downtime can be substantial.
In addition to maintenance, ongoing optimization is also crucial for success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a complex and ever-evolving topic, but at a minimum, it's recommended to utilize a monitoring service to stay on top of site issues, track performance, and identify content optimization opportunities.
Accessibility is another important consideration, as compliance with accessibility standards is not only a best practice but also a legal requirement. This is often not guaranteed on custom builds, as it's a multifaceted and complex topic. Consider having your site audited by a professional service, such as Accessibe, or as a follow-up project, address accessibility issues both in code and content to ensure full compliance.
Your new Shopify site is a game-changer for your business and will transform the way you reach and engage with customers. With a modern and user-friendly design, streamlined checkout process, and integrated marketing tools, your site will drive sales and help you reach your online goals. By following the steps outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to achieving the success you desire. So, take a deep breath and get ready to launch - your business is about to soar!