Hello there, budding eCommerce Store owner! If you’re reading this there is a good chance that you, or an agency like us, has built your eCommerce store on a platform like WooCommerce or Shopify and you’re getting ready to launch it.
The products are in, and the design is looking slick, but you’re wondering what you need to check off before the site itself finally goes live. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve got a list of things we would recommend you check are in place before launching your eCommerce store.
Now this one should be obvious, but we have come across sites marked as good to go that have not yet introduced a viable payment gateway into the platform. This prevents orders from being placed and will leave you, the store owner with a site that cannot perform or be linked to your marketing channels effectively.
An invalid or missing payment method will some marketing channels, such as Google Merchant Centre, from approving your products, leaving you unable to market your business.
At a minimum, we would recommend using a Credit/Debit Card Payment Gateway with Stripe or Shopify Payments and a third-party service like PayPal. Where possible, and responsible, you can also invest in a Buy Now, Pay Later platform like Klarna.
Before choosing your payment provider, take time to consider the costs involved such as transaction fees and most will typically expect a small percentage of the sale.
Another thing to consider is Payout timescales, as not all providers make an instant payout to your bank once a transaction takes place, but hold funds for a period of time.
Terms & Conditions
Did you know that almost no one reads Terms & Conditions on websites? In fact once upon a time, Gamestation, a website dedicated to selling video games and related products, introduced a test, whereby agreeing to their terms & conditions you agreed to sell them your soul. If you disagreed they actually offered you a reasonable discount for taking the time and effort to read through the policy, not very many people claimed the discount and therefore sold their souls in the process! You can read the story here – https://bit.ly/3CyDS8e
As amusing as the story is, we digress! Terms & Conditions are in place to protect you from issues with your customers. If you need help creating your own, Shopify have a wonderful tool for that, and some other tools to help your business that you can read about in our article Business Tools from Shopify for your eCommerce Business.
While a template normally covers the basics, it’s best to think about the product you offer and your unique situation. Say you sell personal items that cannot be returned for hygiene reasons if a user just doesn’t like them, you need to outline that in your terms & conditions, and probably your product page as well.
Remember, these are put in place to protect your business in the worst-case scenario with a disgruntled customer, so try and make sure they are as air-tight as possible, and if need be, we would recommend having them checked by a legal expert.
Another one that should be obvious but we’ve seen stores fall victim to is having a suitable Shipping Profile in place. This allows goods to be sold to users based on location, item weight etc.
However you choose to charge for shipping it up to you, but at a minimum you want to make sure that if you are selling to France for example, that a Shipping Profile is in place for France and that it covers the appropriate charges.
If selling within the United Kingdom, take time to consider the cost of sending items to certain areas such as the Channel Islands, as couriers may charge a premium for this.
Cookies are important, both as a chocolatey biscuit treat and as a tool of the savvy marketer/business owner. They help you track users on your site using tools such as Google Analytics and a variety of other delightful things.
Cookie consent can be daunting, so we recommend using an online generator or application to get started, and make sure that it covers all the forms of tracking you are implementing in your site.
In this day and age being mobile optimised should be part and parcel of your site, but you’d be surprised! Studies show that in eCommerce, over 50% of site traffic typically comes from mobile devices.
Being mobiles optimised simply means taking the time to consider a users journey on mobile and ease of use. Things that can impact mobile performance can include overall design, use of graphics, image file size and ease of use.
We recommend just giving your site a once over on mobile before launch. If you get a little frustrated waiting on something or trying to do something, it may need to be adjusted before launch. Otherwise make a mental note and do your best to optimise it after your site is live.