Shopify is one of the hottest e-commerce platforms on the web right now. You might even make the case that it is to e-commerce what WordPress is to blogging. But merely signing up for a Shopify package and getting a small website up and running may not be enough to get the cash rolling in. Like every retail endeavour, there is a lot of work that goes into getting your online store ready for prime time.
You’ll find a lot of helpful information in the Shopify documentation. It explains how to set up payment methods, collect taxes, list and remove products, generate reports, and so much more. Most of it is fairly simple to do thanks to Shopify’s intuitive user interface.
Be that as it may, there are two important prerequisites to pay attention to before opening your Shopify store. The first is customizing the look and feel of your store; the second is extensive testing.
Customizing Your Store
Shopify offers a number of free templates that you can use as the foundation of your site. That’s good. The thing that is not good is using one of those templates as-is. Why? Because they are very generic and bland. Furthermore, a lot of site owners use them without any modifications. That means your store could look nearly identical to another store using the same template, making it harder for you to distinguish your company from your competitors.
You should definitely customize your template by using different colours, fonts, and graphics. The Shopify documentation offers plenty of helpful information explaining how to make modifications. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to modify the chosen template yourself, there are website design companies that can do it for you. Hiring help does cost money, but it will be well worth it when you see the finished product.
Professional web developers test e-commerce sites before they go live; you should too. If there’s one thing experienced website developers can tell you, it is that giving customers a poor user experience is one of the quickest ways to drive them away from your site permanently. You do not want to do that. Therefore, test your Shopify site extensively before it goes live.
You should be testing:
- Menu functionality
- Payment processing
- Order fulfilment
- Shopping cart functionality
- Contact methods (if applicable).
In short, you should test your site as though you were a customer trying to order. However, do not just place a single order and forget about it. Place multiple orders that will force you to fully navigate your store and try out every feature you offer. The goal is to catch any glitches your customers might find before they actually find them.
Shopify is an excellent e-commerce platform being used by more and more online retailers every day. Your choice to use it was a wise one. Now, do what’s necessary to make your site the best it can be before going live.