You signed up for a new Shopify account and got right to work building your e-commerce site. You chose a great domain, settled on an attractive looking theme, and entered all your products one-by-one. Now you are ready for launch. Or are you? Not so fast there.
Software developers do something very important prior to launching any new application: they test it. In fact, they test extensively throughout the design and build process. It is equally important for you to test your e-commerce site before you go public. Otherwise, you risk alienating your customers before you ever start turning sales.
There are three big things we recommend that you test prior to launch: order fulfilment, payments, and responsiveness. If all three receive passing grades, your site is likely ready to go. If not, you will need to make the necessary changes in order to get things up to scratch.
1. Order Fulfilment
Your order fulfilment process will have a significant impact on how you do business in the early stages. There are three things to consider here:
- Verifying orders in Shopify;
- Physically fulfilling those orders; and
- Shipping vendors and procedures.
The way to test order fulfilment is to actually order something yourself and then go through the process of doing what needs to be done. You might even get some family members or friends to place some orders as well. Try to be forward thinking with order fulfilment to the extent that you have scalability built-in to whatever processes you establish. You need to be prepared for growth rather than reacting to it.
Shopify offers a number of different payment options, also known as ‘gateways’. Shopify Payments is the built-in gateway that comes standard with all Shopify accounts. You can also use most of the mainstream gateways like PayPal, Amazon Payments, and Authorize.net.
You will need to establish your payment gateway options before you can launch. Once established, run a couple of test transactions through each gateway to make sure they function properly. You do not want to run the risk of launching your Shopify store and not being able to process payments.
Last but certainly not least is testing responsiveness. A responsive site is one that works seamlessly across all devices including desktop PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. You need to be especially concerned about mobility. If your site does not work well with a smartphone, you need to make changes. Keep in mind that a growing number of online shoppers are completing transactions with their smartphones. Your site needs to work for them.
The final days leading up to the launch of a Shopify store are filled with equal amounts of anticipation and anxiety. You can minimize the anxiety by testing your site thoroughly. Make sure it works as intended so that you can hit the ground running. Be sure to test your order fulfilment processes, your payment gateways, and the responsiveness of your Shopify site across multiple devices.