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Your PreLaunch eCommerce Checklist Not to Miss

Launching an eCommerce store takes way more than just having a website. It encapsulates a thorough consideration of various key elements before the launch of your website. Failing to do so cost you sales, revenues, and customer trust. 

In this post, we are going to share your essential website prelaunch checklist, you wouldn’t want to miss out on. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

  1. Pay attention to the design of category or listing pages

Help your customers easily find the products they are looking for. A coherent eCommerce website with well-designed pages doesn’t go amiss. 

Properly designed category pages optimized for SEO allows your customers to find the product of their choice. It also speeds up the checkout process which is a critical element ensuring higher customer satisfaction. 

Designing listing pages requires you to have the following key elements: 

  • Include a quick product view. 
  • Facilitate internal linking between categories and subcategories. 
  • Show stock availability. 
  • Have filtering and sorting options in place. 
  • Display best-sellers and customer reviews for social proof. 
  1. Make sure you have an effective shopping cart page 

Another vital element on your eCommerce launch checklist is an efficacious shopping cart page. The shopping cart is an extremely important place in your eCommerce store. 

So, how do we go about creating an engaging shopping cart page? Let’s get you started by sharing these key pointers. 

  • Avoid having any hidden costs, taxes, and shipping costs. 
  • Have an attention-grabbing ‘call to action’ for clear navigation. 
  • Display product details such as the product name, size, color, pricing, and quantity for an enjoyable shopping experience. 
  • Allow customers to add/remove products and change color, size, and quantity with sheer ease. 
  1. A well-designed and conversion-oriented checkout page

Let’s face it! The checkout page is the place where cart abandonment happens the most. 

As a far-sighted business, you must ensure that the checkout process is smooth for your customers. 

There are countless eCommerce stores in the digital scape and cart abandonment is a sore point for the majority of them and clearly due to the lack of a well-designed checkout page. 

  • Have a progress bar page right from the beginning to help customers know how many steps are left to complete the buying process. 
  • Have a live chat option to provide timely support to your customers. 
  • Refrain from adding unnecessary steps and combine multiple steps if needed as it will help expedite the whole process. 
  • Have ‘checkout as a guest’ option in place. 
  1.  SEO is important 

Your eCommerce store needs to have a robust SEO strategy in place to drive conversions. It is a myth that SEO is dead and numbers vouch for the fact. 

More than 37.5 percent of eCommerce traffic comes from search engines and if you do not invest in SEO with a well-chalked-out plan, you are surely missing potential possibilities. You will be left far behind in the competition. So, here is a quick SEO cheatsheet for you. 

  • Create and submit a sitemap. 
  • Leverage schema markup to increase the click-through rate. 
  • Make sure your target keywords are included in the product descriptions and categories. 
  • Make optimum use of keywords in meta titles, descriptions, and tags. 
  • Optimize your eCommerce website for speed. 
  • Focus on creating high-quality and SEO-rich content. 
  • Get rid of duplicate content. 
  1. Harness 3rd party apps and plugins on your eCommerce store 

There are numerous useful 3rd party apps out there in the WooCommerce space and you can use them to your advantage for better customer experience and conversion rates. 

It is no exaggeration that your eCommerce launch checklist is incomplete without considering to use 3rd party apps and plugins. Some of the apps/plugins you may want to use are mentioned below – 

  • Site optimization. 
  • Apps/plugins for products and inventory management. 
  • Apps/plugins for marketing and promotion. 
  • Apps/plugins for better sales and conversion. 

Speaking of the best WordPress plugins, we would like to share two of the most trusted plugins out there in the market. The first one on the list is a WooCommerce category plugin named: 

  • Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce 

The plugin is loaded with 2 wonderful layouts and 10 marvelous designs for WooCommerce categories. It offers a categories grid and carousel view. 

The best of this plugin is its seamless integration with all popular page builders including DIVI, WPBakery, VC Composer, Beaver, and Elementor to name a few. 

More features: 

  • Change post order
  • Display category title and description
  • 2 shortcodes
  • Include or exclude specific categories

Another plugin on the list is a great plugin for product sliders in WooCommerce called

  • Woo Product Slider and Carousel with Category

Woo Product Slider and Carousel with Category is a renowned plugin that is equipped with more than 50 predesigned templates and 8 layouts. You can put several sliders on display including best-rated products, best selling products, featured products, etc. 

More features: 

  • Show product rating 
  • Display sales
  • Custom CSS editor
  • Fully responsive 
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Easy integration with famous page builders
  1. Use email marketing to your advantage

Prudent eCommerce businesses use email marketing quite deftly to their advantage and you must also include it in your WordPress website checklist. There are different types of marketing emails you should use such as – 

  • Welcome or thank you emails. 
  • Survey emails.
  • Cart abandonment emails. 
  • Order confirmation emails. 
  • Promotional offers and festive discounts. 
  1. Setting up analytics 

This is a no-brainer, to be honest. No eCommerce business can be imagined without analytics. Make sure you have set up Google and Facebook analytics without missing any key steps. 

Also, verifying checkout tracking is important for your eCommerce store. Set up a Google search console and verify your site.  

  1. Download backup of your site 

This is one of the most crucial steps you should always bear in mind. You shouldn’t take for granted even a small change you made, because you don’t want to be in a situation when you cannot revert the changes. Also, use the services of a reputed hosting provider as it always helps you a big time. Make it a point to download the backup of your staging as well as the production site. 

  1. Run a mock order test 

Perform a mock order test before you launch your website. It should include auditing the whole checkout process of the cart and order confirmation. It goes without saying that you should include all the possible steps your customers would take in a real case scenario. Add a product and increase/decrease the quantity to make sure it is working. Add products to the cart and remove them apart from applying coupon codes. 

Here it is also important to see how the product page appears when a product is out of stock. Make a test purchase by checking out the cart, of course besides checking the payment options on there. Once the mock purchase has been made, head back to the My Account section. 

  1.  Migrate your website files and DB from staging server to production 

You must be working on a staging server and now it is time to move your website files and database to the actual production server. Again, before you do this, you must take a comprehensive backup. 

  1.  Enable search engine visibility 

Enabling search engine visibility is of utmost importance if you want to be discoverable on search engines. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard, look for settings and click ‘reading’. 

Now look for ‘Search Engine Visibility’ and uncheck the box that reads ‘Discourage search engines from indexing the site’. 

Publish changes and you are good to go. 

  1.  Install SSL certificate 

Installing an SSL certificate is quite crucial if you do not want to face issues later on. It isn’t as complicated as it might appear at first. Install the certificate and activate it and once it is done, you will be able to see a padlock on the address bar. 

Your hosting provider should be able to help you with this as well, so if you do not know how to go about it, do not fret. 

  1.   Submit your sitemap

Submitting your sitemap to search engines allows them to index your website; however, it should be done only after you are set up 301 redirects correctly. 

Submitting your sitemap is fairly an easy process and by following just a handful of steps on Google Console you should be done. 

Simply log in to your search console or create if you don’t have one already. Look for sitemaps and click on them. Submit your new sitemap and if you are using an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, then the link will show something like this- /sitemap_index.xml

Hit ‘Save’ and that’s it. 

 Conclusion: 

Only a future-ready eCommerce business can survive in the cut-throat competition of the contemporary eCommerce market. We have tried to make the WordPress website checklist as comprehensive as possible. If you keep the abovementioned pointers in mind, you will see boosted sales and Increased profits. 

Author Bio: 
Amisha Parmar is a content writer and SEO marketing manager at Essential Plugin, which sells a WordPress Plugin Bundle that includes front-end utility plugins. Expert Inbound Marketing Tools, Templates, and Security are required for the overall development of a WordPress website.

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