You only get one opportunity to launch your e-commerce venture, just like any other business out in the world. This is why it is important to prep a checklist to help ensure that your online store’s launch is a successful one:
- Inspect Your Inventory. A good business is built on a good product – but only if you can actually supply said product. This is especially important to remember during your e-commerce launch, where demand is most unpredictable. You might even prepare to dropship orders or outsource labor to meet a surge in demand. If you can find the right drop ship partner then this can offer the flexibility required when starting up your business.
- Click All Possible Links. It is important that you check out all possible pages on your website. Also, do this using as many browsers as you can. What might work well on Internet Explorer may not work well with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or other common web browsers. If possible enlist family and friends to help you out.
- Proof All Text. Start off with major text – titles, headers, front pages and the like. Once you’ve gone over the important bits, move on to analyze each page on its own. Don’t just scan. Read the text out loud in a slow and deliberate manner. you can also use online grammar tools such as Hemingway or Grammarly to check bigger blocks of text.
- Test Billing and Checkout. “Buy” a product of yours and see how the process goes. Take note of any problems that you encountered while doing so. Convenience is the name of the game here. The easier and more convenient it is for customers to make a purchase, the less likely they’ll back out at checkout.
- Provide Contact Information. Make sure that this information is visible to those looking for it. This will give visitors an easier time getting in touch with you if they have questions or concerns. Without it, they’ll go to more public places like Facebook or Twitter – where concerns will be aired on a public instead of a private venue.
- Set Up Analytics. Traffic counters, actions conducted on each page, time spent on each page, sales generated – this information will help you better identify how people navigate around your website. This, in turn, will help you build on strengths and address a weakness that you notice. Seo specialist from Gold Apple says that Google Analytics is an excellent tool for this and is highly recommended. Some online marketplace builders may have some of this functionality built-in.
- Prep Pre-Launch Marketing. Social media buzz, search engine ads, print ads, press releases, email newsletters – make sure that you let people know when your new e-commerce venture is going to start. Bring as many curious visitors as you can on the opening week, and this will make it easier for word-of-mouth to spread out. You can use a tool such as Buffer to schedule posts on many different social media sights such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and more. this can make managing several accounts much easier and makes publishing content on several channels at once much more time efficient.
- Get Beta Testers. It is well worth your money to get feedback from multiple, unbiased users. They may see what you cannot see, which is a valuable opinion to have when you are emotionally invested in your own business. If you can’t afford this step then you should at least enlist the help of family and friends, you could write a survey for them so as you can get more concise feedback.
- Create A Backup. ‘Save’ the current status of your e-commerce website before you go live. An offline version lets visitors browse around even when your website is currently down. This same version can also be used to restore your website just in case something catastrophic happens at launch. With this in mind, you should always keep regular backups through the life of your website.
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