Launching a new online store on Shopify Plus can be an exciting endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation to ensure everything goes smoothly. In this post, we'll lay out a rough roadmap for your store launch and cover some key points to keep in mind. We will also give you some valuable tips and point out potential pitfalls that should be avoided.
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The rough schedule for your Shopify Plus launch
Test your store: Before you go live, it's crucial to test all functions and features. Make sure that everything works smoothly, including the product pages, shopping cart and checkout processes. We will go into more detail about testing your store later on.
Make test orders: Run test orders to make sure your payment methods and shipping process are working properly. This helps to identify problems before real customers are affected.
Enable maintenance mode (optional): If you want to protect your store from prying eyes, you can enable maintenance mode while you're still fine-tuning it. To enable maintenance mode on Shopify Plus, follow these steps:
1. Log in to your Shopify Plus admin area.
2. Navigate to "Online Store" > "Preferences".
3. Scroll down to the "Password protection" or "Password page" section
4. Activate the option for maintenance mode.
5. You can also customize what information should be displayed on the maintenance page and, if necessary, set a password to restrict access.
Convert your domain: If you already have a domain, you should migrate it to your new Shopify Plus store. This can take some time, so it's important to plan this well in advance.
Test again on the new domain: After your domain has been converted, check again that everything is working properly, especially the connection to the domain.
Deactivate maintenance mode again (optional): If you have enabled maintenance mode, don't forget to disable it when your store is ready to go live.
Reading tip: Find out here when it's worth switching to Shopify Plus.
You should pay attention to this
Domain changeover: The domain changeover can lead to problems and affect the functionality of any subdomains, for example. Make sure that everything runs smoothly:
Loss of search engine rankings
Solution: set up 301 redirects to minimize the loss.
Linking issues and error pages
Solution: Update internal and external links to the new domain.
Solution: test subdomain functionality after the changeover.
Working tools and apps: Check that all apps, analytics tools and third-party integrations are working properly.
Redirect old URLs: If you already have an online store, you should make sure that the URLs from your old store are redirected to the new Shopify store to avoid losing SEO rankings. To do this, create a csv list in which you record all current URLs and which URLs they should be redirected to. You can then easily import these into your Shopify Plus Store.
Reading tip: We go into the advantages of Shopify Plus in more detail in this blog.
Tips for a successful launch
Don't rush to go live: Take enough time to make sure your store is fully operational before you go live.
Schedule and checklist: Create a detailed flowchart and use our checklist to make sure you don't overlook anything.
Make backups: Back up your data and content so that you can revert to an older version in an emergency.
Inform everyone involved: Make sure your team and all stakeholders are informed about the launch and know what tasks are coming up.
Reading tip: How we supported B.O.C with the migration.
The specific pitfalls can vary depending on your store and individual requirements. However, the 3 most common challenges are
1. Technical transition
The technical transition of launching a Shopify store can present some potential issues, especially if you are migrating from another platform or making complex customizations. With thorough planning, careful testing and, if necessary, working with experienced developers, you can avoid many technical issues when migrating to Shopify Plus. It is advisable to allow sufficient time for the technical transition and ensure that all stakeholders involved are well informed and prepared.
2. SEO losses
Especially if you move your existing store, ranking problems and SEO cuts can occur after the go-live. So take countermeasures at an early stage.Elements such as URL structure, redirects, sitemap and Robots.txt or mobile optimization play a role here.
If the URL structure in the store changes, the search engine can no longer find the original pages, and if the redirects are missing, you will probably lose important rankings. You should therefore make sure that the old URLs are redirected to the new ones as soon as you go live.
Mobile optimization also plays a major role: if fonts are too small, text is cut off or elements are not clickable, the search engine will most likely rate your site negatively, as the mobile-first principle has been in place for several years.
However, through careful planning, implementation of best practices and continuous monitoring, you can minimize the impact on SEO and ensure that your Shopify store ranks successfully in search results.
3. Problems with payment methods
When launching a Shopify store, you may encounter various issues related to payment methods, including problems with the payment service provider integration, currency settings or missing SSL encryption. Therefore, you should thoroughly test the payment processes to ensure that they work smoothly and thus strengthen the trust of your customers.
In moments when you encounter potential problems just before go-live, it is crucial to keep a cool head. Instead of making hasty decisions, it is advisable to stick to the planned process and postpone the go-live date if necessary.
Reading tip: Find out about other successful companies that use Shopify Plus here.
Quality Assurance (QA) is a crucial step in ensuring that your Shopify store runs smoothly, is user-friendly and meets customer expectations. Pay attention to the following aspects and elements:
Functionality testing: ensure store functions (product pages, shopping cart, checkout, payments, shipping, user accounts).
Check responsive design: Test in different browsers; ensure that content is visible and operable on all screen sizes.
Check the checkout process: Ensure customers can easily select products, add to cart, checkout and complete payments.
Check product pages: Ensure high-resolution images, complete descriptions and correct information are available.
Test payment gateways: Check that payments are processed correctly and transaction confirmations are generated.
Check loading times: Testing store load times for a fast and efficient user experience and better search engine rankings.
Check SEO elements: Ensure correct implementation of meta tags, alt text for images, clean URLs and other SEO-relevant elements.
Monitor analysis and tracking: Integrate proper tracking tool and track events correctly.
Test email notifications: Check automatic notifications such as order and shipping confirmations and abandoned shopping carts.
Check third-party integrations: Ensure that integrations work without errors and do not cause conflicts.
Check data migration: Ensure that data (product information, customer profiles, order history) has been correctly transferred from another platform.
Reading tip: We have summarized more about QA testing of online stores in this blog.
Through comprehensive quality assurance, you can ensure that your Shopify store works flawlessly and provides a positive user experience. It is advisable to perform QA tests regularly, especially when you make changes to the store
After go-live - How to ensure the ongoing quality of your store
After a Shopify Plus store goes live, there are several important steps and considerations to make sure the store is operating effectively and meeting customer expectations. Here are some things to consider before launching your Shopify Plus store:
Carefully monitor the performance of your store, especially in terms of load times, server response times and the overall user experience. Utilize Shopify Plus features, such as auto-scaling, to ensure that your store can withstand the demands of the .
Complete the testing phase
Conduct extensive testing to ensure all features and processes are working smoothly. This includes the checkout process, payment gateways, product pages, shipping options and more.
Marketing and promotion
Marketing campaigns play a crucial role in raising awareness of your new Shopify Plus store. Utilize various strategies such as social media advertising, email marketing, influencer collaborations and other promotional efforts to reach your audience.
Some creative ideas to maximize the launch could be:
Offer new visitors a 10% welcome discount to encourage their first order.
Encourage customers to review the new store and link this to a competition or prize draw to encourage participation.
Organize an exclusive online event or live stream to generate interest and attract customers.
Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to showcase your products or services and increase reach.
Launch a limited "launch edition" of one of your bestselling products to draw attention to the new store.
By implementing creative ideas like these, you can make the launch of your new Shopify Plus store exciting and encourage customer engagement.
Reading tip: Read about LFDY's success story here.
Optimization for search engines (SEO)
Continue to ensure that your store is optimized for search engines so that potential customers can find it easily. To do this, you should use relevant keywords, optimized meta tags and a clean page structure. After going live, carry out a health check of your online store to identify and rectify warnings and errors. Tools such as Semrush, Sistrix or Screaming Frog can help. The Google Search Console can also provide you with information about any problems.
Continuous updating of content
Keep product descriptions, images and other content up to date. Regular updates help to maintain the attractiveness of your store.
Also interesting: Everything you need to know about UX/UI design for your Shopify store
Invitations to activate customer accounts
During a store migration, customers can no longer log in to your new Shopify Plus store with their old passwords. Therefore, after the launch, invite your existing customers to activate new accounts and set up a new password. As a Shopify Plus merchant, you can use the Bulk Account Inviter app in your store to send invitations to activate customer accounts collectively to all your customers.
Reporting and analysis
Use the Shopify Plus analytics tools to measure the success of your store. Analyze sales figures, conversion rates, customer behavior and other metrics.
Run A/B tests to check the effectiveness of design changes, product positioning or marketing campaigns. This helps you to better understand your target group and adapt your store to their needs.
Reading tip: In this article we give you tips for successful A/B testing.
Check scaling options
Consider how you can scale your store further. Shopify Plus offers features for Enterprise customers that make it possible to keep pace with growth. For example, Shopify Plus offers automatic scaling to adapt to changing requirements. This means that your store's resources can be automatically increased to cope with peak times or increased traffic.
These steps should be part of an ongoing process to successfully run and continuously improve your Shopify Plus store. Ecommerce is dynamic, and adapting to changing trends and customer needs is crucial for long-term success.
Latori customer Cdc Reitsport: Their experience of redeveloping on Shopify
CdC Reitsport, a company for high-quality equestrian products, ventured into e-commerce after an intensive market analysis. The start was not without its challenges, but with the support of the Latori team, a tailor-made Shopify Plus store was realized. The successful launch took place within just three months, accompanied by 100% positive customer feedback and organic growth. CdC Reitsport is now planning to open a showroom and participate in trade fairs to present high-quality products up close. This success story shows how an informed decision, the selection of the right platform and close collaboration have paved the way for e-commerce success. CdC Reitsport has not only made a successful entry into online retail, but has also opened up promising opportunities.
Reading tip: You can find out more about the new development from CdC Reitsport here.
A successful store launch on Shopify Plus requires careful planning and preparation. With a clear roadmap, testing and consideration of key points, you can ensure that your e-commerce adventure starts off on the right track.
Do you need help with your Shopify launch? Contact us without obligation and we'll talk about your project.
Frequently asked questions about the Shopify Plus launch plan
When should I start planning my Shopify launch?
Ideally, you should start planning about 2-3 months before the planned launch of your Shopify store. This will give you enough time to carefully think through and prepare all aspects.
How do I optimize my Shopify store for search engines (SEO)?
Make sure you have a clear URL structure, optimize product descriptions and images, add relevant meta tags and keywords and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
What challenges do I face with a Shopify launch?
When launching a Shopify (Plus) store, there may be problems with the technical conversion, SEO losses or problems with payment methods. However, with the right planning and approach, these problems can be avoided.
How much time should I invest in QA testing?
The amount of time you should invest in Quality Assurance (QA) testing of your Shopify store depends on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of your store, the number of features, third-party integrations and planned changes.