Pre Site Launch - 7 Quick but Vital Checks for eCommerce Stores

No matter if it’s your first or fifteenth store, creating a new website is always an exciting but nerve-racking task. With all the time, effort and resources that you’ve undoubtedly put into your new ecommerce store, the last thing you want is for it all to fall apart on launch day.
Now before you start to panic: stop, breathe, relax. These 7 quick and easy checks will make sure that your store is up to scratch and ready for customers when your site goes live.

1. Tracking codes & analytics

When your site goes live it’s extremely important to see how many people are visiting your site and where they’re coming from. Remember to set up analytics for your new store (and double check that it’s working!) so that you have a record of your store’s data from day one.
Take the opportunity to install and set up any tracking codes or pixels that you may use in the future. Even if you’re not looking to use ads at the moment, it’s great to have data recording for when you do.

2. Checkout & payment process 

Your new ecommerce store has one key purpose: selling your products. If your checkout or payment process is broken, you’re going to be left with frustrated customers and a rapid fall in profits. Walk through each step of your checkout process (as a guest and logged in) to check for any possible errors and place a test order to ensure you have no issues will processing payments. 

3. Cross browser & mobile checks

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your customers will be accessing your website using the same setup as you. With various browsers, devices and screen sizes available, you need to ensure that your website looks fantastic and works well no matter how it’s being viewed. Browserstack is a great tool for checking your site on a wide range of browsers and devices.

4. PageSpeed

A slow loading site can not only damage your chances of ranking highly on search engine results pages, but it can also damage your relationship with your customers. Before your new website is released to the public, run a pagespeed check - Google has a fantastic free tool which will show any changes you need to make in order to speed up your site.

5. SSL Certificate

SSL is used to encrypt data when it is sent between your website and your customer’s browser - this is essential for ecommerce stores where you’ll require sensitive data (e.g. credit card details) from your customers. Ensure that you have an SSL Certificate for when you launch your website - not only will it protect you and your customers, but it will also give your brand a trusted image. 

6. Is it easy to contact you?

On the chance that something isn’t quite right with your site, you need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch with you. Make your contact page easy to find in your navigation or footer and include a frequently asked questions page to reduce the number of enquiries. If you use a contact form check that the message sends correctly and consider using a live chat module too. 

7. Submit your website to Google

Through Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) you can submit your new website URL to Google. Submitting your site can encourage Google to crawl and index your site sooner, making it easier for you to start showing in search engine results. Remember to submit your sitemap too - sitemaps aren’t mandatory, but they make Google’s job much easier when crawling your site.
Do you have any checks you’d recommend for new sites?
Share them in the comments section below.