Are you launching your online store? Here is the checklist you should follow

Here are the different topics you need to work on before launching your online store - from your home page to your product pages, on a technical as on legal level.

Your homepage

Your homepage must succeed in showing all your visitors what you do and the products you offer, in a unique way. Avoid to look like another site or highlight points that are generic and applicable to many other sites.

Be specific, clear, and unique. 

A proper home page makes it easy for all visitors to understand your offering and how they can purchase your products.

Special attention should be given to all items accessible without having to scroll - this section is what we also call “Above the fold”. On mobile and desktop, your visitor should immediately understand what you are selling, why it is interesting and how to purchase.

  • A title that explains your value proposition
  • High quality visuals that show your products
  • A banner which details the delivery methods (free, from a certain amount & and in how many days)
  • Clear and effective call-to-action (buttons) (Discover, Buy, Start, Add to Cart)
  • Easy access to your main products and / or your main collections.
  • Reviews or social proof that show the main advantages of your products
  • The classic triad “Delivery, Safety, After-Sales Service, Guarantee”, often shown in the form of pictograms.
  • A newsletter form for those wishing to wait for special offers
  • A classic footer, which links at least to your general terms of sale.
  • A link to your FAQ - if necessary, you can integrate the main recurrent questions directly into the homepage, in the form of purchase arguments.
  • A link to a page that explains your mission and / or your brand's values.

Your product pages

Usually by using an online store CMS like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce or other, your product pages are pre-built, even in a basic way. 

Here are the elements that must be included - adjustments should be made according to your sector (beauty care, alcohol, food - not all product pages can be alike), but this list is essential to have a good working performance. 

The goal? Suppress any possible hesitation the visitor might have in ordering your product. The page should be read smoothly, and each section should be a reassuring element that aims to convert the visitor.

  • An explicit title on what the product is about - do not try to make the visitor guess
  • At least 2 to 3 photos - including at least one photo showing the neutral product and one in context - depending on the industry more photos may be necessary (texture for skincare products, finishes for textiles, etc.)
  • A short and concise description that shows your main selling point. If more information can be viewed, you can create a “Read More” link which displays more details.
  • A feedback unit, which shows from the first scroll (the famous "Above the Fold" section) a summary of the ratings and number of reviews, with a link to display the details. If possible, highlight a review from this section. Don't forget to display your stars ★★★★★.
  • Display the “Deliveries and Returns” disclosure near the “Add to Cart” button
  • You can also indicate on this page other products in your store that are related - or that go well together. 

We have a benchmark of product pages that you might want to check: Benchmark.

Also - if you have multiple product categories, don't forget to set up your Collections pages as well.

Analytics & Technique

The main technical elements to be put in place. The main ones are Analytics (to measure the activity on your site) and the loading speed of your website. If your site is taking too long to load, the quality of your images won't matter, because you'll convert fewer visitors.

  • Aim for your site to load less than 3 seconds on mobile. Here is a resource that can help you.
  • A Facebook Business Manager account, a pixel, an advertising account, a Facebook page and an Instagram account, they should all be owned by the Business Manager
  • A Google AdWords account
  • Set up the essential Analytics: Google Analytics and your Facebook pixel
  • Set up your retargeting audiences on AdWords & Facebook

Legal 

  • Your Legal Notice
  • Your return policy - and your delivery policy
  • Your privacy policy - on the way to GDPR, the famous banner about cookie-use, with a data-management form
  • A contact form so that your shoppers can reach you. Take it a step further and set up a chat box, so that some visitors may share their frustrations with your site. 

Inspiration

Having a look at what's going on in your specific industry can be interesting on several levels: both, to compare yourself, as to understand how to differentiate yourself. 

We have several resources to offer you.

First, benchmarks:

But also funnel analyzes that we carry out regularly.

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