People often think that if you are launching an eCommerce business, that you should do it the hard way. They think that you should never launch a poorly developed store, or that you should try to build the second Amazon long before making any actual sales.
But what we have found is that it’s much more productive to learn and create along the way. Your first step is to simply create you store. Once your store is up and running, you can explore advanced settings and solutions at a later time.
Below is the essential Store Launch Checklist. You can easily complete it in a couple of hours.
Pick Your Store Name
Picking a name shouldn’t be a huge concern right now. Think of something random and simple. For our test shop we came up with: AliChoices.
We recommend adding ‘store’ or ‘shop’ as keywords because you will need to find an available internet address (domain), and it’s easier to find an available one when there are several words in the name.
Or, try out the online business name generator here.
Choose Your Theme
Go to our Theme Gallery and choose a theme. There are numerous themes for any store type. Try choosing the one that requires the least changes to make it look like you want.
Editing your theme is a time consuming task and often ends in a website with lots of mistakes. A few popular selections are Ultra, Float and Split.
Once you have found your preferred store look, click the blue button to download it, and install it to your store or message us the name and we will install it for you.
How to Tweak Your Theme:
AboveCMS is non-programmer friendly. To edit your store look, just go to edit page and select backend or frontend editor..
On the right-hand sidebar you’ll see each section of your theme: Header, Body, Footer, etc. Open each section and play around to get the feeling of what can be done with the theme.
There’s nothing specific you need to change, but it’s good know what you can do if you ever want any customization
Add Your Logo
Your store logo is likely to be the first element seen by your store visitors, but a logo made by a professional graphic designer can cost you a lot of time and money. That’s why AboveCMS has an easy for you to create your own professional Logo.
Just go to Graphic Springs, enter your brand name and test out some variations until you get a decent looking logo.
Here’s an example:
Alternatively, you could buy a custom logo on Fiverr for $5.
Have Your Standard Pages Ready
Content is extremely important. This is an area that you should focus on and spend more time on in the future.
However, the following sections should be enough to start with: About Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy & Returns Policy, Shipping & Delivery Information, and Contact Us.
To create a page, go to WordPress Admin, Pages, and click Add New.
About Us Page:
This page eventually needs to be unique, but this will take quite a bit of time. In the meantime, copy and paste one of the pre-generated ‘About Us’ pages from the list below and edit it to suit your store later.
Welcome to [SHOP NAME]!
We aim to offer our customers a variety of the latest [PRODUCTS CATEGORY NAME]. We’ve come a long way, so we know exactly which direction to take when supplying you with high quality yet budget friendly products. We offer all of this while providing excellent customer service and friendly support.
We always keep an eye on the latest trends in [PRODUCTS CATEGORY NAME] and put our customers’ wishes first. That is why we have satisfied customers all over the world, and are thrilled to be a part of the [PRODUCTS CATEGORY NAME] industry.
The interests of our customers are always the top priority for us, so we hope you will enjoy our products as much as we enjoy making them available to you.
We are [SHOP NAME], a small but motivated company specializing in [PRODUCTS CATEGORY NAME].
We believe passionately in great bargains and excellent service, which is why we commit ourselves to giving you the best of both. If you’re looking for something new, you’re in the right place. We strive to be industrious and innovative, offering our customers something they want, putting their desires at the top of our priority list.
Shipping & Delivery Information:
Most of the sellers online have very similar delivery prices and timeframes, so it is best to copy and paste this standardized shipping & delivery page.
Our goal is to offer you the best shipping options, no matter where you live. Every day, we deliver to hundreds of customers across the world, ensuring that we provide the very highest levels of responsiveness to you at all times.
The time frame for order delivery is divided into two parts:
Processing time: Order verification, tailoring, quality check and packaging. All orders are sent to the manufacturer for dispatch within 24 hours after the order is placed. The manufacturer and China Post process the orders, which takes an additional 2–4 days.
Shipping time: This refers to the time it takes for items to be shipped from our warehouse to the destination.International delivery usually takes about 15–30 business days. US orders are shipped by ePacket, which is a US Postal Service product. After processing and leaving the warehouse, items usually take between 7 and 14 days to arrive at their destination but can take longer from time to time.
Keeping in close contact with your customers is very important. Make sure you place a clearly visible ‘Contact Us’ link on your store.
To create a contact page, click the Add New Page button and change the page template to contact.
Add a Payment Gateway
Add your Stripe account details under the WooCommerce Settings, Payments Section. Later, you can change, remove, or add additional payment options.
If you don’t have a Stripe account, registration at PayPal.com will take about 5 minutes.
Stripe is a full-stack credit card payment processor. They’re a lot like PayPal, but with simpler pricing (no hidden fees), a cleaner interface, and more modern security features that don’t require us to handle sensitive customer credit card data. It’s free to sign up for Stripe, and they have simple transaction based pricing. Other payment providers like Paypal or BrainTree usually takes longer to set up. For further instruction on how to integrate Stripe take our WooCommerce 101 course.
Adjust Shipping Settings
The sourcing tool we will recommend to you will offer most of the products with a free delivery option. So I suggest adding a free shipping rate for all of your orders, as well.
Go to WooCommerce Settings, Shipping, and configure all shipping zones that you plan to sell to.
You can later adjust your shipping rates to include more delivery options. But Free Shipping is enough for now.
In case you need help, take our WooCommerce 101 course for video instruction.
Course's Action Item
Prepare Your Store for Product Import. Launch your store by following the checklist above. Don’t play too much with the details. What you really need is a simple medium to sell your products. A basic store serves this goal perfectly well. Next, we’ll be learning what is AliExpress dropshipping and how to find trustworthy product suppliers and populate your store with products.