What to Check Before Launching Your BigCommerce Website
Prior to launching your BigCommerce website, complete this Going Live checklist to make sure you have everything handled!
Apply A Theme
One of the benefits of an eCommerce platform like BigCommerce is that you can get your online store working quickly and easily by choosing one of their pre-made themes. Any customizations you want to make to your themes, you can do it through the Theme Editor available on the BigCommerce website control panel. BigCommerce uses “stencil theme” which are their newer versions of themes. The Stencil themes are designed for quality and responsivity, and that need only light editing for functionality. A tip to keep in mind before launching, is that if you made any customizations you have made to the Stencil theme you chose, it’s important that you backup any theme files you have if you’re considering changing or applying a new theme.
Before adding products, make sure to manage your categories. BigCommerce especially takes advantages of categories as a management system in order to help your customers find products easier. Through the control panel, you can edit your product categories, adjust your navigation settings as necessary, and also change which products are listed under which categories. When you are ready to add products, there are a number of ways in which you can do it through your BigCommerce website. First, you can add products one-by-one into the product sections of your stores. Or, for your convenience, you can import a list of products by using a CSV file. BigCommerce can also provide you with integrations to companies who provide suppliers for products, in case you find something that can help expand your business offerings.
Set Up Payment Options
BigCommerce provides its merchants with a variety of options for collecting payment from customers. These options include PayPal or PayPal powered by braintree (a particularly popular option) and credit cards, or even selecting that your customers can pay by check. Other online payment methods available are Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, QuickBooks payments, and more. Other offline payment methods available are receiving it by money order, paying cash upon delivery, or receiving direct bank deposits.
Set Up Shipping Options
Through your BigCommerce website, you can select from a range of shipping options, but domestic and international. You should choose the shipping that is going to work best for your budget, for your customers, and also what will work best for your product. Is it heavier or bulkier, and would cost you more? Then you should choose an option like the “ship by weight” shipping method. If it’s a smaller item that doesn’t require much work for shipping, you can use a simple “flat rate per item” shipping method. They also use USPS through Endicia, which will let you print labels from your BigCommerce control panel.
Set Up Taxes For Your eCommerce Business
BigCommerce will calculate tax for you at the checkout of your BigCommerce website if you want to use their automated tax tool, but this is only applicable for sales in the United States. If you need to make more complex tax options, or you have tax exemptions you want to take advantage of, then there are manual settings available in the control panel.
Create Content Pages
Your customers want to know more about you than just what products you offer. Through the control panel, BigCommerce makes it very easy to add content pages to your website. This includes options like Shipping and Returns policies, FAQs, About Us pages, or creating a Contact Us form.
Connect a Domain
Throughout the process of building a BigCommerce website, you will initially be hosted through a bigcommerce.com domain. However, prior to making your store go live, you will need to purchase a custom domain. This you can easily do through your BigCommerce control panel. At this point, you should also link your email account associated with your eCommerce store so that it can be seamlessly integrated with the BigCommerce control panel.
Add An SSL
The last stop on the checklist is to purchase an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate (or Secure Sockets Layer certificate) is the standard security system implemented between a web server and a browser. THis is mainly used to protect your customer’s privacy and information to prevent things like their payment information getting stolen. BigCommerce does provide an SSL certificate through their server, but if you prefer to have your customers on your own domain during checkout, you will need to purchase an additional SSL certificate.
Before launching, an excellent tip is to allow others to preview your store. In the control panel, you will find a “preview code,” which you can give to certain people to access your site. When they visit your domain prior to official launching, they will see a box that says “Coming Soon” and a space to enter the preview code. Make any necessary adjustments or changes based on the feedback you receive from their preview. Now you are ready to launch! Simply scroll to the bottom of the Getting Ready Guide on your control panel and click Launch Store. Have any questions about starting a BigCommerce website or any other eCommerce platforms? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and have a professional digital agency answer your questions!