With Black Friday and Cyber Monday — also known as “BFCM” — barreling down the calendar, now is a great time to give your Shopify theme a “checkup” to make sure it’s able to run at its best during the busy holiday shopping season.
Here are 11 tips for checking to see if your site is healthy enough for the holiday season:
Test your entire checkout process, including using all payment methods. The earlier you can do this, the better — since you don’t want to be caught on Thursday, Nov. 23 with a faulty checkout process.
If you have products with custom line item properties or other advanced features, be sure to test these separately as well, including making sure they are stored in the order itself.
Review all of the apps installed on your store and remove any that are not being actively used. Not only can extra apps slow down your store, but they can cause other issues that you might not realize. Removing these apps now will also give you more time to troubleshoot issues that may arise during the uninstall.
On the subject of apps, if you are eyeing any new ones, the sooner you try it out the better. You don’t want to wait until the day before Black Friday to install a new app only to have it break your store.
If you have gift wrapping or gift messages enabled, be sure to test that these are working properly and all the data is being transferred over. Since you’ll likely be getting a high volume of gift purchases, it’s important to make sure this information is being stored properly so you can fulfill these orders correctly.
Browse your store as if you are a customer. Try adding and removing products to the cart, logging in and out and other common tasks, being sure to test different collections or product types. This is a good way just to make sure all functionality is working as it should be.
Review your site on different screen sizes, including smart phones, to make sure everything looks good and works. Be sure to pay close attention to elements such as mobile navigation, since an issue with this can have a significant impact on shoppers.
While reviewing your site, also verify that all of your links, both internal and external, are working properly.
Give your site a review for spelling, grammar or other typographical errors. Even better, have a friend or family member who hasn’t seen your site in a while check things over so you can get a “fresh” set of eyes on it.
Double check that your contact form, email newsletter sign up form and any direct email links are connected to the proper email address and that messages make it through. You don’t want to be stuck with frustrated customers not receiving answers to queries because the form isn’t working or is going to an old email account.
If you do need to hire a developer to resolve any issues, it’s likely wise to do so sooner rather than later. As the busy holiday shopping season approaches, most developers will be in higher demand and may raise prices to reflect that. There is also an increased likelihood that, due to the volume of work, developers might not be able to accommodate deadlines.
Have a good look at all your imagery: are all your product photos high enough resolution and of a consistent size or aspect ratio? Do they look reasonably professional or could they be improved upon? Don’t forget that this image is all your online shopper has to go on before they make a purchase. Also think about changing up some of the images on your homepage sections to reflect the season and keep things fresh, especially for returning customers. Shopify’s Burst and Unsplash are two of many great sources for free pix.
Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.
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