How to successfully launch a Magento Site

Creating a Magento Ecommerce site is a very rewarding and challenging endeavor. You are likely very eager to launch the site at the end of the development process. Products are in place, the template is looking good, and all page content has been created. However, before you launch the site to an eagerly awaiting world, you should take the time to make sure the site is perfectly ready to go public. The following are some key aspects to a Magento site that should be thoroughly considered prior to launch.

Transactional Emails

One aspect of website development that is often overlooked is the automated communication between the site and customers. Since these transactional emails are the primary means of communication between the site and the customer base, it is critical that the emails contain exactly what they should. For example, does the order email receipt contain accurate information, or does it contain lines such as “Thank you for your purchase from Your Company Name Here!”? Do emails answer any questions that the customer may have, such as “How do I check my order status”? All email communication should be scrutinized thoroughly.

Shipping and Taxes

Shipping charges and taxes are not very exciting topics. Nevertheless, they are crucial to the proper functioning of the site. When test orders are placed do the shipping charges make sense for the items being ordered? This is especially important to test if the site is directly linked to a carrier’s API to return exact shipping quotes. Furthermore, taxes are becoming increasingly complex and should be taken very seriously. What you are required to charge varies from state to state and a tax accountant should be consulted to make sure the taxes collected from the site are accurate from the very beginning. No Ecommerce site should be launched without thoroughly vetting the tax amounts.

Connections to Third Party Applications

One of the major advantages of using Magento as an open source Ecommerce platform is the ability to connect the third party vendors to meet your business needs. Prior to launching the site, these connections should be tested from all angles. If using MailChimp, are email addresses being properly added to the correct mailing list? Are orders correctly syncing with accounting software? If using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, has every aspect of the inventory/customer/shipping dynamic been fully vetted? It is important to make sure these connections are thoroughly tested prior to launch, because if the site is live and these links are not working you will find yourself in a very stressful situation in no time.

Thinking Through All Possible Scenarios

While you have spent months on making a beautiful and functional Magento Ecommerce site, the last thing you want to think about are potentially dissatisfied customers. However, every Ecommerce business has to plan for every possible contingency. What happens if a customer never receives their package? How does a customer return an item that doesn’t work for them? How do you handle excessive negative product reviews on the site? How will refunds be issued? These are all unpleasant topics, but they will be significantly more unpleasant should an already angry customer find themselves confused and frustrated by the process of dealing with their issue. Every scenario should be thought of in advance, and customers should be able to easily find clear and detailed information on the site and in their email communication to guide them through those processes.

Launching a Magento site is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, without proper planning and careful attention to detail this dream can become a nightmare very quickly. Take the time to thoroughly consider every detail, no matter how minute, for every step of every process and make sure it works as expected. Remember that if you don’t find mistakes, your customers certainly will, and they will not be very forgiving.

If you need help building and launching a Magento site, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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