Launch Pains: opening day fears

Launch Pains: opening day fears

Launch pains

It’s nuts really…...

For first-time online store owners launching a store can be a terrifying ordeal. You’ve been imagining about this moment, in many cases for years, yet here you are ready to remove your password page and you can’t take the next final step. Instead, the store remains un-launched, as you continue to pay your monthly fees to Shopify and the other app developers whilst you wait for conditions to be perfect.  Maybe the product descriptions aren’t right, or the lifestyle photography falls short of how you want the brand to be perceived, or the navigation is confusing for some edge-case testers……. Whatever the reason, it has caused you to hit the pause button and you are still not live.  

It’s a lot more common than you might imagine.  

You worry about what your friends / family / ex-colleagues / strangers might think or say when they view your store.  You fret about how you will cope when sales go through the roof and you haven’t enough hours in the day to process the orders ( really!!! ).  Like an insecure teenager staring in the mirror your anxiety level ratchets up a few notches every time you look at competitor stores and think you aren’t worthy to compete with them.

Just launch.

By not throwing open the doors to the world you are still not generating revenue,

still not being indexed by the search engines,

still not learning about where and why visitors will abandon your site,

still not generating valuable customer reviews,

still not learning,

still not improving,

still not growing…...

Just launch the store.

You’ll never look back and your whole new journey of discovery will begin.  

So how do you overcome these fears if you are one of the many who suffer from this?

  1. Have a defined launch date - and barring a catastrophe - stick to it.
  2. Create a clear list of priorities to get to a Minimum Viable Product.  Obviously you need to have good enough product imagery and descriptions - but these can be improved over time - as can SEO titles and descriptions. Store collections can be added to fill out otherwise sparse navigation trees.  Only launch for one jurisdiction/currency to speed up configuration of shipping and tax settings.  Strip back everything to what is the bare minimum requirement but look ahead for Phase 2, 3 and so on. Minimum Viable Product is what is required to get to launch day. After that you’ll be relying on actual data to inform you of where you need to spend your time, energy and efforts.
  3. We often see a lack of blog posts as being a reason for delay in launching.  In this case, open the store without them and catch up over the post-launch weeks.  Same goes for store functionality - you can add loyalty, wishlist, recommendations and any number of other apps from the Shopify App Store providing your visitors with improved shopping experiences and improving your store performance. These don’t necessarily have to be there from the start - you can add them over time as you learn what you visitors expect and need.
  4. Have faith in yourself and remember why you decided to set up your business in the first place. There is no “perfect”.  

“An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.”

Reid Hoffman

So what’s holding you back? Jump!