Get Ready for Takeoff – Test and Launch an Ecommerce Site Migration
Welcome to the fifth installment of our content series, An Insider’s Look at Designing, Developing, and Launching a Successful Ecommerce Site Migration. Be sure to check out Installment 1 (Project Planning), Installment 2 (Design), Installment 3 (Frontend Development), and Installment 4 (Backend Development) of our series in case you missed them.
Are you and your business being held back by an outdated ecommerce platform? For most merchants, the answer is yes, and the time to replatform is now. You know things could be better, but where do you start?
Through this six part series, get an insider’s look at our proven path to success, from goal-setting, evaluation, and discovery, through design, development, and integration, to launch and beyond. Follow the complete migration experience of our client, North Shore Commercial Door, as they upgrade to the BigCommerce Enterprise Platform — backed by the 20+ year ecommerce experts at IntuitSolutions.
The countdown to your site’s debut on a new ecommerce platform has officially begun, signaling the start of an exciting and pivotal phase for your online business. To make sure the launch goes off without a hitch, you’ll need a comprehensive pre- and post-launch testing process to identify and resolve any issues before your site officially goes live.
In the latest installment for North Shore Commercial Door’s migration from Yahoo to BigCommerce, we cover the testing process for a new ecommerce website. We will address the critical steps to launch your site with confidence, from refining the user experience to ensuring your site’s performance is up to par.
Read on to learn how to make your new site launch a resounding success.
Marketing Your Ecommerce Website Launch
You’ve put in hours of effort to bring your vision to life and transform your online presence; now it’s time to share your new website with the world. As you prepare to make a splash in the digital landscape, explore these proven and effective marketing strategies to spread the word about your site launch:
Essential Steps to Market Your Website Launch
- Prepare an email blast. Create a captivating email campaign that entices your existing contacts to explore your new site. Showcase exciting features, improved user experience, and exclusive promotions.
- Issue a press release. Build awareness with a broader audience and capture the interest of journalists, influencers, and potential customers with a well-crafted press release.
- Create social media posts. Build anticipation by sharing posts across social platforms leading up to the launch. Leverage attention-grabbing visuals, captivating captions, and interactive elements to create interest and encourage engagement.
- Run sponsored ads. Boost visibility for your new site by running targeted, sponsored ads across search engines and social media platforms. This is a quick way to build awareness and reach potential customers searching for what you offer.
- Offer a special promotion or discount. Offer deals to build excitement, incentivize site visits, and encourage sales. Instill a sense of urgency with limited-time offers.
Remember, marketing is an ongoing investment that pays dividends for your business. Executing a comprehensive marketing plan that includes these tactics will help boost traffic and leads, generate sales, and build more conversation around your brand.
Agital, the ecommerce marketing agency that played a significant role in the successful North Shore migration, is also available to support you as a BigCommerce merchant. With their proven expertise, they can help you experiment with new ideas, test new channels, and find creative ways to resonate with shoppers.
Pre-Launch Testing for an Ecommerce Migration
Think of your online store’s pre-launch testing like a dress rehearsal before the big opening night. You want everything to run like clockwork so your customers can focus on what matters most: finding what they want and completing their purchase quickly.
Pre-launch testing is more than just making sure that everything works; it’s uncovering how users experience your site—what they like, what confuses them, and where they might need additional help or information.
To make sure nothing falls through the cracks, our project team creates a detailed multi-step checklist covering every aspect of the testing process.
The Testing and Review Process at IntuitSolutions includes:
- Browser/OS/Device Testing: Test compatibility across browsers and devices to make sure all shoppers have a seamless experience.
- UX Testing: Check that all site links and conversion paths are working correctly—including forms, landing pages, and CTAs.
- Developer-Testing: An in-house developer new to the project puts a fresh set of eyes on the code, reviewing the entire site for quality assurance.
- Project Manager Review: Once the previous testing phases are complete, the dedicated project manager provides a final “stamp of approval.”
After completing these initial stages, we hand the project off to the client to perform their internal review.
Initial Client Review:
- Client reviews the site
- Client provides IntuitSolutions with initial feedback
- IntuitSolutions completes revisions (if needed)
Final Client Review:
- Client reviews the site once more for final revisions
- IntuitSolutions completes revisions (if needed)
- Client performs User Acceptance Testing (UAT)*
After completing the pre-launch testing phase, you’re ready to schedule the website’s launch.
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Steps to Launch Your Ecommerce Website
The Launch Process includes the following steps:
- Point the domain to the store within the BigCommerce DNS settings and the domain registrar
- Install the SSL certificate using BigCommerce’s free dedicated SSL
- Consult about setting up the client’s business email
- Consult about setting up the client’s Google Analytics
- Create test orders (including live payments)
- Submit the sitemap to search engines
Post-Launch Testing Phase
Congratulations on successfully launching your new site! It’s a significant accomplishment and one worth celebrating. But before you pop the champagne, there’s one more critical step: post-launch testing.
Post-launch testing allows you to catch any issues that arise after the site goes live and address them promptly before they impact your business or customers. It also helps you identify areas to improve for better long-term performance.
The Post-Launch Testing and Review Process includes:
- Another round of browser/OS/device testing
- More UX testing to check site links, conversion paths, forms, landing pages, and CTAs
- In-house developer-testing to review the entire site for quality assurance
- Final review and stamp of approval from the Project Manager
Final Launch Review:
- Client reviews the site once more
- IntuitSolutions completes revisions (if needed)
While not testing-related, you’ll also want to use this time to review your analytics software to ensure all data is tracking successfully and accurately. Doing this will establish baseline metrics for your new site’s performance, identify user behavior trends, and compare current data to past performance.
This information can help you identify areas for improvement, inform your marketing strategies, and optimize your website to increase sales.
Investing in Ongoing Improvements: Site Optimization and Support Retainer
Launching your ecommerce website on a new platform is certainly something to hang your hat on. But what happens after the launch? Do you sit back and wait for the sales to come in? Not a chance.
To continue the forward momentum, North Shore Commercial Door continued its partnership with IntuitSolutions by signing up for our BigCommerce Site Optimization and Support Services. An ongoing retainer ensures your online business capitalizes on the best opportunities to stay visible in search, gain an edge over competitors, and generate more revenue.
Retainer plans are entirely flexible based on business needs. Typical services include:
- Design Modifications and Feature Enhancements
- Custom Development Requests
- Technical SEO Support
- Routine Site Health Maintenance (e.g., backups, bug fixes, security updates)
- Core Web Vitals and Page Load Speed Optimization
- Web Accessibility Remediation and Improvements
- Strategic Ecommerce Consulting
Retainer packages are structured for a dedicated allotment of hours per month and can be customized for your budget. Plans also include priority access to developer support, so there’s no wait in line when a site issue simply can’t wait.
While not included in the standard scope of work, North Shore invested in a comprehensive site audit prior to launch to identify potential issues and optimize site performance. These steps included:
- Crawling the site to identify issues such as broken links, broken images, etc.
- Reviewing the new site’s Google Core Web Vitals assessment
- Running a Page Load Speed report to identify additional optimization improvements
- Testing again for usability and ease of navigation to uncover any roadblocks in the user experience
- Reviewing technical SEO components (page titles, metadata, and URLs) and optimizing as needed (performed by Agital)
Final Thoughts: A Diligent Testing Process to Launch Your New Ecommerce Site with Confidence
Moving to a new ecommerce platform is a significant milestone culminating weeks of rigorous work. Garner the attention you deserve with proactive, pre-launch marketing and invest in a comprehensive testing process to prevent avoidable issues and give customers a memorable experience from day one.
And remember, don’t let your store’s launch be your final step. After the dust settles, keep progressing by investing in continuous improvements. You’ll continue to offer your customers the best possible experience and earn their repeat business by iterating, optimizing, and innovating to stay ahead of competitors.
Stay tuned for an update on North Shore’s transformative journey to a new ecommerce platform. Coming in Spring 2024, our next post will provide a one-year progress report on their migration to BigCommerce. We’ll highlight the tangible results for their business and customers as we compare key metrics before and after the site launch.
Have questions about migrating to BigCommerce? Ready to start your own project? Contact our team today for a free consultation. We’re an experienced BigCommerce Development Agency ready to guide you on what solutions are right for your business.