Shopify Plus launch checklist

This checklist offers guidance and resources for important milestones when launching on Shopify Plus. Each topic includes additional context and resource links. You might find it helpful to print this checklist or to download it as a PDF so that you can refer to it throughout the setup process.

If you need help, then contact the Shopify Plus Support team.

Getting started

Get familiar with your Shopify admin and add staff to your store.

Migrating your data

Before you migrate your data, review the data migration documentation. You can use the following options to migrate your data:

Data migration options
Migration optionDescription
CSV importImport products and customers using a CSV file directly from your Shopify admin. This option works best for simpler product catalogs and smaller customer lists.
Third-party migration appsUse a third-party data migration app to migrate your data to eliminate guesswork of field mapping with CSV imports.
Migration servicesUse third-party migration services, such as LitExtension and Cart2Cart, that can make your data migration quicker and easier. Learn about more migration partners on the Shopify Plus Partners directory.
Custom integrationsIf you're working with an agency or team of developers to launch your Plus store on Shopify, then consider creating your own custom migration solution using the Shopify API. Your developers can use the REST or GraphQL API.

The order in which you import your product, customer, and historical order data is important. To ensure that you have access to your customers' complete transaction history in Shopify, you need to follow the migration order below. The migrated orders are also linked to their associated products and customers.

1. Migrating products

Migrating your product data populates all of your product listings, product variants, and product collections into Shopify. Before you import your products, consider planning your collections for your Shopify store, so that you can assign your products to the right collection during migration.

2. Migrating customers

After you migrate your customer data, all of your customer records are available in your Shopify admin. This includes information such as the customer's contact details, addresses, and marketing preferences.

3. Migrating historical orders

Migrating order data ensures that information about product sales and customer purchase history are transferred to your Shopify store. At minimum, migrate all historical orders that are within your business's return policy window, so that customers can have access to their order history for any orders that are still open for return or exchange. However, it's recommended to import orders from the past 2-5 years.

4. Migrating gift cards

If you're migrating gift cards that can be used in your previous store, then you need to migrate your gift card data to Shopify right before launching your Shopify store. You can't edit or delete gift cards in Shopify, so if a gift card is used by a customer on your previous store after you import your gift card data, then you can't update that gift card in Shopify.

Before you migrate your gift cards, review the following considerations:

  • Gift card numbers are encrypted. After you create a gift card, only the last 4 digits display in your Shopify admin. If you need to keep a record of gift card numbers, then you should maintain an external database.
  • Gift cards can only be deactivated, and can't be deleted. The same gift card number can't be used again in the future, even if the original gift card with that number has been deactivated.
  • If you're importing existing gift cards with a customer's email address assigned, then to prevent customers from receiving a notification when you import their gift cards, you can contact Shopify Plus support to temporarily deactivate gift card notification emails.

You can also use a third-party gift card migration app to migrate any existing gift cards into Shopify.

5. Migrating other data

Depending on your business needs there might be other data that you want to migrate. Reach out to the Shopify Plus Support team to inquire about a migration consultation. You can migrate your discounts and blogs using a third-party data migration app.

Creating and uploading content

Create content, such as pages and blog posts, and upload your files and images. Use metafields and metaobjects to customize your Shopify store.

Pages

You can create pages, such as FAQ, About us, or Contact us, for your online store. If you're using a theme from the Shopify theme store, then you can use the Online Store 2.0 themes that allow you to create your own page templates using sections and blocks.

Blogs

Shopify has a content management system, so you can create different blogs each with their own set of blog posts to engage with your customers. Shopify also has features that allow you to include meta titles, descriptions, and more on your webpages. You can also set up redirects from previous blog urls.

Upload files and images

Make sure that your media and content meets the file requirements.

Metafields

Metafields help you to customize the functionality and appearance of your Shopify store by letting you save specialized information that isn't captured by default in the Shopify admin. You can use metafields for internal tracking, or to display specialized information on your online store in a variety of ways.

Metaobjects

An Online Store 2.0 theme or a compatible third-party theme is required to display metaobject entries in your theme customizer.

Notifications

Organizing data

Organize your customers, products, and orders using tags. Group your products using collections and create automated collections using metafields.

Collections

You can group your products into collections to make it easier for customers to find them by category. You can choose to display a collection externally on your online store for customers, or use a collection internally for you and your staff, such as for creating a tax-exempt product collection.

Customer, product, and order tags

For accuracy when utilizing tags, ensure that you have consistent use of case formatting and spacing, so additional tags aren't accidentally created.

Metafields

You can create and edit metafield definitions directly in your Shopify admin using an API or apps.

Configuring your Shopify admin settings

Set up your store details, add staff, and configure store settings.

Store details

Set up or change your online store contact information, legal business name and address, store currency, and default weight units.

Users and permissions

Set up staff accounts and grant collaborator permissions for any partners.

Payments

Set up payments and payment methods in your store. Only the store owner can set up Shopify Payments.

When you set up your Shopify store, Shopify creates a PayPal Express Checkout account using the email address that you use to sign into your store. You can use this account, use your own account, or deactivate PayPal Express Checkout.

Checkout customization

Customize checkout style and behavior. For example, you can choose your checkout language, and whether to make customers accounts or certain checkout fields optional or mandatory.

In addition to checkout customizations and the checkout editor, checkout extensibility also gives you access to the Checkout Branding API.

You can also customize and extend your checkout using third-party apps. Your partner or development team can build checkout apps for your store.

Customer accounts

Shipping and delivery

If you have complex shipping requirements, then you can use third-party shipping apps from the Shopify App Store.

Taxes and duties

If you have more complex tax requirements, then you can activate an integration with Avalara AvaTax.

Locations

Locations in Shopify represent apps or physical places where you sell products, ship or fulfill orders, and stock inventory.

Gift cards

By default, gift cards are set to be fulfilled automatically when an order is paid, and the customer receives a notification email. You can change the fulfillment setting to manually fulfill all items in the order, including gift cards.

If an order is medium or high risk, then gift cards in that order aren't automatically fulfilled. You can fulfill the gift cards manually from the order's detail page.

Markets

Shopify Markets lets you set up additional countries to sell to and internationalize your business.

Apps and sales channels

Install any necessary apps early on in the setup of your store so that you have plenty of time for testing before you launch your store. If you’re thinking of using apps from the Shopify App Store, then review the app functionalities carefully before installing them. Some apps might have trial periods. Make sure to uninstall the apps before the end of their trial period to avoid unnecessary charges.

Some apps might add code to your theme, so you need to document the changes that an app makes to your theme's code, and remove any unwanted code when you uninstall the app.

Review the following app recommendations:

Domains

Pixels and customer events

Brand

Notifications

You can customize the content and design of your notifications. As a Shopify Plus merchant, you can contact the Shopify Plus Support and ask to deactivate your email notifications. This might be useful when you migrate your data or when you want to send order confirmations and updates from your own marketing automation system.

Custom data

Languages

If you're building a multilingual storefront, then you can add additional languages to your store.

Policies

You can set up your store policies, such as a refund policy, a shipping policy, terms or service, or a privacy policy. You can also use the free privacy policy generator.

Setting up your online store

Choose your online store theme and configure online store's preferences, navigation, and filtering.

Themes

You can explore themes for your online store in the Shopify Theme Store. You can choose from free and paid themes. Themes can have different features and are better suited for specific business needs, such as large or small product catalogs. You can install a demo version of a theme and preview the theme yourself.

If you can't find a ready-made theme that meets your store requirements, then you might consider working with a developer or agency to build your own theme. Learn more about building Shopify themes and best practices.

Preferences

Storefront filtering

Google Analytics

Refer to the following resources to learn more about using Google Analytics and best practices:

Shopify supported apps and integrations

Explore apps and sales channels made by Shopify to enhance and customize your online store.

Consider using the following Shopify apps to help automate repetitive tasks and further customize your checkout functionality:

  • Launchpad lets you to schedule, coordinate, and launch events such as sales, product launches, and inventory restocks with a set start and end date.
  • Shopify Functions supports customizations for discounts, shipping, and payment methods.
  • Shopify Flow lets you automate tasks and processes within you store and across your apps, without any coding required.

Other apps and sales channels made by Shopify include the following examples:

Shop Pay Installments

With Shop Pay Installments, you can provide your customers with more payment options without needing a third-party service. Because, Installments is built into Shop Pay, all Installments payments are included in your Shopify payout reports which reduces the need to reconcile reports from third-party services.

Shopify tax engine

Avalara AvaTax tax service

Custom integrations

If you've explored available apps and integrations, and you still require a custom solution, then you have the option to build a custom app using the Shopify API.

Refer to the following resources to help you build your own app:

Custom storefront experiences

If your business model doesn't fit into any of the sales channels or apps that Shopify and partners offer, then you might consider working with a developer to build a custom storefront.

Third-party apps and integrations

You can install third-party apps and sales channels from the Shopify App Store. Some third-party apps are part of the Shopify Plus Certified App Program, which includes Shopify's top recommendations for enterprise solutions.

Many third-party systems have existing connector apps. Search the Shopify App Store to check whether a connector app exists instead of creating a custom integration.

If you need help creating a custom integration, then refer to Shopify supported apps and integrations.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration partners

Shopify's Global ERP Program and European ERP Program include a suite of certified ERP apps that directly integrate with your Shopify store. If your ERP isn't currently integrated with Shopify, then consider using an integration partner that provides a hosted, turn-key connector between your ERP and Shopify.

The following companies offer connectors and integrations for a variety of ERPs:

Custom integrations

You might prefer to manage connecting third-party systems through custom connectors using the Shopify API. Here are some resources to get you started on building your own app:

If you need help creating a custom integration, then refer to the list of ERP integration partners.

Setting up Shopify Markets (Internationalization)

You can set up Shopify Markets to sell cross-border and expand your business to other countries and regions. Shopify Markets Pro is available only to businesses based in the United States.

Create and manage Markets

You can have up to 50 markets. If you have more than 50 markets, then you can combine some countries into a single market. Otherwise, you can use a third-party integration with the Markets API.

Shopify Payments for multi-currency

You need to set Shopify Payments as your primary payment gateway to have multi-currency persist through checkout, so each market's customers buy in their local currency

Shipping profiles

Translation and localization

Setting up subscriptions

You can build and manage your product subscriptions directly from your Shopify admin.

Subscriptions aren't compatible with B2B.

Migrating subscriptions

To migrate subscriptions, you need to use Shopify Payments, Authorize.net, or Stripe as a primary payment gateway. The subscription migration process is designed by third-party apps and not Shopify. Therefore, the migration process is different with each app and is initiated within the app.

Custom subscription app

You can also create your own subscription app for your checkout.

Managing subscriptions

Setting up B2B on Shopify

B2B on Shopify is a suite of features that allow you to sell business-to-business (B2B) through the online store, without requiring the use of third-party apps or workarounds.

B2B on Shopify considerations

Review the following considerations before using B2B on Shopify:

  • B2B on Shopify works only with the new customer accounts.
  • Subscriptions aren't compatible with B2B.
  • Shopify POS isn't compatible with B2B.

If B2B on Shopify doesn't meet your wholesale selling needs, then consider a third-party wholesale app.

Creating or migrating companies

Setting up B2B catalogs and quantity rules

You can add price lists to companies in bulk. Quantity rules, such as increments and minimum or maximum quantities, are supported only on the free Shopify themes, version 8.0.0 or later.

Importing B2B order history

You can import non-Shopify B2B order history using the REST Admin API.

Preparing to launch your store

Before you launch you store, you need to make sure that everything works as intended in your store. You also need to set up URL redirects, test orders, set up your domain, and review your apps and users.

The Bulk Account Inviter app

Contact the Shopify Plus Support to have the Bulk Account Inviter app installed in your store. This app is optional and is compatible only with the classic customer accounts.

URL redirects

To ensure a smooth transition and avoid a negative impact on traffic and SEO, you need to create 301 redirects. Otherwise, your old links will become 404 events (dead links) that leave the customer confused and negatively impact search results.

Test orders

Check your order flow thoroughly. Place test orders on your storefront, and then fulfill those orders. Test as many scenarios as possible. For example, test orders with the following scenarios:

  • discount codes
  • customer logged in and logged out
  • different payment methods
  • different shipping rates
  • different shipping addresses (with particular attention to how the tax is calculated)
  • different devices
  • failed transactions

After you place a test order, test the following scenarios:

Plan a delta migration

A delta migration is the transfer of any new data added to your old store after the cutoff point you choose for your initial migration. The methods to perform a delta migration can be the same that you used for your initial migration. However, there are some important elements to take into account:

  • The amount of data for the delta migration will depend on how far the cutoff point is from your go-live date. There is no right or wrong amount of time between the two dates, but a shorter amount of time will make the delta migration an easier job.
  • Consider carefully what has changed on your old store after the cutoff point. There will be new orders and customers, but if you added new products or content, then you might also need to add them to the new store, and create 301 redirects.
  • You might also want to ensure that no new orders are placed on your old store during the brief amount of time it takes for the DNS changes to propagate. During this time, there is a chance that some customers will be directed to your old store and others to your new one. Consider deactivating the checkout functionality of your old store during this time.

Review users and permissions

Before going live, clean up your users and collaborators. If a partner or user no longer needs access you should remove them before going live.

Review apps

Before going live, review your apps and remove any apps not being used for products. For example, if you had added a few different apps to compare a certain feature functionality, then remove the ones that won’t be used.

Domains

To speed up the domain propagation during launch, reduce TTL with your domain hosting provider to 300 prior to launch. Do this about a week before you go live.

Shopify SPF DKIM Records

SPF and DKIM are used with email sending services to validate an email message's signature. This can increase your email deliverability and make it harder for your emails to be impersonated and phished.

Back up your store data

Shopify doesn't back up your store data by default. Before you launch your store, consider backing up your store data either manually, or using a third-party app.

Launching your online store

To launch your Shopify store, deactivate test mode on your Shopify Payments account in Settings > Payments of your Shopify admin, and then complete the following tasks:

After launching your online store

Right after you launch your online store, take the following steps to ensure a smooth transition to the new store.

Test your redirects and resolve 404 errors

After launching your site, test any links that you created 301 redirects for to make sure that there are no 404 errors. If you have any 404 errors on your site, then you can create URL redirects to resolve them to help maintain your SEO ranking.

Send customer account invites

If you're importing historical orders and want to grant your customers access to their account information page, then you need to invite them to activate their new account and set up a new password on your Shopify store.

If you're using classic customer accounts, then you can use the Bulk Account Inviter to send customer invites.

Resubmit your sitemap to Google

After your store is live, resubmitting your sitemap to the Google Console helps Google find and index your new site structure and content.

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