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DO NOT overlook the importance of testing the checkout process on your Shopify store before going live.
This is a mistake that ALOT of new store owners make, and it can cost you tons of money if you're not careful.
You're spending money on Facebook Ads for a week straight at the launch of your Shopify store. No conversions are coming through for a product that you're certain would at least get some sales.
You're getting very irritated that no customers are even going past the checkout page when you spent so much time creating perfect audiences for your ads - there should be at least one person interested in the product based on your audience selection, right?
You decide to go through the checkout funnel yourself, and low and behold you find that the payment gateway isn't setup all the way, so no one can actually complete the funnel process...
Bummer, you just lost tons of cash testing something that provides no real data.
We're going to lose money when we test a product most of the time (unless, of course, we're using an alternative traffic generation strategy).
However, we want to make sure that our store is at least fully setup before running these ads, right?
Don't shoot yourself in the foot and make sure you get it setup properly by following this easy step-by-step instruction laid out below:
Obviously we're going to want to test this without actually losing any of our money due to processing fees.
We have two options for testing:
1) Use a "Shopify Bogus" Payment Gateway - A Great Strategy
2) Do a Live Transaction and cancel/refund the order afterwards.
First, from the Shopify dashboard, you're going to navigate to the settings tab and click on "Payment Providers"
Go ahead and deactivate Shopify payments so we can setup the Bogus gateway.
Note: You'll have needed to setup your Shopify account initially in order to do this step properly. Don't worry, we can reactivate Shopify payments easily!
With Shopify payments disabled, we can now add a new provider and check 3rd party payment provider while doing so.
Select the Provider drop down menu and scroll down until you see (for testing) Bogus Gateway. Select this option.
Click Continue and then click Activate.
You can now freely do transactions on the Bogus Gateway and not be subject to any charges!
From here you can enter your store as a customer and place an order. Enter any card details provided by the gateway and freely test approved transactions, declined transactions and gateway failures.
Note: Enter any 3 digits for the code on the back of the credit card - it won't make a difference.
When you're done testing simply deactivate the gateway and go back to Shopify payments for live transactions!
If you'd like to skip the process of setting up the Bogus gateway entirely and just want to cancel out a live transaction (that will interact with the credit card processor and charge the card if you don't cancel it) then you can certainly go down this route also!
Of course, it is a bit riskier and you may be subject to credit card processing fees if you don't cancel the order in time (if you don't cancel it before it shows up on your bank statement, then you'll likely pay a fee).
That's why I recommend you do a VERY cheap transaction - say for $1-2. That way if you do mess up you're paying very minimal transaction fees.
When the order has been processed, click on the Orders button on the right sidebar of your main Shopify dashboard.
From here, simply cancel out the order by clicking on the test order you just placed and hitting the refund button.
Poof! The order is gone and nothing will be charged - easy testing!
Just to remind you, it's absolutely essential that you're testing your payment gateway before you launch a live product that real leads will be interacting with.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot by collecting data on customers interacting with your store when they can't even checkout - talk about a big waste of time and money!
If you choose to go the route of setting up the Bogus gateway, it's also extremely important that you're setting the gateway back to a real one once you're done testing. Shopify payments is the preferred option as they've worked it out in their pricing structure to make it the most affordable option for the majority of their customers.
Furthermore, if you decide to just do a live test transaction - you'll want to refund the transaction as soon as possible.
Failure to refund it in time can mean the transaction will reach the processor and transaction fees will be applied - meaning you'll end up losing a bit of cash.
Mitigate the risk of this option by choosing a very inexpensive product on your store.
This means worst case scenario you're having < $1 pulling from the bank account for fees.
Again, testing your entire checkout process is extremely useful and important, but doing so incorrectly can end up costing you!
You can increase sales drastically by optimizing the funnel, but you at least want to make sure that you can accept payments, right?
Don't cut corners by skipping this important step!