Origins #34 — Our Online Store Launch Checklist

The production batch of shirts are being manufactured currently and should be ready within a few days. When they are ready, we decided to ship them to Amsterdam, where we will store and send them from.

The product itself aside, there are a few things that we need to prepare before launching our webshop.

Start thinking about a photo session for the products

We decided to make the product shots on special mannequins, that will be able to show some of the more specific properties of our product.

We will shoot the products in all colors, different positions/angles, as well as both the women’s and men’s models.

Finalise the shipping strategy

We’ve been reading on various carriers that ship from the Netherlands, as well as comparing prices and plans that can be the most practical for our use case.

We mainly have to think about quantities, countries that we expect to index the highest in terms of orders, price points (will have an effect on how we approach charging, or not charging for delivery) and availability to drop off, or have the parcels being picked up, given we are engaged with our full-time jobs during the day, therefore not available to drop off items.

Terms and Conditions, Shipping and Returns Policy, as well as the Privacy Policy are also important documents that we need to take into account and prepare. The good thing about these documents is that they can be created from templates that are widely used, with just some little additions or adjustments.

Tax conditions

A combination of talks with our accountant, information we’ve read online and my current personal experience working for an e-commerce fashion brand, we’ve come up with the following tax related insights:

  • Having the company registered in Bulgaria, we will be charging the Bulgarian VAT — 20%, in all countries that are inside the European Union (EU)
  • Countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA), I am pretty sure (but need to double check) have special arrangements for trade and therefore the VAT of 20% will still apply for them.
  • All other countries we are shipping to, we don’t have to charge VAT, but our clients will need to pay import duties, in order to receive them. The good thing is that there are minimum amounts from which import duties apply, e.g. for the US it’s $800, so folks will only be paying, if they decide to buy a larger quantity of shirts.

Shopify Checklist

A good resource to double check our own knowledge has been Shopify’s The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist.

Going through it, I am pretty sure we covered the most important aspects that we need to take care of, outside of the Shopify platform itself.

I am sure we will drop a post, once we configure the platform itself, if we see there might be some valuable information/experience that is worth sharing.

So far so good. Everything from the beginning has been running pretty smoothly, when deploying patience for the little delays that are always to be expected when creating a product.

I expect the launch of the store to go the same way, with the focus then shifting to actually starting to turn in revenue.