A lot of ecommerce stores make the mistake of putting the emphasis on their products in the early days of launch. It’s not uncommon for brands to believe that customers will come pouring in once they have the right products and a killer online store.
Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.
The majority of online stores struggle to grow and as many as 80% fail because they’re not able to secure targeted traffic.
When there’s little growth, they start discounting items and launching promotions they hope will increase sales. But you can’t get more sales when you lack an audience.
In this article, we’ll talk about a highly effective tactic you can use to start securing your audience in advance so have a group of hungry consumers ready to click “buy now” at launch.
Why Should You Use a Coming Soon Page?
A Coming Soon page in Shopify isn’t just a placeholder page with filler content. It’s a tool to help you build an early audience before launch.
This is an important part of launching a store. You can use that prelaunch period to build hype around your brand, build interest in what you have to offer and even validate your products with your audience.
But in order to do that you need to be able to communicate with them.
The Shopify Coming Soon page can become an effective lead generation tool. It’s a net that captures all the prospective customers, so you build a marketable list while also being able to gauge user interest.
Imagine being able to launch your store and know, with confidence, that hundreds (even thousands or tens of thousands) of prospective customers will be paying attention on the day your Shopify store launches.
Some of the most successful brands have taken this approach to launching ecommerce stores, products and brands. Noah Kagan worked for months to build a pre-launch audience before Mint.com went live. When it launched, the company had over 20,000 people begging to use the product.
The Soma water filter was seeded through friends, family and other personal connections before the product’s Kickstarter went live. It was successfully funded at over $147K.
Harry’s, a men’s grooming brand, gathered nearly 100,000 emails all starting with a Coming Soon page.
Saha took the early audience build to the next level after setting a lofty goal to target the 37 million Americans who skip breakfast. Taking a page from Harry’s marketing, Saha used referral rewards after the initial signup to help grow its launch audience.
The pre-launch campaign helped the company grab 20K signups with a 94% referral rate.
The Shopify Coming Soon page can be customized to help you create a focal point for your pre-launch audience building efforts. It’s possible for you to see the same kinds of results other brands experience, but you need a way to capture audience information first.
The default Coming Soon page in Shopify isn’t going to get the job done.
Customize the Shopify Coming Soon Page for Maximum Impact
Shopify provides a very simple Coming Soon page with basic formatting when you create your first store.
If you’re using Shopify’s free trial, before you pick a plan, the Coming Soon page will be on by default and can’t be disabled until you choose one of Shopify’s plans.
This basic design includes a password lock to prevent anyone from accessing your store while you design and populate it. You can share this password with those involved in development and UI/EX testing. Shopify’s native functionality also includes an email opt-in to make it easy for you to gather the emails of prospective customers.
Follow these rules for effective customization of your Shopify Coming Soon page:
- A benefit-oriented headline
- Relevant, short copy
- A single call-to-action
- No distractions to navigate away
- A prominent opt-in form
- Strong brand presence
Create a Compelling Headline for Your Shopify Coming Soon Page
ConversionXL defines a landing page as “an individualized funnel with a single goal: converting incoming traffic… into a qualified lead or sale. The conversion is what’s important here, not the completeness of information.”
To achieve this, you have to capture their attention.
The headline is a core component of your Coming Soon page. It solidifies your brand presence and paints a quick picture about what you have to offer.
ShopIdex uses the headline to effectively communicate its value proposition and build excitement for what the company has to offer. It’s a lot more impactful than a bold “coming soon” message.
Fab.com took the same approach, using pre-launch opt-in to display its USP.
Keep Your Coming Soon Copy on Point
Remember, customers are skimming the page quickly when they arrive. You only have a few seconds to make an impression and capture their attention, so keep your copy brief.
Write a few sentences to emphasize what’s coming, and what they’ll get when they sign up. This is a great space to include a count down or timestamp showing the date your store will launch.
If you’re including an incentive for signing up, you can use this space to create a sense of urgency if the incentive will disappear on or before launch.
Maximize Engagement with a Strong Call to Action
Your custom Coming Soon page should have a clear and easy-to-spot call to action that stands out from the rest of the copy. Leave no question about the action you want the prospective customer to take. Make sure the call to subscribe stands out and is the only call to action on the page.
If you want to include others, like prompts to share on social (Shopify includes these by default) make sure they’re apart from your primary call to action and aren’t likely to be the first thing that grabs the visitor’s attention.
Use large, bold fonts and a contrasting color for the “sign up” button on your opt-in.
How to Create a Coming Soon Page in Shopify
When a new store is launched, Shopify populates the password page (the Coming Soon page) with basic information using a simple template. You can create your own by customizing this information using the tips above.
To do this, first log into your Shopify admin dashboard. Click on “Online Store” in the nav menu and then click “Preferences."
Once in the preferences window, scroll to the bottom. In the Password Protection section, you can enable the Coming Soon page by clicking “Enable Password." You can then customize the basic message your customers will see when they land on the password page.
As you can see from the steps above, the Shopify platform doesn’t give you much room to customize the Shopify Coming Soon page in the general settings. For more control over the appearance of the page and customizing the look of your Shopify Coming Soon page, you’ll need to edit the template file for your password page.
If you want to make customizes not available in the theme settings then you’ll want to edit the password.liquid template.
From your Shopify admin dashboard, go to “Online Store” and then click on “Themes.” In the Themes window, click the “Customize” button.
In the theme customize window, click on down arrow in the top menu to select the Password Page. This will take you to the Password Page editor where you can adjust the header, footer and body content of the page.
Header will allow you to include and customize the size of your logo on the Coming Soon page.
Footer will give you the option to include social icons and a field to edit the social call to action.
Content provides a few more options to customize the headline, subheading, placeholder text and the call to action.
Improve Your Coming Soon Page with Shogun
You can take the direct approach by editing the template files on your own. You can do this by clicking on “Theme Actions” and then “Edit Code."
Once in the code editor, you can make changes to various theme files for more direct control over visual customization. For customizing the Coming Soon page you’ll want to locate and make changes to the password.liquid files. This includes password-content.liquid, password-header.liquid and password-footer.liquid.
All that code can look pretty intimidating. Thankfully, Shogun allows you to design a killer Coming Soon page without knowing any code.
Shogun’s drag-and-drop landing page builder for Shopify allows you to quickly create landing pages. The pages you create with Shogun are made up of individual elements that you can add and remove with a few clicks. This includes positioning and placement as well as styling controls for each element.
You can use the Shogun page builder for Shopify to create a beautiful Coming Soon page that includes your logo, a compelling hero image, an attractive background, bold calls to action, forms and all that on top of having complete control over the stylization of your content.
This video shows how easy it is to use the Shogun drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify.
Because Shogun is an approved integration with Shopify, it’s easy to create pages and quickly publish them in Shopify to make those pages live. With just a few clicks you can create a new Shopify Coming Soon page to replace the default password page, and you can do it without writing code in the theme files.
Note: At this time you can't edit your current password page with Shogun.
Once you’re done creating the custom Coming Soon page in Shogun, you can make it the default homepage for your store with just the click of a button. From the Shogun dashboard, click the three-dot button on the completed content page. In the dropdown, choose “Set as Homepage."
Once you’re ready for your store to go live, you can restore the original homepage of your Shopify store with just a few clicks using this guide.
This approach makes it a little easier to turn the Coming Soon page on and off using the Password Protection feature in your online store’s preferences.
You can even choose from a collection of conversion-tested Shopify page templates to help you create a Coming Soon page guaranteed to capture more emails.
Start Building Your Pre-Launch Audience with a Custom Coming Soon Page in Shopify
With the ecommerce industry growing by roughly 23% year over year and more consumers shopping online than ever before, the potential for audience growth is there. If you wait until after launch to start marketing to your target audience, you could wind up like every other ecommerce store fighting to get above that 2% average conversion rate while struggling to grow traffic.
By customizing your Shopify Coming Soon page you can start building interest well before your store goes live. This way, once the store is ready to launch, you’ll have a sizable list of prospective customers who are interested and ready to buy from you. You’ll have a much larger starting audience, greater referral potential and much higher conversion rates as your audience grows.