You Don’t Have to Be A Designer to Design Your Store’s Home Page

You might have heard that we recently released StoreBuilder here at Nexcess. And it’s going to make the process of creating your online store much easier. You’re going to answer a couple questions and StoreBuilder will use its algorithm to create a home page based on your products, the assets you already have, and your industry.
In the past you would have needed a designer to help you with the layout and a developer to build your storefront for you. With StoreBuilder, we’ll do all of that for you, saving you dozens of hours of research & work.

What Does a Designer Do?

To really understand what StoreBuilder does for you it’s helpful to think about what a designer does. At a high level, any type of designer (web designer, graphic designer, architect, fashion designer, sound designer, game designer, etc) takes whatever the larger goal of the project is and presents it in a format to achieve those goals.
So if your goal is to have a really spacious and open feeling home an architect will take the goal (spacious & open) and make sure it’s carried through all decisions large and small. They’ll likely have tall ceilings, open floor concepts, skylights, bay windows, etc. They take the goals of the project, understand the industry best practices, and carry the larger goal through the hundreds or thousands of small decisions.

Designing A Storefront

The same is true when you’re designing your storefront. You likely want to sell your product and get it in front of as many people as possible. Does that mean you start with a video, photo gallery, a story about the creator, or just show a grid of products? Well, that actually depends on the industry you’re in.
For fledgling businesses customers care quite a bit about the creator. We like to hear the origin story in addition to the product features. One of my favorite small creators is the designer behind the Roost. Right after a picture of their main product they have a video that tells the story about why they created the product in the first place.
While customers generally love the founders story for small companies for larger companies and for some industries like clothing. Just show us the goods! Companies like Anthropology start with an offer or with a grid of products.
So different industries and different types of customers behave differently…but what do YOU do with that information? You can spend hundreds of hours researching your industry and the biggest players in your space. Or you can use StoreBuilder where we’ve already analyzed hundreds of websites in each industry and thoroughly (sometimes mind-numbingly thoroughly) documented how the home pages are built and in what order they place the different elements.
StoreBuilder takes industry best practices along with existing assets and builds the first draft of your site for you.

Can You Still Use a Designer?

Of course! We love designers and I’ve done some part-time design work. There’s always a place for design. But when there’s enough data to make smart defaults that can save dozens of hours – and thousands of dollars we think that’s the best place to get started. Take what StoreBuilder creates and tweak it, modify it, personalize it for your brand.
That’s what a designer or you would be great at.

Time to First Sale

Ultimately our goal with StoreBuilder is to help merchants get closer to their first sale. If we can speed that process up by days or weeks or even just hours we’re going to take it. That first sale is the first piece of financial proof of a business for most merchants and it’s hard to build a store when you don’t have the financial proof.
We want StoreBuilder to help you get there. And once you start getting real customer feedback then it might be time to tweak your home page, your product page, and the look and feel of your site with a designer.
If you’re looking to get started quickly, StoreBuilder is here to help.