For small business owners looking to set up a website or online store quickly, website builders can answer a lot of owners’ prayers. Not every small business owner can afford to hire an agency to create their website or even have an in-house web developer.
Many new business owners barely have enough time to create an online presence and start selling their products. They have come to rely on easy-to-use website builders that don’t require any knowledge of coding or programming to get started.
While there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a builder for your website, the latest one is the AI-powered StoreBuilder e-commerce platform from Nexcess. Designed to help your online store convert visitors into customers, the StoreBuilder platform gives you the ability to create custom websites for your store. This review of the platform will go over everything you need to know about Nexcess’s StoreBuilder platform before you get started.
Before we do that though, let’s make sure we know what features an eCommerce platform should have before signing up.
Ready? Then read away!
What every good eCommerce platform should offer you
There’s an old saying that you should always read the fine print but c’mon, does anyone really read the fine print on the Apple iPhone contracts?
We’re kidding, of course, no one does but with an eCommerce platform, making sure that it provides you with the things you need to not only help your online store hit the ground running but making sure that it can grow with you as your business (hopefully) does as well.
Do you know what a good eCommerce platform has? No?
It’s a good thing you asked. Let’s take a closer look at what a good eCommerce platform should offer you.
No one wants to spend days and days on end trying to set up an online store. You want to make sure that setup and design are easy and allow you to capture the feel of your brand and what makes you unique. Every eCommerce platform typically comes with templates that you can choose from. These don’t require you to hire outside help to design your store, which can be expensive and you don’t have to be a design wizard to set up your store and give it a professional look.
Easy navigation and secure
Do you know what’s harder than anything these days? Visiting a website with terrible navigation. You might try to figure things out for a minute or two and then you’re gone and spending your money with another seller. Don’t let this happen to you. Shoppers are looking for an easy and streamlined experience. If you’re selling something that someone has to have, they don’t want to jump through hoops to buy it from you.
You also want to be sure that the platform you choose provides excellent security when it comes to payment processing. Your customers can get pretty angry if their credit card info is stolen and the next thing they know they’re staring at a bill for a $2,500 couch that they never wanted. Make sure the platform supports HTPPS/SSL to ensure a safe and secure checkout.
Having a lot of different options can feel like an immense weight on your shoulders. I mean have you seen how many different flavors of potato chips there are? Cmon! When it comes to your eCommerce platform, however, having a large number of options when it comes to integrations is a good thing, especially if you’re in this for the long haul and want your business to grow.
You want to find a platform that integrates with the systems and marketing channels that you’re already using. Does the platform integrate with Facebook? How about Instagram or Twitter? Does the platform offer plugins and extensions? You want to find these out before you sign up.
It should be easy for a potential customer to find your business on the Internet. The best way to do that is to make sure that your online store ranks higher than your competition in search results. This is especially true if you’re a new eCommerce store or a small online shop. To give yourself the best chance to rank as high as possible, look for an eCommerce platform that is SEO-friendly. Can you choose a domain name? Add a blog or collect reviews from customers? All of this can help potential customers find your site organically when they search for your product, even if it’s an obscure item.
The world is a mobile place and many of those people shop using their phones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Don’t believe us? Check this out.
In 2021, it’s projected that revenue from global mobile retail sales could reach $3.56 billion (billion, with a B), according to Statista.com. Smartphones alone account for 65% of all retail site visits according to first-quarter results of devices used when shopping in 2019.
To say that choosing a platform that makes it easy for customers to access your site on their mobile devices is important is a no-brainer. When it’s easier for customers to interact with your brand, it’s much easier to make a sale.
Hopefully, your store will start making money shortly, so you need to make sure that you monitor the performance of your store as well. You need to have a platform that gives you a way to keep tabs on the important things about your online store. These things include the number of sales, payment methods, order amounts, and more. It also should display stats that are easy to understand because the last thing you want to do as a business owner is playing the guessing game with your business’ numbers.
The days of there only being three payment options are long gone. These days, there are numerous ways to buy things online – credit cards, Apple Pay, Square, PayPal just to name a few. Not every customer will use the same type of payment to pay you with so making sure that you accept a wide range of payment options. Make sure you consider what forms of payment that you’re willing to take before you start.
Fees for eCommerce platforms can run the gamut from monthly fees to those with flat rates, or charges per transaction. There are even some platforms that require you to pay an additional fee for subscriptions to an app. Do your homework, and make sure you research all the different options, and how each one can fit into your plans and still give your business room to grow.
Now that we know what a good eCommerce platform should provide us with, let’s hold the StoreBuilder platform from Nexcess up to the light and see what we’re working with.
Who is Nexcess?
While the focus of our review is on the eCommerce platform that Nexcess provides, we thought that we should take a closer look at the company behind the platform.
With 18 years of hosting experience and more than 45,000 websites that trust Nexcess to host their site, Nexcess is a leader in the Webhosting market. Based in Southfield, Michigan, Nexcess offers an incredible, feature-filled web hosting service that is optimized to work with some of the most popular content management systems in the world, namely Magneto and WordPress.
With data centers all over the world, Nexcess offers its customers the absolute best in terms of performance, reliability, and control. With this dedication to embracing complexity, as well as providing stability and working with their clients, they have managed to create innovations that have changed web hosting support and management going forward.
Now that we know who the company behind StoreBuilder is, let’s take a closer look at their platform.
Nexcess StoreBuilder – An Overview
StoreBuilder is an eCommerce site builder for those looking to get started with an online business or anyone who already has an online store. The StoreBuilder platform makes setting up a digital storefront easy and as quickly as possible thanks to its A.I. assistant that helps build and customize your online store.
A great alternative to other big-name website builders such as Wix, Shopify, and SquareSpace, the StoreBuilder platform lets you customize every aspect of your online store. With more than 50,000 plugins for you to choose from and no limit to the number of products that you can list when you set up your catalog, StoreBuilder can be a great option for those who are looking to create an online store as a part of their physical business or looking to create a niche website that offers products to their readers.
With a resource center that you can use to find answers to your questions or you can contact an expert 24/7 via live chat or through email, getting stuck isn’t a problem. Plus, if you already own a WooCommerce store, you can migrate it over for no extra cost.
What Makes StoreBuilder Unique?
From the outside and with what we’ve gone over so far, you may think that Nexcess’s StoreBuilder platform is no different than the other numerous options out there. So what exactly makes StoreBuilder stand apart? We’re glad you asked.
If you already own a WooCommerce platform, the Managed WordPress WooCommerce hosting that Nexcess offers make getting things done incredibly faster than managed WordPress hosting that other providers offer.
Nexcess allows for more simultaneous connections with 10 base PHP Workers that come in the entry-level spark plan. This can be scaled up to 20 PHP Workers plus the amount of PHP Workers can vary from plan to plan.
Note: A PHP Worker builds pages and processes scheduled background tasks and more. These PHP Workers are responsible for the generation of HTML pages to make them accessible to your site’s visitors. In short, they determine how many simultaneous uncached requests that your site can handle at any given time.
To put that into perspective, the number of PHP workers that comes with another popular WordPress hosting providers, Kinsta offers users 2 PHP Workers and if you are looking to upgrade Kinsta hosting to handle your WooCommerce platform, not only will it cost you $100 a month but it only give you two more PHP Workers per website. If you want to get 10 or even 20 PHP Workers from Kinsta, be ready to shell out a lot of money.
If that alone doesn’t make StoreBuilder stand out, the platform also comes with server-side caching built-in. This means that when the site processes static content, the work of the PHP Workers is minimized so that they can continue to process requests from your most important users which is a nifty little feature.
Outside of that though, let’s take a closer look at some of the other features that StoreBuilder provides not only to you but also to your online storefront.
As we’ve already touched upon, there are a large number of website builders out there and for many years, you could simply use whatever template each builder had to create an online store and be good to go.
Not anymore. Cookie-cutter templates are no longer enough to keep potential customers interested in your wares or even be able to locate you online.
One of the major features that StoreBuilder comes with is an in-depth retail sector research backing along with a powerful AI-driven set of rules that not only help create a custom eCommerce website that is optimized to help you sell your products.
Every business, whether it’s online or not is at different stages in its life cycle. If you’re at a point where you’re looking to launch an online component or even upgrade your current eCommerce store, the web design solutions that StoreBuilder offers can help you take your store to new heights.
The StoreBuilder platform is designed to take care of the hard work for you and create a dedicated website for your business, not one that will look like everyone else on the internet. They do this with AI, also known as Artificial Intelligence. This AI uses answers and insights that you provide and brings the vision you have for your store to life and gives you the tools to customize it to get it just right.
Don’t believe us? Check out this graphic:
Typically, with the features we’ve described so far, you’d think you would need to pay hundreds of dollars a month for an incredible service like the one the StoreBuilder provides. Well, you’d be wrong sir!
The StoreBuilder platform from Nexcess is $19 a month and the first month is free! You can choose your domain name, unlike some others where you may need to buy a domain name first. Once you’re signed up and go through the platform’s AI questions, you will have an online store website that is conversion-oriented and best of all, doesn’t look like all the other standard-looking themes that other providers offer.
Editing your new site
Of course, no system is perfect, and as close as the StoreBuilder platform can get, there will inevitably be something that you want to change about your new storefront. The platform comes with an editor which allows you to personalize as well as brand your online store in just the exact way you are looking for.
Not everyone goes into owning an online store knowing exactly how to edit their online eCommerce platform and the StoreBuilder platform is great for a brand new store owner.
Just about everyone should be comfortable using the platform’s drag and drop features, customization options, plus amazing editing tools that Nexcess offers. If you still have issues editing your site, StoreBuilder offers incredible support options to help you make things look great.
The only real limit when it comes to customizing your new online storefront is your imagination. While we understand that that’s a cliche, in this case, it’s true. With more than 50,000 plugins to choose from, you can customize any part of your eCommerce website.
Keeping tabs on Inventory
Have you ever gone to the grocery store, ready to spend your money on the deal of the week and buy enough to fill your car, only to get there and find out that there is a limit of 2? Yeah, thankfully that will never be the case with your StoreBuilder eCommerce site.
There’s no limit to the number of products that you can add to your online store without the performance of the site being affected. Regardless of the type of product, physical, service-based, or digital, you want to make sure that if you have a product that is outdated or out-of-stock, delist it so it doesn’t affect your customer’s online experience.
The StoreBuilder platform lets your print shipping labels right from your order dashboard as well as create promotional and discount codes to attract customers. However, the platform makes it easy to not only track but also manage your inventory.
The platform is designed to work with eCommerce businesses, this means that the migraine-inducing process of managing and tracking your store’s inventory should be easy to do online.
How do you get paid?
Of course, having an online store is great but what’s the point if you’re not making any money? There isn’t. Collecting money for the items you sell on your online marketplace is the lifeblood of every online store. Without collecting payment, you’re giving things away for free, and you’ll be out of business soon thereafter.
While the StoreBuilder builder works with many of the most popular payment gateways such as Paypal. If you are planning to use Stripe to collect payments, then your search is over. StoreBuilder is perfect for you, as this payment processor is already part of your online store.
With all of the different options that consumers have these days to purchase items, there are still some who prefer to pay COD or collection-on-delivery. For these types of customers, if you have any, you’ll need to incorporate a POS (Point of Sale) solution to accept in-person payments.
A big hassle that many online stores run into is creating an inadvertent maze for their customers to go through to check out. If you have too many steps or “hoops” for a customer to jump through just to pay you $15 for a t-shirt, they’ll end up going somewhere else. While having a simple checkout is preferable, these can skip over critical components such as sales tax, discounts, and even shipping calculations.
Thankfully, there is a middle ground and StoreBuilder has found it like an oasis in the desert. At checkout, your eCommerce store will calculate the country, state, and city taxes without having to go through additional steps for them to display for your customers.
Plus, with its no-hassle integration with WooCommerce, you can migrate your current WordPress online store with no problems.
Pros and Cons
Like any website building platform, there are always pros and cons when it comes to choosing the right eCommerce platform for your new or existing online business and while the features that the StoreBuilder platform from Nexcess comes with are certainly worth the incredibly affordable price, there is more than an affordable price that should capture your attention.
If you’ve ever read our blog before, you know how much we enjoy our lists. Well, here’s our list of the Pros & Cons of the StoreBuilder platform from Nexcess.
✔ Free automatic plugin updates
✔ AI technique to create custom designs
✔ Sell unlimited products
✔ Payment collection with Stripe or PayPal
✔ Auto Scaling
✔ Free migrations
✔ Free trial
✔ No contracts, monthly billing
✔ Support from eCommerce experts 24×7
✔ Built intelligently
✗ Email accounts missing
✗ No demo available before sign up
✗ No customer examples
✗ Templates are lacking
✗ No advanced customization controls
Is StoreBuilder the real deal?
From the outside, the StoreBuilder platform is no different than any other eCommerce site builder that’s out there but with the incredible price, 24/7 support, and unbelievable amount of PHP Workers for the price, we can’t help but recommend the SiteBuilder platform from Nexcess if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box e-commerce solution. If you’re serious about starting an online eCommerce business and succeeding, you owe it to yourself to take a serious look at the SiteBuilder platform.