The Making of Our Newest E-Commerce Template

  • 31 January 2024
  • 2 min read
The Making of Our Newest E-Commerce Template

Hey there! My name is Jackie—I recently joined as a Product Designer here at Big Cartel. As a digital designer (and broadly creative person in general), I’m interested in personal spaces on the web, empowering creatives, and ways to combine the two.

At Big Cartel, our templates help artists and indie businesses quickly create personalized spaces to showcase and sell their creations. It seems fitting that my first big project was to reimagine our default template—the way a shop looks and feels when you set it up for the first time.

Luna has been our default shop template since 2013, and while we’ve made improvements, our team wanted a new, more flexible template that would look great for both first-time and experienced sellers, offer a better user experience, and adhere to web design standards in 2024.

Introducing the Cosmos template

This work culminated in designing Cosmos (explore the demo shop here), a new shop template that replaces Luna as the Big Cartel default—and also the first new template we’ve launched in almost 4 years! Cosmos takes the best of Luna and modernizes it so it’s easier than ever to launch a great-looking shop. If “Luna” was about taking your first steps, “Cosmos” is about a vast universe of possibility and supporting you throughout your journey.

Note: Even though it will no longer be the default, Luna isn’t going anywhere–it’s still available as a template option, so don’t worry if your shop is currently using it!

Modernized design

A lot can change about web design in 10+ years! For Cosmos, I wanted to make sure the design felt clean, fresh, and up-to-date, so that the focus could be on letting your products shine as bright as possible.

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This meant paying attention to small details, like updating to a modern font. We also updated the navigation at the top of the page to include the search bar and show an expandable menu on mobile.

Grows with your business

Since most sellers stick with the default e-commerce template after signup, we wanted to make sure that the default looks great for first-time sellers, who might only have a few products, and grows with them as they add more inventory to their stores. Accordingly, Cosmos offers even more customizability in layout options, so it can look as great with 1 product as it does with 100.

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Choose from displaying your featured products in an alternating format or a standard grid format, add a hero image and/or message, display categories on your homepage, add custom messages on your cart and contact pages, and more. This is just the starting point—in the future, we imagine a world where it’s even easier to customize a Big Cartel shop that fits your needs, without knowing how to code.

Style, made simpler

We know it can be daunting to design a website, especially for the first time, so we wanted to make it easier than ever to create a beautiful, expertly designed shop. With Cosmos, you can customize your shop’s style—i.e. your font and color settings—by selecting from preset styles.

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Instead of always having to choose colors and fonts individually, we reorganized style settings in the shop designer and made it possible to choose from 9 unique font and color combinations—from Classic to Elegant to Playful—so you can easily transform your shop to fit your brand. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can customize your shop’s fonts and colors from there. Currently, preset styles are only available with Cosmos, but we plan to expand this feature to more templates in the future.

How to use Cosmos

If you create a new shop on Big Cartel, Cosmos will automatically be the default template! You can switch to Cosmos in your shop designer if you have an existing shop with a different design template. Before you switch, though, make sure to review our guide to switching templates so you don’t lose any important data, such as your shop’s logo and other images you might have used in your shop settings.

We’re excited to see you explore Cosmos—and more importantly—we’re excited to help you get your small business where you want it to go.

See you soon!

Jackie

P.S. A big shoutout to Jennifer Busking, a Big Cartel shop owner, whose beautiful handmade jewelry pieces are featured in our Cosmos demo shop and the illustrations within this blog post! You can check out her own Big Cartel shop here.

31 January 2024

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