Stge.io

No skills required.

11.01.21

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STGE.io is the Software as a Service (SaaS) arm of Stage Design Group. The goal of STGE.io is to enable those without web development experience to easily create microsites to showcase and sell their creative works that they can then link to via their social media accounts.

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Services Rendered:

Website Design

Website Development

Full Stack Development

CMS Architecture Design

API Integrations

Interaction Design

E-Commerce

Tools Used:

Webflow

Memberstack

Snipcart

Klaviyo

Amazon S3

Google Analytics

Business Categories:

Saas Platform

Startup

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The Challenge:

Build a platform that anyone can use to create their own microsite to showcase and sell their work.

Creating a new SaaS tool is a unique experience. Yes, there are the typical technical challenges: how to make it all work, troubleshooting critical bugs, and designing front-ends that resonate with potential users. But unlike building a website for an existing business, creating a SaaS platform is a journey of discovery as you learn more about what the market needs from you.

With that in mind, the biggest challenge we faced with building stge.io was creating a system that allows for rapid iteration and development. Embracing lean startup ideologies and utilizing the concept of MVP's, the challenge we've faced with creating stge.io has been in regards to creating an environment which allows us to build and test features as rapidly as possible.

Our Solution:

Embrace the wave of no-code platforms to enable rapid development and iterations.

While you may think you know the needs of the market, the reality is that you likely don’t know the needs as well as the market itself. As such, developing a platform such as stge.io is less about building an exact product, and more about testing a number of hypotheses, each one designed to bring the platform more in line with the demands of the market. Noting this fact, and accepting that this approach would require a number of failed efforts, we set our sights on creating a system which would enable us to rapidly develop and test new features. To accomplish this, we relied on a no-code stack to eliminate the need to hard code API integrations ourselves.

The power of Webflow's CMS API, conditional visibility, and dynamic data:

Having already used Webflow for a number of projects, we knew that the platform would enable us to design front ends quickly, store user data in CMS collections, and utilize conditional visibility and dynamic data tools to carry a bulk of the front end automations required to make stge.io work. By utilizing these tools, we were able to create unique user dashboards and frontends largely by simply checking the right boxes and connecting the right data points. This streamlined process saved us countless hours of coding.

Customizable User Profiles

Members can customize the look and feel of their pages, as well as the content and links they share.

Mobile First Interfaces

With mobile use being the primary use case for stge.io pages, we built mobile friendly front and backends to ensure that both the front and back end user experiences are simple and intuitive to use.

User Dashboards

Mobile friendly, user specific dashboards enable users to easily update their pages from any device.

Custom Shopping Cart

To simplify the E-commerce experience and give users the ability to create their own shops on their pages, we built our own custom E-Commerce platform utilizing Snipcart and Stripe to process orders, and PayPal to send payouts directly to Venmo or PayPal accounts.

Amazon S3 Hosting

To host a wider range of file types, from images to audio files, we integrated our platform with Amazon’s secure S3 hosting. This enables users to not only host rich media on their pages, but also to sell digital goods through their shop.

Memberstack integration for membership management:

For our membership and subscription needs, we integrated with Memberstack, a no-code platform that quickly integrates with Webflow and can hold account information for each member. Additionally, Memberstack allows for multiple paid subscription plans, free trials, and payouts to Stripe, giving us the infrastructure we need to support a full database of users. By utilizing this platform which quickly and seamlessly integrates with Webflow, we were able to test multiple subscription types to allow users to buy in at different levels, each unlocking a different set of features.

Multi-Tiered Memberships

Users can sign up for a free STGE membership to test the platform. When they’re ready to upgrade, additional features can be unlocked by upgrading to a variety of paid memberships.

Connecting the Dots Using Integromat, a No Code API Interface:

Finally, to bring it all together, we utilized Integromat, a no-code API interface that allows you to tap into any API in the world. Using Integromat modules as well as direct HTTP requests, we've been able to rapidly implement API integrations that would’ve taken substantially more time to hardcode. The hidden benefit of using this no-code stack is that not only was our development time greatly reduced, but API authorizations and keys are also divvied up across multiple platforms, baking in an added level of security for our users.

The Results:

The results of our efforts so far have been a very promising start. At the time of this writing, the platform is home to over 500 users with very little marketing behind it. These user profiles are also seeing success, with the average time on page being 1:22, and some pages seeing hundreds of views per day. As for the platform itself, our funnel optimization efforts resulted in a roughly 26% signup rate for our freemium plan from our landing page. The asterisk on all of this of course, is that the project remains a work in progress as we continue to further optimize our conversion rates.

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