The company creates collections of clothes and accessories with a modern and chic style for babies and children from 0 months to 12 years old. EPK aims to awaken the interest in children to learn about other cultures through clothing of excellent quality and design.
Today, EPK has 61 stores in 60 of the main shopping centers, and generates more than 600 direct and indirect jobs in the country. EPK is focused on expansion, so they plan to inaugurate 50 new stores in the next five years, which will allow the company to significantly establish its presence and continue to act as one of the fashion brands with the greatest impact on Colombia.
While the majority of EPK’s sales come from their brick and mortar stores, due to the popularity of online shopping the business needed an enhanced platform to optimize sales. Just one year ago, EPK’s eCommerce sales were well below 1% of the business’ overall sales. Since their company growth strategy planned for eCommerce sales to sit closer to 3%, improvements needed to be made to their existing platform.
As the retailer’s business began to grow rapidly, their outdated, out-of-the-box content marketing management system (CMS) crashed due to its inability to scale. EPK was left with a faulty website that ran an unintuitive UI, and provided no way to collect payment for their goods.
EPK needed a new, customized solution — and fast — so they partnered with Koombea to perform a complete eCommerce website overhaul.
Updating EPK’s Existing eCommerce Platform to a Scalable, Tech-Oriented Solution to Hit Business Milestones
At the launch of their business, EPK built a website using a free and open-source CMS. As the business grew, the out-of-the-box CMS proved to be incapable of scaling.
The more traffic that EPK’s site received, the more disruption occurred to the site’s UI, and the more issues such as the inabilities to integrate with back-end software and create unique reports inhibited the business.
Ultimately EPK grew frustrated by dealing with security concerns, inflexible processes, and faulty functionality during times of heavy traffic to their website.
Specifically, EPK’s out-of-box CMS solution presented the following critical issues:
- The inability to create effective product pages.
- Difficulties with loading speed optimization.
- Poor image quality across the site.
- Limited search functionality.
All of these issues were negatively impacting EPK’s bottom line. For example, users on shopping websites that search for products via the site’s search bar are twice as likely to purchase. However, EPK’s search bar was barely distinguishable from the rest of their website and they were not able to change it’s aesthetic, so they found that a less than ideal percentage of users on their site were able to leverage the feature, ultimately costing EPK sales.
While the free CMS might have been a good fit when EPK was just a small business, now that the organization was growing the CMS proved to be outdated, unreliable, and ultimately obsolete due to its inability to handle large amounts of traffic.
EPK’s frustrations came to a head when they began ramping up the cadence of special product promotions that were driving large amounts of traffic to their site. Their platform simply could not handle the traffic, and the site crashed, leaving EPK without any historical data that could be used to inform their company’s strategic direction.
EPK needed a solution that was more suitable to their growing eCommerce business — a solution that would enable them to scale at speed, facilitate the growing demand for their goods, and maintain confidence that all data was entirely secure.
The Solution: A Flexible, Customizable eCommerce Platform
In order to recover from their site crash and continue growing their eCommerce sales, EPK needed to move beyond the bare minimum provided by their out-of-the-box CMS and instead leverage a customized solution with the following features:
- An updated, intuitive design and UI
- New, seamless, and automated integrations with third parties
- A new payment gateway with an enhanced checkout experience
- Processes for monitoring inventory systems
- Improved invoicing systems
“Koombea’s expertise in integrations with other systems and APIs has provided the knowledge necessary to solve many integration issues, which has been critical to our success.”
After investigating potential partners, EPK chose Koombea due to their expertise with Shopify Plus, which met all of their technical, commercial, and budgetary requirements. Koombea offered to build a solution with endless customization options instead of EPK having to rely on plug-ins as they had in the past.
With a new customized solution produced by Koombea, EPK would be able to capitalize on the following advantages:
- The new eCommerce site would be entirely customized for EPK, therefore setting their site apart from their competition’s marketplaces still using out-of- the-box solutions.
- EPK would be able to make changes to their site much more easily as their business evolved over time.
- EPK would no longer be limited in terms of how their online store was set up. By working with their in-house team in conjunction with the experts at Koombea, EPK would be able to set up their site in order to maximize ROI.
- The new platform would have a much better UI overall. EPK would be able to display the products they wanted on any page, giving their customers a unique yet intuitive shopping experience.
- Unlike their previous out-of-the-box solution, EPK’s new eCommerce store could be set up so that it would open and render properly in any browser on any PC or device with internet access — most importantly, on mobile devices.
- There would be significantly better branding potential with a customized solution, in part from the unique design and in part due to the new site’s SEO capabilities. With a customized solution, EPK would be able to decide which keywords they would want to optimize for each page,and iterate on those keywords over time.
The Benefits of a Customized eCommerce Solution
Within just two weeks, Koombea was able to put out the fire of the website crash by providing EPK with a fully functional, customized platform that enabled them to continue selling their goods to customers. Once everything was functional, Koombea continued to improve the platform that would ultimately enable EPK to grow their eCommerce sales.
EPK’s new solution included only the aspects that their eCommerce business required. The site now meets and serves their business requirements and fits their enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy.
Koombea’s agile-focused approach allowed EPK to iterate, improve, and optimize their site by enhancing everything from the overall design, to the integration with other systems, to the granularities of the user experience.
“The Koombea team worked incredibly quickly so that we could stop losing money. We were so satisfied with their solution that we decided to keep it, and to this day we are very happy,”
What Does eCommerce Look Like Today at EPK?
EPK has experienced significant growth across the business since partnering with Koombea.
While their site’s desktop experience has been enhanced, EPK has also been able to capitalize on having a much smoother mobile experience.
Another key to EPK’s current success is the ease with which they can run promotions on products — something that presented serious challenges in the past. Today, EPK is able to conceive, promote, and execute on three to four deals and promotions per week, which has resulted in a serious uptick in sales.
With cart abandonment rates floating around 75% while EPK was using their out-of-the-box solution, they were missing out on significant revenue. Koombea enhanced the shopping cart experience, making it quicker, easier, and more intuitive. Today EPK’s cart abandonment rate sits closer to 30%, which is well below the industry average.
EPK’s newly customized eCommerce solution increased revenue as well as conversions. Sales today are over 300% higher than last year, and EPK’s current conversion rate optimization (CRO) has grown from 0.9% to over 1.5% in just one year. EPK’s revenue per visit (RPV) is now higher than it has ever been in the company’s history.
According to Andrea Jaramillo, just a year ago EPK’s eCommerce sales were well below 1% of the company’s overall sales total. EPK’s eCommerce site is currently responsible for 1.7% of total sales.
“Today we’re able to leverage a solution that’s scalable, easy to use, and is built with code that is easy for our developers to handle and work with. In turn, our in-house developers have now become Shopify experts, and we’re selling more than ever before. We couldn’t be happier!”
At Koombea, we take a unique approach by fusing traditional and new methods to develop quality solutions at speed while retaining our personal touch and fastidious planning mindset.
Whether your business needs to implement analytics, boost success with Google Shopping, create an effective Facebook store, or anything in between, we’ve got your eCommerce needs covered.
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