Smoolis was officially launched in 2014. However, their story starts in 2009, when Despina and Christina Cosmoulis started a web company in Switzerland that was focused on web design. The sisters realized that there was a large need for multilingual online stores. The Cosmoulis sisters really wanted to build a store that fit their customers' needs. The company has a simple company slogan: "Smoolis is for everyone." The company wants small- to mid-sized businesses to easily develop a store online easily. The solution works well for artists, hand makers, and designers. The Smoolis platform makes it very easy to launch your own online store and sell your items. The company takes its profits from a monthly subscription, not a cut of your profits. This makes Smoolis unique.
- Overall features
- Personalized URL
- Payment portals
- Marketing campaigns
Smoolis has one of the most robust suites of features for a small- to mid-sized business e-commerce platform. We found that every Smoolis subscription includes the following:
- 58 different languages and 118 currencies.
- Up to 10 images for each product on your website.
- Inventory tracking that interacts real time with shipping.
- Responsive theme features.
- A free Smoolis web domain that can be optimized and linked to your website domain.
- A shipping simulator.
- Low affordable prices, with the highest subscription level holding an unlimited number of products for customers.
In the industry, we saw that many platforms had analytics tool that let you use only Google Analytics or Clicky, third-party analytics platforms. Within Smoolis, it is possible to access a robust array of SEO and analytics tools. Not only does Smoolis integrate with Google Analytics, but it also comes with everything you need to manage the back end of your e-commerce store.
Another thing that we liked about Smoolis was the immense scalability. If you're a small-business, the $12 per month plan lets you go global (with up to two different languages) and have up to 100 products. If you are a huge business, you can have an unlimited number of products on your website with unlimited languages. We found that Smoolis was one of the most scalable e-commerce platforms for business.
We liked that you could use your own URL. If you aren't happy with having a Smoolis-generated domain, you can link your Smoolis site to your own web domain, such as one that you might have purchased through GoDaddy or another provider.
In addition to the fast, responsive themes, we liked how easy it was to build content on the fly. You c an add information and text to your website without limit. If you want an "About Us" or a "Contact Us" section, you can easily create these. Legal pages, such as terms of service and privacy, are automatically generated to ensure your site's legal security. Even though a CMS is not part of the platform's core features, you can add a blog through WordPress as a link on your main navigation bar on the website.
Smoolis also offers you multiple payment portals. You can use PayPal, Stripe, On Account, Bank Deposit, and Cash on Pickup. There is also a unique shipping simulator on Smoolis. Shipping simulators let you "test drive" your e-commerce store, seeing what the customer sees from shopping cart to shipping. You can also see what the online invoices look like.
Smoolis also is very secure. We found that they offer SSL encryption and their service is PCI compliant. They have data centers that are secure and disaster-redundant, meaning that you never have to worry about backups.
We also liked that Smoolis let you manage your marketing campaigns. You can build a mailing list with MailChimp and Campaign Monitor with a signup button feature. This is a great way to let your customers know about sales and new products. We also felt like Smoolis offered a large, scalable service that included:
- Unlimited pages.
- Unlimited storage.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Powerful email ticketing support.
- SSL certificates
- Social media
- Mobile features
Smoolis didn't offer a lot of information about their encryption and SSL installation. On other e-commerce websites, we learned how to install our own SSL certificates and how strong the platform's PCI compliance was. We also had some questions about the following:
- How easy is it to plug in Google Analytics?
- Are other analytics tools, such as Clicky supported?
- How easy is it to integrate third-party applications?
While we did learn about MailChimp and other third-party applications, the social media interaction of the website is somewhat limited. You can plant "share" buttons next to all of your big items, but we couldn't figure out how to do a Facebook campaign with Smoolis. Also, it seemed kind of backward to us that you had to embed a link on your site to enable a WordPress blog. Essentially, many third-party applications, such as WordPress, are "peripherals," meaning that they can't be embedded within the platform itself.
We also found that the mobile features of Smoolis were extremely limited. While your Smoolis website is optimized for mobile devices, there isn't an app available to get your store fully accessible on mobile devices. This means that if your device loads slowly on mobile devices, you are not going to be able to interact with as many mobile customers as you'd like. You also cannot run your e-commerce store on a mobile device at this time.