From Volusion to Shift4Shop: Featuring eLeMeNO-Pee
Allison Crane founded her company eLeMeNO-Pee in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2009 after she and her husband discovered the advantages of cloth diapers. Having welcomed their third child into the world, they decided to give natural cloth diapers a try. Making the switch away from disposables saved them a lot of money, and they noticed their baby was more comfortable too. “Cloth was better for our baby, our budget and the environment,” Allison says.
Wanting to share these benefits with other families, they began doing direct sales, visiting parents in their homes to teach them about cloth diapers. The business grew, and they began hiring independent sales consultants. By February 2012 they were selling online, opening their first brick-and-mortar location the next year. By the end of 2014, they had independent sales representatives in 15 states. Today eLeMeNO-Pee sells a large selection of products including cloth diapers in a variety of colors, patterns and manufacturers, and other eco-friendly items for environmentally-conscious, natural parenting. “We educate families and help them choose healthier and more environmentally friendly options that work best for their family and lifestyle,” says Allison. “Our goal is to help moms be the best mom they can be.” And eLeMeNO-Pee is certainly accomplishing their goal, as business is thriving.
eLeMeNO-Pee’s success hasn’t been without roadblocks, however. Allison began to feel that their eCommerce platform, Volusion, was holding them back. “We were at a point where I had done all of the improvements and optimizations I could on my own on the Volusion platform, but wanted to get to the next level with our sales,” she remembers. “We decided to start looking for a new platform in 2014.”
The customization issues were bad enough, but the worst offender was the gift registry. Volusion’s implementation used a third-party universal gift registry that directed shoppers away from eLeMeNO-Pee’s site. “The third-party registry actually encouraged customers to buy from other sites and resulted in a net loss of sales to competitors for registry items,” Allison says. Considering a high number of baby and parenting items are given as gifts every year for occasions such as baby showers and infant birthday parties, a working gift registry is essential in the industry.
eLeMeNO-Pee finalized their decision to leave Volusion and looked at several other eCommerce platforms before deciding on Shift4Shop. Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento each “had a mix of features we wanted that the others did not, but ultimately the access to customize files, the ability to set product and catalog display pages specific to that item or category, and the gift registry were the deciding factors,” Allison explains. “The built in, self-contained gift registry from Shift4Shop was one of the biggest factors for us to switch.”
Another frustration Allison encountered with Volusion’s plans was the difficulty in customizing the site to her standards. “Our store was doing well, but there were some aspects of the design we did not have control over,” she recalls. “Shift4Shop offered better access to the design files than Volusion, so I was better able to customize the site and make it into exactly what we needed.”
After a bad experience with a third-party designer that caused a plague of issues, Allison opted to instead use one of Shift4Shop’s free themes, finding she was able to customize it to her liking. “It looks like a professionally-designed custom-built site,” she says. Once migration was complete and her new design was live, sales rocketed sky-high. “Almost immediately, our sales jumped,” she adds, “in the first six months since switching the template, we exceeded our total sales from the prior year, and now at month eight we are nearing twice our total sales from last year. We will finish this year with a 200-300% increase in gross sales.” eLeMeNO-Pee has been with Shift4Shop for 18 months and is “currently on track to have our best year ever,” says Allison.
While Shift4Shop’s integrated gift registry offers the biggest advantage in eLeMeNO-Pee’s industry, Allison has several favorite apps, including the Abandoned Cart Notification, Waiting List, and Back in Stock Notification modules. She also finds the Shift4Shop POS app to be very helpful in managing the shared inventory of her online and physical store. Allison continues to experiment with customization, setting up different layouts to test conversion effectiveness, and the results speak for themselves.
With success ever-growing on the horizon, eLeMeNO-Pee is looking toward a bright future and now has brand ambassadors nationwide. This year the company was able to expand to open a women’s clothing boutique called Fox Trot, so in Allison’s words “all the moms who shop with us have a place to pamper themselves as well as their baby.” Parents are happy, sales are booming, and eLeMeNO-Pee continues its journey of prosperity.