While similar to other franchise network building services, Empowerkit distinguishes itself by letting franchisors outsourcing most of the work to them using their own cloud-based platform.
Empowerkit's offer is centered around three services : setup and design, content updates, and SEO and social media services, and promotes a "buy vs build" model that bills franchisees instead of franchisors.
Empowerkit's software is made up of two main components, one being the SaaS platform, the other being the content management system.
The cloud-based platform is dispatched in six various areas, arranged somewhat counter_intuitively left to right on the main navigation menu: Cubertray Pulse, Analytics, Base Site, Management, Support and Setup.
"Pulse" is a social tool to manage social networks and enabling instant chat between all managers connected to it, be it franchisor or franchisees.
It is a simple but efficient way to communicate between franchisors and franchisees directly on the network websites, but require them to be logged in to actually work, so it is unlikely to replace any other communication you have in place such as standard emails.
The Analytics menu basically integrates Piwik Analytics within the platform to check on traffic and referrers.
Due to Google recent restrictions on search requests (by use of the https:// protocol), it will not display top keywords referring to your website.
Empowerkit's Management menu gives access to two submenus : Sites and SEO Settings.
Management offers basic functions to enable or disable franchisee's websites, basic user permissions and various site administrations features.
Administration of the main Franchise network site is done through another menu dubbed "Base Site".
The support menu gives access to a basic support request email feature, with a log of your existing requests to technical support.
It also encompasses a knowledge base where you can retrieve frequently asked questions. These menus are also accessible straight from your website when logged in.
The Setup menu gives very basic control of your administration interface and the main login information. While giving many useful tools to franchise owners, Empowerkit SaaS platform sticks to the bare basics.
Besides creating and managing franchisees' websites, it does not provide much added value to the inline tools found in the Empowerkit CMS which franchisors and franchisees alike will use most for their own respective benefit.
For instance, the SEO Settings menu is very limited and achieves very little in this department. It lets you setup very basic parameters such as Website Title, main Keywords and a general Description, with geolocalization limited to State and City - which makes you wonder how you would setup a multi-country setup for instance if you are operating in Europe.
The inline CMS itself is well rounded, and user-friendly enough that unsavvy franchisees may feel comfortable enough to manage their own websites.
They can customize the basic looks of their website by changing colors, fonts, styles, as well as craft basic "call to actions" which can just easily plugged into place wherever needed.
Perhaps one of the most efficient feature is the "Apps" menu which allows franchisees to manage the extensions and plugins made availlable by the franchisor, simply because they are strong chances that franchisees will actually use it.
Among those widgets you can let franchisees add Video Gallery, Facebook Fan Widget, Testimonials or Twitter box. Apps are available - or not - based on the choices you indicated in the administration of the SaaS platform.
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On top of an open source and out-of-the-box solution and on-demand services to build, manage and market entire franchise networks, SeoSamba offers a balanced development model to fit every franchisor's needs.
SeoSamba's multi-sites online marketing solutions lets franchisors manage any number of franchisee's local websites through SeoSamba Marketing Operating System, a centralized cloud-based interface.
On the surface, the setup looks similar to Empowerkit with a multi-tier framework composed of a SaaS online platform to manage the entire franchise network and invidual inline front-end CMS for both franchisor's and franchisee's websites.
However as you read on you will realize that SeoSamba's franchise system goes well beyond Empowerkit's capabilities in just about every area to provide scalable, flexible and cost effective deployment of franchise networks out-of-the-box.
Installing SeoToaster CMS to power a new website is a piece of cake. Websites can be self-hosted or hosted on demand on Amazon.
Better yet, SeoSamba enables one-click franchisee website deployment directly from the main franchisor website thanks to automated on-boarding.
SeoSamba's white-label centralized marketing platform enables true multi-sites domain management for network-wide SEO execution, content distribution, social marketing, offrering franchisors much, much more firepower than Empowerkit.
Regarding the CMS front-end, SeoToaster is a true open source e-commerce system that allow franchisors to customize update and manage all personal aspects of their online business while franchisors retain the upper hand on all franchise branding and networked content.
SeoToaster offers an uncomparably richer range of capabilities natively as well as with Apps and plug-ins.
E-commerce franchisors can also benefit from SeoSamba technology, synchronizing individual franchisees to their central catalog straight from their own website.
Simply put, SeoToaster dwarfs Empowerkit's inline emulator in every possible way and of course it is available to franchisors as a white label license so their brand is the only one visible to partners from end to end.
SeoSamba and Empowerkit do share the same third-party app for website traffic and analysis, but the former goes well beyond the latter in terms of capabilities.
Indeed, SeoSamba integrates multi-sites traffic at a glance and provides in-depth, invaluable search engine ranking reports and recommendations straight from Google's API. Does Empowerkit? Nope.
As for social media marketing, SeoSamba's recent upgrade on both its online marketing platform and front-end CMS has put it well on front of the game with a brand new social media doashboard.
As it always had, it also provides a powerful multi-sites social marketing tool that can post to any number of social accounts in just a couple of clicks.
|Franchisor’s Site Package|
|Turnkey Franchisee’s Site Auto-install|
|Network-wide System Auto-update|
|Turnkey White Label Marketing Dashboard|
|Turnkey Single Domains Install|
|Zero Plugin Functional Install|
|Geolocalized Cloud-based Instances|
|Cloud Sites Support|
|Pay-as-you-go Full Network Hosting|
|Integrated Front-end CMS Support|
|White-label Hosting Support Services|
|Expert Support by Software Maker|
|Multisites Ecommerce management|
|Sales and Ecommerce dashboard|
|Social Network management|
|Social Network monitoring|
|Search Engine Optimization|
|Automated multi-sites SEO|
|Mobile-ready web design|
|Real-time Chat integration|
|Localized Franchisee Websites|
|Automated Email Marketing|
|Networked Content and News|
|Open source core code|
|Free Themes and plugins|
|Low-cost development options|
|Turnkey white label front-end CMS|
|Separate local user and DB policies|
|Unique user sets per website|
|Inline CMS user management|
|Full automated email verification|
|Open Support Resources|
|Open Developers Resources / API|
|Free Website Themes / Templates|
|Plugins / Extension Marketplace|
|User Interface Localization|