The website builder and e-commerce spaces are crowded. Finding success means finding a way to stand out, and there are different approaches you can take to do so. Some do it by going local and offering a really personalized touch, some by meeting the specific needs of a niche customer group, and others by delivering a widely applicable but incredibly unique product.
Bookmark, OpenSRS domain and email reseller since 2015, has found success with that last approach. They offer an impressive AI-powered website builder and e-commerce platform that’s fit for both SMBs and design agencies. And in Bookmark’s case, AI is not buzzword. We spoke with their CEO and Founder, David Kosmayer, to learn more about their Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant, lovingly nicknamed, “AiDa,” reflect on the company’s major learning moments, and discover what’s next on their horizon.
What’s the AI-powered website-building experience like for your customers?
It’s an incredibly simple, no-code experience. You answer a few questions about what you want on your website. Then, our Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) builds it for you in less than two minutes. From there, you can further personalize your site using our drag-and-drop editor.
Just as cool, AiDA will over time send you recommendations about how to improve visitor interactions with your website. These are all based on data about how visitors engage with your site, and they can be implemented with a single click. In essence, with Bookmark, you can build a future-proof website in minutes.
Can you tell us more about your newly launched Design Agency Platform?
Bookmark’s design agency platform is the perfect solution for anyone who is interested in starting a design agency business. You can take the world’s most powerful website builder and make it yours with our white-label platform. Whether you’re a gig economy guru working from home, or an agency owner helping businesses scale, you can build exceptional websites for your customers in minutes with Bookmark — quite literally faster than you can brew a cup of coffee.
Our white-label plan allows you to showcase your brand on every element. You leverage the power of Bookmark without any of our branding and scale your service portfolio. In addition, you have access to our intuitive dashboard and manage all of your clients in one place. You can also bill clients the way you want: do it yourself or have us bill them for you. With flexible billing options and tiered discounts designed to help you grow your business, our design agency platform helps you focus on what truly matters – building incredible websites for your customers.
What about your business or journey as an entrepreneur are you most proud of?
I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished at Bookmark. We launched the world’s first auto-optimizing website builder. Over the years, our AiDA has been growing, learning, and developing its ability to optimize our customers’ websites. AiDA monitors and analyzes your website traffic and then uses that information to send you weekly suggestions to help you increase your Visitor Experience Score (VXS). It’s pretty incredible.
It now considers your business type, location, and what you’re trying to achieve with your website in order to think and work towards automatically changing and updating your site (with your approval, of course) to increase conversions. I am proud to introduce this revolutionary, cutting-edge tech. This is everything we stand for at Bookmark, and it is just another example of how we are leveling the playing field for all business owners who don’t have the time or know how to optimize their website.
Just like autonomous cars are reshaping the future of transportation, we are at the forefront of reshaping the world of web design and e-commerce.
What have been your biggest learnings along the way?
Resilience and growth.
The past two years showed us how important it is to be able to adapt quickly to changes in life that you can’t control. No matter what we do, life will always interrupt our daily routines and plans. For example, you can think that you have a perfectly laid out vision for your business, but then sudden economic changes in your industry can force you to rethink your entire strategy. We have seen this happen countless times throughout history, just as we see it happening now.
However, there is always a silver lining. Although we may face many changes in our lives, it’s important to remember the lessons and knowledge we learn from our experiences. When we adapt to whatever life throws at us, we grow. If you don’t face new challenges in life, you will never develop into the person you have the potential to be – and that goes for businesses too.
Also, it’s important not to get caught up in what others are doing around you. Instead of comparing yourself to your peers or competitors, compare yourself to the person you were this time last year. That way, you can clearly see how far you’ve come in only 365 days. This mindset helps drive the team at Bookmark to be the best we can be at what we do, and we can’t wait to show you what 2023 has in store.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never give up.
Being an entrepreneur in a startup is incredibly difficult. Every day, you’re faced with ten reasons to doubt what you’re doing, which will make you think about quitting.
Then, if you’re one of the entrepreneurs that actually succeeds, you get the people who say things like “they were lucky” or who attribute your success to other reasons, without mentioning your hard work and consistent refusal to quit. People rarely see the early stages of an entrepreneur’s early work as we are hiding to avoid additional criticism or comments that add to the list of ten doubts we already have each day.
It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that this doubt is an inevitable part of the process. You’re doing something brave and creative. It’s not easy, and it comes with a lot of uncertainty.
Any future plans you’d like to share, and how will OpenSRS play a part?
We’re continually improving our platform. Every day we focus on providing new solutions for our users to build and grow their online presence, from improving our AI and updating our website experience, all the way to adding new features for online stores. We have no plans to stop growing and working to be the best online solution we can be for our users. You can see evidence of this with the release of entirely new programs like Hire an Expert. We really feel that we’re on route to becoming one of the most popular web design solutions across all industries. Tucows OpenSRS will be weaved into our solutions as we continue to provide the available tools and integrations.