Greg Goldfarb, VP Commerce Products at GoDaddy talks about the evolution of online commerce platforms and how they are integral to the overall functioning of digital businesses:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Greg, tell us about yourself and your role at GoDaddy…
I am Vice President of Commerce Products for GoDaddy. I lead GoDaddy’s connected commerce products across online stores, point of sale devices and apps, marketplaces and social selling digital goods, and service bookings. I joined GoDaddy six years ago to reinvent our Commerce products and services for our SMB customers and we’ve seen strong growth in this arena.
Can you share with us your five thoughts on the future of B2B tech/martech?
B2B tech and martech solutions are continuing to evolve and innovate:
- Every day, consumers are increasingly looking for fast, digitally-enabled experiences that are connected across channels. The lines between online and in-person have converged, consumers assume that online activity can continue to an in-person store, when the business has one, through offerings like buy online, pick up in-store.
- Digital wallets will continue to grow, as customers increasingly prefer to pay using contactless and tap-to-pay methods like Apple Pay vs. handling credit cards.
- As part of consumers gravitating toward convenience and their mobile devices, we’re seeing every digital surface being enabled for quick purchases with things like simple pay buttons and QR codes, not just an online store section of a website. Transactions are moving to the first place where consumers find a business.
- During the course of the pandemic, consumers became a lot more familiar with booking appointments online for all sorts of businesses. As we settle into the new normal, more and more small businesses are figuring out how to leverage online booking to boost their business and operate more efficiently – in many cases, they are combining booking services with selling products.
- With the talent shortages felt across all businesses, technology, such as AI, is increasingly being used to fill staffing gaps. Screens taking the place of cashier, or mobile and online ordering have become more acceptable for businesses.
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How are you seeing online businesses today change the way they handle their digital presence starting from their websites?
In the last two years we have seen some major shifts in how consumers interact online—for example, a Google exec recently shared that from their studies, “almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.” Many businesses are incorporating more video-centric and interactive consumer experiences to meet this growing preference, as well as designing for mostly mobile consumers. This includes a variety of quick and easy payment methods like Apple Pay vs. traditional credit/debit card transactions, that allow customers to purchase from mobile devices with a single click.
How has GoDaddy evolved in this regard, to meet new industry needs? We’d love to hear about some of your latest enhancements/integrations?
We are seeing a growing demand for hybrid operations, where businesses interact with their customers both online and in person. However, this hybrid business model brings about some challenges that GoDaddy has solved for:
To empower small businesses with smarter and more connected tools for selling both online and in-person, GoDaddy launched its Smart Terminal Point of Sale (POS). The Smart Terminal is integrated with GoDaddy’s Online Store and WooCommerce, which organizes in-person and online sales in one convenient place and offers enhanced customer shopping experiences like buy online, pick up in-store. But some small businesses might not need a full POS system—so we also launched a new way for those entrepreneurs to sell in-person via a mobile card reader and our free GoDaddy Mobile App. We wanted to offer a variety of tools to ensure every type of small business is provided a seamless way to take payments in whatever way suits their brand’s needs best.
Online Direct-to-Consumer businesses have become more popular in general over the last few years and most started as small businesses. Most of these online small businesses have been able to expand to sell across multiple states; however, ecommerce sellers need to keep up with transaction thresholds for each state and keep track of when they might owe sales tax—which can be incredibly time-consuming. So GoDaddy created its Websites + Marketing Commerce Plus plan with an integration with Avalara AvaTax to automatically calculate the appropriate sales tax amount needed to follow both state and product-specific tax compliance rules. This saves business owners from having to manually calculate and keep track of fluctuating sales tax rates, and it is the first of its kind to factor sales from marketplaces like Amazon into determining whether sales taxes need to be collected in a given state.
When it comes to maintaining compliance for marketers/sellers working across multiple channels to boost revenue, what type of processes should teams put in place?
As businesses increasingly sell across multiple channels, finding and leaning on the tools that help track and manage sales and inventory across all the platforms (including brick-and-mortar and online) is going to save entrepreneurs a lot of time and headache.
It’s particularly important for marketplace sellers to keep their inventory in sync across channels so that they don’t accidentally violate terms with the marketplaces by overselling a product. Bringing all orders together in one place and enables efficient fulfillment and helps sellers more easily stay in compliance with customer delivery timing requirements. But this becomes especially important when it comes to maintaining compliance and not being over or undercharged for sales taxes.
Having solutions that can automate some of the heavy lifting, like GoDaddy’s Commerce Plus website builder plan, can help business owners and entrepreneurs focus their time and efforts on their products and ultimately boost revenue.
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Given the industry trends that you feel will be more prominent in B2B through 2022, what top practices would you share for businesses looking to deepen their online image and presence?
Businesses need to remain flexible and meet customers’ demands, from offering more flexible payment options to making websites fully functional on mobile devices. Another important aspect in today’s digital era is engaging with customers on social media. Not only should small businesses offer social commerce, they should also create consistent digestible content for their business to help build an authentic connection with customers, increase visibility, and boost product demand. This can take a significant amount of time out of an already busy entrepreneur’s day, and these small business owners need to find tools that can help them more efficiently engage audiences on social platforms. The GoDaddy Studio app is designed to help entrepreneurs create beautiful visual content quickly and is consistently being enhanced with added features—the latest being the Link In Bio addition, which allows small business owners to easily create on-brand and organized mini-sites for all customer touchpoints, including their website and social channels.
Many businesses have adapted to the unprecedented pace of change by selling products and providing services wherever their customers are engaging and are seeing great results even in a challenging economy.
Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!
In 2021, there were 5.4 million applications to start companies in the US, a 53% jump from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to census data. GoDaddy provides the tools and support for small business owners at every step along their journey, starting with a website. GoDaddy believes that anyone, no matter their age, race, gender or socioeconomic background should have the opportunity to pursue their independent venture. I encourage you to make the first step and start that business/side hustle you’ve been dreaming of.
GoDaddy empowers entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools small businesses need to succeed online and in-person. It is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage everything in one place.
Greg Goldfarb is VP Commerce Products, GoDaddy.
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