Small businesses need more than just well thought out websites to build a stronger online brand presence; Yaniv Vakrat, Chief Business Officer at Wix shares a few thoughts on what small businesses should be doing more of to enhance their online image in a digital market.
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Yaniv, tell us more about your role at Wix?
Wix is a global SaaS platform to create, manage and grow an online presence founded on the belief that the Internet should be accessible to everyone to develop, create and contribute. As Chief Business Officer, my focus is on growing Wix’s impact as a professional platform for larger customers, channel partners and agencies.
Vistaprint and Wix recently announced their partnership, we’d like the key highlights and how this especially benefits end-users?
With the motivation to become the world’s largest design and marketing agency for small businesses, Vistaprint needs the best-in-class technology platform and selected Wix to power the creation and management of digital presence for its customers.
Wix will be the technology layer for millions of Vistaprint small business customers. This means a small business will be able to create the best design, customized merchandise and marketing materials for their business using 99designs by Vistaprint and then utilize Wix’s technology solutions for everything a business needs to build and grow including online design and development, transactional and payment capabilities, marketing and SEO tools and more in one seamless experience.
This partnership will benefit and improve the customer’s experience when building a business, brand and marketing strategy in several ways:
- Being Complete & Consistent: Customers will be able to build a complete digital presence with capabilities to manage, market and grow a business. Furthermore, using Wix through Vistaprint will allow small businesses to bring consistency to its brand and marketing strategy both online and offline.
- More Efficiency: Vistaprint customers will now be able to use Wix’s SaaS platform of creation products and business solutions developed to enable any type of user and any type of business around the world to be successful online. Wix’s cloud-based platform enables businesses to create, manage and grow online without the need to deploy hosting, security or software updates.
- Increasing Professional Efficacy: Customers of Vistaprint will have the option of creating a site themselves using any one of the Wix creation products — the Wix Editor, Wix ADI or Editor X. Vistaprint customers can also hire a designer through 99designs to build an online presence using Wix. Small businesses can then tap into Wix’s transactional capabilities across various verticals to professionally expand.
More than 17 million Vistaprint customers will be introduced to Wix to create and manage their online presence while continuing to utilize the Vistaprint platform for design and marketing solutions. Existing sites built using Vistaprint’s solutions will migrate to Wix, and this partnership is expected to deliver hundreds of thousands of new subscriptions to Wix. This is a significant step in Wix achieving its long term goal of becoming the leading platform for building an online presence.
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Why would you suggest smaller businesses focus more on creating and building a stronger online presence today?
Having an online presence is paramount for any business to succeed in today’s digital age. The recent pandemic has emphasized, beyond doubt, that if you cannot do your business online, you cannot do business at all. A business’ online presence helps build relationships between a business and its customers, both existing and potential.
Through an online presence, small businesses can build unique and stand out brands to create their own identity. It’s no longer enough for a business website to provide basic and essential information such as location and contact information. In order to succeed in today’s economic climate, businesses need to uplevel to a fully integrated online presence. This includes integrating e-commerce and payment transactions tools, booking, digital marketing, marketing communications and social media initiatives into a synchronized and holistic strategy. By integrating these components, businesses are able to build a foundation on which to grow and succeed.
An online presence is more than just a website; it’s an experience for a business’ customers. An online presence impacts the way people make their purchasing decisions and can directly impact the success of that business.
For small businesses, what are some specific tips and best practices you’d share to help scale and drive business ROI?
Small businesses and entrepreneurs can be overwhelmed with where to start when building and scaling their online presence. To drive business ROI, I recommend:
- Have a captivating and user-friendly website. Building a digital presence and making a website mobile-friendly to optimize viewership is the backbone.
- Master SEO to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website from search engines.
- Create a professional marketing design and strategy to connect with customers online and offline.
- Invest in data analytics to help make informed business decisions.
- Leverage e-commerce and payment tools to allow businesses to sell their products online and can help businesses grow and expand to new markets.
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What opportunities do you seek to ensure Wix customers continue their business growth and can scale?
We are continually looking for new opportunities through partnerships and integrations that will provide our customers with ongoing support, tools and capabilities that will empower them to create, grow and scale their businesses.
The recent partnership is a prime example. Vistaprint brings to Wix a funnel of tens of thousands of small business customers looking to build their business online and bring consistency to offline. We selected to partner with Vistaprint to empower these customers to build and manage their business online and they can leverage Wix eCommerce platform to grow any type of business — such as a retail store, fitness studio, restaurant or event, among many more — and manage key online workflows such as online marketing and communications using Ascend by Wix and payments using Wix Payments.
In addition, we are always monitoring the market to understand what new technologies we can bring to our platform and provide to our customers. For example, payment tools have been a big focus for us recently. We want to make sure we provide our customers with the most flexible and efficient payment solutions so they can continue to scale their business which is why we launched Wix Point-of-Sale solutions this summer. Now Wix business owners can accept secure payments of goods and services in store, online and on the go, allowing them to easily manage all sales, inventory and data directly from the Wix platform.
Another example would be our continued investment in mobile because everyone is using their phones for everything these days. We want our customers to be able to interact with their businesses on their smartphones. This was the driving force behind Spaces by Wix, a native mobile app for customers to engage and transact with businesses built on Wix as well as Branded App by Wix, a native mobile app builder which provides users with the ability to create and customize their own tailor-made app without a single line of code. These are just two recent mobile innovations.
Our work is never done. We are continually seeking opportunities to provide our customers with new technologies for a seamless and holistic brand experience.
Some last thoughts and marketing / martech / business growth takeaways before we wrap up?
Due to the pandemic, today’s business environment is constantly evolving and it’s more paramount than ever for businesses to have their online and offline presence in sync because who knows what’s going to happen next. We want our customers to be set up for success no matter what. The one key takeaway I’d like to highlight is that anyone can create, develop and contribute to society through the Internet. By creating an online presence and managing a brand, businesses and entrepreneurs can layer on different technologies to create a full experience that’s functional, profitable and enjoyable.
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Wix.com is a comprehensive platform that gives brands creative freedom online.
Yaniv Vakrat is currently responsible for several “Companies” at Wix including Channels, Partners, direct sales and business development organizations, and is part of the company’s executive leadership team. Prior to transitioning into this role, Yaniv was a Founder and CEO of several startup companies. Yaniv led PrimeSense’s business teams (sold to Apple) and was an executive at Adobe Systems for many years. Earlier in his career, he also worked at McKinsey & Company (Palo Alto Office).Yaniv has a B.Sc in Computer Science from the Technion and a Ph.D in Economics of Information Systems from University of Rochester.
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