How Wix is Developing Its Product

Wix is known as the platform for rapid creation and deployment of professional websites. But it wants to be known as more than that. I stopped by the Wix booth at Inbound 2019 last week to chat with Ido Mart, Wix’s GM of agency and channel partnerships, and Omer Malchin, EVP of marketing. What were they hearing from B2B marketers in the corridors and on the floors of the conference?

Smarter customer journeys

“I heard something interesting,” said Mart. “The philosophy of Inbound — and it’s a good philosophy — is having good content which is findable, but also having that content lead to something. However, the tools that people had to create those journeys were not sophisticated. Show them the content, show them the form, then let me email them; that’s how it was for five years, right? I think the main need is to create smarter journeys as you segment your audience and figure out the milestones in their journeys — and there might be multiple journeys. Creating those journeys is a big thing now, first of all finding the mind-set to do it, and then also the technology that allows you to track things, and to iterate fast. We want to facilitate those fast iterations.”

How fast do the iterations have to be? “If you can’t do it yourself, and somebody else needs to do it, it won’t happen. There’s so much friction there, and that hurts business.” To use a familiar expression, Wix eats its own dog food. Malchin explained: “We are iterating on our own channels, and we are trying to make sure that if we see something that works or doesn’t work, we’re doing it on Wix first. We bump into things which don’t work for our own business; we fix them for ourselves, and usually a sub-set of those issues are the same [for our customers]. So we can predict some of those issues, and fix them as part of our product.”

Supporting this, said Mart, is Wix Answers. This was developed as support technology for the Wix business. “A thousand people were using this,” Mart continued, “and we’re iterating and innovating. Other people need this too. We’re actually now offering it as a standalone tool.”

More than just simple websites

It’s a good example of something one might not expect from Wix, which was created in 2006 as a way for users to build a website, with no coding skills, and for free. The basic Wix product remains free, but there are now many additional premium services.

“Five, six, seven years ago,” said Mart, “people thought of Wix as providing a simple site, if that’s all you needed. If you needed something more comprehensive, you built it somewhere else,” and probably with a team of developers. “As we’re adding more components to our product offering that allow you to build more comprehensive experiences, things that are integrated with marketing services like HubSpot, people are now more likely to use Wix to create what they see as their proprietary site — even though it’s hosted on Wix and secured by Wix.” It’s also now possible to let coders loose on Wix sites, to further customize them using Java Script.

Does this mean Wix has expanded to more complex use cases? “We spent a lot of time and effort convincing humanity how easy it is to build a website. Now that our product is so evolved, we’re learning from our user basis that it’s being used in different ways. For example, a marketer may be using Wix to create a landing page — classic use case. But they’re doing lead capture, so they need a form. Then the lead needs to go somewhere — the CRM. But the CRM needs to do something, and if that’s at scale, maybe it needs to be automated. So you can see that one thing, the landing page, leads to other needs. This is how we develop our product.”

The philosophy, he said, has expanded from building simple things effectively, to building all things effectively. Said Mart, “From a B2B perspective, what if I need to change something? It could take eight hours of development, but with Wix you just go online and do it yourself. It’s so powerful for a company to test things fast, to create and diversify, to create multiple instances of landing pages. All of that is made so easy. Press the publish button and it’s all live. It’s magic.”

Wix is known as the platform for rapid creation and deployment of professional websites. But it wants to be known as more than that.  

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