I loved seeing this yesterday. Wix.com may spend about $4.5 million on a 30 second SuperBowl Ad to attract more people to their free website builder. Lots of photographers, masseuses, web marketers, and dog groomers will log-in and build their free site for their business. Some will most likely spend money on upgrades to really make their site professional. Many others will abandon their existing site and build a new one.
Why would Wix.com be willing to spend so much?
Because they know that it will attract mass quantities of new people to build a personal website along with many new small business Merchants looking to get online. And that investment will pay for itself when combined with the lift they will get for their brand.
But they also know what we at DevHub know. That the current Merchant websites out there are very very broken and ineffective in acquiring new customers for those Merchants.
Our partners over at BuzzBoard constantly do audits with their brilliant technology that reveals exactly how broken the Merchant Presence landscape really is. I was at a conference in London where one presenter shared some stats:
2016 - 200M Merchants in 50 countries. Global GDP $25T. 45% of Merchants with a “website”.
Only 32% (30M) with a fully functioning web presence.
Somehow they extrapolated this out to be more than a $10B global opportunity to Upgrade, Build, and Deploy a fully functional Web/Mobile presence to existing local businesses.
The BuzzBoard audit revealed that most small business sites fail in these areas:
- Don't have at least basic eComm functionality
- No relevant Rank on the search engines
- Core business data is not corrected and syndicated across the digital ecosystem
- Are not responsive designed to render elegantly on all devices
- Very slow load times
- Not Optimized to engage customers on social
- Are not optimized for conversions specific to the business category
There are lot's of SMB marketers out there that are still using the old tech CMS platforms to build Merchant sites by the 1000's every month. These old platforms fail to have any conversion intelligence or consumer shopping behavior traits embedded in them, and are still churning out a sub-optimal site and presence solution.
......and those same SMB Marketers and large SMB aggregators are stuck! It's really hard to re-platform. So, those marketers continue to throw money at their existing vendor platforms for customizations and tweaks and/or lots more money to SEO the sites and syndicate business data.
New proprietary technology from DevHub now gives those companies the ability to automatically migrate their existing merchant sites off those old platforms and onto DevHub's next-gen platform that's pre-loaded with Big data around merchant conversions and consumer behavior, embedded directly into the tech. Once moved over, these sites are placed into vertical specific guides that boost conversions and leads to the Merchant. All new sites are built using proven high conversion guides specific to the Merchants' vertical. It fixes the aforementioned gaps to deliver a fully functional Presence. And with a push of a button, the Merchant's business information/ location/ URL/ phone number etc is pushed out to the digital ecosystem to be corrected and loaded where it's missing.
So .....there's definitely a massive problem to solve. Wix.com's $4.5M investment will appeal to many of those Merchants that know their digital presence is virtually nonexistent . The freeware probably won't get the Merchants what they need.
But Directories, Publishers, Newspaper, Agencies and Franchises that sell Digital Presence solutions, and have 10's of 1000's of Merchant sites on old web builder platforms can now grab their piece of the $10B+ re-platforming opportunity via DevHub.
Ed O'Keefe is a leader in the Local Marketing space and CEO of DevHub, an EVO Media Group company. For comments: firstname.lastname@example.org