“Mobile first” has been the marketing mantra of choice for professionals concerned with growing their business in today’s age of the smartphone and tablet. It used to be “online first” and perhaps before that it was something like “make sure you have a storefront and a listing in the phonebook.”
Now that 90 percent of the world population has access to a mobile phone, it is quickly becoming the primary way humans access their digital world. In some nations it is actually the only way to access the Internet. This being the case, there is a slight paradigm shift happening in the minds trained to anticipate this sort of disruptive adoption, and it’s being termed “mobile only.”
For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) this can equate to a major headache. For many people, building a basic company website is akin to performing brain surgery: difficult and terrifying. Optimizing that website so that the experience is the same on a mobile device? It’s not the kind of thing entrepreneurs are expected to know.
Thankfully, the demand for code-free online presence solutions is being met with a great number of service providers like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress, all of which offer built-in responsive design.
Wix.com has taken things a step further, acquiring mobile commerce native app builder Appixia in order to allow for the holy grail of business marketing: mCommerce.
Appixia allows users to build native mCommerce applications on iOS and Android in the same way that Wix allows for someone who doesn’t speak HTML or CSS to build a site. With Appixia SMEs can allow for customers to purchase product with their smartphones or tablets, but it doesn’t end there. Value added services like barcode scanning (for coupons etc), location based marketing capabilities and credit card scanning are all available to the business that wants to stay up to date with the evolving mobile infrastructure.
“Appixia is the perfect addition to the Wix platform. It truly embraces our mission of bringing the most function-rich and innovative technological solutions to users, regardless of their technical ability or budget,” comments Avishai Avrahami, CEO, co-founder and chairman of Wix. “Native mobile apps are a huge part of managing and promoting a business online. Expanding the range of mobile solutions we provide our customers with is a strategic focus for Wix, and by integrating Appixia’s technology we can more quickly boost and further diversify our mobile offering.”
“We were in the midst of our first funding round when the Wix opportunity came up, and we immediately saw the natural fit,” says Yigael Berger, Appixia’s CEO and co-founder. “Wix is a household name, and the idea that the technology we built can serve over 42 million users is thrilling. It’s a huge opportunity that will let us fast-track our dream and expand our offering in new and exciting directions. We’re proud graduates of the Microsoft Ventures Israel Accelerator program, and the first participating startup to get acquired. We couldn’t be more grateful for this program’s contribution to our success.”
During last year’s Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, the kind of marketing opportunities that come with this kind of mobile capability in the SME space was discussed in length. Location based marketing in particular is at the cutting edge of point-of-sale mobile commerce.
On the fully digital side of things, mCommerce is going to be exploding onto the scene in a few weeks when Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone launches, supported by PayPal and allowing users to make online purchases with the new device’s fingerprint scanner.
Wix’s acquisition is in step with both of these signals of a mobile commerce focused future, and SMEs are the ones who will reap the benefits.