Wix is already known for its intuitive, AI-powered website creation toolkit, making it easy for small business owners to establish an online presence without fussing with web servers, HTML and CSS. For those seeking to set up shop online, the company also offers similarly easy-to-implement ecommerce capabilities that make starting and managing a mobile-friendly storefront a snap, complete with order management and shipping rules and more.
That's all well and good, but what if you want to participate in a local fair or in a multi-vendor pop-up shopping event?
Suddenly, it's time to start thinking about investing in mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems and making sure they work with your current ecommerce system. Naturally, the added complexity typically means more time spent trapped in front of a laptop and fewer chances to build lucrative customer relationships.
To put those concerns to rest and help entrepreneurs seize both online and in-person opportunities to score a sale, Wix and Square, the mobile payments innovator, have teamed up on a technology integration on the Wix App. Together, they blur the line between online storefronts and physical retail, untangling a complex web of sales, inventory and payments management systems in the process.
"We're trying to simplify technology and processes that can be hard for small businesses," said Joe Pollaro, general manager of Wix in the U.S. and head of Investor Relations for the company, adding that it can be "difficult to navigate all the options" for busy entrepreneurs. Indeed, small merchants have a wealth of ecommerce and POS options to choose from, but piecing together a solution that works seamlessly, whether shoppers are pushing virtual shopping carts or cradling a basket full of groceries, can be a challenge.
Offline Customers Count, Too
By now, many small business owners have realized "you need to be able to sell online," Pollaro said. Sure, drumming up additional business often means exploring the world beyond one's neighborhood, but there's also plenty of life – and spending power – left on Main Street.
No amount of exhaustive product research and bargain hunting on the web beats chancing upon the perfect garment, innovative gadget or tasty treat while walking down the street. "A lot of our customers want to sell offline too," Pollaro said.
Last year's Small Business Saturday, held the day after Black Friday, shoppers in the U.S. spent $15.4 billion at independent retailers and eateries. The prior year they spent $16.2 billion.
For online retailers that want to connect with their communities and reap the benefits of a local and loyal customer base, it's time to think about in-person payments.
"Wix allows any seller to run an omnichannel business," said Pankaj Bengani, head of Partnerships at Square, in a statement. "By integrating with Square, businesses can track sales data and manage inventory both online and in-person in one place, making it easier to make smart decisions to grow their business."
Over the next few weeks, existing Wix customers will be able to add Square as a payment option after completing quick and secure sign-up process. And there are a lot of them, according to David Schwartz, vice president of ecommerce at Wix.
"Today, Wix manages more than 305,000 ecommerce subscriptions globally," he said in a statement "Now, by integrating the Wix App with the Square POS, users can accept payments in any location."
Square payments processing will also be available to new Wix storeowners, in addition to Wix's existing capabilities, including inventory management and customizable tax rules. Interested small business owners can sign up for access here.