On March 24, Wix.com (NASDAQ:WIX), the website development and hosting platform, announced a new addition to its existing partnership with search expert Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL). The two have worked together over the years to help anyone build the internet presence they want, and this integration is just one more step in the process.
But the newest element of their partnership could be a big stepping stone for Wix.
Why is this integration such a big deal?
According to Statista.com, Google boasts a 92% market share among search engines. For businesses, this means that Google is not only the primary access point for most customers but also a determining factor in how potential customers perceive a business. With this integration fully embedded into the Wix dashboard, businesses will be able to keep their websites, Google Maps results, and Google Search profiles all completely up to date from a single destination.
Wix users will also have the ability to instantly update their hours of operation, post photos, respond to reviews, update their websites, and plenty more. While it might not seem like a big deal, Wix is home to more than 200 million users, many of whom are also physical businesses, and a good Google profile can be a major customer acquisition tool for them.
Over the last five years, Google searches with the term "near me" have surged, and according to Google's VP of Marketing for the Americas, searches containing "near me" also signal greater intent on a customer's behalf. Having proper location information will allow Wix users to capture more of those "near me" searches.
On the flip side, lacking up-to-date information can be a major deterrent for potential customers. According to Wix, having the proper information posted makes a customer 70% more likely to make an actual visit to a business destination.
Coming off a stellar 2020, Wix CEO Avishai Abrahami optimistically predicted that within five to seven years, 50% of all new websites on the internet would be powered by Wix. In order to meet that goal, the company is going to need to be head-and-shoulders above its competition with a comprehensive suite of tools -- and Google profile management is just one step in the right direction.
Enhancing Wix for restaurants
Wix has also been betting big on the restaurant industry lately. Less than a month ago, Wix acquired mobile-ordering platform SpeedETab. As Wix has seen its number of restaurant customers more than double over the last two years, it's becoming increasingly important to meet restaurants' needs at every turn.
Google trends data shows that searches for "food near me" are more popular than any other "near me" search query by a long shot, demonstrating the importance of a relevant Google profile for restaurants.
In addition, COVID-related regulations continue to affect the restaurant industry. As gradual reopenings play out, capacity constraints, indoor dining rules, and hours of operations fluctuate. Getting the proper information updated in a timely manner will be essential to attracting customers.
Restaurants' bread and butter (no pun intended) is in making food that customers love, not search engine optimization. This integration will allow Wix restaurants to manage their entire digital presence from one spot, freeing up more time for them to do what they do best.
While this one partnership alone might not have a huge impact on Wix's financials, it serves as another great addition to its platform. With 5.5 million premium subscribers and a proven track record of innovation, the future looks very bright for Wix shareholders.