Wix, a website creation platform that branched into ecommerce storefronts nine years ago, has partnered with shipping services provider Shippo to add a set of natively integrated tools its customers can use to simplify order delivery and take advantage of volume discounts with carriers.
Wix is making the move as it seeks to gain ground on larger competitors like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce, all of which launched as ecommerce platforms and have shipping solutions integrated through partnerships. Shopify is exiting its recently created logistics business, but millions of merchants on its platform will continue to benefit from the assets through new owner Flexport.
The service, called Wix Shipping, is powered by Shippo’s new Shipping Elements and first went live in November in Canada. It has now launched in the U.S. and the UK, with plans to expand shortly to Germany and eventually other countries. Wix had been partnering with the U.S. Postal Service, which is integrated into Shippo Elements; other carriers will be onboarded in the coming months.
Shelly Cohen, head of business development and ecommerce for Wix, said the company is taking a measured approach to expanding Wix Shipping. Wix has 800,000 merchants in 191 countries on its platform, with most of the focus in the SMB space.
“Even though we’re a global platform, we need to approach each location and geography individually,” Cohen said. “We will expand our offering one step at a time to make sure it’s the best fit for our users’ needs. We’re building a roadmap together with Shippo, one country at a time.”
Shippo Elements includes a carrier rate shopping engine, the ability to buy and print shipping and return labels, a returns workflow, order tracking and inventory management. It’s built into the Wix merchant dashboard where customer orders are generated.
Cohen said the company realized it needed to go beyond offering merchants a set of apps in the Wix marketplace to address their shipping needs. The Shippo app has been offered there since that company’s inception in 2016, when it was run by cofounders Laura Behrens Wu and Simon Kreuz plus four others.
“Wix Shipping is going to improve the merchant experience in terms of managing orders in their store,” she said. “Before, (shipping) was more manual and time-consuming. We need to allow our merchants to ship smart. This gives them an edge, saving time, reducing complexity and making the day-to-day job of managing their business easier.”
While Wix’s bread and butter is SME merchants, Cohen said the company is adding more in the upper end of that range as it builds out more functionality. In addition to basic ecommerce features, Wix offers a variety of marketing tools across channels, easy access to a number of marketplaces including eBay, Wish and Amazon, and an analytics dashboard.
“The feedback we’re getting is merchants like the ease of use, especially larger ones,” she said. “It resolves a lot of complex syncing for them in different places. They have access to discounts and carriers that were not there before.”