Website builder Wix wants to make it easy for people to grow their businesses.
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The company has unveiled a suite of products called Ascend to give them everything they need when they first start out, including tools for search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and social media as well as chatbots for customer support.
Although Wix is known for website building, the company wants to expand into helping companies manage and grow an online presence, according to Nitzan Achsaf, VP and General Manager of Customer Experience at Wix.
"It's not only about building a website, but actually helping to make it into a very effective business," Achsaf told PCMag.
The goal of Ascend is to "help [companies] be more successful in managing the communication and managing the leads, and understanding how to convert visitors to leads, from leads to customers, from customers to returning customers, as well as how to get more traffic and how to be successful online," Achsaf said.
Launched today, Ascend is part of Wix, a leading website building service that lets users build a site from scratch or pick from the 500 templates the company provides. You must be a Wix customer to use the customer relationship management (CRM) tools in Ascend.
Ascend comes in three packages: Ascend Basic costs $9 per month for one contributor and 50 lead-capture forms; Ascend Professional is $22 per month for five contributors and 150 lead-capture forms; and Ascend Unlimited is $45 per month for an unlimited number of contributors and lead-capture forms.
At the heart of the Ascend platform is an inbox to manage different channels, including email and chat. One tool is called the Visitor Draw, in which users can see who is visiting their website and then interact with them. Wix includes interactions with services like MailChimp and Google Analytics. Ascend also provides tools on helping companies implement effective SEO.
In an interview, Achsaf ran through a demo showing how a tennis school would use the tools, both from the company side and the customer perspective. Tennis school owners could use Ascend to manage leads on a mobile device in between on-court lessons.
Ascend will provide users with the ability to program automation to automatically send thank-you notes and other messages. The software incorporates automated triggers to set the action and timing. Other automated messages could include welcome notes and invitations to subscribe.
Ascend also lets users send out an invite or proposal. Achsaf demonstrated how a parent could use the platform to negotiate a party with a store owner. The software generates price quotes and provides a Wix Chat window at right to talk to a store rep. Customers and merchants can negotiate events like parties or corporate events over chat.
Easing Workflow for SMBs
The software also incorporates invoicing tools for businesses and a keyboard tool to generate coupons for customers. Ascend also includes workflows for booking customer events, paid invoices, received coupons, and received sales emails.
With Ascend, Wix is looking to help companies with website building that may have little previous experience in this area, according to Achsaf.
"Instead of you needing to be an expert when it comes to sales and marketing, you have CRM, marketing tools, and financial tools, all in one place that talk to you in an intuitive way," Achsaf said. "So basically Ascend suggests to you what to do. Instead of you needing to go through different channels, you can do it in one place."
Wix wants to help SMBs build websites when they may have trouble keeping up with their everyday tasks.
With Ascend, Wix wanted to help SMBs accomplish multiple things like master SEO, tackle email marketing, social media, and implement shopping coupons online. Users can customize social posts using the provided templates. Small businesses may not have the time or money to tackle these tasks, so Wix offers a suite of software to handle this, according to Achsaf.
As companies like Wix bundle their CRM tools with features like automation, it could make life easier for SMBs as they go about their everyday challenges.