Website builder Mono Solutions announced a deal today with eCommerce SaaS player Ecwid to offer its solutions to Mono’s more that 80 reseller partners. Mono’s partners can offer Ecwid as part of an integrated website offer, or as a stand-alone eCommerce solution.
“E-commerce continues to show strong growth and COVID-19 has amplified this development and significantly increased the adoption of e-commerce by small businesses. We’re thrilled to partner with a leading vendor like Ecwid to extend our existing offer with more advanced capabilities to our partners and their SMB clients, especially their omnichannel functionality that allows for social selling and access to marketplaces,” Kim Mortensen, Chief Commercial Officer at Mono Solutions, told Localogy.
The combination of eCommerce and websites is becoming a standard feature of website platforms. Mono had a basic homegrown eCommerce solution in place before this partnership announcement. The company describes its existing eCommerce tools this way. “Mono E-commerce is a simple online shop for small businesses to test the waters with selling online.
Spiking SMB Demand for eCommerce
Localogy’s Modern Commerce Monitor™ data shows that 44% of small businesses have invested in expanding their digital presence and eCommerce capabilities in response to the pandemic. The following chart from Wave V-III of the tracking study shows where SMBs are investing. This demonstrates the importance of having an eCommerce solution if you are selling digital presence to small businesses.
The Ecwid deal provides Mono partners with a more robust eCommerce option. Back in March, Mono offered a free five-month subscription to Mono E-Commerce as a way of helping its end customers get up and running quickly with online sales.
“With Ecwid E-commerce now available in the Mono Platform, it makes it easy for our partners and their SMB clients to manage two of their most important digital channels, their website and online store, in one common interface — saving them precious time in managing their online presence,” Mortensen said. “This is incredibly important given the context that 44% of SMBs are looking to expand their website & e-commerce capabilities.”
Rising Table Stakes
San Diego-based Ecwid (short for eCommerce Widget) specializes in building easy-to-use online stores for SMBs. Eschewing salespeople, the company instead acquires customers through white label partners like Mono and through outbound marketing. Today we spoke with Scott Varner, the company’s VP of Business Development, to learn more about Ecwid. Ecwid follows a SaaS model. It offers product tiers from freemium (with gated features to drive upsell) through to an unlimited tier at $82.50 per month.
Unlike its larger rival Shopify, the company differentiates itself by focusing exclusively on eCommerce and ensuring that it keeps pace with an ever-changing definition of “table stakes”. It has not followed Shopify’s path, for example, to become a full-stack solution for SMBs.
“We are heads down on the eCommerce piece,” Scott told us.
So what constitutes table stakes in this environment? First, Scott told us, is offering SMBs the ability to sell on social media platforms and marketplaces in addition to their own website. Another is integration with point of sale systems like Vend, Clover, and Square.
Localogy Audio: Scott Varner on Table Stakes
Racing to Meet Demand
As you might expect, the past three months have been busy for Ecwid.
“There was an incredible surge in demand from both merchants and partners,” Scott told us. Merchants, of course, needed to quickly adapt to a contactless environment. And many partners moved eCommerce several legs up the priority ladder overnight once the crisis hit.
Scott sees no evidence that merchants are letting up on online sales or contactless delivery where lockdowns have eased. In fact, he believes many of the emergency features implemented by merchants will become permanent features simply because consumers prefer them.
“We are seeing sustained interested and demand for those features,” Scott said. “Consumers are used to these options.”
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