The Website World Expands: Wix Extends Reach in Turkey

Expansion activity in the website world continues to pick up. The latest is Wix’s newly-formed channel partnership with Türk Telecom. The deal brings Wix’s website suite to Türk Telcom’s SMB marketing & services bundle. The company reaches 48 million subscribers in 81 cities in Turkey, 1.5 million of which are SMBs.

Wix’s offer in the bundle specifically includes domain and hosting packages. That consists of basic website creation with vertical-specific templates. Importantly, it also includes tools that naturally flow from website presence such as eCommerce, bookings, reservations, blogging and CRM functionality (more on that in a bit).

This could be well-timed for Turkey’s SMB market. In addition to the stats above, SMBs represent 70 percent of the Turkish workforce and contribute to over half of the value of the Turkish economy. The Wix partnership will be part of an existing effort to digitize Turkey and represents a growth opportunity for both companies.

“Until 2020, I was saying that ‘Wix is in business to GROW your business,’ Wix SVP of Business Development Dror Shaked told Localogy Insider. “Today I say ‘Wix is in business to SAVE your business.’ Wix is helping SMBs to go online with easy and amazing solutions. We are always looking for partners that share our vision. We found Türk Telcom an amazing partner with an innovative attitude.”

Meanwhile, Türk Telekom gets an expanded bundle to boost its appeal to SMBs. Websites can often be the tip of the spear to deeper relationships, given that it can be the first step to onboard SMBs to a digital presence. That could have implications for Turk Telekom’s retention and lifetime value metrics for its SMB subscribers.

Back to the point about overall expansion activity in the website builder space, this move follows several we’ve tracked. A common theme in our Website Builder series is that the maturing website market needs to seek new revenue sources in adjacent and complementary functions such as marketing and eCommerce.

For Wix in this case, the principle applies less to functional expansion and more to geographic expansion. Turkey is a growth market for the reasons above. Website hosting meanwhile is not only the “tip of the spear” for ongoing/adjacent services, but it can be a nice recurring revenue stream for its lock-in effect.

The other notable pattern this invokes is channel relationships with cable and telecom operators. Though it’s not a new concept for SMB-focused tech providers to work with traditional media as local sales channels, the latter’s efforts continue to be evident. Just yesterday we examined Charter’s move to hook in more SMBs.

We’ll keep our radar up for more such activity and report back the particulars and strategic implications. Meanwhile, this deal follows Wix’s acquisition of Websplanet and its telling Q1 earnings last week.  And more about the “tip of the spear” principle for website building/hosting can be seen in the roundtable below.

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