When Osama Bedier announced in December that his payments company, Poynt, had agreed to be acquired by GoDaddy, he declared: “In GoDaddy, we found a company that shares our passion and vision for the future of small business commerce.”
“We believe that small businesses have been losing share to very large businesses for decades now,” Bedier said of the union of Poynt and GoDaddy. “We both had a vision to enable the small guy.”
In fact, GoDaddy sees ecommerce as a major part of its growth going forward, a strategy reflected in moves like the acquisitions of Poynt and SellBrite, a firm that specialized in enabling merchants to sell across multiple platforms.
That is central to GoDaddy’s pitch for online sellers. Rather than setting up its own marketplace (something Bedier says is “not a priority”), GoDaddy aims to equip small sellers to meet potential customers virtually anywhere on the Web, and is looking to expand its payment offering physical stores, as well.
“Consumers really want to be able to buy anywhere,” Bedier said.
“More than ever [customers] expect to be able to find, buy and fulfill products and services across different media in a way we’ve never seen before,” he said. “The tools really haven’t matched those expectations.”
So GoDaddy offers sellers a hosted online store that syncs inventory and plugs into the major US marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc.), but is also enabling commerce across social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. GoDaddy envisions a rolling expansion of the channels where it facilitates commerce, including messaging apps and emerging platforms like TikTok.
“We want to allow them or help them to sell on all these channels, not just on the ones that have been around,” Bedier said. “Now you have Facebook and Google becoming formidable marketplaces. TikTok I believe is going to become that way.”
But that diffusion has created headaches for sellers. Too many processes, from inventory management to payments, have relied too much on manual effort, Bedier said, summarizing GoDaddy’s offering for small sellers as “a single set of tools that allow you to sell seamlessly everywhere.” That means that sales and inventory sync across every channel where the merchant is set up to sell.
GoDaddy might not yet be a household name in ecommerce, but in addition to its acquisitions in the space, it has forged partnerships with WordPress and WooCommerce to build out its platform for sellers.
True to its roots, GoDaddy offers an array of site designs that sellers can use to build their store. Setup is free, and once the store is ready to open for business, sellers can upgrade to GoDaddy’s ecommerce plan for $24.99 a month.
Ecommerce customers have access to more than 75 plugins from WooCommerce to soup up their stores, and GoDaddy offers tools to help with marketing and SEO, setting up a business listing with Google, and syncing to a seller’s social channels.
The latest addition is GoDaddy Payments, launched in June and driven by the acquisition of Poynt.
GoDaddy plans to extend its payment-processing service to brick-and-mortar stores later this year, and expects soon to roll out a physical device to accept in-store payments.
As with the rest of GoDaddy’s ecommerce strategy, the company will be marketing those devices to smaller sellers, with plans to aggregate the customer and transaction information collected through its payments system and share that data with its sellers.
“You’d be shocked how many … platforms don’t do that,” Bedier said. “They look at the customer lists as their own.”
That’s very much in keeping with GoDaddy’s philosophical approach to working with sellers that Bedier described.
“At GoDaddy our commerce strategy is really an extension of GoDaddy’s vision to help small businesses be more successful and get a bigger share of the economy,” Bedier said.
“That’s how we measure our success,” he said, “how much we help the merchant build their own sales.”