DIY website builder Weebly today announced a new version of its platform, Weebly 4, that expands the focus beyond websites and ecommerce and adds a marketing element: email.
Weebly 4 builds on the previous version, Carbon, by pairing the ecommerce engine with email marketing that creates campaigns on the fly based on customer actions. It also segments customers into groups automatically, to improve targeting.
“When we started Weebly, the challenge was building a website,” says David Rusenko, co-founder and CEO of Weebly, in the announcement. “Now with 40 million entrepreneurs and over 300 million monthly visitors to a Weebly site or store, we’re tackling the next hurdle of growing a site into a successful online business.”
Weebly 4 Features
As to improvements from the previous version, there are many. Here are the most notable:
The web design function now includes the use of video backgrounds, to add animation. There is increased flexibility in designing headers and in adding sections to a page.
Weebly 4 also offers a completely new feature: designer-built layouts.
According to Rusenko, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, with Carbon, the previous version, users had to drag-and-drop each element.
“Weebly 4 makes it easy to add layouts for people who don’t know what to do, who are getting online for the first time and not sure how site supposed to look,” Rusenko said. “All the content is on there. We pre-start you with fully custom-built sites that fit what you need, making it easier to get to the finish line.”
Weebly rebuilt the eCommerce storefront entirely from the ground up Rusenko said. An upgraded tax engine does the work for the customer. The platform also configures shipping rates in real-time across carriers. An abandoned cart recovery function reminds customers to complete their purchase. Gift cards and coupon codes are available as well.
Regarding shipping rates, Rusenko said, “In the previous version, you had a shipping engine and could set different rates, but it was time-consuming. You had to to make your best guess on rates. Now, the platform configures all that for the customer at checkout. It goes out to the shipping providers and calculates rates in real-time via an API.”
The new email marketing component fully integrates with the website and store. Emails are customizable. Users can insert their logo, images, posts and products quickly and easily. Also, the platform auto-creates ready to send emails, to drive conversion.
Full-funnel Analytics and Insights
The analytics component not only reports email open and click-through rates but also track sales transactions, enabling the business owner to how each campaign impacts his bottom line.
A comprehensive dashboard renders insights across the entire business that includes appointment scheduling, customer chat, accounting and email marketing. The mobile app enables business owners to run their site and promotions from anywhere.
The app store has more than 200 app and integrations, including an appointment calendar, live chat, accounting and more.
Search Engine Optimization
According to the announcement, Weebly 4 “demystifies” search engine optimization by providing expert advice via a PDF guide as well as a real-time SEO score card, with site-specific tips for improvement.
Rusenko said that Weebly’s goal with the new version was to provide the same functionality to small merchants that large retailers experience, to help grow their business.
“Right now the business of running a business is a real hassle, and our ultimate goal is to make it much easier for our customers, saving them time, helping them grow and be successful, and ultimately, helping them focus more on doing what they love,” he said.
View the full feature set visiting the Weebly 4 website.