Domain Hosting Giant Bolsters Business Services with Mobile Website Builder and Mobile Commerce Option • TechCrunch
come on daddy has for some time grown its domain registration and hosting business into enterprise services to create new revenue streams to compete with Google and Amazon by serving the small and medium business sector, and today this strategy has taken a mobile turn, with the launch of a new mobile component to its Website Builder service. Go Daddy customers can now optimize websites for the mobile web or create new ones, and they can also now add mobile commerce services as part of this process.
Jason Rosenthal, chief operating officer at investor Silver Lake Partners, who is now also Go Daddy’s president of products and technology, told TechCrunch the new product is part of a longer-term strategy to integrate many more mobile services in Go Daddy’s business.
“The way we think about it is, where is the market today and where is it going?” he asks. “We’re hearing loud and clear that mobile is becoming a huge channel for our small and medium business customers, so we want to be there.” It could also lead the company to some acquisitions in the future: Go Daddy earlier this year acquired pure and simplea cloud-based financial management company, and at the time the company indicated that it was looking to grow its services business with more strategic acquisitions.
For now, the addition of the mobile component to its website builder is also a sign of how strong mobile has already become for Go Daddy and the businesses it hosts.
Rosenthal says traffic from mobile devices to these sites has increased by more than 350% over the past two years. For GoDaddy.com itself, which receives 30 million visitors per month, he says that about 11% of his traffic comes from mobile devices, and he adds that this is a typical proportion of traffic for the millions of other sites hosted by Go Daddy. This traffic is also a response to why Go Daddy chose to tackle mobile web before apps, even though research seems to show that apps generally get more traffic these days.
The other big opportunity, however, is that currently only 93% of websites don’t have mobile-optimized sites, which means that when people visit them, they don’t get the best experience on their phones or tablets, with possibly too small buttons, or impossible navigation on the small screen. An example of what this could mean in practice and the tools Go Daddy offers as part of its basic service to improve the experience:
Most small businesses that turn to Go Daddy for registrar, hosting, and other services won’t necessarily be tech-focused or interested in learning to code, so Go Daddy tries to make the process as easy as possible. , especially at the lower level of service. “What we’ve seen for our small business customers is that what’s most effective for us is making things simpler for them,” says Rosenthal. “If you’re a landscaping company, you’re wondering how can I provide the best landscaping, not the best website.”
Go Daddy doesn’t build its mobile web optimization service from scratch. Rosenthal says he associates himself with DudaMobile to provide optimization. It is a service that DudaMobile also provides Google for its GoMo initiative to engage more enterprises, and it also indicates where the opportunities and competition lie for these large cloud-based enterprises.
On the other hand, the mobile shopping component is something that Go Daddy has built itself as an extension of the Quick Shopping Cart service that it already offers to its customers. This is still a relatively small business for the company. Although Go Daddy hosts millions of websites and is the registrar for many more, it currently only has around 56,000 accounts on its Quick Shopping Cart books – although even that small number already generates $1 billion. transactions per year.
Pricing. Go Daddy isn’t shy about pricing these mobile services at the moment, and they’re widely marketed, it seems, as a way to generate more business for their Website Builder tool as a whole. The website builder comes in three tiers of $5.69, $8.54, and $12.74, and the basic mobile builder, for site optimization, is free with all of them. The premium service, where site owners can create more personalized sites for users and track email, calendar, online storage, and account management, is free with just the top two tiers.
Similarly, the mobile shopping cart comes in tiers of $9.99, $29.99, and $49.99 and a basic mobile commerce service is free with all of that, but a more personalized product (per example to charge different prices for different items or provide more accounting-end services) is only free at the top two levels.
I asked Rosenthal if Go Daddy’s move to more services like these is a sign of how the company might see a slowdown in its core domain registration and hosting business – a business who suffered a huge public relations blow in September when the company experienced a mass failuretaking down thousands of sites and raising questions about security and piracy (allegations which were later refused by Go Daddy). Quite the contrary, he replied. This business has never been busier.
The fact is, however, that as the tech world continues to mature, people are coming to expect more from their experience, and with companies like Google and Amazon giving it to them too, Go Daddy, which has already a relationship with the sites, escalates to make sure others don’t eat his lunch.