Wix’s Sergei Sorin on building a monetization infrastructure that scales
Your infrastructure should never be a blocker to your company’s growth. In this episode, Sergei Sorin shares what has enabled the growth of Wix in the past 2 years and how the team can run dozens of A/B tests on pricing per year.
You want to grow, but your infrastructure is holding you back.
Today’s guest has experienced just that - and took it head first. Sergei Sorin is leading product monetization and growth efforts at Wix, a software company that provides cloud-based web development services to a global audience.
At the time, Sergei was in charge of the public pricing page of Wix. Even though the pricing was rather straightforward, he had to maintain 3 excel sheets to keep track of the different offerings at Wix. “It was not convenient, to say the least”, Sergei remembers.
Besides convenience, the biggest pain for Wix was that they couldn’t make changes to their offering. The infrastructure back then and the different entities that lived in multiple departments made it impossible to repackage anything. “We couldn’t scale. We had no flexibility to change entitlements between plans, update quantities, or package new entitlements into new products.” Building a monetization platform became a company-wide priority.
“We couldn’t scale. We had no flexibility to change entitlements between plans, update quantities, or package new entitlements into new products.”
“We realized we needed a single platform to manage all the entitlements that we have in Wix. I’ve envisioned it as a one-stop shop for everything monetization related - our orchestration platform. There should be no need to go to any other system or involve developers.”, says Sergei.
“We realized we needed a single platform to manage all the entitlements that we have in Wix."
This platform had to:
- Serve as the single source of truth for Wix’s pricing plans
- Support speed in going-to-market with new functionalities
- Be as developer-free as possible
“I knew exactly what I wanted. I’ve experienced the pain for years.” Sergei remembers. Together with his team, he started building Wix’ monetization platform, first as a design partner and later as the main product manager.
Today, the platform allows the team to
- Manage features & quantities (= entitlements)
- Configure notifications for users on specific events, such as a purchase or a renewal
- Configure different offers per country
- Configure sales promotions & discounts
- Manage translations for features
For the initial MVP, built by 3 developers, the team focused on creating the entitlement infrastructure to manage features and quantities. “It was surprisingly quick. I’d say it took us about 4 months.” Sergei recalls.
Building and rolling out the platform Wix has today, with all its capabilities, eventually became a company-wide project that took the team 3 years to build, on and off. “One of the benefits of working in a big company is that you can find different services that people in Wix have built and repurpose them for your platform. My main work was to find them and then do the integrations and adjustments. That’s a good time to say ‘Thank You’ to everybody who got involved.” Sergei says. “Without this infrastructure, it would be next to impossible to support the expansion we’ve had in Wix in the past 2 years.”
“Without this infrastructure, it would be next to impossible to support the expansion we’ve had in Wix in the past 2 years.”
Wix now has maximum flexibility to launch new products or functionalities, adapt their offering to current market needs, and optimize their monetization efforts, with minimal engineering efforts. “As monetization manager, I was running about 30-40 A/B tests in a year, most of them on our pricing. That’s exactly the point: Pricing changes don’t have to be scary. It’s really just a mindset if you have (1) properly planned it and (b) the infrastructure that allows you to roll it out well. We do it all the time.”
If you enjoyed this discussion, check out more episodes from this mini-series “Pricing Engineered”. We’ve talked to industry experts from companies like Snyk, Reclaim.ai, or Pleo about their learnings from building a monetization infrastructure. And if you need flexible pricing & packaging, but don’t have resources for a years-long project, check out Stigg - it's free.