Wix.com Ltd.

Q1 2023 Earnings Conference Call


spk05: Good day and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the WIC Q1 2023 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speaker's presentation, there will be a question and answer session. To ask a question during the session, you will need to press star 11 on your telephone. You will then hear an automated message advising that your hand is raised. To withdraw your question, please press star 11 again. Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded. I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Rona Davis, Head of PR and Communications. Please go ahead.
spk01: Thanks and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Wix's first quarter 2023 earnings call. Joining me today to discuss the results are Avishai Avrohami, CEO and co-founder, Nir Zor, our President and COO, and Lior Shemesh, our CFO. During this call, We may make forward-looking statements, and these statements are based on current expectations and assumptions. Please consider the risk factors included in our press release and most recent Form 20F that could cause our actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. We do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. In addition, we will comment on non-GAAP financial results and key operating metrics. You can find all reconciliations between our GAAP and non-GAAP results in the earnings material and in the interactive analyst center on the investor relations section of our website, investors.wix.com. With that, I'll turn the call over to Abhishek.
spk09: Thanks, Rona, and good morning, everyone. We have had a fantastic start to 2023, and I'm pleased to say that we exceeded our expectation across many areas of our business. The drivers of our results this quarter were broad-based across our business, both on the top line and on the profitability. Revenues in Q1 grew to $374 million above our guidance. We generated $44 million of free cash flow, excluding one-time charges, and are also ahead of our expectations. These great results are a testament to the strong execution of our strategy to provide the best platform of innovative product for our users while increasing operational efficiency and discipline. Much of the growth this quarter was also driven by our partners' business. This year, scaling our business with partners, including designers, freelancers, and enterprise partnerships, remain a key strategic focus. Partners' revenue growth accelerated this quarter, up 27% year-over-year. We recently announced some exciting products for partners, including Wix Headless, and have many more incredible product announcements and marketing plans for later this year. The outperformance of this first quarter is very encouraging, so we are raising our revenues and free cash flow outlook for the full year, as well as pulling forward many of our profitable targets for 2023. Our profitability at the firm boosts our confidence in achieving the rule of 40 in 2025. I will let Nir and Lior share more detail about this quarter, and then I will close with my thoughts on AI.
spk08: Nir? Thank you, Avishai, and thank you everyone for joining us today. I'll share a bit more details about our performance this quarter as it relates to our user cohorts, some color on our marketing investment in the quarter following the recently announced strategy shift, and an update on our focus on operational efficiency. Let's start with user cohort performance. Our Q123 new user cohort performed exceptionally well with 5.4 million new users collectively, generating more than $30 million in bookings in this first quarter, easily the highest same quarter booking in a non-COVID cohort, and on a base of a significantly smaller size cohort. This clearly indicates the inherent improvements in the fundamentals of our business, including subscription conversion, and average collections per subscription, as well as stable retention. Diving deeper into these fundamentals shows the returns from our focus on bringing higher intent self-created users and partners, which convert at higher rates. It is also the result of higher monetization driven by users choosing higher price subscription, strong adoption of business solutions applications, more transaction revenue as a result of higher GPV and increased stake rates, and continued contribution from our B2B partnerships. We expect these trends to continue in the coming quarters this year. Lastly, this performance is a testament to the strength and scale of our global brand as reflected in the success of our marketing strategy shift implemented last year. As a reminder, Based on tests we started last summer, we determined that we could keep new cohort bookings stable even if we reduced acquisition marketing spend by half. We continued this marketing strategy this quarter and decreased acquisition marketing spend by approximately 47% year over year, while still increasing new cohort bookings. After more than eight months of expanding and perfecting this new strategy, we are confident in the results and therefore expect investment in acquisition marketing to remain at reduced levels throughout the rest of the year and beyond. In addition to the strong fundamentals and the significant increase in marketing effectiveness, we also intensified our focus on driving operating efficiency across our business. We successfully implemented the cost savings outline last quarter, as well as realized additional hosting optimization opportunities and continued to decrease headcounts. We ended Q1 with 5,006 employees down 18% year over year for nearly 6,100 employees in Q1 2022. With that, I will now hand it over to Lior to walk through more details on our financials.
spk07: Thanks, Nir. This quarter was marked by fantastic profitability improvements that allowed us to achieve our 2023 profitability targets much earlier than anticipated. Even more importantly, these steps firmly put us on a path to achieving Rule of 40 in 2025 with significant expansion of our margins. In Q1, we grew gross margins by nearly 500 basis points, driven by hosting optimization and headcount efficiencies, among other cost savings. We further drove operating leverage by executing on our new marketing strategy, reducing headcount and implementing savings across our entire operating cost structure. Non-GAAP operating expenses as a percentage of revenue declined significantly from 77% in Q1 2022 to just under 54% in Q1 2023, resulting in the highest non-GAAP operating income in our history. These efforts draw free cash flow generation to finish higher than anticipated. Looking past this year, we expect to continue this quarter's momentum by advancing our commitment to operational efficiencies across all aspects of our organization, continued cost management, mostly across operating expenses, will enable us to drive further leverage and expand our cash flow margin significantly. In addition to our continued profitability improvements, I'm also very excited about the execution of our strategic initiatives. Particularly, our focus on the partners' business that will enable us to continue to deliver growth in the coming years. Now onto the details of the quarter. The fundamentals of our business remain strong this quarter, which led us to exceed the top end of our guidance range for revenue. Total revenue was $374 million this quarter, up 10% year-over-year. Total bookings were $415 million Q1, up 6% year-over-year. Remember that we signed our partnership with LegalZoom in Q1 2022, creating a difficult comparison this quarter. Removing this amount from bookings in Q1 of last year, our FX neutral year-over-year bookings growth was 13%, a better indication of our growth compared to the prior quarter. We saw an acceleration in transaction revenue growth this quarter, up 16%, year-over-year to 42.3 million. This growth was driven by higher GPV of 2.7 billion, up 6% year-over-year, as well as high overall tech rate as merchant adoption of Wix payments continue to increase. As Avishai mentioned, Partners is a major area of focus and growth for us this year. Partners revenue grew to 103.9 million, up 27% year-over-year. This is an acceleration in growth compared to the prior couple of quarters as more agencies and developers build projects on Wix, and we increase our monetization of professionals, particularly as they increasingly generate more GPV. This quarter, we also began to see some early but still very minimal revenue contribution from the B2B partnerships we signed over the past couple of years. More impressively, this quarter, We intensified our focus on driving operational efficiencies across the business. These actions allow us to achieve the profitability milestones planned for later in the year, much earlier in Q1. By implementing the cost-saving strategy introduced last quarter, as well as additional hosting optimization and headcount efficiencies, non-GAAP gross margin increased to 67% in Q1, making it the highest quarterly gross margin since 2020. Groting the creative subscription revenue along with cost discipline drove non-GAAP gross margin for creative subscriptions to above 80% in Q1, an increase of 450 basis points year-over-year. Both of these gross margin targets were originally anticipated for later in the year. Our continued implementation of our new marketing strategy that Nir spoke about earlier, along with additional savings across our operating cost structure this quarter, resulted in the highest quarterly non-GAAP operating income in our history of 48.5 million or 13% of revenue. As we mentioned last quarter, we detect a one-time charge of $25.3 million related to the headcount reduction we announced in February and impairment charges related to operating leases as we align our footprint with our current needs. As a result of higher growth and a focus On operational efficiency, we generated $44 million of free cash flow, or 12% of revenue. This excludes CapEx related to the build-out of our headquarters, as well as the cash portion of the one-time severance charges I just discussed, which was about $2.1 million in Q1. Free cash flow performed better than expected and gave us more confidence in our ability to achieve the Rule of 40 in 2025. Now let me finish with our outlook for Q2 and 2023. We expect total revenue in Q2 to be $380 million to $385 million, representing approximately 10% to 12% year-over-year growth. For the full year, we're increasing our outlook. We now expect total revenue to be approximately $1.52 billion to $1.54 billion, representing approximately 10% to 11% year-over-year growth. This is an increase from our prior expectation of $1.51 billion to $1.53 billion, or 9% to 11% growth. We are also updating our profitability expectations for the full year as we continue to drive efficiencies across our operating cost structure. We now expect non-GAAP growth margin to increase to 67% for the year, up from the 66% previously expected. Creative subscription non-GAAP gross margin is now expected to be 81% up from 80% previously expected. Non-GAAP operating expenses in 2023 are now expected to be down year over year to 58% to 59% of revenue compared to 59% to 60% of revenue as previously expected, driven by lower sales and marketing expenses and general incremental operational efficiencies. As a result, We are increasing our outlook for free cash flow for 2023 to $172 million to $180 million, or 11% to 12% of revenue, exiting the year with a free cash flow of more than 13%. This compares to our previous expectation of $152 million to $162 million, or 10% to 11% of revenue, and an exit margin of 12% to 13%. Note that our free cash flow outlook exclude our headquarters build-out costs as well as approximately 4.5 million of cash restructuring costs. Finally, stock-based compensation is expected to decrease to 14% to 14% to 15% of revenue in 2023, down from our previous expectation of 15% and down from 17% of revenue in 2022 as headcount across the organization declines more than originally anticipated. I'm very happy with our results this quarter and our revised outlook for the remainder of the year. And I'll turn it back to Abishai.
spk09: Thanks, Lior. I've been getting a lot of questions about AI lately, so I want to share my thoughts to close out our time today. My own background prior to Wix was in the development of advanced computing algorithms, including AI, which is why I find The recent AI breakthrough is so exciting. In fact, the data and AI groups here at Wix report directly to me. Over the past decade, we've been unlocking more and more opportunities based on AI breakthrough while also collaborating with the best teams on the planet at OpenAI, Google X, IBM, and others. My thoughts on AI can be summarized in three key points. First, I go with Wix. is to remove friction. The easier it is for our users to build websites, the better Wix is. We have proven this many times before for the development of software and products, including AI. As we make it easier for our users to achieve their goals, their satisfaction goes up, conversion goes up, user retention goes up, monetization goes up, and the value of Wix grows. In 2016, we launched Wix ADI, an AI-based site creation platform. In fact, it's equivalent to using a prompt to build a site. The user enters some basic information about their business, and they recommend the pages, images, and text that make sense, and then generate the site personalized to the business. Obviously, the text generation abilities in 2006 were a bit naive compared to the recent-gen AI tools of today. That said, due to our long-established teams, and institutional knowledge of AI, it was easy for us to replace that initial text generation tool with OpenAI ChartGPT for our AI text creation, which we introduced earlier this year. Today, new emerging AI technologies create an even bigger opportunity to reduce friction in some areas that were almost impossible to solve a few years ago. When we embed these technologies into our platform, it increases value for our customers. We believe this opportunity will result in an increased addressable market and many more satisfied users. We have over 200 AI and GenAI model deployed on our platform, both to simplify complex technology for our users and to improve internal workflows and development efficiencies. This model power many processes and innovation of ours including full site creation, text creation, image manipulation and enhancement, site design, user support, user sentiment analysis, site classification, recommendation engines, semantic search, forecasting, and many more. In the coming months, we will introduce even more AI tools fully powered by LLM and proprietary algorithms, which will, of course, include full site creation that not only generate content, but also the design and the layout. It will also integrate with everything you need to run a business, such as e-commerce, scheduling, SEO, and more. The second important point is that there is a huge amount of complexity in software, even with websites, and it's growing. The question today is not when AI will be able to create the content for a website. That already has been possible for many years. Wix, ADI, fully demonstrated that. The big question today is what happens when AI can generate all the content and decode of the software needed to run a fully functional website. For example, even if AI could code a fully functional e-commerce website, which I believe we are still very far from, there is still a need for the site to be deployed to a server to run the code to make sure the code continues to work, to manage and maintain the database for when someone wants to buy something, to manage security, to ship product, to partner with payment gateways, and many more things. So even if you have something that can build pages and content and code, you still need much more. That gets to my third and final point. And that is, even in the far future, if AI is able to automate all of those layers, it will have to disrupt a lot of software industries. you will no longer need a database management, server management, and cloud computing. I believe we are very far from that, and that before then, there will be many more opportunities for Wix to leverage AI and create value for our users. To add to that, the value of what we do today is allowing our users to capture their story and bring it to the web. It is not the text that ChargeAPT generates. It's helping the user use ChargeAPT to create their version of that text to tell their story. It's not about me journey, using me journey to create images for your business. For example, like a yoga studio or an amusement park, you need an image of your yoga studio and your amusement park. For your e-commerce site, you need images of your products that are being sold. The images have to be real and the story needs to be real and the value of telling that story online and how to do it well is a big part of what we do here at Wix. As you can tell, I'm tremendously excited about the power of AI, and the power that AI is bringing, and the amazing opportunities it will create for our users and our business. Thank you again for joining, and we will now take your questions.
spk05: Certainly. As a reminder, to ask a question, please press star 11 on your telephone and wait for your name to be announced. To withdraw your question, please press star 11 again, Please stand by while we compile the Q&A roster. One moment for our first question. And our first question will come from Yagal Uranian of Citigroup. Your line is open.
spk13: Good morning, guys, and good afternoon. Avishai, I want a lot of good color on AI, and I just want to focus on that maybe a little bit more. Specifically on that last point where you talk about more opportunities to leverage AI and add value for users, you know, even kind of further into the future as all this evolves. I guess I want to maybe expand on that point a little bit. And as we've talked to investors over the past couple weeks, you know, this question has come up more. You know, I think the biggest fear is that, you know, all this stuff happens and that, you know, folks start to go to some of the larger players in AI where, you know, you can build websites and do some of these things. And as they develop their AI capabilities, they start to develop some of this stuff more. So can you just talk about, you know, how you envision that and why, as the AI capabilities improve, you expect users to continue to come to Wix?
spk09: Of course. Well, first thing I want to say is that the first part of your question, right, is about what kind of opportunities to leverage AI do we get, right? And I think it's about a few things. I'll start with the first one. It's about how many of the people that try to build a website on Wix actually finish with a website that they are very happy with, right? And the more we increase that ratio, the better is the customer experience, the longer those customers will stay with us, and of course, the better monetization. And we've proven, right, with ADI in 2016, but by just generating a lot of the things automatically for the users. So the text, which we did, and the images, and the layouts, we increased conversion. I think the current technology will allow us to do it even further. So I look at it as a way for, and a website is a combination of many things, not just the text. So ChatGPT helped us with some of it, but you still have to have the right structure, the right visuals, the right layouts, the right design, and way to use the user images. So there's a lot of work there. And so I think this is the first part, right, creation of the website. The next part is how do you edit and modify and use the website. It's a bit harder to use any of the current standard models because you want to replace an image. You don't want to write, I want to replace the third image and the fifth column. Can you please change it to something? Actually, it's easier to go and click and point on it. And you don't want to generate all the text from the beginning. You just want to do the specific part. So this requires a lot of complex UI. ADI proved that you can do it, and when you do it well, it works very well. So I think this is the first part, right? We're going to see better, happier users and faster site creation and more sites being finished to the user's satisfaction. The second part is when you start to think like co-pilot and a way for the AI to help you understand what you need to do next and how to add things, you can actually use more of our software capabilities, right? Because today you kind of have to know yourself one you want to do and then find out how to do it. But if we can guide it with AI, and Microsoft is demonstrating a lot of really cool things with co-pilot on Excel, for example, then we can actually take it to another level. So we actually have the ability to take users that use WIC in a certain way and make them use better and more WICs. And I think that also creates the next part, which is the more that you have stronger AI tools, the more important is the power of the platform itself and not just how quickly you can type content. Because if we now have a way for you to finish everything and now utilize more of the platform, then the fact that you have a deeper software layer actually become a lot more valuable. And so I think we are very optimistic that this will actually enable us to give more power for our users, make their sites more successful. And as a result, make us, put us in a better place as a company. I think your second part was about why, what is the chance of people moving to the AI companies to build a website, if I understood correctly, or I misunderstood it?
spk13: Yeah, that's essentially it. They leverage their AI capabilities and build, you know, create website builders and replicate what you're doing and, you know, use it when you go over there. So why people stay on links?
spk09: Yeah, so, okay, so but if you look at what you can do today with AI, there are actually two things that are changed dramatically. The first one is the creation of text, right, which is moved, changed dramatically. And images, which you can invent images and do that. But as I said, we've been doing it for a very long time. And of course, not in the similar tech generation, not nearly as good as ChargePT. But this is a very small part of what we do, right? Because how do you use that to create e-commerce? How do you use that to make a scheduling engine? Just think about all the way that you need to sign contracts with payment processes to run that. How do you edit things on top of it? So pretty much 98% of what we work on and develop is not covered by that. You need your site to be running well. You need it to be managed well. You need to have SEO. You need to have security. And then you need the ability to update content. You need to have the ability to do slideshow and scheduling, e-commerce, transaction, collect leads. All of those are not covered. So what you can do, Essentially, it's great, and with all those tools, on the basic level, it's great simple landing pages, right? Which is kind of like a very static page. But you could always do that already with Microsoft Word. You can just go and type the text and publish it as HTML and put it in some hosting company. And those guys have never been our competitors, the ones that do that, okay, that do those very basic simple landing pages. In fact, you can do those in weeks. And it is a very small portion of our business. So if you look at the majority of our business, I think there is a very... still very quite a few years and probably more than just quite a few years until we see that the ice starting to cover that kind of software great thank you that's really helpful let's just have a quick follow-up on some a little bit more near term a number of uh interesting times now since this quarter
spk13: If you could just expand on the Google Ads one, because you talked about that being a meaningful contributor to growth and business solutions. And then I thought the news around the headless products was really interesting and could potentially open up the opportunity with the partners a little bit more. So if you could just hit on that as well. Thank you.
spk09: Well, this is actually a good demo of what we utilize in the PowerAdvanced algorithm to bring an AI to bring more value for our users, right? It's a way for you to not understand anything about what you need to do in Google in order to create great advertisement, and for us to fully create that and generate it for you. And by doing that, we reduce the friction for our user have, and running successful Google campaign is a very, well, it's a real skill that you need to learn, it takes time, and we use advanced algorithms to do it for the users. And the result of that is that we have more, and the happier users that their business is more successful and of course for us it means more monetization opportunities it is as funny as it is it's also being used a lot by what we call partners web agencies because even for them it provides so much value and reduction of friction and labor that we see a lot of the professionals are using that product
spk06: Thank you. And one moment for our next question.
spk05: And our next question will come from Aaron Kessler of Raymond James. Aaron, your line is open.
spk11: Great. Thank you. Maybe just a couple questions. Maybe just you comment a little bit on the macro in the letter, just maybe your updated thoughts there and kind of the environment we're seeing, especially with SMBs right now. And second, just the non-GAAP OpEx guide, I think you lowered that a little bit, but still it's given the strong Q1 performance there. It looks relatively conservative, the guide. Any updates on the non-GAAP OpEx for the year as well? Thank you.
spk08: Hey, Aaron. It's Nir. I'll take the first part, and Lior can follow up on the second part in regards to the OpEx. So in terms of the microenvironment, you know, we've seen some modest improvements kind of across the board in terms of on the demand side, top of funnel, some, I would say, some recovering growth in GPV, a little bit in the transaction revenue, as well as the subscription behavior of both the existing cohorts and the new cohorts. That being said, You know, it's still relatively early. The increase is modest. So we're being cautious not to call it a recovery, but we do point out that we're seeing a little bit of it.
spk07: Hey, Aaron. This is Leo. With regard to the OPEX, I think that this is one of, you know, in my mind, one of the most amazing things that we managed to achieve. OPEX this year, the non-GAAP OPEX is going to be around 58% to 59%. And I believe that this trend of taking down OPEX as a percentage of revenue will continue into 2024 and 2025, which brings me the confidence and our ability to meet the target that we set for the Rule of 40. So you should expect it to continue to decline as a percentage of revenue even in the next couple of years, and it will be significant.
spk11: And just in terms of 23, though, I think you did 54% in Q1 in terms of the non-GAAP op-ex. I guess any reason it wouldn't be lower than that 58, 59 for the full year?
spk07: Yeah, because as we mentioned last time, the second half of the year, we do plan to invest more in branding companies for the weeks, especially with regard to the partners vertical. And we said that we are going to do that in the second half of the year. So it's reflect that. Great. Thank you.
spk05: And one moment for our next question. And our next question will come from Mark Mahaney of Evercore ISI. Your line is open, Mark.
spk12: Great. Thanks. Two questions. Could you talk about the revenue growth outlook in order to get to that rule of 40? I think for the full year, your guidance implies maybe the potential for very modest acceleration. Are there factors that could cause that revenue growth rate, you know, the next two or three years to get back to the kind of the mid-teens levels? And if it does, what would be the two or three biggest drivers of that? And then secondly, just on Google Ads, could you just talk through the mechanics of that or the materiality of that? Thank you very much.
spk07: Okay, so for the first question, you know, Mark, we obviously see a tremendous growth in terms of our partners' business, approximately 30%, very much in line with what we said during the analyst day. But I must tell you that I didn't plan into my model growth or acceleration growth in revenue in order to achieve the rule of 40, meaning that the rule of 40 will be mostly achieved by more efficiency and leverage coming from both of gross margin, but mostly operating margins. With regard to the Google Ads, look, this is something that we started, and it's a great, as Avishai mentioned, it's a great monetization of our funnel, of our customers. It is millions of dollars. I don't want to provide the exact amount, but this is one of... It's a very exciting growth driver for our business solution.
spk12: Okay. Thank you, Lior.
spk05: One moment for our next question. And our next question will come from Elizabeth Porter of Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.
spk10: Great. Thank you very much. Really helpful color on why kind of the current AI platforms aren't a replacement for Wix. But you also referenced emerging AI technologies providing the opportunity to actually increase Wix's addressable market. So could you provide more color on who that incremental user type is that you expect to be able to address and how that's different than your core team today?
spk09: Of course. I think that one of the things that we always see in Wix is that we have a lot of users that come to Wix and sometimes they can't finish the website that they want. And there are many reasons for that, right? Some of the reason is that it's just, you know, takes too much time. At the end of the day, you have to personalize a template, you have to, even if you use ADI, you're still gonna have to go around and fix a lot of things, understand how to do that, you need to understand how the user interface works for that. So, reduction of that complexity and making Wix more available to users that are less advanced or don't have the time is something that we think is one direction of increasing that addressable market. The other side of it is exactly the opposite, is that users that actually understand how to use the platform pretty well, but cannot use the more advanced functionality, or don't know that it exists, right? So you come to Wix, and you think about, oh, I need to have an application that does something specific, and it's not obvious to you, or you cannot find how to do it in Wix. And these are actually the opposite, right? Because on one side, those are the We have users that don't have the time and sophistication, and here we have users that have a lot of time and sophistication. For example, they'll be using Velo to actually code things into their website. Here, I think we have the advantage that with AI, we can expose them, give them the ability to ask way more complex questions, and get more detailed answers and actually guide them into where they should be going. So, in other words, I think that the Expansion of addressable market will go both ways towards more advanced user, more advanced functionality, and then for the people that just want to finish your website quickly and do it and get good results. I think those are both directions that it will allow us to expand into.
spk10: Great. And then on the B2B partnership side, you mentioned that it's starting to impact revenue in the model. And while it's small today, How should we think about the magnitude of the impact kind of building through this year into 2024?
spk07: So I believe that, Elizabeth, if you take the overall bookings that we already had and, you know, some of the deal we already mentioned, you know, in the past, it is growing very fast, meaning that 2023, we are going to see millions of dollars. And I guess that 2024, it will be more like tens of millions of dollars. but it's growing, and we are able to sign more and more deals, and this segment is actually growing very nicely. I do want to mention that we see less people that are willing to sign for a multi-year agreement. Nevertheless, we see many of them actually moving to Wix and, you know, start to use Wix for their customers.
spk05: Great. Thank you. And one moment for our next question.
spk06: Our next question will come from Clark Jeffries of Piper Sandler.
spk05: Your line is open, Clark.
spk04: Hello. Thank you for taking the question. First question is for Lior. I mean, one metric that seems to jump off the page is improvement in net new ARR and creative subscriptions ARR. I wanted to ask what specifically drove the improvement. I mean, the color around the Q1 cohort is helpful, but doesn't seem to really fully reflect inflection there. I'm wondering if you could maybe break apart maybe changes in churn or what might drive that improvement in the ARR from Q4 to Q1.
spk07: Well, so there are a few reasons for that. The first one, I might say that it's coming from the growth that we see in our partners' business. We see more and more agencies using Wix and building and existing agencies building more websites for their customers. And we saw also a better conversion of existing users, creating more subscriptions. The third point is, as we mentioned before, is we see more revenue coming from the B2B partnerships. Also has a positive effect on that. So those are like the three main reasons. And the fourth reason was obviously the ARP increase that was happening this quarter. meaning that we see a more shift toward more expensive packages that has a positive impact on the growth of creative subscriptions.
spk04: Perfect. And then just one follow-up. You're characterizing half of the increase to free cash flow being driven by cost of revenue efficiencies, another half from OPEX. Wondering if you could parse out maybe where you are in terms of your expectations, splitting that between partners and self-creator, Is there a disproportionate amount of the cost savings both on cost of revenue and OPEX coming from either self-creator or the partner business? Thank you.
spk07: So, yeah, so obviously it's coming from both of them, but mostly from partners. You know, I mentioned many times in the past that we are going to see more leverage in partners while partners is growing, and this is exactly what we are seeing. We see more leverage coming from the partners, and it's mostly because of the fact that we invested a lot of building this partnership vertical in the last two years, and we started to see the fruits of it and getting more and more leverage from this business.
spk04: Perfect. Thank you very much.
spk05: One moment for our next question. Our next question will come from Trevor Young of Barclays. Your line is open.
spk03: Great. Thanks. First one, just dovetailing on that prior question, on free cash flow margin, X all the items at 12%. Can you kind of break that down into core self-creator versus partner? Is self-creator kind of still high teens, which would put partners still modest but improving free cash flow declines? Or is self-creator now north of 20% in light of all your cost actions, which would maybe result in partners still being quite a bit more negative? And then on the geomix, Europe slowed just 5% near on year XFX, despite easier compares and maybe laughing some of the headwinds that started with, you know, after the Ukraine conflict. Any color on why Europe is slowing?
spk07: So with regard to the first question, we do not provide at this point of time, you know, the breakdown of the free cash flow between partners to self-creators. I promise that I'm going to do it in the next couple of months or in a quarter or two. I will provide all the information. With regard to Europe, you're right. I think that it's mainly due to a tough comp in Q1 2022, but we obviously see the effect of also the war in Europe that's affecting the overall business.
spk06: One moment for our next question.
spk05: Our next question will come from Brent Thill of Jefferies. Your line is open, Brent.
spk14: Thanks. Just a question on sustainability of demand in the back half. I know Nir mentioned it's still too early. You don't want to call it a recovery, but you did raise the guidance more than the actual beat in the quarter. Can you just talk to, you know, the visibility and maybe for Lior, can you give us a sense of just what the linearity of the quarter looked like and ultimately what happened in April and into May?
spk07: Sure. So the way that we provide guidance is we take the KPIs, the fundamentals, as we see right now. We don't improve it. And I didn't count as any improvement or further improvement to what we see right now. Based on that, we provided our guidance. But I believe that you see a increase or acceleration in growth in the second half of the year due to a different comp, because Q1 of last year was a very strong quarter for us. So obviously, if you are looking at it on a year-over-year basis, the second half of the year is going to be stronger due to that. But again, it's not coming from a place that we took any kind of assumption about more recovery than what we see right now. Also, you know, has been good and, you know, continue. I cannot say more than that.
spk06: Thank you. One moment for our next question.
spk05: And our next question will come from Andrew Boone of JMP Securities. Your line is open.
spk02: Good morning and thanks for taking my questions. Avishai, you talked about the importance of integration in the backend in terms of AI. I think in the context of also launching a headless solution, what else do you guys need to build in terms of backend to make the business more defensible and compete against maybe other competitors that have already built out kind of headless solutions? And then secondly, thinking about the self-creator business as well as marketing, As we think about the rest of 2023, can you talk about the puts and takes in terms of marketing spend and how we should be thinking about self-creator revenue growth? Thanks so much.
spk09: I just want to ask a quick question. In the first question, do you mean in regards to AI or just you mean to other headless software vendors?
spk02: I think more broadly. So if I think about the back end, and you've talked about the defensibility that that creates when you think about AI coming online, if I think about your headless solution, I think it's somewhat connected in terms of what else you guys can build to make the platform more defensible as well as to attract more headless dollars. I mean, maybe that's wrong, but talk about then why that thesis is wrong or what else you guys need to build there.
spk09: Well, yeah, okay. First of all, thank you. I think I understand the question better now. So there's quite a few parts with that. But the first thing is that headless is just one of the things that current model AI cannot do, right? They can do very basic things, come to code. And if you think about the old stack, right, the things that you need to have running, booking, scheduling websites, right? So you need databases, indexed databases, a lot of APIs. And then you need to have also to sign contracts, right, with processing merchants and banks. And there's a lot of things that you need to do, right? So I think this is something that is going to take quite a while. And when I say quite a while, we don't even have a clue about the algorithms that will need to do something like that yet. That's quite a while in the future. But every element we're going to get from AI that simplifies that, of course, provides value for Wix just because it allows us to do it better, faster, and reduce the cost. Now, there's going to be a lot of opportunities on the way for that. As for the headless itself, so, you know, we have quite a few software stacks that we build that are being used by tens of millions of users and are quite fantastic, but we never offer them on title Wix. Now, yes, in some cases you have competitors that have, like e-commerce, right, where you have really great competitors out there. But in some cases, like scheduling, booking, and the ability to manage a variety of events and other things, there's not really anything similar in quality to what we have. So we think the opportunity there is the ability to allow people to use that and offer that on their website that are not built on Wix. I think that is something that will create for us another marketing channel, which is very different than a standard one. It's mostly based on partners and professionals. And long-term, I think the value there is quite big. There is something that because we actually provide all of the different elements and not just one, like shopping carts, e-commerce-based, then the thing is that There's also the integration, so you can actually have all of them offered together and not in separate pieces, and I think that provides quite a lot of value.
spk08: Hey, Andrew, it's Nir. In terms of the marketing plan, so as Lior mentioned and as we also illustrated in the previous quarter, we do expect on the partner side to see an increase in the marketing as we have some initiatives around that segment. in the second half of the year. In terms of the sales creators, we will continue the current focus, which is a combination between brand activity as well as the direct acquisition. It's a similar cadence as we've done this past quarter and before, as we see that marketing strategy really paying off. Thank you.
spk05: I would now like to turn the call back to Rona Davis for closing remarks.
spk01: Thank you for joining and have a good day.
spk05: This concludes today's conference call. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.

This conference call transcript was computer generated and almost certianly contains errors. This transcript is provided for information purposes only.EarningsCall, LLC makes no representation about the accuracy of the aforementioned transcript, and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the information provided by the transcript.