Benchmark Bytes: In What Areas are Website Providers Failing SMBs?

As part of the ritual of examining local commerce and SMB Saas strategies, Localogy goes right to the source: SMBs themselves. How do they feel about marketing and operational software? What features do they want? And how has their hunger changed in a pandemic? This is all a moving target.

Localogy’s latest Mobile Commerce Monitor report dives into websites in particular. Entitled Key Trends in Website Services, it examines original SMB sentiments and behavior for online marketing services – particularly those tied to their websites. This report was done in collaboration with Duda.

After examining the top areas where SMBs need marketing help last week, we switch gears this week to look at the areas they believe they’re not getting help from their website providers. These sentiments can reveal where there’s a service gap, and where supply is not meeting demand within website services.

Specifically, the biggest area SMBs feel is missing (36 percent ) is providers asking questions about how SMBs can get more out of the software. That’s followed by reporting on software performance and ROI (28 percent), training for specific software functions (13 percent), and tech support (10 percent).

Further down the list, SMBs feel that onboarding and setup assistance (9 percent), and help with undoing user errors (2 percent) are missing.

Localogy members can access full charts and SMB survey reports. Non-members can purchase reports

What Does it All Mean?

Going a bit deeper, a few things jump out at us:

– The clear leader in SMB sentiment in these data is website providers asking questions. This is the first step towards customizing software towards SMBs’ unique goals.

– For website providers that claim to have a “consultative approach” this SMB questioning is table stakes.

– All website providers should internalize this SMB sentiment and re-evaluate current sales and service operations.

– A close second (28 percent) was the SMB sentiment that performance and ROI reporting is missing.

– Like the above sentiment about consultative service, performance reporting is table stakes in websites (and all online services).

– The fact that so many SMBs feel this is missing is telling that something has gone wrong for this foundational function in website services. Website providers should evaluate this closely.

– A few other top SMB answers can be clustered into training and onboarding.

– Assistance with learning specific functions was reported as missing by 13 percent of respondents. This is not an alarming amount but should raise a red flag for website providers to make sure they’re training SMBs adequately.

– Similarly, initial assistance with onboarding was reported as missing by 9 percent of SMBs. This is similarly not an alarming number but shouldn’t be ignored.

– Lastly, a few of the SMB responses can be clustered into support. This includes troubleshooting (10 percent) and undoing user errors (2 percent).

– The former is clearly a larger issue, and website providers should ensure they’re meeting this basic need for SMBs.

Key Trends in SMB Website Services

Time to Shine

Stepping back, SMB online marketing – website-based or otherwise – continues to grow rapidly.  SMB SaaS startups and online services providers are correspondingly thriving as it continues to grow as a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe. There’s a long-tail opportunity at play.

Meanwhile, new SMB SaaS users could represent permanent adopters – a concept that’s accelerated in the Covid era as SMBs are forced to boost their digital transformation. This sends them into the arms of SaaS providers to accomplish a range of marketing and operational functions.

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper into SMB marketing and website adoption. That will include their goals and success factors. Let us know what additional insights jump out at you from the above data, and stay tuned for more breakdowns in our Benchmark Bytes series.

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