Benchmark Bytes: SMB eCommerce Adoption Inflects

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 during a global pandemic that has hit local businesses hardest?

Localogy’s upcoming Modern Commerce Monitor wave 6.1 answers these and other questions across the SMB SaaS product set, which we preview in this Benchmark Bytes series. After the last installment examined SMBs affinity for bundled fintech, we switch gears this week to look at their eCommerce adoption.

Specifically, 33 percent of SMBs have adopted new eCommerce tools during the pandemic to adapt to the altered environment. This is driven by both restrictions in physical activity, as well as to meet shifting e-commerce demand from consumers. The latter has certainly seen an uptick in the past year and SMBs are following suit.

As for what forms this took, 33 percent of SMB respondents report opening an online store of some sort. 32 percent have integrated online appointment booking. 23 percent have launched some form of online service delivery such as classes or lessons. And 12 percent have adopted new order-online and curbside pickup capability.

Full data set available to Localogy Members
What Does it All Mean?

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

— One-third of SMBs is a significant share in terms of new adoption of any technology. In this case, it’s not surprising given eCommerce’s alignment with Covid-era factors.

— At the same time, there’s headroom for growth for eCommerce vendors that target the SMB segment. 67 percent of respondents haven’t integrated eCommerce.

— That could be because it doesn’t apply to them or that they’re still potential adopters.

— The definition of eCommerce here is broad. It’s not just ordering products in the way we normally connote “eCommerce.” SMBs are incorporating other types of digital fulfillment such as online classes or lessons (think: music lessons).

— These types of service-based remote fulfillment were the third most popular form of “eCommerce” in the survey.

— One surprise was that curbside pickup was the least popular eCommerce fulfillment format adopted. Despite its prevalence among larger brands — and alignment with distanced commerce — it scored relatively low among SMBs. We’ll keep an eye on this figure in future waves.

Walmart and Target Earnings Signal Retail’s Next Normal

Time to Shine

Stepping back, eCommerce is having a moment. It continues to grow rapidly as a business category, including its SMB adoption. eCommerce startups are generally thriving with exit velocity, funding, and public-market performance. It’s becoming a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe.

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

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper on other pandemic-driven areas of SMB technology adoption. That will include top goals and what types of SMBs are adopting. 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.

Stay ahead of the curve and get the latest on Local straight to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive communications from Localogy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Resources