Small Business SaaS trends in 2020

This post was originally published as an article by our CEO - Louise Lachmann on LinkedIn. As we move into a new decade, it’s valuable to look back at how the website game for small businesses has evolved in the past ten years. Back in 2010, the website space was dramatically different with only a fraction of small businesses feeling the need to invest in their online presence.

Fast forward to 2020, the SMB Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and technology space is booming. And as we steadily move into 2020, I’ve gathered my thoughts on what trends I believe will have a role to play as we steadily move into the “twenty twenties”.

Trend #1: Buy-It-Yourself helps to decrease cost of sales

Mono recently worked with Localogy to release a report on the future Buy-it-Yourself (BIY), and if you’d like to read more on this trend, download the report as it goes more in-depth on the subject. But I think we can all recognize that the past ten years has inevitably been a major shift towards the online procurement and self-purchasing of all products, including software. And small business owners are also making the transition.

For products and services they deem necessary to start a business (incl. websites), they’re not seeking advice from a sales rep; they’re going online. A BIY option reduces the barrier for SMBs to get started and the cost of sales. And while BIY is something that I believe we’ll see grow in the next 10 years as a customer acquisition channel, it does not necessarily imply that a small business will be able to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) without the help of experts that can provide knowledge and expertise in fields where this is required.

Trend #2: Website-as-a-Service

The second trend that I believe will have significant impact is the shift from viewing websites as a commodity product, to viewing Websites-as-a-Service. For the past five years or so, a do-it-for-me (DIFM) approach to building websites has enabled our partners to win the trust of small businesses. But as we see more SMBs looking to take control, the value in service has evolved from full-service to a do-it-with-me (DIWM) approach where the focus lies on not only advising the SMB clients - but also successfully engaging them in their website and giving them the freedom to manage aspects of their digital presence.

This differentiator of Websites-as-a-Service has not gone unnoticed by industry and was notably mentioned in a kick off email by the event organizers behind Cloudfest 2020, with the tagline “A great website isn’t a product - it’s a service.”. To put it shortly, as the digital landscape gets more complex - an element of service will become more valuable to small business owners trying to prioritize their investment with the most “bang for the buck”.

Trend #3: A focus on value-added offerings

The breadth of digital offerings has rapidly expanded in the past decade, and while the end of the 2010s has some seen some consolidation - there’s still multitudes of offerings targeted to SMBs. It’s important for digital service providers to empower small businesses to be involved in managing simple tasks, like updating opening hours and offers, but offer value-driving add-ons for disciplines that require time and a skill set, such as SEO. I recently chatted about this with Pawel Rybak, CEO of Mono’s sister company, Sunrise System - and leading provider of SEO services in Europe - this was his take on the trend:

“Most small business owners have been pitched SEO as value add to their digital presence at least once (if not multiple times). Like with many other value-added offerings, providers used to make money on a “set it - and forget it” kind of deal. But as the digital landscape has become more competitive and search algorithms continue to evolve, on-going service and optimizing becomes more important than ever. And in addition, having a trusted advisor who can help you prioritize your budget when it comes to something like SEO will be crucial to help small businesses invest in the right digital products - at the right time for their business.”

Value-adds, especially those that come with a service perspective, will continue to drive value to small business owners - as well as an added revenue stream for any business looking to service SMBs.

Let’s chat more about SMB websites and SaaS trends

Want to chat more about the future of small business SaaS? Please reach out to your Partner Success Manager or schedule a demo with our team.