After 20 Years of Hard SAAS Lessons, Verizon-Owned Yahoo Small Business Primed for Growth

Responding to session interviewer Greg Sterling during a fireside chat at the Tech Adoption Summit today, Kushagra Shrivastava, Managing Director for Yahoo Small Business, talked about how Yahoo Small Business has evolved over the past 20 years.

While giving a nod to competitive pressures brought by new products coming to market, he added that there is also the need to always be sure that product development is keeping pace with customer needs and ensuring that pricing remains competitive. Yahoo Small Business has also been able to build on its brand, even after two decades in the space. “Yahoo thankfully still enjoys incredible brand value,” he explained at the morning session.

Yahoo Small Business has also benefited from a following of loyal customers, many of whom have become advocates who encourage newer users, he said.

“One of the things that fascinated me the most when I joined is that we have customers who have been with us for over 20 years,” said Kushagra. He went on to share a story about a longtime customer he met earlier this year at IRCE who hugged him and had tears in her eyes as she expressed her appreciation for the Yahoo Small Business continuing to support her own million dollar online store.

Loyal customers have even created their own online communities, first using Yahoo Groups and many now on Facebook, where they help each other – sharing tips both about the technology as well as about broader small business topics.

The cost of customer acquisition is certainly rising and despite the size of your business, companies selling to small business will feel that, Kushagra said. “It’s hard to just show an ad and expect it to convert,” he explained, going on to discuss the need for inside sales and lead generation programs.

Speaking to audience questions about how Yahoo Small Business approaches working with partners, Kushagra notes that they have done a fair amount of primary research with small business customers to learn about their needs. “We now have a very good understanding of what small business owners are looking for,” he said.

Kushagra also expressed strong optimism for the growth of Yahoo Small Business as the business is now owned by Verizon and has been able to invest its own revenues in growing it’s team and improving product. “Now we have aligned our synergies with Verizon, which itself is also focusing on essential services and products for small business,” said Kushagra.

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