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LOCALOGY ENGAGE 19: What Do Your Small-Business Customers Want?

Small businesses are moving their operations steadily into the cloud, they are seeing real benefits from doing so, and yet they are substantially underutilizing the capabilities of the software they’ve purchased.

At this week’s LOCALOGY ENGAGE: SaaS/SMB event, I unveiled our new Modern Commerce Monitor™ (formerly Tech Adoption Index) SMB survey data using this three-part framework to explain what we’ve learned about small business consumption of cloud software over four waves of data since 2017.

Regarding the first piece, we’ve established that penetration of the cloud into the SMB market has gone from 35% in 2017 to 55% this year. And we expect this to reach 75% by 2021.

Further we know that half of those who do nothing in the cloud plan to do so over the next couple of years, and 65% of those who already have pushed some of their business functions into the cloud plan to do more.

SMB_Cloud_Adoption

We also know that small business operators have seen real benefits from shifting business operations to the cloud. New Modern Commerce MonitorTM data shows that about 60% of small businesses that have used cloud software believe the products have performed better than expected. And when asked to articulate specific benefits they’ve experienced, top responses included, spending more time with customers, saving money and improved customer satisfaction.

Yet despite very positive ratings, there is an underlying problem with poor utilization of software that may help explain the churn problem that continues to plague the SMB software industry.

According to the Modern Commerce MonitorTM, 62% of SMBs say they fail to make full use of the software they have purchased. Reasons for not doing so ranged from they just haven’t gotten around to it, to needing more training to fully utilize the software.

Further, nearly half of SMBs who purchased cloud software say their usage waned after an initial burst, a real symptom of an engagement problem.

What’s the solution? It may be as simple as making your products more, well, simple.

Asked what they would suggest that might increase their usage of cloud software, 76% of SMBs selected, “A simpler product. Too many featured make it difficult to use.”

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