For boutique agencies and freelancers, the conundrum often goes like this: You have a dozen clients to manage that are counting on your expertise to help them grow their companies. They need websites, which require expertise to build, maintain and brand. Meanwhile, the digital property for your own brand takes a backseat.
It’s no wonder the web design services market is $24 billion strong. The digital agency model is alive and well because it offers front-end design and project management, while handling all of the back-end development that business owners have long avoided. These agencies help create content, design the site and build in features using complex frameworks.
“Brands are tiring of the extensive and complex task of managing a custom built online store or static website so they are increasingly turning to web design services,” says Uri Foox, president and co-founder of Zoey. “They are discovering and rapidly adopting turnkey solutions that are delivered on a SaaS model.”
How big is the website SaaS market likely to be? For starters, the growing ‘gig economy’ shows no signs of slowing, contributing an estimated $715 billion to the economy. Here’s how small businesses, creative agencies and freelancers can benefit from partnering with website platforms.
1. Building the bottom line.
Entrepreneurs who invest in ecommerce vendor assistance will increase their bottom line in the long run. The collaborative approach to decision making allows both parties to leverage their expertise as it relates to the nuances in their business.
“While an extra expense initially, if you find the right partner, they will not only save you money and time in the long term, but they will generate a lot more business for you,” says Foox.
For a monthly subscription fee, businesses get the tools to build an online store or static website and the difficult/time consuming part -- hosting, uptime, security, software updates -- is all managed by the SaaS vendor.
2. Increasing efficiency.
After building a website for their client or themselves, business owners often find themselves frustrated because the website they built is inefficient. They cannot make changes to the site’s design, they can’t change text or links or menus easily, and they cannot add extra services such as an appointment scheduling or ecommerce option without considerable costs.
Foox describes building your own recurring billing system as an “iceberg issue.” Initially, you only see a few basic issues, but once you’ve started you realize all the complexities beneath the surface that ultimately take up most of your time, decreasing overall productivity.
Additionally, agency executives often face issues like software and system readiness, team culture and coding knowledge, among other complex and varied issues.
3. Taking inspiration from B2C.
Over the last decade, most of the advancement in ecommerce has happened in the consumer market. Technologies have rapidly evolved, empowering consumer brands to create great buying experiences that their customers love.
As the next big wave of ecommerce growth happens in the B2B market, these brands are turning to their B2C peers for guidance how to take advantage of modern technology to create buying experiences that differentiate them from competitors and help them seize a greater share of the market.
4. Assessing the future.
“The next big wave of growth for ecommerce is in the B2B market, and in order to take advantage of it, companies need to adopt DIY website capabilities,” says Foox. “B2B brands are trying to create websites that let their customers buy much like they would from a B2C site such as Amazon or Zappos.”
Related: 5 Tips for Developing Your B2B Sales
Online store builders assist with digital expertise and IT support, and offer dependability and accountability. A web development partner can empower digital agencies, small businesses and freelancers with tools to navigate and troubleshoot websites on their own while adding the tech expertise to build a beautiful webpage.