We will see a shift into self-service SaaS solutions for small business, a widespread roll-out of cashier-less retail and a local ad play from Uber.

on December 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm

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As the year winds down, it’s time to look at what’s in store for the local business landscape in the coming year. The good news is the benefits of enterprise-grade technology are becoming more accessible to this business segment. We see this shift taking hold in 2020, along with a stronger confluence of complementary solutions coming together to meet comprehensive SMB needs. The following are three top local commerce trends that our Local Search Association analysts predict will take center stage in 2020.

  1. Shifting into BIY technology: The concept of buy-it-yourself (BIY) SaaS technology is empowering small and local businesses to purchase technologies that are designed to meet their holistic needs in a self-service delivery model. Whether delivering martech, adtech, fintech or other key operational services, in 2020 we expect to see more SaaS solutions offering a BIY approach for small businesses for improved customer retention and satisfaction as well as higher average order values.

  2. Amazon blitzes Retail-as-a-Service (RaaS): Amazon will soon roll out a “retail-as-a-service” offering for local retailers as one of the secret endgames of Amazon Go stores. It will utilize the technology for cashier-less stores and reflect Amazon’s signature logistical streamlining capabilities to help local retailers improve margins and yield through modernized operations.

  3. Uber makes a Local Ads play: Uber will continue to gain economies of scale through services that are adjacent to rides (Eats, etc.). It will also build on its existing rides architecture with a local ad engine. This will utilize captive audiences during the app’s in-ride mode, as well as robust data on riders’ spatial patterns. This will start with ads for local restaurants (a component of Eats) but could move into other local categories. It will be a self-serve programmatic ad engine and potentially bid-based for locally relevant placement. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Bill Dinan is president of the Local Search Association, a not-for-profit association of 300 media companies, agencies and technology companies that enable enterprises and small businesses to achieve more within local markets. Bringing deep expertise on how local commerce industries are evolving with new technology and business approaches, Dinan has successfully led and grown companies over the last few decades, including WEB.com, Acquisio, Telmetrics and others. He can be reached at bill@thelsa.org.