23 Mar COVID19 and SaaS Demand – Real Time Data
Using Google Trends data, we analyzed trends for a basket of 21 large SaaS companies to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on SaaS demand.
Our analysis specifically focused on searches including “pricing.” For example, “Anaplan pricing” or “Hubspot pricing.”
This approach aims to capture high purchase intent traffic and eliminates non-commercial, non-revenue searches (for example, investors and media researching PagerDuty arounds its April 2019 IPO or students looking for a free Zoom account today)
The aggregated sector data looks encouraging at first:
On an aggregate basis, “pricing” searches were trending above yearly averages during the first two weeks (defined as weeks of 3/8 and 3/15) of the COVID-19 crisis in terms of the US public awareness. So software looks as resilient as ever.
However, this increase was almost entirely driven by the explosive interest in certain “remote work” SaaS applications:
Common themes for the apps experiencing:
- Remote and Teleworking Focused
- Quick, Self-Service Implementation
- Low Cost Per User
The remaining 17 SaaS companies in our data set saw “pricing” searches decline by 18%-20% in aggregate. Said another way, COVID19 has hit their demand funnel by 20%!
Intuitively, this makes perfect sense. The software selection process is generally non-urgent. In the middle of a health crisis, most will defer doing “desktop research” on what marketing automation vendors to evaluate for a second half of 2020 implementation. But they will figure out ASAP how much it costs to upgrade their newly remote team to paid versions of Slack and Zoom.
Notable declines (amongst those with sufficient Google Trends volume to be meaningful):
- Salesforce – down 38%-40%
- Okta – down 18%-27%
- PagerDuty – down 21%-23%
Notable in terms of stability (amongst those with sufficient Google Trends volume to be meaningful):
- Zendesk – up 3%
- Shopify – up 1% to down 6%
- Pluralsight – flat to up 2%
- Hubspot – flat
- Datadog – down 3%
Jason Lemkin (SaaStr) and Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight) – Webinar: What It Was Like in ’08-’09. And We Can Learn for ’20.
Tom Tunguz – Estimating The Impact of Coronavirus on Growth:
Kevin Indig at G2 – The COVID-19 Crisis Is Transforming the Way We Use Software:
A recent survey on impact to sales forecasts:
How much have you lowered your forecast for 2020?
— Jason ✨InItTogether✨ Lemkin (@jasonlk) March 16, 2020
SaaS Companies (and Stock Symbols) Included in Study: