Recent ecommerce growth has (re)introduced many SaaS founders and investors to the major differences associated with running a business that offers physical products. On this week’s podcast, I talk with ecommerce expert and Co-founder of Assembly, Adam Crawshaw, about the strategies they and SaaS companies can use to build net dollar retention (NDR) and make Assembly an ecommerce powerhouse.
About the episode
Assembly is made up of three brands: Helium10, Refersion, and OrderMetrics. Interestingly, Assembly’s first business, Helium 10, started as a podcast (much like this one!). That podcast built a community, which helped Adam and his co-founder, Sandeep Kella, build a SaaS product. That product, Helium10, was built to help ecommerce brands optimize their Amazon performance.
However, the challenge of running an ecommerce business extends far beyond Amazon. Adam, Sandeep, and team are committed to addressing those challenges by acquiring relevant software businesses and building out a true enterprise-ready platform.
Now, the Assembly platform offers feature coverage and capabilities so that throughout their ecommerce journey, their customers have the right solutions at the right time at the right price. Adam uses an often overlooked SaaS metric, net dollar retention (NDR), to strategize.
If you’re an enterprise SaaS business, you need ~100% net retention or something is wrong. Whereas with SMB SaaS businesses, you find different scenarios. Those scenarios can mean a lot of different things — maybe [something needs to change with] pricing, packaging, or product. Net dollar retention is a good signal to diagnose what’s going on with the business beyond what you can see with revenue growth.Adam Crawshaw, Assembly
Strategies to drive NDR is a SaaS business
What I love about this episode is Adam’s willingness to share his thinking and strategy about what it means to succeed as an enterprise solution.
Additionally, Adam graciously shares details of the Assembly story and gives insight on the following:
- Strategies to diversify and promote your brand
- How consumer buying trends impact GMV, and how GMV impacts related-SaaS entrepreneurship
- His approach to analyze, research, and acquire SaaS businesses in the ecommerce space
- Why acquirers should prioritize relationships and customer alignment over SaaS metrics
- The importance of net dollar retention
- Strategies to improve net dollar retention
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