PDF editing and document creation software in the post-pandemic business world: Insights from the G2 Spring 2022 Report

While the pandemic may not be over just yet, it did usher in drastic changes for the SaaS market, PDF editing and document creation software specifically. G2’s Spring 2022 Report showcases these changes quite explicitly:

  • Business users became much more savvy and picky
  • The variety of comparable alternatives is steadily growing
  • And the emphasis in customer preferences has obviously shifted towards cross-platform solutions and SaaS integrations.

Let’s take a closer look at two markets that pdfFiller prioritizes as critical — online PDF editors and document creation solutions.

PDF editing software — the variety of options vs. traditional players

The most important conclusion about the changing trends as of Spring 2022 is that Adobe PDF editor and ABBYY FineReader are both rapidly losing their leadership positions.

On the latest G2 Grid of PDF Editor Software, both Adobe and Fine Reader are gradually moving away from the quadrant of Leaders and are headed in the direction of the Contenders quadrant.

The two most probable reasons for this migration could be something as simple as:

  • Pricing models of both products are somewhat high (considering the competition)
  • While quality of support seems to have fallen off (a typical trend among many large brands; the same happened with DocuSign and its once-leading position on the eSignature market)

The two neck-and-neck leaders on the Spring 2022 Grid for PDF editing and document creation software are Foxit and pdfFiller

Foxit has taken the lead in this niche primarily thanks to its perpetual subscription option which is a good deal for many small and mid-sized businesses.

pdfFiller has collected badges in the following nominations: Best Meets Requirements, Easiest Setup, and Easiest to Use.

Noteworthy, pdfFiller is also at the top of the Momentum Grid of PDF Editor SoftwareThe PDF Editor Relationship Index, with its focus on support servicing quality and the likelihood of being recommended to others, is yet more proof that the PDF editing market is going through leadership changes.

FineReader is ranked sixth while Adobe’s editor is number nine!

Smallpdf software has somewhat fallen this season. It used to rank around the third position, primarily thanks to its free plan and also for its steadily high scores in the Ease of Use category.

Here again, pdfFiller and Foxit sit in the highest spots:

pdf editing document creation software g2 spring report

PDFelement and Nitro are two strong contenders to keep an eye on in the coming seasons. PDFelement is scoring high in Ease of setup, however, its Quality of Support score is still trailing the leadership positions. 

Nitro clearly beats the competition with its pricing ($9.99 per user per month, only two dollars over pdfFiller’s Basic monthly plan). At the same time though, Nitro’s Quality of Support only scores 7.9 (out of 10), while the other leaders in the category have achieved a minimum of 8.9.

Summing up, the segment of PDF editors has all the signs of a mature, saturated market, and the competition is already somewhat moderate here, with no sudden changes in the existing trends. It took almost three pandemic years for pdfFiller and Foxit to push Adobe and Fine Reader from their pedestal. And in this long-term, consistent, competitive fight, Ease of Doing Business With and Support Quality seem to be the most decisive factors, for big and small customers alike.

Document creation market: Traditional document generation tools vs. multifunctional platforms

From the standpoint of competition, the document generation segment of the SaaS market is much more interesting to observe, as any changes that occur always come as a huge surprise.

This season, for example, the competitive fight seems to mostly be between the time-honored leaders (Microsoft Word, Google Workspace, and Adobe) on the one hand and the Gen Z favorites (Monday and Coda) on the other. Interestingly, PDF editing software, such as pdfFiller and Foxit, are also invited to try for their fair share of the document creation market pie.

The two most interesting indicators of how the document creation market is developing these days are the Usability Index and the Relationship Index.

This season [Spring 2022], the very top of the Usability ranking among the document creation software appears as follows:

 

pdf editing document creation software g2 spring report

No surprises when it comes to Word or Google Documents. It would be nearly impossible to go against these two market leaders, especially considering the mass availability of the free versions. Many of us went to school with Microsoft Word and then graduated from university using Google Documents. Habit is an advantage that is nearly impossible to beat, even in such a rapidly developing market as SaaS.

pdfFiller and Foxit are not exact equivalents to Word or Google Docs, of course. However, their interface logic is equally intuitive, that’s why they also happen to be highly ranked in the Document Creation category. Besides, they both allow for PDF editing, something Word and Google Workspace are not yet capable of.

Monday is a rather unexpected addition to the Document Creation leaders group. In our opinion, the only plausible explanation for Monday’s presence in this ranking is because businesses use Monday to perform project management and plan teamwork. They then end up preparing nearly all documentation and internal correspondence on Monday, primarily for the sake of staying on the same tab.

No less interesting is the current situation with the Relationship Index:

pdf editing document creation software g2 spring report

Word or Google Documents did not even make it into the top 5, probably for the first time ever!

Why? Because this is the Relationship Index, and huge corporations are known to be notoriously underperforming in customer care and relationship-building.

Monday is again topping the list, and again — not because of its document creation functionality under the hood. Monday’s support and ease of use have both been indeed top-notch. Thus, business customers are openly demonstrating their appreciation through reviews and high rankings.

pdfFiller is placed second in the Relationship Index primarily thanks to its Ease of Doing Business With and Support Quality parameters, both as a direct consequence of pdfFiller having 24/7/365 online support waiting for customer requests in chats.

Ranked third goes Coda, a relatively young player in the market of document creation SaaS. Coda offers a rather generous free plan, highly responsive Support (9.2 out of 10), and a relatively intuitive web page-like interface. Just like Monday, not exactly a document creation toolkit but an interesting new player to watch in the coming seasons.

pdfFiller’s Marketing team is always looking forward to getting another set of seasonal reports by G2 (Summer reports will be released on June, 21st), and not because we enjoy reading super positive reviews of our product (but that too!).

Using G2 Reports to follow the SaaS market trends

G2’s Reports are yet another example of the SaaS market being as fluid as ever before. The “once a leader, forever a leader” logic has never been applicable to SaaS. Before the pandemic and lockdowns, competition among software solutions was rather intense. And now, the niche markets are getting even more crowded, primarily because many software solutions choose to play in a cross-function and cross-platform mode.

Understanding the current trends in the SaaS market will surely help us all to make much smarter decisions when it comes to choosing software. 

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