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The trends of running an online business are changing each day and the SaaS business industry is no exception.
Consumer user experience is changing every day and as a business owner, you need to be aware of these changes.
This will help you increase customer trust, generate leads and increase your business sales and profits. In this article we will learn about these current trends in the SaaS industry.
Ready to learn these new trends to beat your competition?
Before we look at the trends, let’s look at the key characteristics of SaaS businesses.
SaaS business includes new features and updates to their businesses that help their customers get better user experience and great value from their software.
For instance, if you use AWeber for your email marketing then you get to enjoy the newly released updates of their software.
As a customer, you need not do anything as the company with taking care of their system updates.
Variety of payment options
SaaS has different payment options that businesses enjoy. Businesses can use different pricing structures instead of purchasing software and hardware tool to help run the business.
You get different services depending on your subscription plan. For example, here is an example of Hostgator web hosting services and the pricing model.
SaaS business gives its clients the best feature combinations that they need to run their business. This helps them to scale their business and expand and grow within a short time.
Most SaaS businesses are optimized for mobile use. This makes it easy for potential customers to access and use their services. They have an awesome user interface for improved user experience.
Since this business needs customer data that can be compromised by thieves, security is their first priority.
One thing that SaaS business does well is to ensure that its customers’ data and information is safe.
For instance, cloud SaaS businesses have disaster recovery protocols to prevent their business from potential system failures.
SaaS current trends
Below are the changing trends in the SaaS industry.
Increase in artificial intelligence
Most SaaS businesses are adopting artificial intelligence technology and using machines to do lots of work human beings used to do.
For instance, brands no longer need to send messages or emails manually as the process has been automated with marketing softwares.
According to research by Markets and Markets, artificial intelligence use is estimated to be a $190 billion industry in five years to come.
Other ways artificial intelligence will help improve SaaS businesses include:
Personalization. Brands use natural language processing technology to process and control human voice.
This step can help improve and serve your SaaS better to provide services that satisfy their pains.
Security. Artificial intelligence technology improves machine learning and can master security patterns. This helps neutralize threats from potential hackers who can compromise the business operations or your customer personal data.
Speed. Since artificial intelligence are programmed machines they work at a faster speed to provide solutions to problems that customers face as they use the software.
This helps strengthen trust with their customers as they know the business cares about their pains and committed to providing answers to their problems in a short time.
Thought leadership education
Before leads become customers they are nurtured by content through the sales cycle.
Business owners provide content that helps leads make informed decisions along the buyer journey. The consumption of thought leadership content is on the increase.
To build trust business need to provide thought leadership content.
Content that is deeply rooted in their market niche to provide insights and intel for their target customers.
Since SaaS businesses are in the technology space and learn about emerging issues in the industry they are providing more and more thought leadership content to build trust with potential clients.
Change in the pricing model
SaaS customers are becoming more demanding each day. As a way to provide for their customers and deliver great services, most SaaS businesses are changing their pricing models to suit their customers.
The different models have features which match what the clients want. For example here is the SurveyMonkey pricing model.
A keen look at the above pricing structure shows the different features of each model of the SurveyMonkey services.
The use of mobile devices is on the rise and SaaS businesses are doing their best to keep up with this trend. Most SaaS have optimized their business for mobile use.
Clients hate websites with slow loading speeds. A decrease in loading speeds lowers customer satisfaction.
If your customer satisfaction keeps decreasing they will eventually leave your business and join your competitors. An increase in loading speeds increases conversions.
Because of the increase in mobile use, many SaaS businesses have faster loading websites. They have improved their website navigation and increased its website responsiveness.
They create search optimized content to help increase their brand awareness campaigns, increase website rankings on search engines and generate more leads.
Increase in vertical-specific SaaS applications
Recently many SaaS businesses have been providing services in a broad market niche.
However, due to customer specifications and an increase in market niche many SaaS are now providing specific services to their target clients.
For instance, Tenfold helps integrate brands for better customer conversation.
Offering these specific services helps brands serve a wide range of specific target customers.
It helps build trust with customers, increase their brand awareness and thought leadership in their niche.
Introduction of platform-as-a-service ( PaaS)
The customer is the center of every business. Great businesses do their best to ensure they give their customers the best services that satisfy their pain points.
Retaining customers is hard. No business wants to see their customers walk away and join their business competitors.
And acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining them. SaaS brands are introducing platform-as-a-service to deliver better services and ensure they retain the customers.
With PaaS, customers can create add-on apps that link to their original product. The customers can order more services as they need them.
This reduces the expenses of purchasing services before having enough information on the services or how the services can help their scale their business.
Force.com is an excellent example of PaaS developed by salesforce.
Here is another example. The software is known as Apprenda
Increase in personal branding
There is a high increase in competition for customers. Statista reports that online buyers will reach 2.14 billion by 2021.
To stand online and grow your SaaS business you need to create a personal brand.
Some established SaaS business even though have expensive services have a high number of customers.
This is because they have created their business around a brand name which has given them leverage to market their services.
Personal branding helps build trust with your potential customers, increase brand awareness and generate leads.
Other growing SaaS brands are trying to build their personal brands through different ways as:
SaaS businesses are now creating high-quality content to engage their readers, build trust with them and market their services.
Great content plays a vital role in creating thought leadership and increasing lead conversions for your business.
Many online businesses create content based on their buyer persona. A report by content marketing institute shows that 62% of agencies use personals in content creation.
This has a huge impact on conversions as brands create content that speaks directly to their target customers.
Video production is on the rise and SaaS brands are creating more video content to educate their target market.
CMI report shows an increase in 63% in audio/visual content production by SaaS brands.
Social media engagement
Brands are engaging their customers and potential customers on social media more than ever before.
They create short videos and posts that aim to engage their customers to their brands.
SaaS brands use videos as they are easy to consume and have the highest engagement rates.
For example, here are the Shopify videos on their Facebook page to help educate, engage and generate more leads for their business.
More SaaS brands are creating thought leadership content and posting them on the LinkedIn pulse to engage potential customers.
Other major social sites these brands use include Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Another way SaaS brands engage with their readers is their website. They are making the site easy to navigate, increase mobile responsiveness and improve page loading speeds.
Increase in micro-saas businesses
Due to the increase in the competition in the SaaS space, brands are introducing micro-saas businesses that are easy to run and can effectively serve their customers.
These small businesses can be run by a team of few members or even by a single person.
The micro-saas businesses offer add-ons that help improve features of the original SaaS services.
The add-ons can enhance the original product with a small market reach to ensure it dominates that market in the specific niche.
Increase in API connections
The application programming interface (API) has been a vital part where software developers use for many years.
However, the exploration of SaaS solutions in the growing need for the services and the increase in market adoption has triggered their integration.
Many brands redirect their customers to third-party for the APIs they need for integration.
Since the need for the SaaS services is high many brands are incorporating the APIs instead of sending their customers to their party for API integration.
Reducing customer churn rate
Your SaaS business model is a subscription payment model. Your customers pay a certain amount of money to use and maintain your software.
Customer churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop using your services or stops the subscription payments for the software after using the service for some time.
Churn rate is one of the major problems SaaS brands face. For instance, online retail businesses shows a 22% customer churn rate in 2018.
When not properly addresses, it can affect the repeat revenue of a brand when a customer stops using the service.
This is the reason why many SaaS brands are giving their best to reduce the churn rate and grow their online business.
To improve customer experience SaaS brands are investing a lot into educating new and existing customers on how to use their software.
Ways to reduce SaaS customer churn rate
Below are some ways SaaS brands can reduce the churn rate.
Learn why your customers are leaving
Customers will not just stop using your services without a reason. Investigate and learn why they are leaving.
You can send them emails to collect information as to why they stopped using your services.
Once you learn what is causing them to leave give your best to solve the problem and provide more and advanced services.
Improve your onboarding process
This shows that the customers are not well educated on how to use the services and that forced them to leave.
Ask your customers for feedback
You can send your customers surveys to collect information on how they are using your services and ask for reviews.
This will help you know how the customers enjoy the services and also learn how you can improve your services to satisfy their pain points. Asking for feedback is a great way to engage your customers.
They feel you care for their problems as you want to know how you can provide even better services.
Target the right market
You need to keep generating leads for your SaaS business to keep revenue flowing in. To ensure you reduce the customer acquisition expenses target the right customers.
Once you are done with the onboarding process you can segment your valuable customers and provide more than just the services.
After all, you want these customers to stick with you for as long as possible, right? You can send them incentives, special offers to keep them enjoying your services.
The digital era has opened a window of opportunity for brands to grow online. The increase in businesses has increased the competition for customers.
These new and growing trends help SaaS brands stay up-to-date with their competition.
Take action and incorporate these trends in your SaaS business to generate more customers, retain existing customers and increase sales.