Top 10 SaaS trends to follow in 2019
SaaS is one of the industries that paves the way in terms of sales, customer service, and marketing strategies. It’s in the name really: Software as a Service. The role of SaaS is to serve other companies in improving in these areas. SaaS is growing exponentially with 73% of all organizations planning to move all their apps to SaaS platforms by 2020.
As a result, SaaS is often on the cutting edge of new strategies and technologies to attract, sell to, and serve customers better. To stay ahead in the world of SaaS, you have to be on top of the latest trends. 2019 is set to see a ton of growth and further reliance of all companies on SaaS, and as always, SaaS will adapt accordingly with new and innovative strategies.
To keep you up to speed, here are a few of the SaaS trends to follow in 2019:
1. AI and machine learning:
AI and machine learning has already been a growing trend in SaaS but as B2B customers catch on to the need in their own industries, it will become an even bigger focus for SaaS companies. It’s not only a selling point but an expectation. Many companies want to automate processes as much as possible for their employees to improve productivity and cut time spent on non-value adding tasks. Many e-Commerce companies are seeing the importance of mass personalization in their sales and marketing strategies. Therefore, machine learning for marketing and sales SaaS products will become the key selling point that companies are willing to pay for. Learn more about how to automate SaaS customer engagement here.
2. APIs and integrations:
In the past, and now even, switching to new tools is a big feat for companies. The bigger and more established they are, the more of a process it is to decide on and switch to a SaaS platform. Companies want to know that their existing data will be protected and easily transferred through APIs without massive costs and time constraints. They want SaaS platforms to easily work with existing processes and the tool their team is already using. Many companies looking for more SaaS options in 2019 are already using some SaaS tools they love. They want tools to work together through integrations. We will see many tools integrate to work with each other in 2019 to serve customers.
3. Education and leadership from SaaS companies and experts:
Because SaaS companies are on the forefront of emerging technologies and strategies, they are becoming thought leaders ahead of all other industries. Companies and individuals outside of SaaS are looking towards founders, leaders, and resources from SaaS companies for new strategies and thoughts on everything from sales, marketing, customer service, security, etc. SaaS is the leader in the online space and helps many older companies move into the digital world effectively, so this leadership position makes sense. Hubspot and Spotify educate millions on marketing and sales in the digital work via their blog and free resources and their actions are followed closely by companies world wide.
4. White labeling:
As more companies begin to use SaaS tools for front-facing activities on their websites, via email, etc., more are wanting SaaS tools to look native. SaaS companies will continue to respond by offering white labeling options for companies at a premium. Many SaaS companies are offering to work with enterprises on creating customer interfaces and features for their needs on an even deeper level. Especially for e-Commerce companies whose entire process happens via multiple SaaS tools, this is important for a cohesive experience. For example, Beamer is a news feed of your latest updates that integrates into your website or app to better engage users. Beamer has the option to customize your Beamer feed to match your interface completely so it looks native to your app and website. Expect more personalization, or white labeling, in 2019, as more companies switch their processes entirely to SaaS.
5. Branding becomes everything:
The average SaaS company in 2019 has nine competitors or substitutes. At this point, the decision making on the customers part goes beyond just features and pricing. SaaS companies in 2019 will have to put a big focus on branding to stand out from the competition. Customers look at companies as a whole in terms of what they offer. You can see in some of the most successful SaaS companies that branding is an important and consistent detail across all touch points with customers. Mailchimp is a fantastic example. They have an informal, educational, and helpful brand that is characterized by colloquial language, advice at every turn, and simple and directive user experience. More SaaS companies will have to adopt a consistent brand and follow through in all areas in order to sell using a strong brand identity in 2019.
6. Vertical growth and features:
Many SaaS companies are looking to take over more of their niche market by expanding vertically. For example, Hubspot is a CRM who’s original intent was to organize and manage leads across teams for easier, more effective sales. Hubspot has now grown to add features to help those companies actually attract leads through marketing. They developed a whole marketing platform with marketing-specific features. Many more SaaS companies will choose to stick to their niche customer and expand in this way in 2019 to increase their market share. There is also potential for mergers and acquisitions as more and more competitors grow closer together in terms of functionality and target market.
7. Pricing will be more of a science:
On average, SaaS companies spend just six hours deciding on pricing. In 2019, as more competitors enter the market and SaaS companies evolve their platforms and introduce new features, pricing will become a more important focus with many potential changes. Already this year, which made news this week, Netflix has increased their pricing for all users. Many SaaS companies may choose to do the same and use more data-driven pricing techniques. Two out of five SaaS companies before this year who changed their pricing saw a 25% boost in revenue. Expect more companies to look deeper into this and make changes.
8. A bigger focus on educating and supporting users to reduce churn:
One of the biggest problems for the launch and long term success of SaaS companies is churn. Lowering churn rate is a big focus for all SaaS companies and many are coming up with new ways to reduce churn. Many companies will put more effort, staff, and budget into educating and supporting new users and companies in using and integrating their SaaS tool into their processes. Companies that learn to benefit from a SaaS tool right away are likely to stay on board for the long run and not churn out. SaaS companies will create more educational material, provide more support staff, and improve onboarding in 2019 to combat churn. Learn more on how Hubspot reduced churn here.
9. Mobile will continue to come first:
As more and more employees and business owners connect and run their companies from their phones, SaaS tools must adapt. SaaS platforms and tools are learning that users want mobile options to match the way they work on the go. Many SaaS communication and task management platforms now have highly function mobile apps that are becoming the preferred method of their users. SaaS companies will have to create and continually improve the mobile versions of their tools and services to match the direction work is moving towards in 2019.
As mentioned before, all of the biggest “spaces” for SaaS are populated with around 9+ competitors. As a result, many emerging SaaS products will be “micro-SaaS” or smaller tools that provide one important function and are run by a smaller team, rather than large platforms. They may come in the form of add-ons, extensions, or accessories to other tools and platforms. This includes plugins and extensions for platforms like WordPress or social platforms like Instagram. There is a huge opportunity for tools like these in niche areas of the SaaS market. They can be deployed faster and managed and grown with few people and overhead. Check out the top WordPress plugins for 2019 here.
SaaS is not only a leader in technology trends but business trends in general as the world goes completely digital. With new heights guaranteed to be on the horizon for SaaS, expect it to be an exciting year in developments that will undoubtedly influence many other industries. Stay tech trendy and let users and customers follow your latest updates with your own news feed built into your website or app with Beamer.