Thanks to its simplicity, accessibility, agility, cost-effectiveness, increased collaboration, and scalability, the SaaS software distribution model is becoming increasingly popular among businesses.
In 2020, the worldwide public cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) market was estimated to hit $157 billion. There are a plethora of SaaS solutions that businesses of any size could use today. Some of the most popular types of SaaS apps include:
- Web hosting
- Communication platforms
- Accounting and invoicing
- Payment gateways
- Project management
- Email marketing
- Data management
For instance, there is MailChimp – a leading email marketing platform that offers solutions in transactional email, email marketing, and marketing automation.
If you are a business trying to scale, implementing SaaS solutions can help you achieve your goals faster. But it is equally important that you should keep up with the changing trends to provide cut-throat competition.
Here are the five crucial SaaS trends you should watch out for in 2021:
AI and machine learning to disrupt the SaaS landscape
AI is popularly implemented by businesses as it can automate repetitive tasks and support human competencies while increasing productivity and efficiency.
For businesses, artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve responsiveness and interaction between businesses, customers, and technology.
Today, modern artificial intelligence-based software tools have numerous features, one of which is data alerts.
These SaaS-based tools usually leverage AI and machine-learning algorithms that use the most cutting-edge neural network for pattern recognition. And subsequently, these data alerts learn from trends and patterns and notify you immediately when something significant occurs.
Thus, it is easier today for companies to keep control over their businesses. It is hard to keep track of critical business matters when there are several KPIs to be monitored. Having an online reporting tool takes away the burden of constantly having to monitor your data and anticipating any change or fluctuation.
Some ways in which AI and machine learning will improve SaaS in 2021 include:
- Automating customer support and making it quicker: Machine learning along with AI will be used more to automate customer service response. A good example is Live chat-bots used to improve customer satisfaction. AI will also be implemented to automate the SaaS onboarding process.
- Provide more customization to align with customers’ preferences: Software with natural language processing (NLP) will be set up across customer service functionality for enhanced customization and to solve customers’ pain points more quickly.
- Quicker response to customers’ queries: AI-enabled SaaS will be implemented to speed up internal processes. Businesses will, thus, be able to provide fast answers to questions, make more accurate and quick predictions, and speed up overall response time.
You can also consider hiring an SEO expert to create content that retains clients.
Vertical SaaS will be used to improve customization.
The vertical SaaS trend is going to be big in 2021. Unlike Horizontal SaaS that deals with clients across any sector and industry, Vertical SaaS is totally customizable. With vertical SaaS, you can target clients within specific sectors and supply chains.
Here’s why Vertical SaaS trends are going to be massive in 2021:
- Flexibility and lower customer acquisition cost: Since vertical SaaS can adapt features according to customer demand and industry and better address specific customer needs, it allows more flexibility and upselling opportunities. It also decreases customer acquisition costs.
- Gain customer-focused insights: Vertical SaaS allows businesses to get customer data and intelligence that are industry-specific. Businesses can, thus, gain customer-focused insights.
- Integration: Vertical SaaS integrates with pre-defined metrics, KPIs, and analytics, allowing businesses to evaluate and address day-to-day and long-term processes and performance.
- Increased transparency: It can address data governance processes by including industry-specific compliance capabilities. It results in increased transparency which every business should aim for.
What’s more, it is a cost-effective and industry-specific choice for companies to improve the customization of certain features.
MicroSaaS will solve problems in niche markets with minimal resources.
A microSaaS is a small tool designed to boost the existing function of a SaaS product. It is designed by a single designer or a small group of designers. Examples of microSaaS are extensions, add-ons, etc., that are added to other platforms or tools.
If you look around, there are plenty of successful microSaaS tools. They include Yoast SEO plugins, Grammarly, and Boomerang for Gmail.
Here’s why microSaaS will become popular in 2021:
- It gives people a chance to contribute: Instead of competing against industry giants, microSaaS gives an opportunity for people to contribute by designing complementary plugins, add-ons, and extensions.
- It requires a small cost: It usually requires a small cost to come up with microSaaS tools. The project can be accomplished without any outside funding. And since microSaaS are location-independent and are profitable, when you couple these benefits with low expenses, it will increase the popularity of MicroSaaS solutions.
White labeling will benefit startups.
White labeling is already a popular SaaS market trend. White-labeled SaaS solutions particularly benefit startups that need to deal with many software providers. Startups are often faced with increased overhead in management time and high paid-out costs. It is also not easy to sell a brand as a consistent entity.
White-labeled SaaS solutions can solve these issues. Startups can use tools that appear native. Also, it gives businesses a cohesive experience as the solutions have tailored features and interfaces.
White labeling is also a quick medium to enter the market as businesses don’t have to build new solutions from scratch. You can leverage white label partnerships to offer the solutions that your customers are looking for while still retaining your brand identity. This trend is predicted to continue even beyond 2021.
PaaS solutions to be used to retain clients
With the cut-throat competition going on in the SaaS industry, retaining clients is not easy anymore. SaaS companies are thus switching to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to retain customers.
PaaS enables you to develop custom apps as essential add-ons to your unique services. Moreover, PaaS-centric solutions are flexible, accessible, and they are a robust delivery model that allows you to scale your business with ease. And you will also get the security needed to execute manifold automatic upgrades.
SaaS trends keep evolving like any other industry trend. You will have to keep yourself updated with the latest trends so that your business will scale. The five trends in this article are essential SaaS trends that are predicted to persist beyond 2021. You better keep a watch on them.