The Software as a Service (SaaS) industry is in full swing today, with a growth potential of $147.44 billion from 2022 to 2026. In fact, BetterCloud reports that SaaS will comprise 85% of software used by organizations by 2025. However, the SaaS market is getting saturated at a rapid pace, as most of the new SaaS firms have to compete aggressively with established brands.
Undoubtedly, the SaaS market has a huge potential and offers great opportunities if you are offering some unique services better than other market players. On top of that, there are plenty of other ways to maximize subscriptions. In this blog, we will focus on SaaS software developers and discuss how they can assist in maximizing subscriptions. So, let's begin our discussion.
Customer expectations from SaaS companies
Before we jump to how SaaS companies can maximize subscriptions with the skills of software developers, it's important to have a quick glimpse of what are the main customer expectations from SaaS companies.
Today, every company is somehow using SaaS services and actively looking to increase dependence on such services owing to a wide range of benefits. But they do have some major expectations from SaaS companies. Some of the key ones are as follows:
Considering the growing buzz around data breaches and privacy concerns, customers often have a feeling of distrust of SaaS companies. Since they are collecting and processing substantial sensitive data of customers, it makes customers fear data privacy and security. Therefore, it is becoming more important for SaaS companies to act very transparently on how they work, how they process data, how they handle sensitive data, changes in policies, and similar other aspects that can make customers feel comfortable.
- Continuous evolving features
Customers have plenty of choices to choose from, so it's not easy for SaaS companies to retain customers for a long duration without introducing new features. New pain paints keep emerging as customers change or upgrade their processes. Similarly, the desire to try some new features also urges customers to expect more from SaaS companies. Therefore, it is important for SaaS companies to continuously evolve their features to meet new emerging customers' needs and keep them engaged.
Customers of today's digitalized era want instant and direct conservation with SaaS companies. They want their queries to be addressed in real-time. Moreover, they want their opinions and feedback to be acknowledged. Therefore, SaaS companies should have a top-notch communication bridge for customers so that they can easily and freely share their queries and thoughts.
- Personalization and flexibility
It does not matter if a SaaS company is providing a unique solution, it should also incorporate personalization and flexibility aspects to attract more customers. Customers no longer like paying for features they don't use or resources that are extra for them. Similarly, they don't like the SaaS company's branding to interfere with their user experience. That's why SaaS companies need to give a touch of personalization in their services and flexibility in their plans.
Other than the above four major customer expectations from SaaS companies, there can be a lot more depending on the specific niche and the market competition. Thus, it takes a lot of market intelligence and state-of-the-art services to attract, engage, and retain customers in the current competitive SaaS industry. However, SaaS software developers can play a key role here. Let's now dig into this point in detail.
How SaaS software developers help maximize subscriptions?
SaaS solutions available today are of different natures. Some solutions are related to specific business problems, like invoicing software, customer relationship management, and similar others, while others are full-stack software that is meant to serve as a one-stop solution to fulfill the business needs of a specific industry. Behind every SaaS solution, there is a team of software developers that can turn an idea into an actionable product.
Since SaaS software developers are the key to bringing SaaS ideas to life, they are often considered just the professionals who will assist in the development. However, software developers have another critical role to play, i.e., to maximize subscriptions. So, it is not just the job of the marketing team to run marketing campaigns, but the SaaS software developers can be of great assistance here. Based on customers' demands and competitors' services, developers can elevate the overall user experience with additional features or other enhancements. Below we are presenting the three use cases of SaaS software developers that can help maximize subscriptions:
- SaaS software developers help create a website
In the current digitally advanced era, most businesses need a website to attract customers and succeed. Talking specifically about SaaS, clear and attractive websites are essential to make customers get interested in the products/services. Websites provide a direct reflection of the solutions you are offering and urge the customers to at least request a demo.
Most SaaS companies do have a basic level website, but often it is outdated or just follows a common layout that fails to impress the audience. According to Stanford's web credibility research, 75% of users acknowledge that they make judgments about the credibility of a company based on its website's design. So, what makes a website credible? Some of the attributes of a best-in-class website include:
- It provides a touch of the product in the website design, matching the interface, colors, styles, etc.
- It provides a strong, easy-to-understand overview of the product.
- It provides attractive pages of features/solutions.
- It provides clear reasoning on what makes the business unique with a prominent value proposition.
- It provides convincing call-to-action prompts, such as “watch a demo”, “request a demo”, “talk to sales”, “sign up now”, etc.
- It provides access to premium content like case studies, e-books, videos, and similar others that users can access by sharing their contact details.
- It clearly explains the product's security.
- It provides an easy way to get in touch with customer support for existing customers.
Overall, the website plays an effective role in impressing and making customers go for more details.
SaaS software developers holding expertise in web development can play a game-changing role here. They have more in-depth knowledge of the key customers' pain points and the key offerings of the company. Based on this information and collaborating with the design team, they can design an engaging website that not just elaborate the service offerings through demos or strong product overviews but also provide a whole-new web experience to the customers. This experience will give customers confidence in the quality of service they will receive. Eventually, you can have the best website in place that can increase engagement and help increase subscriptions.
- SaaS software developers help create an app
It is seen that SaaS companies put all their efforts into developing the best desktop versions and remain hesitant to transform the offerings into mobile apps. Their preference is often to create a mobile-friendly design. But the growing day-to-day use of smartphones is asking more from SaaS companies. 85% of smartphone users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites.
It is optional for SaaS companies to provide full desktop capabilities in the mobile app. They can add those functionalities of their service that best fits with the mobile experience. Below are some key points that highlight the importance of mobile apps for SaaS companies:
- A mobile app makes a SaaS company an anywhere service that provides its users an "on the go" mobile experience. For example, users might be able to quickly look at dashboards or take other actions while waiting in a coffee line.
- A mobile app gives a significant competitive edge. If your app addresses the shortcomings of your competitors' mobile apps and offers more responsiveness, then you are leading the race here. A survey even shows that 96% of users prefer app responsiveness and speed over everything.
- A mobile app increases the retention rate significantly, as users are getting around-the-clock access to services.
- A mobile app gives a sense of convenience that attracts new users, thereby increasing subscriptions.
Overall, a mobile app helps SaaS companies achieve more with less effort. Therefore, SaaS software developers serve as a great helping hand here. They can look through what key offerings can be integrated into the mobile app and can then work on developing a minimal viable product (MVP).
Once an MVP version of the app is created, you can get responses from users and gradually add/enhance capabilities to make a full-fledged app. Even if the SaaS company doesn't have the resources or skill sets to develop an app in-house, it can take the assistance of a software development company to develop custom-made mobile apps. Once you have a responsive and feature-rich app in place, all now left is marketing to grab the attention of the potential audience and maximize subscriptions.
- SaaS software developers help develop additional features
Just like other industries, the SaaS industry is also competitive. The new SaaS companies not only have to offer all the services their competitors are offering but also include some unique functionalities at attractive prices.
If a SaaS company is fulfilling the users' needs in only one specific area and making users shift to other platforms for other needs, then it cannot retain them for the long run. The Vendasta study shows that selling just one product to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) results in just a 30% retention rate after two years, while the retention rate jumps to 80% if the company is selling four products. So, it's an all-in-one solution structure that users need today to commit to long-term retention and invite others by word-of-mouth.
Here it is worth knowing that a SaaS company delivering an all-in-one solution still needs to add new features regularly to engage users with the platform and increase the average customer value (ACV) over time. AppFolio, a well-known property management SaaS company, is the best example here. During its IPO, AppFolio was charging an average of $5,000/year per account. But the gradual additions of new capabilities let the average per year per account spending go up to $13,000, along with a significant new number of subscriptions.
The above discussion summarizes that a SaaS company must keep increasing its capabilities with additional features and services to increase retention rate and maximize subscription. The best way to do it is by working with SaaS software developers that can keep researching new functionalities they can add to the platform. They can look into competitors' offerings, gather feedback from users, address new emerging pain points, and dig more to find new capabilities that look appealing to users.
Even if the in-house SaaS software developers are incapable of finding and developing new capabilities for the platform, then a SaaS company can even use Teams on Demand, which includes experienced personnel who can collaborate with in-house software developers to brainstorm, design, and deploy new functionalities. In short, SaaS software developers play the leading role in developing additional features, eventually increasing retention rates and maximizing subscriptions.
Wrapping up – find your companion to maximize subscriptions
It is the dream of every emerging SaaS company to have continuous inflows of new subscriptions with maximized retention rate. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep the interest of users intact. As discussed in this blog, SaaS software developers are the key to maximizing subscriptions. They first bring the idea into a full-fledged product and then can uplift the service quality with a top-notch website, feature-rich app, and regular addition of new features. But not every company has SaaS software developers with such skill levels. So, that's why you should choose wisely.