Another year is coming to an end, and a very challenging one to boot. As a lovely tradition, before welcoming the new year and what it has to offer, a myriad of articles on the upcoming trends are rapidly multiplying across all sorts of blogs.
We’re not standing aside either and want to present to your attention today the list of SaaS trends that, by the most prevalent professional opinions, will dominate the following year’s SaaS market.
In our article, we’ll focus on 2023 SaaS trends in technology and business that you, as a founder, should note and hopefully implement in your business to help it grow even more and prosper.
Top SaaS trends 2023
Software-as-a-service trends have the same purpose as all of the other trends in the business and tech environments and ecosystems - to give companies more versatility and functionality, ultimately helping them achieve more cost-effectiveness and to streamline their business processes. Here are a few SaaS trends that will dominate in 2023.
New user retention methods
User retention refers to the number of customers that continue to use your SaaS product over a prolonged period of time. This is one of the crucial metrics that you use to evaluate the success of your digital product.
The trend for 2023 is keeping user retention at desirable levels by both utilizing the techniques aimed at decreasing churn and focusing on new customers with a high Lifetime Value, which is the average revenue they will bring throughout all your partnership.
The first trend on our list has been around for a while. Data-driven solutions that are made by utilizing Big Data are key for a leader to make well-thought-out decisions and benefit the most from new opportunities.
Data- and analytics-driven SaaS in 2023 will continue to use natural language, complex analysis, and business intelligence tools to offer business owners a better understanding of their customers through the data they’ve collected.
No-code and low-code
No-code (help everyone build digital solutions without writing a single line of code) and low-code (platforms for professionals to speed up the development) tools are excellent solutions if you have a) a smaller team and b) a limited budget.
The trend of using such helpful solutions will continue next year, not only among smaller startups but also among bigger and more established companies as well, allowing both to produce custom apps even with limited tech skills.
Micro-SaaS business model
If you’re only considering getting into SaaS next year, micro-SaaS might be a good and affordable idea. With a low entrance barrier, micro-SaaS requires no more than a relatively small team to build and deploy solutions whose sole purpose is to complete one particular task.
These products usually have a somewhat narrow niche like spell-checking, keyword analysis, marketing optimization, etc. All of these tasks are performed by products that are either an extension or an additional business service.
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Another tailored SaaS solution is vertical SaaS, a concept close to the previous trend on our list, a micro-SaaS. What vertical Software-as-a-Service essentially means is that you focus on more industry-specific needs instead of catering to a broader audience the way standard horizontal SaaS is doing.
To make full use of this trend and do it right, you must have extensive knowledge in the field to create a product for your target audience in that industry since it’s going to have advanced features.
Artificial Intelligence has already become a standard in many industries rather than a novelty. For the last 10-15 years, AI has steadily become more involved in trying to solve problems of business, economy, computing, etc.
In SaaS, AI helps improve customer service, product customization, reporting, unbiased analysis, written content creation, data insights, email automation, and security enhancement. And many more features are yet to come.
CRM SaaS and other marketing automation tools
Customer relationship management software and other marketing automation tools like email automation, social media automation, and lead-gathering software are still going strong. They help with organizing metrics, routine checks, regular or personalized newsletters, etc.
In 2023, having a cloud-hosted marketing automation SaaS on a subscription basis is going to almost guarantee you customers since they are usually quickly deployed, fairly mobile, and offer lower risks for your customers but a more steady and regular income for you.
Just like cryptocurrencies remain a frequent guest on numerous financial trends lists, the technology behind it - blockchain - is a SaaS trend for 2023. More and more SaaS applications have started to utilize smart contracts, where your transaction data in the form of digital currency is stored on several devices instead of being saved on a single server.
With blockchain-as-a-service, businesses get to offer blockchain infrastructure to those not wishing to create a custom network. Following this trend, you can either use these services or become the provider yourself.
Embedded payments and other system integrations
The next year will also mark the continuation of consistent integration upgrade methods between, for example, on-premise and cloud systems and also improving access to the SaaS applications using APIs.
Good quality integration might even reduce or even eliminate altogether the need to include a third-party solution since SaaS applications will offer them by default. Payment integrations are one of the most useful examples and are to benefit the most from a quality ecosystem.
More SEO influence
The positive influence of search engine optimization on sales and client acquisition is hard to overstate, which is why SEO remains in the list of top 2023 SaaS trends. Investing in SEO alongside the creation of quality content that is then getting optimized is a sure way of increasing your organic traffic.
More SEO influence next year will mean less dependency on paid advertisement for SaaS businesses striving to get noticed in the overflowing market.
Another type of advertising that made it onto our list of SaaS trends for the upcoming year is native advertising, being one of the less intrusive forms of ads, where the ad is made to match the overall aesthetic of the media it appears in.
There has been expected a spike in native ad investments, particularly among SaaS companies, with a goal to reach their target audiences in a less annoying and more efficient way.
Machine learning and analytics software
Similarly to the AI role in the SaaS industry, machine learning and analytics software are also becoming more and more widely accepted. It has evolved into Machine-Learning-as-a-Service or MLaaS, which is now offering services like deep learning, data visualization, facial recognition, data pre-processing, natural language processing, and preventive and predictive analytics.
When incorporating these innovative solutions into SaaS applications, last are given the opportunity to reduce the need to integrate third-party apps to study user behavior.
More focus on security
Security in SaaS applications remains a top priority, making it a trend again. SaaS misconfigurations are the issue most SaaS businesses plan on tackling this next year, also giving some power to the user by offering them options to protect their data.
Conditional access rules, data access permissions, and third-party access are the three types of disfiguration risks that, if unmitigated, lead to frequent security incidents and cause even more risks.
SaaS design trends
The design of SaaS websites and applications is also affected by trends, and we think this is a good thing. We previously made an article mentioning the best trends of 2022 for SaaS websites, and most of what we discussed there still holds true and will continue to stay in trends in the upcoming year as well.
The SaaS design trends we’d like to single out are the remaining focus on bettering user experience, simplicity, minimalism, eye-catching animations, and micro-interactions. Also, stay tuned for our next article about UX/UI trends of 2023 for more insights.
Mobile-first approach carries on
The last one on our list is a pretty persistent trend of the previous 5-6 years - a mobile-first approach, which still somehow remains an afterthought for many businesses, even though, each year, statistics show a progressive uprise in smartphone-based activities of various target audiences.
If you still haven’t implemented this approach into your SaaS business and have finally given your product a mobile version, 2023 might finally be the year to do it. What’s more, Merge is happy to help with the development.
Overall, a fair share of these SaaS 2023 trends carried over from the last year, and for a straightforward reason - usually, in business environments, if something becomes a trend, it was typically previously given a chance to prove itself.
Some trends were shaped by the state of our post-pandemic society, and others came directly from an accelerated digitalization of multiple internal and external business processes.
Implementing even a small portion of these 15 trends we mentioned today onto your SaaS business will guarantee that you, as a founder, will stay at the top of your game.