The SaaS mobile businesses and opportunities are rising at an alarming rate. The business is regularly growing since 2008 and is expected to gather further momentum and reach around $130 billion or more by 2020, according to Statista.
Apparently, mobile has the lion’s share in contributing towards the SaaS growth. For example, in 2015 Q1, there were about 313 mobile SaaS businesses that successfully raised more than $2.6 billion in investment capital.
This staggering growth has tempted many companies to create brilliant mobile experiences in the SaaS space.
Why a SaaS product needs a mobile app?
Mobile is no longer regarded as a trend but has become more than that. According to Neumob, around 85% of organizational employees used a mobile device. Furthermore, 80% of all the workforce is now considered non-desk workers.
The benefits of mobile applications for a SaaS business is endless, and not because of the statistics stated above. If satisfying the customers encourages them to become your brand advocates. Then any passing opportunity to provide value-added services and further convenience for using your product should be readily availed.
However, before you opt a SaaS based mobile application for your business, it is important to acquire an appropriate plan. Obviously, the business will need to conduct relevant research and make some key decisions in order to assure that users will accept and use your mobile app.
As for this discussion, let’s examine the five important questions that SaaS businesses need to answer before opting for quality, customer-based SaaS mobile application.
What is my core offering?
The foremost thing you need to ask yourself is, “What is the thing that people expect to extract from my SaaS product?” any product feature that is your core offering.
You might be accustomed to developing feature-rich, exclusive products that give you a competitive advantage in the market. But what is that core feature the audience look forward to.
The idea is to understand the core offering first, and then you will decide how to incorporate that in your SaaS app.
For example, Buffer, a social media management platform, relies on its core offering of scheduling social media posts in advance. The desktop version shows a detailed calendar view, a powerful scheduling tool and plenty of other features for the users.
On the other hand, the Buffer mobile app focus more on the core features of the tool. Handling the message queue and scheduling the social media posts.
It is important for businesses to note that their mobile app doesn’t necessarily need to replicate everything their official website does.
If your SaaS product is filled with a plethora of features, having all of them installed in the app can be tough. Therefore, it is advised to focus more on the core features and functionalities that your users expect. The reason being that having loaded with features will result in a slower load time, and obviously, a cluttered UI.
According to an Akamai research, literally “every second counts”. It also states how a higher app and web loading time in a big turn-off for customers. Furthermore, it greatly affects engagement, loses trust and credibility, and eventually, hurts considerable conversions.
Can I position my app as a value-added product?
One of the major benefits of a mobile app for SaaS businesses is that they always have the margin to inculcate value-added features for the users.
Coming back to the Buffer app, it is mainly known for adding a real value on the Instagram scheduling front. However, the social media platform still mandates every user to manually share every post. Once a post is scheduled in the app, it will send a push notification to the user indicating when is the time for posting. All the user has to do is check the notification and hit the post button!
Although, Buffer has excluded a number of desktop features from the app. Their focus and inclusion of specific, mobile-only functionalities have covered up the gap, and turned it into a powerful asset.
Since the release of the new iOS with ARKit functionality, businesses have started incorporating AR technology in their mobile apps. Something that a desktop app doesn’t provide.
Do I have the bandwidth or resources to build a mobile app?
Building a mobile app for your SaaS business is not an easy task, with the level of project discussion and complexities involved.
Unsurprisingly, SaaS-based startups are often running tight on their budget and resources. Quite an important aspect to keep in mind prior to planning an app development and launch.
Seemingly, businesses looking to acquire mobile apps as a service need to understand the considerations constituting the tech stack.
If you’re new to the technical stuff in a tech stack, hiring a professional app developer will be a better option.
Should I outsource my app project or cater in-house?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is not that simple and straightforward as it seems. But there are a number of considerations to be taken into account.
Given that you might already have a desktop app for your SaaS product. Ask if you can dedicate some of your team or resources for the app development without compromising the core product. If yes, then building in-house makes sense.
On the other hand, most SaaS-based companies prefer the latter option, outsource their development project and acquire a quality app without affecting their in-house deadlines and other commitments.
Apparently, the outsourcing option is a cost-effective approach and allows the companies to retain focus on their core products.
Should I initiate with iOS, Android or both?
A mobile first SaaS product is an exciting prospect, but should it be iOS, Android or both?
The idea is to determine the operating system your target market uses the most, and then decide which OS will fit best with your SaaS-based mobile app.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.