Technology Insights

The Top 4 Technology Trends Impacting SaaS Marketplaces

By Ideas @ AppDirect / Jul 13, 2020

Top 4 Technology Trends Impacting SaaS Marketplaces

If there were any doubts that SaaS represents the future of software distribution and consumption, the arrival of COVID-19 has effectively erased them. With 73 percent of companies already reporting that 80 percent of their applications will be cloud-based by the end of the year, these numbers are likely to ratchet up exponentially in the near future. Cloud-based solutions enable everything from remote work to telemedicine and more are in high demand.

But with the proliferation of SaaS solutions also comes the risk of inundation and chaos. Indeed, with so many tools to choose from, many technology executives are suffering from SaaS overload—a situation that can lead to redundancies, cost overruns, and new risks. Add to this the fact that SaaS vendors are so numerous (and sometimes small) that formal sourcing processes can be difficult to apply, and that ungoverned, business-led “shadow SaaS” presents its own problems in terms of integration, architecture, and security, and you begin to understand just how tricky it is to manage the SaaS landscape.

The Answer to SaaS Overload—SaaS Marketplaces

Enter SaaS marketplaces: By simplifying the buying experience for business executives and creating more consistency and control for technology organizations, SaaS marketplaces help reign in this chaos. But not all marketplaces are created equal. Organizations that are considering using white-label marketplace software to launch and manage branded SaaS marketplaces need to look for solutions that contain the latest and greatest technical innovations—or risk being left behind by competitors that have already deployed them.

Here are four key technology trends to keep top of mind as you plan, launch, and scale your own SaaS marketplace:

1. The rise of artificial intelligence for recommendations

While many people enjoy the anonymity of online marketplaces and the ability to shop without a salesperson hovering over their shoulder, there comes a time for almost everyone when a little help or some informed suggestions are welcome. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. The best marketplaces take advantage of increasingly sophisticated AI capabilities to improve the shopping experience by:

Offering personalized suggestions. SaaS marketplaces with powerful AI can use customers’ search requests, product page visits, purchase history, and more (think “collections” and “wish lists”) to suggest relevant and interesting goods—either while the customer is shopping or by sending emails with exclusive offers.

Building intelligent search engines. The best search engines use AI to take into account the browsing patterns of users to turn up the most relevant results.

Retargeting customers. Just because a customer has spent significant time examining an application before exiting your marketplace without purchasing does not mean that he or she wants to see an ad for that same app on every subsequent website visited or application launched. Instead, you can use AI to ensure that the next time this customer visits your marketplace, she receives targeted ads and recommendations that amount to curated lists of similar items. Likewise, you could use this intelligence to send customized text messages, emails, in-app promotions, and more. In other words, you can take advantage of AI to retarget your customers without making them feel like they’re being stalked.

2. The emergence of dynamic pricing

No matter what people are shopping for, they all have one thing in common: They want to get the best price possible for an item at a given moment. You can increase profit margins and sales volume by ensuring that they do. By implementing the right algorithms for your marketplace—which take into account competitors’ rates, market demand, and other conditions, predictions, and trends—you can be assured that your SaaS marketplace is always generating the most favorable price for your customers and your business.

3. The dawn of e-wallets and blockchain for payments

As smartphone use continues to grow, more and more people will be employing their devices to make payments as well. This means that SaaS marketplaces must do everything they can to facilitate such payments—making them super-fast and super-easy. Today, that means accommodating e-wallets (like Apple Pay and Google Pay) to minimize checkout time. And it also means employing blockchain technology (used by both Apple Pay and Google Pay) to receive and convert currency in real time securely and without risk of fraud.

4. The power of voice to search

Siri. Alexa. Google Assistant. We’ve all become accustomed to that voice inside our computer—the personal digital assistant that’s happy to answer any question or tackle any task we’re able to vocalize. Why, then, wouldn’t customers want to interact with your marketplace this way as well? The smart marketplaces of the future will incorporate vocal search and voice commerce to satisfy the segment of customers who prefer this form of human-machine interaction.

With these trends in mind, you’ll be able to make your SaaS marketplace more competitive today while preparing for the changes that the future will hold.

To learn more about what key questions businesses should ask as they evaluate marketplaces, read our guide, Finding the Right Marketplace Platform Provider, for more information. 

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