Considerations When Building SaaS Products



Sep 2, 2022

SaaS, otherwise known as Software-as-a-Service is practically the norm for how consumers engage with tech. A SaaS revenue model unlocks economies of scale and allows you to rinse and repeat your growth strategy. However, there are certain pitfalls you must avoid with a SaaS product early on to allow yourselves the best chance to scale your product while managing the digital expectations of your consumers.

To help you focus on building a scalable SaaS product, here are our three questions you must ask yourself before you start building your SaaS product:

1. Market

Understanding your target market is a key to success for virtually any industry. The same holds true for a SaaS product. Your SaaS product must incorporate the user habits and language preferences of your primary demographic for it to resonate with your end users. SaaS products often tend to operate in niches and therefore, you will need to consider features in your SaaS product early in product development.

For example, if you are designing a SaaS product for the Chinese market and you are using email as the primary login method, your product may not experience a positive reception. Chances are high that the onboarding experience will not resonate with the target audience since Chinese users typically prefer using their mobile phone number or WeChat for signing in.

Similarly, designing a SaaS product for users in one language and localizing your product in another language as an afterthought is almost certain failure. When taking your SaaS product global, we recommend that you use our Local IQ™ framework to decide the best approach – not just in terms of message or language but also in terms of design and features for your target audience – for localizing your SaaS product.

2. Compliance

As teams get busy from sprint to sprint to launch your first SaaS product, it is very easy to lose sight of certain regulations and compliance that your SaaS product must satisfy to even operate in a certain region or industry.

For instance, if you are designing a SaaS product for the European market, you must design your SaaS product to comply with GDPR standards. Or, if you’re rolling out a digital healthcare SaaS product in the United States, the odds are you must be HIPAA compliant.

The repercussions of violating compliance go beyond financial damages. Your brand’s reputation and trust in the public eye also take a significant hit. It is therefore recommended that you collaborate with a company that can navigate you through the clustered channels of legal and regulatory compliance before writing your first line of code. It is also recommended that you leverage cloud service providers, like AWS, to derisk your company and offload that risk to them. In doing so you can build and configure your SaaS product to meet the stringent requirements of various compliances.

3. Pricing Strategy

Many SaaS products are overloaded with features that are sensational but are rarely used. One of the big reasons behind this is an improper pricing strategy. SaaS products often have to choose one of the three pricing strategies: cost-based, value-based or competition-based. Furthermore, it is expected that a SaaS product will offer some sort of discount for a high-volume usage or a substantial upfront payment.

To get this right, it is highly recommended that you conduct research interviews to understand your target market and their pricing preferences. Getting the pricing strategy right is more about experimentation than theory, although you can optimize your strategy with enough upfront research.

Now that you have your pricing strategy in place, you must decide your pricing channels. Are you using third-party integrations? Will you be earning money on both iOS AppStore and Google PlayStore? Have you done your math for the transaction fees you have to pay to your app marketplace and your payment processing partner, like Stripe? Creating a transparent, painless and efficient way of processing payment is paramount to your target users. Making sure your SaaS product is able to guarantee a seamless payment system will go a long way in acquiring and retaining repeat customers.

Regardless of the industry, understanding your target market, regulatory and legal compliance, and pricing of your SaaS product goes a long way to ensure the success and growth of your SaaS product.

4. Common Sense

At Uplancer, we love to over-deliver. In that spirit, there is a forth consideration that you must keep in mind, common sense! It is imperative that you check a few boxes to avoid a Pandora’s Box type of  situation:

  • For starters, you must demand that your development team provide full documentation of how your product works, where those resources, and access or credentials to access those resources to YOU. We’ve found from time and again, one or all three are kept with the team causing your SaaS product to shut down completely once they are out of the picture.
  • Make sure that you ask your developers to implement development, staging and production pipeline environments. Creating a proper pipeline to deploy your code with the right checks and balances allows you to avoid costly mistakes such as releasing massive bugs into your final SaaS product.
  • Request an audit of your SaaS product from an external party to ensure that your SaaS product is built for compliance. Skipping an audit can have regulators or even your service providers to shut your SaaS product down.
  • Employ quality assurance (QA) specialists to test and retest features before making them live. We cannot emphasize how important it is to do a proper and thorough QA to avoid introducing catastrophic errors into your SaaS product.

Reach out to Uplancer today for a free consultation on how to design and develop your SaaS product for the domestic and international markets. 

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