5 Emerging SaaS trends to watch in 2018

Last updated on June 13th, 2023

Natasha Hoke
Natasha Hoke

Discover some of the hottest new SaaS trends.


Also see: 27 Companies Show you their Onboarding Emails That

Good read: 25 Companies Show you their Best SaaS Pricing Models As

The SaaS industry is growing more competitive each year, making it harder for
businesses to stand out from the crowd.

There is always going to be a fresh-faced subscription-style startup, offering
a similar service.

However, staying up-to-date with the latest SaaS trends will give you an
immediate advantage. Here are 5 SaaS customer support trends to keep an eye on
in 2018.

1. AI and Machine Learning

In 2017, we heard a lot about Artificial Intelligence technologies, which are
becoming more widespread. Over 81% of the world’s IT

are already at work developing AI systems, and not surprisingly. AI and
machine learning is greatly optimising businesses, increasing productivity and
automating tasks that support human capabilities. AI and machine learning are
becoming more important to SaaS companies than ever in 2018. From chatbots to
hyper personalisation, it’s creating a marketing revolution.

2. Customer Success will become a company-wide effort

Customer success is a critical component in any company. In 2017, we saw it
change from a customer-facing department to company-wide discipline. In 2018,
customer success will only get stronger. To develop a strong customer success
strategy, marketing, sales and customer success departments must align. This
will create more cohesive strategies, that’ll will result in improving overall
customer journeys.

3. Vertical SaaS

Vertical SaaS is predicted to blow up in 2018. It targets specific
industries/customers, allowing companies to adapt features according to client
and industry demand. It differs from Horizontal SaaS, which focuses on clients
in any sector or industry.

Vertical SaaS offers customers a cost-effect, industry-specific option that
allows them to customize certain features, making it more flexible for
customers, and lowering customer acquisition costs for companies.

4. Mobile-focused-SaaS

In 2018, mobile users are expected to grow by 2.5 billion globally. As many of
us rely on mobiles, working on the go, downloading apps etc, we realise their
value. SaaS companies are focusing even more on the mobile side of things, as
it creates a better user experience, providing customers with their product
when it is convenient for them to use it.

5. PaaS

Once a SaaS company has reached a certain level, their main focal point is
customer retention, rather than acquisition. By providing PaaS (Platform as a
service), customers are able to add new services and mould the original
product, depending on their usage. SaaS giant, Salesforce, is the perfect
example, as they successfully implemented the Force.com platform.

As 2017 was such an innovative year for the SaaS industry, it’s always
exciting to see what awaits us in 2018. From some of the SaaS trend
predictions above, it looks as though it is going to be amazing!

6. A Bonus Key Trend - Interactive support

What happens when the number of SaaS companies grow at an immense rate?


What are the consequences of this growth?

More competition means companies need better customer service.

If you don’t answer quickly or provide good service, they’ll go to a

How are they providing better customer service?

  1. Live chat software.

  2. Co-browsing software.

  3. Webinar and demo software.

Why is co-browsing growing rapidly?

Co-browsing is instant effortless
interactive screen sharing for live chat and phone companies.

SaaS companies have lots of features.

They have impatient, ready to switch, confused users.

The user does not want to download and set up screen sharing to get guidance.

Co-browsing is growing because the agent can see the user's browser in one
click and highlight where to click to guide them through the site.

As live chat grows, as customers ask more questions via live chat, so does

The future is rapid interactive support where there's more than just highlight
and clicking for the user, it'll be a full on rapid training session with
every trick and prop a teacher can use.

See Upscope as an example of a
co-browsing tool and why it’s such an improvement on old school screen


Related: 25 Companies Show You Their Best SaaS Pricing

Related: 400 quotes to focus and motivate SaaS companies in

Natasha Hoke
Natasha Hoke

Natasha Hoke was Upscope's head of marketing.