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 Worked

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

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 leaders 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 competitor.

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 co-browsing.

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 sharing.


Related: 25 Companies Show You Their Best SaaS Pricing Model

Related: 400 quotes to focus and motivate SaaS companies in 2018

Natasha Hoke
Natasha Hoke

Natasha Hoke was Upscope's head of marketing.