Software as a Service (SaaS) continues to thrive and is expected to grow by $60.36 billion between now and 2023. It’s no secret that the SaaS model is lucrative, and with so many potential problems to be solved by innovative software solutions, it’s easy to see why many would want to break into this growing market.
Though Shopify is typically used for DTC eCommerce, it’s a great choice to get your SaaS company off the ground too. Using its traditional SaaS m
But even with a killer SaaS idea powered by the ultra optimization of Shopify, launching a business takes know-how. There are certain steps to take when launching your SaaS business so that you can start out on the right foot.
In this piece, we’ll detail exactly which steps you should take to make sure your Shopify SaaS business has the best possible beginning and sets you up for success.
1. Create Your Website’s Framework
Creating an effective SaaS website means that you need to make a framework for your website, which involves creating pages and allowing people to easily navigate them. For example, you could find the best Shopify apps and use them to add email functionality to your site. If you don’t make it easy to navigate it could harm your SEO, increase your bounce rate, and ultimately cause you to lose money.
As you create your framework, you’ll need to identify the most important features that your websites could incorporate, such as the features mentioned in this image. This includes making your website easy to navigate and
For example, if your business offers text messaging automation software, then your website should have tabs at the top of the page that will lead to your purchase and information pages. You should then include pictures and descriptions of your software along with the payment plans available.
In short, you should figure out which features and pages your website needs so you can create a plan before you launch the site.
2. Research Your Market
As you create a framework for your website, you’ll need to do some research about your market. This will involve finding the answers to the following questions:
- What does my target audience need, want, and expect from my software?
- What do my competitors offer to people that I can incorporate into my business?
- Which payment model will lead to the highest profit for me?
Each of these questions will guide your research, since knowing your customer is intrinsic to knowing how you should adapt your software and offer. For example, if your business offers a video editing software subscription, then you should look at the most successful businesses in the industry. See what they charge for their services, what people say about them in reviews, and check out the different features that are included in their software.
From here, you can identify features that other businesses don’t use and incorporate them into your own software. You can also see how much you should charge for your software and which payment model you should use. As you research your market, you can use that information to influence and design your Shopify website.
3. Develop Your Service
Keep in mind that the SaaS market continues to develop as technology improves, so you need to keep your own service up-to-date so you can meet the demands of your customers. This will include the software itself and any new features that become important to the industry as you prepare your Shopify website.
For example, over 9 out of 10 chief information officers want to make the shift to cloud services due to the benefits that they offer, including:
- Allowing multiple people to access the same information from different devices.
- Saving any changes automatically so no one has to worry about losing data.
- Having the software automatically updates through the cloud.
Customers care about fail-safes, such as a cloud-based service, so you must recognize their needs and develop your own service around those demands.
Developing your service means that you need to adjust it as you prepare for your website’s launch, but you still need to continue development afterward. This includes updating your service and making changes based on what your customers need. So make sure that you continue to develop your software before and after you launch your business’ Shopify website.
4. Incorporate Your Channels
Remember that your website won’t be the only part of your SaaS business since you will need to incorporate other channels. For example, you could use your channels to send updates to your customers or as a way to communicate with them. There are multiple channels that you can choose from and each of them will give your SaaS business advantages.
- Email marketing will allow you to send deals and longer pieces of information to your customers.
- SMS marketing will let you send quick updates and reminders to people, plus you can use mass SMS text messaging to cover all your customers.
- Social media marketing will make it easy for you to directly interact with your leads.
Keep in mind that Shopify will allow you to integrate some of these channels into your website. For example, you can create a landing page that allows customers to sign up for your email newsletter. Once they do, you can use email automation to send them a welcome email while adding them to the newsletter so they can receive weekly updates.
As you think about the different channels available, you will need to identify which ones you can incorporate into your site and then plan out how you will add them.
5. Establish Your Web Design
Since you have so many aspects of your website to focus on, such as features and information, the website’s design may slip your mind. You need to ensure that your website looks nice and is easy to use. If you don’t, then your customers will have a negative experience on your website, which will harm your business in the long run.
As you can see here, nearly 90 percent of your website’s visitors are less likely to come back if they have a poor experience. This means that you need to get rid of anything that might be inconvenient, frustrating, or annoying for your visitors. You can do this as you make your website visually appealing and easy to navigate.
For example, you could get some people to beta test your website and see if it offers a good user experience. Ask them about their experiences, if they think the website is visually appealing, and if they had trouble navigating it. This way, you can change your website based on those criticisms and improve the design as much as possible.
6. Plan Around Your Expenses
As you build up your Shopify website and work on your software, you will see the expenses begin to pile up. You should look into your expenses, compare them to your profits, and see what you need to change about your business so you can make some money. If you need help creating a plan, then we have some questions for you to think about.
- Are there any unnecessary costs that my business is wasting money on?
- What does my business need and what do I want it to have? Which of my needs should I prioritize while I cut down on costs?
- What can I do to better advertise my business to potential and current customers so more people will know about it?
If you find the answers to these questions, then you will know where you need to cut down on costs and how you can boost your profits. For example, you might plan to charge your customers $10 a month for your SaaS, but you then discover that amount won’t be enough to cover your expenses. You would then need to either spend less money or increase the price to $15 a month so you can make a profit.
In short, you need to keep your finances in mind so the launch of your website will lead to a profit.
7. Attract Your Customers
You can offer plenty of features, channels, and helpful tools to your customers, but that won’t matter if you can’t find a way to attract them. This means that you need to make offers that your customers will purchase or use. But what are some effective ways to attract your customers so they will want to use your service?
Let’s discuss some examples of ways that you can attract your customers. As you can see in this image, over 40 percent of SaaS businesses will give their customers a free trial. This works because customers will try your service, like it, and purchase it, which makes free trials a great way to attract customers.
You can also offer discounts to your potential customers and even pay them for any referrals that they give you. It comes down to identifying different ideas that will attract people and convince them to try your service. With this in mind, you should launch your website with incentives, offers, or anything else that will entice them to try out your product.
Shopify stands out as an excellent resource if you want to form your e-commerce business around a SaaS product. It can be difficult to know the steps you need to take before launching your business, but these tips will assist you with the process.
If you apply them to your Shopify website, then you can create your website’s foundation to effectively present and share your business with potential customers.