3 Tips for Building SaaS Mobile Apps Users Won’t Regret Buying

If your business depends on subscription revenue from your Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mobile app, buyer’s remorse is your enemy.

However, if you focus on three core areas during SaaS app development, you can create an app that will keep subscribers renewing month after month and year after year.

They’re the three things we’ve focused on for every successful SaaS mobile app we’ve built for our clients, and it’s not rocket science. It involves knowing your market, iterating on the app quickly, and making the UX and UI amazing.

Let’s take a closer look at the three critical aspects of SaaS software development that help ensure your sweet, sweet subscription revenue keeps flowing in.

Why Is Buyer’s Remorse a SaaS Killer?

The nature of SaaS makes buyer’s remorse a major challenge. In the past, software was a one-time, big-ticket purchase. If you wanted to use Microsoft Word, for example, you went to a store like Best Buy, bought physical disks or CD-ROMS, and installed it on your computer when you got home. If it was disappointing, tough luck; software wasn’t something you could return.

The Software-as-a-Service model changed all that. Users don’t “own” SaaS software; essentially, they rent it. They get to use the product as long as they keep paying for the subscription.

Businesses like the SaaS model because they make more money in the long run. Instead of selling Word for a one-time price of $200, Microsoft can charge $70 annually, year after year after year. They may make less in the first two years, but if a user sticks with Word for several years, Microsoft makes way more profit.

The challenge is getting the user to stick with it. That’s what makes disappointing the user (i.e., buyer’s remorse) such a killer. Unlike those physical disks, SaaS apps are easily returnable; users just cancel their subscriptions.

SaaS-based businesses, therefore, have to hook the user the first time they try the app, then have to keep delivering a great user experience. That usually involves continually improving the product, adding new features, and quickly patching defects or issues.

It all starts before the SaaS development even begins.

Tip 1: Know Everything About Your Market

First and most importantly, you have to know everything about the market, industry, or domain you’re targeting with your product. If you’re not a part of the market, you need to do a great deal of market research and analysis.

To understand why, imagine two entrepreneurs with similar ideas—Brett and Dani.

Brett is a huge fan of food trucks. He gets lunch from one of several food trucks in his area every day. He’s even gotten to know some of the owners through casual conversation while waiting for his order.

Dani owns a food truck. She’s run her business for several years, belongs to a support group for food truck businesses, and has made deep connections with other truck owners. Because it’s her livelihood, she stays up on all the laws, industry news, and events related to food trucks.

Both Brett and Dani have ideas for SaaS applications that they think will revolutionize food truck operations. Whose idea has a better chance for success?

Based only on what we know about them, chances are Dani’s app will have a better chance to take off. She intimately knows the challenges food truck owners face and has people she can use as a sounding board.

That’s not to say Brett can’t be successful. He’s just going to need to talk to people like Dani to see what they think and find out if his idea is something they’d invest in. It will be much harder for him to identify a problem worth solving than for Dani.

If you imagine you know what a market segment needs in a SaaS application but are not a part of that market, you’re stacking the odds against you. You must have the knowledge or do the work to gain that knowledge before you even think about SaaS app development.

Tip 2: Iterate Quickly

Once you feel confident you’ve got a good chance for success and are ready to begin SaaS development, you need to iterate quickly. Get version 1.0 out the door as soon as possible.

It doesn’t have to have every feature you envisioned. It may only have one feature (the most valuable one to the customer). You may have to cut a few corners.

You know how they say no plan survives contact with the enemy? SaaS software development plans usually don’t survive first contact with the user. By getting your SaaS application into the hands of your end users as quickly as possible, you’ll know the impact on development early on.

Once your app hits the market, you will discover a whole raft of tweaks and features you need to add, remove, and modify. Stuff you didn’t anticipate.

If you wait until you’ve developed every feature in your plan, you may have to do some heavy revisions. That rework can easily triple your SaaS development time and costs.

Rapid iterative development gives you real-world insight into the features and functionality your users actually want. You get valuable feedback from all the early adopters and beta users using it. Then, you can focus the SaaS software development efforts on building those desired features.

Tip 3: Make the UX/UI Amazing

If you want users to spend a lot of time on your app, you’ve got to give them a fantastic experience while they use it.

Think about an app you’ve used that drove you up the wall. What was it that frustrated you about it? What made it difficult to use, and how long did it take before you abandoned it?

The user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) often determine how successful your SaaS app will be. It has to be eye-popping right out of the gate. It has to be easy to use. It has to look good.

Crafting a seamless, intuitive UX takes work, and designing an attractive UI takes talent and experience. Don’t cut corners here. Invest in outstanding UX/UI designers.

The Rest of the Story

We’ve covered the big three, but there’s more you should consider during SaaS app development to ensure your app is a hit.  

For one thing, there’s the question of building it yourself or outsourcing the work. If you have some coding skills, you may be tempted to make it yourself.

However, unless you have built SaaS apps before, a custom SaaS software development company will be able to build it better in less time and for a smaller overall cost.

They’ll also have the resources to help support and improve your product over the long run.

To learn more about the ins and outs of SaaS app development, check out our Ultimate Guide to SaaS Product Development.

Ashutosh Kumar

Ashutosh is a Senior Technical Architect at Taazaa. He has more than 15 years of experience in .Net Technology, and enjoys learning new technologies in order to provide fresh solutions for our clients.