What is SaaS?
The delivery of applications over the web as a service is called as SaaS or software as a service. Companies using SaaS do not have to invest dollars in purchasing the software or spend time in managing the solution. All they have to do is to access the software using the internet and benefit from the on-demand software without doing hardware management. The web-based software typically run on the provider’s servers and the user is free from the management of aspects such as security and availability of the solution.
Research firm Gartner has predicted that by 2013, 90 percent of e-commerce sites will certainly use at least one product from SaaS or SaaS vendors. Further it is also stated that 40 percent of e-commerce sites will begin to use SaaS solutions by the end of next year. Popularity of SaaS has driven companies such as Salesforce.com to extend its software as a service business. The software giant now offers applications enabling businesses to mine social Web information and keep in touch with both present and potential clients.
Businesses can purchase SaaS software from a reputed vendor and following the purchase users will have to download and install the software on the desktops at organization. As users will have to maintain and update the services, support can be drawn on a particular fee that is charged either annually or quarterly. SaaS simplifies all the operations, allows excellent efficiency for organizations and ultimately contribute to their bottomline.
Why Use SaaS for E-Commerce?
Running a business requires investment and not everybody has the money to launch a website such as Amazon.com. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce solutions work well for those small online retailers who do not have a lot to spare but can leverage SaaS technology to open functional online stores.
“E-commerce SaaS solutions provide organizations with live Web sites, and enables e-commerce SaaS service providers to provide individual services, such as product reviews or click to call, that can be incorporated into e-commerce SaaS platforms, as well as on sites that are using licensed software,” says Gene Alvarez, research vice president for research firm Gartner.
Technology and affordable SaaS ecommerce solutions has given a ray of hope to many small and medium sized businesses who may not compete with an eBay but are able to make money by maintain their uniqueness. Flash-sale and daily-deal websites now offer customers a range of affordable products to choose from and give good return on investment to its investors. Oris Wertz, the founder of version one ventures, and an investor in more than 35 early-stage consumer Internet and mobile companies, notes that many new companies have forayed into SaaS ecommerce space. Together, says Wertz, this group of companies will generate over a billion dollars in revenue in 2012. These companies have successfully eliminated stores from the supply chain and are delivering very high quality products to customers at very low prices.
Businesses that would like to sell products easily through custom-built solutions with the medium of SaaS solutions can certainly build an ecommerce shop cart and start selling products to customers. The SaaS Ecommerce platform has several applications that offer multiple functions including order management, inventory management fulfillment, CRM, and many others. Because there is lot of success potential for Saas Ecommerce online market places, many ecommerce experts recommend Saas Ecommerce as one of the perfect sources of online market place.
An ideal SaaS ecommerce suite will allow online sellers to make significant profit through multi-channel selling and manage customer relationships, inventory and orders in a very effective manner. These types of solutions also enable users to consolidate detached back office systems into a single solution. Other functions of a SaaS solution includes automation of important business functions across all key departments such as sales and marketing, and offers to users, real-time data to improve decision making.
Although SaaS Ecommerce is increasing in popularity each day industry experts advise SaaS companies to stop looking at the inward business metrics and focus on keeping their customers happy and engaged. Guy Nirpaz, co-founder and CEO at Totango, a full-service Customer Engagement Management platform for online businesses, emphasizes the importance of analyzing the user’s interaction with a business and products in real-time.
A newly released Aberdeen study also shows that businesses with robust customer analytics enjoy more customer retention as compared to organizations that do not focus on this aspect.