Life as a Service! B2B, B2C, B2B2C where will it all end?
You know I love SaaS. It is simple, a no-brainer and in particular for Businesses it makes sense. However, I think we are soon due for a new model.
Today’s world is turning into big subscription services, pay to listen to music, fixed fee electricity, internet, mobile, hardware insurance, drinking water at home, and even the photo stock companies have turned their simple pay as you go models into a monthly fee. Soon we might be paying for clean air 🙂 and many other things that we took for granted.
The first question is: How much longer will SaaS last?
According to a recent study by eMarketer, American citizens are reaching a limit. Many have a subscription to services they don’t even use but in today’s busy life we forget. In particular subscription to mobile Apps. It has happened to me several times. To be honest I don’t even know where I have to cancel some of these subscriptions. Who should I contact? where do I look?
I see the charges on my credit card statement, by the time I figure out what it was for and who it was sometimes a month or more has gone, by which time I am not entitled to a refund and in some scrupulous cases they requested that I cancel or two months before the service is due to end!
SaaS is good, however as companies grow they cannot use 100 different applications throughout the entire company. There will come a point when they need to have the data aggregated into one database and have their own bespoke software to keep track of client interaction, invoices, etc.
I personally think that in the near future we will see a lot of API SaaS. Services that can seamlessly be integrated into your platforms and platforms that are raw enough to allow developers to integrate those APIs with no effort. Take Sendgrid for example. We use the webhook API to send emails. It does the job seamlessly. It took my developers no time to integrate it into our platform and we outsourced the email sending problem. We have done the same for many other services. However, the photo stock, which we used in our company to buy the occasional photo for social media posts or marketing we have stopped completely. To buy single photos here and there is now too costly and not worth it and to subscribe is equally simply not worth it.
In the same way, I practically don’t listen to anything other than my own music library. I might listen to some new stuff but I prefer listening to music I like. Music that I had paid for, purchased, and don’t feel the need to repurchase or pay a monthly subscription for.
We watch the odd movie on Apple TV or Amazon prime and pay per movie and try to keep subscriptions to a minimum. To be honest I liked the old model of Radio advertising and commentary. I don’t mind seeing advertising on my screen, Google, and I am happy for advertisers to track me so I get more specific advertising rather than irrelevant stuff.
Now here is the thing. For all those who complain about Privacy and Data Protection. I would have been happy to pay Facebook a subscription fee, so that my data is kept private and that I am not bombarded by ads when I want to catch up with just a few friends around the globe.
I personally think we are coming to an end of life for B2C subscriptions it may be another 2 or 5 or 10 years. Of course, I can’t predict but it is obvious that we can’t just add more and more monthly fees to a fixed income. And as for businesses, we are finding that many people are starting to ask us for bespoke programs that do things the way they work.
We have developed a CRM that does everything a small business needs. From invoicing to quoting, full customer relationship and we can modify it for our clients. It is the perfect solution for small businesses and startups because they can grow with it and take it over at any point when they are ready for scaling.
Image from emarketer.com