Monitoring the pricing model of your SAAS competitors

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Monitoring the pricing model of your SAAS competitors

Today, Software as a Service (SaaS) represents an overwhelmingly huge market. Advanced features and flexibility paired with competitive subscription plans made thousands of SaaS tools the first choice for users. 

According to a study by McKinsey, the global SaaS market is currently worth about $3 trillion, estimated to rise up to $10 trillion by 2030. In addition, as of mid-2021, the median revenue growth rate of 100 public SaaS companies in the US with revenues above $100 million was 22 percent, with the top quartile’s growth rates above 40 percent.

Combine this exponential growth with revenue potential and lower costs compared to physical products, and there is no wonder why the competition in this industry is cutthroat.

“When faced with this situation, as in any industry out there, you can choose to find another battle or stay and play the game,” says Diego Richards, COO at SaaS provider Stillio. “If you stay, then one of the items that should be at the top of your list is keeping an eye on competitors. More specifically, you need to keep track of competing pricing models, as plans and features can change, making you less competitive.”

Following Richards’ advice, and teaming up with Stillio, we’ll dive into how to perform a detailed examination of competitor pricing models. In order to do so, we’ll also be introducing the process that Stillio does best: automation through screenshots. 

The competitive landscape of SaaS companies

Open Google and search for “best project management software”. You will be amazed by the hundreds, if not thousands of search results. “This example puts it clearly and gives you an idea about the overwhelming competition in the SaaS industry,” Richards adds.

Some SaaS categories are even in a state of saturation. Think social media scheduling, CRMs, email marketing. We bet you can name multiple brands inside each one of these segments. Try asking friends or colleagues working in different companies about their project management solution: multiple different Kanban-based solutions will pop up.

To further solidify this stance, let’s look at some illustrations of why the SaaS industry is the first choice for many entrepreneurs.

Solution of choice for startups

One of the reasons behind the saturation of the SaaS industry is its popularity amongst startups. SaaS solutions are hassle-free, cost-effective, and so practical that even small size businesses do not hesitate to invest in them. They eliminate the need to spend on additional technology to access multiple layers of security, flexibility, and scalability. Plus, subscription models make it easy to sign up, try, and cancel. Everything comes in handy with SaaS. 

SaaS vs IT 

Every industry suffered huge losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this wasn’t quite the case for SaaS. As this branch of software supports both in-house and remote workforce,  in some cases, it has successfully replaced conventional IT support strategies and teams. “When presented against IT, SaaS solutions are not only cost-effective but they also prepare the workforce for future challenges,” says Richards.

Easily scalable

SaaS solutions are not limited to present demands. Based on your growth, you can easily scale up your services to serve a larger audience. Interestingly, this feature will cost far less than setting up more complex infrastructure and housing a professional team. 

Analyzing SAAS competitors

In this saturated market, you must monitor your competitors, no matter how niche your solution is. You can explore aspects like their market position, customer responsiveness, and client profile, but there is a key item you may have accidentally ignored and that is SaaS competitor pricing. 

“A change in your competitor’s pricing plan can leave you out of the game,” Richards affirms. “Whether it’s a cheaper plan or one that has more comprehensive features, you need to stay updated on these adjustments so you can respond accordingly.

Depending on the type of solution, SaaS pricing pages can be easily available on your competitor’s website, or you’ll have to request a quote that adjusts to your company’s needs.

According to the team at Stillio, when monitoring any SaaS pricing model, you’ll want to look at three main items: the number of plans they offer, what each of them features, and how much they cost.

Is your competitor offering various options? Most SaaS solutions will offer a basic, more economic plan, and scale up the price as they add more features. Looking at a competitor’s plans can give you an idea of whether there’s something you need to adjust: do they feature a plan that’s cheaper and offers more perks?

You’ll also want to check out if they have a freemium option. This means people get a free version with limited functionalities, with the option to upgrade at any time. If they do, you can explore the features available, and ask yourself: is this freemium version better than my cheapest plan? You may want to consider offering a free, basic version if your competitors are already doing so. 

Monitoring SAAS competitor pricing has to be constant, as this is a very dynamic industry that is always changing. You can commit with yourself and your business to periodically go through your competitors’ pricing pages to see if anything has changed.

Or you can do as the Stillio team suggests and “trust technology to make the task easier for you”.

Monitoring pricing plans with automated screenshots

The saying "to err is human" fits perfectly in this context. Relying on memory is always risky, as you can forget to make your monthly pricing page check, and competitors will pass you by. 

In addition, taking a snapshot of the current specs is not enough; it's all about the insights provided over time. What is changing, and how often is it changing? That's the context that helps you to make decisions on your own SaaS proposition and pricing plans! You can see there is a need to automate this process. 

An automated screenshot solution—like Stillio—can be a game changer for this end. Exclusively designed to automate online recordkeeping for various uses, Stillio allows you to set captures of your competitors’ pricing pages and get them automatically saved into your account to analyze whenever you want. Checkout the Prepr Case Study for a successful story on this.

This is done by providing the URL of the page you want to monitor, and customizing capture to your desired frequency, depending on how often you’d like to keep an eye on the competition. Automated screenshot tools take full-length captures, and also let you remove elements like cookie banners or pop-ups, you can access all the information without blockers.

Once you have those screenshots you can easily share them through their unique URLs, or make use of Stillio’s various integrations like Google Drive or Zapier. And speaking of pricing models, ours is available to see on their website.

Conclusion

Although saturated, it's still possible to triumph in the SaaS industry, as long as you keep an eye on competitor activity. Keep these tips in mind when browsing through others’ pricing pages, and if you fancy, check out Stillio’s 14-day free trial to start playing around with competitor analysis automation.

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