Five on Friday: SaaS Mistakes, Privacy Tech and Retail Subscriptions
Featuring The New Web, Digiday, AdExchanger, WTVA and Tubefilter
In Five on Friday this week, The Next Web recommends that we avoid these three common mistakes when developing an SaaS product, Digiday tells us how The New York Times gets people to spend five minutes a day on their site, Tubefilter shares what did and didn’t work in terms of digital media and entertainment last year, big retailers are testing out the subscription model, and AdExchanger says privacy tech is on the rise as the GDPR deadline gets closer.
3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Developing a SaaS Product
In a recent article for The New Web, Nathan Resnick, the founder of Sourcify, shares 6 common mistakes to avoid when building a SaaS product.
- Do not use the terms Cloud and SaaS interchangeably. They are not the same thing. Some SaaS products will be cloud-based, but others will be location-based, Resnick explains.
- Be careful not to undervalue your product. Choosing an appropriate price point is a complex equation, but if done carelessly, you could be undercutting the value of your own product. Resnick recommends looking at what competitors are charging and work from there.
- Don’t ignore the importance of customer service. As you build your product, remember to think about customer service and the type of experience you want your customers to have. Consider that along the development path, as well as once the product is built. Having insufficient or lousy customer service will ensure your quick demise.
Read the other three tips in Resnick’s article on The Next Web.
2017 Hits and Misses in the Digital Media and Entertainment World
In a December column on Tubefilter called Insights, David Bloom, an entertainment industry veteran, explored some of the hits and misses in the digital media and entertainment world for 2017. Here are a few highlights.
- Thanks in part to the so-called Trump Bump, journalism made a bit of a comeback with The New York Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Teen Vogue enjoying the benefits of new subscribers.
- While Twitter has been made more interesting by President Trump, and Twitter tried to attract more users by doubling its character count, it is still lagging.
- Facebook flopped – at least in terms of goodwill. With fake news, Russian hacking and bullying scandals, Facebook has some ‘splaining to do.
- Cord cutters ditched their cable companies in favor of streaming video, but some niche players like Fullscreen and Seeso abandoned their OTT projects.
- People want subscriptions, as evidenced by Netflix hitting the 100 million subscriber mark and Hulu drawing in big, though unstated numbers with original programming.
For more highlights from 2017, read Bloom’s original article, ‘Insights: What Worked (and What Didn’t Work) in 2017 in Digital Media and Entertainment’ on Tubefilter.
The New York Times’ Readership and Time Spent on Site are Growing
In a digital world competing for readers, getting subscribers isn’t always enough. Retaining them and keeping them engaged is just as important. In 2017, The New York Times got that right. According to Digiday and comScore, last year people spent approximately five minutes per visit to the site, a 35 percent increase from the prior year. Also, in 2017, the site average 89 million unique visitors each month from desktop and mobile traffic, and the company’s digital subscription revenue grew 46 percent to $86 million in Q3.
How do they do it? Digiday offers a few insights:
- Posting articles with multimedia components, including documentaries, podcasts, maps and interactive charts
- Coverage on big stories including the Las Vegas shooting in October and the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal
- Use of a new content management system called Oa
- Dedicated staff who focus on visual journalism
Read more about how The New York Times is keeping its readers attention on Digiday.
Big Retailers are Testing out Subscription Services
Though they are a little bit late to the party, big name retailers like Nordstrom, JCPenney, Ann Taylor, Gap, Old Navy and Under Armour are among the companies who are hoping subscriptions are the next big thing. Why? How consumers shop is changing, and so are their tastes, reports WTVA. By offering a subscription box instead, customers can still shop online and only pay for the items they want to keep, without having to go to the physical store to try clothes on or pay for shipping to return unwanted items.
With most subscription clothing boxes, subscribers complete a profile, indicating sizes, tastes, fashion trends they want to try, frequency, brands, price range, etc. For a nominal fee, a stylist then selects a handful of items for the subscriber to try on at home. If the subscriber buys an item, they receive the styling fee as a credit toward their purchase. If they buy none of the items, the retailer keeps the styling fee. In some cases, retailers are offering discounts for customers who purchase the entire month’s selection.
In addition to getting recurring revenue from a potentially new customer base, retailers also benefit by introducing new brands and products through the subscription box. This is a way to test consumer taste and peak consumer interest. If done right, retailers can help fill the gap left by consumers who no longer want to go to a physical store to shop. Read more about how 'Big Retailers Are Testing Out Subscription Services' at WTVA.com here.
A New Industry Is Born Out of Necessity: Privacy Tech
In an effort to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May, a new industry is born – privacy tech, reports AdExchanger. Players like PageFair, Tealium, Segment and Evidon have developed solutions to help companies and brands that do business in Europe to be prepared for the fast-approaching deadline. According to the International Association of Privacy Professionals and Ernst & Young, Fortune 500 companies will spend just under $8 billion to become GDPR compliant.
Each company is taking a different approach to compliance, says AdExchanger. For example, PageFair’s Perimeter helps publishers manage data leakage and third-party tracking. Evidon, on the other hand, offers a solution that helps companies with transparency in obtaining consent from web users. Read more about privacy tech and the different solutions on AdExchanger.