Pandemic clearly accelerated the trend of moving activity to the online channel last year, but some solutions benefited more than others. The growth rate of stores operating in the SaaS model was 27%, while stores using the still most popular open source solution grew by 5%. The average annual growth between 2017 and 2020 for the SaaS market was three times higher than open source, recording a growth rate of 15%. If the trend continues in the coming years, SaaS solutions will become the most popular e-commerce solutions.

– The positive trend in the market for SaaS solutions had been going on for several years, but it was 2020 that saw a leap in growth to nearly 35,000 stores. We have seen this change also in our Shoper platform, which offers customers everything they need to run an effective business in the dynamically growing online channel. In 2020, the number of stores on our platform exceeded 20 thousand, and we are the market leader, with a share of about 57% – comments Marcin Kuśmierz, CEO of Shoper S.A.

According to an analysis by an international consulting firm, for several years the high popularity of solutions offered in the SaaS model has translated into a 42% market share in 2020 in terms of number of stores (up 4 p.p. in 3 years). The open source model ended last year with a share of 48% (down 9 p.p. in 3 years), and custom solutions accounted for the remaining 10% share. The growing popularity of the SaaS model means the number of stores has increased by more than 50% over the past 3 years, from 22.8k stores in 2017 to 34.9k stores in 2020.

The SaaS model consists in making one’s product (e.g. an application) available in the form of a service paid for in the form of a subscription. Its greatest advantages include the comprehensiveness of the product offer, lack of necessity to own servers and a guarantee of compatibility of additional services offered within the solution with the main platform. The high level of security due to closed access to the source code, as well as a friendly subscription formula and immediate access to the service are more and more appreciated by customers.

– Poland is not an isolated case in terms of popularity of SaaS solutions. The data shows that in developed countries this service model has a majority market share – in the United States it is about 58%. Given the technological growth in our country and the high GDP dynamics, I believe that this is the direction in which our market will develop in the coming years. For Shoper, which operates in SaaS model, this is an opportunity for further growth – says Marcin Kuśmierz.

The economy is gradually starting to open up, and that means there will be a revision of consumer habits acquired during the pandemic. As PwC’s recent report “Strategies that Win. E-commerce Leaders on the Development of Digital Commerce”, about ¾ of people do not expect changes in the frequency of online shopping, and 10% even expect it to increase.

– Loosening restrictions and an opening economy will have less impact on the e-commerce market than previously thought. The coming months may see the transformation of consumer habits acquired during the pandemic into established habits. People using the online channel on a mass scale have become convinced of its convenience, speed and safety, and these are some of the most important factors, apart from the price, which is also attractive in this model, for choosing where to buy – adds Marcin Kuśmierz.