Vertical SaaS vs Horizontal SaaS: 7 key differences

User 01
IndieMark 24 Feb 13 Comments

SaaS adoption is snowballing. A recent Harvey Nash survey revealed that SaaS was voted the most important technology in helping achieve business goals.

Metrics research found that organizations with more than 1,000 employees use over 150 SaaS applications 馃檶

Products within the SaaS industry serve an immense number of functions. While some are intended to cater to the specific needs of a particular group of users, others help a hugely diverse client base, providing solutions to a broader market. This critical distinction has resulted in two key SaaS models: vertical and horizontal.

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If you are thinking of becoming part of the SaaS industry, you will need to clearly understand these two different models and determine which one is right for your business. Simply put - the better your understanding of these services, the higher your chances of success are.

The 7 Key Differences Between Vertical and Horizontal SaaS

Scope of Industries and Market Size

The vertical SaaS business model is an end-to-end solution designed for the needs of a specific sector. These solutions' software features are specially designed to streamline particular industry operations. On the other hand, horizontal SaaS solutions are less industry-personalized and more problem-oriented. Their increased applicability across several industries sets them apart from horizontal SaaS.

Customer Acquisition and Retention Approaches

In the vertical SaaS model, acquiring customers takes less time and effort than in horizontal SaaS. As you can imagine, if only a few businesses offer solutions to a niche problem, customers will likely choose a business and stick with it. Make sure you have a look over our SaaS customer acquisition guide, as it might come in handy.


  • User 12
    MaryLync77 20 Feb

    My reasons for not signing up are apparent: 1) Unable to access 2) Can not open it properly in my web browser... but I followed you here.

    Can not answer anymore to your comment. Maybe we have reached the maximum depth of a thread. Let is talk it through outside the Community if that makes sense to you.

  • User 15
    PhilipSnyder 20 Feb

    You could always do both, post from your product profile and occassionally share/interact from your personal profile.

    Andrew Gazdecki does this in a very entertaining way with MicroAcquire, it looks like he is basically talking to himself via the two accounts sometimes, very amusing.