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Why SaaS Marketplaces Are Gaining in Popularity

Why SaaS Marketplaces Are Gaining in Popularity

Find out how SaaS marketplaces can help you take advantage of the cloud while keeping application sprawl in check.

One of the most exciting aspects of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is the growing number of applications that businesses can readily plug into as new needs emerge. Businesses took advantage of this flexibility during the pandemic, resulting in a surge of adoption of cloud-based solutions. These included solutions for remote working as well as applications for more specific use cases like online learning. 

The agility offered by SaaS and the ease of access to applications is clear. At the same time, business users tend to purchase these solutions at will. As a result, businesses find themselves with dozens, if not hundreds, of disconnected applications. This issue is known as SaaS sprawl and it can lead to siloed data, increased risk, and a range of other adverse consequences. 

Global research firm Forrester highlights the issue of SaaS sprawl in a new report, The Forrester New Wave™: SaaS Marketplaces, Q2 2020. The report evaluates top SaaS marketplaces that can help to alleviate SaaS sprawl and bring everything back into line.

Here, we look at the advantages of SaaS marketplaces and break down the findings of the report.

How SaaS marketplaces provide a better buying experience

SaaS marketplaces help to tame SaaS sprawl by providing a centralised approach to finding, purchasing, and managing cloud-based applications. For example, they help businesses to find relevant or ‘add-on’ applications that are pre-vetted and peer reviewed. They also offer features like centralised management consoles to help reduce IT complexity.

The Salesforce AppExchange is one such marketplace. It features 6,000 solutions that allow businesses to extend the functionality of Salesforce across every department and industry. These include low-code and no-code solutions for nearly every business challenge. What’s more, solutions can be integrated with Salesforce and can be installed with just a few clicks.

What this means is that customers can benefit from all of the leading cloud solutions provided by Salesforce Customer 360, and layer on new capabilities from the AppExchange to create connected customer experiences. 

Eighty-six percent of Salesforce users have installed one or more solutions from the AppExchange. is one of those. The online insurance provider was quick to pivot in response to the pandemic and used Salesforce and SightCall from the AppExchange to offer customers a video claims service. has also built its own apps that it hopes to package and sell to other insurance companies through the AppExchange.

What sets the AppExchange apart from other marketplaces

While SaaS marketplaces are not new, Forrester’s report reveals that they’re gaining more attention these days. They’re also being enhanced with chatbots and other new features to support the buying experience.

The Forrester report evaluates a total of eight SaaS marketplaces against criteria such as availability of applications and buyer interface. 

We’re delighted to share that the report says Salesforce “leads the pack with a mature marketplace with scale and breadth of SaaS solutions.”

The Forrester report states that the Salesforce AppExchange “will generally appeal to anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem.” It also specifically notes that “Salesforce has thousands of applications in its marketplace in a range of categories.” 

Salesforce received the highest possible score of ‘differentiated’ in seven criteria – the most of any vendor evaluated. These include: 

  1. Availability of applications
  2. Buyer interface
  3. Due diligence and assurance
  4. Management console
  5. AI and automation
  6. Roadmap, and
  7. Market approach

In conclusion, the Forrester report acknowledges that, “Despite this being an overall newer market, Salesforce has a long history of running the Salesforce AppExchange and offers features such as private marketplaces and advanced search.”

To learn more, download The Forrester New Wave™: SaaS Marketplaces, Q2 2020 report.

Visit the AppExchange to find applications and partners to support your business needs.


Salesforce is the #1 CRM, bringing companies and customers together in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, blockchain, voice, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way. They are coming to us as their trusted advisor, and together we are transforming their businesses around the customer.

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