Your 7-step Custom vs. SaaS Loyalty Comparison Checklist

Your 7-step Custom vs. SaaS Loyalty Comparison Checklist

Scott Shurson 3 min

Many enterprises believe that custom loyalty solutions are their only option. But today’s SaaS loyalty solutions and platforms can give brands lots of flexibility, configurability and functionality without the hefty price tag or long delays that lead to missed opportunities.

Simplify your decision by weighing these 7 key factors

It’s helpful to have a checklist for comparing your loyalty solution options. When selecting a SaaS product for loyalty over custom software, consider the following:

  1. Cost-effectiveness: SaaS loyalty solutions and platforms typically follow a subscription-based pricing model aligned to the overall volume of active members, which can be more cost-effective than custom software development. Custom software requires significant upfront investments in development, testing and maintenance, while SaaS products spread out costs over time, making it more budget friendly. Moreover, custom models often charge by data utilization (API calls, Admin Accounts, etc.) whereas a SaaS platform often does not.

  2. Rapid deployment: SaaS products are ready-to-use and can be deployed quickly (especially cloud-based platforms), often requiring minimal setup. On the other hand, custom software development can take months or even years to complete, delaying the benefits and potential return on investment. This also extends to changes that are needed to adapt and respond to evolving customer needs—requirements beyond the scope of the custom software. With SaaS platforms, marketers can update or change segments, rewards, tiers and more in minutes without expensive or time-consuming delays waiting for re-coding or development.

  3. Scalability: SaaS products are designed to handle a wide range of users, from small businesses to large enterprises. Tenured platforms have weathered standard and non-standard spikes in member growth, spending events and rapid expansion. Cloud-hosted loyalty platforms typically hyperscale to meet these events and have undergone rigorous testing and certification, conducted by third parties.

  4. Maintenance and updates: SaaS providers are responsible for maintaining and updating the software, ensuring it remains up to date with the latest features and security patches. This removes the burden of maintenance from your enterprise, allowing you to focus on your core business operations and growth.

  5. Access to advanced features: SaaS providers often invest in cutting-edge technologies, which may be cost-prohibitive for a single enterprise to implement through custom software. By using a SaaS product, you gain access to these advanced features without the need for additional development. As a SaaS loyalty platform customer, you can take advantage of years of experience in not only the provider’s development team, but also their entire customer base as new features are usually productized but originate from a market need or expansion to support another program. This enables your organization to gain new functionality ahead of competitors, helping you differentiate your brand.

  6. Expert support and reliability: Reputable SaaS vendors offer reliable customer support and service-level agreements (SLAs) to ensure high uptime and availability. This level of support may be challenging for your enterprise to achieve independently, especially if you lack extensive IT resources. Competing projects may require a delay in support as the original developer has already moved on to another project and will either need to halt the new project or delay response until the new project is completed.

  7. Integration capabilities: SaaS products often have pre-built integrations with other popular business tools and platforms. This integration capability streamlines workflows and data exchange between different systems, which can be complex and time-consuming to achieve with custom software. It also enables your brand to deliver the seamless, consistent, personalized experiences today’s consumers expect.

Let’s sort it out—together

In the loyalty space, SaaS software can be seen as a risk. Many organizations don’t trust software they haven’t built themselves or have full control over. The regulation and testing of SaaS software puts many of these concerns to bed. ISO27001, SOC2 and other reviews aren’t typically conducted on custom software solutions, potentially leaving organizations vulnerable.


When selecting a loyalty partner, look at the people-time investment in the platform, the care and feeding of the feature set, the frequency of promotions and campaigns as well as the expertise in integrations to see where your investment dollars should go. Talk with one of our experts to help you assess your goals, challenges and requirements to help you make the right decision for your business, budget and customers.

Scott Shurson 3 min

Your 7-step Custom vs. SaaS Loyalty Comparison Checklist

Read this blog to simplify your search with a helpful checklist that covers key considerations for loyalty implementation.

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