* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Mobile Conversion Rates

We are about to launch our first mobile product that will have some paid features.  It was a lot of work

I read all about the wild success of King Digital, and some of the mobile games out there.  But I think most of us here develop serious applications.  Has anyone here launched a good converting Trial for a serious Paid Product that is Mobile/Tablet?

How does anyone make money doing this.  It was very expensive to develop.  It is going to be expensive to market.  And users expect to buy apps for less than $10.

We have a marketing plan that I am confident will get some trials out there.  But I have no idea what to expect from conversions.

Does anyone convert with mobile software? 

What do industry conversion stats look like on mobile?

On desktop I understand:
<1%  Bad Converting Product
1-3% OK
3-5% Good
>5%  Very Good

Is this also true on Mobile?
Anybody have any data about this?

Or what is true about mobile conversion?

Any input appreciated.
C. Stark Send private email
Thursday, August 14, 2014
 
 
>How does anyone make money doing this.

As far as I understand (not being in the mobile market) most don't. I have seen a few articles that back that up with numbers. Lets hope you are one of the lucky ones!

>On desktop I understand:
<1%  Bad Converting Product
1-3% OK
3-5% Good
>5%  Very Good

1% visit to sale is pretty good actually:
http://successfulsoftware.net/2009/04/23/the-truth-about-conversion-ratios-for-software/
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, August 15, 2014
 
 
I figured "download to sale" was the classical measure of conversion.
Visit to sale seems awkward, as it's basically 2 measures merged in one. (visit to download + download to sale)
Zka Send private email
Friday, August 15, 2014
 
 
> How does anyone make money doing this. 
> It was very expensive to develop. 
> It is going to be expensive to market. 
> And users expect to buy apps for less than $10

Ummm, shouldn't you have had a business model before spending the money to develop the software??

Like Andy, said, few people make money developing for mobile.  You've got to be one of the super popular ones for people to even find you in the app stores.

I wish you the best of luck (sincerely).
Doug Send private email
Saturday, August 16, 2014
 
 
>I figured "download to sale" was the classical measure of conversion.

There is no standard here. So you have to define your terms.
Andy Brice Send private email
Saturday, August 16, 2014
 
 
How to make money with mobile "apps":

1. Create nontrivial, niche application
2. Set price to desktop level, ignore $0.99 pricing
3. Now you can afford customer acquisition

If you play the $0.99 another todo-app game ... better have direct contacts to Apple and bloggers to get your stuff featured alle the year round.
Jeremy Morassi Send private email
Sunday, August 17, 2014
 
 
A niche B2B app can get away with the $99 price tag:

http://blog.httpwatch.com/2014/04/15/seven-reasons-why-our-ios-app-costs-99-99/
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Sunday, August 17, 2014
 
 
$99 in the app store must be a hard sell.
Andy Brice Send private email
Sunday, August 17, 2014
 
 
Agree with Andy.

It is very hard to make profit just out of $0.99 or even $9.99 mobile apps.

Here are some models that should work:

1) You can have a lite free version and a pro version (with compelling features), to even make little money.

2) Treat mobile apps as only a marketing tool for another bigger desktop product, web service, subscriptions etc. Give the mobile app free.

Since smartphones, most population want only free apps.
Gautam Jain Send private email
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
 
 
Is 99 dollars in the app store an harder sale than selling your product for 99 in a retail store or from your website. Either you niche supports that price or it doesn't.
Foobar Send private email
Sunday, August 31, 2014
 
 
>Is 99 dollars in the app store an harder sale than selling your product for 99 in a retail store or from your website.

Yes, I think so. Context is important - you might spend £20 to buy a bottle of wine in a restaurant, but not be prepared to spend the same for the same bottle of wine in a supermarket. The app stores have set an expectation of low price or free.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, September 01, 2014
 
 
Thank you all for your insightful replies.

I was offline for a few days.  Summertime.
Anyway.  To follow up

@Andy
"1% visit to sale is pretty good actually"
My numbers were successful install to sale. 
Not visitor to sale. 


@Doug
"Ummm, shouldn't you have had a business model before spending the money to develop the software??"

Yes.  You are right. 
We developed it to make our software more useful for
our existing desktop clients.  We want to increase
customer retention.  If this increases retention
slightly it will more than pay for itself. 

But now that I see the program I love it.
And I am interested to try and market it on its own.

Are there are any serious mISV
developers that are actually making
 a living doing this.  Or is it just a bunch of GetRichQuick
VC's and big companies losing money trying to
figure out the space?

And.....  A recurring theme by me on this forum:
THE DEATH OF THE PC IS UPON US. 
Go ahead and give me hatemail and troll posts for saying it.
I always get a hard time when I say this to people whose
livelihood depends on desktop/laptop software. 
But nobody wants PC's or laptops anymore. 
Just hang out for an hour in any
computer store that also sells smart phones and tabs
you will see what I am talking about.

I think this is another one of those turns in the road
where you adapt or become extinct
C. Stark Send private email
Monday, September 01, 2014
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz