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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

Is my low price is giving me sales?

Okay, so I dropped my app price from $19 to $9 just over a week ago, and this happens:


So, is a low price *really* the trick/secret to getting sales?  Or is it just co-incidence?  While it was $19, I had a drought with zero sales for literally months.  Looks like I'll have to keep it at $9 then?

The only reason I'm asking, is that in the past when I raised prices, I also got a few sales, so I don't know if it's price, or features, or more exposure on download sites, or what.  How does one work out the secret?
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, October 05, 2015
This might give some insights.

Scott Send private email
Monday, October 05, 2015
I don't quite follow what that means, but I'm guessing you're saying that I'm boasting and beating my chest by posting my sales here?  If so, that wasn't my intent.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, October 05, 2015
> How does one work out the secret?

By trial and error. There is no other way, as each product is unique, has a unique target audience, reach, competition, and so on.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Monday, October 05, 2015
I wouldn't think too much about why this happened at the moment. Just leave the price as it is and see how it goes during the next few weeks (even months?).

No you know that you have something that people are buying. I would put off the developer hat and only work on reaching more customers.
xmlbuddy Send private email
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
"I'm guessing you're saying..."

What the heck? Did you look at the article?

Hawthorne did productivity studies. He improved lighting on the factory floor, and productivity went up. Then he made lighting worse on the factory floor, and productivity went up. Then he did all sorts of things and productivity always went up. And went back down after a while.

Then he discovered a new principle. Making any change at all makes productivity go up. Sometimes this is interpreted that the workers being observed makes productivity go up. That's part of it, but the real issue is the novelty factor.

Making changes increases sales for a bit. Many retail companies take advantage of this by constantly having sales and changing the price, layout of the store, getting new merchandise in, etc.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Keep the low price for 1 month (or seeing your volume, even longer) to see a statistically significant result and compare income/month to see which price point is better.

I don't know your product but it could be better to improve it greatly and ask more money for it. Or create different versions and sell them for different prices. Pro version with lots of features for $20 or $30, simple version with basic stuff for $9.99.
Zka Send private email
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
I don't know how you are marketing the software, or what it does.  But I wonder if you could make two versions of it and market them separately, simultaneously, and see what happens.

You could either put  a couple extra features in one copy and sell two versions: Standard $9, Premium $19.  Or change the name and look of one version and just sell them from two different locations.  (I don't know if that's ethical or not - to sell the same thing for two prices at once.  Maybe you should make sure the more expensive one does something extra just to be sure.)

You don't have a ton of data, so you can't be sure, but it sure LOOKS like dropping the price increased sales.  And $9 x 6 is definitely a lot more than $19 x 0.

But it could be something else - for some reason you got more Internet traffic to the software when it was cheaper. 

PS I don't know what Scott meant either.  The information was interesting but to me it was saying that when someone is being observed, they tend to perform better.  But I'm not sure how that connects to your situation.  You are observing your sales, and they are up.  But the people buying your software don't know this, so I don't see how that would encourage them to buy.  But maybe just the fact that you're focusing on the sales, making little changes, doing some analyzing, maybe making changes to your website makes it get more hits,  so maybe your observing the sales really did help increase them.

Or maybe he is saying that we are observing you now - following your progress - and you're aware of that, so you're performing better - trying more things - and that's bringing you more success.

Congrats on your sales!  If you can sell it to 6 people, you can sell it to 60.  And if you can sell it to 60, you can sell it to 600... 6,000...
Emily Jones Send private email
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Thanks again for all replies.  I like the idea of Standard and Pro, I think I'll do that at some stage.

Scott, there was another post in July where you asked if I were desperate for attention.  That, coupled with the Hawthorne article section that says "the novelty of being research subjects and the increased attention from such could lead to temporary increases", made me think the two items were linked, and that you were slyly hinting that I was trying to get increased attention here again.  Sorry if I misinterpreted what you meant.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
@Emily:  It's now 22 sales for that app in total, not just 6.  :)  Most were at $19, but then nothing for months, and now 6 at $9.  I'll keep it at $9 for the next few months to monitor.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Relevant considerations:

1) Statistics. 22 events--13 @$19 vs 9 @ $9--over 10 months tells you nothing at all with anything like certainty.

2) Price as signal. Sometimes sales go up when price goes *up*.

3) Optimal pricing. Do read this, from our beloved patron:

4) Also, I'd put more effort into new software that sells even better rather than micro-tweak this much more.
Racky Send private email
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Sorry Scott, for my misundertanding.  :(
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, October 09, 2015
Oh it's cool, don't worry, I see why you thought that now.

Earlier this year, it was just you were making nearly all the posts on the board and running every decision past the board, I was frustrated and trying to get you to stop doing that, but I was rude in doing so and I apologize.

But I do think there's a lot of stuff you just have to do and see how it works rather than constantly second guess yourself or try to get things perfect on the first try. No amount of analysis will yield perfect results. Experimentation is always necessary.
Scott Send private email
Friday, October 09, 2015
All good.  :)  The boards do seem really dead nowadays.  A shame.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, October 09, 2015

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