Selling COTS software on Amazon?

Anyone considered or sold commercial off the shelf (COTS) software on Amazon? I was reading on their website that they will sell your software based on a per item price or a monthly fee. Sounds like you might open yourself up to some criticism based on user reviews, but it also sounds like a great advertising vehicle.

Would you be so kind to provide a link ?

I do sell a couple font products on CD through Amazon MarketPlace, but was not aware of anything else, apart from their App Store. I tried to find out how one would get in the App Store, but even asking by mail got me nowhere.

Sure… here’s a link

link text

[quote=204558:@John Fatte]Sure… here’s a link

link text[/quote]

Thank you. That is not a download store, it is the AmazonMarketPlace as I do it.

As I told you, I have a couple CD products there. It was quite a bit of work to get them together : cover, pictures to place on Amazon, SKU barcodes required by MarketPlace.

Today I sell a couple a month on average.

Not sure I would go today if I had known. I sell many, many more of the same items on my web sites by download. Software on CD is dead.

Michel

Our software is downloadable and runs as a demo until we send them an activation code through email. They have to agree to our terms prior to activating which means they are agreeing to activate software that is essentially a subscription. If they fail to renew then it will not run.

Do you see any issues with this setup on Amazon?

[quote=204561:@John Fatte]Michel

Our software is downloadable and runs as a demo until we send them an activation code through email. They have to agree to our terms prior to activating which means they are agreeing to activate software that is essentially a subscription. If they fail to renew then it will not run.

Do you see any issues with this setup on Amazon?[/quote]

Amazon MarketPlace is only for physical products.

[quote=204561:@John Fatte]Michel

Our software is downloadable and runs as a demo until we send them an activation code through email. They have to agree to our terms prior to activating which means they are agreeing to activate software that is essentially a subscription. If they fail to renew then it will not run.

Do you see any issues with this setup on Amazon?[/quote]
I see issues with that in general. How mad would you be if Xojo did that to you?

Amazon download store sucks big time, don’t even bother with it IMHO.

It took us almost 6 months to get setup with them, and that was years ago, all our popular apps are there. We sell maybe one or two copies a month, and always have at least one of those copies refunded as the customer ‘changed their mind’.

Not to mention that they’re pricing system is an absolute con. There are terms which I cannot divulge due to the contract, but from our experience Amazon simply isn’t worth the effort.

Tim - We were initially very reluctant to implement the subscription, but we have found that our users actually embraced it. There are many advantages, especially when you consider it is a tax application that has to be updated annually in order to comply with current tax law. We’ve even found that our non-profits and government users are satisfied with the way our subscription works.

Unlike some companies, we update the software on a continual basis… we will sometimes post updates for a misspelled word the same day and our updates are always available for immediate download from our website. We are continually adding new features and because it’s subscription based, they don’t have to wait for quarterly, semiannual, or annual upgrades to get the new features. It’s also user driven so when a user asks for something, we will often implement it immediately if it makes sense.

I’m more than pleased with the conversion from our annual licensing to subscription based system. Thus far, over 95% have converted. I might also add that the application is distributed with a common-sense “site” license AND includes unlimited technical support at no cost. With over 20,000 users and a zero wait queue for technical support, they are getting their money’s worth.

You can read the case study on Xojo

I purchased XOJO about 6 years ago and I’ve been renewing every year just like it was a subscription so is there really any difference? Other than the psychological one?

The undisputed US leader QuickBooks has always had some subscription component to their model, but now are completely subscription : http://quickbooks.intuit.com/pricing/

If I was you, John, instead of trying that dead duck of Amazon (they’re more interested in selling diapers than computer CDs), I would do all I can to have the trial program on every shareware archive under the sun.

You may also want to explore the current trend epitomized by Adobe and Microsoft of offering online apps. I have been exploring that possibility for my Check Writer, but for a tax application, it can make even more of a sense.

Please don’t follow the Adobe route, I hate the fact there’s so many little apps running on my machine and if I kill them, Photoshop doesn’t work correctly anymore.

There is a world of difference between graphic apps and accounting ones, especially tax ones.

For Photoshop, I have been using Photoshop Elements for the longest time precisely because I do not like the subscription model, and because I do not want my pictures to go to Adobe servers. As several recent cases have shown, including that celebrity who ended up naked in all corners of the Internet, anything that goes to the cloud can be pirated.

That said, the online subscription model is probably the new gold rush.

With our one shot license fee, we are highly disadvantaged. Sell once, have an upgrade maybe one year later, is a very inefficient money maker. Heck, I have sometimes customers asking for a new download of a 2002 $19.95 sale.

I really envy those who have apps on the web and charge per a month subscriptions of $5.95. That is already 3 times in one year what I make once and for all. Not everything can go that way, though. If only I could do that for my fonts !

Our software was upgraded annually and users could choose to upgrade or not. Most did, but the real issue that we ran into was that they would call about a bug or feature that they wanted added and it was fixed in the newest version or we’d tell them we can add the feature in the new version, but it wouldn’t be fixed or added in the old version. This was the reason that I think most of our users like our subscription model. They are never out of date because they can always get the latest version immediately.

This is a desktop app and not cloud based. That’s probably where the world is headed, but we’re not going there yet.

We looked at Adobe’s and Microsoft’s (Office 365) subscription plans before we came up with our own. We also explained the numerous benefits that endeared to the enduser under our subscription plan. They seemed to like the idea and realized that this could actually result in a lower cost to them in the future because we wouldn’t have to continue to increase our annual upgrade price to support our on development.

Yes, I think subscriptions are the new gold rush and I would not be opposed to buy into it if it came with a site license like ours does.

Without necessary be cloud based, you could auto-update your app with Kaju (or similar), or have your app call your server upon launch to make sure the subscription is still current, and if so, download tax schedule updates if needed.

Hey, my faithful local app Quickbooks just got killed by El Capitan, so I went to purchase the new version, and I discover that now QuickBooks available in the MAS is “Powered by QuickBooks Online”.

Seems the leader has made its mutation already.

[quote=204733:@Michel Bujardet]Hey, my faithful local app Quickbooks just got killed by El Capitan, so I went to purchase the new version, and I discover that now QuickBooks available in the MAS is “Powered by QuickBooks Online”.

Seems the leader has made its mutation already.[/quote]
This is what I begun to realize as a developer, rather than phreaking out every time Apple breaks our apps, we instead need to be making sure that we have a paid update ready in time to sell to the customer… After all it’s not our fault that Apple broke their own APIs?

Trouble is implementing that plan… Takes longer than I thought, so for this version we’re still going to have to release ‘patches’ :frowning:

[quote=204766:@Sam Rowlands]This is what I begun to realize as a developer, rather than phreaking out every time Apple breaks our apps, we instead need to be making sure that we have a paid update ready in time to sell to the customer… After all it’s not our fault that Apple broke their own APIs?

Trouble is implementing that plan… Takes longer than I thought, so for this version we’re still going to have to release ‘patches’ :([/quote]

That is where an online tool makes sense. All is needed is a new guise for an HTMLViewer, and the real app is cozily hosted out of Apple crafty hands. Or on an Apple box, but which does not need many different systems.

When I see the example of Photoshop, I cannot but wonder if you could not actually host your apps on an Apple Mini in a corner of your office, and sell access like they do. Then no need for El Capitan. Mavericks or even earlier would nicely do.

Ironically this is what I’ve been encouraging new developers to do, is to build reliable week apps with a simple desktop app ‘shell’, it’s a shame that I can’t take advantage of my own advice.