ESD

Tackling Distribution Channels—Which Place? Applying the 4 P's of Marketing to Apps, Part 2b

Because the AppStore is the only store that we are allowed to actually sell our iOS apps directly, many developers choose to only list their products in the AppStore. However, by doing so, a developer has ignored many distribution channels where an app can be marketed. In addition, if a mobile developer is on a different platform, many app stores exist for which to list apps. In my last post I covered designing the shelf space of the Place “P” of marketing. In this post I'll suggest various first tier (app stores) and second tier distribution channels in which to target the Place application of marketing.

App Stores, Then and Now, a Distribution Evolution

The AppStore to some, seems like a new phenomenon, but Electronic Sales Distributors (ESD's) have been around a long time. Selling software has evolved tremendously over the years and has helped make sales easier to complete. In the case of the AppStore, distribution has pretty much been taken out of the equation in how it can negatively affect sales. We've been writing mobile software since 1999, and writing it as Creative Algorithms since 2003. This post will explain how distribution and sales have evolved over the past decade, through our personal experiences.

Android Market - Google's Answer to AppStore?

Google recently announced on their blog how they intend to promote Apps for the Android operating system. The "store" will be referred to as the "Android Market" which will be more of a repository, or archive, of applications available for the platform. They did not spell out how commerce will be accomplished--just that free apps (and maybe free demos?) will expect support for now, with more decisions to be made later. This news is welcomed by developers who are frustrated with the semi-closed nature of the AppStore, but does pose some critical issues in its deployment. In this post, I will compare and contrast some of the positives and negatives of the Android Market (as it has been announced), the AppStore, and the current existing smartphone application distribution system.

Finding the Right Price - Marketing Mobile Software – Part II, Price

Price selection can be the most difficult and elusive part of marketing. How do you know if your selection is right? What happens if it is too low? What happens if it is too high? What if you need to change it? Is it possible to market to all types of customers—those who want cheap, those who will pay more, or those who won't buy if the price is too low? Sometimes pricing feels like a shot in the dark, but it really doesn't have to be that way. This post will explore different ways of pricing software applications, how to modify them if needed, and approaches for setting pricing tiers to ideally attract as many customers as possible.

What Would Make the AppStore Perfect

This past week we finally experienced the opening of the much touted Apple AppStore for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The AppStore does a lot of things right that developers have been clamoring for: it puts software right in front of every iPhone consumer, it makes it super easy to purchase and install apps, and it makes the whole process accessible for the majority of developers (no more carrier intervention, for example). However, the AppStore is like any piece of 1.0 software—it has it's 'bugs' and exploitations that can only be discovered by massive usage and adoption. This post will note a few areas of needed improvement.

Summary of Palm OS Software Sales Poll

We recently conducted a poll as to why Palm software sales were down drastically in 2007. Here's a synopsis and editorial of the results:

The recent poll we conducted resulted in a two-way tie, with two very close second place finishers. Two additional third place selections followed very closely behind, nearly resulting in a six-way tie. These results are not surprising--too many factors have played a part in this story. I suspect it was difficult for one to choose just one main factor. All the results tell a story of how things went awry with the Palm OS.

Perception is Reality. Why Palm OS software sales have plummeted in 2008

Palm OS software sales are dead. Most developers will tell you that at the end of 2007 their sales dropped below sustainable levels, even below levels where support is justified. Some developers responded by offering existing titles for free with no support, others have closed completely, while many are looking to port quickly to newer platforms with greater potential. However, according to the buzz online, Palm OS has been slowly dying for three or more years now. And Centro sales have hit one million. So why the sudden sharp drop in sales?

The ESD Equation - Marketing Mobile Software – Part I, Distribution (Place)

Does it make sense to distribute your mobile software via the Electronic Software Distributors (ESD's)? Are the commissions too high to be worthwhile? Can listing be a win-win situation? Many blogs and developers have vented frustrations about commission rate increases at the ESD's, typically those run by Handango and Motricity. In some cases, commissions and fees have doubled from 25% to over 50% in the past five years. Many developers have packed their bags and delisted. Others refuse to start listing. On an emotional and moral principled level, not listing may be the right choice. But does it make sense from a business standpoint? Can we quantify the effects of listing, not listing, and the commission hikes? This post will discuss the numbers as related to increasing sales by using (or not) the ESD as a distribution and promotional tool.

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