Software is a very profitable niche to sell online. But a software product doesn’t on its technical strength alone. To sell software, you need technical knowledge, marketing and communication skills.
In this article, we assume that your product has passed the trial stage and is ready to be rolled out to customers.
Table of Contents
- Here are 10 tips to sell software online.
- 1. Be wise with your eCommerce platform
- 2. Branding is important
- 3. Know your competition
- 4. Free trials
- 5. Figure your business model
- 6. Audit and compliance
- 7. Technical support and customer care
- 8. Marketing
- 9. Use metrics
- 10. Feedback and reviews
Here are 10 tips to sell software online.
1. Be wise with your eCommerce platform
To sell any product online you need an efficient eCommerce platform. Yes, you can sell through your website but an eCommerce platform supports you in many different ways.
Ecommerce platforms come with a lot of features that let you manage the design of your store. They also have many marketing features and also allow you to export your product catalog to different marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc.
The overall package and various integrations with your accounting, CRM and ERP software centralizes your business. Also, the expansive reach of the platform allows your business deeper market penetration.
VARStreet is the most reliable B2B eCommerce platform that covers all your needs to sell software.
It is affordable, easy to set up, comes with an aggregated software product catalog and a lot more.
Whether you want to start your business from scratch or you are in a process to scale up, VARStreet’s eCommerce solution offers you the best.
2. Branding is important
Every product needs identification to form a connection with customers. Customers recognize your product with it’s “brand”.
Look for a unique name. Short, not a tongue-twister and something people can relate your product with.
Create your logo in alignment with the brand name.
The truth is most people respond better to visuals. We identify and remember colors and designs more than text. Your product logo should be uncomplicated and the color scheme should be harmonious.
“Make your brand visible. Statistics say, on an average, it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember your brand.”
For example, the 2 golden arches of McDonald’s is the most recognized logo world-wide. When you are out on the road and you see those arches, you know there’s a McDonald’s ahead! That’s powerful branding.
3. Know your competition
According to Eric Allison, “World trade means competition from everywhere; advancing technology encourages cross-industry competition. Consequently, strategic planning must consider who our future competitors will be, not only who is here today”
A factor that plays a very important role when you sell software online is to understand who your competitor is and who can be your competitor in the future”.
The knowledge of your competition lets you correctly position yourself in the market You know what to face and you are prepared.
Today, competition in any field is inevitable. Selling software is no different.
Study the competition to know what they are unable to offer. Can you fill that gap?
Software always solves a problem. Do your competitors solve that problem as efficiently as your software? Do you offer the solution at a competitive price as compared to others?
Ask yourself these questions. Honest answers will lead you to an unbeatable business strategy.
4. Free trials
The cost of software is usually high and consumers tend to research and ‘shop around’ before purchasing a high ticket product.
Free trials are a tested way to have consumers get a hang of the software, see if it suits their requirement, and if you have a stellar product, they will eventually buy.
A study by Invespcro says,
“Active free trial users that are contacted by sales rep are 70% more likely to buy the paid service.”
A free trial makes the transition from ‘Register’ to ‘Buy’ smooth and successful.
5. Figure your business model
What will you offer after the free trial period is over? Create a model for your business. The most popular software business models are:-
The purchase of a license gives the perpetual right to the buyer to use your software. In this case, the customer pays an upfront amount to gain the rights to use the software
Subscription is the most popular model used in online software sales. This model gives usage rights to consumers for the period they subscribe. The subscription model works well for both the seller and the buyer due to its flexible format.
The commission model is a rare business model where the software is installed free or at a nominal cost. A share of the revenue generated by the software works is paid to the licensor of the software.
6. Audit and compliance
Software business comes with a set of standards, regulations, codes, controls, and procedures. You have to comply with what is necessary for the software you offer.
Your customers would want to know if your software is secure? Is their data safe? Do you have the required security certifications?
Get the audit and compliance certificates applicable to your software and make them visible on your website. These certificates show how considerate you are towards the security of your clients.
Make sure that you run audits periodically and the software you sell comes with its own security updates.
7. Technical support and customer care
73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service.
Every software comes with a set of dos and don’ts. Hence, the software is always sold with client training, how-to-use documentation, and technical support. It helps your customers overcome the initial hiccups during installation and start.
Although you train customers in advance, they would still need continuous support post-installation. Especially if the users are not from a technical background.
Be ready to help. Be approachable. Offer multiple channels like email, real-time chat, ticketing systems, phone, etc. to customers to reach you 24×7.
No business can sustain for long without good customer service. In the case of software, it is even more important.
Whether you sell software or you sell IT equipment online , the marketing strategy today has to be omnichannel. You have to project your brand everywhere. That doesn’t mean you need to pump in a lot of money in your marketing campaign.
Here are a few things you can do to promote your software online.
- Short explainer videos that cover the product features.
- Create social media accounts with your brand name and market your content on them.
- Interact with your target audience on a regular basis.
- Join forums that talk about software and participate in discussions. Suggest solutions to problems whenever possible.
- Use backlinks. Identify sites that can talk about your software.
- Write blogs to strengthen your site. Brands that blog create 67% more leads
- References from existing clients.
- Email marketing
You may need some or all of the above-mentioned points in your marketing campaign. The key is to keep it simple yet attractive.
Sell on different marketplaces too. Amazon is a hugely popular platform and it will do your business well to get on it.
9. Use metrics
In the era of eCommerce, marketing campaigns are not a permanent one-time thing. It is a continuous process of checking the headlines, images, videos, etc., to see what is working and what is not. With so much information pouring in from all the directions through the internet, the attention span and memory of consumers are short.
Accordingly, marketing campaigns need to change quite often. What clicked today with the audience may not be popular tomorrow.
You have to check metrics periodically to understand what is working well for you and adjust your campaigns.
10. Feedback and reviews
Software is a product whose performance is assessed over time with repeated usage. Reviews make it easy for prospective customers to trust your product.
“Statistics say that 91% of consumers from age 18 -34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Encourage your customers to tell their stories about your product.
According to qualtrics.com, 68% of the customer leave a review if asked.
Use different platforms to get reviews from your customers.
While positive reviews are good to attract more customers, negative feedback makes you identify the vulnerable areas of the software. When you sell software, negative feedback acts as a piece of vital information to improve the product.
The best-selling software is robust, efficient, problem-solving and well marketed. You cannot put similar efforts into a low performing product and succeed. At the same time, you cannot have a good product and just do nothing about it.