So I’ve thought on this more today and I feel like while this makes things slight more convenient for users, I don’t know that it leads to more sales or increase revenue as you said in your original post. It would still be pulling from the same audience we all already service. It would not introduce additional customers to the platform, and thus would not be introducing additional customers to our products either.
The RapidWeaver app currently links to the Community site to assist users in discovering new addons. Those interested in addons for the app visit the Community site through that link and find products that meet their needs. Some users also use search engines, or find out about addons via word of mouth suggestions on the forum.
Adding such a feature in-app would be nice, and possibly more convenient than having to go to the Community site. But it is still the same customer base.
So what am I getting at? Hear me out: If this functionality is to be built in to RapidWeaver I suspect there would be a revenue split, as was discussed when this very same topic came up several years ago. That means we’d be losing money by participating. We’d be pulling from the same user base as now, but paying out a split to Realmac for inclusion in the built-in addons store within the app.
Additionally I am pretty sure that FastSpring is more expensive than some of the services many of the third-party developer such as myself currently use, which would be another added cost – again cutting into our sales even further, as well as forcing us to use a service some of us don’t want.
If there is no revenue split planned then we would not need to be FastSpring users, right? You could just use the Community site data and then link to our products on our respective sites from the app’s addon store. The need for FastSpring though is to share revenue, correct? If so then by my guess we third-party developers would not be generating more revenue, but instead losing it.
I’m not out to be negative here. Really. I’m just trying to share a different perspective on it that you, and others might not have taken into consideration. From your point of view a a feature like this, with a revenue split, is nothing but positive:
- It adds a large, user-facing feature to the app that will likely be praised, depending on its implementation.
- It allows bundled deals that increase your visibility and team player image with the greater community.
- It generates a great deal of additional income from a revenue split on the products of third-party developers.
From my point of view though as a third-party developer it is just the opposite:
- It means decreased revenue as it will now be split with Realmac.
- It means having to use an e-commerce service that we don’t want to use. One that is likely more expensive than what we currently use. Again, more decreased revenue.
- It means looking like a non-team player if we don’t participate.
Some might come back though and say, just raise prices to account for the revenue split! Well, then the revenue split goes up and sales go down. Users are likely to push back or not buy products that get price hikes to accommodate such a split.
I see it this way – we’re all on this ship together. We’re an ecosystem where we all need one another. If some parts of this machine can’t go on because of decreased revenue, then others will suffer. It is a very delicate balance.
Personally, I think if the goal is to benefit the user base then the solution is to incorporate something like this into the app but to do it in the same vein as the Community site. Developers list their wares and their products appear in an in-app marketplace for users to browse and purchase. This meets our customers’ needs and gives RapidWeaver a big, new user facing feature. Then those product listings in the in-app marketplace link to the developer’s site for the purchase itself. This benefits developers in helping make our wares discoverable. Then if you like sell advertisements – premium placement within the in-app marketplace. Then you can get an additional income from those who wish to advertise. Again, this is another positive for Realmac in that it leads to additional revenue. You could even sell the advanced courses, etc that you already do, but in-app.
Anyway, enough from me for now. This was all just on my mind, probably because it seems like we’ve been down this road in the past, and needed to get it written down.