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Selling software online: How do you present your software?

People want to see what they buy, try before they buy instead of taking your word for it and know where to turn to if something goes wrong. These are some of the things you should consider when thinking of how to sell software online and how to present it. The list below offers tips on what you should do:
  • Have real users test your software product. You may think you have created an easy-to-use intuitive piece of software, yet in the end it is not you who decides this. If you plan on selling software online successfully, you need to have real people test it to see how quick they understand how it works and learn how to use it. Not to mention their help in squashing the bugs you might have never noticed on your own, thus making your product as error free as possible.

  • Provide an accurate description of the software product. You need a clear and short description of what the software is and what it is used for, so that people can see whether they need it or not. Additional details should be provided somewhere else for those who really wish to know more.

  • Make screenshots available. They say a picture makes a thousand words, so screenshots are a very helpful tool when selling software online. Screenshots tell users if the software product has a well designed interface and let them get a good look at the menu bars and toolbars, for instance, which helps them quickly assess whether the required functionality is there.

  • Use a "try before you buy" approach. Don't just say your software is "easy to use". If your software product is as easy to use as you say it is, then why not let people see that for themselves? Offer them the option to download of a copy of your software and try it before asking them to pay for it.

  • Specify supported OS-es and licensing type. A list of supported operating systems is as necessary when selling software online as when selling it in a box in a traditional store. Potential customers need to find out at a glance whether the product will work on their computers or not so this info must be visible on your website. Adding other system requirements would be a good idea, too. Do specify the type of licensing for your software product (i.e. freeware, shareware etc).

  • Include a help file and support details. Your software product has to have some documentation explaining users how to use it, be it in form of a help file or an online manual either included with the product or that can be downloaded separately. People also need to know where to reach you in case they need support, so do not forget to include such details (an e-mail address, and maybe a phone number, too).
Letting people see the product (by screenshots) and try it before they buy, providing help files with your software and support when necessary, properly testing it with real users to make sure it is easy to use are the things that you should have on your to-do list if you plan on selling software online and be successful at it.
Published date: June 27, 2006

Copyright 2006, http://www.avangate.com all rights reserved. This article was written by a Web Marketing Specialist at Avangate B.V. The author has in depth knowledge of internet marketing services and website analysis applied to the software industry and e-commerce development. Avangate is an eCommerce platform for electronic software distribution incorporating an easy to use and secure online payment system plus additional marketing and sales tools, such as an affiliate management system, automated cross selling options, software promotion management, software marketing services as well as consultancy on how to increase online software sales.


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