Best Way To Sell/Distribute Software Online

35 replies
Hi all,

I would like to know what's the best (read:easiest) way to sell software online? The software will either be a web app or a desktop application, nothing too complicated and will be priced at about $10.

Could anybody list out all the steps involved? I know that I will have to use a service such as Paypal for the payment, but other than that am pretty clueless. Will I need to get the software "signed"? How to ensure its security? And so on.

Any advice/help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
#online #sell or distribute #software
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    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
      So, what's the difference between a site such as FastSpring and JVZoo?
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom B
        Banned
        Why would software be any different to other products talked about here? What do you mean by distribution? Web apps are not distributed and you can have desktop software downloaded from your website.
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        • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
          From what I have understood, software is different from another product because it needs to be signed (i.e. verified) by a third party such as Microsoft - not sure about this though.

          Will I need to maintain a database of all users? Else how will I communicate with them- let them know about updates and such.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tom B
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

            From what I have understood, software is different from another product because it needs to be signed (i.e. verified) by a third party such as Microsoft - not sure about this though.
            No.

            Will I need to maintain a database of all users? Else how will I communicate with them- let them know about updates and such.
            Again, how would you communicate with any customer for any reason. These topics are discussed many, many times on this forum. It isn't specific to software.
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            • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
              Symantec Code Signing


              Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

              No.



              Again, how would you communicate with any customer for any reason. These topics are discussed many, many times on this forum. It isn't specific to software.
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              • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

                I sell software for a living and none of it is signed. Anything else you want to share?
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                • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
                  Well, actually I would prefer someone else to do the sharing. I am the one with the questions.

                  Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

                  I sell software for a living and none of it is signed. Anything else you want to share?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

                    Well, actually I would prefer someone else to do the sharing. I am the one with the questions.
                    You need better questions. Asking generic how to sell something won't elicit very good advice.

                    You need traffic and you need conversions. There is a ton of stuff on this forum that talks about both of those.

                    The product is irrelevant.

                    Another piece of advice, if you can't work out some of this on your own, you shouldn't even be considering software. From the sounds of it, you don't have any experience with software development and it is much more difficult than figuring out how to contact customers for updates.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
                      At this point I am curious about the transactional aspect of selling software. Just that. Not about traffic or conversion, I mean of course they are important, but first I want to get the mechanics of it right - the best platform for selling it, reliable method of payment, potential pitfalls that I might not even be aware of etc.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                        Banned
                        Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

                        At this point I am curious about the transactional aspect of selling software. Just that. Not about traffic or conversion, I mean of course they are important, but first I want to get the mechanics of it right - the best platform for selling it, reliable method of payment, potential pitfalls that I might not even be aware of etc.
                        Again, this is a generic question.

                        What does reliable method of payment mean? You can use any merchant account and/or services like Paypal, etc... like any product.

                        You can sell it on your own site. There are many different download scripts that you can use, you can sign up for clickbank, etc... like any product.

                        Pitfalls, well, it can be anywhere for affiliates scamming you, chargebacks, sharing of products... like any product.
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      • Profile picture of the author wordpressmania
        Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

        So, what's the difference between a site such as FastSpring and JVZoo?
        Well, I am using fast spring for last few months and I found them really good.

        If you have digilat product with lisecing they have option to do that. I personally did not use it but ZVJOO can not offer that service.

        On the other hand JZJOO has a very good affiliate system to encourage affiliates to promote your product but FastSpring seems much poor on this point.

        Choice is yours.

        P.S. You can not get everything at once, just focus about the main goal about your product. If you want to make more money go with JVZOO. On the other hand if you think your product has real market demand just go with fastspring and ensure the security issue that they provide. And after certain time you will find that you are generating revenue without almost any affiliates.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedark
    I think the best solution for you at this moment, is to go to the Joint Ventures forums on this website and offer a partnership for someone who already sold software.

    I think that it is easier to sell an online service than a desktop software. So if you can make your software 100% online then go for it.

    You will only ask for people to create an account and pay trough paypal the small amount you want. Then they can use the tool instantly. You won't have compatibility problems, antivirus issues, different operating system versions, updates, etc. On a web app you can push updates right away and they will be available for all users.

    On the other hand, if you want to sell your desktop software, if you want to keep everything on your own, install s2member, ask people to pay and create an account. With the account created they will get access with updates, tutorials, manuals, etc.

    There are also many places where you can sell your software. It is ok to send your stuff there but you should only focus on 2-3 things at a time and try to take the most out of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
      Thanks that was really helpful!

      And I agree! I too am inclined towards a web app for the reason you mentioned. But want to figure out the best way to host it online, secure it and so on. Would you have any suggestions for that?


      Originally Posted by thedark View Post

      I think the best solution for you at this moment, is to go to the Joint Ventures forums on this website and offer a partnership for someone who already sold software.

      I think that it is easier to sell an online service than a desktop software. So if you can make your software 100% online then go for it.

      You will only ask for people to create an account and pay trough paypal the small amount you want. Then they can use the tool instantly. You won't have compatibility problems, antivirus issues, different operating system versions, updates, etc. On a web app you can push updates right away and they will be available for all users.

      On the other hand, if you want to sell your desktop software, if you want to keep everything on your own, install s2member, ask people to pay and create an account. With the account created they will get access with updates, tutorials, manuals, etc.

      There are also many places where you can sell your software. It is ok to send your stuff there but you should only focus on 2-3 things at a time and try to take the most out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author farshidkv1
    First make website with billing software.
    Make a trial version of your software,then share in software sharing sites like c.net ,brothersoft.com etc
    Upload your software in payloadz.com and copy link or button and paste in your website.
    Signature
    ✪Game website with $10 ✪
    ✪✪✪ Get Started>> ✪✪✪
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  • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
    I would think selling software wouldn't be any different that selling any other product or service. I would say build a website and target your software's keywords and integrate your keywords on your website.

    You could also join software forums and be active in the forum and including your signature leading them to your website where you are selling your software.

    The more traffic the more sales, I have seen ugly websites still produce sales but that doesn't mean don't work on conversions.

    All the best
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave37
    If it's a software that has to be downloaded after purchase, I think e-junkie should be a good choice, but you will have to pay $5 monthly or more depending on the size of your delivery package or the number of products you have.

    I'm about to give a try to Click2Sell, no monthly fees, just 5% on all purchases. Both use PayPal by the way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
      Thanks for that! Will look into e-junkie and Click2Sell!

      Originally Posted by Dave37 View Post

      If it's a software that has to be downloaded after purchase, I think e-junkie should be a good choice, but you will have to pay $5 monthly or more depending on the size of your delivery package or the number of products you have.

      I'm about to give a try to Click2Sell, no monthly fees, just 5% on all purchases. Both use PayPal by the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Melkur
    Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

    I would like to know what's the best (read:easiest) way to sell software online? The software will either be a web app or a desktop application, nothing too complicated and will be priced at about $10.

    Could anybody list out all the steps involved? I know that I will have to use a service such as Paypal for the payment, but other than that am pretty clueless. Will I need to get the software "signed"? How to ensure its security? And so on.

    Any advice/help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Many years ago, I looked into writing and distributing software as "shareware", as it was called then (and might still be!) - basically, a free download and trial period, then the user was required to pay for the thing to keep using it.

    I never actually got around to releasing any shareware, but there used to be active developer communities and online forums for people who made their living (or part of it) in this way. It might be worthwhile looking around the net for those communities, or whatever they have become in the intervening years - there was a lot of good information around on the development, distribution and payment processes, and while I'm sure things will have changed, there must still be people building and selling software this way.

    Hope that helps a bit!
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    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
      It does help, thank you!

      At this point though I am trying to figure out two things - should I go in for a desktop app or a web app. As mentioned elsewhere, I am leaning towards the latter. And secondly, how should I provide access to it - through a membership site etc.

      Originally Posted by Melkur View Post

      Many years ago, I looked into writing and distributing software as "shareware", as it was called then (and might still be!) - basically, a free download and trial period, then the user was required to pay for the thing to keep using it.

      I never actually got around to releasing any shareware, but there used to be active developer communities and online forums for people who made their living (or part of it) in this way. It might be worthwhile looking around the net for those communities, or whatever they have become in the intervening years - there was a lot of good information around on the development, distribution and payment processes, and while I'm sure things will have changed, there must still be people building and selling software this way.

      Hope that helps a bit!
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      • Profile picture of the author Melkur
        Originally Posted by Pixel Theory View Post

        It does help, thank you!

        At this point though I am trying to figure out two things - should I go in for a desktop app or a web app. As mentioned elsewhere, I am leaning towards the latter. And secondly, how should I provide access to it - through a membership site etc.
        You're welcome If your idea can be done as a web app, I'd definitely be tempted to go that way, again for all the reasons suggested above.

        Depending on what your software does, you could maybe charge a one-off fee or a monthly subscription. Either way, I guess you'd have the same kinds of problems faced by other membership sites - stolen passwords being circulated online etc. I've never run a membership site myself, but I gather there are ways to deal with these things fairly effectively - might want to talk to some adult industry site owners, who are probably extremely familiar with the problem!
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  • Profile picture of the author he_august
    if you meant about protecting your product download link, you can check many sites that offering download link protection...

    one for example : getdpd
    this site offer download link protection, but it has monthly fee...

    as for other, i think you can also check : click2sell

    Warm regards,
    Hendy AUgust
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  • Profile picture of the author visimedia
    it's kinda big question, but I will focus on the "the easiest way to market it online".

    First you can go to avangate, that affiliate network program is specific for a lot of softwares and apps.

    For the pricing, I recommend you to increase the price and give more margin to the distributor. You can't sell to many low priced products because your network will need profits too.
    If you don't have distribution channel, you can't sell a lot, right?

    So, try contacting avangate and talk directly with them
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    Waktunya belajar trading investing fokus hasil : https://1click.trade
    saham amerika

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  • Profile picture of the author neximuss
    I work with Plimus and I'm kinda satisfied. But Plimus offers also to find affiliate marketers who promote your software and get a provision, which you define. Download links are secure and all the payment stuff is done through Plimus. Me as an affiliate would like to find more reliable platforms like Plimus to find software to promote. I choose to promote software because the commissions are higher than average product provisions.
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    I've been selling software online for 15 years so can probably help you.
    I use Share-IT - they handle everything including the payments and shopping cart and deal with distributing demos and full versions worldwide. Shareware sites work well for demos.
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    • Profile picture of the author Melkur
      Originally Posted by troy23 View Post

      I've been selling software online for 15 years so can probably help you.
      I use Share-IT - they handle everything including the payments and shopping cart and deal with distributing demos and full versions worldwide. Shareware sites work well for demos.
      So the shareware industry is still alive and kicking, then? Perhaps its an idea I should revisit at some stage, though my coding skills are probably a bit out of date!
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  • Profile picture of the author RestlessBlaze
    You will face lot of difficulties in selling softwares. You will need a proper help. I recommend hiring someone knowledgeable enough to run your software business. However, sales and marketing you have to focus. Noone, can handle your sales and marketing (unless, you yourself know what you are doing).

    There are ton of ways to protect and distribute license keys. Just google it.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Follow Liker
    Try avangate, they can help you accept payment, distribute product, manage affiliates...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Samatha
    Hello, not to be out of the way but selling your software, so cheap. I mean selling is selling, but i have a small suggestion. Why dont you give the software away using conduit or so. That way you can choose to advertise other software.

    Also you can use pay per install , there are a lot of stuff online about that.
    Take care.
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  • Profile picture of the author Geoff69
    If you're interested a really easy new alternative that is worth checking out is Selz

    Designed for digital downloads, quicka and very easy.
    No monthly charges, only charges a small fee per transaction. You can do video previews as well.
    Options of integrating with Google analytics, mailchimp or aweber for emailing. Or Facebook store and Wordpress plugin (although you dont need it as its just a copy and paste a snippet of code)
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    you might want to look at CodeCanyon? They are a dedicated software distribution site. They take a cut sliding from 50% to 30%, depending on your salves volume. But they do quite a business.
    Signature

    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author Pixel Theory
      Thank you all! That really helped. So much so that I have gone from being a bit clueless to having way too many options now haha

      I gave e-junkie a go, it was really easy to set it all up..took all of 5 minutes. So far so good!
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  • Profile picture of the author georgenicolescu
    Hello,

    As an alternative, please allow me to recommend PayPro Global. It's an innovative solution to sell software online. I personally work at PayPro Global and I would like to point out a few key benefits of our software eCommerce platform:

    1. Support - We provide ultra-fast support, as we understand how important it is to receive high quality assistance FAST. You will get answers to any of your request in less than 1 hour.

    2. Recurring Payments - We offer the most flexible and advanced subscription handling mechanism that is compatible with any product. You can delay the first payment, set any value of the first and of the following payments, set the desired frequency and period of payments.

    3. Affiliate system - We offer a fully automated partnership and affiliate management tools. With these tools you can:

    - Automatically distribute commissions according to your terms
    - Limit the partnership to a subset of products and countries
    - Price the commission as a percentage value or a value set in US Dollars

    4. Coupon Codes - Our flexible discount coupon tools allow you to:

    - Create coupons that can be applied to either all products in an order, selected products, only the highest priced product, or only the lowest priced product.
    - Define discounts as either a percentage or a currency value.
    - Create coupons in multiple currencies to better target specific markets (currency value coupons).
    - Set the total order minimum or maximum required for using a coupon.
    - Generate thousands of special offer coupon codes within only a few seconds.

    5. Customizable Checkout Pages - It is one of the most valuable assets of our services. You will be in full control over the design; with full branding from PayPro global, you customers won't even notice that they were transferred to a third party payment processor. Moreover you will have a highly-skilled web designer dedicated to your account. He will be constantly testing and optimizing your selling process. You can also add/remove form fields so that your checkout page is fully compatible with your product specifics. Also I would like to mention that according to the A/B testing performed by our partners against other players in the industry, their conversion rates and sales are higher with PayPro order pages by at least 11%.

    PayPro Global also offers a very special patented marketing tool - Cross Sale Pop-Up, which allows you to promote additional products in an elegant and risk-free manner after the customer submits his order. It has proven to increase sales by at least 5%.

    6. Instant Payment Notification - PayPro Platform performs IPN transmissions using the POST method. When a customer purchases a product, you can have the purchasing details immediately sent to a script on your Web site (for example, to log the information into your database).

    7. Needless to say that we accept all credit/debit cards, PayPal, Alipay, Phone/Fax orders and many other international and localized payment methods to ensure that your products successfully penetrate various markets.

    As a conclusion, I would like to add that all of our partners benefit fully from the above mentioned tools, along with many more, absolutely free of charge. Also we don't ask any exclusivity agreements for additional features. We offer premium service as standard to everyone.

    I hope my answer was helpful to you and may you have additional questions, I would be happy to answer all of them.

    You can register absolutely for free with no obligations and request a free demo to explore all the real benefits of the innovative PayPro EasyCommerce Platform.

    Regards,
    George
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  • Profile picture of the author XanBarksdale
    I sell physical products, information products, and software, and there is one big difference between them...the amount of customer support required!

    99% of the time you can sell an eBook and you won't ever have any customer support issues. The customer will download the book and you'll be done with it. Sometimes the person will lose the download link, claim they weren't taken to the download page, the receipt will show up in their spam box, etc. and they will need some sort of minor customer support.

    However, with software, you will usually see more customer support issues. Even if the software is super easy to use, there will be people that have issues, problems, questions, etc. on how to use it and you will have to help them with it. If your software is really good, you will hopefully have less issues, but they're still going to pop up.

    Just my observation from selling multiple types of products.
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    • Profile picture of the author thedark
      You are right here. Customer support is more time consuming for an application versus an ebook. However, I think that the ebook market is saturated. You can throw an ebook and sell ti for 5$ and next week get another. When you stop producing and intensively promoting the ebook your revenue will almost stop, unless you build a great comprehensive ebook and invest good money into promoting it.

      For the same reason with support I am recommending a web app. If you provide a software you will have compatibility issues, people will have a hard time installing it, etc. With an web app, compatibility problems ( except browser rendering ) will be gone. They signup and they use the service. They will ask a lot of stuff about how to use it but this is the small part. The big part of support is when problems appear. On a web app you can fix the problems once and for all users. On a desktop app more people will come to you with the same problem and you have to tell them to get the latest version again and again, and then to send the later version to all the directories who distribute the software.


      To restrict access to your web app you can use amember or s2member. They pay to get in. There will be a part of the website accesible only for paying customers. With an web app it is easy to give them some features for free. Ask them to subscribe for free and you will also have their email addresses to convince them to buy the premium. It is much easier to update your app, to give more features for free for a period of time, to add features in your app that will affect all the users without any update hassle, you can have few access plans at different prices while you don't have to maintain 10 versions of the same software.

      Most important, you can ask for a monthly payment. It is better for the customer because at first he is not aware of how good is your software and he can give it a try paying only for 1 month. Then it is better for you because you can get much more money for every customer.





      Originally Posted by XanBarksdale View Post

      I sell physical products, information products, and software, and there is one big difference between them...the amount of customer support required!

      99% of the time you can sell an eBook and you won't ever have any customer support issues. The customer will download the book and you'll be done with it. Sometimes the person will lose the download link, claim they weren't taken to the download page, the receipt will show up in their spam box, etc. and they will need some sort of minor customer support.

      However, with software, you will usually see more customer support issues. Even if the software is super easy to use, there will be people that have issues, problems, questions, etc. on how to use it and you will have to help them with it. If your software is really good, you will hopefully have less issues, but they're still going to pop up.

      Just my observation from selling multiple types of products.
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