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When is the right time to consider outsourcing or insourcing your eCommerce capabilities ? [Software Vendors]

February 20th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, ecommerce, emarketing

Here is a summary article about a question I received a couple of days ago :

I’d like to hear what you have to say about when is the right time to consider outsourcing or insourcing your eCommerce capabilities ?
This is a question for Software Vendors,By eCommerce capabilities the followings should be considered: payments processing & tax handling, anti-fraud, shopper call center, bits delivery, etc.

Indeed, that’s a good question than software vendors and publishers could consider. Indeed software , shareware , and extended service provides a confortable margin if you have a decent volume of sales. That’s all the magic side of the software market compared to the electronics and hardware market, the cost to produce 1 software copy of 1 millions copies is about the same, only the maintenance, support, and registration cost will be on your volume.
Payments processing is usually depending on a bank, but some website acts both as a bank, reseller, and service providers, so instead of multiplying the provider you can have one to do several key tasks for you. But it has a price.
If you start with your business, and need a very fast integration of a payment method, at least to check if you will have at least your first order. You may consider easy solution such Paypal. Paypal is easy to open, no delay to start, well accepted by users, and the fees is pretty cheap with a fee of 3%.
3% is looking as huge for some newbies, but actually that’s a cost you will have only on the first sales, and without monthly subscription and without the need to give away you last blood exam as you may experience ( I m exagerating a little bit ) to your bank account manager.
As soon as you validate you have really a sale potential, it is highly recommanded to switch a popular payment service provider, you can look for RegNow, Avangate, ShareIt, Plimus, FastSpring, UpClick, SwReg, etc.. ( contact me to have special offer deal and check which one could fit the most your own activity )

Let’s do a list of top reason Why you should Outsource or Insource your eCommerce ?
– Price / commission / fees cost
– Extending the number of paiment methods
– Access new features ( Backup CD, Extended download )
– Access a new affilation network
– Have a specific shopping cart experience
– Complete control of each step of the registration
– Easier customer’s information integration
– Outsourced support for the paiment problems

Are you interesting by a complete and tailored study of this question.  Contact me or leave a question in comments.

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LOTR in Blu-ray, how fans could badly impact your marketing plans ?

February 17th, 2010 | 6 Comments | Posted in article, blu-ray, emarketing

Lord of the Ring, Blu-ray edition available on Amazon

What is LOTR ? that’s the acronym for the Lord of the Rings, the famous books from J.R.R Tolkien.The trilogy of Peter Jackson is finally announced in a Blu-ray edition. Blu-ray is the new HD video format, and as any new technology the early adopters can help to make it a success or a failure. Let me expose this interesting case. We have very special conditions there, in one hand a long-time awaited movie with a huge community fans ( I m kind one of them ), and in the other hand a new market with Blu-ray Players, HD TV, 2 fans group with high expectation is a blowing recipe and headache to manage. 

1 – 1st comment, the delay for the release of this trilogy has been too long, it was a quite recent movie with already a lot of post-processing done, a perfect candidate for the movie industry which could have actually helped the blu-ray players sales. That’s a first mistake but for sure, it was maybe more depending on the director than the studios themself. 

2 – The work needed to produce that HD / Blu-ray edition of the Lord of the rings was probably a little bit postponed due to the HD format wars, when it was not sure to see which format between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray could be the winner ( and by the way the Peter’s Jackson King-Kong was released in HD-DVD first )

3 – Let’s go back to the event… finally the Lord of the rings Blu-ray edition is announced with a release date 6th of April 2010, and while the previous comments from users and fans were pure speculation, the things are turning bad for the studios. Lock at Amazon page

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000X9FLKM/?tag=brainfight-20

.
… and see the users’ review.. 2000+ reviews, an average rating of  only 1.5 / 5 ,  that’s lame and I remind the movie isn’t released yet. The rating and comments aren’t really about the movie ( which is excellent of course ), but about the anger of users to see a products which doesnt fit their expectation. Indeed, despite the long extended version has been releade in DVD, the Blu-ray edition is introduced only with a the original theater version. Users are loudly banning the product before it has been released. How could it affect really the sales of the product ? Are the fans will really wait, or they will buy it anyway. They will feel a lot of dissappointement and frustration but even with the theatrical version, it will ( I hope ) be a fantastic demonstration for the Blu-ray technology

4 – What will be the real sales trend of this edition ? Do you think most people will wait or not, or buy anyway a movie they probably have already in their DVD collection ? Do you think some other movies could lead such interests ? Some movies mark a milestone in the technology used and the visual effects, it was the case with the Matrix Trilogy for DVD, and it is with new Avatar from James Cameron for 3D

What is your opinion ? will you buy this version ? any other movies which lead some extra adoption of a Blu-ray player ?


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New wordpress 2.9.2 available for download and upgrade

February 15th, 2010 | 4 Comments | Posted in emarketing

A new version of the popular blog system WordPress is available. This post is the first one I m doing with that new version, the upgrade was automatic from the control panel, and for now, I don’t see a problem.

This release is a security fix, but if you have some untrusted users (authors, subscribers) on your blog/site when logged in they can see the posts in trash. There were also some bug fixes which can be seen on

http://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?group=status&milestone=2.9.2.

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Valentine’s day , a marketing opportunity ?

February 14th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in discount, emarketing

Valentine’s Day is one of the popular day all across the world where you can customize your web site, to illustrate you are an active company. For sure you could add a special coupon and try to make a pack of software which could suit both women and men audience. Something a little bit difficult for software market, but… who knows… with a little bit of imagination you could sort a way to turn this day as a marketing advantage for your web site and the communication.

Money and Love

Photo by Mike Kemp

Happy Valentine’s day for everyone !

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How to chose your affiliate’s commission ?

February 11th, 2010 | 20 Comments | Posted in article, emarketing

I have worked for several years for VSO-Software, and also for some other software publishers before this one. Affiliation is a popular way to get efficient promotion and additionnal sales. A web site, a forum, a blog, a catalog is listing your products or services, and if a sale of your product is completed after a user clicked on the affiliate’s web site, they receive a commission on the sales completed.

What are the big question to consider if you are interested in this model ? First of all, you need to use a paiment service or a affiliate’s network compatible with your own paiment provider. The 2 most popular service for software publishers ( One of the most active and profitable affiliate market ) are RegNow from Digital River, and Avangate. If you are not selling a software, please contact me, I could give you some other network fitting your activity.

“software market provides commission from 30% to 85%”

What is the most popular commission applied ? Even if recommand to look first at your competitors, it’s pretty safe to say the most popular and default commission is 50%, at least with this one, you don’t have to think if the 50% is what you get or the affiliate, you will have the same. It gives also the feeling to the affiliate you open a balanced deal, a win-win relationship as you split the profit. Any publisher providing a commission of less than 30% will sound greedy and they will need to justify it ( because they have a very popular product, special expenses due to patents to pay, retail distribution channel, etc… ). At the opposite, a publisher provider a commission of 85% ( yes, it happens ! ) will also have to justify how they could do that. As an affiliate, you will look at this carefully, or worst, it could influence their final decision without they know why.

Why you should start with a higher commission than you would like ? Of course, starting affiliation with 50% could sound you risky. As if you split a part of your own body, or revenue. Actually, you need to consider the competition and the time required for an affiliate to list you. People are lazy, and affiliates are persons like other. If competitors or other products offer a better commission, why they will waste their time ? also.. and that’s the key point, imagine you define a commission of 50% or more, and you don’t have any affiliate registering and promoting the product, what you could conclude ? If you set your commission reward too low, you will just miss the opportunities to acquire new affiliate, and even changing the commission, it will be more difficult to convince again. At the opposite, if you have too many affiliate with a high commission ( 70% etc ) , it will be easier to reduce it, especially if you have mentionned the attractive affiliate rate was for a limited time. You have to start somewhere, so save your time, and be dynamic by offering an attractive commission at the beginning or opt to be  assisted by a professionnal affiliation account manage like me ;-)

Few Tips and suggestions ( to be completed by direct discussion with me and your specific case ) :

Reward the early-adopters affiliates. Some people will contact you to discuss affiliation while you don’t have one, that’s for sure people motivated to promote your products, so don’t hesitate to give them an extra bonus to their commission ( 55% instead of 50 ), they are the one you don’t want to dissappoint, they will help you to build a better affiliation program, testing it, providing feedback, so they need a special attention.

Auto-Approval for all,  most system let you the possibility to accept automatically the new affiliates or to review them. Make it simple and auto-approve them, there is nothing worst than killing the move of the affiliate, if he just applied to promote your product, don’t let them give up or forget, he was taking care of your products, let him the possibility to promote them right away and without any delay.

– Explain the tracking method, don’t hesitate to provide a XXX link sample : Just to make the things clear between the affiliate and you, and repeat in a page or after contact page the link you would like to see them uses. Even if you relay on the RegNow or Avangate build links, you won’t lost anything to repeat the way you expect the links to be set.

– No Direct Buy links with affiliate. Wake up, nobody buy directly anymore, you can smartly place some buy links in addition of the

– Set your Rules, be “generous” doesn’t mean you are stupid, you have to define some rules about how the affiliate can market your product, especially about CPC Google campaigns, you can forbid the use of some keyword if you are doing your own campaigns. You can also opt to limit the discount the affiliate could offer from his own margin.

This is only a few points to consider, each software publisher can adjust his affiliation partnership depending on the popularity of the software, speciality, price, margin. Ask your questions in comments, and I will use them for a future article.

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SoThink HD Movie Maker available for Download on RegNow

February 10th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted in blu-ray, software review

Sothink HD movie maker boxshootSoThink is becoming a fast-raising popular software publisher, and one of their most interessant product is SoThink HD Movie Maker, it could allow you to create very easily a Blu-ray disc or a HD DVD ( Blu-ray format burn to a DVD ) of your HD video ( mkv etc.. ) or from your HD video files from your camcorder

Download HD Movie Maker

Product Description :
HD Movie Maker is a professional Blu-ray burner. It encodes almost all video formats into high definition Blu-ray movies, including WMV, MKV, AVI, DivX, XviD, MPEG, MP4, QuickTime Movie, Real Video, H.264/AVC, M2TS, etc. It can burn HD movies into Blu-ray discs (BDMV) or regular DVDs (AVCHD) up to 1920x1080p. The supported disks include DVD+R/-R, DVD+RW/-RW, BD-R/BD-RE, BD-25/BD-50, etc. With Sothink HD Movie Maker, people can enjoy HD movies freely on Blu-ray players or Sony PS 3.
This HD Movie Maker also supports the world TV broadcast standards: PAL and NTSC, and 5.1 surround sound; calculates proper video bit rate automatically according to target disc’s capacity, convenient to skip videos with remote control; auto generates chapters for multiple videos; can preview videos conveniently with a built-in video player; supports multi-core CPUs and speeds up concurrent video encoding on multiples; loads external subtitle files to enjoy Blu-ray movies perfectly.
Main features:
1. Create high definition Blu-ray videos from any video formats including WMV, MKV, AVI, DivX, XviD, MPEG, MP4, QuickTime Movie, Real Video, H.264/AVC, M2TS, M2T, MTS, etc.
2. Make HD Blu-ray movies of different resolutions up to 1280x720p, 1440x1080p, 1920x1080p.
3. Manage and burn HD Camera videos to Blu-ray Movies, supporting Sony (*.m2ts), Cannon (*.m2t), Panasonic (*.mts), etc.
4. Burn BD movies on various discs like DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, BD-R, BD-RE, etc.
5. Convert videos to BDMV, and burn on Blu-ray Discs like BD-25 (single layer with 25 GB capacity), BD-50 (dual layer with 50 GB capacity), etc.
6. Burn HD Blu-ray movies into regular DVDs with 4.7 GB (DVD-5, so-called D5) or 8.5 GB (DVD-9, so-called D9) storage capacities, which is particular to make HD Blu-ray discs even without Blu-ray burners. The output is AVCHD (or called BD5/BD9)
7. Display thumbnails of the imported source videos and the thumbnails’ size are editable.
8. Support pausing, resuming and stopping.