Software development has become more affordable, thanks to cloud services, but distribution costs still prevent talented developers from building sustainable business models. That’s why we exist: We help application developers reach, convert and retain customers.
At AppDirect, we work with our partners to build white-label application marketplaces so their customers can find the software they need to run their businesses. When you integrate and publish your product to The AppDirect Network, it becomes available for distribution across these app stores. Our network reaches more than two million small and medium businesses across the world. And we're growing.
For example, the Bell Business Apps Store already gives our developer community direct access to over 500,000 small businesses with a proven appetite for software—47 percent of these businesses subscribed to software with their DSL line through Bell Canada. In addition, 60 percent of new businesses in Canada annually subscribe to Bell Canada services offering a potential direct pipeline to first-time business software customers.
Of course, reach alone will not sell your application. To drive customer conversion rates, AppDirect offers personalized recommendations, backed by real-time referrals, followed by instant on-boarding. During our early market researchers, executives sketched these compelling conversion steps for us:
- Business leaders consider intelligent recommendations as the most influential factor in their software purchasing decision (in contrast, a sales call is the lowest). They wanted to navigate a shopping funnel tailored to their needs, not an ocean of apps. In short, they asked for the Netflix of business applications. That's why at AppDirect, we use our expertise to refer executives the applications they need for their businesses.
- They then asked us to back our recommendations with real-time referrals. This is a model with proven success: The Dropbox referral program permanently increased signups by 60 percent! So how do we integrate real-time referrals at sign up? Because we found that people value knowing a friend loves a product almost as much as a friend telling them to use that product, we juxtapose social media based reviews with customer social graphs at the point of sale.
- Finally, we found that 10 to 25 percent of businesses drop off with every additional page as they work through a sign-up flow. For this reason, we’ve decided to provision customers with free trials to all their selected applications with one click—instant multi app on-boarding. In other words, we let them try the bundle instantly for free.
Retention drives the lifetime value of a customer in all subscription-based businesses. It’s always more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep one or upgrade a subscription. AppDirect drives retention by offering
- central access management
- single sign-on and
- central free subscription management for all application customers on our network
These features are essential for our developers success; they increase user adoption and usage and will encourage upgrades.
We’re excited for AppDirect to launch in the coming months and look forward to more great feedback. Most of all, thank you to all developers for integrating into The AppDirect Network! We look forward to growing together.