When deciding to build a premium eCommerce plugin for WordPress we understood that a project of this scale would be a massive undertaking. But with each passing day we edge closer to completion! On the agenda today…
Due to WordPress’ open source nature we’re keen to involve the community in the development of our plugin as much as possible. We’ve demonstrated this by documenting key development steps and requesting feedback on all aspects of the plugin to date. We’ve even asked for your advice on which business model we choose to adopt.
We’d like your opinions on setting a price-point for our product. But first, we’re excited to deliver a front-end demo of Jigoshop, along with an improved backend screencast preview which demonstrates a few new features.
The demo is installed on WordPress 3.1 with the default TwentyTen theme activated.
Jigoshop backend screencast
Thanks to the feedback we received on this post we’ve come to an (almost) final decision with regards to how we’re going to distribute our shop.
It is almost certain that we will provide a free version, available to download through your own WordPress admin panel via the WordPress.org plugin repository. The exposure we feel this will generate is simply too good to pass up. The feature-set of the free version is to be confirmed later. It’s possible that it won’t include any payment gateways instead being delivered as a “catalog” which users can add their own Paypal buttons to if they want to turn it into an eCommerce solution.
Your thoughts on the free versions features would be greatly appreciated.
We spoke briefly with Carl from Gravity Forms (a business with a stellar reputation) who helped convince us that a subscription model is definitely the way to go with the premium versions of our plugin.
We plan to adopt Gravity’s approach. Customers will pay an annual subscription fee which gives them access to support and updates for as long as that subscription is active. The beauty of this system is that after the first 12 months the plugin is still going to function perfectly for users; so providing they’re running a stable environment it’s likely that first subscription payment is all they will need to ever pay. It also frees us from the fear of offering lifetime support to all customers which the PHPurchase guys have proven to be an unsustainable business model.
Tell us how much you’d pay…
So the question we pose to you is simple; How much would you be willing to pay for a kick-ass WordPress eCommerce plugin, premium support and unlimited updates for a year? Bearing in mind that if you want to continue receiving updates and support you would need to continue your subscription (there may be discounts for year on year subscribers – good idea?).
Looking at our competitors we’ve broken things down in to 3 separate price points we believe we could go to market with;
- $50 – $100
- $100 – $200
There are a few benefits outside of the plugin which we offer too. The main one being that we are an actual business, registered in the UK with a real phone number. We’re serious about Jigoshop as a micro-business and have a team of us here working on it. You can rest assured that we will continue to develop Jigoshop improving it’s functionality and adding features.
We’re also well aware of the importance of high quality support and customer satisfaction. We’ve already planned a system for expansion should Jigoshop grow so rapidly that we cannot handle support in a timely fashion by ourselves.
So let us know your thoughts. Besides the product quality the price is the most important detail to get right. We need to offer Jigoshop at a price that covers our costs, but also represents good value.