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Webassist competing with it's customers?

Thread began 2/26/2010 1:52 pm by info401979 | Last modified 3/19/2010 11:26 am by Ray Borduin | 3330 views | 31 replies |

info401979

Webassist competing with it's customers?

i was thinking about buying your super suite until i noticed that you sell a product called powerstore for 199

if i buy you super suite for 499 and build a shopping cart for a client and charge them 2000 and they come to your site and see they could have bought powerstore for 199 isnt that going to make them feel ripped off

i'm not trying to tell you how to run your company but it seems that youre competing directly with your development customers which leads me to wonder 2 things

1. do you not care about your development customers

2. why dont you sell your premade solutions under a different domain so that your development customers are not made to look like powerstore was purchased and made 1800 for doing nothing more than clicking through it

i may still buy your products but will stay away from anything that can be viewed as item 2

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

I see you sell building construction equipment that would let me build any building I could imagine, but I also see you sell prefabricated storefronts that you built with your building equipment.

Does that scenario make any more or less sense to you?

If you own the tools you can spend a lot of time adding features to the powerstore that could easily justify the cost you charge.

You can charge for design work, setup, database population, and ongoing support. I think it would be relatively easy to justify a $2000 charge for putting up an ecommerce site even using powerstore out of the box and only reskinning.

There is also a lot of other applications out there you could build with our tools besides a store.

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info401979

actually no it doesnt make more sense to me

what i see is a company that is directly competing with its customers

to use your scenario ...

your a lumber mill that sells wood - you decide to build and sell utility sheds

i buy lumber from you and build utility sheds

i charge 2000 for my utility shed and somewhere on the lumber it shows your name as my supplier

my customer sees that i buy from you and checks you out and learns that you sell utility sheds for 300 and they appear to be the same or have more features

my customer feels that im ripping them off and starts buying sheds directly from you and saving 1700 on each one

i lose a customer and am looking like a rip off

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Office Guy-172461

Ray,

Got to jump in on this one. I think you are missing the perception factor. I've had perspective clients take my proposal for a complete network to a computer store to see if they could get a better deal. All the customer sees is a parts list. The computer store knocks off a few hundred bucks and wins the bid.

What they don't see is the experience it takes to make all of those parts work together, and get stuck with thousands of dollars worth of labor to fix the mess.

The average client is not going to see a difference between a $200 "ready to go store" and one that was tailored to their needs, until it's too late. The perception they get is that you are just jacking up the price. Once they think that, you've lost the chance to change it.

They can see the difference between selling tools and having someone build it for you. What is much harder to see is the difference between a product done by vendor A and vendor B. In that case the creator of the tools has an advantage of perceived experience and price.

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

Are you proposing we shouldn't sell solutions at all since they are built with our tools?

I don't know how realistic that your customer would find our solution online and purchase it to somehow cost you the sale. Most small business owners don't know how to sign up for a hosting account, get a domain name, and find the necessary credentials to set up a store on their own. Unless you sell to Dreamweaver users, or web developers, chances are they have never heard of webassist. Wouldn't they have created a website with wordpress, drupal, or joomla by now if they thought it was that easy instead of paying you in the first place?

Solutions demonstrate the functionality that can be accomplished with our extensions and allow us to bring concepts to our customers that might be too difficult for them to achieve without these functioning examples to follow. Ultimately we are trying to make our customers successful, and it seems solutions are able to do that.

Selling the solutions under a different identity wouldn't make sense to me as a reaction to this proposed issue, since that identity might be directly competing with our customers. It wouldn't even have the Dreamweaver context... and would defeat the purpose of those solutions as examples of creatively using the tools. Solutions help us create better tools by putting them in context for us as well. I suppose we could make the price of the solution more than that of the extensions, but that too would prevent it from helping the vast majority of our customers be successful.

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

Another point of view, people who only want to spend $199 were never going to come to me for a custom solution anyway !

Although I don't use Powerstore I still buy it and enjoy picking it apart for ideas that I can use in my own apps so for me I would be sad to see WA stop selling them.

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info401979

its not an issue of if they only wanted to spend 200 they would not come anyway

its an issue of they spend 2000 and then learn they could get the perceived same thing for 200

when a company decides to play on both sides of the street they need to be careful of perceptions and how they impact others

i think its wonderful that webassist can demonstrate their tools with powerstore

i think its also created perception problems for both webassist and their customers

to me this would be the same as a customer hiring me to build them a complex website and then my launching the same site that i build for them under my own domain and compete with them directly its cost effective for me to do it since all i have to do is change the design a bit but how would that be perceived by the original customer and future customers

being cost effective and wanting to demonstrate capabilities is not a good enough reason to do something that would create perception issues imho

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

I'm sorry but I disagree, if you supplied an unmodified version of PowerStore to a client and charged them $2k then yes I expect you would have issues but if they came to you with a design brief and a list of functionality that they required and you supplied that then I do not see that they can have any complaint.

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info401979

a client getting upset because there is a 1800 price difference is emotions and anyone that deals with clients knows that emotions have very little to do with reality

it has nothing to do with a design brief or anything else at least in the clients mind and perception

it has everything to do with features price and perceived value

once a client perceives that you have done them wrong its a cliff and your the one falling off it

in a clients mind if they can get everything that i charged them 2000 for and only pay 200 then they will go with the 200 and if they find it out afterthefact they are going to be upset

because they can simply find copyright info within the files and then find webassist.com

i am not saying the webassist should remove their copyright info

i am saying that directly competing with their own customers is a bad thing unless webassist is shifting from supplying developers tools and moving toward providing solutions that will let non developers act as if they were developers and actual developers just need to suck it up

of course the danger of setting up non developers in this manner is that they're being set up to fail the first time their customer asks them to make changes to this solution that theyve claimed theyve created and have no ability to do so

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

I deal with clients every day and I know all about how upset they can become but I do not agree with your view point so we will have to agree to differ on this.

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