July 3, 2014
On selling themes
Segmentation means raising standards, creating for niches, and pricing things according to their value, in order to separate them from the growing mass of poorly conceived products.
We’ve been in the themes business for three years now, and we kid you not: we’ve failed more times that we like to remember.
Our experience at times looked more like a fight between what we think a so called “premium” product should be, and what marketplaces allow authors to do.
We think that the word “premium” has little to do with the word “money”: premium is what solves a problem, not anything priced more that $0.
As simple as this concept is, it took a while to understand that at the end of the theme selling business there’s real people, whose needs and expectations must be met. With such concept in mind, we’re working on a path that eventually will lead us to create and distribute products that better resemble our vision.
We feel that the problem with selling themes today is much like big malls killing little shops, by aiming at low priced mass sales instead of quality.
Hypothetically, if the price of themes went up, you’d probably still be dealing with the same problem: “Why should I spend $150 on theme, when I can probably find a developer that converts my mockup to WordPress for $200?” one might ask?
If you think mass sales, prices and quality go down. If you want to stay in the business and you’re like us, making a living out of WordPress themes, you’re forced to play a game you didn’t choose.
Your efforts are essentially directed towards creating more products that give you less pain, in terms of support and maintenance. Incidentally, we’ve found that optimizing how our system works, having solid and tested backend and frontend tools helps cutting times and products benefit greatly from that as well, but that’s not the point.
The right question shouldn’t be “How can I sell my products to more people?,” but rather “How can I sell my products to the people they’re intended for, at an appropriate price?”
As long as the game will be pretty much all about price instead of quality, things aren’t going to change. In order for things to be different we must embark on a collective effort, one that would lead to the creation of better products, restoring the product culture around all things WordPress.
Whatever the use customers are going to make of what they buy, they deserve more than a sub par – albeit cheap – product, created to please a multitude, without really satisfying anyone.
If you’re a developer or a customer, what do you think about this? Would you be willing to pay a higher price for a product that would better meets your needs? Let us know in the comments!