Monday, November 30, 2009

Going back to Paypal...

Why we're dumping RegNow and going back to Paypal.

I was originally going to call this article "Paypal may suck, but at least it works" but on reflection this would be grossly unfair to the guys at Paypal.

While we had a number of comments from our users saying "Paypal sucks" that wasn't our experience.

However, we do listen to our customers, and so we made the switch to RegNow after a timely email from one of their sales guys offering to do big things for us with their wonderful affiliate progam.

Since ClixGalore was as useful as <insert your favourite phrase here> this seemed like a great situation.

The customer is not always right

At least when it comes to selecting payment gateways :)

A few things happened that put me off RegNow right away.

When we got things up and running, we found out that a RegNow offer for about $12 or so was inserted as an option in the cart on each of our checkouts. I can't remember if this was the software backup service (irrelevent to OA, as we always want to have our users on the latest version) or the licence key service. In either case, we didn't want this, but we were right out of luck. Fineprint.

Immediately that we went with RegNow, our sales dropped, and they dropped fast.

After a chat with RegNow we managed to get the thing removed (seems people hated it, because sales did increase again) but we had a different offer added instead which sucked almost as much.

To this day, you still get the backup CD option which at least is useful for those that don't want to download the program, but we should be in control of what's in our cart and our customer experience.

Online Armor users know that they can always get their key from us, automatically, and free, sent to the email address they signed up with. A key backup "service" isn't really required for a product like Online Armor and sends a conflicting message.

Still, some of our customers wanted us away from paypal - and so we stayed away.

Straws, Camels backs, etc

One might expect that RegNow, a company that specialises in the provision of Online Sales would be , ahem, how can I say this delicately... good at it. Unfortunately, in our experience we found that our own shopping cart looks better, performs better, is more user-friendly, reliable - and it works!

Some months ago, I tried to apply a $20 discount to our products. The maximum allowable was $10. We've seen times when the Regnow cart was simply offline - not with any error message, just "The document contains no data". The much promoted affiliate program caused at least one of our affiliates to complain over lost sales and inability to track.

Data from sales wasn't going into our system in an automated fashion, making support more complex than it needed to be and making it harder for users to use our members area. We couldn't do half of the things that we wanted to do, in the way we wanted to do it. There were problems with reporting. It was a mess.

The straw that broke the camels back was the problems handling what should be a simple transaction for a company that specialises in e-commerce.

We had an offer for $30 off any Online Armor, and I've had plenty of complaints from people because it was delivering a 30% discount instead. Contacting Regnow support and we're told it will be fixed at some point in the future, and for now, we have to make a promo code for all of our products. Right. We're quite capable of looking like idiots from time to time without help.

So, we decided to divorce ourselves from Regnow. We've implemented paypal express checkout in our own shopping cart. Non-paypal users can check out with paypal and use their credit card.

We've taken back control of the customer experience and I think we've made the right decision, even if not everyone agrees with it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Online Armor 4, Windows 7 and 2010 is fast upon us

Online Armor v4 is released with Windows 7 Support

Just a few weeks ago Microsoft released Windows 7. Unlike their Vista launch, Windows 7 looks like it's going to be huge. I'll be installing it myself when I get a spare moment.

Unlike when Vista Launched, we're only a couple of weeks behind with our Version 4 with Windows 7 support, which I am really, really happy to release today in Free, Premium and OA++ versions. The release process has already started - should be done in a few hours.

This really is an incremental update to Online Armor; We've added Win7 support of course (32-bit only for now), but we've also fixed bugs, made performance enhancements and improved history logging to help you help yourself if something goes wrong.

We've also put a lot of effort these last few weeks into OASIS, trying to get as many files processed as possible to reduce popups.

If you're an existing Online Armor user, we think you'll enjoy this upgrade; If you haven't yet tried Online Armor we think we'll make a great first impression.

...and some pricing changes

Since we released Online Armor ++ we've been closely monitoring feedback from our users, sales rates, complaints, compliments - general observations from our customers.

One or two things become rather clear: firstly, many people think that Online Armor premium is $39.95 per year. And many people think that Online Armor Premium is too expensive.

To solve this, we've changed the pricing on Online Armor Premium. As of today, Online Armor Premium is $19.95. The price of subscription has also been changed to $19.95. This means that we don't have to keep explaining that the first year is $39.95 and subsequent years are cheaper.

As ever, you do not need a subscription to continue to use most Online Armor functions, but updates and server-side capabilities such as OASIS will not work without one.

As a result of this change, we've also dropped the pricing on our Family (3 User) and Family Plus (5 User) packs of Online Armor in line with the reduced pricing on Online Armor single user edition.

The pricing of OA+ remains unchanged, save for a slight increase in annual subscription costs. All in all, the pricing of our products is now fairer and more transparent.

We're going to try these prices until the end of 2009 and see how they go.

...thanks to our (extended) team, there is more to come

We're not a monster like Symantec; our development team is small; our support team is small and a large part of what we do is through the help of volunteers. What sets us apart is the dedication of our team; Our development team work all kinds of crazy hours - they hate anything that can get past OA; our beta test team and our forum admins keep our support efforts on track. We've built a community of nice and friendly people over the last few years and we are very very proud of it.

Now our development team is working on Windows 7 x64 - exciting times are ahead.


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