Software Marketing Resource Articles: The Golden Hour of Purchasing

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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Golden Hour of Purchasing

Michael Halls from FileKicker recently conducted a fascinating statistical study. The study tracked the habits of approximately 2000 purchasers and the relationship between the time of the purchase and download. The results spoke of the "golden hour". Actually the results were so skewed, they more shouted GOLDEN HOUR, with the significant majority of purchasers occurring within the first hour of a download. Traditionally purchases occur within the first 24 hours of download as seen on the first graph Michael presents:

The Y-Axis is a percentage, the X-Axis is the number of days from download that the purchase occurred. Clearly about 65% of users order the product within 24 hours of downloading the software. Michael did not track the number of users that purchased prior to downloading, if those purchases were counted on day zero, the percentage would likely be significantly higher.

In order to further evaluate the habits of the purchaser, Michael took his study a step further evaluating the hour in which the purchaser purchased.

The second graph records how many hours after the download the purchase is made. The study reinforces the idea of a "golden" hour for shareware. If you don't close the sale in the first couple of hours, you will likely not close it at all.

The results were not surprising for consumer related applications or what would be considered "impulse" buys but the graph incorporated the results of business applications as well. While consumer purchases are somewhat predictable, the habits of business purchasers was a bit startling, as industry experts frequently claim that making a sale to a business takes more time. This may be true for some vertical or database intensive but according to the 2000 products and purchases tracked it is clear that developers need to seize the golden hour.
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