tl;dr - A WooCommerce user who wants to switch to OpenCart's ideas on renewal and support fees
Hey guys! I'm new to OpenCart (not really, but new to posting on the forum), and have been a WooCommerce / Wordpress user for sometime. As such, in Wordpress, many of the following are industry practice, and you might consider too
1) Licenses that were bought on lifetime (or before any limitations were made), were grandfathered on lifetime
2) Developers would usually announce for a month or so, before they changed their licensing, and in effect made all future purchases on yearly renewals. However, a major developer, WooCommerce failed in doing so, and abruptly increased prices while changing lifetime licenses to 2 years renewal, facing a severe backlash. They then grandfathered those who have purchased earlier.
Notable developers who have grandfathered their customers includes
In fact, lifetime licenses are still sold among yearly renewals for some others, but at a higher price. Notable ones are
etc (sorry, it's 3am here)
You might want to check them out and consider a similar idea perhaps
3) Licenses can be sold as follows
a) 2 sites
b) 10 sites
c) Unlimited sites
4) Some who have grandfathered lifetime licenses are selling support renewals. After all, it's the support that takes up most of the time (based on Woothemes' research)
Anyway, here's some of my suggestions
1) 90 days licensing is crazy. You're heading towards Magento prices then. If so, I'll open a separate extension shop and sell similar extensions like yours, or anyone who does it, for 12 months
But yes, it'll kill the OpenCart market. Who would want to buy, if we need to keep renewing and paying a premium 4 times a year? And no, it's NOT
alright not to update. How about security problems?
2) Grandfathering helps OpenCart grow, and also keep your current customers happy. After all, how many of your customers are seeing profit with their shop? If everyone needs to renew (while some like me, don't need support. Instead we report bugs and don't get paid for it), what happens to those who don't renew because they can't afford it?
3) If you have a strong extensions shop (individual, not OpenCart's), you can even do like StudioPress. Get into other streams of income, like managed hosting (don't see this around), themes (or extensions again), etc
4) Build blogging as a core product of OpenCart. As such, with content marketing on the rise for commerce stores, a lot of stores are installing Wordpress to blog, not OpenCart.
5) If renewing extensions would be costly, why wouldn't the users switch over to a SAAS product like Shopify / BigCommerce? After all, hosting is covered. Saying that, if I hadn't bought 95% of the WooCommerce extensions I needed on lifetime, I wouldn't start with WooCommerce. It would be so much cheaper to go with Shopify or other SAAS store. Plus, they work well with Zapier (which means all my accounting is settled) and have a POS system for rent. If you need an idea for extension, get something that handshakes with Zapier
6) The current Opencart Extension store is really messy
It's impossible to purchase multiple extensions at a time (is it?)
7) So yes, if you are planning to change the plans, perhaps this would work. Would you kindly consider this
a) Offer a last chance saloon for people to buy their extension licenses at lifetime. (Even if you never offered lifetime explicitly, why not). You can choose to limit support to 3 month period, and then have support renewal fees, like $ 3 - 5 for each support needed.
b) Switch over to the new plan, while grandfathering those who have bought before
c) Have different renewal fee variables/extension or developer
i) From 30% to 70%/yearly, depending on the amount of effort you think you would put in to maintain it
ii) Or/And have support fees for tickets of USD 3 to 5. After all, if we give you 10 tickets, it's USD 50!
Don't you like that?
iii) If you are going the renewal rate way, have a maximum cap on the price of extensions. No way majority would pay USD 200 and then 50% for renewal yearly
That's a ripoff, and yes, we'll start our own development shop and sell a similar extension for cheaper
After all, it would be really lucrative then to sell OpenCart Extensions, wouldn't it? And we can fork your code and make ours better
But yes, if you are selling for USD 200 now, perhaps lowering it to USD 60-70 and have a 30-40% for renewal would help
What you want, is to grow the OpenCart Pie. As such, extension prices for mom and pop shops, or those from poorer countries (like mine, Malaysia), shouldn't be paying the same prices for developers, who will use your extension for numerous sites
. Woothemes found a way about this with their WooHelper, which lets you activate/site.
If prices becomes too pricy, people would just hop on the next bandwagon, or move to SAAS based ecommerce carts. Even with renewals, you need to think it through thoroughly, and then give people ample time to consider / respond. If I need 50 extensions to get the same functionality of Amazon, or even WooCommerce, how much would my renewal fee be?
Anyways, do let me know your decision. I would really love to see OpenCart grow, but if prices are going crazy, I might just stay away