Why we chose such an eccentric Early Access pricing model

Two months ago, I decided that we would temporarily offer an Early Access pricing model for Bovoba, as part of launching the app. Since then, every time I mention the Early Access price people look at me a little… strangely. So I thought it might be a good idea to explain my thinking. Here goes…

I came up with the idea of what is now Bovoba nearly a year ago. The first developer I hired to work on the first version of the app quit after two weeks. He found a better paying freelance gig, or so he says. It might be that he thought I was batshit crazy, because I thought we could launch the application in less than a month’s time (non-technical software founder rookie mistake #184… and many more would follow).

I will spare you the long sob story of the struggles I’ve faced over the past ten months for another blog post, but it took me hiring two very talented software engineers and a talented designer to get Bovoba to where it is today. That development period took many, many... many more months. Having learnt my lesson from my first software product, this time around I used those pre-launch months to have as many conversations as possible with potential customers.

Lessons learned

I took so many learnings from these conversations. But the most valuable insight was that most store owners were not considering using shipment tracking apps because of their pricing. They found them too expensive. At the same time, another lesson I learned the hard way is that it’s better to launch an early version of your app (once it’s stable enough) and tweak it as you receive valuable insights from your customers, rather than keep working on it in the dark for a long time, launch it, and then to only hear the sound of… crickets.

...the most valuable insight was that most store owners were not considering using shipment tracking apps because of their pricing.

The moment I knew that we would extend an Early Access offer to any early adopters of Bovoba, I knew that I wanted to make a statement with the pricing. There were two main factors at play:

  1. I wanted to set the price low enough to clearly reflect that we want as many ecommerce brands as possible to try out our app, and see how shipment tracking can help take their business to the next level.
  2. I also desperately wanted to make sure that we would be optimizing for a customer base who would be happy to pay the full price for Bovoba once the Early Access offer ends.  

For the love of a cappuccino

With those factors in mind, I instantly knew what the price should be. And it starts with where I live: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This is not a cheap town. And although I’m no James Hoffmann, I really enjoy the heck out of a great cup of cappuccino. Having tried many different coffee spots here in town, I have settled on the coffee place around the corner from where I live. Their price for a cappuccino is just a few cents over 3 euros. Do you see where I’m going with this?

For those who don’t, let me put it into words. On certain days, that 3 euros cappuccino to me is like a slice of heaven. In my fuzzy brain, that led me to take the stance that, if we cannot convince you to pay the equivalent of a great cup of cappuccino for Bovoba - an app into which I and the rest of the team have poured many, many hours of hard work - then heck… we just don’t deserve your business. That is the honest truth.

Want to try Bovoba out for your own online store? Why wait, get started today here

See you next time!