We sell software online. Our international trial to purchase ratio is abysmal compared to US domestic. I'm trying to determine why? Some possible answers:
What other possibilities am I missing?
What can I do to help my int'l customer purchase my product?
NOTE: We sell a B2B product for US$399.
International vs US Domestic markets are fundamentally of different magnitude.
Not sure who your target audience is and whether they face the same issues your Software addresses.
The following may be some reaons:
Probably it will be best that you reach out to those international users and ask them the same question. Give them incentives to participate in your survey.
My guesses would be:
Piracy should not be an issue cuz it looks like your products targets enterprises and software houses.
What language is your software and documentation written in? If you haven't localized then it is clear that you really are trying to cherry-pick as opposed to getting involved in the lives of your customers.
Don't market by U.S. vs. world but by English vs. other languages.
Paypal has a poor international reputation as a payment scheme. I'd wager that at least some of your problem is associated with the fact that it's hard to pay you. Investigate more locally adopted payment forms, and seriously consider accepting bare credit card payments. Many corporate purchasers don't want to mess with a PO, but aren't authorized to sign up for a company paypal account.
The first thing you need to do is to break you sales into domestic and international. The world's a big place and different things will work for different places.
So start by analyzing your western European sales. The British are probably the best candidates to start with since there are almost no language issues. How are you sales there?
Also, you don't mention the source of your sales. Could it be that many of your sales in the US are word of mouth, and you need to generate that in other parts of the world too? Are you using Google ads?
Yes, there are large parts of the world where the ratio is going to be much lower than in the US, including India and China, though you can do well in India, since yours is a business tool.
I think rather than guess it would be best if you gave them some kind of offer to tell you why they're leaving. Say I'll give you a $10 certificate to whatever in return for 5 minutes of your time.
If you follow a systematic process, you'll find out pretty quick. Good luck.
Back when I sold software development tools in the mid-late 1990s we reckoned on 50% US, 50% "international" sales as a rough benchmark for an established product in an established market.
If you're new you will need to establish credibility outside the US before you'll see acceptable sales. In particular:
Hope this helps, best of luck
A concrete example: our main product is made in EU and we have 50% sales in EU, 30% USA, 20% rest of the world. We sell only through paypal and bank transfers. Paypal is not a concern for selling in EU. We just offer the double currency pay buttons. Our site, forum and documentation is only in English - otherwise maintenance would be costly - and hardly anyone complains. Sales are good.
Your product seems linked to administrering Windows servers; consider that in the EU the penetration of Linux servers is probably higher than in the USA. Maybe you should do a version for Linux servers and windows clients?
Perhaps you could offer a bounty hunter for everyone that wants to translate your software to other languages (for example Spain and France are very nationalist countries and they would prefer the software translated).
International markets vary wildly. Some countries are very price sensitive, while others demand features. You have to tailor your marketing for each one.
-Price. Your $399 piece of software might sell well in first world countries like the US, but in developing economies like India, you probably have thousands of customers looking for something $99 to free due to the difference in market rates there.
-Payment. Even in the age of technology, payment through internet or electronic transfer is difficult. Each country has a different system of banking that can cause numerous issues. This forces customers and vendors to go through third party services adding an additional layer of cost. Very undesirable.
-Support. Customers still like to be able to pick up a phone and reach you when they are having difficulties getting your gadget to work. Problem is, your 2pm might be 2am for an international customer. Unless you have 24 hours international support, they might look closer to home.
-Awareness. Sure adwords and google work well for getting customers to your site, but not all countries have high internet connectivity. In some places printed media still rules. Find ways of getting an ad into a local publication or newspaper.
The best way to solve many of these problems is to start a channel sales program. Search for and develop relationships with overseas vendors who do business in these overseas markets. Work out contracts with them for pricing tailored to their location. They will be able to handle all the marketing and support a lot better than you in their own area. Just make sure they know the product inside and out.