The Inside Scoop on Product Size, Price, and Sales

  • Jason@DPD
  • September 17, 2010
  • No Comments

Here at DPD we maintain a content delivery and ecommerce network that delivers thousands of products. This generates a mountain of data on product sizes, product prices, sales volume, most popular product types, etc.

We’re serious about our privacy policy though, and we never share or sell sales information about any vendor or their product performance to 3rd parties. We do however use anonymous sales and product data to plan our infrastructure and future features to to provide the best possible service to our vendors.

This data includes things like product size, product price, product type (video, pdf, etc.), and how many sales they’ve had. This helps us gauge our storage and bandwidth requirements and is a crucial tool for us to make sure we have enough capacity to meet demand.

In this post we’d like to share a few of those anonymous product statistics with you for fun and informational purposes. For the sake of simplicity we’ll look only at products that are being sold in US Dollars (which accounts for the vast majority of DPD products).

Largest Products

First up, we’ll look at the top 10 largest products being delivered with DPD along with their price and how many times they’ve been purchased. As stated above, to keep this anonymous we’ve stripped all product names and IDs and we’re just looking at the raw size and transaction data.

 Size (MB)   Product Price   Purchase Count 
3141 49.00 122
2882 48.50 572
2882 97.00 2038
2882 48.50 58
2116 19.95 87
2048 67.00 58
2048 49.00 97
2025 29.00 421
1722 15.95 3
1695 39.95 11

Almost without exception these large 1, 2, and 3GB+ files are all video products. These might be training videos or independent films for example.

Before we make any determinations or correlations, lets look at a little more data.

Most Expensive Products

Next we’ll look at the top 10 most expensive products in our system. This table includes data for single item products, not any combos that might be made up of other collections of products at a higher price.

 Size (MB)   Product Price   Purchase Count 
4 $4,795.00 1
$1,000.00 20
2 $999.00 1
1 $995.00 1
2 $699.00 97
3 $500.00 1
70 $499.99 1
1631 $498.00 3
2 $495.00 4
$397.00 3

You’ll notice in this table that there are a couple products without a size. These are keycode products where the vendor is selling a software key, more than likely to activate a shareware or trail version of software or to unlock access to a subscription area on a website.

With one exception these most expensive products are all very small, which typically means the product is a PDF ebook, spreadsheet, or other non-multimedia document. You’ll also notice that the purchase count averages very low for expensive products.

Best Selling products

Finally, we’ll look at the data for the most popular products in the DPD system. These products are ordered by the number of sales, not the net sales amount.

 Size (MB)   Product Price   Purchase Count 
1 $4.99 4394
$79.00 3454
5 $39.95 3360
$8.04 2982
3 $29.00 2922
3 $57.00 2619
1 $10.00 2418
9 $19.99 2199
2882 $97.00 2038
11 $25.00 1756

The thing we find most striking about this final table are the small product sizes. These files are almost all PDF products, scripts, small programs, website themes, or other non-multimedia products.

There is also a fairly wide range of product prices in this list- they range anywhere from $4.99 to $97.99. It’s interesting that the #2 product at $7.99 outsells the #4 product which is almost 1/10 the price. However, its important to take sales volume in to account when looking at pricing your own product.

For example:

4394 x $4.99 = $21,926.06

2982 x $8.04 = $23,975.28

1756 x $25.00 = $43,900.00

While cheaper products do tend to sell more copies, net income definitely favors the higher priced product.

Also, from looking at this information one might conclude that information products such as PDFs and other smaller products tend to sell more than large multimedia files like video. Of course, without knowing the specific products and their marketing efforts it would all just be conjecture.

You can see right off the bat why DPD can afford to give so much more product storage space compared to our competitors- while we do store many HUGE files, the most popular files in our system are relatively small, allowing us to average the total bandwidth and disk space costs and provide a better value to everyone. Number #9 on the list? We lose money on that guy every month. Thats ok though as long as everyone doesn’t have a wildly popular 2.8GB product 🙂

We’re developers here at DPD and we love analyzing raw technical and sales data. We’ve purposely left this post open to interpretation, and we’re interested in what you think.

Drop us a comment and tell us what conclusions you’ve come up with from looking at this data!

50% Off Hosting Sale at FatCow

  • Jason@DPD
  • May 6, 2010
  • No Comments

Just a quick note to let DPD users that FatCow Hosting is having a 50% off sale this month- only $3.67/mo for full featured website hosting.

We’ve only heard good things about FatCow, and their plans follow the same “no gotchas” flat rate pricing model that DPD does. If anyone is looking for a cheap and reliable host for their sales site or store this is a great deal!

FatCow Hosting 50% Off Sale

Smashing Magazine: 15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 8, 2009
  • No Comments

Smashing Magazine has a great post on common mistakes made in ecommerce design.

Some key mistakes that people who sell downloads in particular might suffer from:

  • Hiding contact information
  • Long and confusing checkout process
  • Requiring an account to order
  • A poor shopping cart design
  • Confusing navigation
  • Not including store and shipping policies

Luckily DPD addresses many of these points- checkout using the DPD storefront system is quick and easy with only 3 pages- cart, payment, and delivery. No account is required to order using the DPD system, and the DPD shopping cart follows Smashing’s recommendation to load an item in the cart right on the product page without taking the customer to another site or page.

In the course of supporting vendors we look at a lot of sales sites. The most common problems we see amongst DPD vendors are lack of contact information and store / shipping policies.

Lack of Contact Information

Just because you don’t need the address and contact information of your customers to “ship” their download doesn’t mean they don’t want to know who it is they’re giving their money to. Making your contact information visible will go a long way to increasing buyer trust. We understand that you might be working out of your home (probably 80% of DPD vendors are home based with no actual store or business address) but that doesn’t mean you have to share your home address and phone number. There are always web based PO Boxes and web based phone services that can be had for as little as $9.99 a month. At the very least you should give an email address or web based contact form.

Store and Shipping Policies

DPD provides for instant delivery to paying customers. This is one of the strongest selling points for download products and one not enough vendors exploit- they buy it now they get it now! This is something that can be made in to a key selling point and benefit of buying from you- not some boring policy left off your site.

Check out the full article at Smashing Magazine and see if any of these points apply to you: Smashing Magazine: 15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design