Why I removed Duet from CodeCanyon

I posted Duet on Hacker News when it was first launched. The response was overwhelmingly positive, but one comment stood out:

I can understand the appeal of selling on Codecanyon for the existing marketplace you get access to there, but I would consider an independent checkout for the website. Your design and branding are well done and signal high quality, while Codecanyon has more of a script/component flea market feel. I think taking someone out of the flow of your site to buy there is a bit jarring and might cause people to reconsider, especially enterprise-y customers. -danenania

Wait. What? Codecanyon is diminishing my branding? The sales flow is jarring? I had never considered either of these potential issues, but after some reflection I realized he was absolutely right; The experience of clicking ‘buy now’ on the Duet website to then be redirected to Codecanyon IS jarring and I can definitely see cases where it would cause potential customers to reconsider. Not just because of the fact that they are being redirected to a completely different site, or the fact that Codecanyon has a ‘flea market feel’, but also because of the sheer number of steps that customers have to complete to make single purchase.

  1. Arrive at the Duet site and decide to buy
  2. Click “buy now” and get redirected to Codecanyon
  3. Create an account. It took me 3 tries because I couldn’t get the captcha correct.
  4. Veryify your account by clicking the link in the email they sent.
  5. Accept their terms and conditions
  6. Be redirected to the Codecanyon homepage (not the item I was attempting to purchase).
  7. Find the link to the item I was trying to purchase
  8. Click the purchase button.
  9. Decide to whether to purchase with prepaid credit or use Paypal
  10. Pay and finally download

This is way too many steps. There are a million places for a potential customer to change their mind or decide it’s not worth the effort. I just went through this entire process myself while writing this article, and the most bizarre aspect of this entire checkout flow is that the purchase button isn’t available until AFTER I create an account. I’ve been a member of the site for years and I still had to pause to figure out what to do next. There is some text that explains you need to log in before purchasing, but the text is entirely too small and I did not see it until after I had been on the page for at least 30 seconds. This process isn’t intuitive at all.

Rather than risk losing customers because of a sub-par checkout experience I decided to use Gumroad to sell Duet directly on my website. Here’s what the purchase flow looks like after I moved to Gumroad:

  1. Arrive at the duet site and decide to buy
  2. Click “buy now” and enter credit card info into modal window
  3. Download

This is obviously a much better process.

Dwindling Sales

The single biggest benefit of selling on Codecanyon is the access that it provides to an existing customer base of millions of users. For a very reasonable fee, codecanyon lists your product on their marketplace for it’s existing users to find and hopefully purchase. This exposure is greatest when a product is first released because the product is on the first page of the search results. Once a product leaves the first page, sales can decrease dramatically if authors don’t find other ways to drive traffic to their items. For Duet to have remained successful on Codecanyon I would have had to make investments in marketing. Obviously every successful business needs to invest in marketing so there’s no surprise there, but here’s the thing – I already think of the 30% that I pay Codecanyon as a marketing fee. If I have to make additional investments in marketing beyond the 30% that I’m already spending, then Codecanyon’s value proposition starts to become unclear.

Moving On

Codecanyon is a great resource for passive income and I’ll continue to use it to sell some of my other products, it just wasn’t the right place for Duet.  As suspected, sales plummeted after Duet left the first page. This fact combined with the brading/sales flow issues I mentioned earlier led me to remove Duet from Codecanyon and sell it directly from the duetapp.com website. So far things have been great. I’ve had a couple of bad weeks, but overall sales are up and I’m very happy with my decision.

If you purchased Duet from codecanyon, you can continue to receive updates from www.duetapp.com/latest

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  • Eric

    what happens to those who bought at code canyon? do I still get updates and a forum to hash out issues?

    • 23andwalnut

      Yes, of course. You can download the latest update from http://www.duetapp.com/latest. I’ll update the post with the link

      • Eric

        Thanks man