An Empirical Study of Software Sampling: Categorical Heterogeneity and Vendor Strategy

6 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2009

See all articles by Young-Jin Lee

Young-Jin Lee

University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Business Information and Analytics

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Date Written: December 1, 2007

Abstract

Product sampling is a part of promotion tools to increase the sales of goods. Especially, the marginal sampling cost for consumer is close to zero in software market since consumers may download a freeware or trial version of the focal product easily through the internet. Unlike other consumable goods, sampling is an inexpensive strategy to software vendors. Hence, it is common practice in software markets. This research builds a multilevel model to illustrate categorical heterogeneity in software sampling and the effects of sampling strategy on sampling performance among software categories. Using the data collected from download.com, we find that: 1) sampling intensity is different among software categories; 2) trial version strategy outperforms freeware strategy in some categories, but on average its effect on sampling performance is lower than that of freeware strategy by 19%. These results serve to provide guidance for software vendors to choose the better sampling strategy.

Keywords: Software, Product Sampling, Freeware, Trialware, Bayesian Inference

Suggested Citation

Lee, Young Jin and Tan, Yong, An Empirical Study of Software Sampling: Categorical Heterogeneity and Vendor Strategy (December 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1337675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1337675

Young Jin Lee (Contact Author)

University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Business Information and Analytics ( email )

2101 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208
United States
303-871-4813 (Phone)

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353226
Seattle, WA 98195-3226
United States

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