5 Reasons to Sell Apps Outside the Mac App Store

November 18th, 2015
Estimated read time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

As many successful app developers have learned, there is life outside the Mac App Store. Our friends at DevMate have highlighted five reasons you should consider thinking outside of the box…

1. Independence

Freedom (Scottish accent optional) is dear to developers’ hearts. If you’re only preparing to release your first app, you might think the Mac App Store doesn’t sound so bad. After all, you get visibility and all the perks of ready-to-go sales tools.

But if you’ve been selling via the App Store for a while, you probably know what I’m getting at: sandboxing, regulations, and restrictions that you have to fit into and then keep up with all the time.

It’s especially weird to endure such pressures when there are third party options that give you all the same tools with complete freedom. Selling apps outside the Mac App Store means delivering updates whenever you like, and not worrying about violating some quirky regulation that tosses you out of the market.

2. Your profits are yours—All of them, not just 70%

You’ve probably already calculated how much the 30% that you have to part with comes to. That’s the privilege of being on the Mac App Store. Giving up such a huge chunk of your profits, and paying a yearly fee of $100, makes it really tough for small developers.

The price for using other solutions is a tiny fraction of your overall profits. In some cases, it’s free if you have less than five apps running, and one cent per user per month if you have more. Additionally, selling apps outside the Mac App Store doesn’t have to be that hard, especially when there are excellent payment providers around.

3. You actually know  your customers

Long story short, with the Mac App Store you have no clue who your customers are. You can’t track where they came from, what works and what doesn’t, which OS X they have, or which browser they use. You get no demographic information, “no nothing,” as they say.

Using outsourced platforms means having rich and detailed data—about your customers, and more.

4. Trials, demos, and paid updates

All of those things are unavailable in the Mac App Store. You either sell your app or you give it out for free. And you can only sell it once, even if the new version that you’ve been crafting for years can fly rockets to Mars.

When you choose to sell on your own, however, your cosmic aspirations are rewarded. Update delivery is quick and seamless (if you use a handy framework or write your own), and licensing is easily customizable for major version upgrades. You get to create the appearance you want and choose the registration flow that fits your needs.

5. No unfiltered feedback and one-star ratings

Finally, your rating doesn’t have to rely on random strangers who’ve barely looked at your app before they concluded that they hate it. Not to mention, the Mac App Store doesn’t always make for the prettiest of landing pages.

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