Following the release of our major upgrade of Salescast last week, we are introducing a new pricing plan.

FREE Express edition for inventory optimization

Under this new pricing, Salescast is completely free to use for fully self serving customers. The Express edition comes with three main limitations:

  • Only the Top 10,000 items (top sellers) get included in your Excel report.
  • Native database export is not supported.
  • No support from the Lokad team.

Beside those, the full power of our inventory optimization is made available the in Express plan. All plans benefit from the same analytic technology.

The Enterprise plan removes the limitation on the number of items, enables the database export and gives access to our support teams. It cost a montly subscription fee plus consumption. Finally, the partner plan is for customers that desire an even closer interaction and cooperation.

Pricing 2007: 15 cents x number of forecasts2/3

The historic pricing formula 15 cents x number of forecasts2/3 was introduced back in 2007, when it triggered a humorous post from a software blogger that was amused by the apparent complexity of our pricing. Yes, it was funny, but we stuck with the approach for a number of reasons:

  • Transparency: It has been our conviction from the start that our prospects should know much we are charging for, and that transparency it is good business practice.
  • Adequacy: It is important to ’track’ the value that is created by our technology  (e.g. in reduced inventory, increased availability and saved time) and to use it to approximate their ability and willingness to pay. The number of forecasts as a function of products and refreshs have proven to be reasonably good proxys ranging from our smallest customers (<$50/month), to our biggest customers (> $10 000/month) in retail and Ecommerce. 
  • Simplicity: Well, the formula is not that simple. Yet, by providing a calculator on our website, we reduced the complexity to a minimum and customer feedback has been mostly positive.

However, whoever thought that this formula was as “complicated” it could become,  did underestimate us. With the introduction of quantile forecasting this spring, we outdid ourselves. Check out the blog post of Lokad’s founder on ‘bizarre pricing - does it matter?’.

So why are we changing the pricing schema today?

Pricing 2012: Pricing according to customer’s needs

As mentioned above, our past pricing tracked reasonably well the operative value we created for the client, but it was ‘blind’ to an important customer need: Support!

Salescast has been built from scratch with a self-serving customer in mind. Through the intermediate schema, a sound documentation in video and text and automated troubleshooting during integration, it is fast and simple for an IT savvy prospect to integrate with Salescast. We usually help iron out remaining technical issues, and the technical integration is hardly an obstacle.

However, our clients vastly differ in their need for support when interpreting, using and generally understanding the optimization metrics we produce**.** Inventory optimization is a complex topic, and it is only natural that many of our clients are raising a lot of smart questions triggered by their interest to get the most of our forecasts.

In addition to publishing an extensive documentation (FAQs), we decided to invest in more support capacity and provide a plan that gives access to these teams for a monthly subscription fee.

In return, we decided to remove all cost for clients (below a certain size) that serve themselves autonomously, thus tracking more closely their need for support. This also draws a clear line between no support (free Express customer) and support (paying Enterprise customer).

The ‘Formula’ is not dead!

In the Enterprise plan, customers are charged a monthly subscription of 500€ - or an equivalent amount in other currencies - plus the actual consumption per month. The consumption cost is calculated, you probably guessed it, according to our proven formulas.

We hope that with our new fremium pricing we are keeping the virtues of a transparent, ‘adequate’ and simple pricing while tracking more closely out client’s needs. In terms of simplicity we most likely have most room for improvement. We promise to keep it in mind for our next pricing plan.