Marketplace Woes

The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is getting to be frustrating. 

Marketing one’s apps, especially when they don’t automatically lend themselves to particular vertical markets where one might have a notion of whom to talk to in order to popularize them, is such a pain.  The Marketplace doesn’t seem to help, either.  Not that one should depend upon it, of course, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, but you’d think that the place would work better.  You can find my apps, if you use the Search feature, but how many people are going to be explicitly looking for something to do with fractions?  Search in the Zune Marketplace using the term “fraction” and you’ll find both Fraction Calculator and Decimal 2 Fraction Converter.  That’s fine, but if you use the word “calculator” the Fraction Calculator isn’t in the (lengthy) list.  Maybe I need to adjust my Marketplace entry, but you’d think that the name of the app would get indexed, right?  Apparently not.

And there’s another thing.  I can’t figure out how to give the user of one of my apps the ability to go directly to the marketplace through the app they currently own in order to browse and perhaps purchase another of my apps.  I can direct them to my product web page, but then I have to depend upon them taking a separate step to open up the Zune Marketplace on their computer workstation to find the app.  That puts a roadblock or two into fulfillment, something that one would like to see able to be bypassed.

And that’s not all!  In the App Hub, where the developer has the ability to see how many people are downloading his/her apps, the reporting feature is now giving me negative numbers on some downloads!  Technically, I’m told, this is not possible.  But there we are.

“Yikes, that’s quite a dip in sales, yessiree!  We had -2 sales yesterday!”

Does this mean that someone got a refund?  You might think that, but I understand that this is not something that is possible.

I reported this to Microsoft, and to their credit they are looking into it.  I hope they figure it out soon.  For one thing, I happen to wonder if the sales figures they are providing are at all reliable, in light of this oddity.

I hope so.

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5 Responses to Marketplace Woes

  1. David says:

    I feel your pain. One of my apps has a -1 download for one day. After reading about it on the forums as you have, I just looked over it, although with a raised eyebrow. As for your other concern of how to allow users to browse your other apps by launching the Marketplace within an app, you can do that quite easily:

    MarketplaceSearchTask task = new MarketplaceSearchTask();
    task.ContentType = MarketplaceContentType.Applications;
    task.SearchTerms = “INSERT YOUR NAME/COMPANY AS IT APPEARS IN THE MARKETPLACE”;
    task.Show();

    This will task out of your app and into the Marketplace, showing every app you have published in a list. I hope this helps!

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