"Web App Autopsy". This was one of the panels I was most excited about when I was getting ready to come to Austin.This afternoon I attended an amazing panel titled
The panel examined four live web applications (RegOnline, FeedBurner, Wufoo, and Blinksale) at an amazing level of depth. If you are involved in any part of designing, building or marketing a web application, then you really need to go download a copy of the slides.
While the entire presentation was packed with useful information, the data I found most interesting was around the conversion of site visitors to customers - both free and paying customers. The slide below shows a summary of the data the panel presented.
The panel had an interesting conversation explaining the above results. For example, it is interesting that Wufoo and Feedburner have a lower conversion rate to the free services than BlinkSale - even though BlinkSale asks more questions during the registration process.
It is also interesting that RegOnline has a much lower percentage conversion rate to free accounts than the other services, but then has a higher percentage of accounts that end up becoming paid members. It was noted that RegOnline has the highest organic result for the search term 'Online Registration' in Google - so this may have something to do with the poor conversion rate to free accounts. As you'll see in the slides (you have downloaded them right?!), RegOnline also has the highest revenue per customer by an order of magnitude.
When I started my career as a consultant, we did a lot of benchmarking for best and next practices. At my firm, we had a very good repository of data, on many industries, to use for benchmarks. However, we never found a great resource for online web applications. I've been out of consulting for years, but this data would have been invaluable. Is anyone aware of other resources like this to benchmark the performance of your web application? If so, please leave a comment below.
UPDATE: Also see our coverage of the panel The Figures Behind The Top Web Apps. It looked at 5 web applications and what it took to build and release those products.