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Conclusions of Working with WebNinjaSchool

Over the past few months we have had the pleasure of watching the first users interact with MPPL and wanted to share some of our findings with you.

The majority of our findings are from a beta test we ran with WebNinjaSchool, which organizes boutique cutting edge technology courses in Israel.
During this process we were experimenting with the different aspects of MPPL.

Some of our Questions were:

  • What are the psychological purchasing behavior reactions of the buyers?
  • Do people like the concept of "fair dynamic pricing"?
  • Are "PayPal Preapproved Payments" reliable from a merchant's standpoint?
  • Would buyers trust MPPL with large pledge sums (~$800)?
  • Would the buyer feel comfortable paying the merchant directly from the MPPL embedded widget without having to leave the sellers website?

Our hypothesis is that MPPL:

  • Increases Target Audience - Dynamic pricing allows for lower price possibilities for people who may not have considered the higher price options.
  • Makes Things Viral -  Every person interested in purchasing a particular offer has a self interest that as many people as possible join the offer in order to bring the price down for himself, thus causing them to share the offer on FB, Twitter and get family and friends to join the offer.
  • Creates a Positive Consumer Experience - Where everyone pays the same price and the overall feeling is that the merchant is making an effort to come up with a fair price arrangement with the consumer, finally resulting in a positive consumer experience and returning customers.

 The Test Included:

  • Buying traffic to WebNinjaSchool courses from Google, Facebook etc.
  • Sending leads to the embedded widget page on the course website.
  • Following up with leads by phone and email - sometimes needing to further explain how MPPL works.
  • Allowing people to determine their maximum price through preapproved payments online with paypal or make a manual pledge and pay when the offer was over by check or cash.
  • Collecting the payments through paypal once the offer was over and the final price was determined.

Findings

  • MPPL is Trusted  - While some people (companies) preferred to pay by check (in a 30 day delay), others preferred to make a preapproved payment through MPPL even at large sums such as $800. Some even created a paypal account just for the occasion, and some without ever talking with the merchant on the phone or email (they simply got to the payment page, understood how it works and made the pledge). Of course it is essential that the merchant is trustworthy in order for people to use MPPL - but the bottom line is that during these first sales people understood the system and were comfortable using it.
  • It's Viral! - Some people posted on FB while explaining that its not only a great course but the price is fair due to MPPL, others tweeted (or retweeted) and someone even brought his brother along.
  • Increased Affordability - People naturally had different considerations to how much money they could invest in order to participate in the course and due to the flexible dynamic pricing system combined with the option for the buyer to pledge their max price some didn't mind paying the highest price since they really wanted to register for the course and the highest price was a reasonable price, while others pledged at the middle and some even at the lowest prices (which weren't always the final price), meaning there was the risk that they could be left out if there weren't enough people for that price. The results were varied.  For one of the courses, the vitality effect caused the course to fill up to the max allowing everyone to pay the lowest price and those who pledged at the lower end to be in without having to raise their pledge. At another course the class didn't fill up to the max and those who pledged at the lower end actually increased their pledge price by ~$50 in order to stay IN (while bringing the final price down further for everyone else).
  • Positive Experience - Since we were very involved in the process and got to meet the students as well we had the pleasure of finding out that people felt really good about the price and the fact that it came down due to increased participation, leaving them with an extra positive experience (some of them also wanted to come back for more).
While those are the bulk of our conclusions we also got a chance to learn the complexities of PayPal's adaptive API, specifically preapproved payments. One PayPal's major risk calculations for allowing payments to go through is if the buyer or seller have a verified account (most importantly the seller).