The software engineers at Munich, Germany-based Metaio GmbH prefer to focus on developing the augmented reality and 3-D software that companies like Macy’s Inc., Lego Group and Volkswagen AG use in their web and mobile apps to bring products to life. While a traditional sales team focuses on selling Metaio software directly to companies for use by in-house developers, about three years ago it decided to tackle a more dispersed set of customers—software developers around the world who write programs and apps for others. To reach that market, Metaio jumped into business-to-business e-commerce and launched a transactional web site, where developers can download its programs or pay a monthly subscription fee to access them.
The transactional parts of Metaio.com are hosted by Avangate, an e-commerce platform and services provider that specializes in products delivered digitally, like software downloads. When a developer clicks to buy a license to Metaio’s Pro Apps software development kit, which retails for about $5,500, he is connected to Avangate’s platform to complete the order, pay and download. Since Metaio targets developers everywhere, Avangate was a good fit in part because buyers can see these pages in more than 30 languages and pay in more than 30 currencies. The developer can select his preferred language and currency, and the page updates both. Payments can be made by credit card, PayPal or wire transfer. Metaio pays Avangate a percentage of each sale for using the service.
Metaio also uses Avangate’s affiliate program to reach developers around the world. “The affiliate program specifically helps us reach international markets with different languages, especially different alphabets,” says Trak Lord, marketing spokesman for Metaio. “Chinese, Japanese and Russian affiliates help us market to developers in those countries without having to invest in language-specific content creation.”
Developers in the United States have proven to be Metaio’s best online customers. Lord says U.S. sales increased 300% from June 2012 to June 2013. The software developer has also established sales through e-commerce in China, South Korea and the Philippines, countries where it previously had no sales. 50,000 commercial developers have become customers through the B2B site. Metaio maintains its traditional sales team for large customers, but hasn’t had to add to its number of sales reps, despite having many more customer accounts, Trak says.
Lego Group is No. 111 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500, which ranks European companies by the annual e-commerce sales. Macy’s is No. 12 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks North American companies by the annual e-commerce sales.
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