The advent of free tax software has forced the tax publishers to refocus their selling strategies,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.
Port Washington, New York (Vocus) April 22, 2010
The average selling price of boxed tax software sold at U.S. retail has increased almost 33 percent since 2006, while unit sales have declined more than 25 percent, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s retail tracking service. In 2006, the average selling price for boxed software was $40, while by 2010 consumers were paying $52.
“The advent of free tax software has forced the tax publishers to refocus their selling strategies,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “They now concentrate on software with more features and bells and whistles for the do-it-yourselfers who need more robust tax software.”
The results for the 2010 tax season saw an improvement over last year’s double-digit declines, but unit sales and revenue were still down. Unit sales of boxed tax software sold at U.S. retail declined 6 percent year-over-year (November 2009-March 2010). Revenue for boxed tax software declined nearly 7 percent. Average prices, however, stabilized from 2009 to 2010, after experiencing a 17 percent increase from 2008 to 2009. The entry-level segment of tax software continued to decline in importance as less than 20 percent of all 2010 sales were for less than $40, in contrast to 2006 when more than 80 percent of sales were below $40.
Intuit was the number one publisher in both units and dollars. The company also secured four out of the top five tax software SKUs.
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