Ripe Data: The November 06 Edition

December 12, 2006

This is the first in a new monthly series we’re going to be doing on the FreshBooks Blog. It’s called Ripe Data and it is an assortment and analysis of various metrics we track here at FreshBooks. Please note, Ripe Data will not include the valuable industry benchmarks active FreshBooks users will have access to in 2007. With that said, enjoy.

For companies who accept online payment
– In October, 14.5% of payments were accepted online
– November, 17.5%

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this 20.7% month over month spike. We fully expect that over time the percentage of online payments collected will increase relative to offline payment collections as internet users become more comfortable paying online and more businesses accept online payment. That said I don’t expect such a significant increase every month.

Payment Methods

– Visa: 16.4% in October, 17.3% in November
– MasterCard: 7.3% in October, 7.3% in November
– Amex: 4.0% in October, 4.0% in November
– PayPal: 6.0% in October, 5.3% in November
– Other (including check, cash, credit, etc.): 66.3% in October, 66.1% in November

It looks like in November PayPal gave up a little market share compared to traditional – non-PayPal – payment gateways (like VeriSign,, LinkPoint, etc.). Over time it’s hard to say how this will play out. In our experience, as businesses mature and become more brand conscious they tend to move away from collecting business payments with PayPal. That said, PayPal is a powerful solution on account of its quick set-up and few barriers to entry, and we expect the number of businesses using it to continue to grow.

For companies that send invoices by both email and by ground mail
– In October, 97.0% of invoices were sent by email and 3.0% were sent by ground mail.
– In November, 96.0% of invoices were sent by email and 4.0% were sent by ground mail.

At first blush you might say that it is counter-intuitive to see an increase of 25% in the number of invoices sent by ground mail versus email. The truth is we have many users who create invoices with FreshBooks but do not send them by email. The reason for the increase here is the increasing adoption of our new ground mail service. Released in August we expect significant growth in ground mail sending over the next year or so – until an equilibrium is reached. Then, gradually over the following 5-10 or so years we expect to see a decline as businesses make a concerted effort to transition their processes online. Eventually a new equilibrium will be reached as some invoices will always need to be sent by the post to a fraction of the population who do not accept email invoices.

Browser Usage

– Internet Explorer 7 – October 5.02%, November 9.68%
– IE 6 – October 37.64%, November 36.77%
– Firefox 2.0 – October 6.61%, November 24.51%
– Firefox 1.5 – October 44.26%, November 22.07%

Both IE and Firefox have new versions out. Clearly the Firefox community is quicker to switch to new versions. Remarkably quick in fact.

Operating System Usage
-Windows – October 86.84%, November 85.87%
-Macintosh – October 10.32%, November 11.41%
-Linux – October 2.13%, November 1.92%
-Unix – October 0.11%, November 0.06%

Mac appears to be gaining market share. I think Mac users have been discovering FreshBooks for some time – and telling one another about FreshBooks. We are delighted to have been Mac compliant since August 2004.

That’s all for this month. We are currently ripening more data for picking in January.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.

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