Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo: 5 Things You Should Know

Indiegogo and Kickstarter have been around for over a decade now. They might be similar in concept, but they have evolved through the years to be very different. And our experience tells us just how different they can be. There are the clear differences, such as fees & funding structures, however we’ll go deeper to lay out some of the lesser-known differences to help you decide which platform gives you, and your product, the best shot at success. 

Here are the top 5 differences you should know: 

  1. Campaign Approval Process
  2. Platform Analytics
  3. Funding Success Rates
  4. Creator Support
  5. Platform Structure

Campaign Approval Process

The first differentiator you will experience is Kickstarter’s project review process. Kickstarter is much more hands-on in curating projects to ensure they are suitable for their community. These must fit into one of 15 categories and meet certain criteria. This can take 2-3 days if you have a more complex project that involves manufacturing. They want to see a real, honest-to-goodness prototype of your product—photorealistic renderings will not suffice.

Indiegogo is a bit simpler to start. If you are launching your product at the concept stage, you can simply enter your information, set up your page, and go. However, if your product is in a further stage of development, whether this means prototype or further along and ready to ship, you must prove this by providing media that highlights key features or functionality. If in a later stage, you will need to provide clear evidence that you actually have the capability to manufacture your product.

Platform Analytics

Kickstarter’s back end is much more closed-off than Indiegogo’s. Both Kickstarter & Indiegogo’s Dashboards allow you to insert Google Analytics, but only Indiegogo allows for your basic necessity tracking and conversion pixels. To get this information from Kickstarter’s platform is much more complex, and may require partnership with a marketing expert.

Indiegogo allows Rainfactory access to an API that makes it easy to receive real-time backer information. Kickstarter, on the other hand, doesn’t have as built-out of an API, and so sophisticated agencies have to rely on workarounds built in-house with our software developers. 

Funding Success Rates

It’s difficult to compare Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaign stats one-to-one. In a reverse of platform back-end usability, Kickstarter is much more open with their Kickstarter Stats, and Indiegogo prefers not to disclose.

Historically, Kickstarter has been home to the most-funded campaigns of all time. However, the disparity between success and failure is much greater on the Kickstarter platform. Those top few campaigns that do become successful may have longer legs via Kickstarter’s algorithm, which helps generate organic pledges from repeat backers. They also have a great community of superbackers who have pledged to more than 25 projects.

Indiegogo’s platform has a smaller share of most-funded campaigns of all time, although the average success rate on the platform is a bit higher. Perhaps this is due to the sheer volume of Kickstarter campaigns launching, or perhaps this is due to the reliability of tools and more equity of platform support per campaign.

Creator Support

Kickstarter has historically been okay with support, responding to Backer requests in a reasonable manner, however they have a very lean Creator Support team, who are usually difficult to get a hold of. As a Creator, you’re best off consulting a Kickstarter Expert, or visiting their Hardware Creator’s Studio or their FAQs.

 Indiegogo has a similar availability of Crowdfunding Resources and FAQs, and on top of this, their experts are very accessible and responsive. All of Rainfactory’s clients have a dedicated Campaign Strategist, and Indiegogo’s Hardware Outreach Team work hard to really listen to concerns and put together marketing packages for Indiegogo marketing support. 

Platform Structure

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are quite a bit different with how they channel users into running the business that is their campaign. Kickstarter in 2020 is still emphasizing the fact that they are “not a store.” Kickstarter wants any backers to remember that they are contributing to help create something new and awesome, not ordering a product as you would do at a standard e-retailer. Kickstarter is stellar at featuring smaller campaigns that happen to be cool and quirky, and their team focuses a lot more on hand-curation, rather than ranking. 

Indiegogo, on the other hand, states that backing a campaign is “not the same thing as buying something online,” but have also rolled out an InDemand feature, which is supposed to guarantee that backers will start seeing their orders within a three-month window. Indiegogo is much more motivated to feature campaigns based on performance and allows a lot of flexibility for the entrepreneur.


Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

There is no clear answer to which platform is better. Even with a list of clear differentiators, which crowdfunding platform is right for your project is ultimately up to you. With a thorough review of the above details, we hope you have the information you need to help make a decision. Contact Rainfactory and we can help give you guidance on which platform is right for you.

Photo by Caleb Jones

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