The demand for and the number of software product offers are evolving rapidly. Despite the importance of the software industry, its representation within current classification systems is often obstructed. Therefore, researchers often neglect the variety of software products within their work. Using a systematic approach, we develop an industry classification for the software product industry. The empirical-to-conceptual approach allows us to establish concepts that are dominant in practice. As a result, we derive three major sectors, i.e. business function software, industrial software and consumer software. Experts from the software industry are interviewed to evaluate the results. The suggested industry classification helps practitioners to communicate clearly, identify competitors and possible innovations within the software product industry. The classification helps scholars to improve theory building.