In the last decade, eCommerce has experienced unprecedented growth. One of the major factors behind this was the pandemic; while people couldn’t exactly go out every day, their needs and demands didn’t change.
This article isn’t geared toward traditional eCommerce of sourcing for goods and then selling, no. In this article, we’re going to be looking at another angle of eCommerce that deals with the selling of digital products.
Selling digital products in your eCommerce store is a great way to supplement your income, and compared to all the hassle associated with selling actual products, selling digital products sure has undeniable benefits.
In this article, we’re going to look at everything there is about selling digital products. From the types of digital products to sell, how to set up your eCommerce store for digital products, the best plug-ins for digital products, etc.
What Makes Digital Products Great for Your Online Store?
In their essence, digital products are items that do not have any physical form. This comes with a myriad of advantages, one of the biggest being that there’s no need for inventory. One of the major concerns plaguing small eCommerce owners is inventory-related.
Digital products are in the same category as digital services, they often come in two ways: streaming and downloading.
Here are some of the benefits associated with selling digital products:
- Free of delivery hassles: A recurring problem associated with eCommerce is delivering of products to consumers. With selling digital products on your ecommerce store, you’re completely free of this problem. The only delivery your customers have to worry about on your website is where to store the downloaded products.
- Is cost-effective: With eCommerce that has to do with selling physical products, there’s an unlimited number of things you have to do with money. This ranges from advertising your individual products, to restocking when you’re out of inventory, packaging and storing, shipping, etc.
These problems are inexistent when you’re dealing with digital products in your eCommerce store. The most stressful part of running an eCommerce store for digital products, is creating these products. But with the help of Private Label Right products, this isn’t even a hassle anymore.
What are Private Label Right products? Private label rights products are products that you have the license to modify without being the creator. This means you can buy a product, modify it and sell it on your eCommerce store.
What are the Disadvantages of Selling Digital Products?
While there are many advantages to selling digital products, they’re not completely void of disadvantages. In this section of the article, we’re going to list the disadvantages associated with selling digital products in your eCommerce store.
The advantages associated with selling digital products in your eCommerce store aren’t exclusive to a select few. The ease associated with creating digital products means there’s fierce competition associated with the sale of digital products in eCommerce.
Perception Based on value
When it comes to the perception of digital products in eCommerce stores, they’re not held in the same regard as physical products. The idea of selling digital products in your eCommerce store becomes more attainable if you advertise to people who are already interested in that digital product you’re selling.
Downtimes hurt your eCommerce store more if you’re selling digital products
While this is also true for physical products, the effects of downtime are not the same when compared to selling digital products in your eCommerce store.
Creating unique products is no easy task
This contradicts what we said earlier about the use of private label rights, we’ll clarify. If you’re a thought leader in a field and you want to create digital products for eCommerce, you’re going to have more success if you create your own products.
The main reason behind this is personalization. The fact that you’re creating a product based on your experiences, is going to resonate more with an audience than a Private Label Right (PLR) will.
This is why it’s not advisable to create your entire digital products for eCommerce on PLR products. The best way to use PLR products is by using them as in your lead generation strategy.
Best Products to Sell in Your eCommerce Store
Before proceeding to set up your eCommerce store for digital products, you want to make sure you know the kind of products you’re going to be selling on your eCommerce website. In this section of the article, we’re going to discuss a list of the best digital products to sell in your eCommerce store.
- Video Courses
In the eLearning industry, video courses are leading the charge. Creating digital products for your eCommerce store can be challenging. That is even more correct if you’re creating video courses.
Creating video courses for your eCommerce store requires a ridiculous amount of preparation – deciding on the topic of the course, the approach you’re going to take, and recording the video itself.
To record video courses, you may be required to get products such as high-quality cameras, editing software, etc. There’s also the option of creating a video course by recording your screen. In this case, all you’re going to need is a proper mic and mild editing.
Great editing is essential when creating video courses for your eCommerce store. This is to keep the user engaged through the experience and make the learning process easier and more fun.
Electronic books are books you can’t physically touch as the name implies, eBooks are some of the most popular digital products for eCommerce websites. Compared to video courses, eBooks are relatively easier to produce as everything that’s needed to create an eBook is well, writing the book. If you’d like to sell an eBook in your eCommerce store and do not want to go through the whole process of writing it yourself, you can hire ghost-writers to sell do the writing for you.
If your customers want your eBooks to be actual books, you can use Amazon’s print-on-demand services where Amazon deals with printing and the delivery of the books.
- Games and Apps
Games and apps are some digital products that can also be sold on an eCommerce website. Compared to video courses and eBooks, creating apps and games for your eCommerce website is another ball game entirely as you’ll be required to have in-depth knowledge of programming before you’re able to create a game.
- Digital Design
Creating digital designs for your eCommerce store cuts across two phases of an eCommerce website, it could be creating designs as products or as services. For the former, creating digital art to sell in your eCommerce store can be anything from pre-made templates, logos, illustrations, fonts, NFTs, etc.
Online business owners and content creators always need digital art to take their product or service up an extra notch.
- Selling services
Deciding to sell services online is different from selling products in your eCommerce store. This is mainly because services are different from products. By selling digital services, you’re effectively selling your skills and not products already made.
How to Setup Your Ecommerce Store for Digital Products
Before selling digital products in your eCommerce store, you must understand that an eCommerce store selling a digital product is different from selling regular physical products.
In this section of this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know when it comes to selling your digital products on your eCommerce store.
Create a Checkout Experience that is Designed for Digital Products
Like selling physical products, your eCommerce website selling digital products needs to have a seamless transition from checking out products till the checkout stage.
You need to make sure everything on your checkout page serves to provide the most unique experience for your customers. To ensure this happens, you need to take a look at your website from the perspective of a customer and effectively optimize your website and checkout page to rid of anything that will hamper the user experience.
Doing this will help the customer purchase the digital products in your eCommerce website without so much as breaking a sweat.
Optimize Price Based on Customer Location
One of the beauties of eCommerce is the fact that you can sell products to people all over the world. This unique advantage isn’t lost when you’re selling digital products in your eCommerce store.
By optimizing your eCommerce store based on location, you’re able to branch and expand into the global market with ease and display prices based entirely on your prospective customers' location.
Create Custom-made Checkouts that Advertises Your Brand
If you’re building your own store to sell digital products and are not piggybacking on more established brands like Shopify, then creating custom-made checkouts will not only be easier, it’ll also be more beneficial to you.
One of the major problems plaguing eCommerce today is cart abandonment. But with customization, you increase the chance of decreasing cart abandonment in your eCommerce store. This happens because you create a consistent brand experience and narrative all through your eCommerce store and even on your digital products.
Customization isn’t left to your check-out pages alone. Your customization should start from your homepage all the way down to your thank you pages. By doing this, you position yourself as a thought leader in the industry and create a top-of-mind experience for your brand.
Streamline Your Purchase Experience
When it comes to selling digital products, nothing leads to more drop-offs than a complicated purchase experience. This is why it’s important to make sure your customers experience quick and easy access to your products.
You should apply all the digital tools in your arsenal to sell digital products with ease to your customers. You can even go as far as offering to e-mail your customers links to products upon purchase. This way, they can always find the products.
While this counts towards providing a seamless experience, it also helps reduce the strain on your customer support team for when a customer needs a product they already downloaded.
Utilize E-mail Marketing
With continuous targeted and optimized e-mail marketing, you can optimize and keep your e-mail list prepped and ready to be upsold to.
Research has shown that it is easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a new one. This is why you must ensure you employ all the tactics you know to remain top-of-mind for your previous customers.
NB: A great way to do this is by updating your digital products with new and relevant information.
Best Platforms to Sell Digital Products
When choosing to sell digital products on an eCommerce store, one of the first and most important things to do is to choose the right platform for your digital product business.
There are many eCommerce platforms available, but not all of them cater to users that intend to sell digital goods. While there are many eCommerce platforms available, they do not all support digital products.
In this section of the article, we’re going to give you an overview of the best eCommerce platforms to sell your digital products.
Create Your Own eCommerce Website
One of the best places to sell your digital products is in your own eCommerce store. There are several benefits attached to building your own eCommerce website. One of the reasons is complete autonomy over your store and products.
Creating your own online store does a myriad of good for your brand reputation. It does this by giving you a voice and a name attached to your products. Depending on what you want, this may be a good option for you. If you intend on piggybacking off of more established brands, then choosing your own online store may not be the best option.
Also, choosing your own online store also helps you to cut down on the competition as it enables your brand to give off a more professional perception.
Creating your own eCommerce store to sell your digital products is not without its demerits.
One of the major disadvantages associated with starting an online store for your eCommerce business is the problem associated with building it. If you’re adept with the technicality associated with creating and managing a website, then this isn’t something you should worry about.
Also, if you decide to build your own website to sell your digital products, then it’s important to bear in mind that it takes time to build a sizeable following for your brand. Gaining traffic and sales can take a while even if you’re doing everything right.
Shopify is one of the major brands when it comes to everything eCommerce. And when it comes to selling digital products on your eCommerce website, Shopify isn’t left out. What makes Shopify great even for selling digital products is the fact that you don’t need any technical knowledge to use the platform.
With Shopify’s free Digital Downloads app, you’re able to upload all your digital products into your store. You can upload files such as videos, songs, eBooks, etc., as digital products in your store. So, whenever a customer purchases a product from your store, they’re given a link to then download this product.
Shopify’s Digital Download has three major sections, they are:
- Dashboard: In the dashboard section you can view, edit and organize your digital products.
- Orders: This is where all the orders processed in your store come in through.
- Setting: In the settings section, you can customize your checkout options, personalize e-mail and a lot more.
With Shopify’s Digital Download, you can do a multitude of things from adding digital products to existing products, setting download limits, adding e-mail templates, customizing download so it shows on the checkout page, etc.
When it comes to purchases, if you’re not using the standard Shopify payment method, you have to pay a 2.9% transaction fee for every sale made on the website.
Taking a cue from the name, easy digital downloads is a WordPress plug-in that allows you to sell digital products in your eCommerce store. Easy digital downloads have a variety of paid and free extensions available.
With easy digital downloads, you can set discount codes, download all activity, and you have a full in-built reporting tool. You also have the option of setting link expiration and download limits to counter piracy and duplication.
Easy digital download is a very popular WordPress plug-in, this means there’s support for whenever you need it.
Easy digital download is free to install provided you have a WordPress website.
If you want the premium features associated with the app, it comes in at $99/month.
Gumroad is a unique cart checkout service that can turn any website into an eCommerce store. This means if you want to sell digital products on your website without necessarily having an eCommerce store, then Gumroad is the service you need.
Gumroad has an incredible analytic tool that gives you in-depth information into how many times a particular product was viewed as well as purchased. It also gives you insight into where the sale came from.
To use Gumroad to sell your digital products on your website, all you need to do is to upload your products to Gumroad, copy the auto-generated download link and place it anywhere on your website. This then turns that section of your website into an online store for digital products.
Gumroad has a free plan that charges for every transaction made online. The premium plan comes in at $10/month.
Sellfy is a full-suite eCommerce store that lets you sell a wide range of products such as, subscriptions, digital files, memberships, and even physical products. Sellfy is home to over 60,000 content creators.
Sellfy is a great platform that incorporates eCommerce with products on social media. With Sellfy, you can embed call-to-action buttons, product widgets, or mini-sales pitches in your website or social media channel.
Sellfy has multiple payment options, mobile optimization and has a variety of languages. Sellfy comes in at $19/month.
Thinkific is a great eCommerce platform that gives users the platform they need to teach online and make money. Thinkific for selling digital products is a great option. Thinkific already houses more than 40,000 course creators and 30 million courses have been taken on the platform.
If you’re going to be selling just eBooks, Thinkific may not be the best option for you. This is because Thinkfic has more potential than just for the sales of eBooks.
With Thinkific, you get a custom domain and URL, SSL certificate for security, free reign to control your font and text, white labeling, audio, pdf, etc. Thinkific is a full-suite eCommerce platform that offers a myriad of services.
Thinkific also has a drag and drop page builder feature that allows you to alter every aspect of a page.
Thinkfic has a free plan for your first course. The premium features come in two packages: $49 per month and $99 per month.
Selz is an eCommerce platform used to market, list, and sell both digital and physical products. It has a host of features from social media integration, inventory management, product delivery, analytic tool, etc.
Selz also offers the option of building an online store for your digital products and embedding the link on various social media platforms and websites.
If you’re selling video digital products, you can set limited-time streaming and download limits as well. Taking in further, Selz allows you to sell your digital products to a wide audience by providing over 100 different currencies.
Selz’s pricing comes in four different plans.
Basic: The standard plan comes in at $26/month
Standard: The standard plan comes in at $53/month
Advanced: The advanced plan comes in at $179/month
Do it for me: As the name suggests, the “Do it for me” plan is a plan where Selz’s team literally does it for you. From setting up your webstore, to integrating your sales channels and business systems even to your own marketing team. All these come at $599/month.
In this article, we’ve discussed everything you need to know when it comes to setting up your eCommerce business for digital products. We understand that each business model is entirely unique, this is why it’s important for you to optimize your sales process till you find the right one for you and your business.