Despite rise and fall of the tides in the volatile ocean of economy, e-commerce continues to remain one island of stability and demonstrates that the progress is truly unstoppable by conquering new markets and minds of both experienced entrepreneurs and merchants-to-be. The technologies are evolving and bringing digital media not only to the technological community but also to the members of the general public.
Today you’d be hard pressed to find a blogger, vlogger, speaker, or any other public figure, that can be called Internet influencer, who didn’t release digital content like motivational video, online course, guide, eBook, or a podcast. The emergence of many online stores centered around the sale of digital products was inevitable, as was their booming popularity.
Digital products have already become a billion-dollar industry and looking at the statistics, stating that revenue on the digital market in 2018 amounts to staggering $44.3m, we can safely conclude that in 2019 this number will be even more impressive. Knowing that it’s a little wonder that many accomplished e-store owners are starting to complement their offers with digital products, and independent inventors, creators, and enterprises, who only plan to join the constantly growing community of e-merchants, are taking advantage of the opening opportunities. After all, the sale of digital products offers many benefits including ease of finding the niche (Internet is a huge market) and tempting profit margins.
The guarantees that digital products will never wear or tear and you will never run out of stock with them adds to the appeal. On the whole, these products are simply easier to manage, sell and deliver than any others.
Now starting an online store is so easy that it becomes not so much a question ‘to start or not to start’, as knowing precisely how to go about it. Digital products include not only writing, musical and motivational works, which can be called downloads, but also such merchandise as eBooks and books, which are physical objects. No matter, whether your store will sell this or that kind of goods, the most important decision you need to make is the choice of a reliable account, secure and manageable, which would offer everything you need for solving any arising problem quickly and cost-effectively.
Of course, you also want your site look pretty and you’d prefer to have at your disposal helpful support team which would deal with glitches, bugs, and other technicalities. It should be also budget-amiable and offer sufficient flexibility and versatility to adapt the money that you’d be willing and able to spend to the growth and development of your store.
Shopify is the best choice for selling digital goods
Shopify is a perfect platform for anyone with such requirements since it answers ‘yes’ to all the questions and provides more advantages than any counterpart in affordability, handleability, ease of use and wealth of offers departments. It is the industry leader due to providing the means to create e-commerce stores that are the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality.
It is a no-fuss platform, which is synonymous with ‘best choice’ for everyone who wants a complete solution and freedom from dealing with technical aspects related to development and hosting. It boasts amazing customization abilities and provides easy-to-use features and functionalities, which allow virtually endless tweaking and adjusting, limited only by your creativity.
However, among a multitude of plus sides, there’re two primary benefits which make Shopify undisputable numero uno. First of all, you can experience the full potential of the platform by signing up for a free trial and seeing the end-result with your own eyes. The second cherry on the cake is the huge choice of themes and applications for your e-store, catering to all styles and preferences.
In fact, the offered selection is so rich, that it can be daunting, since everything is done by professionals and offers rich UI and exceptional UX. We decided to narrow it down to four applications, which in our opinion are best suited for e-store dealing in digital products. Let’s look closely at them.
1. Digital Downloads
Digital Downloads is a free Shopify app, which you can use for selling non-physical products in your store. It also enables you to mix and match and sell a combination of physical and intangible products, for example, digital and physical copy of a book.
With this app, you can provide for your customers’ direct link for downloading the chosen product right after placing the order, and also send them this link to their email. Digital Downloads takes care about notifying the clients about the updates in your store, automatically informing them about new offers, versions, and products.
This easy and intuitive app is more than just a delivery tool of digital content, it’s also a great service for management of your products and keeping track of your downloads, thanks to a helpful dashboard. If you want to be more in control of things, you can fulfill the orders and send the files yourself.
It’s highly customizable and the settings let you personalize email templates and checkout parameters. Use it to sell digital items with a file size of 5GB or less.
- Ease of use
- Automatic updates
- Dashboard for management and control
- CSV file export option for generating a spreadsheet of all processed orders
- Developed by Shopify
SendOwl is another of our favorites, which is also extremely easy to setup and use. To start selling digital products all you have to do is upload the files to the servers, choose a product to associate it with, and the rest will be done automatically.
You can sell from just about anywhere, including website, a page on a social media or a blog — just place a small button there and you’re in business. It’s a simple and secure way of selling digital merchandise and SendOwl supports a great many languages, so you can sell to people who don’t speak your language.
You can configure delivering download link on the order completion page, send it via separate email, include in Shopify order email or add it to the customer account. A drip functionality allows you to schedule the release of the product. Here you can configure issuing free orders and sending stamped PDFs to your clients.
SendOwl boasts built-in pre-checkout and post-payment upsells, discount codes, and pay-what-you-want pricing. You can even create a mailing list via such resources as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. The app integrates with biggest payment systems like PayPal, Apple Pay, and even Bitcoin. Oh, and it’s lightning quick because SendOwl uses for hosting a network of servers ensuring the shortest ever download time.
- Instant and automatic delivery via direct expiring links
- Responsive checkout for users of mobiles
- Provides powerful ‘Google-style’ reports and analytics
Pricing: the standard plan is $15 per month for 30 products and 3GB storage
If you like to know and control just about everything in your store, from the number of times the item was downloaded to the amount of time before a download link expires, FetchApp is the answer.
Essentially, with this easy application, you get a dashboard for managing your products and orders, which you can use to start selling as soon as you’ll be able to copy and paste a link.
This application also supports working with products with multiple files, making the delivery effortless — just bundle them in one package. You can also split large sized files into several smaller files and sell one product in multiple parts.
Boasting a very straight-forward interface, which pleases the owners, it also takes good care of the customers, automatically delivering download links after the payment, minimizing the number of steps in the process of purchasing. In FetchApp users can create the orders manually, edit, reopen and resend them, and you can configure email in a simple drag-and-drop email builder tool.
It supports most popular payment processors like Paypal, Google Checkout, Shopify, Goodsie, FoxyCart. In few words, it’s ‘simple enough to be used to sell a single product, but large enough to also accommodate record labels selling hundreds of tracks’ (Mike Larkin, FetchApp).
- Ease of setup and use
- Integration in social media campaigns and email newsletters
- Support of multiple products creation without re-uploading
Pricing: free up to 5MB storage. Premium plans start at $5 per month for 50 MB storage
4. Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot is a plugin, designed for the sale of different types of content, including PDFs, images, audio, and also streaming and downloadable videos. In other words — if it’s downloadable, you can sell it.
With this app, your clients after the successful payments will be forwarded to the page where they’ll be able to view and download their purchases with a single click. The provided security is outstanding, featuring such protection as access abuse alerts, limited downloads and expired access. It also enables you to attach multiple files to a product.
The delivery page is fully customizable and you can tweak it until it matches the look and feel of your store. Your clients on their account pages can view all digital goods, associated with any past purchases, which comes in handy if you’re practicing upsell strategy. Users will like the impression, that everything happens in the domain of the seller. The reason is that the actual files hosting is masked, so when users click on the link to download their file, the link they will see will belong to your site.
Sky Pilot integrates into the order status page which allows them immediate access to the download link without waiting for it in their inboxes. Integrates with Vimeo, Charge Rabbit.
- Support of any kind of digital product
- Impeccable protection
- Support of attaching downloadable links to the items
- Customizable delivery page
Pricing: free plan available for up to 2mb of storage. Additional charges may apply
Starting selling digital products with Shopify is very easy and evolving also offers no substantial challenges. It provides a very convenient evolution model, starting simple and evolving into complex and advanced.
All apps in our list provide you with the greater control over the shopping experience and prices and also offer you the means for management and tracking. They will empower you with fast-working and easy to use tools, flexibility in regards to customization and configuration, and won’t put a huge hole in your pocket.
They will be liked both by beginners and seasoned businessmen since you can always choose higher pricing and get access to more option and features. However even bare minimum will do the needed tasks expertly.
And the best thing about them — having many options lets everybody find the one thing that suits them the best. So we encourage you to try out and see how it goes for yourself!
Open a Shopify Online Store For Free!
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