Here’s what I’ve been doing for the last 5 days after researching for a few weeks and choosing the top 10 solutions: We believe Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is the ultimate tool for those interested in selling digital goods online. . This goes hand in hand. SendOwl and Gumroad are both powerful for online product sales, especially in the digital goods sector.
Blogs and online stores often require the ability to sell digital goods online. This requires completely different software that is simpler and more acceptable to send links to customers via digital content downloads.
Compared to physical products, these digital items are not really tangible. So, you host it on your site and then notify your customers with some sort of file.
For example, some commonly sold digital products include:
- music track
- Exclusive Podcast
- video training course
- web service
- Templates such as emails and websites
- Web Graphics and Vectors
This decision keeps it ESD free (except for extensions and payment provider fees), can be integrated with almost any site, reports provide on-site indicators to evaluate the health of the store, and the user interface is simple for both users and users. (Products are displayed neatly on the site, and customers receive an instant email with a link after purchasing a digital product.)
Different digital selling solutions serve a variety of purposes. For example, some of these are integrated with your current website, while others are pre-built solutions that require you to pay a monthly fee for a complete online store system.
Some plugins and software provide support for physical items, others do not. One of the key attributes we looked at was flexibility, i.e. the overall ability to extend your site, sell on different platforms, and customize your own website.
One of the key attributes we looked at was flexibility, i.e. the overall ability to extend your site, sell on different platforms, and customize your own website.
A good example: One of our recommendations is Sellfy.
Not our first or second recommendation, but why? Sellfy serves people who don’t want to spend a lot of time designing. It’s really great for beginners who spend more time developing new items to sell than working on web design. An in-depth review of Sellfy here.
However, since the sites all look similar and are templates run through Sellfy, Sellfy limits its users to its own community. (Like making a store on Amazon).
The runner-up SendOwl opens up all the possibilities for selling digital goods on your CMS or website building platform. It costs more than EDD, but the pricing plan depends entirely on the number of products on the site and the amount of download storage space. So you won’t spend more than you need.
SendOwl is one of the easiest ways to sell digital products. Since this product is primarily designed for selling digital items, it provides a simple button that you can place anywhere and allows you to upload various product files. With no pop-ups and no installation required, the shopping cart looks neat and minimal. You also get powerful tools such as discount management, shipping and tax calculations, simple payment processors, a variety of product options, and more.
The reason it’s number one is that EDD’s interface beats SendOwl’s, and EDD has a nice library of extensions. SendOwl has a massive set of built-in features, but you’re stuck on everything it offers. So minimal integration. Also, EDD is free (no extension).
Why you should trust us
He started his career in marketing and web design, but over time started taking reviews, roundups, and tutorials on ecommerce platforms to look inside the industry. At the time, I mainly published and sold digital products online (such as marketing webinars and educational eBooks for freelance writers). So my research led me to test a solution like this: WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads and Shopify.
Most of my digital book and video sales have been through my WordPress site, but mainly because I started blogging two years ago and then linked my store to my blog.
Selling my services and digital products online allowed me to start a business, but ecommerce platforms have taken me into a world where I’ve always thought of selling online.
For example, I meticulously tested the best ecommerce platforms online for two weeks and compared items like pricing, payment gateways, templates, support, and marketing tools. Understand what merchants need to look for in order to lower the complexity and cost of payment processors.
Not only that, but also learned the art of constructing online marketplaces and more complex online stores with thousands of sellers selling their products.
Overall, folks from ecommerce platforms and I have a lot of experience with ecommerce website design, payment gateway versatility, app integration, customer support quality, and ease of use of the shopping cart. Since the ecommerce platform site receives thousands of views and comments every month, we have received user feedback for every review. So many opinions are formed based on what other people say.
Finally, I am known for making comprehensive comparisons of platforms for selling physical and digital products. The top ten ecommerce platforms of all time . These comparisons require a lot of time, effort, and money. Most people don’t want to spend when looking for a single platform. Therefore, I have completed the work and summarized the information so that it can be presented in an easy-to-read format for the reader.
Who is it for?
At some point, anyone can sell digital products online. Hardware stores can create video training programs on how to maintain a new home after purchase. Web design bloggers can create stunning ebooks to sell to developers and designers around the world. Physical merchandise ecommerce stores may find they can make more money by selling digital add-ons (like clothing stores selling style guides or videos for reselling their own clothes).
Web design bloggers can create stunning ebooks to sell to developers and designers around the world. Physical merchandise ecommerce stores may find they can make more money by selling digital add-ons (like a clothing store selling style guides or videos for reselling their own clothes).
Digital selling platforms also do the trick when trying to offer digital items. Take, for example, a fictional clothing store. Fall style guides could work better as incentives for people to shop in stores. So when someone buys a shirt or pants, you can give them away for free. Tools like EDD and SendOwl allow you to automatically send files to your customers.
Fall style guides could work better as incentives for people to shop in stores. So when someone buys a shirt or pants, you can give them away for free. Tools like EDD and SendOwl allow you to automatically send files to your customers without charging.
I also recommend this guide to those who want to break the window whenever they see a bill on their current digital selling platform. The same goes for those who find the user interface too difficult.
Recommendations consider both user experience and cost. That’s why EDD tops the list at no cost and SendOwl is perfect for those who want a monthly fee instead of some percentage or transaction fee.
If you are new to digital selling games, this article will help you find your ideal product. If you currently have a way to manage your digital goods and are happy with the design tools and prices you pay for, then you might want to consider sticking with the old ones without going through the conversion process.
How we have chosen and tested how to sell digital goods online
Now that we have discussed the reasons for choosing a digital selling platform with anyone who should consider one of these systems, we can take a look at these three tools:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- electronic addict
- Shopify and the digital download app
When evaluating all of the above tools, we put all of them in the arena we picked from the start. None of them were biased, so I started looking at what I thought was the most important feature on a platform that helped me sell digital products.
These are the more obvious tools, but I’ve decided on three essential features to narrow the field down. We’ve also looked at the user-friendliness of each platform’s features, so we’ve removed a few recommendations from the start.
The three essential features are:
- Powerful digital storage and delivery – This is interesting because many tools don’t offer unlimited storage for digital files. When discussing robust file delivery, we focus more on automation and simplicity. The goal here is to automatically send an email with a link from the system immediately after the user makes a purchase. You will also need some customization tools for these emails or download pages. A key area to separate candidates is how easy it is to store files as self-hosted platforms can run out of space.
- Clean Shopping Carts – I understand this is somewhat subjective, but I think you can reasonably decide if most people think that clicking a shopping cart provides a clear and short path to purchase. This includes minimal steps during the checkout process to ensure that no one wants to click three buttons to make a purchase. Also, I don’t want any type of branding at the checkout (besides my store). I also like the idea that there are no pop-ups, minimal distractions, and enough whitespace and forms to clearly explain what needs to be filled in. Along with this, it’s nice to have a guest checkout option and a cart/checkout left too. website instead of being redirected elsewhere.
- Integration with the best payment gateways – Digital selling platforms that only work with Stripe or PayPal should do the trick, but some companies don’t want to use these options because of price or geographic restrictions. So, I think it’s important that the tool supports all the most popular payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, etc. This gives more sales options and puts research power in the hands of the trader.
So, which system is still running after looking at these three essential features?
- Easy Digital Downloads
- electronic addict
- Shopify and digital download apps
- Sellfy – Limited payment gateway options. You can only access PayPal Standard, PayPal Express and Stripe. Also, PayPal checkouts aren’t ideal, so Sellfy can make a few sounds right away. However, Sellfy is one of the best options for embedding a shopping cart on any type of website. Most of the features covered below are included with Sellfy, so they aren’t the most impressive.
- Gumroad – Checkout is beautiful and storage is sturdy, but Gumroad only accepts PayPal for credit card payments. That said, the article will talk about niche traders who should consider Gumroad a bit lower.
Now that we’ve looked at the core features, it’s time to evaluate which ones really shine in terms of add-ons, marketing potential, and interesting little tools that the system can use on almost any website.
The following features focus on flexibility and control, which I prefer the way I can scale my website to my liking, and it would be nice to have full control in terms of design and functionality rather than being locked into a limited platform.
Some of the following features are more important than others, but overall, we took a look at each feature, see if a tool or feature is available through each platform, and then made a final decision on the most promising arsenal of all types of digital. online seller.
So the other features I checked out are:
- The ability to integrate with any website – the ability to take digital selling tools and implement them on your existing sites is huge given the number of merchants that can use the platform. It hinders those who already have an existing website who want to switch to an online store if they need to sign up for an entirely new account.
- Shop for add-ons or extensions – Additional apps come in all shapes and sizes, but their main goal is to free up additional space to expand the power of your online store. This way, you won’t be locked into a fee-free website or more obscure payment processor. For example, you can integrate with MailChimp or sell some digital goods for free. These tasks are often easily accomplished with the help of add-ons, apps and extensions.
- Advanced User Features (Wish List, Save Cart, Create Profile) – You will see the power of the App Store as you explore these features, as many of these features can be included with the help of add-ons. That said, creating a simple digital goods site doesn’t mean that customers don’t have full control over their profile. In fact, it’s the exact opposite because the buyer may need to download the file later. Therefore, it is important to provide a profile where you can log in to find recently purchased files. Wish lists, shopping cart savings, and other things of this nature are bonuses.
- Simple and Intuitive Customer Management – Can you see who has visited your site and what they have recently purchased? Otherwise, you will struggle with targeted marketing and complaint handling. Let’s say someone contacted you and charged you too much for a purchase. If you can’t see again how much they spent, basically you have to repay them without your knowledge. More importantly, understanding which customers are buying will help you determine future marketing and sales strategies.
- Discount Codes and Promotions – Discounts come in all shapes and sizes in the e-commerce world. Digital selling is no different. You’ll want to market your promotions throughout the year, especially around the end of the year. Discounts are essential to boosting your business without risking, as you most likely paid all the cost of your digital product during its creation. Some promotional tools include discounts on defined terms, rules on how many discounts one person can use, digital discount codes for punches, and time-limited promotions that expire after a certain amount of time.
- Advanced Reporting – Reports enhance your knowledge of what is happening in your store, but should be simple and intuitive. My favorite report and analysis is Easy Digital Downloads, so I use it as a benchmark when comparing different platforms. Things to check include your total earnings by period and category. You will also need filters on reports, taxes, exportable data, and graphs that monitor downloads and sales.
- API Access – For some users, providing access to the API is huge. But others will not think about it. I haven’t put much weight into the APIs available, but advanced users will at least understand what options are open for external app integration and development.
- File Access Control – Maintaining download control prevents theft and sharing while enticing users to return to the store for new digital downloads. Overall, File Access Control allows you to configure expiration dates for downloads people buy, along with download restrictions to prevent each user from downloading a file multiple times and sharing it with friends. By default, file access control prevents unauthorized access to digital content.
- Marketing tools (such as email marketing and affiliates) – In most cases, you can find apps online to fill the void with marketing tools (such as adding MailChimp to your website). However, most people would agree that integrated marketing options make the life of an online business person easier. For example, promising marketing strategies include social media share buttons and stores on Facebook pages.
- Shipping and Tax Calculator – Calculator strengthens trust between you and the buyer as users are known to abandon their carts if they do not disclose shipping or tax costs at the start of the checkout process.
- Multiple product options – Most vendors only think of product variations when selling a physical item. Nevertheless, digital products may have several variations. For example, you might sell multiple packages for an online video training course. In this case you can implement a product variable for quick dropdown and selection.
- Sell Subscriptions and Memberships – Subscriptions and memberships collect recurring payments. Not all digital selling platforms are created equal in this area. In fact, some systems are mostly suitable if you have a membership or subscription site. This includes content. Content is slowly distributed to users who pay for dripping or membership fees. For example, you may not want to publish all the content of your online course in advance. So the content drips only part of the educational material until people complete each section.
Our Choice for Selling Digital Goods: Easy Digital Downloads
After evaluating each of the above features, Easy Digital Downloads came out better than all the rest. That’s not to say that others aren’t useful in different situations, but overall, EDD has the best features, cleanest front-end interface, an onslaught of cool features, and can be used by almost any type of business to sell digital content.
It’s also wise to look at pricing, which is another reason to choose EDD. This is how I see it. EDD is free to download, but webmasters often spend money on add-ons, many of which are pretty much what they need for a complete ecommerce store.
For example, Stripe Payment Gateway is $49 and MailChimp is $29. Overall, you don’t have to spend money on basic sales of digital goods. In fact, most simple stores only pay to host and install WordPress and EDD for free. However, depending on how much you want to evolve your site, you may incur additional costs.
Read on to see how EDD has maintained each of the more important features.
- Ability to integrate with any website – EDD has one of the most intuitive interfaces, especially when installed on a website. One of the main reasons you can skip EDD is because it only integrates with WordPress. For many people, this is a good thing (WordPress is easy to learn and many people already use). However, others may not want this training, or your current site may not be on WordPress.
- Shop for add-ons or extensions – EDD offers an impressive shop, but you have to pay for advanced tools. This means you can access options for subscriptions, front-end submissions, payment gateways, reservations, reviews, commissions, and more.
- Advanced User Features (Wish List, Save Cart, Create Profile) – Both user and non-member payments come with EDD and users can save carts while shopping. You can also create a simple profile to save your cart and come back to later. Overall, the profile is basic and not too confusing for users. In my tests, users cannot create wishlists and there is no extension that can do that.
- Simple and intuitive customer management – track every customer individually. You can go there and download the full list or click to see what John Doe has done on your site. Editing and deleting customers is allowed, and it generates reports on customer lifetime value so you can focus more on those who spend more money.
- Discount Codes and Promotions – Discount codes are built right into the system, allowing for flat rate or percentage-based discounts. Some products can be excluded and start and end dates are managed on the dashboard. There is also a module that specifies the minimum cart total required for an ESD discount code to work. For example, after someone puts $100 worth of digital downloads in their shopping cart, you can offer them a small discount.
- Advanced Reporting – Reporting has its own tab under the Digital Downloads area in WordPress. It made me appreciate these simple reports, with the main areas focused on earnings over a specific period. All essential elements are included in the report, such as exporting data, monitoring downloads, tracking taxes and some filters for creating your own reports based on specific products
- API Access – Sales and product information is available in JSON or XML format. Developers have full API access to extend on the EDD platform while also integrating with specific applications.
- File Access Control – Everyone seems to be stealing digital content, from music to eBooks. You can’t do much about it, but there are a few ways to block it at your best. EDD has file access control enabled by default, so only the person who purchased the file can download it. You can also set a file download limit to prevent crazy downloads for one person.
- Marketing tools (such as email marketing and affiliates) – you need an extension to connect your favorite email marketing tools. When it comes to affiliates, you have one choice: Affiliate WP. This works out of the box, but you can also try other affiliate WordPress plugins if you don’t want to pay any fees.
- Shipping and Tax Calculator – Calculate both if needed. I think we’ll mainly be selling digital products that don’t require shipping, but a simple shipping extension to support the shipping of smaller basic packages.
- Variety of product options and prices – Variable price converters are a major extension of this. According to my research, the product does not have a built-in solution.
- Selling subscriptions and memberships – It took me a while to realize that memberships and subscriptions features were in EDD, but eventually, they were located under extensions. So you have to pay for it. Recurring Payments Potentially increase Content Pro member discount limit . If you want to hide some content, such as video courses, and collect monthly or weekly payments, it’s a good idea to combine the two.
My favorite SendOwl WordPress gives you a powerful tool to bring your digital products online and sell them to your customers, with fewer options than you would ever need to know about WordPress. In fact, the main reason I enjoy SendOwl is that it’s the perfect solution for beginners.
Let’s see what keeps SendOwl from peaking (along with a few advantages):
- The ability to integrate with any website – one of the main reasons SendOwl stands out from its competitors is: This is also why it is a good alternative to EDD. SendOwl works with most websites, so you can have an existing one or create one. Implemented in WordPress or Shopify artboards for example. It’s mostly about installing some code, so most content management systems or ecommerce platforms should have no issues.
- Store for add-ons or extensions – SendOwl doesn’t have an app store, but it seems the company is trying to include most of the features needed for a real platform.
- Advanced User Features (Wish List, Save Cart, Create Profile) – Along with beautiful responsive checkout, SendOwl gives you the option to save your cart and allow your customers to check out again. It was mainly managed without the user’s knowledge, so I was a little confused because I couldn’t find a shopping cart icon with the number of items written on it. There isn’t really a wishlist, but if you add a product to your cart and then add another product, both will sit there when you checkout.
- Simple and intuitive customer management – customer management is a bit lacking compared to EDD, but still allows you to maintain a list of people who have purchased from you. True customer care comes into play when implementing membership features.
- Discount Codes and Promotions – Discount codes can be limited to a specific period, product, or amount used, and you can go in there and track which codes work well. My favorite part is that you can use discount codes to divi double or group of customers depending on how you shop.
- Advanced Reporting – Not much to say except that it gives you the numbers you need for your reporting. The reports are quite advanced, so you can test what they sell and what they don’t. You can also get some metrics for your affiliate program.
- API Access – Any developer will have access to the API to integrate with other systems and potentially make the backend more robust for their organization.
- File Access Control – This is where SendOwl truly stands out. File access tools range from a limited number of downloads to content restrictions for memberships and subscriptions.
- Marketing tools (email marketing and affiliates, etc.) – There is no need to look for plugins as the affiliate program is built in. Administrative tasks, reporting, and commissions are all handled by SendOwl, so your main goal is to find new affiliates. Yes, you can integrate with services like MailChimp.
- Shipping & Tax Calculator – Real goods are accepted, but shipping options are slightly weaker. A tax calculator is provided to automatically display taxes to customers.
- Variety of product options and prices – all of this is done through custom checkout fields. You can add an additional field that asks for the product version you want by default.
- Sell Subscriptions and Memberships – Along with impressive subscriptions and memberships, SendOwl is the ability to drip some content for free and give people a little more as they pay or progress through the program. For example, when someone is running a training program, they may offer additional courses.
Let’s go back to our list of digital selling solutions.
- Easy Digital Downloads
- electronic addict
- Shopify and the digital download app
We found it to be the most useful in terms of settings and extensions after going through the Easy Digital Downloads store.
Simplicity and choice for those who don’t like or don’t like WordPress
SendOwl has most of the features you need, but lacks things like more powerful variable product control and shipping calculators. However, I recommend it for companies skipping EDD because WordPress doesn’t have a site or new webmasters don’t like WordPress.
E-Junkie is also a great way to build a digital store on your website without using WordPress. I don’t like the backend interface (though it looks old-fashioned and quirky), but it’s reasonably priced and offers subscriptions, marketing, and other tools.
Our choice for creatives like artists and writers
Gumroad is a service built around the idea that you should spend more time creating new content like books or art. Gumroad does most of the work for you, so you pay per product sold. Pricing starts at $10 per month, but you pay 3.5% + 30¢ per sale. That’s a big part, especially if the price of the product isn’t that high. But the point is to help those who don’t want to spend a lot of time developing and selling.
It is an alternative to Sellfy Gumroad, but serves more of a market like Etsy. So, although you organize your site through Sellfy (although it’s very simple), the pages all have similar branding, so you don’t have direct control over them. (Update: The Sellfy team now offers the ability to customize their store with a WYSIWYG editor. Users can now redesign their store and match their existing brands.) Transaction fees start at 5% for the basic plan So, if you choose the Prop and Pro Plus plans, it will be reduced. If you want to pay $99 per month, you don’t have to pay any transaction fees at all.
Choice for no transaction fees
In terms of pricing and cost savings on transaction fees, the high- flying solution stands out. You don’t have to pay transaction fees, except what PayPal charges you, and it’s a simple option for artists of all shapes and sizes. Plans start at $6 per month (sell 25 products). The backend tools are more watery than Sellfy and Gumroad, but sometimes that’s all. For example, buttons such as social media sales buttons, auto-send, download history, customizable emails and integration with BigCartel are still available.
Picking for those who have a lot of physical products to sell
Sometimes you may even have a store with both physical and digital goods. For most small stores, you can use EDD or SendOwl. If you’re looking to have a larger selection of physical products along with digital ones, WooCommerce (or Shopify and digital download apps offer better support. These platforms might be better suited for getting your site up and running quickly with shipping tools and physical product variants). Not only that, but both are basically used in real products.
For example, Shopify has hundreds of themes to choose from. You can connect payment gateways, adjust settings and deliveries, and start selling physical items. Then install the Digital Downloads app and it will allow any digital goods you want in your store. In the screenshots you can see a site that sells both physical and digital artwork.
Picks for sale in multiple stores
There are also no DPD transaction fees. So that’s a big plus. However, a striking feature is the dividual dashboard for multiple stores. So, if you are creating a music sales site and want to sell a few eBooks on different websites, they are all managed from one DPD dashboard.
Pricing is reasonable, starting at $10 per month. It comes with exciting tools like real product support, built-in shipping and tax calculations, API support, multilingual checkout and upsell capabilities. Subscriptions are handled beautifully, and it also supports PDF stamping to prevent people from sharing your content.
Yes, you can integrate DPD with almost any platform imaginable. Provides custom product widgets and buttons. This task is usually easy, but we know that some creative entrepreneurs spend as little time coding as possible. So it may seem rather intimidating to absolute beginners.
Our choice for the most flexible plan
Some of the digital selling platforms described above will cost you nothing. For example Easy Digital Downloads is completely free. However, it is rather foolish to assume that you will not spend any money at all. On the other hand, most systems either charge a monthly fee or charge a transaction fee.
Instead of avoiding transaction fees, FetchApp offers a wide range of pricing plans to increase flexibility while expanding your store. For example, the lowest plan is completely free, but only gives you access to 5MB of storage. It works well for small stores, but many will want to expand beyond that point.
They have plans set at $5, $10, $20, $30, $50, $100, $150, $200, $300 and $500 per month. Each time you raise a plan, you’ll unlock a little more storage space. So you can have all the products you want, get all the features, and only pay more when those products take up too much storage.
A few final thoughts and things to remember
As you can see, choosing the best way to sell digital goods online is not as simple as you might think. My main recommendation is to check out Easy Digital Downloads first. You don’t have to pay anything to download it and it works just fine on a free WordPress site. I would also like to recommend a solution with a free plan like FetchApp. You don’t usually use the extensive functionality you see in EDD or SendOwl, but at least you should save some money during the testing process.
Lesson of the story: You can sell digital goods online on a variety of platforms. any niche . Let’s make a list of the most useful features and go through the list described above. In this way, you can see that you want to skip the WordPress path and remove EDD. Or they may not be interested in selling the actual product. It’s too complicated to mess with Shopify and WooCommerce.)
Overall, I wish you good luck in selling digital products online. It can be a rather rewarding experience, and digital products generally take more time to produce than money. So you can spend more time developing new products instead of worrying about the cost of goods and similar things.
If you have any questions about the best way to sell digital goods online, let us know in the comments section below.