After researching for weeks, we selected the top 10 solutions and tested them over the past 5 days. Here are our findings: We believe that easy digital downloads (EDD), continues to be the best tool available for anyone interested in selling digital goods online. This is closely followed by SendOwl, and Gumroad. Both of these tools are strong in selling digital goods online, especially in the digital goods industry.
Online stores and blogs often need the ability to sell digital goods online. This requires a completely different software, which is simpler and more accommodating to send links to customers using digital content downloads.
These digital products aren’t as tangible as physical products. You’ll store them on your website and notify customers with some type of file.
Some examples of digital goods that are commonly sold include:
- Music tracks
- Exclusive podcasts
- Training courses via video
- Web services
- Templates for emails and websites
- Web graphics and vectors
This is due to the fact that is still free (aside from any extensions or payment provider fees), you can integrate it with any website, the reports provide accurate metrics for evaluating your store’s health, and the interface makes it easy for you and your customer (products appear cleanly on your site and customers receive an email with a link immediately after purchasing your digital product).
The purpose of the other digital selling tools is different. Some integrate with existing websites while others require you to pay a monthly fee to have an entire online store.
Some plugins and software support physical items while others do not. Flexibility was one of the key attributes that we evaluated. This means the ability to customize your website, expand it, and sell on other platforms.
Flexibility was one of the most important attributes that we evaluated. This refers to the ability to sell on other platforms and expand your website, as well as the ability to customize your website.
Great Example: We recommend Sellfy.
It is not our first or second recommendation. This begs the question: Why? Sellfy is for people who don’t like to spend too much time designing. This is a great option for beginners who prefer to spend their time developing products rather than designing websites. This is our detailed review of Sellfy.
Sellfy, however, constricts your access to its community. This takes full control from you since all sites are templates and are run through Sellfy. It’s like opening a shopfront on Amazon.
The SendOwl runner-up opens up many possibilities for digital goods sales on any CMS or website-building platform. Although it costs more than EDD the pricing plans are dependent on how many products you have and how much storage space you have. You won’t ever pay more than you have to.
SendOwl makes it easy to sell digital products. This is a primarily digital product selling platform. It has simple buttons that you can place anywhere, and allows you to upload many product files. It’s simple and minimalistic, with no popups or installation. Other powerful tools include discount management, shipping, tax calculation, simple payment processors and variable product options.
It’s second because of its interface for EDD, which beats SendOwl’s, and EDD also has an amazing extension library. SendOwl offers a lot of features but you are limited to what they offer. There are very few integrations. EDD is also free, without any extensions
Table of Contents
- Why you should trust us
- For Whom is This for?
- I Tested and Chosen Ways to Sell Digital Goods Online
- Our Choice for Selling Digital Goods: Digital Downloads
- E-Junkie is the runner-up
- Comparing Competitors
- Final Thoughts and Things To Remember
Why you should trust us?
My career began in web design and marketing. However, as I grew older, I began to review, roundup and write tutorials for Ecommerce Platforms. This gave me a unique view of the industry. By that time, I was selling mainly digital products online. These included marketing webinars and eBooks for freelancer writers. My research led me to Shopify, Easy Digital Downloads, and WooCommerce.
My digital books and videos sales were dominated by a WordPress website. This was due to the fact that I had attached my store to my blog three years ago, after having started the blog.
My first business was selling my services and digital products online. But Ecommerce Platforms helped me to enter a new world that allows me to think about selling online.
For instance, I’ve spent two weeks testing the best ecommerce platforms online and compared their pricing, payment gateways and templates. I am familiar with the intricacies associated with payment processors and what merchants should be looking for to lower costs.
Not only have I learned how to create online marketplaces, but also how to build more complex online stores that allow thousands of merchants to sell products.
The Ecommerce Platforms team and I have extensive experience in ecommerce website design, payment gateway flexibility, app integrations and customer service quality. We are blessed with feedback from our users on all of the reviews, which receive thousands of views and comments each month to Ecommerce Platforms’ website. Many opinions are formed from what others have to say.
Finally, I have been known to compile comprehensive comparisons between platforms for selling physical and digital goods. For example, my comparison of the top 10 ecommerce platforms. Comparing platforms takes a lot of effort, time and money. Most people won’t spend that much on a single platform. So I have done the research and gathered the necessary information to present it in an easy-to-read format for my readers.
Who is this for?
Everybody could sell digital products online at one point. A hardware store might offer a video training program on how to maintain your new home after it has been purchased. A web designer blogger could create a beautiful eBook to sell to designers and developers around the world. Ae-commercece store selling physical goods could see the potential for more revenue by selling digital add-ons. For example, a clothing shop could sell style guides and videos to help you resell your clothes.
A web designer blogger could create a beautiful eBook to sell to designers and developers around the world. e-commercerce store selling physical goods could see the potential for more revenue by selling digital add-ons. For example, a clothing shop could sell style guides and videos to help you resell your clothes.
Remember that digital selling platforms can also be used to offer digital products. Let’s say you have a clothing shA fall style guide may be more effective as an incentfore to customers to shop at your stive. You can offer it free of charge to anyone who purchases a shirt or pants. You can send files automatically to customers using tools such as SendOwl and A fall style guide may be more effective as .
As an incenforve to customers to shop at yourctive. You can offer it free of charge to anyone who purchases a shirt or pants. You can send files automatically to customers using tools such as SendOwl and EDD.
This guide is also recommended to anyone who wants to open a window when they see a bill on their current digital selling platform. This applies to those who find their user interface too difficult to use.
Our recommendations consider both cost and user experience. EDD is the best option, as it comes wcosto costs. SendOwl offers a monthly fee rate that suits users who prefer a transaction or percentage fee.
This article will help you find the perfect product if you are new to digital selling. You’re better off staying with the current digital products you already have and being satisfied with the design tools you use and the price you pay.
How I chose and tested ways to sell digital goods online?
After I have discussed the benefits of a digital platform fr selling, and who should be considered, it is time to look at the top ten tools that can help you do this:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- App areE-Junkie
- Shopify, and the Downloads App
All of the tools were evaluated equally when I was evaluating them. There was no bias towards any tool, so I started looking at what features are most important for a platform that aids in selling digital products.
These are the most obvious tools. However, I chose three essential feaofs to begin narrowing down my field. I also considered the ease of use, so I eliminated a few from my top recommendations.
These are the three essential features:
- Digital storage and delivery This is an interesting topic because not all tools offer unlimited storage for digital files. It’s all about simplicity and automation when it comes to powerful file delivery. This is where the system should automatic all forsend an email with a link to the user after they make a purchase. We also need customization tools to those emails and download pages. Candidates will be separated by how easy it s for them to store file subjective, run out of space on a self-hosted platform.
- A simple shopping cart. I realize that this is subjective but most people can navigate the shopping cart and decide if it offers a clear path to purchase. The checkout process should be as simple as possible. After all, no one wants to have to click five buttons to make a purchase. Aside of having s branding, I don’t want any other type of branding in the checkout lane. I like the idea that there are no popups, distractions, lots and a hite space, and forms that clearly explain what is required. It’s also nice to have a guest checkout and with opping cart/checkout optin that stays on your site instead of being redirected elsewhere.
- Integrations to the top payment gateways. While a digital selling platform should only connect with Stripe and PayPal, some companies may not want to use these options due to pricing restrictions or 2Checkout,c limitations. It is important that the tools support all the popular payment gateways like Stripe, 2Checkout and Authorize.net. This gives the merchant more selling options and increases their research power.
These three essential features aside, which system is still worth considering?
- Download Digitally – Easy!
- Shopify and Digital Downloads App
- tions for payment tissues with the PayPal checkoutays are limited. Only PayPal Express, PayPal Standard, and Stripe are available. The PayPal checkout is not perfect, so Sellfy has a few issues. Sellfy, however, is one of the most popular options fing a shopping cart on any type of website. Sellfy has most of the features listed below, so it is certainly not the least impressive.
- Gumroad– While the checkout looks great and the storage is strong, Gumroad does not offer PayPal for credit card acceptance. We’ll discuss which niche merchants should consider Gumroad in the article.
After we have reviewed the core features, it is time to assess which ones really shine in terms marketing potential, add-ons and other useful tools that makI’d systems work for any website.
The be features are about flexibility and control. I’d prefer to be able to build my website however I like, and I would rather have total control than being tied to a limited platform.
Although some of these features are more important than others, I did my research and looked at each feature. Then, I made the final decision on which platform offered the best tool or feature for all kinds of online sellers.
The following features were also checked out by me:
- Integrating with any website is a huge advantage for merchants who have access to a platform. It is difficult to set up a new account if you already have websites that you wish to convert into online shops.
- A store to sell add-ons and extensions. Although there are many options, the goal is to increase the potential of your online store. You won’t be stuck with a website that refuses to accept commissions, or uses more obscure payment methods. You might want to integrate with MailChimp, or even sell your digital goods free of charge. Many of these tasks can be accomplished with add-ons, extensions, and apps.
- Advanced user capabilities: wish lists, saving carts, help of ting profiles – We’ll be demonstrating the power and utility of an app store while we go through these features. Many of these features are possible with the help an add-on. However, just because your site is simple doesn’t mean that you can’t give your customers complete control of their profile. It’s actually the reverse. Your buy wish lists, need to download their files later. It’s important to create a profile that your buyers can log into to find their files. You can also get cart savings, wish lists and other goodies.
- Easy and intuitive customer management Can you see which customers have visited your site recently and what items they purchased? Target marketing and handling complaints will be difficult if you don’t. Let’s suppose someone contacts you to complain about being charged too much for their purchase. If you are go back and see what they spent, you discounts: reimburse them. Understanding which customers you are selling to will help you plan your future marketing strategies and sales strategies.
- Promo codes and discounts – There are many ways to get discounts in the driving race industry keeping digital selling is no different. You will likely want to promote promotions throughout the year, especially due Timed promotion sys. Discounts are essential to drive sales and keep your buscially since you most likely spent all of the coReporting: ang a digital product. Promo tools that can be used include discount codes, timed promotions, timed promotions, and discounts with specific conditions.
- Advanced Reporting – Reports can help you gain a better understanding of your store’s performance, but they must also be easy to understand. Easy Digtaxes, Downloads is my favorite platform for analytics and reports. You should also look Access: learning’s per category and date range. Filters are also needed for your reports, taxes and exportable data. You can also use graphs to monitor downloads and sales.
- API Access – Some users find it very difficult to gain access to an API. Others won’t think twice about it. Although I didn’t place much imcontrol: en the availability of APIs, I know that advanced users will at least be able to understand which options are available for developing and integrating external apps.
- File control – Keeping control over your downloads helps to prevent theft and sharing. It also encourages users to return to your store to get new digital downloads. File access control all File o set expiration dates and download limits for the downloads people purchase. This will ensure that no one can download the s)e file more than once or share it with others. The file access control protects your digital content frto unauthorized access.
- Marketing tools (such as email marketing and affiliates – You can usually find apps online to fill in the gaps with your marketing tools (like adding Mail Chimp on your website). However, integrated marketing optin can make it easier for online business people. One buyer,sing marketing tactic is social media sharing buttons and the ability to create a store on Facebook.
- Calculators to Ship and Tax – These calculators strengthen trust between you, the buyer and your company. Users are more likely to abandon their carts if shipping and tax costs are not disclosed at the beginning of checkout.
- Variable product options Most vendors think only of product variants when they sell physical products. However, digmember ships, ts came mbershipsiple variants. You might sell multiple packages for your online training course. You can use product variables to allow for easy dropdowns and selection.
- Subscriptions, Memberships and Memberships Subscriptions and memberships can be used to collect Another example is content fees. There are many digital distribution of content forms out there, but not all of them are systems may not be suitable for you if your site is a subscription or membership site. Content dripping, which is the slow distribution to members who have paid for a membership, is another example. You might not want to make all the conte The Easy available Downloads were course. Until they have completed each section, the content drip will only give them a portion of the course material.
Our Choice for Selling Digital Goods: Digital Downloads
Easy choose downloads was the best of all. While EDD isn’t the only solution, it’s still a great tool for many different scenarios.
Also, it’s important to look at the pricing. This is another reason why we choose EDD. Here’s how I see it: EDD is free to saled, but webmasters end up spending money on add-ons that are essential for an ecommerce store.
The Stripe Payment Gateway costs $49, while MailChimp is $29. You don’t have to spend any money on the selling of digital goods. Most stores won’t have to pay for hosting or installing WordPress and EDD. However, depending on how complex your site is, additional costs coinstall it ncurred.
Continue reading to see how EDD performed with each of my most important features.
- EDD allows you to integrate with any website. It has the easiest interface, especially when it is time to install on your website. EDD only integrates with WordPress. This is one of the main reasons why you might not use it. This is a good thing for many people. WordPress is easy to learn and is used by many people. Others may not wish to learn WordPress or may not have a submissions, compatible with WordPress.
- An online store for extensions and add-ons – EDD has an impressive store but you will have to pay extra focartsre advanced profile. have access to subscriptions, frontend submissions and payment gateways. Bookings, reviews, commissions, and other options are all available.
- Advanced user capabilities: wish lists, saving cart, creating a profile – EDD is available for both guest and user checkouts. Users can also save their carts during shopping. You can create simple profiles to save your carts and come back later. The profiles are simple and not too confusing. My testing shows that a user cannot create a wish list and there is no extension.
- Easy and intuitive customer management Keep track of each customer separately. You can either download the entire list or click through tCodes: ohn Doe’s activity on your site. You can edit and delete customers. Additionally, you can-create a report on customer lifetime value to help you focus more at manage on those who spend more.
- Promotions and Discount codes – The system has discount codes built order to qualify allow for flat rate discounts or percentage based ones. The dashboard allows worth of o exclude certain products and manages the start and ending dates. EDD has a module that allows you to specify a minimum cart total in order for a discount code. You might offer a small discount if someone purchases $100 worth digital downloads.
- Advanced Reporting – Reporting is a tab in the Digital townloads section of WordPress. These reports are simple and easy to understand. The main focus is on one idea for a specific time period. The reports include all the basics, including exporting data, tracking downloads, tax track.ng, and filters to make your own reports based upon specific products.
- API Access – Product and sales information are provided in JSON or XML formats. Developers have full API access to the EDD platform and can integrate with certain applications.
- File access control It seems that everyone steals digital content from music to eBooks. It’s impossible to stop it from happening, but you can do what you can. EDD activates file access control by default. This means that only the original purchasers of the files can access the files. You can also set a file downloading limit to allow unlimited downloads.
- Marketing tools (like affiliate marketing and email marketing) A plugin is required to connect your favorite email marketing software. Affiliate WP is the only option for affiliates. If you don’t want to pay a fee, you can try other affiliate WordPress plugins.
- Calculators to Calculate Shippin gonnd Taxes Both of these can be calculated if necessary. I have calculated Table of Contents that Bestl will primarily be selling digital products and don’t require shipping. However, the Simple shipping extension allows for the shipment of basic, smaller packages.
- Variable product choices and Platforms: Variable pricing Switcher is the main extension to this. My research shows that there is abasicolution bult into the product.
- Subscriptions and Memberships It took me some time to realize that subscription and membership functionality are in EDD. But, I finally found it under the extensions. You will need to pay Recurring payments and possibly the Restrict content Pro member discounts. If you want to hide some content (e.g. a video course), while still receiving monthly or weekly payments, I recommend that you combine the two.
SendOwl was the runner-up
SendOwl is a great option. It doesn’t require you to be an expert in WordPress but it does provide powerful tools to get your digital products online and sell them to customers. SendOwl’s main benefit is that it is easy to use for beginners.
Let’s look at what sent SendOwl down from the top (alongside some of its benefits):
- SendOwl’s ability to integrate with any site –This is one of the reasons SendOwl is different from other providers. This is why SendOwl is a great alternative to EDD. SendOwl can be used on a variety of websites. You can create new sites or modify an existing one. You might implement it on Shopify or WordPress sites. This is mainly about installing some code. Most content management systems and ecommerce platforms should have no problems.
- A store to purchase add-ons and extensions SendOwl does not have an app store but it seems that they try to include all the necessary features on the platform.
- Advanced user capabilities, such as wishlists, saving a shopping cart, and creating a profile – SendOwl is a responsive checkout that also offers the option to save carts so customers can return to shop again. The system is largely managed by the user, so I was somewhat confused when I couldn’t find a shopping basket icon with a product count. Although there isn’t a wishlist, if you add one product to your cart and then add another, both will be available for checkout.
- Easy and intuitive customer management Customer management is slightly more complicated than EDD but it still allows you to keep track of who purchases from you. Implementing the membership feature will allow you to really manage your customers.
- Promotions and Discount Codes – You can limit the discount codes to a specific time, product, or amount. It’s also possible to track which codes are performing well. The best part about discount codes is the ability to target specific customers or groups based on their shopping habits.
- Advanced Reporting – The reporting is simple and gives you the information you need. You can use the reports to determine which products are selling and which ones don’t. You also get metrics for your affiliate program.
- API Access All developers have access the API to integrate with other systems and make the backend more powerful.
- File control This is where SendOwl really shines. File access tools can be restricted in downloads or set content restrictions for subscriptions and memberships.
- Marketing tools (such as email marketing and affiliates – There’s no need for you to search for a plugin. The affiliate program is already built in. SendOwl handles all administrative tasks, reporting and commissions. Your main goal is to find new associates. You can also integrate with services such as MailChimp.
- Calculators to Ship and Pay Taxes Physical products are permitted, but shipping options are limited. For customers to automatically calculate taxes, a tax calculator is available.
- Variable prices – This can all be done through custom checkout fields. You can also add an extra field asking for the version they want.
- Subscriptions and Memberships– SendOwl offers a drip function that allows you to share some of your content free and give a little more as people progress through a program or pay. You might want to offer additional courses as people progress through a training program.
Comparing the Competitors
Let’s have a look at the list of digital selling options:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Shopify, and the Downloads App
The Best Pick
We have found Easy digital downloads to be the most helpful in setting up and scaling your store after you have made some progress.
Our Choice for Simplicity, People Who Do Not Want/Like WordPress
SendOwl offers most of the features you need, but there are some missing items such as shipping calculators and more powerful variable product controls. It is recommended for companies that don’t use EDD, such as those who don’t have WordPress sites or aren’t familiar with WordPress.
E-Junkie can also be used to create a digital shop on your site without having to use WordPress. Although I don’t like the backend interface, it looks outdated and clunky. However, the price is fair and you get tools to market, subscribe, and more.
Our Choice for Creatives, Artists and Writers
Gumroad was created around the belief that creators should spend more time creating new content such as books and art. Gumroad will charge you per product, as it does most of the work. Pricing starts at $10 per month. You will also have to pay 3.5% + 30C per sale. This is a significant amount, especially if you don’t have high-end products. The whole idea is to assist those who don’t want to spend too much time developing and selling.
Sellfy can be used as an alternative to Gumroad but functions more like Etsy’s marketplace. You can create a website through Sellfy, which is extremely easy. However, all pages have the same branding, so you are not in control. Update: Sellfy now allows you to personalize your store with a WYSIWYG editor. Customers can now design their own stores to match their brands. Transaction fees start at 5% for the Basic plan, and drop as you select the Pro and Pro Plus plans. If you prefer $99 per month, there is an option to pay zero transaction fees.
Our Choice for No Transaction Fees
The Pulley solution is the best in terms of pricing and reducing transaction fees. There are no transaction fees (except for PayPal), and it is a simple solution for artists of all sizes. Plans start at $6 per monthly (selling 25 products). Although the backend tools are less robust than Sellfy or Gumroad, sometimes this is all you need. You still have buttons to sell on social media, automatic delivery, download history and customizable emails, as well as an integration with BigCartel.
Our Choice for People With Many Physical Products to Sell
Sometimes, you might have both physical and digital goods in your store. EDD and SendOwl are options for smaller stores. WooCommerce, Shopify, and the Downloads App offer more support if you want to have a larger selection of physical products alongside your digital products. These platforms are more suitable for quickly launching a website with shipping tools and physical product variations.
Shopify, for example, offers hundreds of themes to choose from. Once you have chosen a theme, you can connect a payment gateway, set up shipping and adjust your settings, and then start selling physical items. Once you have the Digital Downloads app installed, you can add any digital goods to your store. You can see an example of a website that sells digital and physical pieces of art.
Our Choice for Selling in Multiple Stores
DPD does not charge transaction fees. This is a big plus. The best feature is the ability to create a dashboard for each store. It’s possible to manage multiple stores, including a music site and a few ebooks on another website.
Pricing starts at $10 per month. You get some useful tools like physical product support and built-in shipping calculations and tax calculations. API support is available. Multi-lingual checkout is also possible. It is easy to subscribe and supports PDF stamping. This prevents others from sharing your content.
DPD can be integrated with almost any platform. You can create custom product buttons and widgets. Although this is relatively simple, I know that many creative entrepreneurs prefer to spend less time coding. It can seem intimidating to absolute beginners.
Our Choice for the Most Flexible Pricing Plan
Some of the digital selling platforms that we have mentioned above won’t cost you anything. Easy Digital Downloads, for example, is absolutely free. It’s a bit absurd to assume you won’t spend any money. The majority of systems charge a monthly fee, or tap into transaction fees.
FetchApp does not charge transaction fees and instead offers a variety of pricing plans that will allow you to grow your store more easily. The lowest plan, however, is completely free and only allows you to access 5MB of storage. This may be fine for small stores, but it will not work well for larger ones.
Plans start at $5, $10 or $20 per month. You get more storage space each time you upgrade to a higher plan. You can buy all the products that you need and still get all the features. However, you will pay more if those products take up too many storage space.
A Few Final Thoughts and Things to Keep in Mind
It is not as easy as you might think to choose the best way online to sell digital goods. I recommend that you first check out Simple Digital Downloads. It doesn’t cost anything to download and works perfectly on any free WordPress website. FetchApp is another solution I like to recommend. Although you won’t get the same features as SendOwl or EDD, you can save some money while testing.
Moral of the story: Digital goods can be sold online using a variety of platforms in any niche. I would create a list of features that are most important to me and then go through the above list. You might discover that WordPress is not the best option for you, and you want to avoid EDD. You might not be interested in selling physical products, making Shopify and WooCommerce too complicated to manage.
I wish you success in selling digital products online. This can be quite rewarding and generally digital products require more time to make than they cost. You can therefore spend more time creating new products than worrying about the cost of goods and such things.
We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on the best way to sell digital goods online.