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Sell Digital Downloads & Products on Shopify: How-To Guide [+Video]

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COVID-19 has blown a strong push to digital goods. In the US alone, online sales are forecasted to potentially surge 25% in 2020 while the use of e-wallets could hit $1.4 trillion by 2023. In 2018, the digital goods economy was already valued at USD 950 billion.

Whether you’re benefiting from traditional goods or online retailing, selling digital products on Shopify might be an interesting twist during this time.

You might have had your social media news feed flooded with pictures of Coursera courses, Amazon ebooks and Netflix movies from your friends the past few months. With most of the world population spending more time indoors, ‘learning something new’ has become the favorite mantra. This is where digital products jump in and boast their wonderful accessibility.

In this article, we’ll uncover the best practices behind the selling of digital products on Shopify. We also have a step-by-step tutorial on how you can add and add Digital products to your Shopify store, check it out right here


I. Why Is Selling Digital Products Worth A Try?

By definition, digital products represent nonphysical assets or pieces of media that can be sold and distributed online. Digital products most commonly come in the form of streamable or downloadable files, such as PDFs, MP3s, video formats, templates, and plug-ins. 

The true power to sell digital downloads lies in the fact they are created only once and can be sold millions of times to different customers without having to restock your inventory.

You’re never limited to how many products can sell. Plus, you have low upfront costs to care for as the barrier to entry is low and you don’t have to invest in manufacturing.

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II. Digital Products To Sell on Shopify in 2020 - 2021

1. Online course

selling online course on Shopify

Reference: ICAO Store 

2. Membership site

selling membership on Shopify

Reference: PageFy

Consider installing Bold Memberships. This app allows you to run any type of membership on your store and charge a recurring membership fee for it

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3. Service website set-up

selling web-setup services on Shopify

Reference: ProofreadingServices

4. Blogging about product reviews

selling digital products on Shopify

Reference: The Affiliate Marketing Program by PageFly

5. Ebook

selling ebooks on Shopify

Reference: Day One Publications

Check out: PageFly's Complete Guide: How To Start Selling Ebooks On Shopify

6. Stock Photos or Videos

sell stock photos on Shopify

Reference: SC Stockshop

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7. Graphic Templates

sell graphic artworks on Shopify

Reference: The Vector Lab

8. Photo and video editing service

sell photo and editing services on Shopify

Reference: 86 Studio

9. Applications and plugins

sell applications and plugins on Shopify

Reference: Shopify App Store

10. Artwork on Etsy

sell Etsy artworks on Shopify

Reference: Migrating from Etsy to Shopify

11. Vlogging

selling vlog on Shopify

Reference: StreetFighterz

PageFly is the all-in-one Shopify solution that makes adding photos and videos to your site easier than ever.

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12. Nutrition plans

sell nutrition plans on Shopify

Reference: Thrivemeals

13. Audio files

sell audio files on Shopify

Reference: Triune Digital

14. Printable journals/calendars

sell printable journals and calendar on Shopify

Reference: TheCoffeeMonsterzCO

15. Selling fonts

sell fonts on shopify

Reference: Pangram Pangram

There are a few criteria as to deciding which digital products to sell

  • Compare demand and supply for digital products: Choose digital products that have a high demand and low supply and fit your personal experience. This makes an easy start for your digital product business.
  • Look for digital products that fall in a niche category: The benefit of finding niche digital products to sell online is less competition, making it easier for you to capture the market.
  • Compare production costs and profit margins: Although digital products come with virtually zero manufacturing cost, make sure you figure out the ratio between your investment and the foreseeable financial benefits. This is to understand if your digital products are worth it to start with.
  • Consider long-term earning potential: Some digital products are ideal for short-term investment; others will likely be in demand for years to come. Therefore, it’s important to segment your product, make wise projections and formulate your business strategies.

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III. How Do I Sell Digital Downloads on Shopify

Step 1: Disable Shipping

If you're selling a digital download product or a service, then you need to disable shipping for that product.

  • From your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products.
  • From the Products page, select a product or create a product.
  • In the Shipping section of the product page, uncheck This is a physical product.
  • Click Save.

Step 2: Install and Set up Shopify Digital Download app.

To provide a download link to your customers for a digital product, you must use a third-party app from the Shopify App Store. Shopify Digital Downloads app is a free and simple app that we highly recommend

Here’s how to work with this powerful and convenient app.

  • Open your product settings, choose to add the product to Digital Downloads

Use Shopify Digital Download app

  • Add attachment to your product. The attached files will be ready for download after your customers purchase the digital goods.

how to sell digital downloads on Shopify

  • Configure emails: There are two email templates available in the app, one to notify your customers when the product is ready to download, the other one sent when there is any update to your current attachment.

configure emails

Both email templates are subject to change if necessary. Do customize the templates so that customers will know what to expect with their order

email configuration

Step 3: Place a test order 

After you have configured your digital products and emails, you might want to go through the process and make sure things are under fine control.

  • Activate testing payments
  • Proceed to buy the products as a regular customer on the storefront. Change the product price to $0 so you do not have to enter your credit card details at this stage.

place a test order

  • Check the emails in your inbox

Digital products emails

digital proudcts email

Related article: How To Sell Services On Shopify: 5 Steps To Building A Store

IV. Increase Digital Product Downloads on Shopify: Best Practices

Now that you have your digital products set up neatly, it’s time to plan ahead to optimize your sales.

Like most other businesses, selling digital goods requires a careful pricing strategy. You should take into consideration your product segment, market sensitivity and competition. Learn all the basics in this article and roll out a phase-based pricing plan that fits your production value and focuses on building trust.

A monthly membership is a considerable win-win if your Shopify digital products provide content updates and new features on a regular basis. Think about the Netflix model. Not only does this plan give you recurrent revenue, but it is also more affordable for the front-end users. One-time payment plan should come with an affordable price, otherwise, customers should be allowed to pay in installments.

For Shopify digital product businesses that follow the subscription model, freemium membership comes off as a favorable pricing model. It entails an introductory free membership as well as extra payments for upgraded memberships.

Take PageFly, the best Shopify page builder, as an example. The app offers the freemium plan, granting customers access to full features for a free taste. Advanced plans charge subscription fees with more powerful features and continuing values. This allows PageFly to acquire new users faster and drive more attention to building customer loyalty.

selling digital products best practices

The way that buyers purchase and consume digital products is different from physical products. Online environment is coupled with tons of noise and distraction, so a little shortage of information or poor ease of use might trigger shoppers to tap exit without a second thought. Customers tend to me more impulsive online, while physical stores have more tangible elements to keep their customers company. Therefore, the approach we take when designing and customizing Shopify digital product stores should reflect a higher standard for customer experience.

As your customers can’t interact with your digital products directly, the first priority should lie in clarity of information. Your Shopify digital store should bring customers the option of displaying a detailed course description, class schedule, and even a sample video. Features such as a frequently asked question (FAQ) section may need to be integrated to help your client address common questions about the product.

selling digital products best practices

Reference: The Loop Loft

With various tab elements, the best Shopify page builder PageFly can help you set up videos, FAQs just as easily. Find its best highlights in the PageFly showcase.

PageFly showcase

The perks of hosting your store on Shopify is that you can get your hands on a variety of app choices. For example, the Yotpo app provides an eCommerce marketing platform with the most advanced solutions for customer reviews, visual marketing, loyalty, referrals, and SMS marketing. Meanwhile, Loox allows collecting photo reviews from your happy customers, strengthening your brand and boosting Shopify store sales.

PageFly integration

Through active partnership activities, PageFly is excited to partner with reliable Shopify app providers and bring an all-in-one Shopify solution to customers.

The pandemic has imprinted a remarkable shift on the economy worldwide. Whether you’re working from home or taking some time off your traditional business, do explore your personal interests and make a side hustle with your digital product business today. With Shopify and PageFly, you can turn this situation into a possible blessing in disguise.

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