1
Sell Digital Downloads

There’s no denying it, selling digital downloads can be very lucrative. Think about it, unlike physical products that you have to package and ship to customers, digital products can be created once and sold repeatedly to many different customers without having to replenish your inventory.

That means less work and more money… If you do it right.

Before you get started, there are a number of things to bear in mind, the most important being where you sell your digital products. After all, the offering of a particular software can vary quite a bit and may not include key features like a website builder.

I’ve tried and tested a number of tools in order to find you the best solution for this new business venture. Scroll down to read my review.

But first. What are digital downloads and what should I sell?

What Digital Downloads Should I Sell?

There are so many different types of digital products being sold nowadays by entrepreneurs, artists, educators and creatives. Some of these include:

  • eBooks, reports, guides
  • Online courses
  • SaaS products
  • Audiobooks, podcasts and music
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Fonts, logos, graphics (like icons and UI assets)
  • Themes and templates (for websites and email marketing)
  • Video games

Tip: What you decide to sell depends on where your talents lie, but you should also look into what demand there is for the product you want to sell and check out the competition. You might consider using a tool such as Ahrefs, Serpstat or SEMrush for SEO research.

5 Tools for Selling Digital Downloads

Though there are many well-known ecommerce solutions out there, like Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce, for the purposes of this article I’ve chosen to focus on the solutions that specifically cater to those selling digital downloads.

5 may sound like too few, but you’ll see that all offer very different solutions; some offer complete online stores or Buy It Now buttons (Selz, Sellfy), whereas SendOwl requires you to have a website already.

  1. Selz (most complete package for serious sellers)
  2. Sellfy (online store with basic email marketing)
  3. SendOwl (for those with an existing site)
  4. Easy Digital Downloads (an ecommerce plugin for your WordPress site)
  5. DPD (the cheapest solution)

Selz – Complete online store with CRM

Sell digital downloads selz

I really liked testing out Selz due to the many things you can do within their platform. Their top features include a website builder, SEO options for your content and products and a built-in CRM. Some may be slightly overwhelmed by the number of options available, but they do offer helpful explainer videos in each section and you can always contact support through their live chat if you get stuck.

What we liked about Selz

  • 24/7 support for all paid plans. They have live chat installed within the platform
  • You can add a page title and meta description for each product, which will help with SEO
  • Very comprehensive analytics, which show the source and geographical location of viewers, conversions and buyers
  • You can build your own website using their easy to use drag and drop builder. This is quite comprehensive and offers you a number of modern, attractive themes to choose from, too
  • They offer a blog editor, which comes with SEO options
  • A nice security feature they offer is PDF stamping – you can choose to stamp each copy sold with the buyer’s name and order number to prevent illegal sharing of your digital downloads
  • You can run Google Smart Shopping campaigns and track the results in Selz

What wasn’t so great

  • Email marketing is one thing the software doesn’t include. We recommend these email newsletter services
  • Because they have Selz Pay for payment processing, they charge you additional fees for using other payment providers. Depending on the plan you go for this ranges from 0.5% to 2%

Screenshots:

Who’s it for?

Budding sellers who are looking for an all-round solution to host their blog, website and products. In spite of having a number of options and features, the interface is easy to navigate. Because they offer staff accounts and unlimited products on all plans, Selz is also a great solution for larger businesses.

Pricing

Basic: $29/ month for unlimited products and 2 staff accounts

Standard: $59/ month for unlimited products and 5 staff accounts

Advanced: $199/ month for unlimited products and 15 staff accounts

Try Selz out for free and see what you think!

Sellfy – Low-cost way to create a fully-fletched download store

Selling digital downloads sellfy 1

I found Sellfy easy to navigate. It includes basic email marketing, decent analytics and a website builder. That said, if you compare it to Selz, it is missing some key features like SEO options and a CRM.

What we liked about Sellfy

  • You can sell directly through the online store you create through Sellfy. Alternatively, embed Sellfy Buy Now buttons or product widgets on your website or blog
  • Their analytics are pretty comprehensive; you can delve into your traffic sources and see where around the world your products are most popular
  • Setting up sales, discount codes and upselling is easy to do
  • You can add a ‘pay what you want’ option
  • Offers basic email marketing within the platform. You can use Sellfy to send newsletters and thank you emails, but you won’t be able to send abandoned cart emails, for example
  • Good price for unlimited products

What wasn’t so great

  • Sellfy doesn’t come with its own CRM, so you’ll have to manage your customers through another software
  • Only 5 integrations are available through the platform – you can, of course, go through Zapier
  • No SEO options. For example, when uploading a product it doesn’t allow you to add a meta description

Screenshots:

Who’s it for?

Sellfy is a good solution for small businesses who don’t already have their ecommerce set up, as through them you can create a simple online store and have access to basic email marketing.

Pricing

Starter: $29/month

Up to $10k sales per year. Unlimited products, custom domain

Business: $59/month

Up to $50k sales per year. All in the Starter plan plus 10,000 email credits and product upselling

Premium: $129/month

Up to $200k sales per year. All in the Business plan plus priority support and free migration

Try Sellfy out for free and see if it’s for you!

SendOwl – Sell digital goods on your existing site

Selling digital downloads sendowl 1

At the time of writing this, SendOwl merchants have made an impressive $764.8 million collectively. So how does it work? Unlike Selz and Sellfy, SendOwl doesn’t provide you with a website, you’ll need to have other channels where you can sell your products, i.e. an existing website, blog, social media profiles or through email marketing.

What we liked about SendOwl

  • You can use SendOwl with WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace and Wix
  • You can sell to customers via any online channel through the link generated for each product. You can also use the code given to add a Buy It Now/Add To Cart button to your website or blog
  • The fact that you can send abandoned cart emails is a great advantage. I haven’t seen this in the other tools on this list
  • You can integrate a “Pay What You Want” pricing module (and set a minimum, of course!)
  • Set up subscriptions
  • Two-factor authentication for added security
  • You can set up a monthly email to go direct to your accountant with a PDF report of sales that month
  • They send you a weekly sales report via email

What wasn’t so great

  • Bear in mind that you can’t set up an online store through SendOwl – you’ll need to do so through a website builder
  • Not necessarily a disadvantage, but something you should know: For larger files, or files with video/audio streaming, there may be an excess bandwidth fee if you sell high quantities
  • The software could be improved with better support features like live chat integrated within the platform

Screenshots:

Who’s it for?

Sellers who already have their own website set up or those who want to sell their digital downloads through social media or email lists.

Pricing

Standard: $15/month for 30 products and 3GB storage

Premium: $24/month for 100 products and 5GB storage

Premium: $39/month for 250 products and 15GB storage

Self-Hosting:

As you will be hosting the files and paying for the bandwidth costs, the number of products you can sell is pretty high.

$39/month for 2,500 products and 3 subscriptions ; $59/month for 5,000 products and 5 subscriptions ; $79/month for 7,500 products and 10 subscriptions

Try SendOwl out for free and see if it’s for you!

Easy Digital Downloads – The solution for WordPress

selling digital downloads easy digital downloads 1

Easy Digital Downloads, a solution for WordPress merchants, boasts over 2.4 million downloads through their tool. It works by installing a plug-in on your WordPress site, so those used to using the WordPress backend should have no problem interacting with the software. Their pricing model aims to cater to both small and large businesses and doesn’t limit you to a particular type of digital product.

What we liked about Easy Digital Downloads

  • Unlimited file downloads
  • Built-in reporting platform for easily viewing stats and making custom reports
  • 100 integrations available (though your access will depend on the plan you choose)
  • You can choose from a multitude of modern, attractive themes for your ecommerce
  • Their customer management features make tracking customer lifetime value and activity easy
  • Supports both guest and registered user checkouts

sell digital downloads easy digital downloads reports

What wasn’t so great

  • Combining your current theme with the plugin could be slightly tedious
  • Easy Digital Downloads limits your access to third party integrations (extensions) and unlocks them when you move up to a pricier tier. As you’ll be paying separately for services like email marketing anyway it seems unfair to charge more just to be able to integrate them with the plugin
  • Doesn’t track free downloads

Who’s it for?

Obviously you must be a WordPress merchant to sell your digital downloads through Easy Digital Downloads.

Pricing

Their pricing model consists of various passes that allow you access to particular extensions (these are additional features and integrations with 3rd parties).

Personal Pass: $99/year for 1 site activation, includes all email marketing extensions

Extended: $199/year for 1 site activation. Includes all email marketing extensions and all payment gateway extensions

Professional: $299/year for 1 site activation. Includes all email marketing extensions and all payment gateway extensions

All Access: $499/year for unlimited sites. Includes all extensions

Try Easy Digital Downloads here

DPD (Digital Product Delivery) – Starting at only $10/month

Selling digital downloads dpd 1

DPD claim to have helped over 40,000 vendors make more than $150 million collectively using DPD. Nothing to be sniffed at, but not as impressive as SendOwl’s $764.8 million.

Like SendOwl, you won’t be able to set up your ecommerce through DPD, instead, once you upload your products, a Buy It Now button will be generated. This can then be used on your website, blog, Facebook, newsletters, etc.

What we liked about DPD

  • Allows for cross and upselling on published products
  • They give you a 30-day free trial instead of the usual 14 days – this should give you enough time to get all your products uploaded before you start paying
  • Prices are reasonable for small business owners

What wasn’t so great

  • Their analytics could be improved by providing the seller with details on the location of their buyers and the traffic sources
  • No email marketing options available
  • The process of uploading a new product could be made simpler
  • The interface feels a bit dated

Screenshots:

Who’s it for?

Sellers looking for a cheap way to sell their digital products, who have existing channels they can sell via.

Pricing

They have tons of plans, which are calculated on how much space you need and how many products you wish to sell. They go all the way up to $280/month for 174GB and 3500 products. Here are the prices for those just starting out:

$10/month for 1GB and 20 products

$16/month for 2GB and 35 products

$30/month for 6GB and 120 products

Try DPD out for free for 30 days!

Conclusion: What Tool Should I Use For Selling Digital Products?

After testing these widely used tools for selling digital products, I have to say that Selz was definitely my favorite. It has just the right amount of options available to you as a shop owner, and it sets you up with a professional-looking ecommerce website.

If you already have a website or a popular social media profile and are looking for a way to monetize it by adding Buy It Now buttons to the products you offer, SendOwl is worth checking out as it’s slightly cheaper than Selz.

Let me know how you get on in the comments below!

Your comments

Back to top