Shopify is currently the leading eCommerce platform in the world, with over 1 million accounts across 175 countries.
Most new business owners assume that you can only sell physical products on Shopify. But many also ask a question: can you sell digital products on Shopify? The simple answer is yes!
What is a Digital Product?
First things first, what is a digital product?
A digital product cannot be touched, tasted, or held in your hands. That said, it can be downloaded or streamed. Here are some examples:
- Digital assets
- Online courses
- and many more
The Benefits of Selling Digital Products
When coming up with ideas for things to sell on Shopify, there’s a reason why digital products are so tempting. Some benefits of selling digital goods include:
- Low overhead costs — you save money on warehousing units and shipping charges.
- High profit margins — you save money on manufacturing costs and retain most of your sales in profits.
- An automated process — you don’t have to worry about fulfillment because you can set up orders and deliver downloadables instantly.
- Unlimited product potential — there are many ways to incorporate different digital products into your business (you don’t have to stick with just one), boosting your earning potential
However, how do you know which digital products you should sell?
The Best Digital Products to Sell
Learning online, or eLearning, is a fast-growing market that is projected to reach $374 billion by 2026.
Like physical products, the most profitable digital products are the scalable ones. For example, selling eBooks on Shopify as one-offs are all well and good. However, you’d have to sell X many to new customers to reach your monthly income goals.
Likewise, offering licenses to use your digital products has the same limitations.
Another possibility is a monthly paid subscription service where you can offer subscribers exclusive digital content. Essentially, existing subscribers would provide your monthly income, and then there would be increased earning potential with new subscribers. In other words, a monthly membership program has the opportunity to be much more lucrative.
Figuring Out Which Digital Products to Sell on Shopify
It can be challenging to determine the most profitable digital products to sell online, especially those that will work for you.
Ask yourself these five questions:
- Am I an expert in … ? (And will I be good at creating?)
- Are my target audience’s pain points? (And the product I could create to help solve them?)
- Is it in demand and the most searched for topic on keyword research tools?
- Would I enjoy creating and selling?
- Can I quickly scale to grow my business?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to get it right the first time. If one digital product doesn’t seem to be selling like you thought it would, you can try something else.
How to Create Digital Products to Sell Online
Creating digital products to sell is relatively straightforward, especially if you’re an expert in a specific field. Of course, it can be time-consuming depending on the type of digital product you want to sell. Still, the ability to sell the same product several times changes the business altogether.
Most eBooks can be created using graphic design software from Adobe or even using free tools like Gimp. There are also online graphic design tools you can use to produce digital products that sell. Of course, the most important part is the content of these books.
Once you’ve built your digital ebooks using one of these tools, you can then export it as a PDF and upload it into Shopify.
There are many platforms to build online courses on the internet, such as Teachable and Udemy, but these are separate platforms and are not designed to create digital products to sell on Shopify.
Instead, you can use a Shopify digital products app for online courses – aptly named Courses.
You can even build your online course on a third-party learning management system like Avizr and TalentLMS. Then you can connect your Shopify account via the associated app to enable eCommerce.
Photos, Videos, and Music
Photos, music, and videos are very popular digital products to sell online via Shopify. Designers or developers mostly use this type of product in their projects to create something new and unique.
There is a lot of other digital assets which you can sell. Apart from the items above, there is a whole range of assets for designers and developers. This category includes graphics, icons, music for ads and games, motion graphics, website templates and themes, plugins, and many other similar items that can be packaged and sold through Shopify.
There is a number of big marketplaces for these digital items, but nothing stops you from adding your own Shopify store to expand income streams.
How to Sell Digital Downloads on Shopify
The process of selling digital downloads on Shopify looks like this in most cases.
1. Create Your Shopify Account
Firstly, if you haven’t already, create a standard Shopify account.
You will have a 14-day free trial period to “try before you buy,” in which you can build your digital product Shopify store using a premade theme.
Although, before you start the trial, have the following handy:
- A business name and logo
- Your digital product that has already been made and is ready to sell
- Photos of the product in use that you can upload as the featured imagery (you can use a graphic design tool like Canva to create mockups using their stock photos)
Once you’ve finished updating all your personal information, you’re ready to add your Shopify digital products!
2. Add Your Shopify Digital Goods
Look for the “Add a New Product” button in the middle of your dashboard when you’re signed in to your Shopify account.
Already have an existing Shopify store? In this case, the button you require will be under the “Products” tab.
Fill in all of the relevant details about your Shopify virtual products, including:
- A catchy, click-worthy name.
- A description that explains your product’s features, benefits, and how it solves the problems of your target audience.
Notice that there is a check box at the bottom of this page under the “Shipping” section. Make sure you leave the “this is a physical product” box unchecked; otherwise, Shopify will be expecting you to ship a product to your customer.
3. Set Up Your Store on Shopify for Digital Downloads Delivery
Usually, when people order a digital product, they’ll download the file from the “Order Confirmed” screen. Alternatively, they will receive an email with a link to their download.
Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t have this built-in functionality. You’ll need to grab a digital downloads Shopify app from the app store to do the job for you.
Most of the apps will have a similar workflow where you:
- Upload your files to the app.
- Attach your files to the products.
- Allocate the settings.
4. Perform a Test
Lastly, place a test order for your digital product using your email address to ensure that everything is working correctly. You can enable “test mode” through your Shopify Payments settings.
You can even test scenarios for numerous “failed transaction” methods, which is worth ironing out any kinks in the system before your Shopify digital products store goes live.
The Best Digital Download App for Shopify
It is not a surprise that there are dozens of apps on the Shopify app store that you can use to manage your store and resell digital products online.
Some of the most top-rated Shopify apps include:
- ShopShare (5 out of 5 stars)
- NS8 Download Tracker (5 out of 5 stars)
- Sendowl for Shopify (4.9 stars out of 5)
- Easy Digital Products (4.9 out of 5 stars)
- Sky Pilot (4.9 stars out of 5)
- FetchApp (4.8 stars out of 5)
- SingleMusic (4.8 stars out of 5)
It all depends on what you’re selling and which app makes sense for your theme, so be sure to do your research!
The Best Shopify Themes for Digital Products
Speaking of the best Shopify theme for digital products, there are a few that come highly recommended.
Some of the most popular Shopify themes for digital products include:
- Software Store Responsive
- Enercos Single Product
- Music Store
- Big Book Store
Learning how to sell digital downloads online can be challenging, but it’s worth all the time and effort. After all, offering eCommerce digital products can be a fun and profitable business.
Just make sure that you choose the right type of digital product that aligns with your target audience, business goals, and personal background.