The best ways to sell digital downloads

The Best Ways to Sell Digital Goods in 2020

In the digital era, it is easy to overlook the many benefits information technology brings to our everyday lives.  Products and services are no exception. People go online to enroll in dance courses, order food from the supermarket, and purchase airfare for their next vacation. But what about goods that are digital in nature? This article shines a little light on what virtual stuff actually is, and how & where to sell digital content.

Virtual goods: what are they?

In a nutshell, a virtual good is any intangible asset that can be distributed online either for money or free of charge. Their variety can range from electronic books, pictures and videos, to any kind of media or software. A distinguishing feature of virtual good is that it cannot be touched, smelled or tasted due to its virtual nature. As a rule, these goods are usually streamable or downloadable.

How to sell digital products: the pros and cons

Pros and cons of selling digital downloads

If we compare digital with physical products, the first has a number of undeniable advantages:

  1. Higher profit margins:  e-goods incur less expenses, putting more of the profits from sales in your pocket.
  2. Lower distribution cost: there are no costs connected with shipping or storing any sort of inventory.
  3. No restrictions related to transportation: certain conditions for some goods and complete prohibition for others do not apply to vendors that sell digital items.
  4. Automation: you do not have to control or monitor every stage of the selling process.
  5. Speed: purchased goods are delivered instantaneously.
  6. Flexibility: plenty of opportunities for selling virtual goods are available to many businesses. They include free content, paid subscriptions or even codes for redeeming your virtual offers.


However, despite all of the above-mentioned benefits, e-products do have some limitations. Before you begin selling downloadable products, be aware of the following:

  1. Your content is exposed to online piracy. The risk of theft is very high, therefore it is advisable to think of protective measures in advance.
  2. You can’t avoid competing with free alternatives to your offers. Websites that sell digital products free of charge will always exist on the web. The only way not to be left behind is to conduct thorough research of the niche you want to enter and establish your brand by offering high-quality, valuable goods.
  3. Buyers do not purchase the same product twice because there is no need to do so. An exception could be a subscription to a service or something similar.
  4. Nevertheless, there are certain restrictions. Despite the absence of any shipping limitations, virtual items face some difficulties. For instance, they are banned from being sold  using social media giants such as Instagram or Facebook.

Types of e-goods

Digital downloads to sell

Before proceeding with how to sell digital downloads, let’s have a look at the most common types of virtual items.



Intangible solutions that help users cope with tasks they either don’t have enough skills to do themselves or the usual process would take too much time. After analyzing the needs and problems that your target audience faces on a regular basis, you will be able to come up with a virtual tool your audience would find useful.


Art or music

This applies to those who create music or art. Musical compositions or digital versions of paintings can be sold online. It’s up to the artist/musician to experiment with formats to see what is trending and what is more to the liking of their audience. 


Educational content

The best way to promote this type of content is by emphasizing the potential for customers after they use your offer. There is no need to focus too much on the educational process itself. A good idea would be to provide a free trial version of your courses, after which you can sell digital downloads of them. The last sentence is particularly true for newcomers to the market.


Services through e-goods

Despite significant differences between products and services, if you choose to sell digital content online this option may prove useful. For instance, a free consultation together with a tailor-made report will persuade your clients to try some of your offers. 


Electronic templates of documents

The last but not least option is dedicated to documents. Despite a number of online libraries with various forms, newer and better ones are created everyday. If you have your own unique template, why not sell digital files online? There are a number of resources that can help you do so, e.g. SellMyForms. But more on that later.

How to sell digital goods online

Those who tried this activity and failed are probably wondering what they could have done to sell digital downloads online successfully. We have some useful tips that will help beginners get started. According to statistics, customers tend to buy virtual items only after 6 or 7 interactions on average (e.g. an affiliate website or your squeeze page). A strategic plan for meeting your potential clients is of the utmost importance. Particular attention here should be paid to the live chat since it’s a form of direct communication with your customers.

After you have decided on the e-goods you’re selling, along with developing a strategy, you’ll need to choose an e-commerce platform.

Where to sell digital products

In response to the question ‘Where to sell digital downloads?’ the most common answer is one’s own website. But doing means being unable to deal without an e-goods distributor. However, there are certain nuances. For example, you might need a separate social media account, an online store or a blog to sell your items.

For those who prefer choosing a platform to sell digital products, here are a few suggestions:


One of the most popular and trending ecommerce platforms thrives on selling e-products. However, doing so is possible only through Amazon’s designated channels of distribution. Unfortunately, despite its popularity and credibility in ecommerce, digital products of some types cannot be distributed on this platform. The list of e-products that are allowed to be sold via Amazon currently include electronic books, music, films, videos, games, applications, and software. The main advantage is exposure to Amazon’s huge audience.


Another example of the best platform to sell digital products is Shopify. The resource was initially created for selling physical stuff. However, as time went by and users’ needs changed, the possibility to sell digital files was implemented with the help of additional applications, e.g. the SendOwl app and Digital Downloads app.


If the previous two ecommerce platforms are designed to sell things (including virtual goods) online, SellMyForms was created specifically for distributing document templates. The idea is simple: you have your own type of form, e.g. an agreement, checklist, invoice, etc., so why not share it with others and earn some money for it? When compared with other websites offering similar services, SellMyFroms is the best platform to sell digital products, namely documents and forms, because it is both cost-efficient and secure.


This is one more platform that can be used for e-trading. The most recommended way of selling e-products through WordPress is with the help of Easy Digital Downloads whose features are optimized for the platform’s users. WordPress could be considered the best place to sell digital downloads if the service price was lower.


In a nutshell, there is nothing sophisticated in learning to sell e-stuff online. Choose the best digital download service or e-commerce platform for your needs. Make sure you take into account all the benefits and drawbacks of selling e-goods. Hopefully now you have a better idea of how to get started in the world of e-product trading. 

Stay tuned and don’t miss the latest publications on our blog. Get registered and start earning by selling your electronic documents right away.

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