Over the last couple of years, the demand for ebooks, online courses, web elements, and video games have exploded in popularity. Almost two-thirds of Canadians over the age of 18 said they use video downloads, resulting in about $2 billion in sales a year. The business to sell digital downloads has never been stronger.
If you too are thinking to tap into this growing marketplace, and already have a product in mind, all you need is to find the ecommerce platform that fits your needs. We can help you there!
We’ve rounded up the best 5 ecommerce platforms to sell digital downloads and tested each on the following features:
- Limited downloads
- Store customization and designs
- Integrations with other tools
- Shopping cart
And put together a review for each, listing the good, the bad and everything else in between.
|Sellfy||SendOwl||Easy Digital Downloads||Gumroad||Shopify + Digital Downloads|
|Download links with |
limited download attempts
|5 download attempts||No limitation possibilities||Set download attempts|
|Design customization options||Basic editor to change colors||One template only|
|Embed option||✔||✔||Only on WordPress powered sites||✔||Only on Shopify powered sites|
|Shopping cart ||✔||✔||✔||X||✔|
|Basic plan pricing||$19/m||$15/m||$99/y (Only year plans available)||Free plan – 8.5% + $0.30 per sale||$29/m|
Sellfy: The Everyday Digital Download Platform
This is the best choice for people who are less technically savvy. Sellfy is a great choice for writers and designers, although the list of products sold through the platform does not stop there. Get your store up and running in minutes, and start to sell digital downloads today.
What we love
Set up and customize your store in minutes with mobile responsive designs. Grow your business with built-in email marketing, analytics, and upsell tools. Prevent buyers from sharing your files with limited downloads, and merge with any existing website, which could be the addition your portfolio was missing.
There are only 2 payment gateways — PayPal and Stripe which incur transaction fees. Unfortunately, there is also no free plan, so it may be on the expensive side for beginners.
There’s a 14-day free trial, and then the most basic plan starts from $29 per month with no transaction fee.
Providing perhaps the easiest and smoothest checkout process for buying digital goods, Sendowl automates almost everything, and lets vendors focus on selling their ebooks, video games, comics and other digital assets instead.
What we love
The integration with Quick Link allows sellers and buyers to surpass the frustrating shopping cart situation altogether, improving conversions. Upselling and cross-selling tools like abandoned cart will keep customers coming back for more. There’s also a built-in affiliate system, auto-delivery, and easy store customization.
Lack of customer support can be an issue, and limited downloads can be a problem for larger sellers.
There’s a free 30-day trial, and then the most basic plan starts from $9 and can go up to $39 per month depending on your business size.
Easy Digital Downloads: Sell Digital Products Through WordPress
Perhaps the fastest growing platform for digital products sellers, it’s the best choice for WordPress users. Its powerful features and flexibility are attracting users far and wide. Plus WordPress is a great place to build a content strategy through starting a blog.
What we love
Besides its super clean interface, the platform offers a cutting-edge check out system which is great for shoppers looking to download multiple files at a time. It has excellent customer profile management tools, integrates with many payment gateways, and you can post and manage multiple discounts.
The plugin will only power WordPress sites, and there are no built-in marketing tools to help you grow your business. Limited customer support means you’ll need to rely on your skills to manage the free and paid integrations.
The plugin itself is free to download and install, but you will need to get licenses to access premium extensions. Prices start $79.20 per year and can go up to $399.20 per year.
Gumroad: Helpful Digital Downloads Platform
With a wide range of helpful tools, the platform prides itself in allowing users to have full control over their business. Tailored for creators, this is an optimal choice for writers, designers, and filmmakers. If you are looking to sell digital products Gumroad is definitely worth checking out.
What we love
The checkout process is beautifully designed and optimized for conversions. Personalization of your landing page is key if you wish to stand out from the crowd. There are also order management features, full control over download licenses, and auto-delivery for a smooth shopping experience. You can also sell multiple versions of the same product.
It’s not the most affordable option, as there are large commision fees to consider. Recently they had to let go multiple staff members and service has been unreliable, especially the customer support part. It’s also limited to certain countries and lacks website design customization.
The platform is free to get started, and the professional features will cost $10 per month + 8.5% transaction fees + 30c charge fee.
Regardless of what you’re selling, Shopify has everything set up and ready to go for you. The flexibility and functionality of the platform make this a top choice for whatever you wish to sell online.
What we love
It’s easy to set up with many fully customizable themes to choose from, and you can start uploading links to sell instantly with their Digital Downloads app. With mobile responsive designs, abandoned cart recovery, and auto-fill orders the platform takes care of everything for you.
It’s not the cheapest option out there, and the extra plugins will result in additional fees.
The basic plan is $29 per month, plus a 2.9% commission charge per sale. You can also test the platform with a free 14-day trial.
So, there you have it – our pick of the best ecommerce platforms to sell digital downloads. Keep in mind that selling digital goods is not like selling anything else, and perhaps the most important feature you should look out for is the checkout system. With that in mind and a sound business plan, you’re on your way to building a thriving digital empire!