Where to Sell Digital Products Online: Best Places to Sell Digital Downloads8 minute read
If you are looking for a way to earn a leveraged income stream online, then selling digital products is a great idea.
This business model allows you to create a scalable income and generate recurring revenue, without trading your time for money: once you create a digital product, you can start selling it over and over again without much more work involved.
If this sounds like something you want to do, then keep reading below. In today's article, we will talk about the different digital downloads you can sell online, and where to sell digital downloads easily.
What Are Digital Downloads?
When we talk about digital products, we usually think of things like pictures, art, or files that can be downloaded. But the definition of a digital product is actually much broader.
Digital products are things that you can't touch or hold, and they are made and shared using computers and electronic devices. They don't have a physical form.
Some examples of digital products include software (like computer programs and apps), e-books (which are electronic versions of books), online courses, memberships, digital music, videos, digital art (like paintings, drawings, and designs made on a computer), and other online services.
More examples of digital products: 9 Profitable Digital Product Ideas You Can Start Selling Online To Earn Extra Income
There are many more digital product ideas out there, and new ones are always coming up.
The main thing about digital products is that they can be easily copied, shared, and used on digital devices, which makes them really convenient for both the people who make them and the people who use them.
Related articles about selling online courses and digital products online:
- 7 AI-Generated Digital Products You Can Start Selling Online Today
- Why You Should Start Selling Digital Products Now
- How to Price Your Digital Products or Downloads: 6 Bullet-Proof Strategies
Where to Sell Digital Products Online
The digital product market is booming, and there are numerous platforms available for selling them.
In recent years, many platforms have emerged to meet the increasing demand in this market.
Some platforms are specifically designed for selling digital products, while others have adapted to include digital products alongside physical merchandise.
Some platforms offer creators the ability to create their own websites or online stores, while others provide a simpler setup with easy checkout buttons and download links. Additionally, some platforms to sell digital products come with built-in marketing tools, while others focus more on providing sales analytics.
With all these options, it can be overwhelming for creators to make a choice, so keep reading to understand which digital product platform is best for you.
Best Option: Sell Digital Products From Your Own Website
There are two main categories of platforms where you can sell digital products: hosting platforms and marketplaces.
Hosting platforms are tools that give you all the features you need to build your own business and sell digital products under your own brand and website.
Marketplaces, on the other hand, are platforms that collect many digital products under one roof and create a library of offers for their customers.
Amazon is the most famous example of a marketplace, although it is mainly used for physical products.
Check out this article from our blog to learn what kind of digital downloads you can sell on Amazon: How to Sell Digital Downloads on Amazon
Just like Amazon, digital product marketplaces collect the products of different creators and sell them in one place.
The problem with marketplaces is that they limit the freedom of creators who sell digital products through the platform. (See our pros and cons list below)
Hosting platforms let you create your own unique digital products and give you complete control over your business and earnings. On the other hand, a marketplace provides access to its existing customer base and helps you kickstart your marketing efforts, typically in exchange for a percentage of your sales.
The Best Platform To Sell Digital Products Online: Heights Platform
An example of a hosting platform where you can create and sell digital products is Heights Platform.
As the creator, you have complete authority over your business, including branding and pricing. With Heights Platform, you can design your own website for your products according to your preferences, and you maintain full ownership of both your content and revenue.
Benefits of Selling Digital Products From Your Own Website
- Complete Control Over Your Content and Branding: Hosting platforms like Heights give you the power to fully customize your website to match your unique style and branding. You can create a website with unlimited pages, reflecting your branding style 100% inside your program. Building a recognizable brand is crucial for entrepreneurs!
- No Commissions or Transaction Fees: When you sell digital products using Heights Platform, you keep 100% of the revenue from your sales. Heights platform won't deduct any commissions or charge transaction fees, ensuring you maximize your earnings. Some platforms do charge transaction fees, (even though they aren't assisting with your marketing), so it is important to find a platform that isn't going to take a percentage of your sales.
- Freedom to Choose Your Business Model: These platforms offer flexibility in structuring your business. You are not limited to digital downloads. You can sell individual courses with one-time payments, set up a membership site with monthly fees, or bundle courses and digital products with installment options. The possibilities are endless, and Heights Platform gives you full flexibility in choosing the right business model for you.
- More Value for Customers: These platforms provide you with essential tools to create high-value content for your customers. Features like gamification in online courses, multiple product offerings, community-building tools, and more contribute to creating valuable learning programs that can positively impact your customers' lives.
- Valuable Insights About Your Customers: Platforms like Heights offer valuable information and insights about your customers, from basic contact details to in-depth analytics on engagement and progress. Utilizing this data can significantly affect your business strategy, helping you build relationships, gather positive reviews, and grow your audience through email marketing. When you sell through a marketplace, they own your customers' information. You cannot contact them with marketing emails or to get feedback on your products.
- Potential for Business Growth and Scaling: Selling digital downloads from your own site means that you have the possibility to grow and scale your business without being limited by the marketplace's rules. While it may be challenging initially, once you attract your first students, the potential for growth is significant. You have control over pricing, and you don't share your earnings with anyone, giving you the opportunity to expand your business without worrying about competition.
Cons of Selling Digital Products From Your Own Website
- More Work to Find Customers at The Beginning: Marketing and audience building are the main challenges when selling products through a hosted platform. On the other hand, online marketplaces provide access to a vast customer base. With an online course platform, you are building your own business, which means you're responsible for all the marketing efforts. This can be especially tough at the beginning, particularly if you're a new creator without an existing audience. However, attracting new customers will become easier as you gradually build an audience, gather leads, and collect email addresses. Despite the initial marketing challenges, the long-term results achieved through an online course platform often surpass those of selling through a marketplace.
- Time-Consuming Process: Creating a high-quality product takes time and effort. Compared to selling from a marketplace, building an actual online business requires more time and dedication to curate content, design website pages, run marketing campaigns, and more. If you have limited time available or plan to sell digital products as a side income, this way may not be the most suitable choice, at least in the initial stages. However, if you're willing to invest the time and effort required to establish a successful online business, software like Heights Platform gives all the necessary tools to support your journey.
Sell Digital Products Through a Marketplace
So now you know about building your own business to sell digital products online. The other option is to use a marketplace.
Digital product marketplaces and hosted platforms are distinct entities, but their differences are often misunderstood by creators.
Marketplaces serve as websites where creators can either upload or create their products and subsequently sell them through a third-party platform.
As the term implies, marketplaces function as eCommerce hubs for digital products. Visitors to these marketplaces can explore a wide array of courses offered by various creators.
Pros of Selling Digital Products Through a Marketplace
- Marketing is Done For You: Marketplaces allow you to upload your digital product and tap into their customer base, and when you make a sale, they take a percentage of your earnings. If you choose a popular marketplace, they have thousands of customers browsing through the product offerings. This makes it easier to start selling your course than setting up your website.
- Boosts Your Credibility: Selling your products on these platforms can also boost your credibility in the eyes of potential customers. Marketplaces are trusted by their audience, which can make it quicker and easier to gain the trust of your target audience. Establishing trust would be more challenging if you were to create your own website.
Cons of Selling Digital Products Through a Marketplace
- Very Little Control: Marketplaces often have strict rules for pricing and branding, limiting your control over your business model and course branding. You're essentially selling your products through a third-party website.
- You Do Not Have Ownership of Your Content: When you sell digital products through a marketplace, you are essentially giving them ownership of your content.
- You Cannot Contact Your Customers: Most marketplaces allow you to get access to your customers information, such as names and email addresses. This means that you cannot contact them and create a relationship with them. You cannot send them marketing email to offer them other products and nurture your audience.
- High Commissions: Marketplaces take a significant percentage of your earnings as a fee for handling marketing and providing access to their customer base. This fee can be quite high, sometimes over 75%.
- Low Earning Potential: Since most marketplaces set very low limits on the prices you can charge, and take up most of your sales, this doesn't leave much room for earnings.
- High Competition: Marketplaces host hundreds of thousands of digital downloads, making it an extremely competitive place to sell your products, and very hard to stand out from the competition when you cannot create a bond with the audience.
- Limited Educational Value: This is critical if you sell online courses. Marketplaces may lack specialized tools for course creators, and the courses sold there might not offer the same level of educational value as those created on dedicated platforms. They can sometimes resemble collections of YouTube videos organized in a more structured way.
Best Marketplace to Sell Digital Products: AppSumo Marketplace
If you want to sell digital products through a marketplace, then the AppSumo marketplace is your best choice.
This marketplace doesn't have all the "cons" described above: you can set your own pricing, you still retain ownership of your content, and you have more control over your product and audience compared to other marketplaces.
Plus, you are not restricted to only the AppSumo marketplace. In fact, you could have both: selling through AppSumo and your website at the same time. Note that if you signup to sell on AppSumo from our link we may earn a commission, but we recommend them not only for the reasons we share below, but because we've sold there ourselves and helped many of our customers list their products there.
Other marketplaces like Udemy or Skillshare do not allow you to sell the same products that you sell through their platform, outside of it, so you are giving them exclusivity to sell what you create.
But on AppSumo, your digital products are not uploaded on the marketplace: AppSumo simply provides a place where your products can be discovered. Once someone buys your digital downloads, they are redirected to a hosting platform of your choice.
So many creators who use Heights Platform to sell digital products, also sell them through the AppSumo marketplace.
Start Selling Digital Products With Heights Platform
Selling digital products is an excellent way to start an online business and build a scalable income stream.
When it comes to where to sell your digital products, you have two primary options: hosting platforms and marketplaces.
Hosting platforms like Heights Platform provide creators with unparalleled control over their brand, pricing, and content while offering the freedom to choose their business model. This approach offers long-term benefits such as complete ownership of revenue and a path for sustainable business growth.
On the other hand, marketplaces can provide a quick start by leveraging their established customer base and handling marketing efforts. However, they come with trade-offs, such as limited control over pricing, branding, and high commissions.
Heights Platform is the best choice for those looking to build a thriving digital product business with full control and maximum earning potential.
With the ability to customize your website, retain 100% of your revenue, and adapt your business model to suit your goals, Heights Platform empowers creators to build a strong online business that has the potential to grow.
Sign up for your free Heights Platform account today and create your online store to sell online courses and digital products!Create Your Online Course Today