It’s a well-known fact that people are becoming more reliant on online shopping by the day, and it’s no secret that ecommerce platforms have a big role to play in that. To be more precise, statistics show that 48% of online shoppers navigate straight to a large ecommerce marketplace when doing online shopping. If you want to sell any kind of digital product, ecommerce platforms are the way to go.
But with so many ecommerce platforms, the decision can seem overwhelming at times. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this article, we will discuss the best ecommerce platforms to sell digital downloads in 2020 and set out all the benefits and disadvantages that may come with each one of them.
What Digital Downloads Can I Sell?
With that said, let’s give you a few ideas on what digital downloads you can sell.
As technological products that allow us to enjoy books on our devices advance, so does our desire to consume eBooks. There are plenty of advantages that come with creating eBooks to sell – it’s a relatively easy and straightforward process that can easily turn to a passive income for you. They’re quite easy to sell as well, assuming that you find the right platform to use.
Regardless of what genre one prefers, it’s safe to say that most of us are ardent music lovers. If you’re a passionate musician who aspires to reach a wider audience, finding a great platform where you can share your tracks can be a game-changer.
People like learning new things and acquiring different skills, so it’s no secret why courses are so popular. If you want to sell digital downloads but don’t know where to begin, courses can be a good starting point. Think about the knowledge and expertise you possess and find a way to share it with the world.
Audio content can mean various different things, from audiobooks to podcasts and lectures. It’s a great way to help people and gain a decent income at the same time. According to Emarketer, digital audio content advertising is gaining momentum.
Another way to sell digital downloads is to turn to tools – something all of us need at some point. Tools can encompass anything from plugins to fonts.
Artists can easily use an ecommerce platform to share their talent with the world – think in terms of sketches, paintings, or clay products.
You can offer various services to people across the world. Simply brainstorm ideas about what you’re good at doing and try to find a way to make a profit.
The 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms to Sell Videos Online
Best for Selling Multiple Products
An amazing beginner-friendly platform, Sellfy allows for seamless site navigation. Many features make this platform an appealing choice to sell digital downloads like multiple options for payment and the many language options. You can sell audio files, eBooks, videos, and similar products. Because of its features and the easy navigation, Sellfy is the platform to go for if you’re planning on selling more than one product.
It’s worth mentioning that the site is extremely mobile-friendly, which is an important factor for online shopping. In addition, the site has built-in SEO and you have the option of choosing a custom domain.
There are three plans you can choose from: the starter plan which costs $19 a month, the business plan which costs $39 a month, and a premium plan which costs $89 a month. Some of the plans are cheaper when purchased on a yearly basis, so keep that in mind while signing up. Not sure if you want to continue using the site? You can test out Sellfy’s features during a 14-day free trial.
When it comes to customer support, you can ask for help via mail. Unfortunately, they don’t offer phone support, so if you think this might be a problem for you, then it’d be best to opt for another platform.
Pros of Sellfy
- Beginner-friendly and user-friendly;
- Multiple language options;
- Optimized for mobile users;
- Built-in SEO;
- Reasonably priced plans.
Cons of Sellfy
- Some glitches may occur if you connect Sellfy to social media apps.
Best Overall Ecommerce Platform to Sell Digital Downloads
With almost 5 million monthly visits, BigCommerce is one of the most used ecommerce platforms in the world. It’s a go-to platform for anyone who wants to sell digital downloads of various kinds. BigCommerce is quite versatile – it’s great for small-scale retailers as well as bigger companies. By using BigCommerce, you will have access to incredible features and tools like built-in SEO and blog, appealing designs and templates, and secure SSL. There are no transaction fees, which is always a plus.
As far as pricing is concerned, the prices are a bit higher than Sellfy’s, but you will be granted more benefits in return. There are three plans to choose from: a standard plan that costs $29.95 a month, a plus plan that costs $79.95 a month, and a pro plan that costs $299.95 a month. You can get a 15-day free trial before deciding on a plan. There is a 24/7 customer support and you have the option of speaking to someone live or via phone or email.
Pros of BigCommerce
- SEO and blog;
- Selling in multiple currencies;
- Multi-channel selling;
- Secure SSL;
- Great for big and small businesses alike.
Cons of BigCommerce
- Higher prices than some of the other options in this guide.
Most Unified Ecommerce Platform
Another well-known ecommerce platform, Shopify is a hosted platform where you can sell digital downloads in many shapes and forms. Shopify is popular for a variety of reasons: it’s easy to use, you can choose between awesome designs and templates, it has incredible customer support that’s available 24/7, there is abandoned cart recovery as well as affordable pricing for the plans.
Speaking of, you can choose between three plans: a basic Shopify plan, a general Shopify plan, and an advanced Shopify plan. The basic Shopify plan costs $29 a month and it comes with some pretty amazing features, so it’s definitely worth the price. You can get the General Shopify plan for $79 a month, whereas the Advanced Shopify plan will cost you $299 a month. Needless to say, the latter two plans come with features and tools that aren’t available for the Basic plan like the professional reports and the third-party calculated shipping rates. You can test out some of these features by trying out their 14-day free trial.
Pros of Shopify
- Seamless designs and templates;
- Shopify is incredibly easy to use and navigate, so it’s both beginner-friendly and user-friendly;
- You get a built-in SEO and blog;
- 24/7 awesome customer support;
- Plenty of payment tools;
- It’s a great hosted solution for both small and big businesses.
Cons of Shopify
- It can be quite costly as compared to other platforms on this list;
- There are some transaction fees to be wary of.
Overall, it’s safe to say that Shopify is a superb place to sell digital downloads of various kinds, but you need to keep the price in mind before making a final decision.
Best Platform If You’re on a Budget
If you like the idea of investing in a simple and uncomplicated ecommerce platform, then Gumroad would be an ideal option for you. Gumroad is a particularly popular choice among artists of various kinds because of some of its features. You can easily navigate the platform, there are various payment options available (that support multiple currencies), you can access in-depth analytics, and you sell different types of products for an affordable price. Gumroad focuses on customer loyalty, so you can give your most loyal customers discount codes and other benefits. It’s a platform that also focuses on the safety of the user and the customer, which is crucial for any type of business.
Fortunately, if you’re a beginner who’s just starting to sell digital downloads, you have the option of choosing to create a free Gumroad account that comes with some marvellous features like custom CSS, third party analytics, and a few updates per month. If you choose to update your account, you can do so for $10 a month. By updating your account, you can access features such as importing customers and followers, HD streaming, and the ability to remove Gumroad branding from your products and receipts.
Pros of Gumroad
- Secure platform to sell digital downloads;
- The option to create a free account;
- Easy to navigate;
- In-depth analytics.
Cons of Gumroad
- Transaction fees.
Best for Selling Artistic Products
PayLoadz has been around for quite some time (18 years in total) and you could easily make the case that it has pioneered similar ecommerce platforms. Just like Gumroad, PayLoadz seems to be extremely popular among visual artists, authors, and designers. The features that come with PayLoadz include several payment options in multiple currencies, a turn-key affiliate system, no waiting time for deposits/transfers, secure storage, eBay auction support, easy file upload, and conversion tracking.
You can get all of that for the price of $19.95 for the plus plan. Otherwise, you have the option of creating a free account that comes with some awesome features on its own. If you change your mind in the meantime, you can always upgrade your account. There’s also a 14-day free trial option.
Pros of PayLoadz
- Fast money transfer;
- Mailing list integrations;
- The option to sample and preview files;
- Easy way to share your art with the world;
- Several payment options;
- Multiple currencies.
Cons of PayLoadz
- Some of the layouts can seem a bit outdated.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Versatility and Flexibility
Fetch App is another ecommerce platform that allows its users to sell digital downloads easily and seamlessly. It’s been around since 2007 and it prides on enabling its users to enjoy a secure way to share their creations with the world. There are plenty of options as to what kind of digital downloads you can sell – you can sell PDFs, eBooks, photos, and software. While shopping, your customers can choose between plenty of payment options. One of the best things that come with FetchApp is the ability to sell various goods without worrying about any transaction fees.
If you want a limited amount of space only, you can go for the free version that allows for 25 orders a day and 5 MB of storage. Other plans cost from $5 to $500 a month, depending on the amount of storage space and bandwidth you prefer. For instance, the $10 a month plan comes with 2 GB of storage space and unmetered bandwidth, while the $100 a month plan comes with 35 GB of storage space. On top of all that, you also have the option of integrating Fetchapp with Shopify and other ecommerce platforms.
Pros of Fetch App
- No transaction fees;
- You have the option of creating a free account and testing out the platform;
- Many payment options available;
- They emphasize security while shopping;
- Various payment plans to choose from that are flexible for any budget.
Cons of Fetch App
- Downtime can occur from sometimes.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Selling Software
SendOwl is one of the best platforms to use if you’re planning to sell digital downloads like software and virtual content. It’s a simple and straightforward platform that doesn’t require much time to learn to navigate, so it’s perfect for beginners who are just starting out with ecommerce. Even if you’ve never used an ecommerce platform before, chances are you won’t have a problem setting it up or using it in the long run. Users can get access to in-depth analytics that will help their business flourish. Other than that, you can get access to other incredible features on SendOwl such as discount codes for your loyal customers, multiple payment options, an affiliate system, and fast checkout. It’s important to mention that SendOwl is also mobile-friendly, which is a great advantage.
You can get a 30-day free trial before you decide which plan to go for.
There are plenty of plans to choose from – the basic plan is a good starting point, it costs $9 a month and you get 1GB of storage space. The standard plan costs $15 a month and it gives you 3 GB of storage space. For bigger companies, the business plan is a great option that costs only $24 a month and it comes with 5 GB of storage space. The premium plan is $39 per month and you get a whopping 15 GB of storage space.
Pros of SendOwl
- Affordable plans;
- Great for beginners and people who are new to ecommerce;
- Access to in-depth analytics;
- Discount codes for your most loyal subscribers;
- Multiple payment options;
- An affiliate system.
Cons of SendOwl
- No live chat customer support.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Lectures
Teachable is an online platform that’s really popular with writers, teachers, professors, and other content creators. On top of being a great option if you want to sell digital downloads that include texts, books, and articles, you can also use it to sell courses and lectures. Teachable has a good combination of simple tools that will boost your ecommerce business and more advanced tools that will make the selling process easier. The process of creating a course, along with its modules, is easy and doesn’t take ages to complete.
There are a few plans available for purchase, but if your budget allows for it, we’d highly recommend the Teachable Professional plan. It costs $99 per month, but, in turn, you will get some superb features and tools like live chat support and no transaction fees. Apart from the professional plan, you can get the basic one for $29 a month and the business plan for $249 a month. The business plan comes with features that aren’t available for the other two, so check everything in detail if you think this might be the right platform for you.
Pros of Teachable
- Amazing if you want to sell lectures of any kind;
- The option to create a course/module;
- Great for beginners;
- 30-day free trial.
Cons of Teachable
- Transaction fees.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Selling Various Types of Products
Selz is an ecommerce platform that enables you to sell digital downloads in various ways. The great thing about this platform is that you can sell all kinds of products in one place – from video and audio files to several kinds of physical products. Regardless of where your talents lie, you can utilize this app and make selling digital products as easy as pie.
There are plenty of attractive features that come with this app such as streaming and downloading options, in-depth analytics, integration with various sites and social media platforms, and varied purchasing options that include around 100 currencies, which is rather impressive. If you need help of any kind, you can always access Selz’s, 24/7 support.
When it comes to pricing, there are a couple of packages you can choose from. The basic package costs $29, the standard package costs $59 a month, and the advanced package comes at a price of $199.
Pros of Selz
- 24/7 customer support;
- In-depth analytics;
- Many currencies to choose from;
- Streaming and downloading options available;
- Integration with other sites and apps;
- Easy to use.
Cons of Selz
- Selz is a bit more costly compared to some of the other platforms mentioned on this list.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Selling Courses and Lectures
Thinkific is known for being a go-to ecommerce platform for teachers and lecturers around the world who want to share their knowledge with others. It’s an all-in-one platform that gives you plenty of features that will make your ecommerce journey as smooth as possible, such as built-in course builder, SSL, attractive designs and templates, and the ability to make your own custom URLs. Thinkific is pretty simple and easy to use, which will give you more time to focus on what truly matters – the content you’re making. There are different grading options to choose from, as well as different means of teaching the material, so you can really experiment with it and see what fits your needs as a lecturer best.
There are multiple plans to choose from: the basic plan costs $49 a month, the pro plan costs $99 a month, and the premier plan costs $499 a month. Paying on an annual basis will get you a 20% discount.
Pros of Thinkific
- There are no transaction fees on Thinkific;
- You can have as many students as you want in a lecture or course;
- Built-in course maker;
- Visually appealing designs and templates;
- Simple and easy to use.
Cons of Thinkific
- The video content has a size limit.
|Platform||Starting price(per month)||Free trial||Built-in SEO|
|Gumroad||Free/ $10||No free trial for the creator plan||✔|
|Fetch App||Free/ $5||x||x|
What to Look for in an Ecommerce Platform for Selling Digital Downloads
Hopefully, at this point, you’re inspired to sell digital downloads on an ecommerce platform and have come up with a few product ideas that you can create. Before sharing the platforms to sell digital downloads, let’s briefly go over the most important things to look for in an ecommerce platform so you make the right choice.
- Price. Ecommerce platforms usually require a monthly payment, so consider the price before signing up. You will have to submit regular payments, so make sure your budget allows for it.
- SEO-optimization. One of the key components of a successful ecommerce platform is its SEO. Make sure you choose one that allows you to integrate SEO strategies to optimize the efficiency of your eBusiness.
- Customer service. It goes without saying that great customer service is crucial for both the platform user and the customer, so do your research prior to making a payment.
- User-friendliness and navigation. Spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to navigate a platform isn’t productive, so in order for a platform to be considered optimal, it needs to be navigated and set up easily. That way, both the customers and the buyer can have a good time without feeling frustrated.
- Mobile-friendly. Many people are using mobiles to shop, so make sure the platform you choose is mobile-friendly.
- Security. Customers will be sharing fragile information while shopping, so having a secure platform should be a priority for anyone who wants to sell digital downloads in 2020.
The first step is deciding on the type of digital products you want to sell. It could be anything from software, eBooks, physical products, or courses. Once you examine where your talents lie and what you would like to share with the world, it’s time to decide on an ecommerce platform. Before you make your choice, you should check the different plans and prices, and the features like security, SEO, customer service, etc. Once you have a definite answer, you can go ahead and create an account on your platform of choice and start selling.
Amazon is a platform that enables you to sell a few types of digital downloads like eBooks, art pieces, and physical products. Although it’s somewhat limited regarding what kind of digital downloads you can sell compared to some ecommerce platforms mentioned on this list, it’s still a decent starting point.
Just like Amazon, eBay is a platform that allows for specific kinds of digital downloads. There are some disadvantages that come with using eBay as opposed to other ecommerce platforms like the lack of digital delivery, which will in turn limit the type of downloads you can sell. If you want to sell physical products, on the other hand, it’s a good starting point. Just make sure you read the eBay guidelines first so that you avoid creating problems in the future.
A Word of Farewell
That completes our best ecommerce platforms to sell digital downloads in 2020 guide. As you saw in our article, there are multiple platforms to choose from, all of which come with a different set of features and tools. We hope you found our guide helpful and informative. Which ecommerce platform will you be choosing to sell digital downloads?