How to Start Selling Digital Products on Shopify
Shopify is arguably one of the best and most popular eCommerce platforms. Usually, eCommerce retail owners sell physical products. But apart from that, selling digital products on Shopify is another option if you are planning to start an eCommerce business. These are products that you don’t actually ship to your customers like music, e-books, videos, audio records, and more.
How to start selling digital products on Shopify
If you’re skeptical about it, note that a lot of retail businesses sell digital products on Shopify. If you want to start your own digital product business but not sure where and how to start, we’re here to help. Here’s a complete guide on selling your digital products on Shopify
Step 1. Set up and open your Shopify store
The first step in starting your digital product business is to set up your own Shopify store. This step will only take ten minutes of your time. To create and open a Shopify store, follow the steps below:
1. In your web browser, go to the Shopify website at shopify.com.
2. At the top right part of the window, click on the “Start free trial” button.
3. Select which option describes you. Either you are trying to start your business, or already selling in person or online You may skip this step.
4. Select where you want to sell your digital products: at an online store, through social media, in person, in a blog or existing website, or in online marketplaces. You may select more than one. If you are not yet sure, you may select the “I’m not sure” option. Again, you may skip this step.
5. Set up your Shopify store name. This is optional. If you haven’t come up with a store name, you can skip this step and set it up later.
6. Select your business location (country). Shopify will use this information to set shipping rates, recommended apps, and more.
7. Create your Shopify ID. You may use your email, Apple ID, or continue with your Facebook or Google account. If you already have a Shopify ID, click on “Log in.”
8. You will be routed to your home page and a box at the bottom will notify you that your free trial just started.
NOTE: If you will sign up for Shopify’s Basic or Starter plan, you can enjoy $1/month of subscription for 3 months
Step 2. Decide what digital product to sell
Setting up your Shopify store may only take 10 minutes or less, but deciding what digital product to sell may take a lot more. There are a lot of digital products to sell, but deciding which ones to sell online may be confusing.
You do not have to think about it hard. Here’s a list of digital products ideas you can sell on your Shopify store:
- eBooks – eBooks are a lot cheaper than buying actual books. This is why some customers prefer buying soft copies online. eBooks are not limited to novels. It could also be a compilation of recipes, tutorials and how-tos, technical guides, and more.
- Downloadable files – If you are not into writing, you may opt to start selling digital files instead. Digital files or downloadable files include themes, music files, extensions, and more.
- Video courses – Other customers like watching video courses more than reading. Creating video courses may be more complicated than eBooks and digital files, but you can sell them at a higher price.
If you are still not sure which type of digital product to sell, just know that it’s important to know your line of expertise. If you are into cooking, you can create eBooks and share your recipes, or create cooking videos. Lastly, if you are into designing, you may sell downloadable digital templates.
Step 3. Build an audience while creating your product
When starting your own business, it is best that you set up an audience first before you launch your products. Imagine spending a lot of time and effort preparing for your product launch and on the day you finally launch them, no one notices. Sounds awful, right? Don’t worry, you can avoid this by building an email list to gain an audience and possible customers.
What you need to build an email list:
1. Create a Shopify landing page
There are various Shopify page builder apps you can use to create and design the landing page for your online store. If you are not sure which one to use, you can read this: 10 Best Shopify Page Builders in 2023.
It is also recommended to add an opt-in form to your landing page. Most businesses start by offering something to get customer attention. If you plan on selling eBooks, you may offer a free copy to customers upon signing up or a free trial on your digital files and video courses. Aside from that, you may also offer discounts.
2. Getting traffic to your landing page
Once you’re done creating and designing your Shopify landing page, the next step is to get people to visit it. You can use paid ads, social media, or SEO to get traffic to your page. If you already have an existing email list, you may use email marketing to promote your page. Facebook Ads is also a good option, as well as other social media platforms like Instagram.
Using these channels, you may want to promote your products as well as your free giveaways and discounts. It is recommended to build traffic to your page a couple of months before your actual product launch. This is because it’s not that easy and quick to build an audience. Though it will take months before your actual launch, make sure you still post and communicate with your audience regularly.
Step 4. Prepare your digital product for selling
Once you’re done creating your digital product, the next step is to add your digital goods to your Shopify store. It is simple to add your digital product on Shopify to start selling them. Here’s how you do it:
- Create a product page
- Add your product title and description
- Use a digital downloader app to upload your digital goods
You will not be able to upload your digital product directly to Shopify. However, there are applications that can help you attach your digital product to your page and start selling them.
Step 5. Launch your Shopify store and start selling your digital product
Once you already have an audience and your digital product ready, the next step is to launch your Shopify store and start selling. You can start with posting to social media platforms, and sending emails to your audience. You can also ask your friends to share the posts to reach more people.
Step 6. Start promoting your digital product brand
Now that you have already launched your digital product on your Shopify store, the next thing to do is promote your brand. In doing so, you will still continue to reach other people and gain more customers.
You can promote your brand by using your existing email list, and your social media accounts. The more you promote your brand, the more chances you get to reach more audiences and get more sales.
Why should you sell your digital products on Shopify?
The difference between a physical product and a digital product is obvious. But there are advantages to selling digital products on Shopify, maybe more than you can think of. Here are some of them:
- Lower production cost. Selling digital products on eCommerce requires less maintenance than selling physical goods. You won’t have to think about raw materials, production, storage, packaging, and logistics. All you have to think about is the cost when you initially create your digital product and run your website.
- Unlimited product stock. When you create a digital product, you don’t have to produce the same product to meet your customer demands. Digital products will always be available for your customers to purchase unless you stop selling them.
- Less things to think about. Aside from creating your digital product and promoting them, there are far less things to consider in starting your online business. You don’t have to think about where to get your materials, production, inventory, and logistics. All you need is your Shopify account, a computer, laptop or smartphone, and internet connection to keep your business going.
- Global sales. One of the first things you consider in starting a business is logistics. You can reach a lot of people, but being able to sell to them would still depend on location. With selling digital products on the other hand, you can reach and sell to anyone around the world since your product doesn’t need to be physically delivered. Just a few clicks here and there, and your customers will receive their orders.
What digital products can you sell on Shopify?
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to deciding what kind of digital products to sell. In case you still can’t decide where to focus, we will share what products you can sell on Shopify.
1. Online courses
The good thing about the internet is that you can always learn new things in the comfort of your own home, or wherever you go. Whether it be to learn new things, improve a skill, or be better employees. This can be in the form of eBooks, or video courses. Some online popular online courses include:
- Graphic design
You can start with whatever you’re good at. You don’t have to be an expert in writing and making videos. The most important thing is that you are providing correct and accurate information in your online courses.
2. Music and audio records
Everyone may have different tastes in music. But one common thing about us is that we all listen to music, and we love it. If you are into music, you may sell your works online. There are online businesses that sell ringtones, demo sounds, and audio guides.
3. Tools and templates
Templates are other digital products that could be sold online. From resume, website, presentations, and email templates, there are a lot of options you can sell. If you have the skill in creating templates, here are some examples that you can sell:
- WordPress themes
- Business card designs
- Canva templates
- Resume templates
- Email template
- Photo album designs
4. Membership sites
If you are planning to make online courses in eBooks and videos, one good way to sell them is through membership or subscriptions. This means that instead of selling your product one by one, you are going to give your customers access to them in a certain period of time.
One great example is cooking courses. You may promote your product with a free one cooking class, and require your audience to pay for a subscription should they want to continue with the online class.
5. Downloadable stock photos and prints
Another digital product you can sell online are prints and stock photos. Physical products have designs. And sellers would need to buy downloadable prints and designs for their products. This is where you come in.
Also see: Top 12 eCommerce Software with Inventory Management in 2023
Our thoughts on getting started on selling digital products on Shopify
When starting your eCommerce business on Shopify, you can decide whether to sell physical or digital products. Before you start selling digital products on Shopify, here’s what you need to remember:
- Focus on your expertise. It will be easier to create digital products if you know what you’re doing.
- Reach an audience first before launching your product. It’s important that you already have potential customers before you start selling your digital goods.
- Promote your product. Even if you already reached your target audience before your launch, continue promoting your products through SEO or social media paid ads.
- Adapt to changes. Change is constant, and your customer needs also change. Don’t stop adding more products, or updating them when needed. Most of the time, also, as the trends change, demands change. Make sure you are ready for changes when needed.