Ecommerce Solutions: 5 Ways to Sell Digital Goods Online

We highlight the features, pricing and process for five affordable ecommerce stores and shopping cart solutions you can use to sell digital goods online.

Updated on 5/11/2011

Seller Tools: Five Ways to Sell your Digital Goods Online

The Internet offers self-published artists and software developers considerable opportunities for marketing and selling their digital goods online.

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Digital goods is the term used to describe "non-tangible products" such as computer games and other software, custom-designed sewing or craft patterns, e-books, digital images, music, ringtones, website templates -- basically any product that can be provided to consumers in an electronic, or digital, format.

How Do Digital Goods Ecommerce Solutions Work?

For artists on a budget, the good news is that you don't need a fat wallet to set up an ecommerce store for selling digital goods. Many digital goods ecommerce solutions are free to use until you make a sale, at which time you'll pay a commission fee for the delivery service. Other services charge a modest monthly fee, with no additional transaction fees.

If you already have your own website or blog, there are a number of digital goods shopping carts that you can use to sell from your own site. If you don't have a website of your own -- and you should -- you can still take advantage of online shops and affiliate referral programs offered by digital goods ecommerce providers to boost traffic and sales of your own work.

The best news is that you can still spend most of your time in the studio recording or blogging to your fans, as digital goods ecommerce solutions tend to handle all or most of the transactions for you, taking a percentage of the transaction fee. These delivery and payment systems are simple to use. It is as easy as uploading the files, providing contact and payment details and a description of each item you have for sale.

5 Ecommerce Solutions for Selling Digital Goods

Here are five easy-to-use and cost-effective digital goods ecommerce solutions that you can further investigate to sell your digital products online. When researching available ecommerce solutions for selling digital goods, be sure to compare features of each service, including the number of products you can list, the transaction and per sale fee, and also if payments are made after each transaction or if the solution provider pays out on a minimum account balance.

1. DigitalGoodsDelivery: For All Types of Digital and Tangible Products

Digital goods publishers can use DigitalGoodsDelivery.com's delivery system for virtually any product that can be delivered to the consumer over the Internet, including standard movie and audio files, plus zip files, Word documents, PDF files and more. DigitalGoodsDelivery.com is intended for people who sell from their own website, and it is a PayPal payments-based system.

After you upload the digital files, which remain hosted on and served by DigitalGoodsDelivery.com, you can use the provided HTML code on your own site to create PayPal button links for downloads. When someone buys an item on your website, the customer pays you directly through PayPal. You can also use this interface to sell tangible goods on your website. This lets you sell related products, for instance a t-shirt or mouse pad, that features your images and so on, on your site alongside the digital products you have for sale.

Pricing for DigitalGoodsDelivery.com starts at $9.95 per month. This provides all features including unlimited sales volume, automatic file delivery, customizable buyer interface, and custom emails with 50 MB of file storage. Additional plans for more storage are available (see pricing plans).

2. E-Junkie: A Digital & Tangible Goods Cart

E-junkie is a shopping cart and digital delivery system for publishers who have their own website and are looking for a way to include "buy now" buttons to sell downloads. Using E-junkie, you can store your files on their servers, and buyers of your work receive an email (customized by you) to download the product after a successful purchase. Cart buttons are available for a number of payment systems including PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, TrialPay, ClickBank and 2CheckOut.

E-junkie can also be used to sell tangible products on your site. For tangible products, E-junkie lets you include details such as shipping and packaging, sales tax, color and size options, and more. E-Junkie pricing starts at $5 per month. This account gives you the capability to list up to 10 products within a 50 MB space limit (see pricing plans).

3. PayLoadz: Sell Anything that Can be Downloaded

PayLoadz is a fully-featured digital goods platform that lets you sell just about any type of digital product. It takes care of hosting and delivering the files to buyers, and other features such as product key registrations for selling software. Sellers can define the file format, delivery format and price for uploaded items. PayLoadz also lets you conduct transactions on your own site. The code for digital goods shopping cart buttons code that you need for your own site is automatically generated for you. You can also upload digital items and sell from a PayLoadz store, or use their digital content delivery system for purchases on different online auction sites.

The free PayLoadz account lets you use up to 1GB of file storage, and you don't pay fees to PayLoadz unless your total sales for a 30-day period exceeds $50. Once you sell $50 worth of digital goods, you will need to upgrade to a paying account, which starts at $14.95 per month for unlimited transactions; a per-transaction fee also applies (see pricing plans). PayLoadz also offers an affiliate program via an ad syndication code that features specific products for sale at PayLoadz.

4. Tradebit: Best for Music, Photos, eBooks, Software

Tradebit is an online marketplace for self-publishers to upload and sell their music, audio files, photos, software and ebooks. With a Tradebit eShop you can upload files (up to 2GB in size) and edit specific details including thumbnail views, price, description, tags, and so on.

After you finish with the details, you can link the digital product to PayPal, Google checkout, or Clickbank and put the purchase code on your own Web space, with a 20-percent commission going to TradeBit for sellers with a monthly sales volume of $1,500 per month. If sales exceed that amount you'll need to upgrade to the Pro plan which is offered at a 15-percent commission going to TradeBit (see pricing plans). Tradebit also offers an affiliate program and allows anyone selling digital goods on Tradebit to promote them with their ID to get additional sale commissions.

5. Cleverbridge: Ecommerce Solutions for Digital Product Companies

The Cleverbridge digital goods ecommerce solution provides a full, customized checkout for selling digital goods. The service offers faud protection, reporting and statistics, and support for multiple currencies and languages. Cleverbridge also offers payment s for all major credit cards, PayPal, direct debit, WebMoney check / money order, wire transfers and more. For software producers, Cleverbridge will handle generating receipts and delivers the license keys, order confirmations and the product.

Cleverbridge does not make its pricing plan available on its website, however it derives its revenues from a percentage of each transaction processed through its platform. Fees are based on a client's average cart value, monthly revenue and the highest and lowest product pricing.

Additional Resources for Digital Goods Sellers

From beginner guides to expert tips, our selection of ecommerce and online selling articles for digital goods producers can help you to better manage your ecommerce business.

Vangie Beal is a veteran online seller and frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG. 

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