There is no shortage of options for managing an e-commerce website. There are all kinds of shopping carts and e-commerce content management systems that have a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right option for selling digital downloads, however, can prove to be a challenge.
There are a lot of factors to consider when selling digital files. You’ll need an effective setup for instant delivery. There are choices to be made between a flat pricing structure or per transaction fees. You can either host the files on your own or go with a provider that will host the files for you. You’ll also have to decide what features are important to you, such as being able to offer coupon codes and managing an affiliate program. If you’re selling a large number of products and/or large files it will only make your decision process more complicated and pricey.
We recently added functionality to Vandelay Premier for selling digital files (an alternative to purchasing a membership) and sorting through the different options took a considerable amount of time and effort. We thought it would be helpful to many designers and online business owners to share some of the information that we found. Ultimately, we decided on E-Junkie for a few reasons:
- It allows us to host our own files on Amazon S3, which reduces the cost of storing the large files of our products.
- Lots of features.
- Ease of use. Adding products and inserting buttons into your site is very simple and quick.
It’s likely that your situation is much different from ours, so here we will present 13 different options for selling and delivering digital files, along with a brief description of each.
E-Junkie can be used to sell digital products or tangible goods, but it provides a wide variety of features that make it very popular for selling digital products. E-Junkie will host your digital files (or you can host them yourself) and they’ll provide secure downloads for your customers while protecting your products. E-Junkie includes affiliate management, discount codes, autoresponders and more. Pricing is a flat monthly fee (no fees per transaction) based on the number of products you are selling and the amount of disk space needed, unless you are hosting the files yourself. Place “buy now” or “add to cart” buttons anywhere on your site to start selling with E-Junkie.
Clickbank is a very popular solution for selling e-books and other digital products. Part of their success is based on the huge number of affiliates that they have to promote the products of others who are selling through Clickbank. With Clickbank you can accept credit cards with no merchant account required. There is a one-time product activation fee of $49.95.
Fetch is not a shopping cart solution, but rather it is a digital delivery application that integrates with popular systems like Shopify to deliver your products. Fetch will host your products and provide secure download links to your customers. If you are selling large digital files you may find that options are limited and very pricey for storing your files to sell and for bandwidth to deliver the files. Fetch helps out by offering lower cost storage and delivery.
DPD (Digital Product Delivery) is similar to E-Junkie in that it allows you to create buttons to sell your products and integrate with other systems like PayPal. DPD also offers an affiliate program, discount codes, and more. Pricing is a flat monthly fee based on the number of products and disk space needed to store those products.
Pulley also offers a solution for storing and delivering your digital files. Place “buy now” buttons anywhere to sell your products and Pulley will deliver them securely to your customers. Pricing for Pulley is also based on the number of products being sold and the amount of disk space needed.
BitBuffet integrates with PayPal to deliver your digital products to your customers. Upload your product and create a “buy now” button that can be placed on your website or blog. Pricing is based on number of products and disk space.
Dbox is another option for integrating with PayPal to sell digital files. They also have a Joomla! plugin and you can manage your account from your iPhone.
PayLoadz integrates with PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout and others to allow you to sell your digital products anywhere. PayLoadz also allows you to create an affiliate program for your products. PayLoadz’s Premium account costs $14.95 per month plus 5% and $0.49 per transaction.
FastSpring allows you to sell from a customized, branded order page. There are tons of features including affiliate management, coupon codes and more. Pricing is either 8.9% of the transaction or 5.9% plus $0.95 per transaction, whichever you choose.
Cerizmo integrates with PayPal and provides customers with secure downloads of your digital files. Pricing is a flat monthly fee based on the number of products and disk space.
Digital Content Center integrates with PayPal and Google Checkout. There are a lot of features including coupon codes, auto license key creation, and more. Pricing is based on disk space needed, and some advanced features are not available on the lower-priced plans.
byteCommerce integrates with PayPal to deliver your digital products to customers. The pricing is what makes byteCommerce unique. Instead of charging a monthly fee based on disk space or charging per transaction fees, byteCommerce charges neither, but they keep the revenue from every 20th sale of your products.
PHPurchase is a WordPress e-commerce plugin ($49 for standard single-site license) that allows you to sell digital products or tangible goods from your WordPress-based website or blog. The one-time fee with no monthly fees makes it a lower-priced option, but for now digital files must be stored on your server. I’ve been told that integration with Amazon S3 is planned for a future release.
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