From a customer’s perspective, buying and downloading a digital product is pretty simple. Digital downloads take out the pressure of inventory, shipping, and delivery and make the checkout process as simple as entering payment information and going on a website with your purchase ready to buy and download.
However, that simple process tends to be one-sided. For sellers who sell digital products online, navigating through platforms can feel a bit complex.
In fact, more than 40% of small businesses identify maintenance of the products that keep their online business running as the greatest technological barrier.
We aren’t talking about ingredients or upgrades. We are talking about the day-to-day function of products that for those who sell digital downloads such as online courses, ebooks, etc. are the difference between running a successful business or closing the doors.
Which is why it is important that the ecommerce platform you use for selling the products is the best one for you. We’ve come up with five features to help you choose ecommerce platforms to sell digital products online.
5 Features Your Ecommerce Platform Should Have
Even with limited budgets, online businesses are challenged to find the best platforms to meet the needs of their shoppers. The availability of ecommerce platforms for selling digital products can save companies the trouble of expensive and time-consuming coding – most of these solutions come with the must-have features such as libraries of templates and themes, shopping cart plugins, website search functionality, support modules, business intelligence, and more.
There are some features of the best ecommerce solutions that can improve the efficiency of your business and contribute to better customer experience. Here is a list of remarkable features to look for.
Ease of Entry
How quickly you can set up an online store and start selling your digital products? Is it something you can do on your own or you need to hire a web designer?
There are ecommerce platforms that make the process of creating a website as easy as possible. When using Shopify, for example, you can build your website in 10 minutes without hiring external help.
Does the platform allow you to do more than selling digital downloads? Are there any limits on what you can sell?
If you say in the small business mindset when you choose your ecommerce platform, you may limit what you are capable of as you develop and grow. You might find that you need the ability to offer more products. If your platform can’t support your goals, you will be left with a tough decision to make.
If something goes wrong with your visitors or buyers, does the platform has your back or will you wait a few days to get an answer from a customer support representative?
It doesn’t hurt to check the kind of support that is available for platforms you are considering. Look for resources like detailed guides, FAQs, and video tutorials. Take a look at their Q&A areas or support forums and see how quickly they’ve answered questions.
If you are stuck, you will need to reach someone. Many platforms offer a combination of chat, phone, email or ticket support to resolve questions.
You can’t sell a product if you can’t promote it. How well does the platform support your marketing plans and strategies? Does it integrate with the tools you need or provide you with the necessary resources?
If you want to build relationships with your visitors or grow your customer base, you will have to work at your online presence. A platform integrated with promotional and marketing tools as advertising methods, loyalty programs, analytics and reporting services, can draw more traffic and help analyze customer’s behavior.
You also shouldn’t forget about such important tools as social media platforms. An ecommerce shopping cart integrated with Instagram or Facebook gives equal benefits for both customers and web store owners. Website owners will be able to promote their products and services and customers will have a feedback channel where they can place a complaint, post a review about products or ask for support.
How much does the platform cost you?
Some platforms offer a low flat rate without additional transaction fees. Others have a base rate, a charge per transaction, and then require subscriptions for apps to optimize your website. This can add up meaning that your rate could end up being higher than with one of the other websites.
Take into consideration all the features that each platform offers. Some of them may offer features included in their base price, important features that other platforms don’t offer. Before making a decision and choosing ecommerce platform solutions to sell your digital products, identify what features you need and then identify which platforms can offer you those features at the best price.
Now that you know you are familiar with the features, let’s see your options:
- Shopify: Shopify is an ecommerce giant. You can’t find a keyword they don’t rank for when selling products online. It is built for physical products so you can offer them on top of your digital goods. Shopify integrates with tons of apps and plugins from their app store. Flexibility is a major advantage of this platform.
- Etsy: While Shopify is at the top when it comes to ecommerce platforms to sell digital products online, Etsy is known as the best choice for creators and artists. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, there is no better marketplace to go to. Its specialization doesn’t suit digital product creators only. It is suitable for vintage product sellers and creatives who sell hand-made items. Etsy has more than 40 million monthly visitors which means you are getting a lot of traffic just by putting your product up for sale.
- Podia: With a simple user interface, Poda makes it easy to build and launch your online store without any technical knowledge or skills required. The platform integrates with marketing suits like ConvertKit, MailChimp, and ActiveCampaign. It also has built-in email marketing services.
Finding the best fit for your online business is dependent on your products, goals, and niche. While no article post or guide can make that decision for you, being familiar with all important features should go a long way to finding the best option.