Shopify was never designed to sell digital products. If you were to ask the question, “Is Shopify good for selling digital products?” I am sure the answer would be Yes! But, what you probably won’t be told is, that you need a 3rd party app from Shopify to sell them. Like all Shopify apps, it usually comes at an additional cost, and sometimes (worst of all), the app may not work the way it should. So check the app ratings in as many places as you can.
Let’s look at some alternatives to Shopify.
Alternatives to Shopify for Selling Digital Products
Shopify is better known as a dropship platform. It does sell digital products and it does it quite well.
Two alternatives to Shopify for selling digital products are Gumroad and Sellfy.
However, there are limitations with them that Shopify doesn’t have.
Shopify has more tools for building cleaner professional-looking websites for example.
Obviously, the more professional looking the website the more trust it has.
However, let’s not discount Gumroad and Sellfy.
Both meet a need and do it well.
Let’s take a quick look at Gumroad.
As you can see from the navigation menu it is all about digital stuff. If you sell physical products then don’t even think about using Gumroad.
If you think the site looks bare bones, it is. But it is totally functional.
Unlike Shopify or Sellfy Gumroad doesn’t give you the option of building an online store.
Everything is sold from your website. Actually, you don’t need a website.
You can sell from Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
For example, if you are a writer on Medium and you have a digital product to sell, you just add a link to your medium article and Gumroad will take care of the rest.
It is that simple.
Gumroad does however take care of payment collection and processing, although it does charge a 9% fee for this at the time of writing.
Shopify also charges a fee on top of its plans. For example, the $29.00 a month plan has a 2.9% transaction fee plus a 30c fee for every item sold.
Who is Gumroad for?
If you are a writer of digital products (e-courses, books, plays), music, films, videos, and games, or are a software developer, have audio recordings, animations, graphic design, photography, or art then Gumroad will work for you.
Cost of Gumroad.
It is cheap. $10.00 a month compared to Shopify’s $29.00 basic store, plus use of the app.
Most Shopify apps have a free plan, but the pro plans can double or even be 4X the cost of the Shopify membership.
One other thing with the apps on Shopify is to read the star ratings carefully.
A quick look at Sellfy
Sellfy was initially created for musical downloads.
If you were into music Sellfy was the place to go to sell your music.
These days it is an easy-to-use eCommerce solution for creators looking to sell digital and physical products as well as subscriptions and print-on-demand all from one storefront.
However digital downloads are still the core of Sellfy’s business model.
Sellfy offers cutting-edge digital file security to big upload sizes, plus they do everything they can to help you sell your products.
Still, compared to Shopify, Sellfy is a minnow.
But it is a minnow that is offering many of the same benefits as Shopify at a cheaper rate.
To start with, the monthly pricing for Sellfy is **$19.00 compared to Shopify’s $29.00 for its basic plan.
One other benefit is you can sell products from your own website using their embed function.
All you need to do is copy and paste a line of code onto any page you want to add buy buttons, products, or even your whole storefront.
Unlike Gumroad Sellfy offers an easy-to-use store builder tool that lets you build a customized storefront.
Shopify, Gumroad, and Sellfy side-by-side Comparision.
|Pricing||**Starts at $19/mo||Starts at $0/mo|
|Transaction fees||0%||Starts at 9%|
|Sell on social media||Yes||Yes|
|Digital file security||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in email marketing||Yes||Yes|
|Pricing||**Starts at $19/mo||Starts at $29/mo|
|Fully hosted storefront||Yes||Yes|
|Sell digital products||Yes||Through an app|
|Built-in email marketing||Yes||No|
|Add your own domain||Yes||Yes|
**Note:- The $ 19.00-a-month starter plan for Sellfy is based on a bi-yearly payment of $456.
At a yearly payment of $264.00 the monthly payment equates to $22.00 a month.
To pay on a month-by-month basis the payment is $29.00.
The same as Shopify.
But, remember you will probably be paying additional for an app on top of the $29.00 in Shopify.
Apart from that.
All have their pros and cons. The side-by-side comparison actually shows that Sellfy can compete with Shopify, and is worth giving serious consideration to, particularly if you are into large file digital products.
Gumroad is a good place to start, but selling on Sellfy would bring better results because of the additional marketing resources available.
To see more I have a review on Sellfy Here.
If I have missed something or you have an opinion let me know in the comments below.