Are you looking for a platform that makes it easy to sell digital products?
In this post, we’re comparing the best ecommerce platforms for selling digital products such as PDF downloads, ebooks and online courses.
Some of these platforms also make it easy for you to sell a lot more such as memberships and physical products.
Let’s get started:
The best ecommerce platforms to sell digital products
- Sellfy – The best ecommerce platform for selling digital downloads, subscriptions and physical products. Simple and affordable. Also offers print on-demand merchandise.
- Podia – A popular all round ecommerce platform for selling digital products. Includes downloads, membership subscriptions, webinars and courses.
- BigCommerce – The best solution for creating a full ecommerce store. Sell digital products and physical products with ease.
- Thinkific – The best solution for selling online courses. Free basic plan + no fees.
- PayHip – Sell a wide range of digital products. Includes downloads, memberships and more. Free plan available. No features locked away behind higher plans.
- SendOwl – A popular platform for selling digital products without transaction fees.
- Gumroad – Simple platform for selling digital products. Get started for free but you’ll have to share a cut of your profits.
- Teachable – Another popular option for selling online courses. Transaction fees on certain plans.
- Shopify – Another popular option for creating a full ecommerce store.
- MemberPress – The best WordPress membership plugin. Sell paid memberships and digital products without sharing a cut of your products.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these platforms:
Sellfy is a popular and affordable solution for selling digital products online with the option to sell physical products. Offering a powerful range of features for today’s business owner, Sellfy simplifies ecommerce, supporting more than 60,000 creators across the globe.
Whether you’re selling customized shirts and fashion, music, or digital downloads, Sellfy can help. Most importantly, the solution comes with a visual builder embedded that helps you to get your store up and running as quickly as possible, with minimal need for any coding knowledge.
Print on-demand services allow you to roll out a merchandise store quickly. And you can use the platform to sell products with a subscription model.
Popular features include:
- Multiple payment options (including instant payouts)
- Mobile optimization for people on the go
- Shopping cart support
- Subscription models
- Patreon integration
- In-depth analytics
- Embeddable buy-now buttons
- Easy-to-use visual builder
- Custom domain
- Multiple store languages
Sellfy is designed to help you sell in a range of environments, with pages that are automatically optimized for mobile devices, a range of languages to choose from, and multiple payment modes. You’ll have everything you need for quick conversions here.
Pricing: 14-day free trial to start with, followed by paid packages starting at $19 per month. If you’re earning more than $200k in sales per year, you’ll need to contact the team for a custom quote.
What can you sell with Sellfy? Digital downloads, subscriptions, and memberships.
Podia is a website specifically designed for selling digital goods online. Created to help with the sale of everything from courses for online learning, to digital memberships, Podia helps you to share your expertise, content, and other services online.
The great thing about Podia is that it aims to replace a multitude of other products in your sales environment, including your email marketing and messaging tools, as well as your service for building an online storefront. Features include:
- Website building functionality
- Custom URL
- Free migration of exciting content
- Support throughout the entire set-up process
- Messaging for customer service
- Email marketing and drip campaigns
- Membership site support
- Online courses
- Digital downloads
With Podia, you can customize your storefront and sales pages; however, you choose, making it easier to develop a leading brand online. Unlimited hosting is included with your pricing package, and there’s even support for up to 11 languages and 22 currencies. That means that you can sell anywhere you choose.
With integrations with things like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, marketing is easy. Plus, you can add images, videos, testimonials, and more to your campaigns.
Pricing: Start your Podia experience with a free trial that lasts for 14 days. After that, pricing starts at $39 per month for the “Mover” package, or $79 for the “Shaker” option.
What can you sell with Podia? Digital products, online courses, webinars and membership subscriptions.
BigCommerce is easily one of the most popular overall ecommerce platforms on the web today. Its robust search engine for product discovery makes it fantastic for larger retail brands. However, smaller companies and digital sellers can benefit from BigCommerce too.
The great thing about BigCommerce is that it gives you more of the tools you need to keep your business running well, in the same place. You don’t need to implement dozens of different tools into your daily process. Instead, BigCommerce comes with more built-in features than any other leading platform. This also means that you don’t need to worry as much about plugins or integrations either. Features include:
- Highly customizable website builder
- Support for those who don’t know much about code
- Flexible and scalable design for any kind of business
- Support for brick-and-mortar stores
- Secure SSL built-in
- Options to choose your own domain
- Extensive range of payment options available
- Support for multi-channel selling
- Strong SEO performance
- Comprehensive features for abandoned cart recovery
- Marketing tools built-in
BigCommerce also allows you to track your revenue from your digital sales, with things like real-time analytics and reports. This way, you can find out which of your products are leading to the best revenue results for your company.
Pricing: There’s a free trial to get you started with BigCommerce. After that, the lowest paid plan begins at $29.95. However, you need more advanced packages for things like professional reporting, abandoned cart savers and custom SSLs.
What can you sell with BigCommerce? There are features to support almost every kind of selling with BigCommerce, including memberships, digital downloads, and more. However, it’s not the best for course building.
Thinkific is another ecommerce platform that focuses heavily on the benefits of online teaching for making money. With Thinkific, you can create a powerful empire for online education using your own branding and discover the benefits that sharing your knowledge can bring.
Already, more than 40,000 course creators use Thinkific to share their expertise online, and 30 million courses have been taken. If you’re looking for a service that will allow you to sell eBooks online, there are much more basic services out there. However, if you need one of the most powerful course-creation systems that there is, Thinkific is your number one choice.
- A custom domain and URL
- SSL certificate for security and peace of mind
- Font, text, and language control
- White labelling for complete branding
- Audio, PDF, survey, video and download support
- Exam-based lessons with certifications
- Assignments for individual students
Although Thinkific is far from the cheapest platform for selling online courses in the industry today, it is one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market. If you need access to a completely brandable teaching experience that can help you to promote your courses, as well as sell them, then Thinkific could be just the thing that you need.
We’re particularly impressed by the drag-and-drop editor that allows you to change every aspect of your course, from the quizzes you use to teach customers, to the text style. You can even implement your own Google Docs into the mix.
Pricing: Free plan for your first course, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. For advanced features, you’ll need at least the Basic package for $49 per month, or the Pro package for $99 per month. No transaction fees.
What can you sell with Thinkific? Thinkific is specifically suited to selling online courses, rather than other digital downloads.
PayHip is an e-commerce platform with over 130,000 sellers worldwide. The platform allows you to sell a range of digital products from ebooks and memberships, to software and music.
Although customer store pages may be limited in terms of customization, it bears a similarity to the layout of Pinterest.
However, if you run your own blog, website or plan to sell directly on social media, PayHip makes it incredibly easy to embed the checkout and shopping cart. Even better, you can customize these features to match your branding.
The checkout is also responsive, so customers can easily make purchases regardless of which device they’re using.
Other useful features:
- Can create your own affiliate program
- Add discounts or coupons to your products
- Run promotional campaigns
- Limited downloads (each customer can download their purchase a max. of 3 times)
- Offer license keys for software
- PDF stamping onto buyers purchases to prevent illegal sharing
- Sell memberships with multiple plans and a variety of recurring intervals
- Sync your customers to your mailing lists
If you plan to sell membership or subscription services, each of your members can manage themselves with an account. You can also set up free trials for your services.
Sales are deposited immediately after each sale, and buyers can choose a variety of payments methods, from PayPal or Stripe to their own card (Visa/MasterCard/American Express etc.). You can also accept payments from a wide array of currencies.
The best thing about PayHip is that all the features are available on each plan, and they have a free plan.
What can you sell with PayHip? Digital downloads, subscriptions, software, courses and memberships.
Pricing: Each plan comes with all features and unlimited products; the only difference is the transaction fee. The Free Forever plan has a 5% transaction, this is reduced to 2% in the Plus plan. There is no transaction fee in the Pro plan. PayPal/Stripe fees still apply.
Unlike Sellfy, which offers opportunities to sell physical and digital products, SendOwl is all about the virtual content. Created to put simplicity first, if you’re a beginner that’s just getting started in the digital world, SendOwl is going to help you reach your goals without a problem.
One of the main features that stand out about SendOwl, is that it can integrate with any website. You can implement the service into your Shopify or WordPress site if you already have an existing online presence and begin selling digital products without having to start again from scratch.
Other features of SendOwl include:
- Extensive marketplace for add-ons and extensions
- Advanced user capabilities, including cart saving, profile set-up, wish lists and more
- Discount codes and promotional offers for your end-users
- Advanced reporting and in-depth analytics
- Affiliate program metrics
- API access to make the back-end more powerful for your needs
- Responsive checkout for mobile
- Multiple payment options (including Bitcoin)
With SendOwl, you can sell your digital products to customers anywhere, even through your email signatures and social media posts. There are multiple payment options and a range of languages to choose from too. The file control available through SendOwl is excellent too – making it a top option for content restrictions and memberships.
Pricing: The standard plan for SendOwl starts at $15, or you can upgrade to Premium at $24 per month or Business at $39 per month. There’s a “basics” option for $9 per month too, and everything begins with a 30-day free trial.
What can you sell with SendOwl? Digital products.
Gumroad is a software solution committed to supporting creators. That includes everyone from artists and writers, to educators, podcasters, and more. With Gumroad, you can simplify the process of getting paid for doing and selling what you love, whether it’s books and comics, or music.
It’s free to get started with Gumroad, which is a great bonus, and you can take a range of payment types. However, it’s worth noting that most payments come with an extra charge to consider. The software has everything from an affiliate center to help build your conversions online, to a super-easy-to-understand interface for video hosting and gated content. Features include:
- Support for various payment types
- Subscription and payment plans available
- Options to generate license keys for selling software
- Embeddable checkout buttons for your website
- Customizable checkout pages
- Discount and coupon creation
- Affiliate marketing tools and management
- Super-easy user interface
Gumroad is essentially an all-in-one solution for artists, authors, and other creative types that want to sell their work straight to consumers online. You can sell license keys, pre-orders, and so much more online. Additionally, there’s a free option to get you started.
Pricing: Free to start with charges for each transaction made online. If you want premium features, then you’ll pay $10 per month plus a charge of 3.5% and 30 cents for each transaction.
What can you sell with Gumroad? Digital products, physical products, subscriptions, and pre-orders.
When it comes to selling online courses, Teachable is one of the most popular and accessible ecommerce platforms available on the market.
This straightforward platform comes with a clean and easy-to-use interface, which makes it easy for your learners to navigate from one lesson to the next. Teachable excels at delivering video content and provides a number of excellent tools for selling courses, including customizable checkout pages and thank-you pages. Features include:
- In-depth website customization options
- Support for multiple types of teaching media
- Quizzes and course completion certificates
- Student feedback and support integrations
- Student list segmentation
- Promotions and coupons
- Range of advanced pricing options
- Affiliate program built-in
- Customizable sales pages
- Conversion pixels support
- Endless marketing integrations
One particularly useful thing about Teachable is that it allows you to keep track of your entire customer journey. The service can integrate with everything from Google Analytics, to MailChimp, to help you figure out where students hear about you and what causes them to convert. You get a custom domain, in-depth navigation options and more.
Pricing: Pricing for Teachable starts at $39 per month, but you can pay $29 per month if you choose the annual payment options. You also pay 5% transaction fees on the lowest tier, but those fees disappear when you upgrade.
What can you sell with Teachable? Only suitable for selling online courses and learning subscriptions. Digital downloads aren’t as easy to sell through Teachable.
Shopify is best known as a full ecommerce platform. Probably one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, Shopify allows you to sell any product that you choose. The company plays host to more than 1 million businesses around the globe.
With Shopify, you can customize your sales experience to suit your brand’s needs, with various customizable styles, and a host of marketing tools to tap into too. You can also take advantage of a free trial to see how the service works before you get started. As well as making it easy to sell physical products around the world, Shopify supports digital sellers too, with features like:
- Endless free and premium themes
- Custom editing for your web pages
- Mobile commerce support
- Unlimited bandwidth and hosting
- Subscription and membership creation
- Digital download delivery
- Access to a number of advanced plugins and extensions
- Various checkout options and payment tools
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Marketing features and email access
Whether you’re selling subscriptions to a membership site for premium learning, or you just want to sell digital downloads like website themes, art, or something else entirely, Shopify has you covered. This sensational product comes with some of the best customer service on the market, as well as a community that you can trust to deliver assistance when you need it.
Pricing: You can test Shopify for 14 days with the free trial, then upgrade to Basic Shopify for $29 per month. For more advanced features, there’s a $79 and $299 package too.
What can you sell with Shopify? Since Shopify is a full-service ecommerce platform, you can sell everything from digital downloads and physical products to subscriptions.
Finally, MemberPress is something a little different to the ecommerce solutions that we’ve looked at so far. This tool is actually a WordPress plugin, which allows you to extend the functionality of your WordPress site so you can sell paid memberships. With MemberPress, you can start to instantly change your users’ access to certain digital goods, with subscriptions and VIP accounts.
MemberPress also integrates with WooCommerce, so you can enhance the features of your online store easily, without having to use an external payment system. Advertised as the ultimate all-in-one membership plugin for WordPress users, features of MemberPress include:
- Powerful and easy to use functionality
- Membership subscription tracking
- In-depth integration options
- Access to PayPal and other modes of payment
- Works seamlessly with WordPress and WooCommerce
- Affiliate support
- Multiple membership options to choose from
This WordPress membership plugin allows you to manage members by granting and revoking access to digital goods however, and whenever you choose. There’s even support for a range of gateway options, like Stripe and PayPal.
Pricing: Prices start at $149/year. Additional plans offer extra functionality.
What can you sell with MemberPress? This WordPress plugin is best suited to membership site offerings, and integrates with learning management systems to help you deliver online courses.
Choosing the best platform to sell digital products
There are plenty of great tools that you can use to sell digital products. The key to choosing the right software, is making sure that you know what you need from your platform.
Podia is a great option for those looking to sell digital downloads, courses and membership offerings. It includes the ability to run an affiliate program and will handle email marketing for you. Better yet – they won’t take a cut of your profits.
Then there are tools that operate for free by taking a cut of transaction fees – these can work well if you’re just getting started. Gumroad is a good example.
If you want to create your own digital store – all-in-one platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce can work well but a platform like Sellfy may prove easier to use.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.