eCommerce has entered the golden age. With over half of the world’s population on the internet, there’s never been a better time to sell online. Let’s take a look at how you can sell downloads and digital files from your WordPress blog.
Why sell downloads and digital files?
Downloads and digital files are one of the best ways to make money from your WordPress blog. While traditional eCommerce sellers have to worry about stock and shipping inventory, things are a lot easier with digital downloads. It’s simply a matter of uploading the digital product and driving traffic to it.
Downloads and digital files also tend to be cheaper and easier to produce than traditional products. Often, all it takes is a time investment and some design work to create a ready-to-sell product.
3 different ways to sell digital downloads on WordPress
If you want to sell digital downloads, you’ll need an eCommerce platform to sell from. Each type of platform is effective for a certain kind of business—let’s take a look at which is right for you.
1. Saas (software as a service)
A popular option for WordPress websites is the Saas platform to sell downloads. Saas, also known as software as a service, allows you to lease eCommerce software for a monthly fee.
This option is easy-to-use—often, you don’t need any coding knowledge to set up shop and opening your store can take as little as five minutes. If you do end up running into any trouble, you’ll have access to the platform’s help and customer service centers.
On top of that, Saas is very affordable for up and coming sellers. Monthly fees often hover between $10-30, but some platforms allow you to get started for free. You won’t get as many features as you would with a paid service, but it’s a good option for new sellers who want to get started as cheaply as possible.
Saas platforms are a great option for selling digital downloads and files. Because digital products require simple delivery methods as opposed to physical products, Saas will fulfill your needs quickly and affordably.
2. Open Source
Open source is the king of platforms, in addition, WordPress best to sell downloads. Built from the ground up, open-source platforms like WordPress are essentially an open book. You can design it yourself, or direct a web designer, to write it exactly how you want it, down to the last line of code.
But with great power comes great responsibility. While you’ll be able to customize your website however you want, you’ll also have to deal with everything on your own as well. If your website is having issues, your design team will be the one doing the troubleshooting.
On top of that, these kinds of platforms are expensive. You’ll be starting from scratch and if you don’t know how to code the website that you want, you’ll need to hire a dev team to do it for you. Unless you’re already doing millions of dollars in sales or you’re selling a complex product, this option will probably end up being more trouble than it’s worth.
3. Headless to sell downloads in WordPress
Headless platforms are a combination of SaaS and open source. If you already have an existing integrated software platform, headless allows you to combine it with different shopping carts and APIs to tailor it to your business’ needs.
While not as customizable as open-source, it does give you more flexibility than Saas. However, keep in mind that the trade-off is dev time. It’s not as hard to set up as an open-source platform, but you’ll still need some coding knowledge to integrate it with your current CRM tool.
The way of the future: digital files
Finally, the ease, simplicity, and accessibility of digital files are evening the playing field for the average internet user. More and more WordPress bloggers are making the transition from a simple blogger to an online entrepreneur to Sell in WordPress and distribute their files and control the downloads. In conclusion:
Use Saas if… you need an affordable, turn-key solution to get you started.
Use open-source if… business is booming and you’re prepared to invest significant time and energy into a custom solution.
Use headless if… you have existing software that you want to integrate with a custom shopping cart/API combo.