6 of the Most Profitable Digital Products and Goods to Sell Online

Hannah Juley
By Hannah Juley

Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 33 seconds

With the rise of ecommerce, there are now more products sold online than ever before. With two of the most popular categories sold being physical and digital products, physical goods appear to be an easy win for retail chains or consumer electronics companies. However, you have to account for complexities like shipping & returns, inventory management, packaging, manufacturing costs, and so on to facilitate the sale of these physical products. Factor in the statistic that 80% of all newly started ecommerce companies fail, and you can get a sense of how challenging selling physical products online can be.

Digital products, on the other hand, are easier to take to market. Digital products exist as either a digital asset or piece of software. They can easily be reproduced and repeatedly sold without manufacturers. Their digital format means that customers can easily access products after a quick download of the digital files.

Are you an artist, author, software engineer, or maybe just a hobbyist in your field? When it comes to selling digital products, your title doesn’t matter. With a computer, some time, and a little elbow grease, you’re more than capable of transforming your passions, talents, or expertise into a potential source of revenue.

Need some inspiration? We’ve outlined a shortlist of popular digital products that you can start selling today.

  1. Software
  2. Ebooks
  3. Audio Files and Music Production Software
  4. Games
  5. Photography
  6. Video

1. Software

A report conducted by Software.org reveals that software contributed more than $1.14 trillion to the total U.S. value-added GDP in 2016 and employed 2.9 million people. As the software industry continues to grow, we’ll continue to see its direct impact on the U.S. economy and the output in new software solutions.

It’s important to remember that software can be any solution or service that is powered by code. As long as you can find the right talent to code your product, the possibilities to develop products like desktop software, web-based applications, mobile apps, and templates are endless.

Nelio software is one example of a SaaS company that decided to develop a software solution to meet the needs of a growing market. After recognizing that WordPress users wanted more out of their WordPress site, Nelio developed a suite of plugins—like their A/B testing tool—to allow users to better optimize their website for conversions. By partnering with FastSpring, Nelio was able to focus exclusively on developing great WordPress plugins and attracting customers from over 80 countries around the world.

2. Ebooks

The emergence of devices like eReaders and smartphones has skyrocketed the demand for ebooks. Readers are no longer required to lug around bulky physical copies of their favorite books and can instead opt to open an electronic version directly from their smart device.
The growing adoption of ebooks also presents a unique opportunity for established and emerging authors. It doesn’t matter if you’re producing research reports, guides, or books; advancements in ecommerce allow authors to self-publish their works without having to partner with a publisher. At FastSpring, we support direct downloads and signed PDF fulfillments, so partnering with us can get you started selling right away with these convenient options for accessing your ebook.

3. Audio Files and Music Production Software

Audio has always been a powerful medium for communicating messages. Given the customer’s increasing preference for video, we now place an even greater emphasis on the value audio tracks have in helping to tell stories and transmit information.

Some examples of the audio files and audio software currently sold online include:

  • Reusable sound effects & adlibs
  • Audiobooks
  • Music samples
  • Recorded lectures
  • DJ Software

Companies like inMusic are developing music production software to help meet the increasing demand for audio assets. Learn more about how InMusic was able to use FastSpring’s ecommerce platform to implement a more user-friendly checkout process that increased conversions by 30% within their first month.

4. Games

Indie and veteran developers alike can benefit from the ability to sell their games directly to customers. Traditionally, developers would list their games on marketplaces or work with publishing studios to get their titles in retail stores. One of the drawbacks of this distribution model is having to offer intermediaries (marketplace & publishing studios) a share of the game sales. Selling directly on your ecommerce site helps protect profit margins by allowing you to keep more of your sales revenue in your pocket.

5. Photography

Like ebooks, digital imagery is one of the earliest digital assets sold on the internet. In 2012, Shutterstock licensed more than 70 million photos, vectors, and other digital imagery. The widespread use of images for web design and blog publication means there will be continued demand for high-quality, premium photos.

Photo editing software has also grown in conjunction with the increasing demand for digital assets. Skylum, a global leader in complex photo editing applications for Mac and PC, is all too familiar with this rapid growth. Skylum knew that to take advantage of their growth and maximize sales revenue, they had to transition the bulk of their sales from the Apple Store to their website.

Click here to see how Skylum’s partnership with FastSpring allowed them to reduce costs and increase their average order values.

6. Video

Video seems to be all anyone can talk about right now, and it’s easy to see why. With the advancements in technology, even our smartphones are capable of taking videos that you can share with the world. Another great aspect of selling videos is that a video can reach a much higher engagement rate than text alone can. So it’s easier for viewers to get through the content because all they need to do is click play.

Since videos are highly effective, people are more likely to be willing to pay for them, which makes video a lucrative market for you to start selling them. Whether they are informational, promotional, or educational video offers a multitude of opportunities to sell them online. With FastSpring’s ecommerce platform, selling your videos online can be done directly on your site to provide a seamless experience for your consumers.

Which Digital product is right for you?

With all these options available for selling online, there’s plenty of opportunities to find the best fit for you. Whether you see yourself creating videos or writing ebooks, the technology advances in recent years have made selling digital products online more accessible than ever before. At FastSpring, we want to help you reach your goals with our full-service ecommerce platform. Not only will we help you get started, but we’ll support you every step of the way so you can sell more, stay lean, and compete big.

Hannah Juley

Hannah is a recent graduate from UC-Santa Barbara. Her prior experience in marketing lead her to the FastSpring Marketing Coordinator role. Hannah assists with content, social media and department expenses. Outside of work, you can find her at the beach either playing volleyball or reading a book.