The Best Digital Products and Goods: Ideas for Profitable Online Sales

Robirt Kong
By Robirt Kong

Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 37 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, complexities like shipping & returns, inventory management, packaging, manufacturing costs, and so on need to be accounted for in order to facilitate the sale of these physical products. Factor in the statistic that 80 percent of all newly started ecommerce companies fail, and you can get a sense of just how challenging selling physical products online can be.

Digital products, on the other hand, are easier to take to market. Their digital format means that customers can easily get access to their products after a quick download of the digital file. Additionally, because digital products exist as either a digital asset or piece of software, they can easily be reproduced and repeatedly sold without requiring your business to deal with manufacturers.

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 short list of popular digital products that you can start selling today.

1. Software

A report conducted by reveals that software contributed more than $1.14 trillion to the total US 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 identify the right talent with the ability 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 who 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 site 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 have 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 quickly 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 and the rise of the internet have allowed authors to self-publish their own works without having to partner with a publisher.

3. Audio Files & Music Production Software

Audio has always been a powerful medium for communicating messages. Given customer’s increasing preference for video, we now place an even greater emphasis on the value audiotracks 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 really take advantage of their growth and maximize sales revenue, they had to transition the bulk of their sales from the Apple Store to their own website.

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

Digital Trends to keep an eye on for the future.

1. Augmented reality & virtual reality technology

Emerging virtual reality and augmented reality technology is changing the way consumers shop online. VR & AR technologies will place a greater emphasis on personalized shopping experiences with 40% of consumers already reporting that they’d be willing to spend more on a product if it offered an augmented reality experience. Let’s say you’re browsing an online furniture store looking for the perfect sofa. Imagine how easy the selection process would be if the store provided you with the ability to display a 3-D model of the actual sofa in your living room. Thanks to augmenting reality technology this vision is becoming more realistic every day.

2. Internet-of-Things (IoT) services & solutions

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) could be best described as a network of interconnected physical devices that collect and share data with each other. What’s particularly interesting about IoT technology is that it sits at the intersection of both digital and physical products. We’ve seen IoT applications in smart homes and wearable technology, but if the trend hits mainstream adoption we could see a greater interest in the software powering IoT devices.

Digital Businesses are going digital.

Every digital business has unique needs when it comes to the sale of their software, SaaS, or digital products, that’s why having an all-in-one ecommerce solution with a complete set of features and functionality can help you monetize your product as quickly as possible.

Looking for more tips to help you better monetize your digital product? Download our whitepaper, 7 Ways to Increase Global Sales for Digital Products.

Robirt Kong

Robirt is a recent graduate from U.C. Santa Barbara. After spending six months at FastSpring as an intern, Robirt joined the team full-time as a Digital Marketing Specialist. Robirt combines his interest in digital marketing strategy and analytics to assist the team in a variety of projects including Content, SEO, and Paid Media. Outside of work, you can find him spending time with friends, enjoying Downtown Santa Barbara, and learning how to program.
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