Products such as books or CDs can be sold using any online shop software, but what about digital products like eBooks or MP3s? With ePages it’s easy to sell these products too.
Please note that some of the functions presented below are not included in every shop package. Ask your provider for more information.
An ePages download shop lets you sell any type of file to customers anywhere in the world. Whether you are a musician wanting to let fans download your latest songs, or an author wanting to sell your latest book, a download shop lets you offer all types of files for sale.
How does the ePages download shop work from the customer’s point of view?
A download shop is basically a normal online shop, but with the important difference that in addition to physical goods, it (also) sells digital products for download. Depending on which package you booked with your provider, you can offer both physical products and downloadable products in the same shop.
For your customers and for you as a seller, using an ePages download shop is very easy and convenient. Customers browse your shop in the usual way and can add downloadable products to their shopping basket. For most file formats, you can provide your customers with a preview of the file, e.g. a few pages from an eBook in PDF format. If you sell MP3 files, your shop system will even automatically create an audio sample of the first seconds of the files.
When customers go to checkout their items, they complete their order in the usual way, after which they receive an e-mail with a download link. As a seller, you can specify whether this mail is sent to the customer immediately after the order process is completed or only after payment. You can also specify how often the file may be downloaded by the customer and for how long the download link will function.
What products can be sold in a download shop?
Any type of file can be sold in your download shop – the possibilities are endless.
|Product||Examples of file formats|
|eBooks (novels, non-fiction books, magazines)||pdf, epub, mobi, rtf, txt|
|Case studies and analyses|
|Photographs||jpg, png, raw|
|Website templates||html, css, js|
|Music samples||mp3, wav, flac|
|Sound effects||mp3, wav, flac|
|Audio books||p3, flac|
|Videos||avi, wmv, mkv, mp4|
|Icons for websites||psd, png, gif|
|Document templates||doc, odt|
What are the benefits of opening a download shop?
To understand the massive potential of download shops, we need only look at the phenomenon of digitalisation. In a lot of sectors, digitalisation seems unstoppable. Books are a good example – for more than 500 years, books were pretty much the only way to read long texts, but over the last few years this situation has changed dramatically. Slowly but surely, sales of audio books and eBooks are beginning to overtake those of the conventional printed books. According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, eBooks are on course to outsell printed editions in the UK by 2018. Changes in music sales are also remarkable, with MP3 downloads and streaming being very popular. By the start of 2013, more than 25 billion (!) songs had already been sold on Apple iTunes alone. It is virtually certain therefore that digitalisation will continue to proceed apace and that this is not a short-lived trend.
If we compare the running of a download shop with the running of a conventional online shop, the selling of digital products has several advantages:
- If you ship physical goods yourself, you have to visit your warehouse every day. If you only sell downloadable products, you can work from anywhere – all you need is a laptop and Internet access.
- You can organise your day as you wish and are not bound by dates and times with shipping carriers.
- Since your downloadable products are stored in the Cloud, you do not need a warehouse for them, thus saving rent and related costs.
- It is easy to sell your files to customers anywhere in the world.
- You do not need to pack any packages and there are no costs for packaging and shipping.
- When you sell a physical product, once it leaves your warehouse you have to reorder it, whereas a file can be sold an infinite number of times.
- If a conventional shop is suddenly very successful, it can be difficult for the seller to meet customer demand. For the operators of download shops this is not a problem – digital products permit rapid growth.
What are the benefits of having your own shop as compared with selling on marketplaces?
For many types of downloadable products, established marketplaces already exist. Someone with an Apple device who wants to purchase music, usually does, for example, on iTunes. The benefits of marketplaces such as iTunes and Amazon are that your customers already visit these sites and generally already trust the seller in question.
However, it is still worth selling products from your own download shop as well as via these marketplaces due to the following benefits:
- You can retain 100% of the profit after deducting your costs, whereas marketplaces generally retain a certain percentage of your revenue.
- You operate independently of the conditions on the marketplace, which can change at any moment. You can also specify your own prices, which on iTunes, for example, is not always possible.
- You can design your shop as you see fit and, therefore, can create a more emotional purchasing experience that better suits your brand.
- In your own download shop you have more control over search engine optimisation.
- If you sell your files only via marketplaces, you cannot establish a direct relationship with your customers, but with your own download shop you have direct contact with them.
Already have an idea?
If you already have an idea what you could sell in your download shop, why not create your own shop today at one of our partners?