It’s no secret that selling digital products can be incredibly lucrative. For example, digital products such as e-books, courses, and software have low production costs, allow for worldwide sales, and can be automated. However, if you’re not careful, you can quickly make costly mistakes that will cost you time and money.
The main mistakes to avoid when selling digital products are giving up too easily and not promoting your product. Getting your product off the ground can be tough, but it’s important to keep pushing and spreading the word until you start seeing some traction.
This post will explain 19 of the most common mistakes to avoid when selling digital products. You’ll be on your way to successful digital product sales by avoiding these errors. Stay tuned!
1. Giving up too soon if your digital product doesn’t sell
Giving up at the first sign of failure can be tempting, especially when it comes to digital products. However, keep in mind that failure is a normal and necessary part of growth and success.
Don’t give up if your digital product doesn’t perform as well as you had hoped. Instead, use that as a learning opportunity and figure out what went wrong so that you can improve for the future.
Note: Did you know that up to 95% of new products fail? While the statistics may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that failure is not a reflection of your worth as an entrepreneur. Instead, view it as a learning opportunity and use it to improve and grow your business.
2. Not continuing to promote your digital product
Many people mistakenly believe that once a digital product is created, it will continue to sell itself. In reality, successful digital product sales require continued promotion and marketing efforts.
For example, regularly sharing about your product on social media, email marketing campaigns, SEO, ad networks, and influencer marketing can help drive sales immensely.
Don’t let your hard work go to waste by neglecting to promote your digital product. Keep pushing it through various marketing channels and regularly update your audience on any new developments or updates.
To increase the traffic and sales of your website’s visitors, follow these four optimization tips.
Tip 1. Implement SEO techniques
SEO techniques such as using the right keywords in your website copy, following web guidelines to help search engines read your page, and internal linking can improve your rankings in search results as well as many other things.
Organic traffic, people who visit your website via search engines, are valuable visitors. They are more likely to convert as they have search intent, which means they have been looking searching for products like yours, and they have found you.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, Ahrefs has a handy guide.
Tip 2. Use high-quality images & videos
Optimising images for web
Avoid using low-quality images throughout your website, as it can turn visitors away. You need to find the perfect middle ground between quality and speed.
Before you upload any large, high-quality product images, make sure you compress them for the web. This way, they’ll load on smartphones quickly.
Compressing images for the web is very important for 2 reasons:
- Maintains a fast loading time for your page (good for SEO and improving conversion rate)
- Maintains the quality of the image
Lifestyle pictures also make it easier for users to connect with your product. For example, if you’re selling skateboards, images of people using your product in a skatepark are powerful imagery.
It’s really good to show videos. As you probably know, videos are the most connective and engaging forms of content. The proof is in the pudding; just look at TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. They are a few of the top social media platforms, among others.
- Show how to use your product
- Show other customers using it
- Explain benefits
Tip 3. Paid advertising
Make sure that you take advantage of paid advertising. Meta ads, Google ads and TikTok ads are the favourites among these.
TikTok ads are the biggest upcoming ads platform at the moment. Meta ads are the leading platform with the best conversion rates. Don’t sleep on Google ads, they are great but not as scalable as Meta or TikTok.
Tip 4. Craft powerful & clear CTAs
The CTAs you use throughout your website should compel visitors to take action. Keep it as short as possible while being clear with the messaging.
They should be prominent, especially on your homepage and product page. Using contrasting colors can help CTAs stand out.
It’s actually important that you choose the right CTA. An example from my experience: On Facebook ads when I was selling some digital products in the Filmmaking industry, using the “Buy now” button had less of a click-through rate than the “Learn more” button. The “Learn more” button increased revenue by quite a lot, probably around 25%.
3. Trying to replicate others’ success
It can be tempting to try and replicate the success of others, but remember that their path to success is unique to them. For instance, if one digital product creator has found success with a certain type of product or design, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you too.
Focus on creating a unique digital product that reflects your design and vision. Finding your niche in the market will help set you apart from competitors and attract loyal customers.
4. Overwhelming yourself with too many tasks
One step at a time.
When starting, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all the tasks necessary for successful digital product sales. From designing the product to promoting it and handling customer inquiries, there’s a lot to keep track of.
But don’t try to tackle everything at once. This can overwhelm you and cause you to freeze in your workflow.
Take it slow and focus on one task at a time. Prioritize the most important tasks for your business and delegate or outsource the rest if necessary.
5. Rushing the creation of your digital product
Some may be tempted to rush through the creation process of their digital product to help drive sales. However, that can lead to a subpar or incomplete product that won’t attract customers.
Take the time to create and test your digital product before putting it on the market. For example, you may consider releasing it as a beta version and gathering feedback from beta testers before launching the final version.
That will not only ensure customer satisfaction but also increase the chances of positive reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and repeat purchases.
6. You’re selling features before benefits
When promoting your digital product, focus on its benefits and how it can solve customers’ pain points rather than just listing its features. This is a proven method that outsells features. That will help showcase the value of your product and increase conversions.
For example, instead of just saying that your productivity app has a calendar feature, highlight how it can help improve time management and increase efficiency for its users.
Be sure to read our guide on “selling benefits first, not features” that we created for more tips and tricks on selling your products’ benefits. It contains things such as Apple’s famous example:
Three examples of switching features for benefits:
- Portable media player > 1000 songs in your pocket
- Waterproof phone case > Stress-free pictures at the beach
- 25 GB of cloud space > All your files in one place
7. Not Automating the Process
Another mistake to avoid is not taking advantage of automation for your digital product sales. Failing to automate certain processes can lead to much extra time and effort spent on delivering products, sending invoices, and following up with customers. Learn more about automating your Shopify store.
Utilize automation tools and apps to streamline your workflow and easily handle tasks such as digital product delivery like the Downloadable Digital Assets Shopify app.
8. Neglecting the text & media on your landing page
The text on your landing page is just as important as its design in attracting customers. Take the time to carefully craft the language and messaging, highlighting your digital product’s unique selling points and benefits.
Make sure to read our tips on building an eye-catching landing page.
This is important because this is where you will sell your product. You want your customers to get a good first impression of the page and be enticed to buy.
Just look at the pro stores like Apple and Amazon and see how they do it for inspiration.
Using an A/B test method on your landing page is great to see what elements result in more conversions. A/B testing involves creating two versions of a landing page and then comparing their performance, such as the number of conversions or time spent on the page.
That way, you can then make adjustments and use the version that performed the best.
9. Not tracking your data correctly
Tracking your data and analytics is crucial for monitoring the success of your digital product sales and identifying areas for improvement. For instance, Google Analytics can provide valuable insights such as where your website traffic is coming from and what pages are the most popular.
This gives you an indication of what works and what doesn’t.
If you don’t track your data correctly, you could miss out on valuable information to improve your digital product sales. For example, you may miss out on noticing a trend of customers leaving the checkout page and losing potential sales.
Be sure to follow our guide on setting up Google Analytics for your Shopify store to accurately track and analyze your data.
10. Not using Shopify as your selling platform
There may be a temptation to sell your digital products through other platforms or methods, such as your website or marketplaces like Etsy. However, using Shopify as your selling platform offers numerous benefits, such as:
- Own your domain and website (marketplaces are just rented space and you need to abide by their rules)
- Lower fees (marketplaces have high commission fees)
- Easy setup for anyone (no developers needed)
- Largest app store in the world
- The most trusted and powerful digital downloads app is on Shopify
Learn more about why Shopify is the favourite platform to sell digital products.
Not only will Shopify save you time and hassle, but it will also likely result in more sales and higher profits, and a more valuable business.
You can actually use Shopify’s backend system to sell on other website platforms such as Wix and Webflow using the Buy Button channel. This lets you utilize the benefits of Shopify while not having to convert your whole site.
11. Not setting up email flows
Did you know that up to 69.9% of online shopping carts are abandoned? That’s a lot of potential lost sales.
Setting up automated email flows can help increase customer engagement and increase sales. For example, you can set up an abandoned cart email flow to remind customers who have added items to their cart but didn’t complete their purchase.
You can use email marketing tools like Klaviyo to easily set up these flows and track their success through analytics. That way, you can make any necessary adjustments to optimize your email marketing strategy and drive more sales.
12. Not offering a free sample first
Giving potential customers a free sample of your digital product can boost their confidence in its value and result in more conversions. It’s easy to do this with digital products, so take advantage of this opportunity.
If you don’t offer a free sample, it may take longer for customers to trust and invest in your product if there aren’t many reviews or social proof.
A good method to do this is by allowing them to have a small part of your product to try or giving away a free digital product actually brings a lot of sales. Trust us! We know from our data.
13. You’re using fake reviews
Using fake reviews may seem like an easy way to attract customers and boost sales, but it’s actually insanely harmful to your brand and reputation in the long run.
For example, customers who buy your product based on fake reviews may be disappointed and leave negative reviews, leading to a decline in sales.
This also destroys your brand’s reputation as being scammy, and it’s very hard to build that back up.
Instead, focus on building genuine trust with your audience through authentic reviews and customer testimonials. You can use an app like Judge.me, Loox, or Trustpilot to build valuable proof that customers love your product.
14. Pricing your product incorrectly
Pricing your digital products correctly is crucial for maximizing profits and attracting customers. Generally, the higher the price of your product, the more sales information, social proof, and persuasion are needed.
For example, a $297 online course should have a video, sales page, and other persuasive information to convince customers of its value. By contrast, a $3 digital download may just need basic product information and a clear call to action.
Be sure to research competitors’ prices and the overall market demand for your product to price and optimize your sales accurately.
Shopify has written an extensive guide on how to price your product correctly.
15. Not researching your niche
It’s important to thoroughly research your niche to understand the industry, competitors, and target customers. If you don’t do that, you may miss important information, such as your target customer’s pain points and the keywords they use to search for products like yours.
Conducting niche research can also help you understand how to build organic traffic and effectively market your digital product.
Here are a few tips for researching your niche:
- Use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner to find popular search terms in your industry.
- Evaluate your competitors’ websites and social media presence to see how they position themselves in the market.
- Check out forums and online communities related to your niche to get a better understanding of your target audience.
Social media is a powerful tool for driving traffic and sales, especially in certain niches. For example, beauty and fashion niches rely heavily on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Be sure to create profiles and actively engage with your audience on the social media platforms that are most relevant to your niche. That can help you attract potential customers and drive traffic to your website and sales pages.
Plus, you can integrate your Shopify store to Instagram, so it’s easier for customers to buy directly from Instagram.
17. Lack of consistent branding
Having clear and consistent branding can help boost customer trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to more sales. That means using the same colors, images, and overall aesthetic across all platforms, from your website to social media to packaging for physical products.
Consistent branding can also make your business appear more professional and established, leading customers to view it as a reliable option.
Learn more about brand identity designing with Shopify.
18. Not making sure your product is trending
Before investing time and resources into creating a digital product, it’s important to ensure there’s demand for it in the market.
One way to do that is by checking Google Trends to see if there’s a spike in searches for your product or a related topic. You can also evaluate your competitors’ sales and search for customer reviews to gauge interest in similar products.
Asking yourself if someone would actually need or want your product is also helpful in determining its potential success.
19. Not preparing for others reselling your files
Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to completely prevent others from reselling your digital products. However, there are steps you can take to minimize it.
Using the Downloadable Digital Assets Shopify app can also provide added protection. Learn more about how to help prevent users from sharing your digital products.
The app includes protection features such as:
- Block multiple IP addresses accessing digital products
- Stop sending downloads to fraudulent detected orders
- Set limitations to stop people from sharing with others
- PDF Stamping
It’s important to stay aware of reselling and take steps to prevent it, as it can harm your sales and reputation. However, it’s also important to remember no preventive measure is foolproof, so it’s best to combine multiple strategies for the best protection.
If you do find that someone is reselling your products, you can try to contact them and threaten legal action against your trademark or copyright, or you could report them to Google, or report them to Shopify. Shopify is brilliant at taking down possible fraud if you have proof it’s your content.
That’s a comprehensive amount of information directly from Shopify experts (us) that have been in the game for many years. I hope it helps you in your journey to selling digital products!
If you have any more questions, please contact us.