How to Sell Digital Products with Shopify

How to Sell Digital Products with Shopify


Have you ever wanted to sell digital products online? Perhaps you spent some time writing an ebook on dropshipping and want to sell and distribute it yourself but don't know how.

That's why we wrote this post. Today, we'll take a look at how you can sell digital products with Shopify.

Let's get into it.

Is Selling Digital Products Right for You?

The great thing about digital products, is that anyone can sell them. If you have some sort of knack for creativity, you can sell digital copies of your creative work.

Or, say you're an expert in your industry – you can create a video tutorial series that explains a certain topic you're familiar with. The list goes on.

Heck, even if you don't want to create a digital product yourself, there are plenty of private label rights products available that you can resell.

For your reading pleasure: take a look at how one couple earns more than $600,000 per year selling digital products with Shopify and SendOwl.

The Benefits of a Digital Product Business Model

The Benefits of a Digital Product Business Model

The digital product economy is bigger than ever. According to a study by PWC Global Media and Entertainment, digital goods will be a $100 billion market by the end of 2015.

In the music industry alone, digital downloads of albums and singles accounted for $6.9 billion in 2014, which is on par with physical copies of music. That same year, ebook sales reached $5.69 billion according to statista.

If that doesn't excite you, then this might. Here are just a few benefits to selling digital products.

  • Low overhead cost (no warehousing or physical storage required)
  • Unlimited stock (if you want to, you can sell as many digital products as you'd like)
  • International markets (no shipping cost)
  • Higher profit margins (due to low cost of production) 
  • Automated systems to deliver digital goods

In an increasingly digitized world, digital products are becoming so popular you'd be crazy not to sell some sort of digital product.

Getting Started with Digital Products and Shopify

Getting Started with Digital Products and Shopify

With Shopify’s Digital Downloads app, you can start by uploading digital files as products in your store. A download link is given to the customer immediately after checkout, and a link is emailed to them when the order is fulfilled.

Depending on the type of product you're selling and your personal preference, you can automate the entire process so the files get sent to the customer instantly, or, fulfill and send the files yourself.

One of the great things about automating the fulfilment process of your digital products, is that you can earn money while you sleep!

You can also mix and match a product to have physical and digital products, for example:

  • A physical copy of an album would not include a digital attachment
  • A digital copy of an album would be configured to have a digital attachment, but no physical product
  • A digital and physical copy of an album would be configured to have both a digital attachment and a physical product

If you're hosting your files with Shopify, you’ll want to make sure the file is 5GB or less – compressing your files into .zip archives is a good starting point to stay within that limit if you're dealing with big files.

Alternatively, some third-party apps have the ability to connect with file hosting services (like Dropbox) to give you more breathing room for file size.

Consider this: read more about the Shopify Digital Downloads app on our official documentation page.

Third-Party Apps that Bridge the Digital Download Gap

Third-Party Apps that Bridge the Digital Download Gap

In addition to Shopify's Digital Downloads app, a few third-party developers have built some incredible apps to help with digital product delivery.

With just a few clicks, you can install an app of your choosing from the Shopify App Store. From there, each app will take you through a specific onboarding process that will get you up and running, ready to sell in no time.

It's important to note that when looking at these, they all have different features and functionalities. Some are paid while others are free, so be sure to do your research to find which one best suits your needs!


SendOwl is a third party app that lets you sell all kinds of digital goods with Shopify. One of the biggest assets that SendOwl offers is that they host the digital products for you.

Simply upload the file to their servers, choose the product to associate it with, and they take care of the rest.

Whenever a product is sold using SendOwl, it automatically generates and sends a time sensitive download link to the customer. It’s all automated, and no daily management is required.

Sky Pilot

Sky Pilot lets you sell music, movies, pictures and more with your Shopify store.

You can create custom pages on your store where customers can easily download, view, or stream files associated with all their orders.

Customers can even log in to accounts and access any of their past digital purchases. Best of all, it’s all all instant and automated.


Fetch was one of the (if not the) first ever Shopify app – pretty cool! Their digital download delivery service is flawless, and is used by many different Shopify store owners.

All files are hosted with Fetch, and downloads are delivered to customers automatically.


Downtown is one of the simplest, most powerful, and secure digital delivery applications for Shopify.

One of my favourite features of Downtown, is that you can include provisional serial numbers in your digital download orders, as well as limit the number of download attempts per file.

Start today: here's a walkthrough that explains 3 types of digital products you can create within 48 hours.


Now that we've taken a look at how to sell digital products with Shopify, it's your turn to get started with selling!

Let us know in the comments below if you're going to be selling digital products on your Shopify store. 


About The Author

Tucker Schreiber is an entrepreneur and content crafter at Shopify. He writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce.

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