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Shopify Unleashed: How to Sell Digital Products Successfully

Business partners checking how to sell digital products on Shopify.

10 min read.

Are you ready to capitalize on the lucrative world of digital products? Shopify, a leading eCommerce platform, empowers businesses of all sizes to sell digital content with ease and efficiency.

This comprehensive guide on how to sell digital products on Shopify will walk you through the process of setting up, optimizing, and promoting your online storefront, ensuring a successful and profitable journey - just like I did with this finance eBook store.

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Key Takeaways

  • Understand customer preferences and potential niches for selling profitable digital products with Shopify.

  • Utilize apps, SEO strategies, marketing tactics, reporting features & legal considerations to optimize store performance & increase sales.

  • Learn from successful case studies and devise suitable pricing strategies while overcoming common challenges in digital file sales.

Table of Contents

The banner ads and some links in this blog post contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and buy, I may receive a referral commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own and each brand featured is individually selected.

Understanding Digital Products

Various digital product ideas on the Shopify dashboard including digital file update, stock photos, and digital templates.

Digital products are items that can be electronically distributed, eliminating the need for physical production or delivery, making them a perfect fit for an online store.

When they start selling digital products or exclusive content, businesses can benefit from high profit margins and eliminate manufacturing costs.

Success on Shopify hinges on determining the right digital products to sell, which requires careful research, creativity, and an understanding of your target demographic.

Examples of easy digital products, as opposed to physical goods, include:

  • Digital art

  • Templates

  • Music

  • Online courses

  • Software


To give you an idea, Production Music Live offers online courses and an extensive library of audio samples. The market demand for software and mobile apps is projected to grow until 2030, making it an opportune time to venture into the digital product business.

6 Profitable Digital Products To Sell (+ How To Start)

Choosing which digital goods to sell requires careful analysis of potential niches and an understanding of customer preferences. From digital art and graphic design products for website design, marketing, and social media content, to high-quality stock images and digital photography, the sky’s the limit when it comes to selling digital products profitable.

Benefits of Selling Digital Products on Shopify

The global reach of potential buyers is thanks to the best Shopify apps.

To deliver digital products to your customers, Shopify offers:

  • Cost efficiency

  • Attractive profit margins

  • Global reach

  • Easy access for customers

The monthly Shopify cost varies from $5 to $399 per month depending on your business size. Moreover, an app is necessary to sell digital goods, and Shopify’s own digital downloads app is free - more on this below.

Start for free, then enjoy $1/month for 3 months.

Using Shopify to sell digital products helps businesses cut costs associated with raw materials, production, packaging, shipping, storage, staffing, and logistics.

The digital product app on Shopify allows businesses to have a global reach, and customers can access their own digital products quickly and conveniently.

Some examples of successful online businesses include Oh Happy Day, Intuition Backgrounds, Bible Belles, and Wild North Flowers.

Setting Up Your Shopify Store for Digital Products

Successful Shopify stores that sell digital products.

When looking at how to sell digital products on Shopify, the first step is setting up a Shopify store. For a seamless process, refer to the Shopify Tutorial, which provides a step-by-step guide to creating a Shopify store, an SEO guide, and a store launch checklist.

Selecting a responsive theme that aligns with your branding and products is an important step in setting up your store. Shopify App Store offers free and premium themes, such as:

  • Dawn (free)

  • Flow (paid)

  • Publisher (free)

  • Impact (paid)

  • Studio (free)

Customize the look and feel of your store by choosing from 100+ free or
paid customizable, responsive themes.

For a personalized design experience, consider using the Shogun Page Builder, which provides an intuitive and customizable design platform.

To further enhance your store, follow these steps:

  1. Add a custom domain to help develop a recognizable brand identity for your customers.

  2. Once your store is set up, configure the domain, theme, payment methods, sales channels, and checkout process.

  3. Launch your store.

7 Ways to Start a Business Without Quitting Your Day Job.

Using Digital Downloads Apps on Shopify

Uploading and managing digital versions on Shopify Admin.

Shopify offers a variety of digital download apps, both free and paid, including:

  • Digital Downloads (free)

  • Filemonk

  • EDP

  • Courses Plus

  • DDA

The Digital Download app is the best option for a business owner to automatically send digital files to buyers - this is the app we are using for the Control All Finances eBook store.


Digital Downloads is a Shopify-developed app that enables merchants to offer non-physical items in their stores. The app allows for the sale of products up to 5GB in size with no monthly subscription fees, and Shopify provides support for the app.

To upload digital files, the digital downloads app dashboard supports the following file types:

  • PDFs

  • JPEGs

  • ZIPs

  • and other file types

The DDA Digital Downloads app is a paid-for application that provides file protection features when you add digital files, including watermarked content and restrictions on the number of IP addresses from which a product can be downloaded.

Consider the features and requirements of your file folders when choosing a digital downloads app for your Shopify store.

Uploading and Managing Digital Products on Shopify

Content marketing for high-demand physical products using a Shopify website.

To upload a digital product to your Shopify store, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Shopify store.

  2. Select ‘Products’ from the left side of the dashboard.

  3. Click the ‘Add product’ button, which will take you to a new screen.

  4. Provide all necessary information about the product and upload it to Shopify.

  5. Make sure the Digital Downloads app is installed to enable the selling of digital products on your store.

A screenshot on how to add digital files on the Shopify Dashboard.

Shopify allows for automatic delivery or manual delivery of digital files. To customize delivery options:

  1. Navigate to Digital Downloads under Apps.

  2. Select your digital product then click on Fulfillment.

  3. Choose whether to send files after purchase automatically or manually.

  4. Set download limits or tick unlimited downloads.

  5. Click Apply.

A screenshot on how to set fulfillment settings and download limit for your digital product.

Note: Shopify allows uploading digital products up to a maximum file size of 5GB. Anything larger than this will not be supported.

Optimizing Your Digital Product Listings

Shopify offers free educational materials and a comprehensive tutorial area.

Creating captivating and efficient product descriptions that set your product apart from competitors and enhance visibility in search engine results necessitates writing compelling copy for your own website.

When creating product descriptions for digital products on Shopify, focus on your ideal buyer, use vivid and descriptive language, differentiate from competitors, avoid duplicate content, and highlight your unique selling proposition.

Get Shopify's Ultimate Guide to Creating Buyer Personas

Implementing a proper SEO strategy can enhance your Shopify store’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages, leading to more organic traffic, increased sales, and revenue.

Optimizing your product details listings and making use of Shopify SEO can help draw in more potential customers and boost conversion rates.

Read Shopify's Complete E-commerce SEO Guide

Ensure you provide detailed product descriptions and accurate pricing information to make it easy for customers to understand what they will get when purchasing your digital products.

By optimizing your digital product listings, you can create a seamless shopping experience for your customers and drive growth for your online store.

Marketing Strategies for Digital Products on Shopify

A graphic designer using Shopify's powerful tools to grow customer purchases.

Successful sales of your digital products on Shopify depend on the implementation of effective marketing strategies. Some powerful ways to promote your premium content include:

  • Content marketing

  • Social media

  • Email campaigns

  • Affiliate programs

Utilizing these marketing channels can help you engage a wider audience, boost sales and online reviews to the relevant audiences.

Offering samples or free trials for digital products can be a valuable strategy to attract new customers. Research has shown that:

  • 81% of consumers would try a product after obtaining a sample

  • Samples can be used as lead magnets to expand your email list and nurture prospects over time

  • Offering samples or free trials is a good idea to showcase the value of your online business and convert potential customers into buyers.

Monitor your marketing efforts and analyze data to optimize your strategies for better results. Understanding which strategies work allows for data-driven adjustments to your online marketplace, improving the performance of your digital product store on Shopify.

Analyzing Sales and Performance Data

A website owner using a third-party app to check inventory limits.

Analyzing sales and performance data on Shopify enables you to identify trends, detect issues with products or marketing, and make data-driven adjustments for improved conversions.

Shopify’s reporting features allow for tracking of sales and traffic data. Analyzing this data enables you to make decisions backed by information, fostering growth for your digital file store.

Shopify Analytics provides insight into what strategies are successful, enabling strategic alterations to store pages that can significantly improve conversion rates. By regularly reviewing your sales and performance data, you can identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to optimize your store’s performance.

Carefully analyzing sales and traffic data can also help you uncover potential issues with your digital products or marketing efforts. Addressing these issues promptly can enhance your store’s performance and increase sales.

Expanding Your Digital Product Portfolio

An entrepreneur using email templates to get existing customers to spend more.

Diversifying your value proposition and portfolio on Shopify can greatly increase your revenue and cater to various niches and customer preferences.

Some current trending niches for digital products on Shopify's user-friendly interface include:

  • Online courses

  • Baking

  • Copywriting

  • Yoga

  • Graphic design

  • Workout training

  • Photography

  • Playing musical instruments

  • Biography

To decide which digital product ideas to add to your Shopify store, consider these tips:

  1. Analyze your target audience

  2. Conduct market research

  3. Include your expertise and resources

  4. Evaluate demand and competition

  5. Seek customer feedback

  6. Test and iterate

Continuous research and innovation keep you ahead of trends, enabling you to offer unique, sought-after digital assets to your customers.

Collaborate with other creators or experts in your industry to create joint digital templates or offer their products on your Shopify store. This can help you tap into their audience and expand your product offerings.

By diversifying your digital product portfolio, you can cater to a wider range of customers and increase your earning potential.

Looking for free online training with industry experts? Visit Shopify Academy to get access to courses and workshops designed to help you build your business.

Legal Considerations and Compliance

A man searching for the best practices required to sell digital products on Shopify.

When selling digital assets on e-commerce platforms, be aware of various legal considerations that may apply. These might encompass:

  • Tax obligations

  • Adhering to local and international laws

  • Drafting Terms of Service and Privacy Policy documents

  • Protecting intellectual property rights

Enabling sales tax collection on Shopify requires the following steps:

  1. Register with state authorities

  2. Conduct a thorough review of the requirements

  3. Ensure you have the necessary registrations

  4. Comply with all applicable laws and regulations

Free Tool - Terms and Conditions Generator

With digital product sales, remember to protect your intellectual property rights. Here are some actions you can take to ensure protection:

  1. Register copyrights and trademarks to establish legal ownership and protection.

  2. Use nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements to protect against unauthorized use or distribution.

  3. Implement security measures, such as watermarks and codes, to track downloads and prevent copyright infringement or unauthorized reselling.

You should consult with a legal professional to ensure your online shop complies with tax and legal requirements, but also to protect your work from unauthorized use or plagiarism.

Case Studies: Successful Shopify Stores Selling Digital Files

Shopify themes optimized to increase profit margin.

Several successful Shopify stores showcase the potential of selling digital goods. For instance, the following stores have all built thriving businesses using the Shopify platform:

  • Pixel Surplus

  • One Tree Planted

  • The Luxe Lens

These case studies illustrate the effectiveness of strategic planning, impactful marketing, and innovative product offerings.

Learn from Successful Brands on Shopify

Entrepreneur John D. Saunders generated over $10,000 on launch day from selling his site design accelerator and SOPs courses. He has been hugely successful. Not only does he own a six-figure company, but his online courses have also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

These case studies serve as inspiration for aspiring digital product entrepreneurs. Studying their strategies and accomplishments can guide you to emulate their success, leading to a flourishing digital product delivery business on Shopify.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Selling Digital Products

A man opening a Shopify account with a free trial.

Selling digital items on e-commerce platforms can present challenges such as:

  • Inadequate product descriptions

  • Insufficient promotion

  • Integration with ERP

  • Driving traffic to the Shopify store

  • Automating repetitive tasks

  • Identifying the right customers

  • Selecting the appropriate platform

Overcoming these challenges requires a clear understanding of your target audience, crafting compelling product descriptions, and executing effective marketing strategies.

Addressing pricing challenges for potential buyers on Shopify involves:

  • Taking into account perceived value

  • Researching competitor pricing

  • Factoring in the cost of creation

  • Offering discounts or promotions

  • Experimenting with different pricing strategies

Analyzing market trends and customer preferences can help you devise the most suitable pricing strategy for your digital items.

Free Tool - Privacy Policy Generator

To address technical issues when you sell digital products online, ensure that the settings in Shopify’s digital downloads app are configured correctly. Also, it’s necessary to guard your intellectual property rights and adhere to all relevant laws and regulations while selling virtual products.


A man starting a free plan on the best platform to sell digital products or digital music.

In conclusion, selling digital products on Shopify offers a wealth of potential for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this lucrative market.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can set up your store, optimize your digital product listings, implement effective marketing strategies, and overcome common challenges to create a thriving online business.

The future is digital, and with Shopify’s powerful eCommerce platform, you have the tools and resources needed to succeed in this fast-growing industry.

So, why wait? Start your journey today and unlock the full potential of selling digital products on Shopify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sell digital products on Shopify?

You can easily sell digital products on Shopify by creating a product page and installing the Digital Downloads app. It's a straightforward process that doesn't require any tech skills or a big budget. You can also offer services and downloadable files, such as digital art, video, or audio clips.

How do I set up shipping on Shopify for digital products?

To set up shipping on Shopify for digital products, use the Digital Downloads app and follow the steps to select the fulfillment type, and click apply and save.

How do I sell a PDF on Shopify?

To sell a PDF on Shopify, open the DDA app from the Apps page. Upload the PDFs to the Assets page and attach them to your products. Finally, publish them to your store and you'll be ready to sell PDFs.

What types of digital products can be sold on Shopify?

Shopify allows users to sell a wide variety of digital products, including art, templates, music, online courses, and software.

What are the benefits of selling digital products on Shopify?

Selling digital goods on Shopify provides a cost-efficient and highly profitable solution with global reach and convenient access for customers.

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