Does choosing a shopping cart to sell digital products on your website have you throwing your hands up at the array of options? Are you wondering how others create store pages or have links to sell products in their blog posts?
The shopping cart options for your website are numerous and can be dizzying, but you don’t have to spend an eternity sorting out the differences. Making a great selection that meets your needs at the right price is attainable. I’m here to help and have done some of the hard work for you.
In my recent post, I reviewed four popular options (GumRoad, e-Junkie, DPD and Easy Digital Downloads), including their key features and pricing structure. Be sure to read this article to get a broad understanding of how these shopping carts work, and their unique features and benefits. In a nutshell, they allow you sell products from your website and facilitate both payment and delivery of the digital product to the customer. They are often referred to as third-party hosting options as your digital products are hosted on a site other than your own.
Most articles you read tell you about a product, but the author may or may not have experience or insight into the product or service as an actual user. My prior article provides details but little insight into actual experience using these shopping cart options. I did speak to my personal experience using Easy Digital Downloads, and yes, I’m a raving fan (see my full review of EDD here), but didn’t have firsthand experience using the other shopping cart options I featured.
This article is a firsthand account from RDNs that are real users of popular options and explores how and why they made their choice, and their experience using the program. You might be surprised at what you read and find yourself motivated and ready to select a great fit for you!
Meet the Experts:
The Shopping Cart Comparison Interview Questions:
Is your website built on Worpress.org, SquareSpace, Wix or something else?
Chrissy (E-Junkie), Lindsay (GumRoad) and Betsy (DPD): WordPress.org
What additional option(s) did you consider before choosing the shopping cart you decided on?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): I heard about E-Junkie from a Facebook Group I was in and saw that it was inexpensive and would serve the purpose I needed. I sometimes struggle with “analysis paralysis” mode, so I decided to instead just go with the first thing that I knew would work for me (and figured I could always change later if needed!).
Lindsay (GumRoad): I used E-Junkie for a while and found it to be not very user-friendly, very clunky and outdated and not easy to use.
Betsy (DPD): Ease of use and set up were my biggest considerations. Price per month was my last consideration.
What was the most important aspect of the shopping cart option you choose (i.e. cost, ease of installation, flexibility/functionality)?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): The most important aspect was the ability to do automatic digital delivery at an inexpensive cost. When I first signed up for E-Junkie, I didn’t have nearly as much web traffic as I do now, so I didn’t want to spend tons of money on a service when I wasn’t sure how many sales I’d have. Since E-Junkie was only $5/month, it was a great low cost investment – I knew I wouldn’t feel anxious about losing money each month if I didn’t have as many sales as I anticipated.
Lindsay (GumRoad): Something simple that even a non-techie person that could set up, an easy way to add discount codes and and easy way to collect emails and be notified when people purchase.
Betsy (DPD): Ease of installation
Did you set up the shopping cart on your website yourself or hire/use web expert?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): I set it up myself. E-Junkie makes it easy by providing a code for the shopping cart that integrates right in with PayPal for payment. It’s as easy as copying and pasting it in your website HTML. There are no fancy bells & whistles like perhaps you get in some other customized cart solutions, but I find it works just fine!
Lindsay (GumRoad): I did the initial setup myself. After a while, I started working with a tech person and she built me an improved page to sell my ebooks but it wasn’t necessary…just an improvement.
Betsy (DPD): I did it myself. That was why I chose it.
How many digital products do you sell? What type of products?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): Using E-Junkie, I currently sell my 30-day nutrition challenge e-book, as well as my PinSmart course (a Pinterest course for fellow RDs). When someone purchases either, they get an email with the product (the pdf of the e-book, or the login info for my course) and I get notification of purchase/payment.
Lindsay (GumRoad): Ebooks. I have 3 available right now.
Betsy (DPD): I have 5 products for sale on my site. They are all nutrition education and 1 on food video.
What is one thing you wish you had known before selecting the option you choose to sell your digital products?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): not applicable (just went for it)
Lindsay (GumRoad): Nothing! I’ve been quite happy with it.
Betsy (DPD): I wish I would have been more knowledgeable about the affiliate program.
What types of reports, sales statistics are available and how do you use them?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): You can view transaction logs that are able to be sorted by product type as well as custom date ranges.
Lindsay (GumRoad): Honestly, I rarely look at statistics, but there are lots available, you can see how many of each ebook is sold during different time ranges, specific days, separate email lists based on who purchased what, etc.
Betsy (DPD): I get a monthly sales report to my inbox. I am also notified for each sale I make. I will have to use the sales reports to report income on my taxes.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with the shopping cart service you selected?
Chrissy (E-Junkie): (1) It’s really easy to create discount codes in E-Junkie if you wish to run a special on a product. For example, on Black Friday I ran a special for 50% off my PinSmart course. You can set things like expiration dates, max number of uses, a flat rate or a percentage rate discount, etc. (2) The platform allows you to set up an affiliate program for your products! I have an affiliate program for my course, and E-Junkie tracks all the affiliate sales. Each month I just run a report that tells me how much to pay my affiliates. You do have to manually pay out everything, but for $5/month, a built-in affiliate option is amazing regardless.
Lindsay (GumRoad): Definitely worth it if you’re looking to sell something. The website is nice and modern, clean, user-friendly and they have great support if you have issues. Also, you can easily create discount codes for individual products and you can also set people up as affliiates and set the % commission they make!
Betsy (DPD): There are several options available. I would make sure you also check the affiliate programs within the platforms. You also must balance the ease of use and set up. If it’s not easy enough to set up yourself, it may not be worth it.
Take the Next Step with Confidence!
If you are considering selling digital products, adding a shopping cart to your website that will allow doesn’t have to be complicated. E-Junkie, GumRoad and DPD are options you should consider, as they are easy to set-up. In addition to selling from your website, consider getting your products in front of a broader audience and selling on a marketplace site. RD2RD is a marketplace site exclusively for RDNs and NDTRs to buy / sell / share original content to each other, health professionals and the public. Check out my article on the differences between selling direct vs. a marketplace site and if RD2RD is a good choice for you.
Be sure to grab a copy of my FREE e-book, “Leveraging Digital Goods: More Money, More Business” with a BONUS getting started checklist. Click here or enter your email, below!