How To Sell Digital Downloads On Shopify

Published on 25 February 2022
Updated 26 April 2023
Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll be exploring how you can create digital products/downloads and sell them on Shopify.

Here is a video to show you exactly how to do this. If you want to see a step-by-step guide, please scroll down.

1. Create Some Digital Products

The first thing you’re going to need to do is to create a digital product. A digital product is essentially any product you can sell online that doesn’t have physical components.

That means it has to be something that you cannot physically touch, smell or feel. That means it could be a video, audio, or even an eBook. You can see a wonderful guide here on how to find some digital products to sell.

Some great examples of digital products you can create include courses, e-books, pictures, music, research and data, tutorials, software programs, recipes and lots of other things.

The main feature of these products is that they are digital, and are available for purchase. The great thing about digital products is that you don’t need a lot of resources to create one. 

If, for example, you decide on creating an e-book or a course, all you need to have is sufficient knowledge about what you’re selling. Once you’ve got that knowledge and can put it down in easily digestible formats, you’ve got yourself a digital product. 

Now that you have a digital product, you need to find a way to sell it, right? You can’t just put it on social media and hope that your target audience will find it. Sure, some of your friends and family might purchase it, but the revenue from that will certainly not be extremely impressive, will it? 

2. Start A Shopify Store

The easiest way to sell your digital product and reach your target audience is by hitching your wagon to an e-commerce platform.

The best platform to hitch your wagon to is Shopify. For many reasons, Shopify has blown up the past 5 years and become the biggest eCommerce platform in the world.

However, Shopify isn’t a free platform. If you’re going to get a Shopify store, you’re going to first need to sign up to the platform and start a free trial. You will need to set up a plan ready for when your free trial ends, but that’s easy enough.

But since you’re just selling digital products, a Basic plan should be enough for you.

Add your products in Shopify

Once you’ve set the store up, you will need to add the digital product to your store. Before you add the product to your store, you need to uncheck the shipping checkbox. This tells Shopify that you’re selling a digital product and not a physical product. 

To add a new product to your store, you need to go over to your Shopify dashboard, select ‘Products‘ and then select ‘Add product‘.

Then you have to scroll down to the shipping section and uncheck the box next to ‘This is a physical product‘. Continue to fill in the other boxes for your products, then finally, select save and you’ll be done.

How to protect your digital products

By now, you’re probably wondering about an obvious problem with digital products. 

What’s to stop someone from pirating your product? What’s to stop someone from purchasing your course and selling it for 80 cents on the dollar and destroying your market prospects? 

Sadly, that’s a real problem that many people who sell digital products face. That’s why a lot of them don’t sell their products by themselves on social media since there’s no way to control their product once it’s out there in the wild.  However, it’s not a problem that cannot be solved. You can solve that problem by killing two birds with one stone. 

Shopify requires people who sell digital products to use a third-party app from the Shopify App Store to provide a link where customers can download the digital product once it has been sold. 

3. Install A Digital Downloads App

There are many apps that you can use to sell these products, but the best of them by far is Downloadable Digital Assets. The reason being is that they provide the best solutions to prevent customers from sharing their digital downloads.

Go to the Shopify App store and download the Downloadable Digital Assets app. The app comes with a free plan and has a 7-day free trial for the paid plans if you want to play with their features.

4. Upload your digital products

Once you have installed the app onto your Shopify, you now have to upload your assets to it. It’s quite simple, all you need to do is:

  1. Go to your Shopify dashboard
  2. Go to the ‘Apps‘ page
  3. Click on ‘Downloadable Digital Assets
  4. Go to the ‘Assets‘ page
  5. Click the ‘Upload new assets‘ button
  6. Upload your digital products here

5. Attach those assets to the products

After doing that, you have to attach your assets to your products, so that people can download them.

  1. Go to the ‘Assets‘ page
  2. Click on your newly uploaded asset
  3. Select the drop-down menu ‘Attach this asset to products‘ and attach the asset to products

All done!

It’s as simple as that. Now your products are ready to be delivered automatically by email. Once the assets are attached to the products then you’re set to go.

Setup your settings to get more features

The next step is to update your settings. The great thing about Digital downloadable Assets is that it takes steps to stop any attempt by buyers to defraud you. That means that when you are selling digital products to your customers, you can protect your files from being shared.

The app features incredible settings such as:

These limitations give you options to only let the customer download the files a specific number of times, or have a timer until the order expires.

If you’re the type that’s building a brand around your products, the app also allows you to customize your emails, and use your branding exclusively to drive traffic and sales. 

Lastly, the app helps prevent chargebacks and fraud on your digital products. 

But installing Downloadable Digital Assets isn’t the last thing to do when you want to sell a digital product. You also have to market it. People won’t purchase it just because it’s on Shopify! 

Market your digital products

Here are some of the ways to bring the attention of your target audience to your digital product. 

  • You can run a discount sale. Believe it or not, people love getting discounts — sometimes just for the sake of the discounts.
  • Post testimonials that talk about the value of your product, and add high-quality images that represent the value of the product. 
  • You can start an affiliate marketing program, by giving other bloggers and website owners a commission in exchange for driving traffic towards your product. 
  • Bundling Is an effective way to get people to pay attention to your products. If you have a lot of digital products to sell, you can offer a package that includes all of them at a discount.

It’s definitely not easy to get a career in selling digital products, but once you have the right tools such as Downloadable Digital Assets, the sky is your limit.

Avatar for Ben


CollabPay Founder, lead developer and amateur bowler.