What if you want to sell some digital content easily?
What if you don't know everything that goes into creating an e-commerce solution? What if you don't even have a lot of products to sell? What if you aren't ready to manage an entire “shop” plugin on WordPress? Digital transactions don't have to be complicated.
If you've already created digital content and now just need a way to sell it, you may want to look at some simple digital store solutions. These aren't really stores as much as they are outsourced shopping carts.
Simple Digital Transactions
I want to introduce you to a few solutions that are out there that don't try to be full e-commerce solutions. Instead, they're focused on being your shopping cart.
Now let's be clear, this isn't anything super new – Paypal has been letting you put buttons onto your web pages for a long time. But what if you want more than a simple auto-email to go out with a file link?
What if you want a way to protect a few posts based on if someone paid? What if you wanted to charge per post? Or charge monthly?
The Technical Option – FoxyCart
If you are technical, and don't mind dropping in some code into your WordPress site, then FoxyCart might be for you.
I say this because as I signed up for the account and started going thru their onboarding, it was clear nothing about this would be fast. I filled out three or four forms before I got to the screen where they told me to paste the code into my header.php file.
I hear they have a WordPress plugin that makes things easier but I didn't see it.
Pricing is straight-forward but monthly, so be prepared to pay $20/month to use their solution.
The Cloud Integrated Simple Option – SellBox
SellBox is crazy simple. It does one and only one thing – it sells digital files. In fact, you don't even need a WordPress site. You can sell any digital file that you have loaded into your Google Drive or DropBox account. Once you pick it, you get delivered a URL that you can use to sell.
Want to download my latest eBook as a PDF – just use this link (for 10% off) – http://sbx.sk/A6up
Now, you should know that these guys only work with PayPal – which doesn't make me a happy camper. But at least there's no monthly fee.
The Completely Versatile Option – TinyPass
TinyPass really navigates the line between a full e-commerce plugin (like Cart66, Easy Digital Downloads, WooCommerce & others) and being a simple digital transaction solution.
These guys are really focused on paywalls and all that you can do once you have them in place. Charge once? No problem. Access that expires? Not an issue. Access to everything? No prob. Sell single post access? Sure.
To deliver this solution, they combine an online cloud solution that you configure, along with a WordPress plugin.
I'd love to explain their pricing chart, but I still don't fully get it. Better that you read it for yourself.
The Seamless Option – CloudSwipe
In the case of most of these options, it's clear you've left one site to visit another. That's because these carts aren't focused on making the experience completely, 100% seamless. That is, almost none of them. Because Cloudswipe is the exception. As you can see – they do some magic to get my site's content and turn it into a template for their use on my cart and payment pages (that they host).
They aren't the cheapest ($19/month plus your gateway fees), but they do support Stripe.
The Newest Option – Memberful
As you know, I'm not a huge believer in first mover advantages because they pay the price of both educating a market and making the mistakes. Second and third movers can leverage their learning at fractions of the cost.
But this isn't a post about my strategies for entering a market. This is a post about simple digital transactions and how to power them using a few products in the market. Memberful is one of those new players that isn't yet available, but is in beta.
But bookmark their site and keep tabs on what Drew and his team are up to. He's the founder of The Theme Foundry and no novice to WordPress. And his solution demonstrates a clear understanding of how to keep things simple, while also delivering great power.
Did I mention they support Stripe? If I didn't, you should know that they do. 100%.
Don't get me wrong – I think there are some great e-commerce solutions out there. But sometimes you just need a simple solution to a simple problem. Keeping the simple things simple isn't always easy. But that's why solutions like Cloudswipe and Memberful are fantastic – because they're keeping things easy.
Check them out and tell me what you think!