How to Sell Digital Products & Downloads With PayPal & WordPress
E-commerce has allowed business owners to run their stores online for several years. The intriguing part is that products sold in eCommerce stores are not limited to physical products. Business owners in the creative industry can package their knowledge and skills and sell them as digital products and downloads.
Digital products and downloads usually exist only in electronic forms and can be accessed through mobile phones, iPads, laptops, or other devices. They include videos, music, ebooks, audio, and more.
It’s not enough to upload your digital product on your website. You need to choose the right payment gateway to make accepting payments seamless. That’s where PayPal comes in.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the benefits of selling digital products and downloads. You’ll also see why we recommend PayPal as a go-to payment gateway for your digital store and how to use it to sell digital products and downloads with PayPal in WordPress.
So, let’s get right to it.
Why Sell Digital Products and Downloads?
Physical products have their advantages, but not all products are needed in the physical form. Just like physical products, digital products have their unique benefits.
First, digital product stores don’t require the typical running costs that a physical store would need, like raw materials, production, storage, and shipping.
In most cases, low running costs often translate to better chances of having a high-profit margin. But, then, all you’ll require to set things in motion is to build a website and market your products online. Interestingly, a physical store that desires visibility must do the same.
Also, making digital products saves time. You get to cut down the time that would have been spent on sourcing raw materials, managing a physical store, and shipping products. Most of the processes are automated, and your primary task is creating your products and uploading them online.
Gaining global visibility for your business is another advantage of selling digital products. A physical store limits the extent to which you can reach potential customers. But with a store that’s visible on the Internet, you can attract customers from around the globe without worrying about shipping.
Now that you know why you should consider selling digital products and downloads, let’s take a look at why you should choose PayPal as your payment gateway for your eCommerce store.
6 Benefits of Using PayPal Payment Method
Payment gateways are indispensable tools for any online business transaction because they allow individuals and businesses to make and receive payments online. PayPal is one such gateway.
PayPal is a payment gateway that allows you receive payments from customers in various currencies. It also offers features like mobile integration, subscription solutions, checkout, and more that make online financial transactions and management seamless.
PayPal is so trusted that top digital stores like Amazon use it. And in this section, we’ll tell you six reasons you should sell digital products with PayPal.
1. Support for global currencies
PayPal has support for 25 currencies from over 200 markets around the world.
2. Ease of use for customers and business owners
PayPal is easy for customers, and business owners can integrate it with all eCommerce platforms.
3. Accept more payment types
One of the most impressive advantages of PayPal is that you can receive payments from international credit and debit cards or PayPal payments.
4. Excellent user experience
With PayPal, all the transactions are done within your website, unlike with other payment gateways where customers are redirected elsewhere. This improves customers’ shopping experience on your website while giving you complete control over the transaction process.
PayPal offers customers technical support and updates on product information through email and social media.
Selling Digital Products & Downloads with PayPal & WordPress
There are several ways to sell digital products. Platforms like Amazon, Shopify, and Sellfy allow you to upload and sell eBooks, videos, and audio.
While these platforms are a good idea, selling your digital products with your WordPress website is still the best. That’s because it’s the most flexible when giving you complete control over your products and payments. It’s also beginner-friendly, so you don’t need any coding skills to use it.
ProfilePress is a WordPress membership plugin that lets you sell digital products like eBooks, videos, music, plugins, etc., without hassles. Some of its powerful features are:
- Payment integrations
- Easy paywall setup
- Custom frontend forms
- Coupon and discount creation
- Customizable themes
- Add-ons that make for a richer user experience
ProfilePress gives you more control over your digital payments. The plugin allows members to manage their accounts and subscriptions. Admins can also view what products have been downloaded and who downloaded them.
An amazing fact about ProfilePress is that you can integrate PayPal with it to accept payments without stress. So, let’s show you how to do that.
1. Install and Activate ProfilePress
The first step to selling digital downloads on your WordPress site is to install ProfilePress. Once you’ve gotten your copy of ProfilePress here, you’ll be able to download the ZIP file. ProfilePress will also send you a license key.
Next, go to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard and select Upload Plugin.
Select the plugin’s zip file and click Install Now.
When the installation is done, click Activate Plugin.
After that, you must activate your license key to get updates. To do so, go to the plugin settings menu and click License.
Then, enter your license key in the License Key field and click Save Changes.
2. Configure ProfilePress Download Settings
Go to ProfilePress > Settings > Payments > File Downloads in your WordPress dashboard.
Choose a file download method, the download limit, download expiry, and access restriction. To enhance your file’s security, check the box beside Append a unique string to filename for security. Save changes once you’re done.
The next thing is to set up protection for your uploads directory. WordPress does this by default. Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide complete security for your directory because it depends on the server’s setup. Check this article for details about protecting your uploads when using an NGINX server or Lighttpd.
3. Set Up PayPal Payment Gateway
Go to ProfilePress > Settings > Payments > Payment Methods. Click Configure beside the PayPal option. If you don’t want to go live immediately, activate the test mode.
The next thing to do is to fill in your PayPal application’s Client ID, Secret key, and Webhook ID. After that, you can check our step-by-step guide on setting up the PayPal gateway for additional reading.
Remove Billing Address
Check this setting if you do not want to display the billing address fields on the checkout form.
Enabling the Paypal Integration
Check the Enable/Disable box to enable PayPal integration. Remember to include a title and description.
4. Upload Your Digital Product
To create a downloadable digital product, create a new membership plan or edit an existing one. Then, go to ProfilePress > Membership Plans > Add New Plan.
Under Plan Details, input the Plan name, Description, Purchase Note, User Role, and Price.
Choose the Billing Frequency, Subscription Length, and Signup Fee in the Subscription Settings section. You can also enable or disable Free Trial.
In the Downloads & Integrations section, go to Digital Products. There, you can add a new file with the Add File option. If your product is hosted elsewhere, insert the URL.
If not, click Choose File, select the file from the Media Library, or upload it from your device.
Next, Click Insert the URL at the bottom right.
You can also set the download limit and download expiry if you want.
When you’re done with the setup, click Save Plan at the top right, beside the Plan Details panel.
5. Manage Your Digital Product Downloads
To view or edit downloadable digital products attached to orders, go to ProfilePress > Orders.
To view what products were downloaded and who downloaded them, go to ProfilePress > Dashboard > Download Logs.
6 Top Digital Products to Sell
We’ve explained why you should sell digital products with PayPal. But if you’re still thinking of what digital products to sell, check out these top digital products you can sell to earn a good income.
1. Online courses
An online course is one of the most profitable digital products you can sell. With an adequately packaged quality audio or video course, you can attract thousands of buyers from across the globe. There are platforms to create and sell your courses. However, we recommend that you sell them on your website so that you have complete control over them.
These are one of the most popular and profitable digital products you can think of. Writing your ebook and editing and designing it may take a while. But once all that is done, you can upload it on your website and continue earning from it.
3. Membership services and recurring subscriptions
Membership services let you continually offer people information and educational resources, webinars, and training at a price. They can also pay subscription fees to access content on your website.
If you have pretty good design skills, consider designing templates for resumes, brochures, flyers, proposals, etc. Templates are cheap and easy to create. All you need is the design software. And once your design is ready, you can start selling.
If your photography skills are top-notch, consider publishing and selling them on stock photography platforms like Shutterstock. But, like for other digital products, we advise that you sell your photos on your website so that you can have complete control over them
6. Professional services
This may not necessarily sound like products, but if you have digital skills that are in high demand, you can offer them at a price, and you’d find people who are willing to pay for your services. You can sell services like editing, proofreading, consultancy, coaching, content writing, etc. You only need to have a good grasp of whatever service you want to sell to attract well-paying customers.
Maximizing Digital Product Sales With PayPal
Selling digital products and downloads is a surefire way to make money with a meagre capital investment. But first, you need to use the right payment gateway to enable smooth and secure payment transactions.
We recommend PayPal because it’s a feature-rich payment gateway that caters to all your business needs regarding receiving payments.
In this article, we’ve shared why you should start selling digital products and downloads. We also told you why you should sell digital products with PayPal and how to go about it. Finally, in case you had no idea what to sell, we mentioned 6 top digital products you could consider.
Has this article helped you to set up PayPal to start selling digital products in your WordPress eCommerce store? We’d like to hear from you.