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Why selling digital goods makes sense for your business

April 14, 2016

You might be tempted to think just about anything can be bought and sold online these days.  And you wouldn’t be far wrong.

Want to buy pre-made gourmet meal kits?  You can order them online at numerous places.

Need an interior decorator to give you advice but can’t find one in your local area?  You can get e-design services handled electronically at a distance.

Like to learn guitar in the comfort of your own home? You can take music lessons via Skype.

For those in the knowledge industry, i.e., those who produce with their heads not their hands, selling online has opened up new revenue streams and new opportunities.

But if you’re a knowledge worker what can you sell besides your time?

Easy: package up your knowledge and sell it in digital form.

Knowledge workers such as consultants, accountants, engineers and other professionals are figuring out how to package up their knowledge and know how into digital goods such as ebooks, interactive training courses, video coaching sessions, software and more.

Here are three benefits of selling digital goods:

CONVENIENCE

Selling your goods digitally is just convenient by today’s standards — both for you and for the customer.

There’s nothing to be shipped or delivered via the mail or packages.  It’s fast, too. Everything is simply delivered online or through email, and delivery is usually immediate.

LOWER MANUFACTURING AND LOGISTICS COSTS

Digital goods are created and delivered electronically, usually through a download button or email.  Since you’re moving 1’s and 0’s around, instead of items packed in styrofoam peanuts and cardboard boxes, the costs can be dramatically lower.  Manufacturing your goods may consist of nothing more than writing an ebook, saving it as a PDF, and loading it online.

MARKETING ADVANTAGES

Selling digital goods also has a built-in advantage: your product becomes part of your marketing loop. Given the way the Web works, when you’re selling your digital items you’re also marketing your business.  The product is not only something you earn from, it helps you market your business to other customers.  

Customers are searching on their phones and other electronic devices for what they’re looking for. A whole slew of results will pop up instantaneously. If you’re a small business owner, you’re going to want to be a part of the pack. Your online presence will end up attracting more site traffic, just by the simple fact that you are more accessible to Web users.

The more visible you and your digital products are online, then over time:

(1) the more likely you will gain higher search engine position,

(2) the more people will share links to your products on social media, and

(3) the more they will discuss you online — thus generating more traffic.

And by generating traffic, you will likely be making more sales.

Being digital will allow shoppers to easily find your company among competitors, and see what benefits you offer. We sometimes think of it as a disadvantage to be seen among competitors, but consider this.  If a buyer were standing in a competitor’s brick and mortar business, it would be much harder for him or her to even know you exist or that you have more to offer.  But online it might be just a matter of a couple of clicks to discover that. Or seeing a reference to your company on social media.

And if you’re selling knowledge and know how, you tend not to be a commodity that is easily replaceable or pales by comparison. Instead you are unique. You have the chance for your uniqueness to be discovered more readily online.

By taking advantage of the Web and the easy transfer of knowledge to buyers, you are staying relevant and on their radar. The more you appear, the more relevant you become to the customer. When it comes time to make a purchase again, a customer will have you right where they want you.


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.