How to Sell Digital Products Without a Website [Ultimate Guide 2024]
Last updated: January 23, 2024
Owning a website seems to be a standard protocol that many online sellers do. But you don’t have to have a website to sell products online successfully and profitably.
In this article, we will be sharing various other ways that you can sell your digital products online without a website, thus saving you from having to pay monthly fees to keep a website that you might not even use.
We’re going to take you through everything you need to know to start selling products online without an ecommerce website. Whether you want to sell ebooks, sell printables, sell online courses, or any other digital products, this guide is for you.
First, we’ll take a look at some popular online marketplaces, and see how you can use them to make online sales. After that, we’ll see how you can create a free online store or storefront that can accept payments – without having to build a full-blown website.
How to Sell Digital Products Without a Website
Ready to start selling digital products online without a website? Here are the quick-find links of things we’ll cover:
- Sell Digital Products on Online Marketplaces
- Create Individual Product Landing Pages
- Create Your Own Free Online Storefront
- Sell Digital Products on Facebook
- Sell Digital Products on Instagram
- Marketing Tips for Small Businesses (Regardless of Sales Channel)
Sell Digital Products on Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces might be great to begin your online selling journey, as these platforms already have regular website visitors who are ready to make purchases.
When selling on online marketplaces, your goal is to understand what the buyers are searching for and make sure that those buyers can find your products easily.
Beyond ensuring that your products are good quality and desirable, take note that online marketplaces function similarly to a search engine. This means that your products must show up at the top of the search results when buyers are looking for specific items. The more buyers that see your products, the higher your chances are to score a sale.
You will typically try to have top-ranking product listings by optimizing your product titles, product descriptions, and product tags. You may also need to build a considerable amount of positive reviews for each of your product listings.
Here are a few examples of online marketplaces for selling products online without a website:
- Creative Market. This marketplace focuses solely on design assets such as fonts, web themes, and more.
- Etsy. This marketplace is traditionally known for tangible handmade items, but there are also sellers who earn decent revenue from selling digital downloads such as printables and digital templates.
- eBay. This marketplace is also traditionally known for tangible items. Your digital products will have to be listed under the “Everything Else” category, but it might be worth a shot depending on your products. Remember to check eBay’s terms and conditions before listing.
- Specialist marketplaces for certain types of digital products. For instance, if you sell website templates, you can check out marketplaces such as ThemeForest.
Advantages of online marketplaces for your business
- Relatively low startup cost
- Potentially low marketing costs if you’re able to get your product listings to rank high within the marketplace
- Each marketplace may offer special features such as live chats, automatic tax remittances, and more
Disadvantages of online marketplaces for your business
- Marketplaces often charge high commission rates. This leaves you with much less profit as compared to selling from your own storefront
- Marketplaces often promote other sellers’ items. Shopping in a marketplace is like going to a mall. Buyers might potentially be distracted by other sellers’ items and you would lose out on those sales
- Customer reviews will highly affect your store within a marketplace. Dealing with reviews can be mentally exhausting and you will need to be ready to budget for some expenses relating to managing your reviews
- Delayed payouts. Marketplaces often process payouts monthly, meaning you’ll have to wait to enjoy the results of your sales
- Difficulty building brand loyalty. New customers who come through online marketplaces will be loyal to the marketplace – not to you
Create Individual Product Landing Pages
If you’re only selling one or very few products, you can publish a landing page for a single product where you can accept orders or payments. This is especially suitable for sellers such as fitness instructors whose main business isn’t selling ebooks but want to publish a one-off online cookbook for their audience.
Having a single product landing page takes much less time than building a full-blown website. Your product page will also have its own URL that you can attach to all of your social media profiles.
To do this, you will need to find a platform that allows you to create standalone product pages. Payhip is one of the best platforms for this because they have a forever-free plan and you will only get charged 5% when you make a sale.
Find more information on how to create a single landing page for your product here.
Create Your Own Free Online Storefront
Perhaps you’ve been wondering how to sell online without a website because you’re worried that creating your own online store will cost too much or will be too difficult without any knowledge of web programming.
There are a number of different ecommerce platforms out there that let you start selling online without any technical knowledge. One of the best options to choose from is Payhip.
It’s ideal for small business owners as it has a forever-free plan that doesn’t charge any upfront selling fees.
You simply pay a small (5%) transaction fee for each digital product sold. Once your business grows, you can upgrade to Payhip’s monthly subscriptions to eliminate the transaction fees.
Other advantages of using Payhip to sell digital downloads include:
- Free ecommerce store included (no need to set up your own website to sell products online).
- Instant payout for orders … and instant file delivery for your customers.
- Ability to create fully customizable landing pages or product pages for every digital product.
- Automatically collects and remits UK & EU VAT when selling to online shoppers internationally.
- You can also use Payhip to sell memberships, courses, coaching, and physical products as well (not just digital downloads).
Creating and customizing your online store with Payhip is really easy. Simply log in to your Payhip account, then go to the Store tab and click “Launch Your Store Builder”.
You can take advantage of Payhip’s large list of pre-built store sections and the drag-and-drop builder functionalities to set up your own online store.
Your online store is hosted, completely free of charge, by Payhip. This means you can sell online without a website of your own.
You can take payments from your customers via either PayPal or Stripe. The money should arrive instantly in PayPal or Stripe: from there, you can request a bank transfer to withdraw the money to your bank account.
Sell Digital Products on Facebook
There are several ways that you can sell digital products using Facebook:
1. Sell digital products using Facebook Group
You can sell things in Facebook groups by adding the buy and sell feature to the group. Bear in mind that you will need to be the admin of the group to add this feature. You can find more help on how to set up buy and sell feature on Facebook groups in this article.
If you don’t have the buy and sell feature enabled, you can also use your group as a medium to advertise your products, and direct your group members to make a purchase on your shiny new storefront that you’ve just created for free from our instructions above.
2. Sell digital products using Facebook Pages/Facebook Shops
You can use your Facebook business page and business profile to sell products directly from the Facebook page. To do this, you will need to set up a Facebook business page, and then set up a shop within the page.
Creating a Facebook shop lets you display your products on your Facebook page and sell them directly to your Facebook audience. Facebook shops also let you sell on Instagram if you have an Instagram business account.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to set up a Facebook shop within your page, you can simply direct your audience to make a purchase on your Payhip storefront instead.
Important: You need to be located in the US, with a US bank account, to use the “Checkout with Facebook or Instagram” option.
Whatever checkout option you use, you will be able to set up your items in a Facebook catalog, manage inventory, and more.
You can also use Commerce Manager to manage your catalog and sales across Facebook and Instagram.
Can I sell digital products using Facebook Marketplace?
Unfortunately, Facebook marketplace can’t be used to sell digital products or subscriptions. As Facebook states, “listings may not promote the buying or selling of downloadable digital content, digital subscriptions, or digital accounts.”
Sell Digital Products on Instagram
You can sell digital products directly through Instagram in the same way as you can sell online with Facebook, by creating an Instagram shop.
Another option for selling online with Instagram is to use Instagram as a marketing channel. You can link to your online store from your Instagram profile.
This is a clever use of social media platforms in general, especially if you’re running ad campaigns.
Potential customers may want to find out more about you, so your bio can be a great way to prompt them to purchase products.
Marketing Tips for Small Businesses (Regardless of Sales Channel)
You might use an ecommerce platform, sell products online without a website, or sell products using social media.
Whatever option you’ve decided on, here are some ways to market your products and make more sales.
Consider paying for online advertising. You can use the Facebook ads manager to precisely target specific audiences with Facebook advertising, and some online business owners find this very effective.
Think about your sales funnel. Usually, you won’t find that you’re selling products to people the moment they first come across your business.
Instead, they might go through a process: perhaps following your Instagram account (or finding you on another marketing platform), checking out the landing page for your products, and then eventually buying.
Make sure each step of your sales funnel is optimized to move customers to the next step.
Spend Time on Your Landing Pages
Your landing pages (or product pages) are a hugely important marketing tool.
You want to showcase your product at its best. If you’re using Payhip, you can create a custom landing page for every product using the drag-and-drop editor. Your product page can include product details, customer reviews, links to related products (to cross-sell those), and much more.
Learn from Other Retailers
Whatever type of digital product you sell, there are sure to be other retailers selling similar items. Don’t copy what they’re doing, but do learn from them.
For instance, you might come across a landing page for a similar product that makes great use of customer testimonials. This might prompt you to encourage more testimonials from your own customers.
Set Up Affiliate Program
Your customers are your best sales persons. An affiliate program allows you to reward your customers with a certain percentage of commission when they have successfully brought new sales for you.
Tip: If you’re also interested in earning extra revenue by promoting other company’s products on your own website or social media, we also have a list of best affiliate programs to join when starting out.
Best Platforms to Sell Digital Products Without A Website
Whether you want to sell eBooks, online courses, coaching services, memberships, or any other digital products, choosing the right platform is an essential step in starting your online business journey. Our roundup covers these tools to help you choose one or more platforms that fit your needs:
- Online Marketplaces
How to Sell Online Without a Website: Get Started Today
Hopefully, by now you’re inspired to start your own online selling journey without even having to commit to publishing a website. It’s really easy for digital product creators to sell products online, and we hope you’ll give it a try!
If you want to invest in a professional website in the future, that’s always an option that you can commit to eventually. Thankfully Payhip also provides you the ability to build complex websites should you decide to do so at any point in time in the future.
You can begin to sell products online without a website in just a few minutes. Simply head to the Payhip and click the “Get started for free” button.
If you’re keen to learn more about selling digital products, check out these additional resources: