The debate on eBooks vs. traditional printed books has been ongoing for eons. We may fail to conclude as it depends on the reader and their choice. However, eBooks are portable, easily accessible, require less space, and cost less than the printed versions.
The same applies to digitally downloadable content. We also act on behalf of the environment if we avoid physical papers. Writers have also embraced the trend of writing and distributing their work online. They would require distributors as there are platforms such as Payhip that take care of product hosting and delivering. A user can upload their digital products, physical products, or membership through Payhip. The website also offers additional services, such as payment processing, marketing, and analytics.
- They offer a free plan that charges transaction fees.
- The platform caters to the needs of sellers who deal with digital products.
- Their offering of subscriptions makes it amongst the few platforms to offer membership programs.
- The interface is intuitive and straightforward.
- The procedure of adding products to the store is uncomplicated.
- Customization is available for the product page, store page, and checkout process.
- Payhip supports PayPal and Stripe as their payment gateways.
- Payhip offers limited customization of various pages via its design editor.
- They impose transaction fees for their free and plus plans.
- There are better platforms for dealers of physical products.
IT has changed our way of living; we use the internet to conduct almost every activity throughout our day. It may be paying bills, shopping, ordering food, online banking, learning, and so on.
E-commerce platforms allow retailers to market their products to a broader audience base. More so, with the prominence of social media in recent times.
Well, this e-commerce website is famous for its digital products, although they allow the seller to market their physical products and memberships too.
Creative individuals and entrepreneurs use it to publish eBooks, music, software, tutorials, images, and other downloadable content. So, what is so unique about Payhip?
They offer a free plan, whereby the seller has to pay 5% transaction fees to Payhip. But let us not forget to incorporate the costs associated with the payment processors (PayPal/Stripe.)
They avail 2 other plans, namely plus (2% transaction fee) and pro (no transaction fee.) Therefore, the platform starts charging the sellers only when they make sales.
Payhip is a London based e-commerce software that takes care of hosting, product delivery, payment processing, EU VAT, and also allows the seller to embed product/buy button on their websites.
It is relatively a new venture as it started operation in 2017. We can begin exploring and testing various features of Payhip to determine its functionality.
The sign-up process is free of charge, so is the uploading of products/memberships. It is when you receive your first order, will Payhip takes a chunk if you are not on their pro plan.
From our observation, many online selling platforms usually conduct surveys to establish facts about the user and to collect feedback information.
Payhip, however, only has 2 questions that target the name of the business and secondly the username of your store. The seller is required to submit the name that they would like to use for their store.
Once that has been established, the continue button leads us to their homepage. The page is minimalistic, with neatly placed tabs on the navigation panel.
These include the dashboard, products, analytics, marketing, customers, notification, and account. Interestingly, there is a loading bar that indicates the percentage of the store set up.
On the main body, they have the guidelines that aid the seller in creating their store. It is under 2 sections, store essentials and finishing touches.
The “store essential” includes add your first product, setup checkout, and celebrate. Whereas the finishing touches come with uploading profile image, add a short bio, and customize store design.
Payhip has provided us with a road map to create our store, and that is what we will embark on to complete the setup.
Let us start by adding products as that is why sellers sign up with e-commerce platforms- to market their creations to a broader audience with ease.
The process of setting up our store
An online store is a page dedicated to hosting all the products, and it allows customers to purchase and go through the checkout process.
We have established that Payhip allows retailers to upload their digital and physical products. Furthermore, they have subscription billing, meaning some customers pay recurring amounts.
The digital products come with downloadable content. Payhip sends the product link to the customer after they make the payment for the purchase.
They are known to cater to the needs of authors who upload their eBooks and other publication. Therefore, we begin by looking at the process of adding digital products.
The first step involves uploading the product file, which can be a maximum of 5GB. They allow users to add multiple files in any formats such as PDF, EPUB, and MOBI files.
Next is the title of the product and then the price. The seller sets the pricing structure, but if they type 0+, it means it is free or pay what you want.
However, the seller can choose to set a minimum price by indicating 5+, meaning that the customer has to pay at least $5 or more, whichever way they like.
Then comes the product image, and we can embed audio/video along with it. They let the seller upload 9 items, and we can include a preview file under the advanced options.
There is the description box where the seller provides details about the product. Apart from these, there are advanced options that allow the seller to enable some features.
It includes setting the product as tax-exempt, as private products, limiting sales, automatically subscribing customers to mailing lists, and generating license keys.
Upon adding the product, the product page reveals the link that is shareable on social media. It also has an option to display our product page.
The physical product will not require a product file; we are good to go with the title, price, product image, and description.
We have additional details that address issues such as product ID (SKU), weight, and checklist for tracking inventory and product variation (size, color, and type.)
The advanced option in the physical products consists of tax-exempt products and automatic addition of customers subscriptions to the mailing list.
The successful product creation will lead us to the product page link, similar to digital products. The membership-based subscription service is only accessible if the seller has a Stripe account.
Adding subscription is a 2-step procedure whereby the seller first specifies the details and then attaches one or many plans to the subscription.
The new subscription details include title, description, and an icon image. As mentioned, the subscription may have multiple plans.
But plan 1 should accompany information such as plan name, recurring price, interval, description, and trial period.
The interval period can be monthly or yearly, and the seller can also design a custom interval. It, however, should not exceed one year.
The checkout will reveal the plan and the recurring amount along with it. Thus, the subscription is an ideal way to handle regular customers.
Our desktop guidelines tell us that the next task after adding products is setting up the checkout. It involves adding either PayPal or Stripe account, otherwise creating one if the seller has none.
We shall not be getting into details regarding checkout process. However, the last step of “celebrate” indicates that the products are ready for sale, as we would have uploaded our content and established our payment gateway too.
Managing the products
The store hosts all the products, and the seller can easily add new items by uploading the digital download file or availing the physical products.
The seller is responsible for managing the products as well as the sales aspect related to it. Payhip only takes charge of hosting and delivering the items.
Price can be a factor that requires attention, as the seller needs to give the products an appropriate pricing structure.
We know we can set the product to be cost-free. We can also assign a minimum price, thereby enabling the feature of “pay what you want.”
It’s useful when the seller is unsure about pricing, and it also attracts customers. It is an excellent strategy to introduce a new product in the market using pay what you want pricing.
We can see that the products tab holds the offerings of the seller. The search function comes handy in narrowing down to a particular item.
The other way to allow customers to search for a particular product of interest is by using the collections. Through it, the seller creates categories that include related products.
Inventory management is another aspect that needs to be supervised by the seller. When we talk about digital products, the seller needs to upload it once only.
After that, the file is available for downloading continuously. The seller earns passive income as he/she creates the content once, and that is it. However, it is necessary to provide frequent updates too.
The advanced settings come with some features that aid in protecting the products. It includes PDF stamping, whereby the PDF file will have the buyer’s email on every page.
The seller can enable email notifications for the event of product sales. There is a similar notification for inventory, whereby the seller gets alerts if the stock falls below a certain level.
The seller can establish the download limit, and the buyer will not be able to download any content above that.
In comparison with digital, we know that physical products need more attention when it comes to stock handling.
During the process of creating the products, there are fields such as product ID, weight, and the option to enable track product inventory.
The seller inputs the amount of stock that is available for sale, and the inventory management section allows us to manage and track it.
Within the part, we can view history, price, and outstanding stock. Thus, the seller can control the supply of the product according to its demand. We now proceed to consider the finishing touches that include customization of the store.
The customization process
As an online seller, we require to present our store in a manner that depicts our personality and individuality.
The ability to change the content layout within a page to reflect designs that match our taste is what we aim to achieve through customization.
The homepage indicates that we require to upload a profile image, add a bio, and customize the store to complete its set up.
We can upload the profile image under “your store” in the account settings, and it can be a JPG, PNG, or GIF file.
Next follows the company name, username, bio, link to the website, and then there are links available for social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
We live in the age of social media, where people are posting anything and everything. As such, the seller can resourcefully market the products and attract new customers.
Let us now check the customization, which is possible by design editor. The editor can modify 3 aspects of Payhip, including product, store, and checkout page.
Let us start by looking at the product page. The builder has 3 sections, namely, button, page, and CSS. The buttons includes the buy and cart button.
We can modify them by altering their background, text, and border and colors. The page section allows one to upload the background image and its color.
For advanced customization, Payhip offers CSS, through which a developer can modify fonts, color, background, size, among other things within the web page.
The store page displays all the products and a header with the username and logo. The editor here comes in 4 sections of misc., page, header, and CSS.
The first misc has a “follow button” where one can alter the color of background, text, and border. The ordering & resize which allows us to reorder listing.
There is an option of whether to display the product titles or not. The page again sets background image and color. We can upload the header image in the header section, and lastly, there is the CSS.
We can modify the checkout page by altering the buttons and through CSS. However, since we have not linked any payment gateway with our account, we cannot witness the customization.
It fails to provide thorough customization, which is available in platforms such as Selz and Sellfy. Furthermore, we did not see any preview option on the design editor.
Overall, Payhip allows one to change the page aspects such as colors, background, fonts, and buttons using the design editor.
We have completed all the guidelines that the desktop suggests to create our store. Let us now look into the marketing component of Payhip.
Sales and Marketing
A decade ago, marketing included activities such as putting up billboards, issuing brochures, or providing ads in the newspaper.
Now, social media has taken responsibility, and it connects thousands of potential customers to your page and products.
Every seller needs to earn revenue, which happens once when the customers decide to purchase the products. Hence the consumer is the focal point when it comes to marketing.
We need to attract the customers by providing satisfactory service so that they keep coming back again and again. That is why it is crucial to handle your existing clients rather than hunting for new ones only.
The marketing section of Payhip provides strategies such as coupons, social discounts, affiliates, mailing lists, cross-selling, referral, and upgrade.
The system allows the seller to create coupon codes. To generate a code, we need to select the product and add a percentage to it.
We also need to assign a code; indicate the number of times the coupon can be used and its expiry date. The coupon percentage shows the discount the buyer will receive.
The other kind of money off the buyers can receive social discounts. The seller needs to select the product upon which the discount will be applicable and its percentage.
We mentioned social media is the latest platform to market your products, and social discounts act upon that. Any customer who shares your product on Facebook or other social media receives the offer.
Sellers highly utilize the service of email marketing for various purposes. They can inform the existing customers regarding a new product or an update of a previous item.
The coupons and discounts can also be shared using the email service. The seller needs to enable the automatically subscribe customers to mailing list toggle while adding new items in the store.
With this, all the customers’ email information gets collected in the benchmark email or other email service providers.
These include Drip, Convert Kit, Campaign Monitor, Elastic Email, etc. Through these, the seller can create a different mailing list that makes it easy to send bulk emails to cohort customers.
When we go to restaurants for dinner, the waiter often takes our order and enquires if we would like to have a drink along with it.
It is a sales technique intended to boost their business. Similarly, the seller can create cross-selling. It allows the buyer to purchase an item related to the product they are buying but at a discount.
So, the seller is parting with 2 products rather than one, and the customer will have to spend more and get an additional item at a considerable rate.
A person purchasing a book can receive the offer of obtaining another novel by the same seller but at a reduced price.
The cross-selling offer appears at the checkout so that the buyer can choose to accept or decline the scheme.
Upgrade works in a similar perspective of providing discounts, but it appears after the buyer completes the purchase. Another point to remember is that most of the offer comes with time restrictions.
However, it is upon the seller to assign the percentage of discount and the timeline associated with it. Payhip offers various sales strategies to attract customers and to boost sales.
As mentioned earlier, our buyers are of grave importance, and thus we have a section dedicated primarily to them. Let us see what entails under the customer's tab.
Managing the customers
Sellers design and avail products that are required by the existing clients. Apart from offering various offerings and discounts, Payhip allows the seller to handle their consumers.
In the customers' section, we can view the buyers who have completed the orders. There are other segments of subscribers, email updates, sales reports, and followers.
The membership has participants who appear under the subscribers. The members need management using a different approach as they receive updates and uploads frequently.
We also have a section that allows us to create an email update. The customers can be sent important notices through the emails.
There is a section that produces sales reports. The statements provide the seller with useful intel about the kind of customers that contributed towards the revenue.
The store can have followers who can be existing or potential consumers. The list appears under the followers' tab, and the seller can review it to collect substantial data.
The seller should keep close tabs on the customers and their buying patterns. It is said knowledge is power, and information regarding the customers is of the utmost value in making plans and decisions.
Integrations available in Payhip
We have identified the flow in the Payhip system whereby the seller uploads the products, and the buyer purchases it via the product page.
The checkout is processed either by Stripe or PayPal, and a link given to the customer of digital downloads.
In the case of physical products, the system collects the address of the buyer during the checkout session. The product is delivered, and it includes the shipping rates too.
So, our system may be working fine. But some individuals insist on having advanced features, and for that purpose, we have the option of integrating third-party applications with Payhip.
The sellers may have an existing website/blog where they host the products. Payhip allows such users to embed the buy button or checkout to their site.
We mentioned email marketing is vital these days as it establishes a connection between the seller and his/her buyers.
Payhip allows integration with Drip, Convert Kit, Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor, Elastic Email, GetResponse, Email Octopus, among others.
Payhip allows integration with Zapier, too. Thus the seller can utilize the service of over 1500 applications.
The seller can integrate Webhook, which enables the system to send HTT Post payload whenever there is an event such as a successful transaction.
The account settings hold the API Key under the developer section. The seller can generate a new API or a Ping Endpoint.
The account settings also have a part that addresses the setting up of shipping information such as an address, region, and rates.
The management of tax is also available in the accounting settings. The seller sets the store address, the tax rate, and enable the option of automatically handling the digital products’ EU VAT.
Apart from integrating the applications we mentioned above, we also need to recognize that Google Analytics can also be enabled.
It tracks visitors on our store page and provide us with useful information. Apart from that, Payhip has an analytics tab on the navigation panel.
The analysis can be carried out on each/all product and between a period. We collect data such as daily views, daily sales, total sales, unique customers, total orders, and views.
There are sales breakdown and a list of top 10 visitors sources. The conversion rate is available in terms of the number of views, those who started checkout, and those who completed.
The analytics section ends with a visit map, which highlights the countries from which our store receives visitors.
The statistics present the seller with a picture of how his/her store is performing, and it depicts the kind of visitors and its conversion rates too.
The internet recognizes the system for its efficiency in hosting eBooks. That means that Payhip is famous for offering digital products and membership rather than the physical products.
The user interface is straightforward, and anybody can operate it with ease. The desktop is intuitive and sets a roadmap for new users, which helps them in setting up their online store.
The process of adding items, which can be digital/physical products or subscriptions to the store, is also uncomplicated. They offer limited customization options for the product, store, and checkout page.
Payhip takes responsibility for hosting and delivering the products safely, but the sellers are liable for promoting their creations. The system, however, offers various options for marketing the products.
The transaction fee may be the only challenge faced by users who prefer to operate the uncomplicated system of Payhip.
Payhip is an exceptional solution for creators of digital products with minimal technical know-how. They allow users to embed the store on their website, hence perfect for traders with an online presence.
We can conclude that Payhip is convenient for beginners who aim to grow in the business of selling digital products and membership, too.