We address the world as a "global village." The reduced size of the world, comparable to a village, is due to the immense use of internet undoubtedly. The heart of the internet in recent times is E-commerce. This is the online buying and selling of goods/services. It is estimated that the worldwide sales of E-commerce are expected to grow till 4 Trillion Dollars by 2020.
In this era, the virtual world is overshadowing the physical one, Sellfy empowers digital content creators by providing them with a cloud-based platform to sell their uniquely created digital products. Founded in 2011 with headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania, this company believes it provides creators a chance to earn a living by doing what they love. This gets reflected in the existing number of 270,000+ creators who utilize the storefronts hosted by Sellfy.
- Ease of usage: One can build the store in under 5 minutes and is easy to use.
- Secure: Product files are hosted on a secure cloud, and they provide tools such as PDF file stamping, protected downloads, and SSL encryption.
- Marketing and analytic tools: Email marketing to market the product to the users along with built-in analytics to track product performance, the website traffic and identifies top-performing geographical locations.
- 14 days trial: Provides sufficient time for a user to contemplate the subscription.
- Limited Payment gateways: Only PayPal and Stripe are methods of payment provided.
- Lack of storefront customization: No themes provided, the only option is to alter the color and layout.
Traditional physical product online market has been a booming business in the past decade. In recent times, however, digital products are also becoming increasingly popular.
A person who wants to start a lucrative business should give digital products a try. It requires very less time and effort to set up. Once you have created a few digital products, you are good to go.
Digital products have opened doors for very many new online vendors who earn passive income. The products are only created once and there is no limit on the number of times they can be sold.
The buyer gets immediate access to the purchased digital products, as it is just a download button away. Internet tools and marketing techniques also offer exposure to a large number of potential customers.
Digital products such as e-books, music, videos, software, online tutorials, photography, and subscription-based products can be hosted and sold on Sellfy. Buyers then download the purchased product file to access it.
Platforms such as Sellfy have been created to ease off the burden from the sellers shoulders. The user can sign up with Sellfy, create an online store and utilize all of its features to start selling in no time.
Alternatively, one may choose to embed Sellfy with their website or blog using “Buy Now” buttons, product widgets or the entire store and access all the digital products.
Sellfy provides Integration with Facebook Chat, Twitter Ads, Google Analytics, Zapier, and Patreon and many other apps and products.
Currently, the platform is offering 2 plans for monthly subscription only; Pro ($29 per month + 2% transaction fee) and Pro Plus ($99 monthly).
It is relatively simple to create an account with Sellfy. The dashboard is pretty much self-explanatory. The overview outlines steps to get your store working.
The first thing any seller has to do is upload his/her products, with a few steps, and the mission gets accomplished.
The process of adding a new product is very straight-forward and the system makes it user-friendly and easy to use even for a beginner.
Upon selecting the type of product, user can add product files either through drag and drop or through browsing the computer folder.
Sellfy does not limit on the number of products a seller can add on his/her store. They also provide unlimited bandwidth so no matter how many visitors you’d get on your site, they won’t charge you anything extra apart from subscription and transaction fees.
These unlimited features prove a good thing as the sellers face almost no barrier to reaching out to the market.
They also allow large storage space for the file product. Single file upload is limited to 5 GB while in multiple file upload, 10 GB is permitted in both of their plans.
After outlining the product name and the product description, option for product prereview is provided.
User can add up to 50 previews (image or videos) per product. This means the buyer gets a good idea of the product.
The product description should be constructed with the tags and words that are SEO friendly.
Next, the user has to add price, stock available, and variants. As far as pricing is concerned, the user decides to set the ideal price. However, a toggle enables ‘pay what you want.’ We shall discuss the discounts later on.
Lastly, enable the switch of visible on store page available on the right panel and click save the product.
Sellfy completes the product creation process in just a few clicks. Everything is done on a single page and this feature is worth to be noted.
Customization of the store and account setting
The good thing is that the Sellfy store is up in a few clicks. But when it comes to the customization of the store, it is somehow disappointing.
We are all well aware that the aesthetic of any website is essential. Many platforms offer templates for the storefront. Sellfy lacks in this area; it only provides some options to set the color and the layout of the store.
A vendor with a shop/store will go extra miles to create a classic and outstanding interior. Similarly, online sellers also wish to create a storefront that is attractive and unique.
The look and feel of a storefront should be one that reflects the personality of the seller and its products.
If a seller creates excellent digital products and finds out that his/her store somehow resembles other users, that will be quite embarrassing, wouldn’t it?
The customization is enabled in 2 steps, which is easy and straight-forward.
The branding part sets your header, store info and adds links to your social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Dribble, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others.
The style allows users to choose from a wide array of colors (background and text) for the header, page layout and button style.
After setting up the store and reviewing the features of Sellfy, a user can decide on whether to purchase the subscription or not since transactions are not allowed in the 14-day trial period.
Sellfy offers 2 plans; Pro and Pro Plus. A user can upgrade to the Pro Plus plan by activating subscription through the billing option under account in the sidebar of the dashboard.
Option to degrade to the Pro plan is also available. User can also cancel the Sellfy subscription.
In case the user chooses to continue with the subscription under any plan, he/she will have to manage the store and the orders received.
A shopping cart feature is only a toggle away in the general settings, under store setting of the sidebar. It’s a useful feature which enables buyers to purchase multiple items at one time.
What’s even more interesting is that the user can add this feature in his/her own website through the “Buy Now’’ button. Furthermore, Sellfy provides customization of the “Buy Now” button.
Once the order is placed, the customer makes a payment through either PayPal or Stripe. The seller gets the payment immediately from the chosen payment gateway.
The user can retrieve the order invoice from order history. The buyer also receives a separate link for the purchase invoice from the download page.
Sellfy also enables tax/VAT setting according to the regulation.
Product Pre-ordering and Discounts
If a product is in great demand, and it may be getting out-of-stock, the seller can enable product pre-ordering option. The seller notifies the date in the future when the product will be available again for sale in the store.
The user may inform the customers about the pre-ordering through mails.
This procedure gives the seller an insight on the demand of the product, it also guarantees a certain amount of sales and income and it can also be a very effective way of creating a buzz of the product in the market.
Once the product has been added in the store for pre-ordering, the interested customers will reserve the product and will likely to buy once the product is made available.
Pay what you want
The human nature is programmed to be attracted to cheaper things, well, unfortunately, we sometimes fail to judge the quality vis-a-vis the price.
While adding a new product to the store, Sellfy provides an option to ‘pay what you want.’ The customer decides the amount he/she wants to pay for the particular product.
Well, the seller can also set a minimum amount for the respective product.
This feature can be utilized when the seller is willing to collect a donation for some noble cause. It is also a unique way of introducing a new product in the store as it will catch the eyes of the customers.
The seller can use this scheme to establish a price point for a new product too. It gives the seller a good idea of a suitable price for the product when he/she is in doubt.
As far as the discount is concerned, Sellfy also provides multiple features to keep the customers hooked. It offers 2 options for giving discounts on products; through coupon codes and sales.
Discounts may be given on one item or multiple items from the store. The user can also offer discounts on all the products or choose to offer it at zero-cost, meaning free.
Coupon code is created by giving it a unique name and outlining the products it affects. The code is entered during checkout by the buyer.
The sale has to be given a name, allot a % to the discount and select the products that shall be put on sale. The user can also apply an expiry date to the discount.
It doesn’t end here; we have seen buy one get one at discounted rate offers, well that has also been catered for by Sellfy.
This feature enables the seller to entice the buyer by providing an additional product once the buyer adds a product to the cart. It means a premium product can be linked and sold with a regular product at a discount or the vice versa can also be true.
A customer visits the store and adds a product to the cart. This product, if linked to upselling feature, will show the exclusive deal attached to it through a pop-up which shows the discounted product.
The buyer is free to either accept the offer or decline it. If purchased, then the offer reflects in the cart. And if the buyer changes the product, then the deal gets nullified.
This feature does entice buyers and can boost sales. Providing great offers for consumers is a vital part of sales.
The payment settings allow the user to set up his/her account with either PayPal or Stripe. Add your PayPal account and configure Stripe so that payments through credit cards is enabled.
Sellfy provides currencies of more than 22 countries and supports multicurrency payment for a single product, so the seller has to choose one currency (primary currency).
This means the buyer can purchase in the currency of their choice or are shown according to their present location. This can help catch the attention of buyers as they see pricing in their country’s currency.
The security is taken into consideration while choosing the payment gateway. That can be one of the sole reasons why they offer PayPal and Stripe and not any other payment gateway.
The seller receives money immediately after any purchase; the integrated payment gateway makes that possible. This instant payout is a cherry on the cake as it motivates the user to sell more.
Security and adding Custom Domain
Since the start in 2011, and the ever-growing number of users who have entrusted Sellfy to host their digital products. This means that privacy and security of the users are taken into consideration very seriously.
As far as digital content is concerned, the chances of fraud and piracy are more than in traditional physical goods. To counter these ills, Sellfy provides secure hosting on Amazon AWS, which is a well-known secure hosting platform.
The digital products are downloaded by the buyer after getting a unique download link.
This download link is available for 5 download attempts only. This rule applies to subscription products too. This prevents customers from sharing the product file online.
Email marketing also follows the GDPR compliance, which guards the authority of an individual over his/her personal information.
One can also provide PDF files that are either password protected or have PDF stamp. Both cannot be applied to a single product file, though. This also secures the file.
Sellfy provides the option to enable the PDF stamping while adding new products.
The use of PayPal and Stripe enhances security levels. The payment information stays safe as it's not kept on servers. The chosen payment platforms also offer secure checkout for the buyers.
Some Sellfy users may already have a website hosting their digital products. To increase their exposure, they can add their Sellfy store as an extension of their custom domain.
An SSL certificate shall be generated by Sellfy but only after successfully updating the root domain or Subdomain with DNS configuration.
After DNS settings are updated, you can add the custom domain to Sellfy. One needs to access the general settings under the store settings and save the root domain name.
Online content creators usually have a large exposure to existing buyers. But the aim is to increase the customer base and as such many tools and marketing ideas are utilized.
With regard to digital products, the seller most of the times have this unique kind of buyers. The buyers usually identify with the product, mostly due to their similarity in taste and preference.
The sellers usually have a unique group of customers; however, efforts to increase the exposure in the market is always work in progress.
Email marketing is one such technique used to reach out to existing as well as potential buyers.
The target customers are either buyers, subscribers, a combination of both, and a specific product buyer (custom mail).
The user creates an email to inform the buyers and subscribers regarding new products, updates on existing products, to offer special discounts or to deliver a custom message.
Sellfy permits the users to add images, links, or use bulletins to present points in the mail’s body. This is to increase the attractiveness of the mail.
The percentage of mails delivered gives an idea of the active email addresses. The percentage of people who opened the mail, the open rate, further clarifies the picture of interested customers.
Lastly, we can judge the success rate of email marketing campaign by taking into consideration the click-through rate among a few other metrics.
Email marketing is a great way of connecting to the buyers. The fact that Sellfy allows integration with 3rd party email marketing through Zapier enhances this feature multifold.
The user has to be aware that email marketing must be compliant with the rules of GDPR.
Some useful statistics can be obtained after conducting email marketing. Review of such statistics and metrics further empowers the seller to make logical and prudent business decisions.
Custom purchase emails
Customer satisfaction is vital for any industry. The seller has to provide the best service to retain the existing customers.
Feedback from the customers also gives an in-depth analysis of the product’s performance, its drawbacks and ways of improving the product.
Once an order has been placed and payment made, the seller can customize a purchase email and send it to the buyer.
The primary purpose of this mail is to acknowledge the buyer. Furthermore, the seller can also go ahead and provide extra details about the purchased product.
It may include product-related links, download-related instructions, or any other information that may be useful for the buyer.
This is to ensure that all the needs of a customer regarding the use of the product are catered.
Sellfy provides room for the seller to customize the mail by adding links, images, customizable fonts, and inserting the source code (HTML).
Integration and “Buy Now’’ widgets Most of the digital creators are unique; many are efficient enough to draw a huge number of a specific group of customers. Musicians have a following of people with similar music taste; same with e-books, a buyer with preference to non-fictional writing, would not opt to purchase e-books of a fictional writer.
But there can be beginners who may be unaware of the place where they can attract their specific customer base. These newbies need extra support to grab the attention of buyers, to increase the traffic and boost sales.
Integration with popular social media platforms provides sellers ample base to expand their number of customers. Getting recognition via these social sites adds to the already existing brand identity of the seller.
Sellfy allows integration with Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Twitter Conversation tracking, Zapier, Facebook Chat, Patreon, and Webhooks.
Zapier allows the user to integrate Sellfy with more than 750 application. Connect with Zapier and save time as it automates various tasks.
Google Analytics can be integrated, and better reports and statistics can be achieved with the added benefit of the in-built analytics of Sellfy.
Webhooks provide real-time information to other applications; it delivers data almost immediately. Sellfy currently only supports this in the event when a new order is placed.
Sellfy also offers flexibility since it hasn’t limited storefront to the Sellfy platform only. It allows the user to either embed the “Buy Now” button, embed a particular product or the entire store page.
This ensures that your existing buyers on other platforms/website can also access the products from your Sellfy store.
The “Buy Now’ button can be embedded to the user’s existing website by copy-paste of a code snippet to the website code.
The sellers have to be updated on the performance of the store and its products regularly. The Analytics dashboard provides a lot of detail about product views, sales, and revenue.
It graphically illustrates the top products purchased, the site traffic & source, conversion rate, revenue and the top geographical location of the traffic among few other data which can be critical in getting a quick overview over your online business.
Top products metrics reveal which product outperformed the rest. This enables the seller to make decision-based on customers preference.
The traffic sources section is shown as a pie chart. The source can be direct, meaning the user typed the URL in the browser. Another source can be through mail, PDFs links, or through messages on social media.
The world map shows the active countries and beneath it is the list of top countries that visited the user’s page.
The data collected from the analytics can be used to make critical decisions. The seller gets a clear picture of the store performance.
This feature can be multiplied manifold by utilizing the integration of Google Analytics. We still believe Sellfy’s analytics can improve on its analysis by providing other metrics related to sales, income, and orders in addition to existing metrics.
Sellfy takes care of the core of any eCommerce business; hosting the digital products, delivering the products to buyers, providing instant payments to sellers, and taking care of the security of both the buyer and seller.
What amazes us most is Sellfy’s notion that they are creating the storefront for their users as an extension of users personality. That is the reason why they removed the search bar in 2017. It doesn’t seem to limit itself to be a marketplace only.
The instant store set-up, the security, and the powerful marketing and analytics it provides make it very attractive to the users.
The lack of more options for store customization, limited payment gateway, and lack of telephonic customer support are setbacks. They claim to provide unlimited bandwidth to the users, but the 2% transaction fee charged on Pro plan users nullifies such provision.
However, Sellfy definitely should among their top choice for creators who already own a large number of digital content and an established customer base. Such users can take advantage of the in-built tools such as discounts and upselling, PDF stamping, and analytics. As for beginners, we may suggest you adopt an alternative E-commerce platform.