Dropshipping Digital Products A Definitive Guide

While digital products cannot be touched, held, or tasted, everyone uses them.

Because of their popularity and ease-of-distribution, many entrepreneurs create entire businesses around them or launch digital product lines that complement the physical products.

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shopify dropshipping store set up

They are particularly appealing because they can be created once and then sold to multiple customers. This makes them great for artists, educators, freelancers, and creatives who want new income streams that require less work.

How to dropship digital products?

Digital products are intangible assets or media pieces that can be distributed online and sold repeatedly without replenishing inventory. These products are often downloadable or streamable files such as MP3s and PDFs.

Digital products offer many unique advantages, making them attractive for selling:

  • No overhead costs: You don’t need to keep inventory or pay shipping fees.
  • High profit margins: There is no recurring cost for goods so you can keep the majority of your sales.
  • Automation potential:Orders are delivered immediately, so you can remain hands-free with fulfillment.
  • You can offer products free of charge to build your email database, or monthly paid subscriptions that give you access to digital content. Or licenses to your digital products. There are many options for how to incorporate digital products into your company.

Digital products come with unique challenges that you need to be aware of:

  • Your competition is with free content. With digital goods, customers can likely find cheaper alternatives to what your products are selling. To be successful, you will need to consider the market that you are targeting, provide premium value with your products, and build your brand.
  • You are at risk of theft/piracy. It is important to take preventative measures and use the right tools to safeguard your products.
  • There are some restrictions regarding how you can sell: You must, for example, sell physical products via the Facebook or Instagram sales channels, as per their commerce policy.

These challenges can be overcome if you use the right tools to design your digital product company.

5 apps for selling digital products

There are many tools that you can use to build a digital product store.

  1. Digital Downloads – This Shopify app is a great way to sell digital products. Customers can immediately download the file and get a link to their email after they have purchased.
  2. Sendowl – Sendowl is a powerful tool for digital product companies that require more advanced automation like expiring links or auto-generated license keys.
  3. Single – If you are a musician who sells music, Single is for you. It bridges the gap between digital and physical music sales. Customers can also easily view clips from your product pages.
  4. FetchApp – FetchApp is a digital download delivery app with fewer features than Sendowl but offers 5MB storage and the ability to attach multiple files together to one product.
  5. Sky Pilot – This app can be used to create a membership program that allows you to sell files and exclusive video streams to your customers. Customers will then be able to access any files they have purchased through their customer accounts.

These digital product delivery systems are not the only ones available from Shopify. There are many other Shopify apps that can power and protect your digital goods such as:

  • Charge Rabbit – This app allows you to set up recurring billing. This is essential for selling digital products as part a subscription. It can be integrated with Sky Pilot, as mentioned above, to allow subscriptions for digital streams or downloads.
  • Photolock – This app provides all the security features you need for visual products such as stock photos.
  • Disable Right Click: This app protects your content from theft. You can lock images or text to prevent them from being saved or copied without you permission.

These apps or more may be combined depending on your requirements to help you integrate digital products into Shopify and execute any of these digital product ideas.

Dropship educational products, such as ebooks and courses.

Online courses offer a better way to access more detailed content. They require a lot of work upfront, from creating a presentation to recording and editing a video walkthrough. When designing courses, start with learners results: What do you want students to learn or do at the conclusion of the course?

You can use interactive exercises, quizzes and information tests to break down the material and make your ecourse more interesting. You might consider using ADDIE as a teaching method and incorporating it.

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shopify dropshipping store set up

Digital products can be a great way to package your expertise and dropship it to others who are interested.

You can be competitive if you have a lot of tutorials or blog posts about the subject you want to teach. Also, don’t try to sell your product; instead, sell the consumer’s ability to use the product after they have purchased it.

You can either leverage your expertise to gain exposure for products or you can start from scratch and offer content to increase awareness and leads in order for paid digital products.

Dropship allows you to use your digital assets.

Creatives can post digital assets that are licensable worldwide for others to use in their works, including stock images, video recordings and music.

By offering licenses to companies and individuals, you can charge for the use your photos, videos and music. In exchange for exposure, some marketplaces can charge up to 50% commission on each sale. Sendowl can help you create digital assets destinations. Sendowl will provide unique license keys that are automatically generated to power this type of company.

It is a good idea to think backwards when building assets. To make it easier for them to sell their goods, start by asking what assets they want to use.

You should also use watermarks and other security features to protect digital items, especially if you dropship images.

Membership for exclusive digital items

To generate recurring income, you can bundle them and lock them behind a subscription.

This is a great way to keep a growing library and maintain a small group of dedicated members. Paid digital subscriptions may even be a way to make money from your content marketing efforts.

This content is protected behind a gate that only subscribers can access via their customer accounts. You can host exclusive streamable content instead of downloading it.

This form of business idea can be created by using ChargeRabbit to bill for periodic subscriptions and SkyPilot to distribute digitally.

I dropship digital templates and tools.

Digital items can also be in the form intangible tools that allow professionals to do tasks that are beyond their skill set or require a lot of time. Digital solutions should be offered to address the needs and pain points of a specific audience.

These are just a few examples:

  • Enterprise files product mockup
  • Resume templates for job seekers
  • Enterprise Software
  • Adobe After Effects Video Editor plugins
  • Icons, Fonts and UX Kits for Web Designers

It may be worthwhile to explore how your skills and knowledge can be turned into digital products for passive revenue streams if you already own a freelance business.

We sell any type of music or painting.

You’ve likely explored how to make money from your music or artist work. Digital downloads, which can be as simple as T-shirts and Prints, offer many possibilities.

A musician can also dropship ringtones featuring their most popular songs. A cartoonist can make their artwork into wallpapers for phones that are available for purchase. You don’t need to have an inventory so you can try different formats and see what your audience likes.

Dropship expertise or services

Because services tend to match digital product well, it is because they are their opposite. With services, your “inventory” is limited to how many hours you can accommodate.

Customers often get digital products along with many other services as part their “purchase.” Logos are provided by a designer. A personal trainer might provide a workout plan. You can also position certain services as packages that include valuable digital products.

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shopify dropshipping store set up

You could offer a consultation for a fee, with an Excel spreadsheet or custom report, and then sell your customers other products or services. You could also offer a free download tool that will help you generate leads for your email lists, which is a common tactic used by many online businesses.

You might consider outsourcing certain tasks that you do as part of your service company that are simple but highly valuable to your customers to generate revenue streams that take less time and effort.

Ideas for digital products that sell

It can be difficult to wait for the right moment, but it is possible to find a great business idea by following a process. Although it’s great to be inspired by an idea, if you want to dropship your idea, you will need to go through a brainstorming and validation process.


Start with general ideas, and then write them down. Be open to criticism. Bad ideas can lead to good ideas and vice versa. It is important to not think things over when brainstorming.

You can find a spark here if you are looking for one.

Do you have the ability to teach your clients how to use your products? You might be able to make appointments to instruct advanced knitting techniques if you are selling knitting items.

What can you do to help your customers in your industry? You might create a fitness program for clients who dropship surfboards to keep them in shape.

Consider the values that shaped your business. What are the related topics to consider? You could create a course to teach customers how to live a more sustainable lifestyle if you dropship sustainable clothing.

What are some ways you can bring together your customer’s communities? If you dropship kitchen supplies, you might organize a virtual wine tasting event.

Which is right for you? You might be able, for example, to teach other people how to do better product photography if your product photography skills are exceptional.


Research is a great way to add new ideas to your wish list. You can find pain points that consumers associate with your business, principles or company. These topics are also important because they offer significant opportunities for an educational product.

These are some great places to get your work started.

Groups via Facebook

Forum for the industry. You can learn more about the hobbies and interests of your industry by joining forums.

Review of the item. Compare both reviews to get ideas about your products with those of your competition. These reviews could be from both product reviews and stand-alone reviews posted on blogs or other websites.

Commentaries and blog articles. To get more ideas, read the blog content that your audience may be reading as well as the comments. If you sell auto parts, look at blogs related to the vehicle.

Customers Email. Last, make sure to read any messages or emails customers have sent you over the years. People who take the time to write you with their thoughts and concerns are often consumers with a high purpose and could have valuable insight.


Before you invest too much time in an idea, validate it. You don’t want to invest too much time or money into a venture that doesn’t work out.

Validating your idea can be done in a number of ways:

Keyword research. Use the keyword tool to find out how many people are searching for your subject. This will give you an idea about the size of each opportunity.

Google traits. Search through Google Trends for topics. Find topics that are growing in interest. This means that the opportunities will continue to grow.

Request reviews. Get in touch with your clients by email or social media. A survey or poll is a great way to solicit feedback from customers.

Make small changes and iterate. Sometimes, a smaller version of a concept is better than a larger one. This allows you to validate the idea. You want to make sure that you get the idea out there as quickly as possible, so that you can test it and then develop it.

No matter what industry you are in, your unique skills and expertise will be valuable to your clients.