Practical Ecommerce

10 Innovative Digital-Download Stores

The Holy Grail of ecommerce is to create a product once and sell it over and over again.

Many online stores are achieving this goal by focusing on downloadable products like source code, graphics, PDF files, or ebooks just, to name a few of the digital products available.

In this article, we’ll take a brief look at ten innovative ecommerce businesses that make money selling digital products.

Sky Sectionals

Sky Sectionals sells downloadable, PDF-formatted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maps for private airplane pilots. The secret to Sky Sectionals’ success is ease of use. FAA charts are normally six feet by four feet, which makes them hard to use in a tight cockpit. Sky Sectionals slices the charts into overlapping 8 ½” by 11″ maps that can be printed out and placed on a kneeboard.

Sky Sectionals

Sky Sectionals

iStockphoto

iStockphoto is, perhaps, the Internet’s premier stock photography site. Photographers, videographers, and audio experts upload tens of thousands of images and files to the site. iStockphoto lets customers search for the images or other media they need for their projects and download those resources for a fee. In this business model, both iStockphoto and the artists who submit content get paid.

 

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

Code Canyon

Code Canyon is an online digital product store aimed at web developers or advanced do-it-yourselfers. The store’s products are short bits of web code that can be integrated into other projects. Popular code snippets include a WordPress mega menu plug-in, an image gallery, an Ajax-driven contact form, and bit of JavaScript that adds moving snowflakes to your site.

 

Code Canyon

Code Canyon

VMWare’s Virtual Appliance Store

VMWare’s core business is providing virtual machine software for desktop or enterprise applications. But recently the company also started offering virtual “appliances.” These appliances are fully configured software solutions built with one or more virtual machines that are outfitted, updated, and managed as a single unit. For example, if you need an email server, you could download one that was completely ready to go.

 

VMWare

VMWare

Woo Themes

Woo Themes capitalizes on the popularity of the WordPress platform, offering site owners a way to easily find and purchase site themes. Woo Themes even sells its templates wholesale to developers who may use them as the foundation for client sites.

 

Woo Themes

Woo Themes

SlideDeck

SlideDeck sells jQuery and WordPress plug-ins designed to extend functionality. The site offers single-site or multi-site licenses good for up to 50 domains. If one believes SlideDeck’s marketing material, more than 87 million SlideDeck plug-ins are in use.

 

SlideDeck

SlideDeck

Audible

Audible sells downloadable audio books either individually or as part of a membership. Members receive a certain number of credits each month. Billing is recurring unless specifically cancelled; so not only does Audible get to sell audio books over again, it gets to bill customers for them monthly.

 

Audible.com

Audible.com

Smashing Magazine Shop

Smashing Magazine frequently repackages its regular content, mixing it with some new material, and sells the result as an ebook. Smashing ebooks range in price from free to $39.00. The book is delivered as a PDF.

 

Smashing Magazine shop.

Smashing Magazine shop.

SageMilk

SageMilk is a maker of mobile and desktop applications. SageMilk’s apps run on Android, iPhone, or desktop computers using the Chrome browser. The apps have various payment models including in application payments for certain features. The company also has a learning application.

 

SageMilk

SageMilk

Tuts+ Tutorials

“How-to” information is popular on the web. So Tuts+ Tutorials has created a marketplace full of premium video and written tutorials. Users may purchase a tutorial, download it, and use it as often as they want.

 

Tuts+ Tutorials

Tuts+ Tutorials

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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  1. Jane Wilde October 14, 2011 Reply

    Another great article about selling digital products: http://www.thecontentbazaar.com/How-to-sell-digital-products.html

  2. ManuelSanz April 3, 2014 Reply

    Hi, other great ecommerce platform is UniverDox. On this web any user can sell, promote & share their digital products (ebooks, software, icons, fonts…) getting 100% of the incomes.
    Also, using the witget available, users can sell and share the digital downloads on social networks.
    http://www.univerdox.com