In today’s world, where online purchasing reigns supreme, digital products have become the hottest commodity for entrepreneurs, content creators, and small business owners. From ebooks to online courses, the possibilities are almost as endless as choosing the best website builder for your business.
This near-limitless range of earning possibility through selling digital products is exciting for sure, but if you’re new to the game it is easy to get overwhelmed by the options available to you.
It’s vital you do your research, as the last thing you want is to invest in a digital product that isn’t going to sell. Which is why we’ve put together this list of the 12 best digital products to sell online in 2023, to help you make an informed decision and start making that dollar!
So without further ado, here are the 12 best digital products to sell online in 2023.
When considering what digital product to sell online, always consider the earning potential. Ask yourself what product will have the highest return on investment.
Software and app products often take much longer to create than graphics and design products, but typically you can charge more for the former.
One of the OG digital products, ebooks and audiobooks first came about in the late 1990’s, when publishing companies began selling printed content digitally for the purpose of being read on handheld devices.
And ebook popularity has not slowed, with future projections predicting that the US ebook market will generate $7.78 billion in revenue by 2025, making the earning potential of ebooks and audiobooks (audio-spoken versions of print books) consistently high in the coming years, and certainly one of the best digital products to sell online.
Examples of products frequently sold in this sector include fiction and nonfiction ebooks, audiobooks (ones spoken by English actor Stephen Fry are particularly popular, if you can somehow get him on board) and digital magazines.
A huge benefit to selling audiobooks is that you get access to a consumer base that doesn’t read. Lots of people simply don’t like it, or can’t find the time. Audiobooks are a perfect alternative.
While selling ebooks greatly reduces the costs involved in the manufacturing and shipping/storage of physical books, by cutting out these costs entirely, you can keep more of the profits, and sell your product for cheaper.
As for the top tips for creating a good ebook or audiobook? Your consumers will be drawn to:
- A visually aesthetic cover: we live in an age of short attention spans and an abundance of choice. Capturing their attention is a must.
- An introduction to you, the author. Personal branding sells, even when it comes to fiction novels, the reader will want to know about the author. Mention your background, and be honest and open about why you wrote the book and what it means to you, and what you hope it will mean to others.
- Information backed up with research. When it comes to ebooks and audiobooks, it is imperative that you withhold your integrity by backing up any claims you make with solid evidence and research.
Audible is a great case study to research when considering getting into the audiobook industry.
Online courses are an incredibly popular digital product that is slowly replacing the traditional in-class learning method that has dominated our educational system for the past century.
From language learning, to business management, to remote-based college courses and diplomas, online courses are so popular because of their convenience, and non-geophysical constraints.
US citizens living in remote parts of the country, who previously would have to relocate to gain access to certain training at educational institutions, are more frequently able to do this from the comfort of their own homes online, and oftentimes for a fraction of the cost.
Getting into selling online courses is a lucrative business, with the e-learning market size already worth $235.5 billion in 2022 with estimations it will grow to USD 648.6 billion by 2030. Now is the perfect time to start investing in selling online courses to consumers, so long as the course has the right features.
These include interactive webinars and carefully curated assignments.
There are real benefits to selling online courses. You tap into a market of customers that in-person institutions cannot access. You also greatly reduce the operational costs involved with booking out classrooms and paying for staff, amongst other things.
Top tips for creating a successful online course:
- Offer a competitive price cheaper than physical in-house alternatives. One of the benefits to running online courses is that you can greatly reduce overheads, so capitalize on this.
- Make it interactive: ensure your students find the course interactive, engaging, and interesting. Organize team projects and encourage students to meet up in-person if possible to work on projects together.
- Make it clear the course offers official accreditation. One of the biggest challenges facing online course participation is the concern that the course is not legitimate, or accredited.
Find Out More
- How Long Does It Take To Develop an Online Course? Find out in our full guide where to dive deeper into the ins and outs of creating your own online courses.
- Shopify is our top-rated ecommerce platform, so we put together this guide on How To Sell Courses on Shopify to get you started.
“Doesn’t Adobe control this sector?” You may think that is the case, but Adobe is in fact a professional stock photo agency, otherwise known as “the middle man.”
Many professional photographers and videographers sell their photos to stock agencies like Adobe, receiving royalties each time an agency (Adobe) user downloads and uses their content.
There are big benefits to selling stock photos and videos, particularly if you are a content creator in a particular niche. By selling your digital photos and videos online, particularly through an agency, you are tapping into a wider customer base than if you had a physical gallery and sold your products in store.
You can also use the sale of your digital content as a way to advertise your portfolio and subsequent services as a photographer. As any website that uses your image or video must credit you, oftentimes with a direct link to your website under copyright laws.
Here are some top tips for selling stock photos and videos online:
- When creating your digital products and selling them directly from your own website, be sure to always include unique watermarks to protect yourself and your product from being carbon copied.
- Sell your products using professional stock photo agencies: our top two recommendations are Adobe and Shutterstock. Although royalties are less than selling your products directly, you tap into a huge, international market of users.
As the demand for VR based products increases, many entrepreneurs, content creators, and businesses are taking advantage by creating their own virtual experiences to sell to their customers.
Just look at the legendary game Minecraft, one of many popular games that has been re-launched in VR in order to entice new players and keep existing ones on board.
Other VR digital products that have been a real hit include virtual museum tours and AR-enhanced shopping experiences like IKEA place, which lets you virtually place furniture in your home to see how it would actually look in real life.
The benefits VR products can bring are plentiful, with market demand predicted to increase by 13.8% annually from 2023 to 2030. Gen Z have been born into a time of VR, so capitalizing on this exciting, if not relatively new digital product would be a sure win.
One setback could be the cost and the expertise involved. VR games, for example, aren’t cheap to create, with the most basic of game designs costing at least $20,000 to make and taking one to two months to complete.
This is an expensive digital product to invest in, so before you jump in the deep end, be sure to do your research, and select a VR development company that will support you through the entire process.
Software and apps are the most commonly purchased digital product, because they are digital tools that users download and use on their computers or mobile devices.
Some examples of software and apps include video editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and mobile games like the infamous Angry Birds (we all played it).
One benefit of selling software and apps online is that they have a high potential for recurring revenue, since users often subscribe to ongoing updates or services particularly when software is concerned.
When it comes to apps, many mobile games work on a freemium model, but have in-game purchases that players make in order to progress further in the game, making many ‘free’ apps a very lucrative business.
Top tips for creating digital software and apps include:
- Focus on the user experience: the competition in this sector is huge. You need to have a product with an easy to use interface and no bugs, or customers won’t buy from you again.
- Provide ongoing support and app/software updates to keep your product relevant.
Conduct regular user testing and listen to customer feedback to ensure the product is reliable.
Music and sound effects are digital products that can be used in a variety of projects, such as videos, podcasts, and games.
Selling music and sound effects can be beneficial as these digital assets are often in very high demand for digital content creators that want to avoid lawsuits by using music without permission. They are also relatively easy to produce if you have the right tools and skills.
Top tips for creating music and sound effects include:
- Use high-quality recording equipment, your phone just won’t do
- Research current trends in the industry: what type of sound effects and music are influencers regularly using in their content?
Take a look at the likes of Audiojungle for inspiration, as they are one of the most successful music and sound effect sellers online.
Graphics and design elements include images, icons, fonts, and other visual components that can be sold to be used in digital projects such as websites, social media graphics, and advertising/marketing campaigns.
Selling graphics and design elements is great because there is always high demand for these products, particularly for small business owners and entrepreneurs who don’t have the resources or money to hire a designer.
Additionally, if you are creative and have experience with the right software, creating graphics and design elements is relatively easy and cheap to do.
Tips for creating graphics and design elements:
- Focus on quality, originality, and creativity – there are thousands of graphic designers out there, you need to stand out from the rest
- Research current design trends – what is working for other graphic designers?
- Offer competitive but fairly priced services, particularly for small business owners
Printables and templates are digital files that can be printed and used for a variety of purposes, such as planners, worksheets, and resumes.
Selling printables and templates is beneficial because they can be relatively easy to produce with the right tools and skills, and they often have a wide potential audience.
Additionally, they can be sold at a low price point, making them accessible to a range of customers. Many printable/template products can be sold on marketplaces like Etsy and Canva, letting you tap into a huge market of potential buyers.
Top tips for creating printables and templates:
- Focus on usability and customization options, particularly with resume templates. Buyers want the foundations but also want creative license to make their own alterations.
- Provide clear instructions for use when it comes to workbooks and planners so customers can get the best out of your product.
- Conduct market research to ensure you are meeting the needs of your target audience – Canva does this well, creating templates based on current affairs
Find Out More
To find out more about selling these types of digital products successfully, visit our guide on how to sell digital downloads.
Website themes, templates, and plugins are digital tools that can be used to customize and enhance websites. Grammarly is a perfect example of a plugin, particularly for a writer like me that wants to avoid any embarrassing typos or spellinng mistakes… (see what I did there?)
A big benefit of selling these digital products is that they are always in high demand, particularly for small business owners and entrepreneurs who may not have the resources to hire a developer to create something from scratch for them.
Products like plugins also have a wide potential audience, because they can be used across different industries and niches, such as WordPress plugins, giving you a large potential customer base to work from.
Be sure to consider carefully how much you charge for these types of digital products, as the market is vast and can be overwhelming to many customers with the amount of templates and plugins available. Check out our guide on pricing digital products to help you.
When thinking of digital marketing tools and template products, it’s best to think of Hubspot and Hootsuite’s abundance of marketing resources, including its email marketing templates, social media graphics, and SEO tools.
These are one of the top digital products to sell because the demand for them is consistent, since businesses are always looking to strengthen their online presence through marketing campaigns.
What’s more, marketing campaigns are expensive, so any simple templates, graphics or SEO tools a small business can use to help make its efforts more fruitful, particularly if it doesn’t have a marketing team, is very much appreciated.
These products aren’t too hard to create, so long as you have expertise in the marketing field, and what’s even better is that they can be sold at a relatively low price point, making them easily accessible to a range of customers.
In order to create desirable digital marketing tool, be sure to:
- Conduct market research to ensure you are meeting the needs of your target audience – what do small businesses need from this kind of digital product?
- Focus on quality and ease of use, don’t make it too complicated!
- Showcase your knowledge and expertise in the field of digital marketing through the form of blogs and video content, alongside the advertisement of your product
These products are digital tools that help users learn a new language, such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone.
Language learning apps typically include features such as interactive lessons, quizzes, and conversation practice. While Duolingo cleverly encourages its users to take lessons daily to maintain a “daily streak.”
One benefit of selling this digital product is that you have a large target audience, because language learning is a popular and evergreen niche. Just make sure you have the most popular languages available for your users to learn (Spanish, Mandarin, and English!).
Top tips for creating language learning apps and software:
- Focus on a positive user experience and engagement, the app needs to be easy (and fun) to use
- Incorporate gamification elements to keep users motivated – our list of gamification marketing ideas may help!
These educational resources are digital products that help users improve their productivity and overall well-being. They may include topics such as time management, goal setting, and mindfulness.
One benefit of selling digital productivity and self-improvement courses is that they can be sold at a premium price point, because they provide valuable knowledge and skills to help users improve their lives. They are also becoming more popular, as younger generations focus more on their wellbeing.
Top tips for creating digital productivity and self-improvement courses:
- Focus on providing actionable and practical advice that users of your product can easily incorporate into their lives
- Include interactive elements such as quizzes and exercises
- Promote the course through social media and email marketing. Influencer marketing is a great idea for this product!
To summarize, the 12 best digital products to sell online in 2023 are:
- Ebooks and audiobooks
- Online courses
- Stock photos and videos
- Virtual and augmented reality products
- Software and apps
- Music and sound effects
- Graphics and design elements
- Printables and templates
- Website themes, templates, and plugins
- Digital marketing tools and templates
- Language learning apps and software
- Digital productivity and self-improvement courses
Think carefully about the benefits of selling each type of digital product. Try to focus on a product range that you already have expertise in. So for example, if you are a digital marketer your best bet would be to create digital marketing tools that can be sold online. As you already have the knowledge to make products that consumers will want to buy.
Do this, but also consider the return on investment of your time. Selling ebooks won’t make you as much money as selling an online course, but the two might take you just as long to create as one another.
No matter what product(s) you choose to sell, there is so much potential in the world of digital commerce, and the beauty is that if you decide to try something new, you don’t have to try to get rid of any physical stock, or sell an empty warehouse/store as a result.