Traditionally, eCommerce involves selling physical products to an online audience. However, competition can be fierce, so out-of-the-box thinking is necessary. It’s for this reason that many people are asking: Can you sell digital products on Amazon?
My name is Nick, a co-founder here at eBusiness Boss, and I have been exploring the world of online entrepreneurship for several years.
In this blog, I will be delving into digital products and whether Amazon is the best marketplace to sell them.
Can You Sell Digital Products on Amazon?
The answer is, yes, it is possible to sell digital products on Amazon.
Naturally, instead of shipping the products to customers, they would stream or download them directly to a smart device or computer.
Let’s look at the types of digital products you can sell:
If you don’t want to sell physical copies of your book, you can publish your eBook via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. Digital content can also include textbooks, travel guides, contracts, case studies, and more.
If you’re interested in publishing a book, I recommend reading my guide to self-publishing on KDP.
KDP is a very popular option for publishing entrepreneurs.
Art & Imagery
Artists, photographers, and graphic designers have the option to upload and sell their work via Merch by Amazon. If your design is selected and printed, Amazon takes care of the product creation.
Although technically you are selling physical products, you are only actually having to create the digital artwork; Amazon does the rest.
For musicians, there is TuneCore, which forms part of AmazonMusic. Once your songs are uploaded, you can make them available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. Audio content also includes podcasts, sound effects, and stock audio.
Selling Digital Products on Amazon – Is It a Good Idea?
Selling digital products on Amazon is an excellent way to earn a passive income. Not only can you sell from anywhere, but the overhead costs are next to nothing.
You skip all the processes related to physical products, including inventory management, manufacturing, shipping, and returns.
If you don’t have a massive amount of capital and would prefer a low-risk business model, selling digital products is an ideal route to market.
One of the potential downsides of digital products is that they’re easy to replicate and share, meaning you could lose out on income.
You’ll also be competing against free products, which are easy to source online.
Lastly, as a seller of digital products, you won’t deal with a lot of repeat buyers, which means you need to be strategic with your marketing.
How to Start Selling Digital Products on Amazon
As a digital content creator, marketing needs to be a top priority. The more people see your work, the more sales you can potentially generate.
Fortunately, Amazon provides you with several tools that you can use to drive more traffic to your listings. However, it would help if you still understood who your audience is and how best to utilize these tools for the best results.
Let’s look at how you can get started as a digital content creator on Amazon.
- Spend Time on Research
Before you start creating content or uploading your existing creations, it’s essential to do a little research – I really can’t stress this enough.
Your work might be original, but you still need to make sure it’s what people want.
Take the time to review listings that are similar to yours. What stands out? What do the reviews say? Using this information, you can improve your creations and listings.
With Amazon, you need to serve markets that aren’t saturated with high levels of competition, as a brand new seller, you’ll be lost in a sea of savvy competitor listings.
For physical product research, we use a tool called Cerebro; you can use it for digital product analysis too…
The video below explains how we use it to take advantage of the data.
- Take Advantage of MVP
MVP, or minimum viable product, is the best way to test out your creations before you spend hours perfecting them. MVP is only relevant to people creating things like eBooks.
For example, creating the first draft of your eBook and getting as many people to read it will tell you what’s working and what needs to change. This way, you can adapt the second version to cater to what readers want.
Feedback is essential as a digital content creator and should form part of the production and sales process.
- Create Your Digital Product Listings
Before you start listing your digital products, you need to sign up to the relevant platform.
Once you have signed up to Amazon KDP, Merch or TuneCore, you can start to submit your work for approval.
The process of submitting your work varies on each platform.
Once your eBook, song, or design is live, you can start marketing your listing – Amazons PPC advertising is one option. Alternatively, you can use social media to spread awareness.
The Dos and Don’ts of Selling Digital Products on Amazon
As someone with experience across Amazon’s digital product platforms, I wanted to provide you with some additional tips.
Kindle Direct Publishing
The KDP platform has very specific requirements, and it helps to be aware of them to avoid delays with getting your content live.
I recommend using Amazon’s Kindle Previewer to pick up on any spelling and grammatical errors, as well as duplicate text. Formatting is also essential, so avoid single spacing after every paragraph and forced alignment.
Spend time creating a high-quality cover for your book and make sure it doesn’t include any promotions – Amazon tends to decline eBooks that appear promotional.
Lastly, I also suggest reading through KDP metadata guidelines to prevent the removal of your content.
Merch by Amazon
Merch by Amazon also has its own set of requirements, the most important being that your work is original.
Your designs will need to use RGB colours and be able to print in 300 dpi. Amazon will reject images that contain watermarks.
Metadata matters on Merch too – it shouldn’t include anything unrelated to your work or your personal content information. Requesting reviews is another big no-no.
If you are interested in Merch by Amazon, this article will help you get started.
Before you start distributing music or your audio tracks, I recommend reading through TuneCore’s formatting requirements and style guide.
Keep in mind that your cover art needs to be original, and you should own the rights to any imagery. High-resolution images are a must, and the file should be in RGB colour mode.
In terms of the copy you use with your listing, leave out any pricing, email addresses, contact information, and requests for reviews.
A Digital Route Into The Amazon Marketplace
Amazon is one of the better marketplaces to sell your digital content, mainly because of the vast amount of traffic they receive every month.
With a bit of marketing know-how, original content, and a focus on producing fresh work, there’s no reason why this can’t be a successful business model.
Again, I suggest you start by researching what similar content creators are producing for Amazon and build your ideas around that.
You don’t have the reinvent the wheel, look to find what is working and replicate with your twist.
If you’re new to Amazon, read through this overview of how sellers get paid – it will help during the planning phases of your online business.
As always, if you have any Amazon-related questions, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.