In 2022, digital products were a burgeoning $331 billion industry. We expect that in 2023 they will continue to increase, and grow their share in the market. In addition, post-pandemic, we’ve found that there is a 217% increase in online course enrolments. These trends indicate an increase in the consumption of digital products worldwide.
If you are a digital product creator, you may be wondering which is the best platform to sell your digital products.
Amazon is the largest ecommerce marketplace in the world, processing billions of sales every day. Yet, most people associate Amazon offerings with physical products and don’t necessarily think of selling on Amazon if they create digital goods. Nevertheless, it is a great platform to sell digital products, and make yourself more visible to a paying audience.
In this blog, we take a look at how to sell digital products in 2023, and which are the best-selling digital products on Amazon.
- Amazon gives you access to a global market
- Why sell digital products on Amazon?
- What is Amazon Digital Services?
- Best-selling digital products on Amazon
- How to sell digital products on Amazon
- 3 steps to selling digital products on Amazon
- Top-5 FAQs about selling digital products on Amazon
- How to sell your digital course online
Amazon sellers have access to a global market and benefit immensely from the aggregated demand of millions of people. This applies to digital goods just as well as physical ones, with the additional perks of instant access (or downloads) and no shipping fees.
So what are the best-selling digital products on Amazon, and how can you leverage the platform to create and sell digital art as well as establish a steady stream of passive income?
Selling digital products on Amazon has a variety of benefits:
- Quick start. Unlike businesses that sell physical goods, you can start selling digital products as early as today.
- Minimum upfront investment. You don’t need to invest in a warehouse, logistics, employees or inventory.
- High margins. Due to the products being infinitely scalable — you can sell one cover art thousands of times — the profit margin on every sale is much higher compared to shipping physical copies.
- Passive income. Once you’ve uploaded your ebook to Amazon (or another digital product), it’ll be sold automatically, giving you truly passive income.
- Global audience. With millions of people searching for products on Amazon at any given moment, content creators have a unique opportunity to tap into an already engaged audience.
Amazon Digital Services is Amazon’s division that takes care of digital product delivery, from internal products like Amazon Drive, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music to external ones like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and the Kindle reading experience.
Can you sell digital products on Amazon Digital Services? Yes! If you write a book or design a digital experience, Amazon Digital Services is where you offer it to your customers.
Not sure where to start? There are lots of digital products you can offer, from ebooks to online courses to various prints and graphic design templates. It all depends on your skills.
At the same time, if you want to sell on Amazon, it’s good to keep track of what kind of digital products are popular right now.
Amazon Kindle is by far the largest platform for ebooks worldwide, with millions of titles on offer. Lots of formats are supported, including PDFs.
You also don’t have to only write fiction or business books. Be creative and publish travel guides, case studies or textbooks — anything that might be interesting to your target audience.
Amazon Merch is a great platform for artists and graphic designers who would like to merge powerful digital and physical products together.
All you need to do is upload a great piece of art to Amazon Merch, and the service will automatically print it on t-shirts and other physical goods. You don’t need to handle inventory or anything else — new products will automatically ship to customers as they order them.
One part of Amazon Music is a platform called TuneCore, which allows musicians to upload and sell their music through more than 150 stores worldwide (e.g. iTunes, Google Play) as well as streaming services, such as Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and social media.
To use TuneCore, just create an account, upload your music and get approved.
If you know how to build software, you can sell a variety of mobile apps, ecommerce themes and website templates on Amazon Appstore. While Amazon’s commission on sales is 30%, you still get ahead due to the increased reach of the platform.
Another popular category of digital product on Amazon is online courses. Anything you know how to do well, from copywriting to photography to yoga, can be turned into a video course and sold online to thousands of people.
Although many people do not use Amazon to sell stock photography, there is no reason why you should not. Amazon makes your photographs visible to millions of people across the world, allowing you to cater to a global market. As websites and digital creators are always looking for stock photographs for their own content, you will find a steady stream of customers for your photographs.
The indie gaming market has increased in recent years. While most of the games that are sold on Amazon and other platforms are developed by large gaming studios, if you are an independent game creator, you can easily sell it to Amazon. It allows you to write a description, highlight the important themes of your game, and also upload images and screenshots to entice customers.
Templates have a huge market as most people want an example from which they can build their own projects. Some examples of templates you can create include business planning templates, business contracts, DIY home projects, and even powerpoint presentations. Although templates are not very common on Amazon, you can use this paucity as an opportunity to stand out.
Another interesting digital product you can create is downloadable prints. These can range from colouring pages to workbooks and greeting cards. Printable posters are lucrative digital products too, and can be easily sold on Amazon. All you need to do is to create a downloadable print, upload it on Amazon, and enjoy a passive source of income.
Audio files are different from music, and include speeches, voice-based instructions, and even short lessons. You can use your imagination to create different kinds of audio files, and sell them on Amazon to a discerning audience. However, make sure that these are not music, as Amazon will require you to sell them under their music platform.
If you’re just starting on your journey as a digital creator and would like to turn your skills into a stable stream of passive income, reading a few books about it will help you get acquainted with the industry as a whole.
A really good primer on the matter is How to Create & Sell Digital Products by P. Teague. A more detailed book, specific to Amazon, is How to Sell on Amazon by Arx Reads, which guides you through a simple system of launching your own successful Amazon business.
You can sell digital products on Amazon in just 3 steps.
To make sure your new digital product has the best chance of success in the Amazon ecosystem, make sure to follow a simple 3-step process.
Even when you have a digital product in mind, it pays to do research and figure out how other people sell similar products. Do some keyword searches and see what comes up, take a few notes of the descriptions and images being used. Some third-party tools can also provide detailed analytics into the Amazon marketplace.
With the research knowledge in mind, you can create and tweak your product based on the needs of your potential target audience.
But don’t think you can just perfect your idea on the first try. It’s better to launch an MVP (minimum viable product) and test the response, improving it as you go, then spend months designing something without getting any market feedback.
When your product is ready to be listed on Amazon, you need to create a seller account, choosing either an Individual plan (you pay Amazon a fee from each sale) or a Professional plan (pay a fixed monthly fee).
Then you have to write an engaging description and take photos (or design mockups) of your products. Finally, upload the products to the marketplace and start promoting them on your social media, and maybe even through paid advertising.
Interested in more tips? Read what top digital experts have to say on selling digital products today.
Even though listing your digital products on Amazon doesn’t take much time, building a sustainable and profitable business is not easy and requires some experimentation.
So here are the answers for a few popular questions about being an Amazon seller.
How to get more Amazon reviews?
The first thing to know about Amazon is to never post paid reviews. Not only will they get deleted, your account might get suspended as well, and you’ll lose a lot of revenue as a result.
In general, it’s a good idea to read the seller guidelines thoroughly and follow them as best as you can.
How to increase ebook sales?
When you sell an ebook on Amazon, you have to remember that people buy a book by its cover. So invest in designing a really catchy and engaging cover art (in high resolution) that speaks to your audience.
Another tip is to regularly review metadata of all your digital products to make sure it shows up for correct terms in search results.
How to succeed in Amazon Merch?
If you want to sell merch on Amazon, it’s tempting to use memes or popular designs that you see online. However, you always have to keep the copyright law in mind and never use someone else’s artwork.
Focus on your own art and describe it in a way that appeals to your target audience.
Can you sell books as PDFs?
Yes, Amazon accepts PDFs as a digital book format, which suits shorter-length titles, such as case studies and how-to guides.
How many words do you need for an ebook?
The size of ebooks tends to vary a lot. While you can get classic novels that span hundreds of thousands of words in length, you can also come across quick how-to guides under 1,000 words.
So everything depends on the context of what you’re writing about as well as the expectations from your audience. In general, try to make sure your book has at least a few thousand words in it.
Creating and selling an online course on a topic you know well is a great way to generate passive income. And the only thing you need to do it is an intuitive platform.
Sell digital products with Thinkific for free
From online courses to communities, Thinkific’s free plan has everything you need to start selling digital products.
Thinkific is an online course-creation solution that makes it easy to build, sell and promote your course in one place.
You can create your first course on Thinkific in just about an hour — no coding is required. Pick a professionally designed template and tailor it to your liking with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. Feature any type of content imaginable, from videos to quizzes to presentations.
Start for free! With Thinkific, you can get your side business up and running in no time.
This article was originally written August 2022, and was updated March 2023 to be even more useful.