Conversion Optimization

3 Best in Breed Gumroad Alternatives you Should Use

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Haven’t heard about Gumroad? Probably, you haven’t yet thought about selling your creative work over the internet yet. For professionals who want to sell their creative work online, Gumroad is a great option. The process is very simple. All you need to do is create your product, upload the product, start selling it on Gumroad using the link they provide. Yes, it is that easy! You don’t need to look elsewhere when you have a product like Gumroad that makes selling products online THAT simple. What is even better is that it allows sellers to receive payment through two of the most trusted sources or mediums – Paypal and credit cards.

Overall, the product is quite easy to use. I think it is one of the safest and best platforms for those who want to sell their products online. Bloggers, artists, designers, software product engineers, coders, and many more creative heads can use this platform to earn some good money.

Gumroad’s founder, Sahil Lavingia, is really happy with the product and disclosed on Quora that Eminem and Justin Bieber have used Gumroad to sell their work directly. However, he says, that what he is really proud of is that Gumroad has been able to “change the lives of the thousands of independent creators by enabling them to earn a new sort of income (an income they control!). That is much more exciting!”

Their model is easy to understand, so you do not have to scratch your head trying to figure out how it all works. You can start with the tool in a matter of seconds. You don’t have to worry about refunds or payments. You get exposed to a heavily optimized selling and buying experience. You get to connect and keep in touch with customers, always. You have the power to track and analyze how you can grow your business in real-time.

You definitely would want to know more about this product and its features by now, right? Let’s dive in.

Gumroad Features – A quick review

Landing Page Builder

The starting point for selling anything online is to have a landing page that talks about or ‘markets’ your product. With Gumroad, you can quickly design a refreshing landing page or homepage for the product that you want to sell, personalize its content as you like, add colors, imagery, etc. and get it ready to publish in no time. Also, you can embed a form, if you wish to, on a current website or blog, using just a few lines of code. So, you need not actually spend extra on a separate landing page builder tool!

Audience Builder

Creating a profile for your product online is just the first step. The critical task is to build an audience for the product that you want to sell. Having a significant audience for your product means higher chances of being able to sell quickly. Gumroad allows you to build an audience for the product you want to sell by:

Allowing you to import your existing list of contacts and export followers, customers, potential buyers etc.

Helping you engage with your audience using content as a medium, and by leveraging workflows

Giving you complete control over data to enable you to better understand selling and marketing strategies that are working for you and those that aren’t.

Proving guidance in form of a 10-day launch program. They also have an interesting audience building challenge that will prep you up for the real game.

Selling Enabler

There are a number of benefits that users can avail by choosing to sell their products through Gumroad. Some of these in context of digital products are listed as follows:

  • Complete flexibility of providing discounts and benefits to customers
  • Complete flexibility to buyers who want to allow their audience decide the price of the product and ‘pay what they want’
  • Absolute security and guarantee of license key. You don’t have to worry about licence key as Gumroad handles it for you!
  • Ability to sell multiple versions of the same product
  • Allows selling products in a currency of choice
  • Complete security that your product is not misused or stolen

Apart from selling digital products, Gumroad also allows users to sell physical goods. Some of the benefits or advantages of selling physical goods on Gumroad are listed below:

  • Sell as many variants of the same products as you like. For example, if you are selling a dress, you can list it and sell it in different sizes and colors.
  • Charge for and manage shipping with ease.
  • Sell to a single country or more. You get to choose your geographical perimetry so that you have full control over shipping costs.
  • Offer rewards and gifts to loyal customers with the help of offer codes.
  • Verify mailing address and never send out orders to the wrong address.
  • Simplify tax matters. You get to charge inclusive or exclusive tax based on your where your business is located.

There are too many features and capabilities that Gumroad offers. And, it would really take me this entire article to list them all down. So, to make things simpler for both myself and my readers, I have hereon listed out some of the most important things that you as a reader must know about before investing in Gumroad.

  • If you are a Gumroad user, you can sell your products from anywhere around the world
  • Share your work with a global audience on any platform – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.
  • You can start selling your product as soon as the basic design is ready. Your product isn’t ready yet does not mean you can’t take orders. Pre-orders are allowed and so is picking your own release date.
  • Extremely simple checkout process, which ensures higher conversions and sales. Buyers don’t need to wrap their heads around how to buy your product on Gumroad. Customers also have an option to store all their products purchased from Gumroad in a Library.
  • Gumroad offers excellent integrations for shipping. They use ShipStation, which makes shipping really hassle-free.

All You Need to Know About Gumroad Pricing

From features now we move on to discussing Gumroad’s pricing. It’s as easy to understand Gumroad’s pricing as it is to understand its features. You can start using Gumroad with only $10 a month to spare! This starter plan offers unlimited bandwidth, and you have to pay just 3.5% + 30¢ per charge.

However, if you really want to win a larger audience base and increase your chances of hitting a sale on Gumroad, you need to shell out some extra amount of money. That said, it would be fair to pay an additional 10% fee to use a feature like ‘Discover’ and get more visibility as well as a better audience for your product.

Gumroad accepts payments through all major credit cards as well as wallets such as Paypal. Therefore, the mode of payment should not be a problem for any customer at all.

The Drawbacks or Cons of Gumroad

As someone who has extensively explored and used Gumroad for quite a while now, I can confidently say that while the ‘value’ that this product provides is great, there are still some flaws that need immediate fixing.

For those who are considering signing-up for Gumroad, I’ve listed down some drawbacks that everyone would like to be warned about before putting in their money. While the product is really affordable, you still don’t want to risk spending on something that doesn’t work smoothly. In a way, all the points that I’ve mentioned here if fixed will definitely make Gumroad an unbeatable platform. What are these cons? Let’s find out.

  • The ‘Download all’ button is faulty. While you will never actually use the ‘download all’ button, if it is there on the platform it must function. They should either think about removing the button or fix it.
  • There is a VAT on checkout, an element that confuses people. Though not a ‘technical’ or ‘procedural’ flaw, there is not a prominent mention of VAT on the pricing page. Mention of VAT is only on the terms and conditions page (something that no user ever completely pays much attention to). They should consider talking about VAT on the pricing page as a footnote.
  • Emails sometimes don’t reach the customer’s inbox. And that’s a serious problem. Customers often need to check their spam folder, or at times never actually receive the email from Gumroad. It’s weird but its true.
  • Their panel works slow. Sometimes it takes more than 20-30 seconds for the admin panel to load. I absolutely hate waiting for the panel to load and I believe anyone else too wouldn’t like it.
  • If you are uploading a work that is in a video format, make sure that the sound function works. I’ve uploaded a few video-based works to sell and got feedback that the sound does not play.
  • Some of the reviews I’ve read about Gumroad point out that their customer support is horrible. I haven’t experienced this first hand as I never felt the need to get in touch with the support team. If this is genuine feedback, Gumroad must look into it.
  • Date formats are not consistent. This is basic, guys! It seems like a small thing but does matter.

These are some of the flaws in Gumroad that all potential customers must double-check before actually signing up for their services. If you think you can make do with the small and big challenges listed above, sign-up today.

Alternatives to Gumroad

Just in case you want to evaluate other options I’ve listed three alternatives to Gumroad in this post. Let’s review these one by one.

Sellfy

Using Sellfy, you can build a full-fledged online store to sell your products. They provide all the necessary tools in your arsenal to be able to sell to your audience – email marketing, discount codes, and easy payment options. Let’s walk through some of the features/capabilities of this product.

  • Beautiful and professional storefront page that can be personalized and customized without coding knowledge
  • Dedicated product showcase pages for sellers to be able to market benefits, uses, functions, and more. Showcase your product with multiples images, Youtube, Vimeo or Soundcloud previews.
  • Cart to add and buy multiple products at the same time. Providing shopping cart functionality to users really makes the checkout experience smooth and hassle-free.
  • Flawless experience on mobile for users who like to browse and buy on the go. Being optimized for mobile adds to the overall user experience.
  • Widgets allow you to embed Sellfy ‘buy now’ on your online store, website, blog, Pinterest, and even on Instagram. This means converting ‘impulse’ buys quickly gets simpler.
  • Payment gateways that Sellfy supports include PayPal and Stripe. With PayPal Express you can be ensured of faster payment, or you can make a safe credit card transaction using Stripe.
  • Other than the features, capabilities that I’ve talked about above, there are a few more interesting points to note about this online selling platform.

Inbuilt analytics to keep track of potential buyers and present customers.

  • ‘Pay what you want’ option for customers. Sellers can list a minimum acceptable amount for their product to keep pricing fair.
  • Option for sellers to give ‘free products’ as ‘gifts’ to first time buyers or loyal customers
  • SEO optimization for stores so that your products can be easily found online by interested buyers
  • Payment in all major currencies accepted, making Sellfy a truly global selling platform
  • Transaction prevention and anti-fraud protection for products you want to sell online

Let’s also briefly look at the integrations that Sellfy offers:

There are four platforms that Sellfy integrates with – Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Zapier, and Webhooks. All these integrations help add to Sellfy functionalities such as tracking ability, retargeting audience on Facebook, customer management and more.

Talking about the pricing, Sellfy is nearly triple the price of Gumroad. Their basic plan starts at $29/mo, and there is an additional 2% transaction fee. The good thing is that they offer a 14-day free trial, so you can completely understand all the features of the product and explore the tool in depth before you invest in it.

Next, we shall discuss Selz as an alternative option.

Selz

Selz markets itself as ‘eCommerce to start and grow your business online’. Using Selz you can create your online store, sell using your own website, or even sell directly from social media platforms.

What I really find good about Selz is that they’ve made their objective clearly come out through their website. They make it clear that they allow users to sell three types of products – physical products, digital products, and services; and, to do so users have three options – create an online store, sell from own website (using a widget), or sell from a social media platform (using Facebook store or buy now buttons).

Let’s discuss some basic features of Selz for you to find out if you’d like to explore this platform any further.

  • You can create a store using Selz. They have a drag and drop store builder that makes it easy for even teenagers to set up a store online. Apart from this, you can create a custom domain name and register it through Selz. You also get to choose from free themes for designing your store/website hassle-free. Plus, every store comes with an SSL certification.
  • Payment options for those who want to buy from Selz are easy. They accept all major cards. Payment through PayPal is also accepted. Taxes are calculated automatically during checkout. An outstanding feature that I must list here is that order confirmation receipts can be customized to upsell and cross-sell products. It’s an amazing way to increase sales.
  • Super smart checkout makes Selz a good alternative to consider. Their shopping cart feature allows users to buy multiple products at the same time. Then, there are abandoned cart emails sent to users who have added items to cart but not yet purchased. This timely and gentle nudge often results in resuming dormant users and hitting more sales. This is a great feature to have as it helps you save the cost of buying a full-fledged email marketing tool for addressing cart abandonment.
  • Selz also comes with ‘custom fields’ that allow collecting important user information for future marketing and retargeting.
  • Customer support is quite good as they have tons of guides and articles from the founder, which you can go through to understand the product and refer if stuck. They also have a ‘help center’ that as the name suggests is there to help you with your queries.

How Selz Works

You (the seller) get access to the admin panel. Using this panel you can track how your sales on Selz is doing. From the panel itself, you can also stay engaged with your contacts, send them messages, etc. The tool also allows you to grow your sales through promotional messages.

To start with, you can pick a preset template from the options that they offer and create your online store. Or you can embed their ‘buy now’ buttons to your website or blog. The third option is to create a Facebook store using Selz and sell directly to your followers.

Selz Pricing

Selz offers users four options to pick from – Free, Lite, Standard, and Pro. The Free plan is for those who wish to sell five or less products. Those who want to opt for this plan will just have to pay 2% transaction fee and 2.9% + 30¢ processing fee.

The Lite plan allows selling unlimited products, starts at $17/mo (billed annually). It allows you to create a store using Selz. There is a 2% transaction fee and .9% + 30¢ processing fee that users of this plan need to pay on every successful transaction through Selz.

Their Standard Plan is priced at $23 per month (billed annually). This is one of the most popular plans and is best suited if you want to earn a regular income using Selz. This plan allows you to add advanced shopping cart functionality to your website, store, etc. It also allows you to set a custom domain name, and send abandoned cart emails. Apart from this there is 1% transaction fee and 2.9% + 30¢ processing fee.

The Pro Plan is priced at $35/mo (billed annually). It offers maximum benefits and has a 0% transaction fee. Seems like a good investment!

Take a look at their pricing plans here:

Sendowl

Next on the list is Sendowl. The first thing that you’ll notice when you visit their website is the very catchy tagline – The only ecommerce platform that cares about conversion rates, ease of use, and owls. They have played a smart game by linking their product’s value to conversion optimization. On their homepage, they’ve also intelligently placed video tutorials on how to use the product.

Following are SendOwl’s features that stand out:

  • Easy and responsive checkout. No matter what device your customers are using to browse and buy, the checkout is always smooth and happy experience.
  • Supports multiple languages for a truly global experience. You can sell from any platform-email, social media, blog, website etc.
  • The platform is optimized for increasing sales and therefore offers interesting capabilities such as affiliates system, upsells, cart abandonment, discounts, smooth and friction free checkout, pay what you want pricing etc.
  • Using SendOwl you can sell products, memberships, as well as subscriptions. They have an interesting ‘Drip Functionality’ model that which allows that Instead of releasing the product all at once, you can release it over a period of time to keep an element of interest alive in your customers.
  • They promise swift delivery, absolute security, and quick scaling. Anyone would want these three capabilities in a product!
  • SendOwl also handles all the complex and boring stuff on your behalf. It takes care of tax management, fraud prevention, EU VAT rules and regulations etc. for your business.

For their pricing plans, you can check out the following screenshot/image.

My takeaway on pricing is that all their  Standard Plans are quite reasonably priced and their ‘Premium’ as well as ‘Business’ plan, are both good investments. Self-hosting plans are a bit costly but also allow you to sell a good number of products. Subscription plans are the most expensive of all.

Note: Their pricing is based on the type of product you wish to sell. I don’t really think that in the options we’ve discussed above, any other alternative allows selling subscriptions. Otherwise, if you want to sell products online you have good alternatives to try.

One-on-One Comparisons

Let’s now take on a one-on-one comparison of all the alternatives we’ve discussed.

Selz vs. Gumroad

Currently, Selz has a market share of .04% while Gumroad has a .1% market share. The former is growing in popularity quickly and is a good alternative to Gumroad for those who want to switch because of any disappointment that they might be facing with Gumroad.

Selz and Gumroad pricing is also neck to neck. So, it isn’t that you are paying too much for one as compared to another. Also, both take a cut out of each transaction that you complete.

As far as the experience of app usage and design is concerned, Selz is slightly better than Gumroad.

What makes Selz a good alternative for Gumroad is that it causes the least amount of technical hurdles, and are priced fairly reasonably. Another great thing about Selz is that they are are not just a selling space but compete with full-fledged eCommerce websites.

Sellfy vs. Gumroad

Both of these options are fighting quite close on the market share front. Sellfy’s current market share is 0.09% while that of Gumroad as I’ve already pointed above is 0.1%.

SEO optimization capability makes Sellfy an interesting alternative to Gumroad. Unlike Gumroad, Sellfy allows your store/website/products to be found by people who are actually interested in buying.

Another unique capability that Sellfy provides is that it allows you to create pop-ups on your own website that don’t allow users to leave without leaving behind a bit of personal information such as emails. And (we all know) nurturing begins with an email address.

Sellfy also has a slightly better app design than Gumroad. However, the difference isn’t so much so that you MUST think that the former is better.

Sendowl vs. Gumroad

SendOwl’s market share is currently only .03%. That said, it is one of the best tools out there for those who are considering selling a lot of products or subscriptions online. The product is damn easy to use and does everything for you.

The only point that you might feel stuck as it when you look at SendOwl’s pricing as compared to that of Gumroad or any other alternative. Surely, their Self Hosting and Subscription plans are much costlier than any other plans offered by any other alternative. However, these have their unique advantages too. The best thing that you can do is try them out on free trial for 30 days and see if you really want all those functionalities that SendOwl offers.

That’s a Wrap

For me, SendOwl was a bit too much in every aspect. I feel that as an alternative to Gumroad, Selz works well for me on every aspect. For now, I’ll go with it.

Ankit is a Technology Entrepreneur. Technology Entrepreneur. Co-founder #Aritic, Founder #EasySendy.

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