How Selling Digital Goods is Less Expensive Than a Retail Operation

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Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding time in your life, but it also needs to be a profitable one. Carefully weighing your options, along with processing risks versus potential reward, is an important part of the planning process. For this reason, it’s a good idea for content creators to consider all of the ways selling digital goods can be less expensive in the long run, and profitable more quickly, than opening a brick-and-mortar retail establishment.

Costs of Selling Digital Goods Versus Costs of Opening a Retail Store

In order to start your digital goods business, you’ll need a product. Because these products are intangible and created by you, they won’t come with expenses associated with stocking, manufacturing or warehousing. With the exception of tools you need to create them, they also won’t cost you anything to create beyond an investment of your time. Your digital goods business won’t require retail space, so real estate expenses are eliminated, along with utilities and payroll costs associated with hiring staff. Unless you’re starting a massive operation from the outset, you probably won’t need any additional staff at all.

Opening a retail operation, on the other hand, requires a substantial amount of start-up capital. In addition to purchasing or leasing retail space, you’ll need to have the space outfitted to suit your needs. Because a single person can’t typically run an entire retail operation, you’ll need one employee at very bare minimum. You’ll need to have enough money to have your products manufactured and shipped, then enough space to store backstock. When your backstock is sold, it must be replenished, so you’ll have to hold a percentage of your profits back to cover those expenses. Very quickly, even a tiny retail operation can become exorbitantly expensive. Even one slow month can deplete your startup capital, leaving you dangerously close to bankruptcy.

What You Need to Sell Digital Downloads

You don’t need retail space, warehouse access, staff or backstock to start selling digital goods. What you will need, though, is way to process payments safely, secure file hosting, the ability to automate download delivery to your customers, and a marketing plan. A business website, while certainly helpful, isn’t vital.

You can strive to meet all of these needs by working with separate services, but it’s more efficient and more practical to streamline as much of your daily operation taskload as possible. This is where reputable ecommerce platform services like are so valuable. By combining payment processing through trusted names with automated content delivery, secure file hosting and access to valuable marketing tools, an ecommerce service provider consolidates your business and makes it easier to manage.

Before you start a retail business, take a moment to consider just how much money you could be saving by turning your product ideas into digital goods. With the right preparation and a bit of marketing know-how, you can start selling digital goods and reaching profitability far earlier than is possible with a new retail business.


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