Which Are Easier to Sell? Digital or Physical Products?

22 replies
In your experience, which are easier to sell? Digital products or physical products?

Note that I am referring to strictly to selling and not the other aspects, such as product creation, stocking, delivery, etc.

Strictly from a marketing perspective, do you find it easier to sell digital or physical products?
#digital #easier #physical #products #sell
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Services.

    I know. That's not the answer you were looking for.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549600].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Services.
      Yeah, are those physical services or digital services wise guy?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549613].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
        Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

        Yeah, are those physical services or digital services wise guy?
        You can actually get both on Craigslist! :p
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549643].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Tom B
          Banned
          Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

          You can actually get both on Craigslist! :p
          What the heck are you selling Dan?
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549665].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
            Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

            What the heck are you selling Dan?
            Red light bulbs and lighting installation services.


            Anyway, for clarification, I meant selling online, not offline.
            Signature

            Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

            Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549774].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Vogin
            If you worked with physical products, you could have an easier dealing with Paypal (they don't support digital stuff when there are any problems).
            Signature

            ppcsluzby.cz/en - PPC agency


            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549898].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rushindo
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Services.

      I know. That's not the answer you were looking for.
      Why do you say services? Any examples on why you believe services are easier to sell as opposed to products?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2558681].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Depends on the niche. In ours (IM/MMO), the big advantage of digital is the instant gratification, which is HUGE for conversions. But when you reach a certain level (Kern, Reese, Filsaime, etc.), the "thud" of a physical product in this niche lends itself nicely to a much bigger price tag ($1997 seems common).

    So it's not cut-and-dried, but gimme digital. Such a big advantage because of its ability to tap into the hunger people wanting to make money online have for immediate download (gratification).

    John
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549822].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jayauthor
    I think selling service over goods is easier if you can offer a good service.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549836].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Dan, sorry to derail your thread.

      This is something you will need to test as to what is the easier sale.

      The gurus have a whole product launch to help sell the 2k products. That and their reputations.

      I have a feeling the physical products help when it comes to higher prices but not so sure about it being a easier sale.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549896].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549907].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Opinion time - it depends on the value of the product.

      Would you be interested in buying a year's worth of newspapers for $1 billion?

      What if I told you they were next year's papers?

      Would the format (physical or digital) make a difference?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2549970].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Opinion time - it depends on the value of the product.

        Would you be interested in buying a year's worth of newspapers for $1 billion?

        What if I told you they were next year's papers?

        Would the format (physical or digital) make a difference?
        But, in that case, both products are the same. They are both information products. What's being sold is the information, not the media.

        What if the physical product is a coffee maker and the digital product is an eBook on brewing great coffee at home with an assortment of recipes?

        Here's my thing... I can get people to buy that coffee maker from me. There might be dozens of other people selling the same coffee maker, but I can get people to buy from me. I don't need to have the lowest price to do it. It could be a coffee maker they could drive to a store locally and take home, and I can still get them to buy from me. I can do it with (I believe!) my sales copy. I can basically say, You should buy this coffee maker from me and people will be like Okay and they'll buy it.

        On the other hand, I can get people to buy that coffee brewing eBook from me. But, comparably, it takes me a lot more work to get people to buy that eBook than it does to get people to buy the coffee maker from me.

        And that confounds me. It just seems to me it should be so much easier to sell a digital product than a physical product.

        (By the way, I don't sell coffee makers. That's just an example.)
        Signature

        Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

        Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2551955].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          But, in that case, both products are the same. They are both information products. What's being sold is the information, not the media.

          What if the physical product is a coffee maker and the digital product is an eBook on brewing great coffee at home with an assortment of recipes?

          Here's my thing... I can get people to buy that coffee maker from me. There might be dozens of other people selling the same coffee maker, but I can get people to buy from me. I don't need to have the lowest price to do it. It could be a coffee maker they could drive to a store locally and take home, and I can still get them to buy from me. I can do it with (I believe!) my sales copy. I can basically say, You should buy this coffee maker from me and people will be like Okay and they'll buy it.

          On the other hand, I can get people to buy that coffee brewing eBook from me. But, comparably, it takes me a lot more work to get people to buy that eBook than it does to get people to buy the coffee maker from me.

          And that confounds me. It just seems to me it should be so much easier to sell a digital product than a physical product.

          (By the way, I don't sell coffee makers. That's just an example.)
          Fair enough, but it still boils down to the value proposition.

          Many digital products are priced at multiples of the same information product in some physical form.

          Information product: an ebook on brewing great coffee and a selection of recipes.

          Price in a bookstore: $9.95 to maybe $14.95

          Price on Clickbank: Probably $19.97, $27, or more

          Easier to establish value for the physical (less expensive) format. If the ebook is available for the Kindle or other ereader for $0.99, easier to sell the download to ereader owners.

          Coffee maker in a local retail store: I just bought one for ~$39.

          Identical coffee maker using the typical CB markups: ~$80 - $150

          Much easier to sell the ~$39 coffee maker than the more expensive one.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2558084].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
            Well, from personal experience I can tell you if you are selling a physical product that is hard to find locally the internet rocks as a sales tool.

            One of the coolest things that may not be intuitive to those who don't sell physical products is that in order for the item to be shipped they need (generally speaking) to be shipped in a box.

            The product rarely takes up the entire space inside the shipping box if you are selling small items.

            So a natural upsell is to ask the customer if they would like to buy more than one of the products because more than one of the products will fit inside the box. Hence no additional shipping charges on the additional products. Believe it or not, that's huge, and a very easy sale.

            A good portion of my business is upselling customers to additional units. The vast majority take advantage of the 'free shipping' aspect, and it turns out to be a very good deal for them.

            Works out as a good deal for me, as well.

            ~Bill
            Signature
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2558161].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          Here's my thing... I can get people to buy that coffee maker from me. There might be dozens of other people selling the same coffee maker, but I can get people to buy from me. I don't need to have the lowest price to do it. It could be a coffee maker they could drive to a store locally and take home, and I can still get them to buy from me. I can do it with (I believe!) my sales copy. I can basically say, You should buy this coffee maker from me and people will be like Okay and they'll buy it.
          You've hit upon a very important aspect of selling physical stuff here. I've had a great deal of success selling physical products on eBay. There's a good reason for that.

          eBay is a marketplace of copycats. Many sellers don't take the time to adequately describe their stuff. They see how other people list their auctions and assume (often erroneously) that must be what's working.

          I was looking at CDs on eBay a few weeks ago and about half of the offers didn't even bother to list the songs on the CDs. I guess the sellers assume the already buyers know what songs are on the CDs they want.

          But I'm not just talking about CDs. So many sellers are lazy and don't bother to describe their products very well. That spells opportunity for you. I sold a lot of used items a couple of years back and have literally hundreds of private emails about how well (and accurately) the item was described. People appreciate good descriptions.

          How did I know what to write? I just asked myself, what would I want to know if I were in the market for this item? And it doesn't mater if the item is new or used. Good descriptions sell regardless. And it certainly doesn't hurt to make them salesy while you're at it.

          But vivid descriptions are only the first punch of a one-two knockout strategy. The other thing I did with the majority of my auctions was offer a bonus. In the IM wonderland we're so accustomed to the 'bonus' is expected, it's taken for granted. But on eBay the bonus is relatively rare. You mentioned selling a coffee maker versus an ebook on gourmet coffee.

          My approach would be to describe the coffee maker to the letter and offer the gourmet coffee ebook as a bonus. There are literally thousands of digital bonuses available out there with PLR or MRR. And just like you've done with your main item, you describe the bonus to the T as well. I sometimes had people buy the main item just to get the bonus! But your bonus doesn't have to be digital.

          You might pick up a gross of flavored gourmet sample paks and offer a couple with your coffee maker as a kicker. Your bonus copy might read. "...and as a bonus to get you started with your super duper coffee maker, I'm throwing in two sampler paks of the finest flavored gourmet blends known in the free world..."

          After 9/11 I picked up a couple thousand lapel flag pins at wholesale and started offering them with many of my auctions. My stuff almost always sold first when offered along side something without the value-added extra. It's a no brainer. I'm spending $10. I can get one item or I can get two items. Duh... Even if they have no use for the bonus, human nature says, "I'm in for the freebie."

          When you do this you have positioned yourself in front of everyone selling the same item at similar prices. Put that together with really thoughtful and informative descriptions and you can't lose, especially in a marketplace where so many sellers are lazy and careless.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2558543].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Halli
    I'll take three coffee makers thanks.Damn,I just saw that you don't sell coffee makers If you are so sure about the physical product then why not go with it? Or both if you can?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2552019].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

    In your experience, which are easier to sell? Digital products or physical products?

    Note that I am referring to strictly to selling and not the other aspects, such as product creation, stocking, delivery, etc.

    Strictly from a marketing perspective, do you find it easier to sell digital or physical products?
    Okay, if I cannot include stocking and delivery in the considerations, then I have to play fair... LOL

    If you are selling to an offline marketplace... Then physical products are the only way to go...

    If you are selling to an online marketplace, digital products are only slightly easier to sell...

    LOL

    Like with Michael Hiles, probably not the answer you wanted to hear... P.S. I agreed with Michael on his unrequested answer...

    Digital is only slightly easier to sell online, because physical products can be purchased most anywhere, from thousands of sellers...

    The physical sell more, but your competition is going to make it harder to sell... With less competition in the digital marketplace, you will sell more digital products because it is easier to stand out in the crowd...
    Signature
    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2552054].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Dan,

    This will vary depending on the niche, but as a generalisation, dollar for dollar, folk place a lot more value on physical products compared to digital.

    I've found that in the big wide world, (ie outside of IM) Joe Bloggs still has a degree of mistrust of digital information - maybe not so much in the quality, but in its longevity and useability; Will it arrive? Will I be able to use the format? Will I remember where I stored it? Will it become corrupt over time? Will I be able to send it back should I not like it?

    Now, consider how Mr Bloggs looks at purchasing the physical product - I'm comfortable with this medium. I know it will more than likely arrive (even if a lot more slowly). I will be able to hold it in my hands and put it on a shelf. If it breaks, it might be able to get fixed and I'm comfortable with how the returns process works.

    The value in a physical product should be quite evident - it satisfies more of the senses, particularly that of touch. Having a physical product gives a real sense of ownership.

    The general consumer is still hard-wired to buy physical products. It's just a guess, but I reckon that despite all the perceived success, sales of digital products probably still only account for a small fraction of the overall sales made online.


    Peter
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2552382].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author socialbookmark
    Its highly depend on kind of product you are going to sell and also number of your competitors in this fields and the power of your competitors.
    If you are going to sell a product the people usually buy them from internet, and you don't have many trusted companies, then you can start.
    Fir example if you want to sell books, you will failed as you have a powerful trusted competitor link Amazon. So firstly think about these points then start your business.
    Many times digital selling is better than physical ones but in some cases its not true.
    Signature

    I love warriorforum.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2552733].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
    Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

    In your experience, which are easier to sell? Digital products or physical products?

    Note that I am referring to strictly to selling and not the other aspects, such as product creation, stocking, delivery, etc.

    Strictly from a marketing perspective, do you find it easier to sell digital or physical products?
    One crucial point I see is that in either case, if you are approaching the matter in the most professional manner, is that you will be addressing a targeted audience. If it is a physical product, your target market will most likely be consumers who want something they can touch. If it is a digital product, you will be targeting people who are not only conditioned to buying digital products, they have come to expect instant delivery and immediate gratification.

    So.....if your marketing efforts are directed in such a manner as to reach that target market in the best way, there should not be any discernible difference in the level of difficulty.
    Signature

    Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become - Jim Rohn

    Visit our beautiful gardens

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2558417].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    I've personally sold a ton of physical products on eBay.
    I've also sold services online with great success.

    As far as affiliate marketing goes, I would definitely have to say, from my own experience, that promoting physical products is rediculously easier than selling digital products.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2559213].message }}

Trending Topics