In the digital age, it’s become easier than ever for creative professionals to market their services and reach a wide-ranging customer base. If you’re a designer, photographer, author, or video producer, therefore, you might be considering starting an ecommerce business to sell your digital products. Setting up an online store can make it easier for you to promote your business and gives your customers easy access to your offerings—not to mention a dedicated place to buy your products.
This being said, with the growing ecommerce industry, there are a variety of platforms on the market that give small business owners the ability to create and manage a personalized online store. In the midst of these offerings are solutions designed specifically for selling digital products, like Sellfy. Is Sellfy the right ecommerce platform for your business? This Sellfy review aims to help you make that decision by breaking down Sellfy’s features, pricing, and user reviews. We’ll also discuss top Sellfy alternatives, so you have a better sense of the different options that are available to you.
Sellfy: The Basics
Sellfy is a cloud-based ecommerce platform developed specifically for businesses and professionals that create and sell digital goods—including everything from ebooks to music to illustrations. Using Sellfy, you can set up a personalized storefront, house and display your products, and of course, give customers the opportunity to shop, buy, and download. With Sellfy, you can “build your store in under five minutes,” allowing you to start your ecommerce business in the quickest and simplest way.
Additionally, if you already have a website, or simply want to sell through social media, Sellfy gives you the option to embed products and buy buttons on your business website, as well as on Facebook and YouTube. As an all-in-one ecommerce solution, Sellfy also allows you to integrate your payment processing, utilize their built-in marketing tools and analytics, and connect with over 750 third-party apps using Zapier. Sellfy offers a free 14-day trial of their service, no credit card required.
Now that we’ve gone through a brief overview of the Sellfy platform, let’s explore the full breadth of the features offered to users. As part of their ecommerce solution, Sellfy includes:
Using Sellfy, you can set up your online store and fully personalize it for your business. Sellfy allows you to add your logo, change the colors and navigation, and edit your store layout and information. Sellfy provides you with full shopping cart functionality so customers can purchase multiple items at once. You also have the ability to set your language or let customers see a translated version of your store based on their location.
Using Sellfy, you can host your store directly through their platform, as well as add your own custom domain if you choose. Additionally, you can use Sellfy as an embed to your current business website and customers can purchase your products from there. All of Sellfy’s store offerings are also optimized for mobile—allowing for a user-friendly checkout experience on both desktop and mobile devices.
Sellfy allows you to host all of your digital products and does not limit the number of products you can upload to your store. There is no overall storage limit to your Sellfy store; however, Sellfy recommends that individual files are less than 5GB in size. You can offer both standard products as well as subscription services in any type of static file format. Customers have the ability to download instantly after making their purchase.
To organize your store, you can create your own product categories, sorting by any characteristic you choose. You can include a product title, description, and image. You have the ability to offer different pricing options for all of your products, including “pay what you want.” With this feature, you can let customers choose the price they feel is appropriate for the product, or you can set a minimum price, essentially making it “pay this price or more.” You can also offer set prices per product as well as free products.
Although Sellfy allows you to sell a wide variety of digital content, they do not give you the ability to sell physical products, private label rights content, copyrighted material (that you don’t have rights to distribute), or third-party accounts.
Payments and Security
Sellfy allows you to accept payments online, directly through your store. You can choose from the two payment processing options that Sellfy offers: PayPal or Stripe. With either of these processors, you’ll receive payments instantly and your customer data is secured (as well as PCI-compliant). In addition to payment security, Sellfy provides anti-fraud measures to protect your products including PDF stamping, unique download links, and limited download attempts.
In addition to giving you the capability to set up your store through their platform, Sellfy also offers several different embed options, so you can increase your visibility and promote your business. With Sellfy you can utilize a business website you already have—you can add “buy now” buttons to your site, embed your whole Sellfy store, or embed certain products you have on Sellfy on your website. Sellfy allows you to connect with your Facebook page so you can embed your store there as well. You also can use Sellfy on cards and end screens within YouTube videos.
Marketing and Analytics Tools
The Sellfy platform includes built-in marketing and analytics tools. You can send email product updates and collect newsletter subscribers directly through Sellfy. You can also offer discount codes and product upsells, as well as create and track Facebook and Twitter ads for your store. With the Sellfy analytics dashboard, you can track your best performing products, generated revenue, traffic channels, top locations, and overall store performance.
To expand your functionality and help automate your ecommerce store, Sellfy offers a handful of integration options. You can set up Google Analytics and webhooks, as well as integrate directly with Patreon and Facebook live chat. Sellfy allows you to connect to Zapier, which gives you the ability to integrate with over 750 different third-party apps, including tools like Mailchimp, Trello, Salesforce, and more.
Sellfy Wix App
Sellfy has a “Sell Downloads app” specific to the website building platform Wix. If you’ve created a website using Wix, you can add the Sellfy app and sell your digital products this way. This app, however, is a separate service from the typical Sellfy ecommerce offerings. To use the Sell Downloads app on Wix, you can register for a 14-day free trial, and then after the trial has concluded, you can upgrade to premium to continue using the app. The premium Wix app costs $9.99 per month.
Sellfy has two plan options: Pro and Pro Plus. According to the Sellfy website, the Pro plan is best for starters and lower volume sellers, whereas the Pro Plus is best for established and higher volume sellers. The pricing for Sellfy, as you might expect, depends on the plan you choose.
The Pro plan costs $29 per month plus a 2% transaction fee. The Pro Plus plan, on the other hand, costs $99 per month and has no transaction fee. When calculating these fees, Sellfy sums up your transaction fees for the whole billing cycle and then you pay them once a month with your subscription fee. Other than the transaction fee, the only difference between these two plans is customer support—the Pro Plus plan offers premium support for Sellfy users.
Although not directly part of Sellfy’s cost, it’s important to remember that you’ll also have to pay the payment processing fees from whichever gateway you choose to work with. Generally, for Stripe or PayPal, you’ll be paying 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. These fees can vary, however, depending on the transaction location.
Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, Sellfy offers a 14-day free trial for both of its plans, no credit card required. You cannot actually process sales with the free trial, however; you can only do this once you’ve purchased a subscription plan.
Pros of Sellfy
If you’re looking to start a digital goods business, there are certainly benefits to choosing Sellfy as your ecommerce platform. Here are a few:
Ease of Use
There’s a reason Sellfy uses the tagline “Build your store in under five minutes.” One of the biggest benefits of Sellfy is definitely its ease of use—appealing directly to customers who want to spend their time developing their products and not necessarily creating and maintaining their store. Using the Sellfy platform, therefore, is not only simple, but fast, allowing you to set up your store, customize and add your products, and start selling quickly.
Additionally, Sellfy makes maintaining your store easy as well, automating payments and product downloads—meaning you don’t have to spend a lot of time managing the store after you’ve set it up. Furthermore, Sellfy is a relatively comprehensive platform, giving you all the essential tools you need to run an efficient ecommerce business.
Unlike other platforms that allow for a variety of different products, including physical and digital goods, Sellfy specializes in digital products. Although you can’t use Sellfy if your business is based on physical products, there is a larger appeal for choosing this platform for creative professionals. Sellfy is designed specifically for these digital-based businesses, including features like PDF stamping, pay what you want pricing, unique download links, and limited download attempts. Additionally, Sellfy has no restrictions for storage or amount of products, which is particularly useful if you’re selling illustrations, photos, or videos.
What Sellfy Users Say
On the whole, Sellfy reviews on the internet are very positive. Most users mention how easy and fast it is to create a store using Sellfy, even in comparison to popular tools like WooCommerce. Many users also write that Sellfy is well-organized, straight-forward, and has an intuitive interface. Additionally, Sellfy reviews frequently talk about how the platform automates the sales process—once you set everything up.
Cons of Sellfy
Although there are advantages to Sellfy, there are also drawbacks of this platform as well. Here are two to consider:
There’s no doubt that Sellfy provides the basic tools and functionality you need to set up an online store, but when it comes to extended features, Sellfy is lacking. For example, Sellfy seems to only have one storefront template, so other than changing the logo and colors, there aren’t any real ways to differentiate your store design. Additionally, Sellfy only offers two different plans—with the transaction fee and user support as the only distinguishing features between the two.
In comparison, many other ecommerce platforms provide additional business tools and capabilities, especially as their plan levels increase in price. Furthermore, it seems that Sellfy falls short in terms of their payment gateway options. Some platforms have a payment gateway built in, or at least a wider variety of processors to choose from—once again, with Sellfy you can only use Stripe or PayPal.
For the functionality that Sellfy offers, their pricing appears to be high. Although $29 monthly for the Pro plan might not seem like much, the overall cost can easily grow when you consider the 2% transaction fee, as well as the Stripe or PayPal fees. Additionally, the price jump between the Pro and Pro Plus plans is steep, considering other than the transaction fee and customer support, there aren’t any differences between the two. Furthermore, when you compare Sellfy’s pricing to other ecommerce platforms on the market, there are solutions available with comparable capabilities at a cheaper cost.
What Sellfy Users Say
Although the Sellfy reviews online are mostly positive, users do mention a few issues they have with the platform as well. First, some users feel that Sellfy does not offer enough customization or payment processing options. Similarly, some users write that Sellfy doesn’t have enough features for truly growing your business. If you want to increase your functionality and require more tools as you grow, Sellfy doesn’t have the ability to support these needs. Another common complaint is the lack of a free or lower-cost plan for business owners just starting out. In the past, Sellfy had options for these types of businesses, but has since discontinued those plans.
Alternatives to Sellfy
As with any tool for your business, you’ll want to explore all of your options before choosing an ecommerce platform. Here are two Sellfy alternatives to consider:
Selz is an ecommerce platform that provides solutions for businesses that sell physical or digital products. Selz allows you to create an online store (as well as a blog) by choosing one of their themes and customizing with their drag and drop builder. Like Sellfy, Selz gives you the ability to add your custom domain name, embed buttons, products, or whole store on your business website, as well as integrate your store with Facebook.
In addition to Selz’s physical product capabilities (like inventory management and shipping services), they also offer “Digital ninja” features, which include the capability to sell all kinds of digital products, unlimited hosting and bandwidth, automated product updates, and license key product protection.
Whereas Sellfy only gives you the ability to integrate your store with Stripe or PayPal, Selz has full payment processing capabilities, using their own gateway to accept payments from all major credit cards, as well as PayPal. Furthermore, Selz offers four different plans, ranging in monthly fees from $0 to $35. With the most expensive plan, the Pro plan, you have no additional transaction fee, just credit card processing fees (2.9% + $0.30). Not only is this plan less expensive than the Pro Plus Sellfy plan, but it also offers a wider variety of features. This being said, if you want a cheaper monthly cost and a greater range of options, Selz is a worthy alternative to Sellfy.
No matter what kind of ecommerce business you’re looking to start, it’s hard to go wrong selling on Shopify. Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms and is well-known for usability and range of features. Shopify, like Sellfy, allows you to quickly and easily create your online store and customize it to your business. Using Shopify, you also have access to expanded sales channels like Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.
Additionally, like Selz, Shopify has options for business owners who sell physical products, as well as those who sell digital goods. For digital products, Shopify gives you the option to manually or automatically fill orders, limit the number of downloads, resend or cancel download links, and edit pre-created email templates to send to customers.
On the whole, Shopify offers four different plans with monthly fees ranging from $9 to $300. Shopify can serve as your payment processor, charging the same credit card processing fees as Selz (2.9% + $0.30) when you subscribe to the Basic Shopify Plan ($29 per month)—and these processing fees decrease with the higher level plans. Shopify does not charge an additional transaction fee unless you use a third-party payment provider.
Once again, if you’re interested in extended functionality and more plan options for growing your business, Shopify might be a suitable alternative to Sellfy.
Is Sellfy Right for Your Business?
All things considered, it seems that the Sellfy ecommerce platform is best for digital product businesses that want a comprehensive online store solution that is quick and easy to create and manage. However, businesses that consider using Sellfy also have to be willing to invest dedicated monthly funds, for the subscription fee, as well as the associated credit card processing and transaction fees—meaning this may not be the most cost-effective option for business owners just starting out.
This being said, if you want a wider variety of features, payment options, and tools to add on as your business grows, you might want to look into more expansive ecommerce solutions. At the end of the day, however, you know your business best. Therefore, after exploring your options, and perhaps testing out different free trials, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to decide which ecommerce platform is right for your business.
Randa has a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Iona College. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.