What Is Digital Dropshipping & How To Get Started? (2024)

If you are interested in launching a successful dropshipping business, digital dropshipping can be a fantastic starting point. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this term or are yet to be familiar with it, we will walk you through all you must know about digital dropshipping– a lucrative, on-trend niche for dropshipping businesses.

Here is what we’re going to cover in today’s blog post:

  • What is digital dropshipping?
  • Digital dropshipping vs other dropshipping models: all the differences explained
  • How to start your digital dropshipping store?

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

What is Digital Dropshipping?

Digital dropshipping is a business model where digital products, such as e-books, courses, software, or membership services, are sold without owning or creating them. A third-party supplier is partnered with who fulfills the orders on behalf of the seller, either by providing access to the product or by doing onboarding.

Digital dropshipping has many advantages, such as low overhead costs, high profit margins, easy scalability, and no inventory or shipping issues

Now, think about replacing those physical things with digital stuff. Instead of selling a physical item, you sell things like e-books, online classes, music, software, or services. 

Instead of shipping a physical thing, you send a download link, access to a website, or a digital file. That’s digital dropshipping, where you deal in virtual goods instead of physical ones. You’re still the conductor, but the music is all digital.

What’s the difference between digital dropshipping and other dropshipping models? 

The main difference between digital dropshipping and the traditional dropshipping model is the type of products you sell. In traditional dropshipping, you deal with physical items like clothes or gadgets, which can be bulky and expensive to store and ship. 

But with digital dropshipping, you sell virtual goods like e-books, online courses, music, software, or services. This has some cool benefits.

  • You don’t need to worry about storing or shipping stuff. No more crowded closets or trips to the post office. You just send a download link or a digital file to your customer, and that’s it!
  • There’s often no upfront cost for inventory since digital products can be created or acquired easily. You don’t need to buy a bunch of items and hope they sell.
  • You can reach a global audience because there are no shipping restrictions or customs hassles. People from anywhere can buy your digital goods, expanding your potential customer base.
  • As you can resell the same digital products for as many times as you wish, your profit margin with digital dropshipping is higher
  • Digital dropshipping can be more eco-friendly because it reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping physical products. 

Hence, if you’re looking for a simpler, cost-effective, and eco-conscious way to start a business, digital dropshipping might be your jam. 

Now that you have a better understanding of what digital dropshipping is; and how it works and overshadows the traditional dropshipping model– there is now only one big question left (big one actually): “How can I start dropshipping digital products?”

How To Start Your Digital Dropshipping Store?

The process to launch a digital dropshipping store is much simpler than you thought. You need to pinpoint a winning digital product, find a reliable supplier, and create an online website to promote your business.

Let’s explore the details of each step! 

Step 1: Choose profitable digital products

So, you’ve decided to embark on your digital dropshipping journey, but the first step is crucial: choosing the right digital products to dropship

How to find your digital dropshipping item

  1. Market research: Start by understanding your target audience. What are their interests, pain points, and needs? Use tools like Google Trends, social media analytics, and forums to spot trends and topics that are currently hot. Look for gaps in the market where your digital products can provide value.
  2. Keyword research: Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to identify search terms related to your potential products. High search volumes with low competition keywords indicate potential niches.
  3. Competition analysis: Check out your competitors. Look for successful digital dropshippers in your chosen niche. See what they offer and what’s missing. You can get ideas from their product offerings and marketing strategies.
  4. Customer feedback: Customer reviews and comments on e-commerce platforms and social media can reveal valuable insights. They may express desires for specific digital products, features, or improvements.

The best digital dropshipping products to consider

Now, let’s explore some of the best digital dropshipping product categories to consider:

  1. Online classes: You can sell online classes about almost anything, like cooking or coding. You team up with people who create these classes or websites like Udemy and Coursera to offer many different classes to your customers.
  2. E-books and downloadable PDFs: These include all kinds of books, from big guides to small stories. People write and publish these books, and you can sell them to people who want to read them.
  3. Apps and tools: This is a big area that’s growing fast. You can sell all sorts of software, from tools that help people work to fun games. You work with the folks who make these programs to offer them to your customers.
  4. Digital art and design stuff: Artists and designers always need good things like fonts, templates, and pictures. You partner with people who make these digital things to sell them to creatives.
  5. Audio and video content: Things like podcasts, audiobooks, and video classes are getting more and more popular. You can work with creators or platforms like Audible and Skillshare to sell these to people who want to listen or watch.
  6. Membership and subscription: Some companies offer special content or products to people who pay to be members or subscribers. You can team up with these companies and sell their services to your customers, and you earn money for each sale you make.

Step 2: Find reliable suppliers

After you have determined the digital product you specifically want to dropship– let’s move on to finding a reliable supplier.

Characteristics to look for in your digital dropshipping product supplier 

When picking your suppliers, here are the four key aspects you need to take into account:

  1. Product quality: Confirm that the digital items you provide are of top-notch quality and align with your customers’ standards.
  2. The price offered: The product must deliver sufficient value to warrant a price above approximately $40. Below this threshold, attracting profitable customers can be challenging.
  3. Supplier’s credibility: Opt for suppliers with a track record of reliability, ensuring they consistently deliver digital products punctually and without complications.
  4. Communication and transparency: Opt for a supplier with open and effective communication channels to address any of your concerns promptly.

How to find a reliable supplier for your digital dropshipping store?

Whether your products are physical or digital, a fatal drawback of dropshipping is that you cannot control the product quality. Plus, your suppliers directly impact your profit margin. Hence, do careful research and be picky about the supplier you’ll work with. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Use reputable online platforms: Explore reputable online platforms like Amazon Kindle, Udemy, or specialized digital marketplaces. These platforms often have a range of digital products and reliable suppliers.
  2. Research potential suppliers: Look for suppliers who align with your chosen niche. Research their reputation, reviews, and history of product delivery to assess reliability.
  3. Contact and communicate: Reach out to potential suppliers to inquire about their products, pricing, and dropshipping arrangements. Assess their communication responsiveness and clarity.
  4. Check product quality: Request samples or access to their digital products to evaluate the quality. Ensure the products meet your standards and your customers’ expectations.
  5. Verify licensing and rights: Confirm that the supplier has the necessary licenses and rights to distribute the digital products. Avoid copyright infringement issues.
  6. Discuss terms and agreements: Establish clear terms and agreements regarding pricing, payment methods, order processing, and any other relevant details. Get everything in writing to protect both parties.
  7. Start with a small order: Begin with a small order to test the supplier’s reliability, product quality, and shipping process before committing to a long-term partnership.

Step 3: Create an online store

Now that you have picked winning digital items to dropship and where to source them from, the last step is building an e-shop. This is where you can manage, run, and scale up your digital dropshipping store.

When it comes to dropshipping digital products like e-books, online courses, and music, choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial. Three popular options that offer robust solutions for digital dropshipping are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix.

#1. Shopify

Shopify is a renowned e-commerce platform that specializes in helping businesses set up online stores. It’s an excellent choice for digital dropshipping due to its user-friendly interface and extensive range of features.

Why Choose Shopify for Digital Dropshipping
  • Dedicated Digital Product Support: Shopify offers native support for digital products, making it easy to manage and sell them.
  • Secure Digital Delivery: It ensures secure delivery of digital goods to customers, safeguarding your products.
  • Payment Integration: Integration with multiple payment gateways allows smooth transactions for digital products.
  • Customizable: You can customize your store’s appearance and add digital product listings effortlessly.
  • App Ecosystem: Access to a vast library of apps and plugins allows you to extend the functionality of your digital dropshipping store.
How to Dropship Digital Products with Shopify
  1. Create Your Shopify Store: Sign up for a Shopify account and set up your online store, choosing a suitable theme for your niche.
  2. Add Digital Products: Upload your digital products, including e-books, online courses, or music files, and set their prices.
  3. Set Up Payment Gateway: Configure a payment gateway to accept payments from customers.
  4. Secure Delivery: Utilize Shopify’s digital delivery system to securely deliver digital products to customers upon purchase.
  5. Market Your Store: Use Shopify’s marketing tools and integrations to promote your digital products and attract customers.

#2. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that transforms your WordPress website into a powerful e-commerce platform.

Why Choose WooCommerce for Digital Dropshipping:
  • Cost-Effective: WooCommerce is free to use, making it budget-friendly for startups.
  • WordPress Integration: If you’re already familiar with WordPress, WooCommerce seamlessly integrates with your existing site.
  • Customization: You can customize your digital dropshipping store using various WordPress themes and plugins.
  • Digital Product Management: WooCommerce allows you to manage digital products easily, setting up download links and secure delivery options.
How to Dropship Digital Products with WooCommerce:
  1. Install WooCommerce: Add the WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website.
  2. Configure Settings: Set up your digital products, pricing, and payment gateways.
  3. Upload Digital Products: Add your digital products, ensuring they are correctly categorized.
  4. Secure Delivery: Implement secure delivery methods for digital goods, such as links or access keys.
  5. Promote Your Store: Utilize WordPress and WooCommerce marketing tools to attract customers to your digital product offerings.

#3. Wix

Wix is a popular website builder with eCommerce capabilities, offering an easy-to-use platform for digital dropshipping.

Why Choose Wix for Digital Dropshipping:
  • User-Friendly: Wix’s drag-and-drop interface makes it beginner-friendly for setting up an online store.
  • Digital Product Integration: It offers dedicated tools for adding and managing digital products.
  • Payment Options: Wix supports multiple payment methods, ensuring a smooth buying process.
  • Templates: Choose from a range of templates to create an appealing digital dropshipping store.
How to Dropship Digital Products with Wix:
  1. Create a Wix Website: Sign up for a Wix account and select an e-commerce-friendly template.
  2. Add Digital Products: Upload your digital products, set prices, and descriptions.
  3. Set Up Payments: Configure payment options to accept customer payments.
  4. Secure Delivery: Establish a secure delivery method, such as download links, for digital product orders.
  5. Market Your Store: Use Wix’s built-in marketing features to promote your digital dropshipping store and attract customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Digital dropshipping is a business model where you sell digital products, like e-books, online courses, or software, without physically owning or storing them. You partner with suppliers or creators who handle product delivery to customers.

To start digital dropshipping, research profitable niches, find reliable suppliers or creators of digital products, set up an online store or platform, market your products, and manage customer orders and support. Ensure you have legal agreements in place.

An example of digital dropshipping is partnering with an online course creator to sell their courses through your website. When a customer buys a course, you earn a commission, and the creator provides access to the course directly to the customer.

Yes, digital dropshipping is legal as long as you comply with copyright and intellectual property laws. Ensure you have proper agreements and licenses in place with suppliers or creators to sell their digital products. Always respect the rights of content creators and follow the law in your jurisdiction.

Ready To Launch Your Digital Dropshipping Business?

All in all, digital dropshipping gives you more benefits than traditional dropshipping physical items as traditional. This is because you can “sell” a product as many times as you want, you won’t have to deal with shipping costs, handling fees, etc. We hope after reading this article, you can have the needed knowledge to launch and scale up your digital dropshipping business to success.