7 Profitable Ideas for Digital Products on Shopify (In 2024)

Profitable ideas for digital products on Shopify

Digital products are highly profitable, don’t take up any physical space, and don’t require shipping. These qualities make them attractive to many since less work is needed to start selling. Digital products are the future.

The barrier to entry is extremely low and attracts tons of creative sellers, increasing the level of competition.

To thrive in the field of digital products, one requires vigor and skill. This helps set your products apart from the sea of similar premium and free products in the market.

When purchasing a digital product on your website, customers go through the normal process:

  1. Add the digital item to their cart.
  2. Proceed to checkout.
  3. Provide their details.
  4. Make a payment.

After paying, the download of the product they ordered will usually begin. Alternatively, a link to download the product is sent to their email, where they can download it.

1. Printables

A sample coloring printable

Printables are digital products that users can download and print from home. Most of them are available in document formats that can be opened using software like Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.

Creators of printable products often use software they know their potential clients will have. This is why it is essential to define your audience way before you start creating the actual product.

Examples of printable products include:

  1. Planners – People love planning things. You might be wondering why someone would want to write things in an age where there are countless planning apps in the market. However, apps just don’t cut it for most people. It’s not the same as writing something down with a pen on paper.
  2. Coloring pages – These are great for kids. Coloring contributes to the psychological development of a child. For instance, coloring helps with the following:
    • Stimulating creativity.
    • Improving a child’s handwriting by training them to use a pen.
    • Self-expression.
    • Stress relief. The process of coloring is therapeutic.
  3. Journals – A lot of people journal every day. It is good for their mental health because it offers them an avenue to offload their thoughts (and stress). Creating unique designs that appeal to particular groups can help to sell your printables.

2. Ebooks

Image of an ebook in a tablet

An ebook is a digital version of a physical book. Most physical books are available in digital form, but not all ebooks are available in physical form.

Today, anybody can write an ebook on a particular topic and self-publish. These books can then be sold on online platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or Apple Books.

You can also create your ebook and sell it on your Shopify store. The success of your digital product depends on your expertise in the subject and ingenuity in your marketing efforts.

To write an ebook, examine your areas of interest or expertise. Below is a list of questions you should ask yourself before writing an ebook. The questions will help you settle on a subject and define your target audience.

  1. Which field are you really good in and would enjoy writing about?
  2. What is the size of your audience? Use Google Trends to determine this.
  3. Is there a demand for the topic you want to write about?
  4. Is the information valuable? Is it freely available on the internet?

3. Courses

An illustration of an online course

Courses are digital products where individuals (often experts) share their knowledge of a particular field with an audience interested in the subject.

Courses are highly profitable when done right. Popular YouTuber Ali Abdal made over $1.7 million in 2022 from selling a YouTube course.

Of course, Ali is an outlier. He was already successful on YouTube when he launched his course. This is not to mean that you can’t achieve a great deal of success with a course. Ensuring you do adequate preparations sets you on a path to success.

How do you prepare adequately? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What value are your students going to gain from your course?
  2. Who is your ideal student?
  3. What problem is this course solving for your student?
  4. How will you attract the ideal student to your course?
  5. How will you gauge the performance of your students?

If any of these questions made you scratch your head, don’t start developing the course just yet. Go back to the drawing board and figure out bulletproof strategies to answer all the questions. Then you can start building your course.

4. Design Templates

A graphics design setup

Design templates help people save time when designing graphics. Graphics can range from simple gift cards to complex infographics.

Two people can use the same design template and end up with totally different results by customizing it to suit their needs.

Many individuals and businesses can not afford to hire expensive designers to develop custom designs for them. Design templates offer them relief because they can acquire them at a fraction of the price it would cost to make a custom order.

There are several advantages to using design templates:

  1. They are fully optimized for specific use cases. For instance, if you buy a custom design for your Facebook cover photo, it will come with all the correct dimensions for a Facebook cover photo. You don’t spend more time trying to adjust the dimensions.
  2. They are budget-friendly. This is one of their most important features. They are inexpensive to acquire and use. And you can use the same design several times depending on your needs!
  3. They save you time. Your time is spent changing the colors or positions of elements instead of starting from scratch. This saves you time and, therefore, money.

If you have a background in design, you can create attractive designs for a specific use case and publish them on online template marketplaces like:

  1. DesignCuts
  2. Template Monster
  3. Etsy

Most of these sites charge commissions for every purchase and also have restrictions on the kind of designs you can and cannot sell on their platforms. This might be reason enough to consider creating your Shopify store and uploading all your designs there.

5. Stock photos & videos

The process of making money from stock photos or videos is similar to that of design templates. You create the original work, upload it to an online marketplace, and wait for people to buy.

The potential in this category of digital products is limitless. However, unlike the other types, the upfront cost can be slightly higher. You will need a good camera, at the very least, to take photos and videos. Good cameras can cost a small fortune.

If you frequently visit places with breathtaking landscapes or wild animals, you can take amazing photos or videos of these places and upload them to a marketplace. The good thing is you don’t need to be an exceptional photographer to pull this off.

Any online marketplace you sell your products on will get a cut of your sales. The best workaround to this is creating your website. You can create one using Shopify. Shopify allows you to create a website and start selling; all in one day.

6. Curriculum

The evolution of technology has brought change to many aspects of life. Education has not been left behind. After the advent of COVID-19, everyday classroom learning was disrupted. Teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector had to think; fast.

A new way of imparting knowledge to students without risking anyone’s health became necessary. Education became personalized and fuelled the need for personalized curricula to suit the needs of individual learners.

Curricula are now commoditized. Creating a digital curriculum product works best if you are a teacher or have relevant experience in the field. You can develop comprehensive curricula for a specific group of learners and sell them online.

There aren’t many marketplaces for this kind of commodity yet. However, this is where a Shopify store comes in handy. You can develop your website and host your curricula there.

Parents and learners can read the briefs of disparate curricula and decide whether they fit their needs well.

Several organizations offer digital curricula:

  1. Google For Education
  2. Khan Academy
  3. Coursera

Although these websites are extensive and powered by some of the world’s most influential companies, you can learn a thing or two about how to create a valuable curriculum from them.

7. Sales scripts

Image showing increasing sales

Sales scripts are invaluable for companies with a product and a team to sell that product. New employees in a sales team don’t always know which questions or responses to give customers. This is where you come in.

Create a script with critical questions and responses to help the employees make a sale or collect valuable information from the customer. Of course, employees learn to rely less on scripts and more on their gut with time, but that initial phase is crucial.

In addition to selling pre-written scripts, you could also offer to tailor a script to a company’s product on demand. You can charge a premium price for that service.

Check out CallHub’s sales script examples for inspiration.

Why should you sell digital products?

There are many alluring incentives for you to get into this line of business. Especially if your goal is to create a passive income source. Some incentives are listed here.

1. High profit margins

High profit margins can partially be attributed to the fact that many digital products do not require intensive upfront investments. Often, the only thing required is experience and computer skills (which can be outsourced).

For instance, to make a gift card or other form of printable, the first thing you need is inspiration. Then, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is the theme of your printable?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. Which information needs to be captured?

After you are satisfied with your responses to these questions, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start creating designs. If you are satisfied with the designs you create, transfer them to a computer. That’s it!

There is little in your way. If you don’t have any graphic design skills and have no time to learn, you can find an experienced graphics designer on Fiverr or Upwork. They’ll do it for you at a small fee (probably less than $100).

You can then sell the designs for $10 apiece. You’ll need to sell 10-20 pieces to break even.

2. Low overhead

As explained in the previous point, there is little in your way to creating your digital product. All you need is your experience and the will to get things done.

Whatever you settle on, you can always find ways of working around obstacles by either outsourcing or waiting for things to fall into place.

For instance, if you don’t have a camera to take high-definition videos or photos, you can wait until you have enough money from your day job to buy a nice phone with a great camera.

3. No shipping

Shipping is a headache in ecommerce. Even big companies like Amazon still haven’t quite figured it out. This is why you see them invest billions of dollars in RnD to improve their shipping systems.

However, digital products do not require any form of shipping. All you need to do is host your files somewhere and send clients a download link whenever they purchase your products. Unless you have huge files, hosting your files will be free most of the time.

4. Automation

Businesses built on digital products have great potential for automation. This means that you can create systems that rely less on your input over time.

Once your website and ads are set up, you don’t need to do much to keep the business going after that. You need to tweak the ads, upload more products, and work on your mailing list afterward to keep the business going.


I’m sure, at this point, you’re eager to go off and start working on a product. Before you go, let’s summarize everything we’ve covered in a way that’s easy for you to remember.

  • Digital products are virtual products. You don’t need to worry about inventory.
  • There are many forms of digital products you can work on. However, it is good to pick one in a field you are experienced in or are passionate about.
  • Digital products are a great way to create passive income.
  • A digital product business is not capital-intensive.
  • There is no need for shipping.
  • A digital product business has great automation potential.
  • A website is great but not always necessary. But, if you have one, you have more control over your business.

Ready to take action?

There are many more ideas for digital products. You can spend the whole day reading about them. However, this will hold you back from taking action.

As someone with experience launching multiple products online, heed my advice. The research phase will lead you down a rabbit hole where much of your valuable time will be wasted.

Instead, pick a product type and start brainstorming ideas. Create a final product and its variants and launch your store.

Talk to me if you need a Shopify website to run your business. I’ll be more than happy to help your business take off.

Duncan Kishira

Software engineer cum eCommerce entrepreneur and writer. Professional Shopify dropshipping store developer (5 years of experience). I share the knowledge I've acquired through years of practice and also offer professional services on this website.

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