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If you’re wondering how to start an ecommerce business, the usual answer is to use a third-party platform like WooCommerce, Shopify or Gumroad.
However, if you’re a user of the ConvertKit email marketing platform, you might want to try ConvertKit Commerce, a new ecommerce solution.
That’s because it helps you sell digital products right from your ConvertKit account. No separate ecommerce platform needed.
In this guide to ConvertKit Commerce, you’ll learn about its features, how to create your first product and how to collect payments—so you can start making money online.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What is ConvertKit Commerce?
- What Can You Do With ConvertKit Commerce?
- Detailed Breakdown of Features
- How to Set Up Convertkit Commerce: A Detailed Walkthrough
- ConvertKit Commerce Pricing: How Much Does This Feature Cost?
- What Do I Need to Sell Something Online?
- Get Started With ConvertKit Commerce
What is ConvertKit Commerce?
This allows you to sell products without a third-party ecommerce platform (and avoid the hassles or extra fees that may come with using one).
Watch this video for an overview of how ConvertKit Commerce works:
What Can You Do With ConvertKit Commerce?
With ConvertKit Commerce, you can sell digital products such as:
- Online courses
USD is the only supported currency at this time.
However, you will receive your payouts in the currency of the bank account that you link to ConvertKit Commerce.
Payouts for sales are released every Friday.
Since ConvertKit Commerce launched in July 2020, creators have already been successful in using it to sell their products.
For example, social media video marketing strategist Ramonica Plishett was able to sell out a special offer for her coaching sessions in less than 8 hours, netting herself $1,500!
Detailed Breakdown of Features
ConvertKit Commerce has four main features:
- My Product
- Receipt Email
This is where you’ll use the product page builder to customize the look of your product page.
The product page builder for ConvertKit Commerce works in pretty much the same way as ConvertKit’s sign-up form and landing page builder.
There are options for you to customize the text and image in the product page, as well as its colors and fonts.
At the checkout page, your buyers will be able to:
- Review their order
- Provide their email address for receiving your product
- Fill out their credit card details for making payment
The checkout page is intentionally kept simple to make it as easy as possible for people to make payment.
(If you’ve ever tried to buy something online, only to get frustrated and give up because you have to fill out tons of fields, you’ll know what I mean.)
And like your product page, the checkout page is also customizable using a similar page builder.
Assuming everything goes smoothly during checkout, your buyers will see a confirmation page stating that they’ve successfully bought your product.
As before, you’ll be able to customize the look of your confirmation page to keep the purchase process on-brand.
If your product involves delivering files to buyers (e.g. a PDF guide), the confirmation page will contain a “Download Now” button for buyers to download your product.
ConvertKit also emails buyers a receipt of their purchase for their records. This email summarizes their order, payment date and payment method.
The text of the receipt email is customizable. For example, you can add first name placeholders to personalize the receipt if you have a record of the buyer’s name.
For products that involve the delivering of files, the receipt email will also include a Download button in case the buyer needs to re-download the product in the future.
How to Set Up ConvertKit Commerce: A Detailed Walkthrough
NOTE: ConvertKit Commerce is currently available only to users in these countries: United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
If you don’t see your country on this list, you can sign up for the waitlist to be notified when ConvertKit Commerce launches in your country.
1. Set up payments
Before you can use ConvertKit Commerce, you’ll first need to set up payments.
To do so, click on the “Products” tab in your ConvertKit dashboard. This will bring you to the ConvertKit Commerce feature.
(If you don’t see this option in your dashboard, it means that ConvertKit Commerce isn’t available in your country yet.
In that case, sign up for the waitlist to be notified when it becomes available.)
Then, click on the “Setup Payments” button.
If you haven’t already started adding products to your ConvertKit account, this button looks like this:
Next, you’ll be asked whether you are an individual or a company. According to ConvertKit, this question is for taxation purposes.
After that, you’ll be required to provide some information on yourself and your business to Stripe, which is ConvertKit’s payments partner.
This payment setup process is done only once when you first set up ConvertKit Commerce.
Once that’s done, you’ll move on to the exciting part, which is to:
2. Add your products
In the “Products” tab, click on the “Create a Product” button.
A form will load for you to start filling out some preliminary details of your product, such as:
- Product name
- Pricing method (either a one-time fee or a recurring subscription fee)
- Price (in USD, and at least $5)
If your product is to be delivered via a file, you’ll also be able to upload the product file at this step. The size of your file must not exceed 500MB.
If your product is not delivered via a file (e.g. you’re selling video consultations), you can skip this step.
After this, set up the domain for your product. This will allow you to create a direct link to your product that you can send to potential buyers.
If you don’t have your own website domain, you can use your ConvertKit account’s default “ck.page” domain.
But if you have a custom website domain set up in ConvertKit, you can use that custom domain name instead.
This keeps buyers on your website instead of sending them to ConvertKit’s domain, and helps create a more seamless buying experience.
Done setting up your domain?
You’ll then customize your product page, checkout page, confirmation page and receipt email using the page builders mentioned in the previous section. Don’t forget to save your work!
The final step is to start promoting your product.
To do this, click the “Publish” button. You then have two options for sharing your product with the world:
- Copying a direct link to your product for pasting wherever you’d like to share it
- Embedding a “Buy now” button for your product in your website using code
ConvertKit Commerce Pricing: How Much Does This Feature Cost?
ConvertKit Commerce is included in all ConvertKit plans at no extra charge, regardless of whether you’re on a free or paid plan.
However, there is a processing fee of 3.5% + $0.30 fee for every successful transaction. You aren’t charged for using ConvertKit Commerce unless and until you’ve made a sale.
This fee for ConvertKit Commerce is also competitive when compared to other commonly used platforms for selling digital products:
|Platform||Fee per sale|
|ConvertKit Commerce||3.5% + $0.30|
|Gumroad||5% + a charge fee of 3.5% + $0.30|
|Payhip||5% + Stripe/PayPal fees (generally 2.9% + $0.30)|
What Do I Need to Sell Something Online?
Selling digital products online is a fantastic way of earning an income.
That’s because unlike having a physical store, your overheads are lower as you don’t need to pay rent. The Internet is also open 24/7, allowing you to make sales while you sleep!
What’s more, the digital nature of digital products means you can save money on physical storage space for them. Digital products can also be sold an unlimited number of times after they’re built, making your business more scalable at a lower cost.
If selling digital products online sounds exciting to you, here are five things you’ll need to get started:
1. A product
This is a no-brainer—if you want to make money by selling products, you’ll need to have a product to sell!
However, you can’t just come up with any old product. Your product needs to be something that people will be interested in and willing to buy.
So before you start building your product, do some customer research. You should be able to answer these questions:
- Who are the people in your target audience?
- What problems are they currently facing?
- How can you solve their problems for them?
- How can you package your solution(s) into suitable digital products for your target audience?
For example, if you are an expert in hair wigs, you could sell an online course to help wig makers and hairstylists learn how to repair wigs.
This is exactly what cosmetologist James Jemison has done via ConvertKit Commerce, earning himself $1,500 in the process.
2. A page for promoting your product
When your product is ready, you’ll need to have a webpage for promoting it on.
If you’re selling your products via ConvertKit Commerce, they will come with dedicated landing pages that you can share with potential buyers.
As an example, here’s how the landing page for Authority, an ebook written by ConvertKit founder Nathan Barry, looks like:
That said, if you want to, you can still build separate landing pages outside of ConvertKit Commerce for the products that you sell via ConvertKit Commerce.
This is ideal if the landing page design you have in mind is more sophisticated than what ConvertKit Commerce’s product page builder can help build.
For example, Nathan has a dedicated sales page for Authority, and buyers will see the ConvertKit Commerce landing page only when they click on the “Buy Now” button on his sales page.
3. A way of collecting payments
If buyers want you to take their money, then you’ve got to have a way of collecting it.
Any ecommerce platform worth its salt will definitely have a built-in payments collection feature, and ConvertKit Commerce is no different.
For now, ConvertKit Commerce accepts only credit and debit card payments, but support for payment by PayPal and Apple Pay will be rolled out at a later date.
4. A way of fulfilling orders
After buyers have paid for your product, it’s time to put it into their hands.
You could manually send your product to them, but this isn’t feasible if you have tons of buyers expecting to receive your product the moment they’ve ordered it.
ConvertKit Commerce makes the fulfillment process instantaneous by allowing buyers to download your product right after they’ve made payment.
(If your product is to be delivered via a link instead of a file, such as a link to your upcoming webinar, you can set up an email automation to send buyers the link after their purchase goes through.)
Finally, to successfully launch and sell products online, you will need…buyers!
That’s because you could have the most awesome product, and the most beautiful sales page ever. But if no one actually buys your product, you will make zero sales.
So this is when you’ll need to promote your product everywhere you can, and to anyone who might show even the slightest interest in your product.
The feeling of making your first-ever sale is amazing. And hopefully, it will be a sign of many more sales to come.
Get Started With ConvertKit Commerce
ConvertKit Commerce is a groundbreaking new feature for creators looking to make a living online.
After all, ecommerce platforms don’t usually come with email marketing features and vice versa. ConvertKit is possibly the first company to combine the two into a single platform.
The fact that ConvertKit Commerce will eventually be made available to every ConvertKit user around the world (even if you’re on the free plan) only helps sweeten the deal.
But of course, to use this feature, you’ll need to have a ConvertKit account.
If you don’t already have one, you can use one of the options below to sign up:
To learn more about ConvertKit’s other features, check out my detailed ConvertKit guide and review.