Digital downloads are a major driver for e-commerce success. But the market goes beyond products with consumer expectations for remarkable experiences.
Digital downloads are a major driver for e-commerce success. While this market is relatively new, it’s already thriving. Whether it’s ebooks, training videos, artworks, sewing patterns, albums, or livestream concerts, there’s no end to what can be dreamed up, so how can you get your product to truly stand out?
From identifying your target market, to coding, design, content, and marketing, there’s a lot of moving pieces behind every product launch or rebrand. Having a concise digital product strategy will help your team reach the finish line with energy to spare.
These days, we aren’t just selling products, we’re selling remarkable customer and user experiences. This isn’t your grandmother’s market (unless she has a Shopify store with a digital product offering, in which case yes, it’s your grandmother’s market).
The first step? To take it, and accept that not everything will be perfect. Sky Pilot creator Andrew Nerkewicz observes, “The biggest thing I see are people worrying about things in the beginning that aren’t a problem yet.”
Problem : Not having a clear strategy for product development
Before you make deadline promises, find out what you can and can’t do on your own. It’s ok, we swear being humble is a sign of strength. Even Batman couldn’t build the batmobile himself.
Bring the right expertise to the table, and lean into it for 360 development and evaluation. When there is strategy, there are clear steps and responsibilities, plus a shared desire for product success and brand growth. As part of your development strategy, put the right leader in place for the product launch. This approach will set a digital download offering up for both short, and long-term market success.
Solution : Find out needs and put that in your timeline
Honor how long it will take for assembling the team you need. Make sure there is ample time for testing, internal review, and an early marketing plan to build up the hype your product deserves. Assigning a project manager to own this work will help keep your launch accountable and on track.
Problem : Too many bosses, not enough workers
When everything is a priority, nothing is clear. At one point or another, most of us have worked in that ASAP environment, inevitably with too many people working on one problem and getting it scrambled, or completely neglecting other priorities and possibly putting the entire project, or operation,at risk as a result.
Solution : Set and align priorities in the order they should happen in
Consider the phrase, “a running person isn't a thinking person”. When we are pushed beyond our capabilities, it shows in our work. Having clearly identified segments of your team responsible for specific steps, or tasks in the process, is another way to ensure the energy is focused. When people feel a sense of ownership around a project, it changes the way they work. When there’s satisfaction in the workplace, it’s reflective of the quality of the campaign.
Problem : An unclear digital marketing plan and vague content
One of the best ways to ensure that a new product gets the much-wanted publicity is to create a story and strategic communications strategy that resonates with your target consumer. If your messaging or story is over architected, or does not land with your target buyer, your product launch will be put at risk of operating in a silo.
Solution: Find the path before you pitch
Your product’s story should stick; meaning it will differentiate your product, or product line from competitors in the space.
Moreover, the story should explain what the product is to the consumer, and why they should purchase. A story that is well-told and captures every single important feature of the product can then be the basis of key messages incorporated in other promo materials such as the press release.
A press release should capture the essential details of the product launch, and serve as a background for journalists and industry sources to be able to speak confidently about the product and what it means for the customer.
Finally, when launching new digital download products, merchants and brands would benefit from shipping the product to key journalists and even bloggers to get reviews, which can in turn be shared across social channels, email communications, and other marketing deliverables.
Any good product communications strategy responds with a solution to a need in the market. Meaningful products with creative or innovative solutions that no one has ever imagined will change consumer behavior and inspire long-term success. These are the products we know, admire, and remember frequently. Consider the following:
According to Content Square’s 2022 report, the average user spends 52 seconds researching any website or product. and we know that’s generous, so your pitch line must be immediately compelling. If this isn’t your speciality, then hire the person you need for this. It will save you so much time and money in the end, it’s always the more affordable option.
Let someone who’s the opposite of your target audience have a look at what you come up with and listen to their feedback. In this way, you can ensure that a universal comprehension may help you exceed your expectations of who will want your product.
Problem : People are bouncing and not interacting with your product anymore
Consider the design, when was the last time you updated? Is that a font anyone uses anymore? Do you have outdated links that cause the load time to increase? Are you using enough contrast in your design for anyone to be able to read? Have you built in a way that is accessible for everyone so you can expand your market presence or ownership?
Solution: Freshen your design and build in accessibility
Design trends are always changing, so it’s important to freshen up your own designs to look current. Often the people who bounce off sites, do so from an immediate judgment about that first look.
Accessibility is another way of saying “create for everyone”, because why would you want to miss out on sales? Text recognition, and even color palette is very important, find out more about these tools from Switch.
Problem : I have a Shopify store but my old products aren’t selling
You’ve been building your Shopify brand and digital download offering for some time and what used to fly off the virtual shelves, isn’t anymore. It may not be something needed anymore, or maybe it’s just been neglected.
Solution : Rebranding, redesigning, and incentivising your digital downloads
Consider bundling. Let there be an option for people to pay less if they get more of your items. Maybe the look of your old stuff could use a makeover. See what’s working today and how to make it pop. Lastly, if no one needs it, maybe it’s time in the market has come to an end and it’s time to let it go. Keep your offerings fresh and relevant and leave the past in the past. Not every great idea has an unlimited shelf life.
You can also consider doing a sale on an old item, or even offering it as a free gift for new shoppers. It will show appreciation for new customers.
Launch and listen
Great digital products don’t suddenly appear out of nowhere. And while there is no surefire formula for product success, disregarding product strategy can be a near surefire formula for product failure.
Put thoughtful, detailed planning into your launch, and when you release it to the market, watch closely how your audience interacts with it. Inadvertently, or in plain language, they will tell you what they think about it. If it resonates, or if there are areas that need to be addressed, iterated on, or optimized. In your commitment to be truly customer-centric (which we know you are), listen, and respond accordingly.
Yes, be the expert of your product(s), but always be open to critique and suggestions. Being humble means you’re letting your customers know that you care about what they think, which is the most important approach you can take when launching for both short, and long-term success and growth.