As people are taking most of their shopping online because of COVID-19, it’s time to stock up your virtual store with meaningful gifts to support your cause. Even better, you can soon offer your members and customers a variety of digital gifts in Wild Apricot, so they can purchase and download without worrying about making any in-person delivery.
The benefits of digital products
We all consume digital products nowadays, from music to videos, to eBooks to online courses. So, if you aren’t selling digital products already, ask yourself: why not?
There’s nothing to lose (and lots to gain) when it comes to selling digital products with Wild Apricot. Here’s why:
- You can have unlimited inventory
- You don’t need a physical space to store your products
- Customers can receive the product immediately upon purchase
- There aren’t costs related to physical materials or assembly
The digital products feature will be available in the next product release—so you can start preparing your inventory now. (Or, if you’re just getting started with online stores and want to learn how to set one up, see this article.)
However, you may be wondering: What kinds of products can I sell?
To help you get started with digital products, I’ve put together a list of ideas your organization might want to try selling. Here are the top five digital product formats I’ve seen perform well:
Read on to learn the benefits of each type of product, and how your organization can start creating them!
1. eBooks, eMagazines, and reports
From magazines to reports, digital downloads come in a variety of lengths and formats—and can be sold individually or as part of a bundle. Here are some questions to help you get started:
What kind of eBook should I create?
When creating one, think about what sorts of topics your members are interested in and what expertise you may offer. Some people simply like to be entertained, and magazines featuring short stories and articles are one way you can go about this. When it comes to this format, you can even make it a series.
If your organization’s mission is to educate people in your area of expertise, then consider creating a report or a full-length book. For something like this, you could also cross-sell your eBooks with your online courses.
What formats can I use?
In Wild Apricot, you can upload your eBook as a PDF, ePub, or doc. If you want your eBook readable on e-books like Nook, then EPUB is the format you’ll want to choose. But for those who don’t have an eBook reader, you can always give them the option to download a PDF.
What if I need help with writing?
Writing a book can hard. But there are some ways to help make this easier. For instance, you can try consolidating what you already have in your blog and add additional content that’s not available elsewhere to give it more value. You can also ask for contributors to help you write content. This is also a way for you to engage your members and reach out to people outside your organization.
2. Online classes
In our DIY culture, people want to learn how to do things, such as crafts and cooking new recipes, themselves. Like eBooks, online courses give you an opportunity to educate people on your area of expertise. Here are some things to think about:
Live or pre-recorded?
There are pros and cons to weigh when deciding to make your course live or pre-recorded. Live courses, through video platforms like Zoom, lets you interact with others, bring people together, and feel more connected. These courses work well for classes that requires discussion, such as a peer review writing class. You can easily share a link to your video call when adding this course in Wild Apricot.
Pre-recorded classes, on the other hand, allows people to learn on their own schedule. Doing so also gives you time to edit and tweak your recording before it gets published.
With the new Wild Apricot digital products feature, you can provide customers with a private link and access code to your video content (e.g., Vimeo) when they make a purchase. See below:
Can I find other instructors?
You don’t have to do everything yourself. You can ask members or subject matter experts to help run your course or present in a session or two. Bringing in different experts with various insights and experiences also makes your class more enriching. With more people, you can also try different formats such as Q&As and panel discussions, where the host would ask panelists various questions on a topic.
How do I set up the stage?
How you set up your stage depends on the type of course you’re offering. If you want to share your slide deck, you can make this a screencast and record your computer screen and audio sound. For a more professional experience, speak in front of a green screen, displaying the PowerPoint slide in the background.
For more hands-on classes, like yoga or meditation, you can simply film yourself performing the task. Be sure to have ample lighting and a camera stand to hold your camera in place.
3. Digital prints
Do you or your members have an appreciation for the arts and all things decorative?
Whether it’s a photograph or a drawing, digital prints give people the option to download your art instantly, print it and frame it in their homes.
E-commerce website Etsy has an entire section on handmade digital prints, where you can find inspiration for your online store. Digital prints aren’t only artwork for decorating interiors: they can also be cards, labels, calendars, and stationary. You can even collaborate with your members and sell their designs in your store!
4. Gift cards
Membership gift cards make thoughtful presents for friends and family. You can create this now in Wild Apricot. For example, The Mother Connection offers a 100% off discount code, which is essentially a free membership. That way, someone can gift it, but the new member can complete the organization’s membership form.
The organization then sends a card that looks like a gift certificate, and space to write in To/From/Discount Code. See below:
1. Create a membership discount. Simply click Settings in the main navigation, then click the Discounts option within the Members section. Click Add coupon and then specify your settings before hitting Save.
If you don’t want people reusing the gift card, you would need to create a new code for each gift card and limit the number of uses to one.
2. Add the gift card to your online store. You can design your gift card with templates offered by tools such as Canva and save this as a PDF. You would then add the gift card as a product: hover over the Store menu and select the Products option. On the screen that appears, choose the digital product type (when this feature is available), and click Add product. Click here for more detail.
3. Send a customized email with the discount code. In your description, you could also offer to send a personalized email to the gift recipient and ask the purchaser to provide their email address. In the email, you would include the discount code that you created, which allows them to redeem towards their membership application.
Click here to learn more about membership discounts.
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the years. They’re great for people to listen to while doing other things, such as working, commuting, or exercising. Most podcasts are free, but you can also charge listeners a subscription fee. Here are some podcast formats to consider:
- Non-fictional storytelling
- Podcast theater
- Repurposed content podcast format
If you’re unsure if people want to pay for your subscription, you can start by offering free material and then ask for a subscription fee if listeners want to hear more. Alternatively, you can ask your members to help fund your podcast by asking them to donate.
Be sure to promote your cause
Digital products make wonderful gifts, especially when they support a great cause. If you’re worried that people aren’t interested in your online products, then think about your messaging. Ask customers to resist going to large corporations like Amazon by supporting small organizations such as yours.
With so many possibilities when it comes to digital products, you can be sure to have something that your members will love!
Do you have any examples you’d like to share? If so, please add them in the comment section below.