Finally fix your Shopify site! Grab a coveted spot in our 2024 schedule.

Selling Digital Products: Project Life Case Study

by Sam Hirst

May 7, 2015

More and more businesses have begun selling digital products to their customers. Customers love the instant gratification of receiving an order right away (and shop owners love not having to deal with packaging and shipping)! We recently worked with Becky Higgins Project Life® to update their e-commerce store so that the two sides of the business – physical products and digital products – play nicely together. Becky Higgins Project Life® is a solution-based system for memory keeping and documenting life. The goal of our project was to erase any confusion for customers as they were shopping. I talked to Jon, the developer for this project, about our solutions.

What was most important to keep in mind when setting up the site?

Jon: For Becky Higgins the most important thing was to decide whether they should have one site or two. We came to the conclusion that since the physical and digital parts of their brand were set up as two individual companies, it was best to set up two different Shopify stores, but integrate them so both could be accessed easily without confusing the customer. Having two stores allowed them to keep the bookkeeping separate between the physical and digital orders, which was a requirement for this project.


What do shop owners need to consider when selling downloadable products?

Jon: The most important thing for shop owners to consider when selling downloadable products is how to display those offers to their customers. You can choose to offer the download as a product variant, using one product listing for digital and physical options. You can also set up two separate product listings, one for the physical item and one for the digital item. Either way can work. It’s strictly a preference, but it is crucial for the site’s designer to know this ahead of time.


Other Things To Consider When Selling Digital Goods:

Format of the product: Will your product be an ebook, report, video, audio, or a private membership website? Do some homework on what you’ll need to know to sell that type of product.

Customer support: Put plans in place to make sure your less savvy customers will understand how to download and then use the content. Do they need a player, reader, app, or account to get what they paid for? How will you explain it to them and decrease confused emails and upset customers?

Bandwidth: If your product is especially large or if you have reason to anticipate significant website traffic, you will need to make sure your hosting plan can accommodate this.

Payment processors: How will you accept payment and distribute your product? On Shopify, you would need to use an app such as Digital Downloads or FetchApp. If you sell on another platform, you’ll need to research how to sell, distribute, and manage your product.

Seller protection: Many payment processors offer reduced protection (if any) to sellers of digital products.

Laws and regulations: Does the country in which you are located have specific laws in terms of selling digital products, to customers in-country or abroad? For example, customers living in the EU must pay VAT on digital goods at the rate applicable in their own country regardless of where the seller is located – and you must comply with those rules.

Becky Higgins Project Life® Website Design

This project was different than what we usually do, and it turned out to be a beautiful collaboration. Kara on the Becky Higgins team designed the main website, and our task was to come in and work on the shop. So, rather than designing from scratch, Meg on our team began with the look and feel from Kara’s work and worked out all the details that are particular to ecommerce – category navigation, product display and information, and the rest of the shopping experience.

Meg understood the importance of making the shop website not only modern and friendly, but functional as well, making the choice between shopping for physical goods and digital goods an easy one. When she presented the initial design to the Project Life team she said:

I really wanted to inject a lot of personality into the shopping ecosystem while making sure the Project Life brand stays strong. In order to do so, I created load bursts of color along with clean typography and an airy, bright design. The result is something truly unique, easy to digest, and modern. The design blends well with your existing header and footer, making for a seamless experience from the Project Life homepage to the actual shop itself!


The team at Project Life loved the personality of the new design, and it achieved the main goal of the redesign: to make clear to customers whether they were shopping for physical or digital goods. They told us:

Thank you so much for everything you and the Aeolidia team have done for the store. We absolutely love the results and are so excited to hear how much our customers love it! Meg did a beautiful job in not only incorporating the existing branding and fonts, but really added flair to it all. We appreciated her artistic eye with this project!

We recently followed up with the Project Life team to ask how things are going and they told us:

What we have heard from customers is how extremely easy to navigate our new shop is and how beautiful the aesthetic is. Our customers say it makes shopping fun and the seamless transition from the website to the shop is beautiful.

Are You Ready To Jump Into Selling Digital Products?

There are great solutions out there for selling digital goods, and we’d love to help you. What questions do you have about selling digital goods? If you do sell digital, what advice would you offer shop owners who are new to this? Let us know in the comments below!

Could You Use Actionable Tips to Improve Your Sales?

Our weekly newsletter will give you the tools and info to drive traffic to your site, promote your products, and grow your business. You'll get the following:

  • A week of our best-ever business-growing information
  • Weekly tips to help you market and sell your products
  • Access to our community of creative shop owners
  • Arianne’s personal attention as you grow your business
Browse Posts

A Newsletter That Goes Beyond Shopify 101

It’s easy to find beginner info about ecommerce online. If you’re past that? Subscribe to our newsletter for advanced strategies and need-to-know info for established shops.

Learn how the top shops grow:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

1 thought on “Selling Digital Products: Project Life Case Study”

Leave a Comment

Let's take your online shop to the next level

The Shopify websites we design have a reputation for substantial improvements to ecommerce conversion rates and online sales. Let's talk!

Want to learn more? See our services.