While there are many advantages to a digital business with digital products, it doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. In addition to all the regular tasks of running a business, a digital business also has to deal with unique issues.
First of all, because there is usually minimal cost associated with creating and distributing digital products, the market can tend to be oversaturated. Anyone with an Internet connection and a video camera can create a training video, just like anyone with Microsoft Word can create an e-book. So not only does your digital product have be distinguishable from everything else that’s already out there, it has to be so much better than everyone else that you can actually sell yours and make money from it.
Actually, that’s only partly true.
While you do need to be able to make money off your digital products, you don’t have to make money off all of your products. Because there is no cost to store or copy these products, many businesses decide to give some of their products away for free. In principle, this will help build exposure to their company and their brand, generating return customers, which can then lead to increased sales. This can also help make up for when your digital product gets copied and redistributed without your knowledge or consent, which will happen. (This is another challenge; some people simply don’t want to pay for digital products.) While you can do what you can to help combat piracy, using that detail and actually encouraging people to share it for free may actually help advertise your business.
Speaking of advertising, this can be an additional challenge for this type of product. Online marketing is a completely different world than traditional marketing strategies, and brings with it fierce competition. The world of online marketing can be difficult to master, but is certainly not impossible.
With this business model, you also have to be sure your website is welcoming and easy to navigate, that people can easily and successfully order/download/access whatever they need to (at all times; you can’t just put up a “closed” or “out for lunch” sign), and that you’re website is secure. Customer service can’t suffer just because your product or service is digital.
However, none of these challenges are insurmountable. With the proper education and drive, you can overcome these and other challenges and reap all the benefits digital products have to offer.