Selling digital products online can be a great way to monetize your website, blog, or social media channels, but is Payhip a good solution for that? We have been selling digital goods online for many years now, and we have tried dozens of e-commerce tools and platforms, including Payhip.
Like any other e-commerce platform, Payhip isn’t perfect, and it will only suit a particular group of online sellers and entrepreneurs. So in this honest review, we will cover what is Payhip, how does it work, the pros and cons as well as answer whether or not you should use this platform to sell your products online.
At the end of this article, we are also going to discuss the best Payhip alternative that offers more features and wider selling capabilities.
What Is Payhip?
Payhip is essentially a lightweight e-commerce solution that can be used for selling not only digital but also physical products online.
This platform works best for those who want to sell products through their own independent channels online, like websites, blogs, or social media platforms.
Compared to other e-commerce solutions, Payhip gives you a chance to start selling for free, but it will deduct a 5% transaction fee every time you sell something with this platform.
How Does It Work?
Payhip works as an integration to your current website, and it’s not an online store creator or builder.
If you are planning to sell eBooks, courses, software, laptops, socks, or any other type of digital or physical goods, Payhip will help you with the product pages, “buy” and “add to cart” buttons, checkout pages, security, payments, and marketing tools.
Payhip handles the transactions with two world’s most popular payment getaways – Paypal and Stripe. All the buyer’s personal information is securely stored on these two platforms, so dealing with the important user data will not be your responsibility.
This platform works in a simple and very user-friendly way. You sign up with them, add the products, set your prices, embed all the necessary stuff to your site, and you are ready to go.
Payhip’s device-friendly interface allows customers to browse and purchase goods from any device including desktops, mobiles or tablets.
It also ensures that your customers get their products delivered instantly. After anyone makes a purchase on your store, Payhip provides an instant download option. They also send an email to your customer’s inbox containing a link to a download page.
Besides that, Payhip offers other features like copyright protection, affiliate system, EU VAT handling, and more, but about that – later in this article.
What can you sell with Payhip?
While the most common thing people sell online is ebooks, Payhip allows you to sell many types of products.
Digital Products: Payhip accepts all possible digital formats and you can sell any type of products, including – ebooks, videos, courses, software, music templates, and more. You can also have the freedom to sell different product formats at once.
Memberships: With Payhip you can easily turn your website into a membership site as this platform allows you to create and sell multiple membership plans. Feel free to set your own membership options with different pricing and payment intervals, or even give the free trials to your customers.
Physical Products: You can also sell print books, clothes, electronics, and any other physical goods with Payhip. You can add and track your product inventory, insert product’s weight, and different variables such as colors, sizes and more.
How to list your product on Payhip?
Payhip’s minimalistic and light interface makes the whole product listing and management process very simple. Compared to other similar platforms that overwhelm you with their poor design and unnecessary add-ons, listing and managing products on Payhip can be a great experience.
1. Adding and describing the new product:
As you create your account and select “Add New Product”, you will be directed to the product’s listing page:
As you can see everything is really simple and the process of listing your digital product can only take minutes.
As you list your digital products on Payhip, it provides you fields for defining the product’s title, description, as well as for setting up the price.
You have the freedom to set up the price you want by choosing your preferred currency, and Paihyp has 22 currency options available, including USD, EUR, and GPB.
You can add the main cover picture for that product along with the other 8 other product images. If that’s not enough to showcase your product, you can also embed a video or audio file.
Lastly, you can tick and apply some advanced options to your product page, and those include:
- Making the product private on your store page
- Upload a preview file for your customers (a few pages as a teaser)
- Limit the number of times the product can be sold
- Automatically subscribe customers to the mailing list
- Generate unique license keys for each sale (only for software products)
Once you are fully done setting up your product’s description and settings, it’s time to hit the next step.
2. Customize the URL:
Payhip will automatically generate a URL to every product page you create. By default, the URL will look like some sort of unattractive code, but the good news is – you can customize it to make it yours.
As your product page will be hosted on their servers, Payhip.com will appear in the URL domain name section, however, you have the freedom to customize what’s beyond.
In this example, I have customized the web address accordingly:
You can also categorize these product pages by adding an extra path to the URL. For example – https://payhip.com/category/productpage.
So once you are happy with your product’s page URL you can proceed to a next step by clicking the “Show me my product page” button.
And that’s how a product page on Payhip.com looks like:
As you can see there are no distractions or any fancy elements placed on this page and that makes it optimized for conversions. Payhip also allows you to display social share buttons, so your customers can share this page on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.
3. Customize the product page
However, if you don’t like default design settings, you can use the Design Editor feature to edit those. You can customize and design Cart & Buy buttons, add a background image, change the background’s color, or integrate some custom CSS codes.
Here comes a very important section of every e-commerce platform – marketing, and even that’s not the biggest strength of Payhip, this section didn’t let me down for sure.
So let’s talk about individual Payhip’s marketing tools, and how you can take advantage of them:
On your back end, there’s a very useful analytics tab where you will be able to see the number of visitors of your product pages and where geographically they are coming from.
It shows you the number of sales you are getting, as well as the conversion rate of your sales. But most importantly, you can identify the exact source of referrals (where on the web they came from), and you can sort all the data by day, week, or month.
You basically have everything you need to keep track of user behavior in order to monitor and improve your sales performance and conversions.
There’s also a customer’s tab where you can see all of your email subscribers, customers, followers, and sales reports showing all the sales made in the previous months.
Payhip allows you to create promotional campaigns by adding coupon codes to your products.
Once you set up a coupon code for your particular product, your customers are able to apply that code on the checkout page before they make a purchase.
It’s very easy to create a custom coupon code on Payhip and all you have to do is to select your product and enter the percentage of discount you want to give.
You can also set the number of times the coupon can be used, as well as the expiry day for that.
It would be nice if Payhip had an option to also put the money amount as a discount option instead of only the percentage discount.
It’s because sometimes you may want to give the amount of money off your products, and sometimes it’s a bit of a headache to calculate the outcome of a certain % discount.
Payhip allows you to set up social discounts for your different products. This feature incentives customers to share your products on Facebook or Twitter and receive a discount if they do so.
This is also really easy to set up, and once it’s done it will generate an extra “share” button on your product checkout page.
Once the customer shares your product on social media, it will knock the price down accordingly.
This is a pretty unique selling point of Payhip, and even though I haven’t tried their affiliate system yet, I’m sure it’s worth the attention.
What this function does, it allows you to recruit affiliates to promote your products for a commission (percentage of the sale). In other words, you can have additional people on board promoting your digital products and paying them each time they bring a new customer.
You can give your affiliates a unique affiliate link, which will be used to track every new customer brought.
It’s up to you how much money you want to give out to your affiliates, but the higher commissions you offer, the bigger chances someone will promote your products.
Payhip allows you to integrate your email service provider, and that allows generating automated customer subscriptions after they buy something from you.
There is a number of email marketing platforms that can be connected to your Payhip account, including:
- Mail Chimp
- Mailer Lite
- Benchmark Email
- Campaign Monitor
- Elastic Email
- Email Octopus
- Get Response
- Mad Mimi
This function allows us to display additional products just after anyone successfully completes their purchase.
Upselling is a key strategy to maximize sales of every successful e-commerce. Back in the day, Payhip did not have that feature, but now we can create upsells for our products.
You can easily select the additional products you want to offer after each checkout. You can also set their discount, customize its expiry date as well as add a custom message along with the upsell.
Payments, Security, & Taxes:
Payhip has solutions for all of the three aspects. Whether it’s payments, security, or taxes, this platform has everything in place.
Your customers will have a variety of options to pay for their digital downloads. They can use either Paypal, Stripe, Visa, Mastercard, or American Express along with numerous world’s currencies to purchase your stuff.
In case you are worried about your customer security – Payhip doesn’t store any card details of your customers. The payment system is fully secure and all payments are handled by the world’s most trustworthy merchands, such as Paypal or Stripe.
Payhip offers a feature where they can stamp your PDF product with your customer’s details. If you are selling an eBook or any other product that contains PDF files, Payhip will automatically stamp each page with your customer’s email address.
This is a good method to protect your copyrights, as no one is going to illegally distribute your products with their personal details on it.
When it comes to software products, Payhip also has copyright protection for that. The platform has an automated software licensing system, that effectively protects sellers from piracy.
They can generate software keys for each of your software products, and they will store them accordingly. When someone makes the purchase, Payhip automatically sends those software keys to the buyer.
Other types of files can be protected as well as Payhip by default allows only 3 downloads per user, however, you can change this to any number you want. In addition to that, the download link will expire and can not be used by anyone else.
Payhip not only provides you monthly or yearly tax reports, but also pays them on your behalf. This feature can save time while dealing with annoying taxes.
The platform determines the exact locations of your buyers by taking into account their billing and IP addresses. They securely store this information until the end of each tax year, and later reports that to HMRC.
However, this feature is only relevant to European countries, so you will need to take care of the income that came from the other parts of the world by yourself.
There are a few pricing options available on Payhip, but the great thing about it is that you can start absolutely for free!
As per free option, all that you pay is going to be a percentage of the transaction fee, but that’s only after you make money with Payhip.
All the plans provide equal features, and they only differ in their transaction fees. Which plan you should choose, entirely depends on the prices and volume of sales you are expecting to get.
Here’s a list of three pricing plans of Payhip:
- FREE FOREVER: $0/month +5% transaction fee
- PLUS: $29/month +2% transaction fee
- PRO: $99/month No transaction fees
Keep in mind that additional small transaction fees will apply from both Paypal (5%) or Stripe (1.4%+20p), but Payhip is not an exception, and the same thing happens with other platforms that deal with those merchants.
What Is Good About Payhip? (Pros):
- 100% free to start – this platform may work well for beginners who want to start selling on a budget. It takes 5% of the transaction and requires no upfront payments.
- User-friendly – unlike the majority of other e-commerce platforms, Payhip likes to keep everything simple and easy. Its minimalistic design and interface will help you find everything you need on this platform. However, the simplicity of the interface results in the lack of features.
- EU VAT – Payhip can provide tax reports and pay EU VAT on your behalf. This feature can save dozens of hours of work for the sellers.
- Copyright protection – from PDF stamps to software keys, these guys have come with the perfect system to secure your eBooks, software, or any other type of product.
- Selling physical goods – apart from digital goods, this platform allows selling any kind of physical products too. Whether it’s print books, bicycles, or laptops, you can sell that with Payhip.
- Sell memberships – with Payhip you also have an option to turn your website into a membership site that sells weekly, monthly or yearly plans to access the products.
What Is Not So Good About Payhip? (Cons):
- High transaction fees: Payhip takes 2-5% transaction fees, and that may accumulate to large amounts of money deducted, especially if you are a high volume seller who is selling high ticket items. And if you want no transaction fees, you will have to subscribe to the PRO plan for $99/month, which is not the cheapest option.
- Limited selling options: While you can sell digital downloads and physical goods with Payhip, the platform is not designed for selling online courses, webinars, or coaching.
- No website builder: As we covered, Payhip only works as the integration to your current site, and you cannot build your custom store with it. With Payhip you can only create custom product pages, but there are not enough options for design and customization.
- Not designed for teams: Payhip is only designed for individual use, and in case you want to run a big e-commerce business with multiple team members, Payhip is not the right solution for that.
- No email marketing: Payhip only integrates with various email marketing platforms, whereas its competitors have their own email marketing solutions, that do not require paying extra.
- Support could be better – while the support got a lot better over the years, sometimes you still may need to wait days or even weeks for them to get back if you have any queries.
- No mobile app – unfortunately, Payhip doesn’t have a mobile application for their platform yet, so every time you want to check your sales and other important data, you must log in on your computer
- Limited coupon code option – as we covered that earlier, Payhip only allows making a percentage discount for your items. It would be nice if they also allow us to take off the amount of money from the original price, for example, $5 off instead of 5% off.
One of the great aspects of Payhip is that it is very easy to use and it costs nothing to start selling with this platform making Payhip a great option for complete beginners. However, in case you are a beginner, you might want to find a solution, which allows you to easily build a fully functional and beautiful online store. Unfortunately, Payhip does not have this feature, and it only works as an integration to your current site.
The free plan of Payhip charges 5% of transaction fees, which can be reduced to 2% when switched to the Plus plan for $29/month. If you are selling or expecting to sell on a high volume it may all accumulate to large monthly deductions from your profits. Don’t forget the additional costs for website hosting, or email marketing software as Payhip does not cover them.
Apart from high transaction fees, Payhip comes with a lot of limited features that could limit the acceleration of your eCommerce business. One of the biggest limitations of Payhip is the design features, which will only provide the basic design for your product pages and buttons.
So, we could only recommend Payhip if you are a complete beginner who has no budget to start with. Otherwise, there are definitely better alternatives to consider.
The Best Payhip Alternative (Podia):
Podia is a feature-rich, affordable, and all-in-one eCommerce solution that can be a perfect alternative to Payhip. This eCommerce platform is very easy to use, and it works best for selling digital content.
Trusted by over 50,000 creators, Podia enables selling all types of digital downloads as well as online courses, and webinars. Unlike Payhip, this platform allows unlimited selling to as many people as you like at a fixed rate. There are no transaction fees with Podia, and sellers can enjoy high-volume selling with greater profit margins.
What is more, Podia allows you to create the entire product store hosted on Podia’s subdomain or your own domain. Compared to Payhip, which only allows you to create product pages and buy buttons, Podia comes with beautifully designed templates allowing you to design all pages of your website, including home, landing, sales, product, newsletter, and other pages. In addition, you can incorporate Podia into other websites as it offers embeddable buttons, shopping carts, and other elements.
In comparison to Payhip, Podia packs almost everything that Payhip has, plus offers a lot more features and capabilities.
Here’s why Podia is a better alternative to Payhip:
- Instead of charging high transaction fees, Podia offers fixed affordable monthly plans.
- Apart from digital download selling, it also enables selling online courses and webinars.
- Podia has its own highly efficient email marketing system for which you don’t have to pay extra.
- In case you don’t have a website yet, Podia includes a custom branded website at no extra cost.
- Podia offers beautiful pre-designed templates, which makes your online store’s design process easy.
- It allows you to incorporate teammates into your account.
- There is helpful and efficient 24/7 support that you can reach out to on a live chat.
- The platform enables free migrations from previous eCommerce platforms to Podia.
And many more…
The only disadvantage of this platform is that you can’t sell physical goods with it, so in this case, Payhip remains a better option. Other than that, Podia can be a fantastic and very affordable solution to sell all forms of digital content.
Podia comes with three pricing plans – Mover, Shaker, & Earthquaker. Here’s the pricing for all plans, and here’s what they offer:
- Mover – $39/month – comes with a custom website, unlimited digital product selling, webinar & membership selling, unlimited email subscribers, and 5k monthly email recipients.
- Shaker – $89/month – covers everything that the Mover plan has, plus offers coaching selling, course certificates, affiliate marketing system, embedded checkout, and 15k monthly recipients.
- Earthquaker – $199/month – has everything of the Shaker plan, plus offers 5 team members onboard, and 50k monthly email recipients.
Besides the stated differences, there are more features that vary from plan to plan. To find all differences between the plans, we suggest you check Podia’s pricing page.
In case you are already running an e-commerce business on the other platform, Podia can migrate all your content and customers for free when you choose an annual subscription.
And before subscribing to any of the plans, you can try Podia at no cost by signing up for a free 14-day trial.