The past few years have seen a number of new solutions emerge to allow individuals and businesses get into the ecommerce game quickly and easily. From full-fledged web-based storefronts (like Shopify and Etsy) to exclusive online-only offers (like Gumroad), there’s a way to sell pretty much anything you can think of. But what if you’re looking for a way to sell stuff from your own site, without creating a separate web property?
If you have a digital product (music, video, photos, graphics, code or anything else that can be downloaded) and your own site/web property, you can sell it with FetchApp. It works with a variety of shopping carts and payment gateways and allows you to start getting paid with minimal fuss and for a reasonable price. And given that it’s used by folks like Beck and A Book Apart, you can rest assured that it gets the job done. But is it right for you? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
FetchApp enables you to sell digital downloadables on your site for a set monthly fee. It’s suitable for users who know how to manage sites where they intend to sell stuff, but is still easy to use, in that it’s simple and doesn’t require you to install anything. Essentially, you get a hosted app with a dashboard to manage your products, and orders and can begin selling as quickly as you can copy and paste a link.
To begin selling, you’ll first need an account and will have to choose a plan to go with it. FetchApp’s paid plans vary only in price for the amount of storage space you need; all other features are standard. Prices start at US$5/month for 25MB of space and go up to US$500/month for 100GB storage. The US$10/month plan seems to be the sweet spot with 1GB of storage, which should be enough for selling multiple versions of ebooks, a couple of albums in various formats or several photo collections.
FetchApp doesn’t monitor bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about paying more for higher numbers of sales. This is a pricing model I haven’t seen before, and it offers great bang for your buck. There’s also a free plan with 1MB of space, should you want to try the app and see if it meets your needs.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to first connect your shopping carts and payment gateways. Apart from popular options like Shopify, Goodsie, BigCommerce, PayPal, Google Checkout, FoxyCart Being supported out of the box, FetchApp offers an API for you to integrate it with any other system you might be using. There are clear instructions for each cart/gateway so you can get to selling as quickly as possible.
Once you’ve connected your carts and gateways, you can take a moment to breathe and notice that FetchApp’s UI is simple and free of any bells and whistles — there’s just a navigation bar and the information you need to see.
There are four sections in the app, beginning with the Orders overview. This is where you can see how many orders have been placed and how much money you’ve made, at a glance. You can add manual orders (in case a customer is having trouble with his/her order, for instance), export your list of orders as a CSV, or purge orders to start afresh.
Up next is the Products section, where you can view all the products you have and add new ones. To list a new product, all you have to do is enter a title and SKU to identify it by, set a price (and optionally, choose to allow variable pricing so users can pay what they like) and currency and associate a file from your existing uploads or by uploading a new one.
The Files section lists your files and allows you to view and delete them as needed. And lastly, the Settings section has a variety of options – You can configure your cart/API setup, manage users for your account sales, upgrade your account and also get a referral link to invite others to use FetchApp and make a little money on the side.
I like how FetchApp takes care of not only its own users with a great interface but its users’ customers as well. For starters, download links are automatically delivered upon successful payment, helping sellers look professional and reducing steps in the sale process. Users can, in addition to creating manual orders, edit/reopen/resend orders if necessary. Plus, you can customize email notifications that go out to your customers using a simple WYSIWYG drag-and-drop email builder.
I found FetchApp to be incredibly easy to set up and use. I simply entered my PayPal email address, uploaded a couple of files, grabbed the auto-generated links and linked them to buttons I put on my website. Clicking these buttons immediately takes you to a payment page where my customers can enter the amount they’d like to pay and choose a payment method (PayPal/debit/credit card). It took less than five minutes to do and required no tutorials or guides, which is seriously impressive.
You can similarly integrate your FetchApp products into social media campaigns and email newsletters — basically, if you can paste a link somewhere, you can sell.
In case you do have any questions, you can turn to the comprehensive support section, replete with a great knowledgebase and forum; you can also email a question or request a feature, and since the feature isn’t yet present, they’ll even import multiple orders into your account if you email them a CSV.
FetchApp vs. Gumroad
Some of you may have read about or come across Gumroad, another popular quick-ecommerce app we covered earlier this year. While the two serve similar purposes, they’re intended for different user bases. FetchApp helps you create payment gateways for products, not a store, and requires you to build them into your existing site. Gumroad doesn’t require you to have your own site and provides a space for you to display your wares and sell them.
Also, FetchApp is limited to digital items, while Gumroad allows you to sell just about anything, including physical products like CDs and apparel. They also differ in pricing models: FetchApp’s paid plans are based on how much storage you need for your files; Gumroad is free to use but charges 5% on every transaction + 25¢ and makes deposits at the end of every month.
If you’re looking for a way to sell digital products on your site without creating a whole online store, there’s no easier way to do it than with FetchApp. It’s great for users and their customers and is really easy to use. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get started selling downloadables. It’s also very reasonably priced, so sign up, go forth and market your wares without fear!