One of the biggest challenges faced by online coaches, artists, and other digital content creators is finding a low-friction, reliable way to deliver content to their customers. A good platform is one that's easy to use for both the creator and the consumer, is inexpensive, and makes it easy for content creators to grow their audience. Gumroad and Stan Store are both popular options for digital creators, but which is the best option for your content?
What is Gumroad?
Gumroad is a platform that helps creators sell everything from art and videos to music, podcasts, apps, eBooks, and SaaS subscriptions. It can also be used to sell physical products. The flat pricing structure and easy-to-use interface make it popular with creators.
Who Can Use Gumroad?
Gumroad is quite a flexible platform and it can be used to sell almost anything. The platform has become popular with people who are selling printable patterns for sewing, crocheting, 3D printing, and other similar hobbies. It's also popular with coaches who want an easy way of managing access to their training courses.
Products that are 'Not Safe For Work' are permitted on Gumroad, but must be tagged as such to ensure they do not appear in general categories on the Gumroad Discover store.
How Does Gumroad Work?
Gumroad is a digital marketplace that offers creators the chance to set up a store on the platform or sell products via their website. It charges a flat fee for sales and is very easy to use.
Sellers can set up a store on a subdomain of the Gumroad site for people to explore the products they're offering. The platform also has its own 'discover' section, divided into categories such as eBooks, Comics, Education, Audio, 3D, etc, with a special Staff Picks section highlighting what the platform considers to be the most interesting offerings.
Unlike many other digital publishing platforms, Gumroad supports all kinds of products, including physical items, so it's ideal for people who have a broader "brand" and want to be able to offer multiple kinds of products for sale in one place. Gumroad users can create a custom landing page, process payments, and track sales - all within the platform itself. Plus, with Gumroad, creators can make memberships and set up subscriptions.
Selling on Gumroad
Getting started with Gumroad is quite easy. After creating an account, you'll have access to your seller dashboard, where you can add products and manage prices.
To add a product:
- Open the Products Dashboard and click New product
- Select the product type
- Set the price of the product
- Add a description
- Set the call to action, summary, and other details (such as file size/number of pages)
- Add screenshots/PDF previews or other content to the product listing
- Upload the product itself
The platform offers several pricing options including free products, one-time purchases, and ongoing subscriptions. The "newsletter" and "podcast" product types are subscriptions. It's also possible to configure free trials for subscription-based offerings.
The setup process is pretty straightforward and differs slightly depending on the type of product that you are sending - for example, if you sell physical goods, then you can add shipping destinations and SKUs. For courses and eBooks, you can offer alternate versions of that product. For memberships, you can set up membership tiers.
Once you've set up a product, you can preview the listing and perform a test purchase to confirm that everything's working as expected.
Creators can customize their listings, providing information about the product and uploading icons, watermarked previews, tasters, etc. However, the store itself has a distinctive look and that's not something creators can change.
As a result, although you can customize your product page with a cover image, thumbnail, product summary, and CTA, you will end up with a page that looks very similar to all other sellers on Gumroad.
The platform does offer an API and some widgets that can be embedded on other websites, so creators who don't like the look and feel of the Gumroad website can still use them as a payment processor/secure delivery platform and focus their marketing efforts on their own sites.
Engagement Tools and Customer Management
Sellers can track engagement through the analytics options provided by the platform and can keep in touch with customers via newsletters, all from within their dashboard.
The platform also offers an option for affiliate marketing, so sellers can provide affiliates with codes, and have the platform handle commissions. These options help sellers grow their audiences and gain repeat customers.
Sellers can manage their accounts via the Gumroad app, which offers features for creating and editing products, tracking sales histories, and managing affiliates.
Gumroad Customer Support
The Customer Help Center provides a number of knowledgebase articles both for creators and for customers. It also provides a contact form for people to use if the knowledge base does not answer their questions.
However, the customer support options on Gumroad are extremely limited. Gumroad can only be contacted via the online contact form. There is no way to contact Gumroad via live chat or phone.
Further, while Gumroad will help with any upload and download issues, payment issues, fraudulent purchases, and generic platform questions, everything else is left up to the seller. So, the seller must deal with any product questions, shipping, refunds, memberships, and licenses without the help of the platform.
How Much Does Gumroad Cost?
There are no subscriptions or up-front fees for listing products on Gumroad. The platform charges a 10% flat fee for all sales. In addition to this fee, sellers will also have to pay a fee to PayPal or Stripe, depending on how the buyer paid for the product.
Sellers can pay an additional fee to have their products displayed more prominently on Gumroad Discover, but this is optional. Sellers who do not pay the discovery fee can still get 'discovered', as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. These include having a balance of at least $10 from genuine sales and having passed the risk review process.
What is Stan Store?
Stan Store is a digital creator store that's incredibly popular with coaches and influencers. It takes a mobile-centric approach, offering social media templates, calendar invites, and a 'link-in-bio' store, along with numerous other features all in one handy app.
Who Can Use Stan Store?
The platform is designed for people who sell digital content or coaching subscriptions. Sellers can upload ebooks, audio files, images, and other content, or sell calendar bookings for webinars, coaching, and other services.
While the platform recommends that creators keep their products to low 500 MB in size, it's possible to sell files as large as 4 GB, which is sufficiently generous an allowance to make the sale of high-quality instructional videos an option.
How Does Stan Store Work?
Adding digital downloads to Stan Store is easy to do. Visit the Stan Store website and create your account. You will then be asked whether you already have a digital product or need help creating one.
Whichever option you choose, you will be prompted to choose your main goal for signing up to Stan Store.
After completing all of the steps you will be brought to your home page. Here, you can either Add Product or Create Product.
Whether you're adding an existing product or creating a new one, simply choose the type of product you'd like to sell. For example, for an eBook or audio file, click Sell a Digital Download. For a coaching session, choose Webinar or Book a Time on Your Calendar.
After choosing a product type you'll be taken to a page where you can edit the thumbnail, heading, and other aspects of your listing. Complete these details, then click Next to edit the checkout page. If you'd like to set affiliate links, add testimonials and promo videos, or customize the confirmation email that goes out to customers, you'll find those options in the Advanced tab.
Once you've set up the product, you can save the draft for review later, or publish it.
Stan Store is designed with a mobile audience in mind, and the store is set up to be user-friendly when shared as a TikTok or Instagram 'link-in-bio'. This means layout options are somewhat limited. There are 12 different store designs to choose from.
Sellers can change the fonts and colors of their store, and there are a few designs to choose from, but it's not possible to change font sizes or make more complex alterations to the layout.
Engagement Tools and Customer Management
Several integrations are available to sellers, including Aweber, Flodesk, Zapier, and Mailchimp. The platform offers some handy analytics tools for tracking customers and managing subscriptions, too.
Pro customers can create email flows to engage with customers from within the app. Those on the Creator plan will have to manage mailing lists through a third-party service such as Mailchimp.
Tracking pixels are available for users on the Pro plan. Analytics features on the Creator plan are more limited.
Stan Store Customer Support
The platform has an extensive knowledge base that covers not only the basics of the platform, but also things like affiliate programs, payment plans, discounts, and analytics. They can also be contacted via email, and have an AI support bot called Stanley that can answer most basic questions.
There is no live customer support, but Stan Store claims to answer most messages within a few hours.
How Much Does Stan Store Cost?
There are two membership tiers on Stan Store. The Creator plan costs $29 per month and offers access to several features:
- Creator store
- Calendar invites and bookings
- 1-Tap checkout
- Mailing lists
The Creator Pro plan is $99 per month and offers access to all of the above features plus additional email marketing and sales funnels, discount codes/upsell offers, payment plans, affiliate programs, and tracking pixels.
The memberships are a flat fee, and Stan Store takes no commission on products sold, although there will be a fee for third-party payment processors.
Pro members have the option of allowing customers to offer monthly payment plans through services such as Klarna. Enabling this feature is not compulsory. However, those who are selling higher-value products may find turning it on increases their conversion rate.
Gumroad vs Stan Store: Which is Better?
Both Stan Store and Gumroad are good platforms for creators, although they target slightly different audiences. While Gumroad is a platform for selling all types of products, including physical products, Stan Store is aimed more at creators selling digital products or subscription content.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of both.
Advantages of Using Gumroad
- No up-front fees or subscriptions
- Sell anything, including physical products
- Can embed widgets on third-party sites
- Simple interface
Disadvantages of using Gumroad
- The 10% commission is a hefty fee
- Limited customization options for the store
- A relatively small marketplace compared to some other platforms
Advantages of Using Stan Store
- Mobile-friendly interface
- No commission
- Easy integration with popular tools
Disadvantages of Using Stan Store
- Limited store customization options
- Some marketing features gated behind the Pro plan
- Only pro users can hide Stan Store's marketing banners
Successful influencers who have a strong presence on TikTok or Instagram may find Stan Store's flat fee approach appealing to them, especially if they're wondering how to get paying subscribers through their large follower count. For smaller creators who already have a dedicated following on a traditional website, Gumroad's embedded checkout might appeal.
An Alternative to Gumroad and Stan Store: Whop
While both Gumroad and Stan Store are good options for people who are looking to sell digital products, they don't suit everyone. To succeed with Stan Store, creators need to have a decent following on social media. Gumroad, in contrast, may appeal to those who have a smaller following but the platform charges a 10% fee.
There is a more affordable option that offers flexibility, the discoverability advantage of having a large and busy marketplace, and low fees: that platform is Whop.
If you're looking to build a sustainable, thriving customer base, Whop has several advantages compared to both Stan Store and Gumroad:
- Affordable: There's no monthly subscription, and the transaction fee is just 3%.
- Sell a variety of products: You can sell anything from audio files, to SaaS, to paid community memberships.
- A busy marketplace: Be seen by a huge number of potential customers thanks to the Whop Marketplace, helping you grow your audience while you're busy building up your social media profiles and website traffic.
- Responsive customer service: Rather than relying on a knowledge base and email, get the help you need to set up your store when you need it, from a responsive customer service team. Whop's average response time is less than 3 minutes!
With Whop you can sell almost anything, even access to Discord groups or online courses. You don't need to be a programmer to set up your store, because many integrations are provided out-of-the-box. If you are a programmer, however, you can take advantage of the platform's APIs to build new and innovative product offerings.
Then, there is the Whop marketplace. Whop marketplace is incredibly popular, and offers a valuable opportunity for newer creators to be seen by people who are browsing for products similar to the ones they offer. It's still a good idea to invest in your own marketing, but the benefits of being discovered organically in the Whop store should not be underestimated and can help newer sellers start building their customer base.
So if you're looking for a platform to sell your digital products, why not choose Whop? With industry-leading fees, a thriving marketplace, and unparalleled customer service, Whop is the number one platform choice for online entrepreneurs.
Start selling your digital products today with Whop!
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between Stan Store and Linktree?
Stan Store is a 'link-in-bio' online store to make selling products through social media easier. Meanwhile, Linktree is a service that allows people to easily link to multiple other sites via their 'link-in-bio'.
Can you make money on Gumroad?
Gumroad is a good platform for independent creators who are just starting out. It's easy to use and has a low barrier to entry. However, to make a high number of sales, creators will have to market their products heavily.
Which is better, Gumroad or Stan Store?
Gumroad and Stan Store cater to different audiences. Gumroad is a good option for independent content creators and people with their own websites. Stan Store is aimed at influencers and those with a large social media following.
What products can you sell on Whop?
Creators can sell almost anything on Whop. The platform supports eBooks, apps, SaaS subscriptions, podcasts, and even memberships.