The Difference between Physical and Digital Products

The Difference between Physical and Digital Products


There are two sorts of things one may offer in an online store when you're in the ecommerce platform. There are two categories of products: physical and digital. These two categories may be applied to all items available on the web. Whereas the digital products which including eBooks, business applications, e-learning, and so on have been popular for the past 10 years, physical products (books, household appliances, footwear, gadgets, apparel, and so on) have only recently become popular due to the development of newly developed courier companies and eCommerce stores such as Ebay, Alibaba, amazon, and so on.

As a result, you must select between any of these two parent groups when starting your online marketplace. You can only pick your finalized items after considering which method to take among physical and digital market segments. Now, deciding from digital and physical items is based on a variety of factors, including your finances, whether or not you want to give delivery, and your workplace design.

Physical Products

Definition: A tangible product is one that can be actually handled and that can be sent to a consumer once it has been sold. Physical products are material objects such as merchandise, garments, and other items that you sale and ship to clients.

Physical Products Example

  • Albums
  • Computer Games
  • Textiles Perfumes
  • Antiques
  • Jewelry Household appliances
  • Kids toys
  • Kitchen essentials
  • Cars
  • Furniture
  • Foods and beverages

Advantages of Physical Products

  1.  Easy to exhibit: Physical things are better to display to your consumers than digital goods. The fundamental explanation for this is that they are material.
  2.  Higher market value: Physical objects have a higher market worth since they may be resold. Digital things can be resold in some circumstances, but physical products are significantly easier to resale.
  3. Create one-of-a-kind items: Unlike digital products, physical things are difficult to imitate. The challenge with making a duplicate of a real thing is that it requires the same resources. Digital items, on the other side, are simple to reproduce.
  4. Simple transactions: Because physical things can be quickly exhibited, they can also be conveniently sold online. If the user is having trouble getting started, so no need for a lot of follow-up and clarification.

Disadvantages of Physical Products

  1. Logistics and warehouse control: You'll need delivery and inventory control capabilities if you're selling real goods. Managing these items costs a lot more time and money.
  2. Greater overhead expenses: A physical product necessitates additional overhead costs such as warehousing and staffing.
  3. Scalability is difficult: Physical items are more difficult to scale than digital products since they require so much time & expense to grow.
  4. Time Consuming: Physical items take substantially longer to reach the buyer from the moment they are ordered to the time they are received. Inventory control, invoicing, and client delivery are all included.

Digital Products

Definition: Digital commodities are objects that are not tangible, are only accessible online, and may only be sold digitally and for digital usage. Products that can be housed, distributed, and utilized in an electronically are known as digital commodities. Digital products are delivered to customers electronically by email or downloadable from the Internet.

Digital Products Example

  • Online Software’s and Programs
  • E-Books available on different online platforms
  • Internet Music
  • Internet Videos
  • Membership sites readily available on internet
  • Online Training materials and tutorials
  • Workbooks
  • All sort of Printable

Advantages of Digital Products

There are several benefits to selling digital things, many of which make them a preferable substitute to marketing physical products. Digital products, in principle, are simple to create, disseminate, are a long-term business strategy, and have a lucrative income potential earnings.

  1. Without any need for inventories: The best thing about digital items is that they don't require stock levels like physical things.
  2. Limitless sales: Once you've launched your digital product, you'll be able to make an infinite number of sales by simply duplicating and distributing replicas.
  3. Easy and quick: You don't need to worry about shipping since you can send these items directly to your customers' email addresses or add a download option to your website after they've purchased them. Because you won't have to pay for shipping, you'll be able to increase your profitability, reinvest your revenues in product promotion, and generate even more sales. When selling actual things, this is nearly hard to achieve.
  4. Quick 'free' shipment: You can quickly provide digital items to your consumers because they can be reproduced from the original file.
  5. Wide Range of Customers online: You don't have to worry about opening times or being limited to a single market place because your product description is constantly available online. The Internet has no boundaries, allowing you to connect with millions of others who meet your criteria - something that will be inconceivable with a real product. Targeting these individuals is also easier than marketing a viable product on a signboard or in a newspaper, thanks to current advertising methods like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
  6. Lower Minimum Barrier: Creating digital items is often less expensive, and anybody can do so.
  7. Independent from Vendors: When designing a physical product, you usually have to engage with a vendor to start producing and bring the thing to life, but with digital products, you do not even have to until you want them to be.

Disadvantages of Digital Products

  1. More difficult to give value: Unlike tangible commodities, digital products necessitate more planning, explanation, and demonstration. It takes a lot of effort to get consumers for digital items.
  2. Product creation takes time: Creating a digital product takes a long time. To get a digital product ready for launch, you must extensively test it via trial and error.
  3. Fierce competition: Because digital items do not require delivery or shipment, there is fierce rivalry in this market.
  4. Restrictions: While digital items do not have the same delivery limits as physical things, they do have a few sales and marketing limitations, such as not being able to sell on Facebook or Instagram. Currently, "mainly selling tangible items" is a prerequisite for Facebook and Instagram's corporate approval standards, which implies that commercial Instagram profiles must be for businesses that solely sell actual things.


In regards to sale price and commission rates, digital items are considerably superior to physical products, while physical products outnumber digital products in terms of sales volume. Because digital items are clearly more lucrative, most digital marketers provide their users with digital goods such as publications, workshops, applications, and so on.

When you're just getting started with ecommerce and can't decide whether it should offer physical or digital items, you're not the only one. While digital products offer a number of tempting features, such as higher profit generating possibilities and simple means of distribution, they also have a number of drawbacks, which we have highlighted above.

Physical products, on the other hand, have a number of benefits, including the opportunities to show the value of a physical item, which may lead to a perception of greater quality than digital products. However, product innovations are time-consuming to handle, not to acknowledge costly to origin and ship.

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