Jawad-KhanThis is a guest post from Jawad Khan. Jawad is a certified inbound marketer, a freelance blogger, and content marketing consultant.

He helps blogs, marketing agencies and SaaS companies build their brand image and acquire high paying clients through quality blog posts. You can follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.


Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads – WordPress eCommerce Plugins Compared

One of the most effective ways of making money online is by selling digital information-based products. As someone who makes a full time living from freelance blogging and selling info products, I’m always looking for new ways to improve the overall experience of my customers when they visit my blog to purchase digital products.

For anyone who has sold digital product, Easy Digital Downloads should not be a new name. It’s one of the most popular digital selling WordPress plugins with over 250,000 downloads.

However, a new digital selling service, Selz, has also been making waves on the WordPress eCommerce horizon over the past year. Just like EDD, Selz is perfect for selling digital products and services, but unlike EDD, it’s not limited to digital products only. Despite being the new kid on the block, Selz has already won plaudits from major influencers from different creative industries.

So I thought it would be timely to share a quick comparison of both these WordPress eCommerce plugins and help you choose the right one for your website.

Plugin Installation link

Selz

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Selz WordPress plugin

Selz is not limited to WordPress but it does have a powerful WordPress plugin that has all the options you need to start selling online. The plugin installation process is the same as any other WordPress plugin.

Once you download and install the plugin, you’ll need to sign up for a free account on the Selz website. The whole process takes around a minute to complete. Using Selz is unbelievably easy, and you don’t need any coding skills or experience.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Selz Account

Sign up for a Selz Account

Once the plugin is installed, it will start appearing in the Appearance > Tools > Widgets section of your WordPress website. You can drag it to the active widgets area to start using it.

Selz vs EDD | Selz Widget

Selz Widget


Easy Digital Downloads

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD

Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is primarily a WordPress plugin so there’s no need to sign up separately on their website. You just need to download and install the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory and activate the plugin to start selling.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Install EDD

Install EDD

Adding Products link

Selz

Selz vs EDD | Creating Digital Products in Selz

Creating Digital Products in Selz

Adding products is quite simple in Selz and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Again, the products are also added from the website of Selz. Once you sign up for a free account, you can immediately start adding products. Selz allows you to add physical and digital products or services.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Creating Selz Products

Creating Selz Products

As you can see in the screenshot, you can add audio and video previews for your products. This makes your products look much more attractive and almost serves as a landing page. You just need to add the product price or mark it as “free” if it’s a free giveaway.

You have the choice of offering a range of discounts as well as giving customers the choice of PayWhatYouWant (PWYW). Interestingly, some merchants with a loyal following find PWYW generates more revenue for them than setting a fixed price.

Once you enter the complete product information, Selz will give you a product link. Copy that link and paste it in the Selz WordPress plugin to start displaying your product.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Selz Product Widget

Selz Product Widget

With every product widget, you can add a Buy Now button and customize it according to the theme of your website or embed a predefined widget. Once you’re done with the product configuration, this is how your product will appear to the buyers if using the widget.

Selz vs EDD | Selz Product Display

Selz Product Display

The whole purchasing process is completed on the same page and the buyer is not redirected to any other website or pages, which leaves a positive impact in terms of user experience. The swift checkout experience is one of the major advantages with Selz.

Easy Digital Downloads

With EDD, the whole product addition process takes place on WordPress. The product pages are added as custom post types in which you can add all the relevant product details.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | Creating a Download with EDD

Creating a Download with EDD

Here you can add the product title, images, description, and any other thing about your product that you need to say. It’s just like adding a new post.

Once you’re done with the basic information, you can add the pricing details and the download path of the digital resource that you’re selling.

Apart from simple flat pricing, EDD also allows you to display multiple price options for products and also adds a Purchase Now or Buy Now button at the end of your product widget.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Product Data

EDD Product Data

Once you save the product information, you’ll get a product shortcode from EDD that you can use anywhere on your website to display your product. This is how your buyer will see it:

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Product Display

EDD Product Display

And here’s what the product catalog will look like when customers browse your entire store:

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Catalog

EDD Catalog

By default, the plugin is AJAX enabled so most of the purchase cycle will be completed on the same page and allows your customers to add multiple downloads using the shopping cart. For checkout, the buyers will be redirected to the checkout page. You can customize it from the plugin backend options.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Checkout

EDD Checkout

Reports and Analytics link

Selz

You can view comprehensive buyer and product statistics in the user dashboard on the Selz website. You can also integrate your Google Analytics account with Selz for deeper insights.

Selz vs EDD | Selz Analytics

Selz Analytics

You can also keep track of your payments and individual buyers.

Selz vs EDD | Buyer Data Selz

Selz Buyer Data

Easy Digital Downloads

EDD, on the other hand, gives you product statistics in your WordPress dashboard. They can be viewed from the plugin backend options (But they’re not as detailed as Google Analytics of course).

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Reports

EDD Reports

EDD gives you detailed payment history and purchase statistics in your WordPress admin area.

Selz vs Easy Digital Downloads | EDD Payments Screen

EDD Payments

Payment Gateways and Add-ons link

Selz

Selz accepts buyer payments with Master Card and Visa in more than 150 countries. You can also offer your customers the choice of paying with PayPal or Credit Cards, if they’re using their PayPal Unlimited app, without any additional PayPal fees. You can get paid either by integrating your PayPal account with Selz or direct deposit to your US bank account.

Since Selz handles payment processing for you, you don’t have to worry about security or installing SSL certificates for the products you sell. This way, setting up your store is very simple and worry-free.

Easy Digital Downloads

EDD only accepts payments from PayPal within the core plugin. You can add payment options like PayPal Pro / Express, Stripe, Authorize.net, and others using paid add-ons. The typical cost for a payment gateway add-on is $49.

Pricing link

Selz

Signing up and downloading the WordPress plugin is free. There are a range of apps available that extend the functionality with more coming on stream shortly. Plus it has paid apps like the Custom Domain and PayPal Unlimited for accepting PayPal purchases, but these are cheap at only $1.99 or $4.99 per month. There are no monthly or hidden costs for using Selz. You only need to pay 5% of your product price + 25 cents when a sale is made. That’s it.

This ensures that you don’t have huge startup costs for your store, and instead can know what you’ll pay per month. There’s also no risk of losing money on your store investment, as you only pay when sales are made.

Easy Digital Downloads

EDD is a free plugin and does not cost you anything. It also does not charge anything on product purchases. However, you will need to pay for the payment gateway you select and other extensions. Many additional features are available as paid add-ons, for example extension for Stripe and PayPal Express are available for $49 each. So the overall price depends on the add-ons and what functionality you want for your store.

This means you’ll have to invest more money up-front while starting your store, and pricing is more dependent on the functionality you want. However, you’ll know costs after you store is set up, as you then pay 70% to renew licenses each year for updates and support.

Other Features link

Selz

Selz has several powerful and versatile features. For example, you can integrate auto responder services like Mailchimp and AWeber with your Selz account and use it as a list building tool. Whenever buyers make a purchase, Selz will automatically add their email address to your mailing list at the backend.

You can also integrate Selz with your Facebook and Twitter accounts and use your social media strength to boost your sales.

If selling PDFs, Selz includes PDF stamping for free (EDD requires a paid add-on for this). Plus the nice option of giving customers the ability to download directly into Kindle or Dropbox.

Easy Digital Downloads

EDD allows you to create special discount coupons for product purchases that buyers can utilize at the time of checkout. It also currently has a much wider range of add-ons available for purchase. EDD also allows space for a lot of customization for developers and advanced WordPress users. And since it is based entirely in WordPress, common WordPress users also find it easy to configure.

The Verdict link

Selz

Both these plugins are closely matched when it comes to features and utility. Both provide excellent user experience, ease of use, and payment options.

Selz has a much broader feature base that can work outside WordPress as well, and covers both digital and physical products. Moreover, it can be integrated with social media and email services and also has more eye-catching product widgets. Selz also makes payment processing and security easy, as users don’t have to worry about payment processing on their end at all.

On the other hand, EDD is a purely WordPress based service designed specifically for digital product selling. It is extremely easy to use and has a wide range of payment options and paid add-ons, and could be extended by a developer.

So the verdict may vary with individual requirements. If you’re a technically sound WordPress user or a developer, then you might enjoy tinkering with different customizations in EDD. However, if you’re into social media, building your email lists, and don’t want the hassle of dealing with payment security, then Selz might just be a better option for you.

More Information link

Want to read more about these plugins? Here are some handy resources. Sell with WP also has a guide to popular WordPress eCommerce Platforms if you want to know about other options.


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Posted by Jawad Khan

Jawad is a Content Marketing Specialist at Quality Trade, a leading marketing and trading platform for B2B companies. You can follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for this detailed comparison!

  2. Thanks for the review.
    I currently only have one small ebook which right now I want o market as a “freebie”.
    But, then do the road, I hope to have one that will be purchased for a price.
    Does Selz have an option to offer “free downloads” of something like a digital product as part of their service and have a way t skip the whole check-out process.
    Basically, it would work almost like an autoresponder.
    Someone would choose the product they want, and then be sent an e-mail with a link to download it, but they would never have to pay for it or go through checkout.
    Also, since the price is zero, does this mean there is no charge for this under the SELZ model?
    I currently use MADMIMI for my mailing list, but I have the free service which doesn’t have autoresponder support, so I can’t use that for sending out free downloads, so I was hoping to use SELZ to do this, and then I would use it later when I had an ebook to actually sell for some money.

    Hope I explained it.

    Thanks.

    Michael

  3. Hey Michael! Thanks for your interest in Selz. We do have a way for you to give away free products – all you need to do is set your price to ‘free’ in your product listing. There’s no transaction fee on free products 🙂
    You might like to have a read of this article – Kristi Hines did a case study on using Selz as her email opt in with some really positive results http://kikolani.com/boosting-opt-ins-with-selz.html and if you have any other questions just let us know at help@selz.com.
    – Melissa

  4. I use a slightly unsecured method to share my videos with a payment wall.
    First I set up woocommerce on my site, then I add a virtual product…
    Then I upload my video to youtube but as a private video!
    On the advanced tab of my woocommerce product I add the link using html on the optional section to leave buyers a comment after purchase.

    Then after they purchase through my website it will show the buyer a message.
    To view the full length video go to
    “www.youtubeprivatevideolink.com”
    When they click it (if your html is correct) it takes them to my video.

    This method is unsecure because users could share the link to other people. I definitely track my views to purchases and if it starts to have more views than purchases I just reupload the video to change the private link resetting the issue.

    I will definitely be checking out selz though it seems like an easier hassle free and cost effective alternative. Thank you for the awesome comparison!

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