Sell Physical Products

No, I’m not quoting the old Olivia Newton-John song by the same name. It’s all about the delivery of any information products that you sell. The question always is “Should I just do digital delivery of my products or should I go physical?”

It can be a tough call. In today’s online world it’s easy to get caught up in the “well I’ll just do it all digital because then it doesn’t cost me anything” mindset. But there are several costs you need to consider when selling information products.

1. The cost to actually produce a physical product and ship it to your customer
2. The cost of returns if your product is returned by your customer for refund
3. Your opportunity cost of lost sales because there isn’t a physical component

Let’s take a look at each of these “costs” individually.

Yes, you will have out of pocket costs to manufacture and ship a physical product to your customer. Costs can vary anywhere from a couple dollars to a hundred or more depending upon the complexity of the product you’re producing. How many CDs and/or DVDs and how many manuals are all factors that go into determining the cost of the finished product.

Then, of course, you have your actual shipping costs (which should be a pass along to your customer) on top of the production costs. All the money you’re spending certainly makes it seem as if the digital version is the way to go.

But, what impact does actually putting a physical product in the hands of your customer have on your “stick” rate? If your return rate is lower with the addition of a physical component to your information product then you may net more on your bottom line when all is said and done by having a physical product.

Bottom line is there is no “right” answer. It’s a matter of testing your market and finding out what works best for you. Some niches expect physical products while others are more than happy with digital delivery. If you’re marketing to a group that “demands” physical products because they like something they can curl up on their couch with and read then you may be losing sales by not offering a physical component.

You need to determine what’s going to work best for you. But don’t assume digital is the only way to go, it could be costing you a lot of money.

Bret Ridgway is co-founder of Speaker Fulfillment Services, a company dedicated to helping information marketers succeed. For a free copy of the “Information Product Development and Launch Checklist” go to

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