Thousands of affiliate marketers ask is it better to promote digital or physical products. What type of products should I choose? There is so much choice and they all look so good. So what should I do?

The doubts and questions are a good sign. It shows that you’re actually thinking and not making hasty decisions. The hard fact is that time and money are limited resources.

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As an affiliate marketer who is just starting, you probably will not have much of either to begin with. So, you will want to choose the best possible product for you to maximize your profits.

How do you know which is right for you?

In order to know that, we’ll need to examine the pros and cons of both digital and physical products. Once you analyze them well, you will be able to make your decision.

Do note that there is nothing stopping you from choosing to promote a mix of both. This is affiliate marketing, not vegetarianism. Neither type of product is mutually exclusive. The smart marketer will try promoting a mix of both products and see which works well for him or her and go all out for it when they know what’s working.

What are Digital Products?

Is it Better to Promote Digital or Physical Products?

Digital products are either information and service related products that can be found online. They could be eBooks, software, videos, and audios. Upon purchase, the customer will have immediate access to the product/s.

Some of the most popular digital marketplaces are ClickBank, Tradebit and JVZoo.

Digital Product Pros

The pros of digital products are that it’s easy to setup an affiliate account and start your promotional efforts. The customers will receive the products immediately and the best part about digital products is the high commission rates.

Since there is no shipping involved, the product creator has less cost and is able to offer commission percentages of 50% to 75%. These are very attractive.

It takes just as much effort to promote a high paying product than a low paying one.

Digital Product Cons

There are just a few cons to digital products though. Firstly, there is a higher refund rate. There are many freebie seekers who have no qualms about purchasing and downloading the product only to ask for a refund a few minutes later. This has been a big problem, but is getting better.

Some digital product vendors are also unreliable and may disappear or take their sales page offline at any moment. Digital products usually do not easily convert browsers into buyers. You will need to build a list and a relationship with your list. After that, you may repeat the offer to them at intervals and over time they may be persuaded to buy. It is a longer process.

Physical products are the kind of products that you can buy at Wal-Mart or another retailer. These products have their own set of pros and cons.

Physical Product Pros

The pros with physical products are that people are much more ready to purchase them since they are tangible and generally, seem more reputable than digital products. people love putting their hands on new things.

There is also much more variety with physical products and the refunds or returns are much lower because of the hassle of sending the item back, etc. Most people are too lazy to go through the process.

The commissions are greater when you promote higher ticket items. Unlike digital products with a fixed price and fixed commission, the commission you earn from promoting a physical product may vary. If the buyer picks a more expensive product in the marketplace, you get more commission.

Physical Product Cons

The cons of physical products are that they have lower commission percentages (usually 5% to 10%). It’s also more difficult to promote these products without a website and it takes longer to receive payment from the vendors.

At the end of the day, you will need to decide is it better to promote digital or physical products for yourself. As long as you have the fundamentals in place such as pre-selling skills, building a list, basic website setup, etc. you will fare well with either type of products.