If you’ve been using ConvertKit — my favorite, and recommended email marketing platform — you’ve probably heard it already — ConvertKit now has an eCommerce feature called ConvertKit Commerce.
Even though it’s still in beta, I gave it a try a couple of weeks ago. So, today I want to talk about this brand new feature, who should (and shouldn’t) use it, followed up by a short tutorial on how to use this feature.
Things to consider before you start using ConvertKit Commerce (beta)
ConvertKit Commerce is an eCommerce solution for ConvertKit users. This feature is still in beta, which is to say that it’s not yet perfect, and the ConvertKit engineers are likely still running tests, fine-tuning, and improving the feature in the background.
That said, I signed up for their waitlist way back in June when they first announced it. Even though I sell my digital products via WooCommerce, being a huge ConvertKit fan that I am, I had to test it out as soon as possible.
So, once the beta version went live, I was able to test this feature pretty much right away. There aren’t a whole lot of options available quite yet; that said, these are my observations so far:
Best used for selling digital products for instant delivery
WooCommerce and some other eCommerce platforms are great for selling physical goods because you have the capabilities to create shipping labels, track order fulfillment, etc.
You do not have all these bells and whistles with ConvertKit Commerce.
This isn’t great if you’re planning to sell physical products. However, this simplicity is perfect for digital product sellers. The system is set up in a way that, after the checkout process, the downloadable product is instantly made available to the buyer. So, if you’re someone selling an eBook, for example, ConvertKit Commerce will make it super easy for you to sell the product and deliver it to your buyers instantly.
Best used as a payment method than a standalone eCommerce platform
Currently, in the beta version, the product page has the bare minimum features. One image capability, limited room for text, and a purchase button that takes buyers to the checkout page.
As you can see above, the product page on its own is quite rudimentary. It leaves a lot, and I mean, A LOT of room for improvement. I sincerely hope that CinvertKit will work on designing product page templates with options for adding more images and longer descriptions so that it can be used as a standalone eCommerce platform.
But well, this beta version ain’t it.
The good news is that it does have an embed option. Using the embed code, you can create a payment button for the product on your existing website. This way, you can add as many images or as much text description of your product as you want on your website, and then make your customers pay via ConvertKit.
For example, let’s say that you want to sell an eBook. Maybe you don’t want to set up WooCommerce on your website just for selling a single eBook. Instead, you need a reliable payment option with instant delivery.
Now, you can do that with a third-party app for a monthly subscription fee (apps like FastSpring or SendOwl, for example). Or, if you use ConvertKit already for your email marketing, then you can use its Commerce feature for order fulfillment, without the extra cost.
Good for when you have a limited number of products
Again, the ConvertKit Commerce isn’t a full eCommerce platform. It’s not great if you have a ton of similar products.
For example, I sell Canva templates on my site. I have set up WooCommerce, and I have designed a template for my product pages that works for me. Every time I create a new product, all I have to do is list it on the backend, and I’m good to go. I cannot imagine using ConvertKit Commerce for selling my templates individually.
But if you have a limited number of products (an eBook, for example), then it’s better to have a landing page for that eBook rather than a WooCommerce product page.
Part of the charm for third-party apps like FastSpring or SendOwl is that you can create a landing page for your product. And that’s where ConvertKit could be useful for you. Instead of creating a landing page on a third-party seller and then having to pay for it, you can just create a landing page on your website, and use the ConvertKit Commerce embed option to create a payment button.
This brings me to my next point…
Great for existing ConvertKit customers
I love ConvertKit, that’s no secret. I love it as an email marketing platform and have no plans of switching away from it anytime soon. If you’re a new blogger, or if you’re trying to grow your email list, or if you’re finding your current email marketing platform hard to navigate, then I strongly encourage you to sign up for ConvertKit.
That said, I would not suggest signing up for ConvertKit just for the Commerce feature alone. It’s not worth it. Think of the Commerce feature as an added benefit (for now at least) to the existing ConvertKit users, who may be looking for a payment gateway for their ebooks or guides.
Key features of ConvertKit Commerce (beta)
Here are some of the key feature you should be aware of:
- Commerce is available to US sellers only for now.
- The product page doesn’t have multiple templates (yet).
- Has options for adding only one image, and some text (ideally not a whole lot of text). You can change the font size, font colors, button colors, etc.
- You can use this as a landing page for your product though I advise against it. Instead…
- It is best used when embedded in an existing landing page somewhere else (ideally, on your website where you have more room for adding images and information about your product).
- The embed code creates a payment button that says “Buy my product” next to the ConvertKit logo. There’s no option to change the way the button looks or to remove the ConvertKit logo from the button. You can, however, change the text that says, “Buy my product” within the code itself. It’s easy, and I will show you how shortly.
- All payments are processed via Stripe, and payouts are deposited to your bank account weekly on Fridays.
Some other things you need to know that will change as the ConvertKit team keeps working on improving the Commerce platform:
- They have plans to make Commerce available to Canadian sellers sometime soon-ish, and to other countries eventually at some point.
- There are no options for a refund at the time (another reason why you should only sell digital, non-refundable products), but they’re working on implementing this option.
- They’re also working on a recurring payment option (useful for subscription-based products)
At some point in the future, we may also see the option to add product variants, implementing discount coupons, options to pay via PayPal or Apple Pay, and a bunch of other features. We don’t know yet when, but only that they plan on it.
Setting up ConvertKit Commerce
The setup is super easy. In this section, I’ll show you how to set up the product so you can start selling, including how to embed the product in a WordPress page.
Set up product inside ConvertKit
1. Once you log in to your ConvertKit account, click on “Products” from the top blue menu bar.
2. First-time users can create a product or set up payment at this stage. I advise you to set up your payment before you create a product and start selling. Choose the Payment setup option and follow the prompts until it’s done.
If you skip the payment setup process and create your product first, you can still get to the payment setup option at the top blue bar.
3. Once you’ve set up your payment, You can start listing products. From the top blue menu bar, click on Products, and then click on “New Product” from top-right, underneath the blue menu bar.
4. The first step is setting the product details. In the designated spots, enter the name of your product, choose the standard payment option (unless it is a subscription option, which will be rolled out to users sometime soon-ish), and then set the price. Click “Next” once done.
5. In the next step, upload the deliverable. This is the product that will be instantly available to all buyers. Ideally, it will be a pdf file or some image file or zip file if you need to package multiple items in one product. Click next once you’ve uploaded the file.
6. Next, you have to choose the domain. You have the option to use a custom domain if you have already linked one to your ConvertKit. Personally, I don’t do that and use ConvertKit’s default domain. So, in this step, I don’t really have much to do and leave all options as is. Under the Page URL option, the field is automatically populated with the product name you had set up earlier. If it isn’t filled already, type it in manually. And then click on the button that says, “Create Product.”
7. On the next page, you can set up the product page. This is where you can add in the product image, type the product description, and customize the color of the button, background image/color, fonts, etc. All the customizable options are listed on the right panel. When you’re done, click the “Save” button up top.
8. If you need to change the product name or price or the deliverable even after creating the product, you can do so at any time. Just click the settings icon (the gear icon next to the “Save” button). This will open a popup of the product settings options where you can modify and edit the settings. Make sure to save the changes.
9. You are now ready to start selling. At this point, you can either sell by sharing the product page you just created, or you can embed the product to your website. To share the product page, click on “Publish” (up top, left of the gear icon), and then copy the product page link. This is the product page URL. You can share this link and start selling.
The image below is the product page I created for my Canva template bundle:
Embed the product on a WordPress page
As I’ve said, I personally recommend that you embed the product on your own website, as opposed to trying to sell it using the ConvertKit product page.
The product page itself is rudimentary in the beta version, and until they make improvements to it, it is best that you use the platform primarily to collect the payments.
All the steps I have shown you up until now are necessary whether or not you’re using the product page itself to sell, or if you’re embedding the product.
To embed this product on a WordPress page, follow these steps:
1. First, create a page on WordPress that is to be served as the landing page for your product. To add the embedded code, make sure you have the code editor selected within the page editor. To select code editor, click on the three dots at the top right of the page editor, and then choose “Code Editor”, as shown below.
2. Now go back to the ConvertKit product page, and then click on “Publish” again. This time, from the popup, choose the “Embed” option. Copy the code.
3. Now, back in your WordPress editor, page the copied embed code wherever you want the button to appear. When you save and publish the page, it looks like this:
Note that you cannot change how this button looks as of yet in this beta version. You can change the text that says “Buy my product”, but that’s about it.
If you wish to change this text, locate the text “Buy my product” inside the embed code, and change it to say whatever you want it to say. Something like, “Get the product”, or “Buy this product”, or “Purchase” or something else.
When you click this button, the product page that you had designed pops up, allowing the buyer to purchase the product.
And that’s it, guys!
That’s how you create a product with ConvertKit Commerce (beta). No, it’s not perfect. Not yet, at least. But it’s a big step forward for the ConvertKit team, and if I’ve learned anything from using ConvertKit for the past couple of years, it’s that they’re diligent, and they really do care about their customers. I’m sure this feature will continue to improve with time.
In the meantime, here’s a summary of the takeaways:
- This feature is still very much a work in progress. Expect significant changes in the coming months.
- For now, I recommend that you use this as mostly a payment processing option for your product, and use a landing page (built on your website) to showcase product details. Use the ConvertKit Commerce embed option on your landing page to facilitate payment from buyers (as shown in the tutorial above.)
So, what do you think? Do you plan on using ConvertKit Commerce to sell your products? Let me know in the comments, along with any questions you may have regarding this feature.
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