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Selling Software Online - Quick Tips for High Risk Merchants


By Gerri Bryce

Marketing researchers online have shown that of all the products that get sold online, computer hardware and software hit the highest mark. Tech-smart entrepreneurs can create their own digital products (e.g. E-book, software, digital images) or buy and sell computer parts and then sell them online for free. Some of these merchants also get the help of third party payment processors or high risk merchant account providers to transact, manage, advertise, and market their products when handling them solo becomes a big burden.

What features can you get from high risk merchant account providers that let you sell software online? I found out from a quick research online that some features may be commonplace but some also stand out. I made my own list and here's what I came up with:


Some providers let you use a software that will enable you to set up your store, upload your product, provide a demo, create your own shopping cart code, and deliver your products to your customers. The beauty of this bunch of services is that you will not have to sweat through the process of starting your own digital items store. Also, if you already have an existing e-commerce store that needs improvement, all you have to do is integrate their software to your website. Of course, this is also possible with eBay, but with a lot of limitations. See Selling Digital Items – What's Hot, What's Not for a discussion on this.


Some software merchant account providers have all the features you are looking in the package.

Here's a checklist to look at:

  • secure and quick digital item delivery

  • multiple payment processing

  • customer and technical support

  • SEO and online advertising and marketing

You may want all, some, or none of these services depending on your e-commerce needs. Being a digital item seller however, in my opinion, you will not do without secure item delivery and reliable customer support.


  1. BUGS. If you can't get rid of software bugs being the fallible human that you are, then let other people do the job. Confidence in your product may mean you would have to let out a beta version as shareware or freeware before actually selling it for a price.

  2. SCREENSHOTS. When we wrote of product descriptions we never went without screenshots. It's far easier to show people how the product looks like by a single photo than by describing it in the most articulate words.

  3. TRIAL VERSION. This is the only simplest solution if you wish to earn the trust of your customers without giving away your entire product for...err...free. They will know how to use it and should they wish to get the full version of the product then they would have to purchase it.

  4. DESCRIPTION. I put it last on the list simply because as a software merchant it should be common sense what information you will want your customers to know about your product. Some of these include: friendly but accurate product description, specs, Operating System compatibility, short online or downloadable manual, support/help, and your contact details such as e-mail or phone number.

Know your needs and follow this guide . As your software sales grow in volume, you will thank yourself for having taken the effort!


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