All online entrepreneurs require the proper platform to get started selling, and Shopify has proven to be one of the best options to sell products, both digital and physical, along with offering functionality for processing payments, designing beautiful storefronts and even using CRMs with the help of apps.
But what about selling video courses online with Shopify?
The average video course makes around $7,000 on Udemy, but many sellers can bring in over six figures per year, depending on the content and work put into the courses. Keep in mind, that's not even considering video course makers who build their own websites and establish their own audiences.
This topic was pulled from a conversation about the platforms in the Shopify Entrepreneurs Facebook group, so we decided to expand on the topic and make a detailed review on which app is best for making video sales online. Keep reading to learn more about each of the video selling apps, since they each offer something unique.
The SendOwl solution is sold directly through the Shopify app store, making it quick and easy to install on your store. In addition, you can sell from social media, another website, your blog or through emails.
- Responsive checkout for viewing on mobile devices.
- Multi-language capabilities for reaching out to people who don't speak your language.
- Accept payments through Bitcoin, PayPal and credit cards.
- Invite affiliates to sell your videos.
- Pre-checkout and post payment upsells.
- Run promotions where users can get discounts.
- Use a lightbox to make it look like the SendOwl checkout system is on your site.
- Use drip content so you don't have to sell all your content at once.
- Create a mailing list through places like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor.
- View powerful reports and analytics.
SendOwl is an app for selling all sorts of digital files, so it's not particularly designed exclusively for video courses. That makes it a little trickier for managing your courses, but it's actually rather user friendly on the backend.
When you install from the Shopify app store it gets integrated within seconds, and it provides a page just like any other product would show up on your Shopify store.
Users can add a video to a shopping cart and type in their payment information within a few seconds.
You can either choose to have the video file download link on the checkout page, in the thank you email or as a streaming file directly from the website.
SendOwl provides a free trial for up to 30 days. You can also start off with a $9 per month subscription and go all the way up to $39 per month.
Here are the details for the SendOwl packages:
- $9 per month – 10 products, customization and 1 GB storage
- $15 per month – 30 products, PDF stamping, affiliates, customization and 3 GB storage
- $24 per month – 100 products, 1 subscription, upsells, video streaming, PDF stamping, affiliates, customization and 5 GB storage
- $39 per month – 250 products, 3 subscriptions, upsells, video streaming, PDF stamping, affiliates, customization and 15 GB storage
The first app for selling video courses online is Sky Pilot, which has wonderful reviews and detailed videos for managing your store and getting everything setup.
We like Sky Pilot, because it seems to have a solid partnership with Shopify, placing everything in your store and never redirecting your users through a third-party module. What else can you expect from Sky Pilot?
- Customer profile integration
- No external redirects
- Pre-sale opportunities
- Update management
- Quick and secure content delivery
- Recurring subscribers
- Order management
- Streaming videos with Vimeo
Sky Pilot maintains the look and feel of your site, while an option like SendOwl takes the users to a completely new SendOwl page (although SendOwl does have a lightbox that creates the illusion of remaining on your website).
The backend of the Sky Pilot system is the most basic, with just a few tabs for managing files, orders, products and settings. The system also provides step by step guides to get all setup with your videos.
As for the frontend user experience, the videos show up nicely on whatever pages you designate, allowing for hidden content and integration with customer profiles. This customer profile combination is one of the best parts of Sky Pilot, since people can manage their accounts and see exactly which videos they have bought.
The layout depends on the Shopify theme you choose, but in general, streaming is fast, the videos are organized well and everything remains on your own branded Shopify site. The checkout process is just like anything else you would sell through Shopify.
Sky Pilot doesn't provide a free trial, but this is completely fine, since you can use the free account for as long as you want. Check out the pricing plans below to get an idea for what you can expect:
- Free Plan – Plain text emails and 2 MB of file storage
- Bronze Plan ($15 per month) – Plain text emails, Vimeo integration, 1 GB of file storage, 20 GB download bandwidth and $0.25/GB additional download bandwidth
- Silver Plan ($30 per month) – HTML and plain text emails, Vimeo integration, 5 GB of file storage, 100 GB download bandwidth and $0.25/GB additional download bandwidth
- Gold Plan ($75 per month) – HTML and plain text emails, Vimeo integration, 25 GB of file storage, 250 GB download bandwidth and $0.25/GB additional download bandwidth
Uscreen is a completely different experience, since it's not sold through the Shopify app store. This makes it a little tedious, since you must contact the company to make the integration. However, the integration isn't all that tough, and the feature set more than makes up for the extra step of contacting Uscreen to combine the interface with your Shopify store.
- Setup a beautiful frontend interface that looks like Netflix.
- Restrict users from sharing content with unauthorized users.
- Allow for viewing on mobile devices.
- Brand your video and payment centers.
- Let users track their progress through your video programs.
- Give out certifications and tests.
- Check out in-depth reports and analytics.
- Schedule content based on when you would like users to see the videos.
- Deliver video, audio and PDF content.
In terms of beauty, Uscreen is the best choice, since it looks so much like Netflix. The backend is all run through the Uscreen website, so it's a little inconvenient in that respect, but once you get used to it you shouldn't have any problems branding your videos, generating lessons and managing your users.
The frontend, as stated above, is like nothing you'll find on the market.
Your video library shows up in grid-format, which can then be placed into the shopping cart. The customer remains on your website and can type in their payment information.
After that, each user can see their purchased videos on a single page.
Not to mention, the mobile interface looks pretty nice.
Uscreen has a 14-day trial, and it only offers one pricing plan which starts at $99 per month. This includes the following features, but if you'd like more users then you must contact the company to talk about pricing.
- Up to 1000 users per month
- Upload and host up to 100 videos
- Unlimited views and bandwidth
Which Video Course Option Should You Choose?
Consider SendOwl if you…
- Would like to start an affiliate program for your videos.
- Are considering using upsells and discounts.
- Want to offer “pay what you want” pricing.
- Don't mind running payments through a third-party (although they do offer a lightbox that makes it look like it's going through your site.)
- Would like a better value for premium features.
Consider Sky Pilot if you…
- Are pressed for cash, since it has a free plan.
- Want to keep all video viewing and transaction processes on your own website.
- Want to to download directly from the Shopify App Store.
- Need to integrate with your Shopify customer accounts.
- Like Vimeo.
Consider Uscreen if you…
- Enjoy the way Netflix is setup.
- Would like to include testing, certifications or assessments throughout your video programs.
- Require a comprehensive tracking and reporting system.
- Want to give your users access to video times, progress tracking and scoring.
Over to You…
Selling video courses online can serve as a profitable business, so use this comparison to understand your best options when working with Shopify. If you have any questions, feel free to drop comments in the section below.
Feature image curtesy of Jack Face