SendOwl Review – My Thoughts After Selling Products on the Platform

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sendowl review

If you are looking to sell digital products online, you have a wide choice of platforms to use in 2021.

During the height of the pandemic, I tested a service named PayHip, (you can read the review here). I was impressed by the results and the low-cost barrier of entry, (the basic plan is free until you start to sell).

Now, another service has caught my eye. I am always launching products among the various blogs and e-commerce stores that I own, so I recently decided to try out SendOwl while launching a new ebook series.

What follows is my experience using SendOwl to sell digital products and whether I would recommend the service to others.

SendOwl Review Summary

PRICING: Basic = $9 / Standard = $15 / Premium= $24 / Business = $39 (per month)  

The Pros
  • Provides an easy-to-use e-commerce platform.
  • Integration with a wide range of platforms (social media, e-commerce, WordPress, etc)
  • Low transaction fees.
  • Polished UX for your customer’s
  • Supports one-off sales, subscription plan model.
  • Allows for trial periods on your products
  • Large range of payment gateways
  • Template builder for checkout pages.
  • Automatic currency change
  • Supports discount codes.
  • Provides an affiliate management system
The Cons
  • Does not provide direct support for cryptocurrency transactions
  • Analytics across sales platforms could be better
  • Can’t set different commission rates for affiliate marketers.
  • Does not support the bundling of services with digital goods

My View After Using SendOwl to Sell Digital Products

I have been impressed with SendOwl’s low-cost service for selling digital products. I opted for the premium plan as I wanted to test the PDF stamping feature, as well as set up a subscription-based model for purchasers of the product. This also provides the opportunity to upsell products.

It was the PDF stamping that brought me to SendOwl in the first place. I needed a digital sales platform that was able to imprint customized text onto the PDF for each individual sale. This text was more than just the customer’s name and details too. I was able to achieve this with SendOwl with ease.

This is in large part due to the platform itself, and how simple it is to use. The uncluttered dashboard is very easy to navigate. Uploading products, setting sales parameters, and linking everything to my blog was done without me having to refer to a single help page or YouTube video. The software intuitively leads you through the process. SendOwl gets a big thumbs up for that.

The upsell feature is a must for me too, as I have several related products that I sell.

My readership on the blog in question isn’t really large enough to leverage any affiliates, (i.e getting others to sell the products for me in exchange for commission); the fact the Premium plan offers the function to allow for affiliates is great though. Some users will definitely increase their sales through this option.

A couple of negative points; one is the lack of cryptocurrency support, in 2021 that seems like a bit of an oversight.

The other is the marketing options. You can use SendOwl in connection with your social media channels and email outreach etc, but I would have liked more analytics and control here.

Overall, though, Sendowl is a high-quality, effective way of selling digital products online. With affordable price plans that you can easily upgrade with as your demands increase, this is a sales platform I can recommend.

What is SendOwl?

sendowl logo

SendOwl is an e-commerce shopping cart platform that allows one to sell digital products like software, e-books, videos, subscriptions, license keys, and audio files. Its shopping cart program allows for transactions to be initiated processed, and closed.

This platform provides an integrated on-site checkout and charges relatively low transaction fees that are usually pegged as a percentage of the item sale price.

The company was established in 2010 in the United Kingdom by a team of software developers who had a fascination with owls, hence the inclusion of the noun Owl in the tradename.

These developers wanted to build an e-commerce platform that prioritized good customer experience, user-friendly interface, clean design, and simplification of the online sale process. The team was led by George Palmer.

The goal of the developers was to develop a complete and fully integrated shopping cart solution. This solution has evolved to include marketing, sales, and tax compliance tools.

Key Features of SendOwl

Ease of Setup

SendOwl has inbuilt software that simplifies the setup process, thus allowing one to create a webstore is a simple and easy-to-follow process. This process is simple as long as one follows the web page’s prompts during this setup process.

This setup process is also fast, and one can complete it in less than 10 minutes if (s)he provides all the required details and has the required documentations scanned ready for uploading into the right forms.

Another unique feature that one notices when setting up the webstore and importing product details is that it is very easy to share the links to the product page. This is because these sharing options are built into the product management portal of the webshop.

These sharing options are represented by the Facebook and Twitter buttons.

Likewise, SendOwl allows the subscriber to sell products hosted on his/her website. To do this, the subscribers need to link the product web pages in his/her website to the sales option of SendOwl.

This is done by simply adding SendOwl’s BUY NOW button or CART button to his/her website’s product page. There are codes provided by SendOwl that one needs to copy and paste into his/her website to add either of the two buttons to the website’s sales page.

This code allows for the checkout page of SendOwl to be embedded in the (merchant’s) website thus providing a payment gateway for handling sales in the website.

SendOwl also provides options that allow the merchant to upsell his/her products or create product bundles to sell a package at a discount.

One can even configure this complimentary offer, and choose whether it is to be included in the bundle before the customer is charged, or it is included after the customer has paid. On the downside, it is still impossible to bundle service with a digital good into a single package.

Affiliate Management

affiliate

SendOwl provides a set of tools for managing affiliate sales. These tools allow for the creation of affiliate links (i.e unique affiliate URLs that one can copy and use to market the product).

Each affiliate link features a unique identification tag, which ensures that the affiliate marketer is paid only for the product sales made using his/her unique affiliate link.

Even so, SendOwl does not provide any options for the merchant to set different commission rates for his primary and secondary affiliate marketers.

Drip-Selling

SendOwl provides support for drip-selling. This feature allows the merchant to sell a product in phases, with each phase allowing a specified portion of the product to be released to the customer.

This allows for the customer to receive parts of the products at different times depending on the payment arrangement (s)he has agreed with the merchant on the terms and conditions page of the webstore.

This is important for products that are sold on a subscription basis or products that undergo frequent evolutions; e.g, e-books that are updated frequently.

For instance, when delivering an updated edition of an e-book, drip-selling allows the shop to charge a customer who already bought the e-book only the price for the update, rather than charging the customer the price of the newly updated book.

Pre-Selling

This feature of SendOwl allows the merchant to sell products that are not yet available, e.g an upcoming book or soon-to-be-released music album.

Transaction Security

online security

A key process in e-commerce operations is transaction processing. This process needs to be as secure as possible to ensure that the financial and card data of the clients are never leaked.

The best way to do this is to encrypt the customer data. SendOwl uses end-to-end encryption and adheres to data protection laws that regulate the handling of financial data and transaction processing.

The provided payment gateways are secured by strong encryption and above-standard security protocols.

Payment Gateways

Payment Gateways

SendOwl supports the following payment gateways: PayPal, Apple Pay, Giro Pay, Stripe, BitPay, BanContact, Shopify, iDEAL, and SOFORT.

Support for Authorize.net was discontinued. SendOwl allows one to set up multiple payment gateways in the payment page thus providing payment options to their customers.

Equally, SendOwl allows one to configure the payment gateways to price their products based on whether the products are offered on a subscription basis, or whether there is a fixed period of free trial after which the customer is charged.

It also allows one to set discount codes directly on the payment page, and have the payment gateways automatically deduct the specified discount (amount) from the sale price during the checkout process.

As expected of any e-commerce platform that hosts webstores operating in different countries, SendOwl must provide for currency conversion.

At the moment, it allows for trade to be done using 29 different currencies, including USD, GBP, Euros, Yuan, Rupee, Shekel, Won, Yen, and Swiss Francs.

Even so, does SendOwl allow for cryptocurrencies to settle transactions? The answer is yes. SendOwl allows one to use accept Bitcoin as payment, but this transaction will be processed by Stripe.

This means that Bitcoin addresses that have been blacklisted by Stripe cannot be used to settle transactions on this platform.

Shopping Cart

shopping cart

SendOwl comes with a lean, decluttered shopping cart that can be designed using the provided set of templates. During the design process, one can embed the business logo in the cart thus branding the cart.

Likewise, it provides an integrated form that allows the merchant to state the terms and conditions of purchase, refunds, and customer liability and describe what the business is about, besides providing key details about the business such as the business name.

The templates are categorized into 4 groups – Legacy, Marketers, Enhanced, and Ecommerce templates.

The template chosen is the one that will be applied to the webstore, and one cannot use different templates for different products in the same webstore. The marketers and eCommerce templates redirect customers to dedicated checkout pages, which makes them ideal for a merchant who wants to work in a professional setting.

If one wants to provide the gifting option to his/her customers, then (s)he can set this option during cart design. The gifting option simply means that the person paying for the product is not the person who is going to receive the product i.e the purchaser gifts the item to a friend, relative, or family friend.

The merchant can also set how the cart should handle cart abandonment.

On the downside, SendOwl’s shopping cart does not allow one to daisy chain sale opportunities.

Available Integrations

integration

SendOwl allows for its platform to be integrated with the following:

Email Marketing Tools

It allows the subscriber to append the following marketing tools to the platform; Constant Contact, MailChimp, InfusionSoft, Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign, Mad Mimi, AWeber, MailerLite, Drip, ConvertKit, and GetResponse. The knowledge base of SendOwl provides step-by-step instructions on how to integrate each marketing tool into the platform.

Membership Sites

For a merchant who wants to sell membership to his website so that exclusive content can only be accessed by paying subscribers, SendOwl supports this business model through its membership management portal.

This portal supports WishList Member, MemberMouse, and S2Member Pro. For those who want a robust membership tool, SendOwl advises its subscribers to use Zapier as a go-between between its membership management portal and the desired membership management tool.

Webinar

SendOwl support for webinars is not robust and relies on Zapier to connect the platform to a webinar portal.

Another important service that SendOwl provides to software vendors is license management, which handles the automated issuing of license keys to customers who have purchased the product.

Relatedly, it also comes with PDF stamping that secures digital documents from being accessed by unauthorized entities unless they pay for the document.

Customer Support

customer support

SendOwl has a dedicated customer support team that can comfortably and comprehensively address the concerns of a subscriber. This obviates the need for community support.

On the downside, most of the customer service is provided via email exchanges. Currently, it is quite difficult to get a phone or chat support.

SendOwl Service Plans

Pricing-SendOwl

SendOwl uses a tiered subscription model to offer its services. This model comes with 4 subscription plans that are explained below. There is also a free trial provided that allows one to assess if SendOwl is fit for his/her business or not.

Another fact that one needs to keep in mind is that each subscription plan comes in two versions – the standard and self-hosted versions.

Basic Plan

To start off, this is the most basic and leanest plan that only allows the subscriber to sell up to 10 products that are hosted in a storage space not exceeding 1.0 GB. As expected, it is the cheapest of all 4 subscription options.

Standard Plan

This plan allows the subscriber to sell a maximum of 30 products, and the allocated hosting storage is 3.0 GB. It also comes with affiliate management, PDF stamping, support for checkout page customization, and branding. This is the standard version.

The pricier self-hosted version allows for up to 2,500 products to be uploaded to the webstore, allows the merchant to sell up to 3 subscription plans, as well as allows for upsells and cart abandonment customization.

Premium Plan

The standard version of this plan allows the subscriber to sell a maximum of 100 products, and the allocated hosting storage is 5.0 GB. It also allows the merchant to sell a subscription plan, and allows for upsells and cart abandonment customization, besides supporting video streaming for webinars.

It comes with all the features of the standard version of the standard plan.

Its pricier self-hosted version allows for up to 5,000 products to be uploaded to the webstore and allows the merchant to sell up to 5 subscription plans. As expected, it comes with all the features of the standard version.

Business Plan

The standard version of this plan allows the subscriber to sell a maximum of 250 products, and the allocated hosting storage is 15.0 GB.

It also allows the merchant to sell up to 3 subscription plans, and allows for upsells and cart abandonment customization, besides supporting video streaming for webinars. It comes with all the features of the standard version of the Premium plan.

Its pricier self-hosted version allows for up to 7,500 products to be uploaded to the webstore and allows the merchant to sell up to 10 subscription plans. As expected, it comes with all the features of the standard version.

Pros & Cons of SendOwl

pros and cons

The Pros
  • Provides a fully integrated, decluttered, and easy-to-use e-commerce platform.
  • Its platform provides an integrated on-site checkout.
  • Charges relatively low transaction fees.
  • Clean and easy-to-navigate user dashboard.
  • Allows the subscriber to sell the digital product through a one-off sale, or use subscriptions or plans model.
  • Allows the subscriber to provide trials for his/her products.
  • Supports the following payment gateways – PayPal, Apple Pay, Giro Pay, Stripe, BitPay, BanContact, Shopify, iDEAL, and SOFORT.
  • Comes with a template builder for designing the checkout page.
  • Provides automatic currency conversion for 29 currencies.
  • Allows for digital products to be bundled together into a package.
  • Supports discount codes.
  • Provides an affiliate management system that can issue unique affiliate URLs to each affiliate marketer.
  • Its platform can be integrated with email marketing tools, Zapier, and membership management tools such as WishList Member, MemberMouse, and S2Member Pro.
The Cons
  • Does not provide robust support for cryptocurrency transactions as evidenced by the fact that all Bitcoin transactions must be processed through Stripe, which also means that other cryptocurrencies are not supported.
  • Its shopping cart does not allow one to daisy chain sale opportunities.
  • It does not provide any options for the merchant to set different commission rates for his primary and secondary affiliate marketers.
  • Does not support the bundling of services and digital goods in the same bundle.

Sendowl Vs The Competition (Payhip, Sellfy, & More)

BEST BUDGET

SENDOWL

BEST FOR PRINT-ON-DEMAND

SELLFY

PAYHIP

BEST FOR ONLINE COURSES

PODIA

BEST FOR PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

SHOPIO

EASYSTORE

PRODUCT TYPES

Digital, Physical Membership, Subscriptions

Digital, Physical, Print-on-Demand & Subscriptions

Digital, Membership, Subscriptions

Digital, Courses, Membership, Subscriptions

Physical Products

Physical Products

UNLIMITED PRODUCTS

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)

YES

YES

YES

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)


HOSTS YOUR WEBSTORE

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

EMBED INTO OTHER PLATFORMS

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES

(Depends on Plan)

FILE SECURITY

PDF Stamps, License Keys

PDF Stamps, Unique download links

PDF Stamps, License Keys

PDF Stamps, License Keys

N/A

256-BIT SSL



N/A

256-BIT SSL



BUILT IN EMAIL MARKETING

NO (Integrations Only)

YES

NO (Integrations Only)

YES

YES

Depends on Plan

UPSELLING & DISCOUNTS

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Depends on Plan

TRANSACTION FEES

0%

0%

5% (Free plan)

2% (Plus Plan)

0% (Pro Plan 

0%

0%

0%

PLANS

Stnd: $15/mo

30 products

Prem: $24/mo

100 Products Bus: $39/mo

250 Products

Start: $29/mo

Bus: $59/mo

Prem: $129/mo


Start: $0/mo

Plus: $29/mo

Pro: $99/mo

Start: $39/mo

Mid: $79/mo

Top: $179/mo

Start: $19/mo

Bus: $59/mo

Pro: $89/mo

Top: $149/mo


Free: 1 Sales Channel

Lite: $17/mo

2 Channels

Stnd: $34/mo

7 Channels

Top: $77/mo

13 Channels

Sendowl has been voted our best budget pick this year, due to their excellent offer starter plan. With the standard plan priced at $15 per month based on 30 products, it offers a great way for beginners to dip their toes into digital product sales. All the features you need are there to get started.

Payhip also has a low-budget option, (in fact the starter plan is free), however, with 5% being added to every sale you make the overall pricing structure varies in terms of value for money.

Sellfy is another great all-around e-commerce platform. The big thumbs up here is the print-on-demand services. Available on all plans, this feature allows for the selling of custom apparel and merchandise at a low cost. Sellfy will handle all printing and delivery on items that you sell on your webstore.

Shopio is great for anyone that is interested in an e-commerce platform for physical goods. They also have a low-priced entry plan based on the number of products you sell.

Finally, Podia is a quality option for those looking to sell online courses.

About V50

The editorial team here at Vault50.com is made up of a number of writers based all over the world. Our interests and experience cover the full range of what we talk about here. Clare Turner is one of our key contributers writing about the home. David Lachance is our resident e-commerce and business guru, if it's anything to do with that, he's your man. Kevin Simpson takes care of the website layout and publishing and also heads up our education section, with in-depth reviews and articles on courses and training. Find out more about all of us here.

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