Gumroad Review 2019

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly


gumroad review

Review Summary

Gumroad is a simple and user-friendly shopping cart that lets you quickly start selling products online. It's a cart platform with decent features and takes a percentage from each transaction, making it suitable for beginners. Gumroad isn't the best platform for sellers who need all the bells and whistles.

Effectiveness

Has basic features to sell products with no capability for upsells, downsells, or bump offers.

Price

Free to get started. Their Pro plan unlocks more features at $10/month.

Ease of Use

Getting ready to start taking payments for your product(s)  is straightforward.

Support

Support is limited to email support and documentation which is decent, but could improve.

Overall Score:

Gumroad was founded in 2011 and was the beginner shopping cart platform for many online marketers like Pat Flynn. 

Since it’s launch and word of mouth marketing thousands of bloggers, authors, and expert creators have been using Gumroad to host and sell their products. 

Putting Gumroad’s Cart Features to the Test

For this 2019 Gumroad review, I’ve tested all of Gumroad’s features and will be comparing them to other cart competitors.

After this Gumroad review, you’ll know the pros and cons of the Gumroad shopping cart and ultimately if it’s the right one for you. We start off with payment processing.

What Payment Options Does It Offer?

Gumroad gives you limited, yet standard payment options when selling your products. 

The following payment options are possible with Gumroad:

  • *All major credit cards
  • PayPal

*Note: usually shopping cart platforms have you integrate with Stripe to accept major credit cards, but Gumroad is its own payment gateway so that makes your set up process easy!

The above two payment options are standard, and usually, are all you need to start accepting payments in most parts of the world.

Gumroad does not have the support of the following  payment processing options:

  • Payoneer
  • Authorize.Net
  • Skrill
  • Braintree
  • Apple Pay
  • Cryptocurrencies

Let’s now focus on the types of payments you can set up with Gumroad.

Just an FYI, once you click on Digital Product or Physical Product (see image below), you’ll be able to choose your payment type.

Gumroad reviews

Single Product Payments

Single product payments are the easiest payment method to set up. All you need to do is set up your single product's name, upload your paid content, dress up your checkout page (limited options), and you're set.

Subscription Payments

Whether you have a digital or physical product to sell, you can set up a subscription product that pays you recurring sales. (Since recurring products are usually used for digital products, we’ll use a digital product subscription example for this section.)

Gumroad Subscription Product

After choosing Subscription, Gumroad asks you what type of subscription product you’ll be delivering: Ongoing Content or Access to a Membership.

Subscription vs Membership in Gumroad

Let’s choose a Subscription for this example.

To give you an idea of how this could work, imagine you’re selling a monthly ongoing video series in your niche. Each month you get paid $xx.xx amount, and your customers get your new videos. Which, by the way, Gumroad prevents people from downloading.

Whatever form of digital content you choose to upload, Gumroad hosts it for you and only gives access to your paying customers.

In addition to a simple subscription set up process, Gumroad has a useful feature that lets you place a limit on the number of months you want the subscription to last for.

Gumroad Length in Months Option

Additionally, in the Options section, you get an option to offer multiple subscription option payment plans.

Trial Products

Usually, trials go hand in hand with subscription products, but unfortunately, Gumroad doesn’t offer trials on their platform. Trials are meant to give potential customers a taste of what they’re getting. In my experience, they’re usually software, forums, or private online groups.

Although Gumroad doesn’t have trial capabilities, they do offer a license key option. This is useful for developers out there who need to provide a unique license key for each paying customer.

Gumroad License Keys

Payment Features Summary:

It accepts PayPal and all major credit cards but lacks payment gateways such as Apple Pay and Bitcoin. Subscriptions and payment plans are possible, but trials are not. You can create license keys for your products, which is excellent for WordPress plugin developers.

Are Gumroad Checkout Pages Known for High Conversions?

One of the most important responsibilities a shopping cart has is having high converting checkout pages.

At the time of writing this article, Gumroad doesn’t offer much in customization of checkout pages in their free plan. Upgrading your account lets, you tweak your checkout pages by doing  the following actions:

  • Gumroad branding removal
  • Add your own CSS
  • Use your own domain to host checkout pages
  • Change the theme and style of the checkout pages

With your free account, you can adjust the Purchase Flow settings which allows you to edit:

  • The text under the buy button
  • Form fields
  • Receipt blurb
Gumroad Checkout Page

Gumroad is standard when it comes to getting people from your website’s sales page to your checkout page by giving you a checkout page URL.

However, they also give you two additional options (both of these methods require you to insert some code on your sales page).

Option 1: Overlay your checkout cart on your website

Option 2: Embed Your Checkout Cart On Your Website

Note: Gumroad now offers the “Gumroad WP Plugin,” which helps you implement the above two options without touching code. Alternatively, you can hyperlink your site’s buttons with the URL of your product checkout page - provided you’re using a decent page builder.

Surprisingly, these two options are advanced features that I was not expecting to see since they seem to like keeping things simple.

Does Gumroad offer A/B testing? That’s a no. Perhaps they’ll add split testing in the future, but as of right now they only provide statistics for one product checkout page at a time.

If you’re looking for a cart platform that can split test different designs, then this isn’t your cart solution.

Conversion Friendly Summary:

Simplistic checkout pages that are customizable to an extent with the free account version. More customization features get unlocked at the paid account level. Currently doesn’t offer A/B split testing.

Advanced Sales Features: Do They Offer Coupon Codes, Upsells, or Bump Offers?

Three great methods that are known to boost sales at checkout are: coupon codes, order bumps, and upsells.

Gumroad only offers coupon codes at this time.

Gumroad discount codes

Discount codes can be set up in your product options.

Unfortunately, bump offers or upsells are not possible at this time, which is understandable as this is one of the most basic, but robust, cart platforms in the market.

Advanced Sales Features Summary:

Besides discount coupon codes, there are no advanced sales features like upsell or bump offers.

Do They Offer An Affiliate Center?

Another thing that can boost sales is having affiliates promote your product(s). Gumroad has got you covered here - in Gumroad style: simple and to the point!

What you see in the image below is what you get:

Affiliates Center for Gumroad

Unlike some cart platforms, Gumroad doesn’t offer a sign-up page you can provide.

 Instead, they have you add your chosen affiliates manually. That’s not too bad until you realize your affiliates must have their own Gumroad account before they can become your affiliate (hey, it’s their house, their rules).

Affiliate Center Summary:

Gumroad keeps their affiliate center simple by having you manually add your affiliates' email address, select your product, and choose the commission percentage you'll share per affiliate sale.

What Integrations Are Offered?

Great online shopping carts offer lots of integrations to different online tools in what is known as a tech stack. The two most important online tools that a cart can integrate with are your email marketing service and a membership service.

When it comes to email marketing service providers, Gumroad offers the following integrations:

  • ConvertKit
  • Infusionsoft
  • Drip

And that’s it for the native integrations (seriously).

If you’re using something else like GetResponse, well you can still integrate things, but you’ll have to use Zapier which we’ll get to soon.

Note: to integrate any of the above 3; you’ll notice that they can’t be integrated in the Gumroad dashboard. It must be integrated from the respective email service provider dashboard.

What about membership platform integrations like Wishlist Member, or MemberMouse?

Well, Gumroad itself is unique because it’s an online cart and membership platform. Meaning, it can protect your paid content in their backend. It can host images, video, and audio for you.

This is why Gumroad doesn’t provide integrations with 3rd party membership platforms.

An optional tool in some marketer’s tech stack is webinars. Currently, this isn't offered either.

 A webinar is an advanced marketing tool to sell products. They don't mesh well with Gumroad’s simplistic approach to things, and thus, no integrations were ever built for webinars.

That said though, if you’re using another email service provider outside the three previously mentioned and/or want to use a webinar platform, you’ll have to resort to Zapier. There are preexisting "zaps" you can use to make sure your tech stack fits in nicely with Gumroad.

Integration  Summary:

They lack integrations provided by most other platforms, but at least Zapier exists these days. Gumroad’s built-in membership platform is suitable for protecting paid content.

How Good Is Their Customer Support?

A shopping cart is a crucial part of selling online products . When you need help solving a cart issue, you want to know that the cart platform has your back. 

In this regard, Gumroad is no different than most shopping cart platforms by providing support articles in their Help Center and email support.

In my experience, their email customer service is good (usually gets back to you within a day on weekdays) while their Help Center articles could use an update.

Gumroad Support Articles

The Help Center is hit or miss because not all questions are answered. I’d say the majority of the time, for basic questions, you’ll find the answers to your problems.

But other times, It seems like some articles are missing. And being honest, selling online products can get complex at times. Especially when your sales process has specifics.

I searched the Help Center's search bar for upsells, bump offers, coupon codes, theme styling, and nothing showed up.

This might leave you scratching your head and having to resort to their email support - the only form of human support available. There’s no live chat or phone support or even a Facebook group for that matter. Usually, online platforms like Gumroad have a Facebook presence where users can interact! It's 2019 Gumroad!

You may be thinking no live chat, phone support, or Facebook group is a deal breaker, but remember that Gumroad is a free and very simple to use shopping cart platform. Their professional account users pay $10/month, which doesn’t seem to be enough to support employees operating live chat, phone support, or managing a Facebook group.

Customer Support Summary: 

A novice would have little trouble setting up a digital product on Gumroad. However, if the need for help does arrive and you can’t find help in the Help Center, then email support is really your only option. This can be a bit nerve racking in time-sensitive situations.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Simple to use interface
  • Free plan is great to get started
  • Built-in membership platform that hosts audio, image, & video files
  • For digital & physical products
  • One-time, subscription, & payment plan options
  • Accepts credit cards & PayPal
  • Discount codes available
  • Able to generate license keys per sale (good for software)
  • Decent looking checkout pages
  • Gumroad can be used on your site (inline or embed)

Cons

  • No trial capabilities
  • No A/B split testing
  • No Apple Pay or other forms of payment processing
  • No bump offers, upsells, or downsells
  • Lack-luster Help Center
  • No live chat or Facebook group - only email support

Gumroad Pricing Details

Gumroad is one of the most well known shopping carts in the market. To add to its uniqueness, it’s the only shopping cart that offers a free plan.

It’s paid version starts at $10/month. Its free plan takes a 5% commission from all sales while the paid version of Gumroad takes 3.5%.

The paid account isn’t necessary when you’re starting out. As you progress with your product sales, I’d consider paying for the paid upgrade or upgrade to a Gumroad alternative. 

Is Gumroad the Right Shopping Cart Platform for You?

Recommended IF:

  • You’re just starting out selling online

Because of Gumroad’s simplicity, it’s easy for a beginner to sign up for a free account, upload their paid content files, and start selling.

  • You want a simple checkout cart that can provide license keys

If you’re a software developer and need to provide license keys so people can use your product post-purchase, then Gumroad can handle this quite easily.

Not Recommended IF:

  • You want to sell a service online

Gumroad is built to sell physical and digital products (in the form of audio, image, and video files). And although it does offer a subscription service, it’s again, more for online products and not for fulfilling a monthly service (example: a monthly tech support service).

  • You want advanced selling features

If you want to add advanced sales funnel features like adding a bump offer at the checkout page or upsells/downsells after a customer purchases a front-end product, then Gumroad isn’t for you. You’re better off going with ThriveCart or Clickfunnels.

Conclusion

Gumroad is unique among the competing shopping carts in the marketplace. It has managed to still be around since 2011 because it provides the features and ease-of-use that online marketers need to get started in the world of selling online products.

Although it falls short with advanced sales funnel features, their checkout pages are responsive and good enough to sell products. They provide you with a checkout page URL once you have your product setup in their system and even let you use Gumroad within your website at the free account level.

Gumroad is undoubtedly doing a few things right. As a shopping cart platform, its checkout pages are robust enough to perform everything you need when selling products and is perfect for new sellers.

Thanks for reading my Gumroad review! If you like it, please consider sharing it and if you have questions leave them in the comments below!

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Posted by
John

Hey guys, John here. I'm an online marketer who brings back the treasures and truths I find and share them with you right here on my site.

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