How Do I Go From An Online Digital Product to Store Shelves?


So I've got a digital product that has a website and the marketing and user community for it are alive and well.

Now how do I go about breaking into that next level? How do I get it on the shelves of Walmart, BestBuy or wherever. What other ways are there of expanding my distribution to the general population?

Are there any good resources available to help me follow that path?

And if you can tell me what the percentage take for the developer is, that would be an added bonus.

Digital Product Physical Product Distribution

asked Jan 11 '10 at 14:38
1,471 points

3 Answers


When you say 'digital product', I assume you mean a software product?

This re-post via Andy Brice is a good article on the subject. In that, he quotes for the following figures.

[Look away now if easily offended!]

* Retail store – 50 percent

* Distributor – 10 percent
* Publisher – 30 to 35 percent
* Developer – 5 to 10 percent
answered Jan 12 '10 at 02:48
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points


Almost all physical software is sold through distribution. In most cases it is a painful, high-cost low return adventure. I read last week that Microsoft will make Office 2010 available as a download along side it's retail offering.

If your product niche fits in the retail space, Ingram Micro is one of the premier players in software distribution. Their web site will connect you with all the information and contacts you need to help you decide if your product is a good fit for the distribution channel.

answered Jan 12 '10 at 03:49
Keith De Long
5,091 points


Why bother with Walmart and bestbuy? All the effort and money, etc spent on those channels can be focused on your own branding and marketing and will yield a lot more control of your own product and brand.

Awareness is one key to increasing marketshare. There are lots of ways to do this.

Jason Calacanis (of Mahalo and Twist fame) uses some gimmicks like giving away free hot items (iphones, cash) to get people to do their own "marketing" to their friends or on twitter, etc. It seems to work for him. (and others)

Getting bloggers or other "thought leaders" to review your products is another way to go.

Give-aways, blogging and going to where your potential customers hang out (real world or virtual) are also some things to consider.

good luck.

let us know how it goes.

answered Jan 12 '10 at 04:14
Tim J
8,346 points

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