Stripe Checkout vs Stripe Elements: Which Should You Use to Sell Digital Products?

Being able to take payments on your website is step #1 when it comes to selling digital products online; whether it's an ebook or a paid newsletter. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to processing credit card payments on your website.

In this blog post, I'm going to assume you're already sold on using Stripe as your payment processor. The only thing you have to decide next is what type of implementation to use; Stripe Checkout or Stripe Elements?

The ultimate 'no-code' solution is to simply use Stripe's new Payment Links. This makes it easy to set up Stripe Checkout without having to touch the code on your website.

The downside to this is that unless you have email automation set up to send the buyer a link to access the digital product, you're left with simply putting a download link on a "thank you" page where the customer is redirected after making payment. This thank you page would not be secure though, which means anyone could share a link to the page and get the download for free.

One could argue that there is always a way for pirates to share your product with others for free if they really wanted to, which is true. In which case, using Stripe Payment Link could be good enough, especially if you're just starting out. For $10/mo Stripe will even let you attach a custom domain to their hosted checkout, see more details here.

If you did want to venture down other avenues for selling digital products that are slightly more "secure" then you'd want to use something like Podia, Convertkit, Gumroad, Payhip or Lemon Squeezy. They all integrate with Stripe and provide a bit more of a polished experience when it comes to selling digital products and courses.

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