Evaluating Gumroad vs Kajabi? Read our comprehensive comparison to determine the ideal platform for selling courses, products, and boosting your online reach.
By Joanna Taylor • Updated 1 November 2023
At a glance, both Gumroad and Kajabi offer creators a space to sell products to their customers. Yet, when you scratch beneath the surface, quite a bit sets these two apart.
Gumroad provides a simplistic, no-fuss platform to get your digital or physical products out there – you won't need to worry about building websites, creating funnels, or dealing with many technicalities.
Kajabi, on the other hand, provides a sophisticated setup to run online courses, create detailed marketing campaigns, and design your own website.
We tested both platforms to determine where their differences lie and which might be the better option to sell digital products.
Gumroad has been a notable player in the e-commerce arena since its inception in 2011, the early days of online retail. Over the years, it has provided a platform for entrepreneurs to easily and quickly list and sell their products online.
Unlike many other e-learning platforms, Gumroad has a knack for keeping things simple. It allows creators to get their courses up and listed for sale with just a few clicks, cutting out a lot of the usual legwork.
This way, creators can spend more time on what they love doing - crafting great content—and less time wrestling with a complicated setup process.
Let’s take a detailed look at the core areas where Gumroad truly shines and the features you’ll get access to when choosing it as your online retail platform.
Gumroad has a few different options for what you can sell on the platform. Here is a list of all of their offerings:
The list is more comprehensive than Kajabi or other platforms that are focused on course creation offers. If you offer multiple types of merchandise and want to stay within one platform to do so, Gumroad is a reliable option.
You have the option to carry out basic email marketing campaigns to keep your customers informed.
The ‘Workflows’ feature allows you to send automated emails to members at a scheduled time and date. These can be sent to a few different groups of people:
Gumroad also allows you to set up an affiliate program, giving your followers a chance to earn a commission for every sale they help make. Setting it up is a breeze - you just set a commission percentage and choose which products to activate this feature for.
You can either handpick affiliates by adding them manually via their email or simply share a link with your followers, allowing those interested to sign up on their own.
"Versions" on Gumroad provide a clever way for sellers to offer different variants of a single product, which is especially handy when selling software with varying features or when bundling additional services with the main product.
These can be offered as add-ons to your main product for an additional price. For instance, if you have a course, you can include a PDF cheat sheet, additional guides, and more as Versions of the same course that students can purchase separately.
Upsells are similar. You can offer an additional deal to a customer at the checkout page to sell more than just one item. Here are the types of Upsells on Gumroad:
Suggest Additional Product: Propose an additional item that complements the one in the cart, and maybe throw in a discount to make the deal more enticing.
Replace Products: If a customer has selected certain products, you can offer a replacement with another product, useful for guiding customers to bundles.
Offer an Upgrade: Prompt customers to upgrade the version of the product they've chosen, which can be a higher-tiered version with more features or benefits.
Using these two features can greatly improve your sales and help rope customers into purchasing more than they initially wished to.
If you have an existing website on platforms like WordPress, Wix, or others, integrating Gumroad is a breeze. This way, your customers can make purchases directly on your site, while transactions are smoothly handled through Gumroad.
Gumroad offers two main widgets for integration with your existing site: the Overlay and Embed widgets.
Having set up shop in 2010, just a year before Gumroad hit the scene, Kajabi is a go-to choice for those looking to create and sell courses. It’s primarily geared towards content creators who want the whole package - from creating great content, presenting it in the best light to students, and marketing it to boost sales.
Plus, you can peddle your products from your own white-labeled website, with no visible links leading back to Kajabi.
Here are some of Kajabi's foremost features that take the spotlight, along with what you can accomplish using them.
Kajabi’s website builder is both flexible in what it can do and easy to use. Users won’t need a web-developing background to get started.
If you wish to get your website up and running as quickly as possible, or simply lack the creativity to build one from scratch, Kajabi provides 11 pre-built themes from which you can choose.
Moving around pages and adding new elements is as easy as dragging and dropping the required sections from the left panel.
Plus, if you possess the technical know-how, Kajabi grants users the ability to tweak a theme's code, allowing you to make as many changes as you wish.
The course creator has everything you might need. You can divide lessons into Modules, Sub-Modules, and lessons.
Kajabi has teamed up with Wistia to host all your content without incurring any additional charges to you directly. Plus, you have the flexibility to add different types of content, these include PDFs, images, video files, and more.
If you're unsure about your course structure, Kajabi can lend a hand there as well. Its AI tool automatically crafts an outline based on your course title and description, which you can then tweak to your liking.
Kajabi comes with a few engagement tools to make your courses get better results and have your students interested in the upcoming content.
Content dripping is one such feature, where Kajabi releases the course gradually once a user signs up. This helps prevent members from feeling overwhelmed, offering them a clear schedule to follow, and ensuring engagement remains high throughout the course.
You can also test students after each course by creating quizzes or providing assignments. Educators can choose to manually grade these and provide feedback.
Kajabi also provides the option to set a passing grade and restrict a student from proceeding with the course until they pass the test.
Kajabi boasts a sophisticated email marketing tool that not only covers your basic email needs but also offers a few other features that take your campaigns up a notch.
You can automate emails, send broadcasts, and customize them to be more visually appealing.
Kajabi also provides a number of templates that you can use if you don't wish to put in the legwork yourself.
When automating emails, you can select from a variety of different 'triggers' or actions performed by a user that prompt an email to be dispatched.
Users have the option to create sales funnels directly within Kajabi. Here are the different funnel types Kajabi gives access to:
Getting started is as easy as selecting a template and choosing in what order you want the pages displayed. You can keep track of them using the funnel builder, which shows a clear picture of your progress.
You can also post blogs through Kajabi and get access to all basic SEO features, including adding a title, meta description, alt tags to images, and more.
Gumroad has a straightforward pricing plan: a flat 10% fee on your income. Since you’re not getting charged per month and only on sales, you are free to use Gumroad and test it out without incurring any charges.
However, as your product begins to gain traction, you'll find that a percentage-based payment model becomes significantly more expensive compared to a monthly subscription plan.
In contrast, Kajabi comes with the traditional subscription-based pricing model. They have three different plans and allow a 14-day free trial. Here are all their plans and their prices:
To give you a clearer understanding of where the two platforms differ, let's put Gumroad and Kajabi head to head:
Gumroad is ideal for creators seeking a straightforward platform to sell a variety of digital and physical products with minimal setup. Its ease of use makes it a great choice for those who prefer to focus more on content creation rather than technical setups.
On the other hand, Kajabi is best for people looking to create, market, and sell online courses. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, navigating through the platform isn't too difficult.
If you're looking for a platform that isn't too hard on beginners and offers the best of both Kajbai and Gumroad, check out Kourses.
Kourses offers a friendly platform for whipping up personalized course web pages. You can build student communities, offer various membership tiers, and even integrate with various third-party tools.
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