One lucrative market opportunity in the digital e-commerce world is that of online course sales. It’s a booming market. While not everyone gets rich overnight, it’s possible to earn a sizable income, even as a side hustle. In fact, by 2025, the e-learning market is predicted to reach as much as $300 billion.
If Shopify is your e-commerce platform of choice, several online course platforms are available to you. However, in this review, we’re zoning in on one particular Shopify app: Sky Pilot.
There’s lots to discuss, so grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.
Sky Pilot Review: A Brief Overview
This Shopify app was created by Corknine Development in 2013 in Whistler, BC, Canada. The company has designed and built a range of premier apps for Shopify.
However, Sky Pilot handles the online delivery of digital products sold via your Shopify site. For example, music files, video files, eBooks, podcasts, PDFs, jpegs, PNGs, or, for that matter, any other type of digital file.
Sky Pilot is simple to set up and gives users various tools to help them manage the delivery of their digital files. Customers receive access to their files straight after purchase. Every delivery page is hosted within your branded Shopify store. This means your customers don’t have to leave your site to access any files they have bought. They can also log in to your Shopify store anytime to access previous files they’ve bought from you.
It’s also worth noting that Sky Pilot provides streaming for videos via its Vimeo integration.
How Sky Pilot Works
Sky Pilot is designed to make it easier for you and your customers to enjoy the best possible experience while purchasing your digital products.
While similar apps send customers to an entirely new page, with Sky Pilot, when customers buy a file from your Shopify store, they’re directed to a page within your store. From here, they can easily download the necessary files/stream videos.
In addition, following a purchase, your customer will receive an email containing a link to where they can download their file in your store. This gives customers the option to wait to download their files at a more convenient time. Again, as we’ve already said, customers can also access their files or videos by logging into their account on your Shopify store at any time. When they do this, they’re taken to a page that shows all the files/playlists/streaming videos they’ve bought.
Sky Pilot Review: Sky Pilot’s Key Features
Sky Pilot offers several features that make it an interesting proposition for any Shopify store owner wanting to sell digital products.
Below we’ve listed its core features:
Unlimited: for each item listed in your store, you can attach unlimited files and videos per item. You can even organize files into folders, which is great for guided digital content.
Customizable delivery pages: You can brand all your delivery pages and organize files and videos into playlists and folders. This makes them easy to deliver and simple for customers to locate. In addition, you can also customize the checkout and thank you page buttons to reflect your brand. You can either access basic settings or full code customization. However, you’ll need some programming know-how to make the most out of the latter.
Customizable emails: You can also customize your confirmation emails sent to customers from Sky Pilot to reflect your brand.
Customers stay on your store: All files are available within your Shopify store, so there’s no need for customers to click away from your shop. Needless to say, this encourages users to stay on your site, which potentially could lead to more sales. It’s also easier to offer consumers consistent branding and provides a more seamless shopping experience.
Pre-orders: You can send instant email notifications about files customers have pre-ordered when released.
instant delivery: When a customer pays for a file, they have instant access via your Shopify store.
Vimeo integration: This allows you to sell videos privately hosted on Vimeo.
Security: You can also sell digital products that have an expiry date or limit the number of downloads per file. You’ll also be alerted of potential download abuse. Sell digital and physical products: By this, we mean that you can attach digital files and videos to physical products without impacting the order fulfillment of a physical product. This makes bundling digital and physical products together much easier.
Sky Pilot Review: Sky Pilot Prices
Sky Pilot offers a free 14-day trial. After that, you can opt for one of the following paid pricing plans. It’s worth noting that you can change which plan you’re on at any time. There are also larger plans available, although you have to contact Sky Pilot direct to discuss a bespoke option.
This costs $15 a month plus $0.25 per GB of bandwidth over 20GB. With this plan, you get:
- 1GB of file storage.
- A Vimeo Integration for streaming video.
- 20GB of monthly bandwidth.
This plan costs $30/month plus $0.25 per GB of bandwidth over 100GB. You get everything in the Lite plan, plus:
- 5GB of file storage.
- 100GB of monthly bandwidth.
This plan costs $75/ month, plus $0.25 per GB of bandwidth over 250GB. Here file storage is extended to 25 GB, and monthly bandwidth to 250 GB.
This plan costs $150/month, plus $0.25 per GB of bandwidth over 500GB. Here file storage increases to 75GB and monthly bandwidth to 55GB.
Sky Pilot Review: What Sky Pilot Customers Say and Customer Support
Overall, Sky Pilot customers seem to be a happy bunch. The app predominantly enjoys 5-star reviews. More specifically, customers praise its ease of use, excellent customer service, and that it’s simple to organize digital files. People also seem to like Sky Pilot’s customization features.
Less happy customers (who appear to be in the minority) complain that it becomes costly if you want to sell larger files, such as movies.
Customers can access support via email: [email protected] You can also look at Sky Pilot’s FAQs accessible via the Shopify app store or directly via Sky Pilot’s website created by Corknine. Here you’ll find a small number of articles under the following headings:
- How to use Sky Pilot.
- About Sky Pilot and Digital Delivery.
Articles cover topics such as how to sell streaming products, organize videos and content, create a free order, and more. You can also delve deeper into Sky Pilot by reading content about:
- Its API.
- What to do about downloads for iOS devices and iPads (which only support downloads of certain file types).
- How to cancel your Sky Pilot account.
On that topic, it’s worth noting that you can cancel Sky Pilot at any time by uninstalling it from your Shopify store. BUT, you must ensure you have copies of all your files elsewhere because all your data and files on Sky Pilot are deleted once you cancel.
Sky Pilot Review: Sky Pilot’s Pros and Cons
First, let’s look at Sky Pilot’s positives:
- It’s well-reviewed.
- Its pricing plans are very well structured.
- Users get a generous amount of storage.
- There’s a free 14-day trial.
- Although there’s an online Help Center, some of the articles aren’t newbie-friendly.
- Prices get a little steep if you want to sell large files.
- Some users would like the ability to send custom files to specific people.
Sky Pilot Review: Sky Pilot Alternatives
It’s always worth doing background research when deciding which Shopify apps to use to sell digital products. So below, we’ve outlined a few Sky Pilot alternatives to see how they measure up:
Digital Downloads by Uplinkly
Like Sky Pilot, this app delivers digital files instantly to post-purchase customers. Launched in 2020, you can use this app to sell PDFs, audio files, video files, and other digital files.
Its pages are customizable using the app’s built-in template engine. The app also offers security and protection by making your IP address challenging to share, offering PDFs with encryption protection and PDF stamping. You can also limit the number of times customers can download files.
One interesting feature that isn’t mentioned by Sky Pilot is that this app automatically handles refunds for you. By this, we mean if a customer receives a refund for a product, they can’t download it again at a later date.
There are four plans, one of which is free. The remaining three cost $9, $19, and $49 per month. Prices are set by storage and product requirements. For example, the Free plan allows you to sell up to ten products and access 500MB of storage. In contrast, the most expensive program offers 100GB of storage and unlimited product sales.
Easy Digital Products
Created by Axel Hardy, Easy Digital Downloads has also been around since 2020 and offers a simple, user-friendly interface. You can upload and sell any type of digital file and use the app’s analytics to track the number of orders received.
The templates simplify customizing pages, emails, and download buttons. In addition, you can upload up to ten files per product or product variant.
When a customer buys a digital product through your Shopify store, your customer will see a download button on the order page and receive a confirmation email from your store.
There’s a free plan and three paid plans. The free program provides 100MB of storage; you can sell up to three products and process a maximum of 30 monthly orders. The paid plans start at $9.99/month. You receive 1GB storage; you can sell ten products, process unlimited monthly orders, and access several other features. The most expensive plan costs $29.99/month. Again, you receive 20GB of storage, the capacity to sell 100 different products, and various other features.
Like Sky Pilot and Digital Downloads, you can use Send Owl to sell ebooks, photos, podcasts, videos, audio, and other files. Just upload your digital files to Send Owl’s servers, and they’ll do the rest. The app has been around since 2012 and integrates with fraud apps, Google Analytics, Stripe, Zapier, and Linkpop.
Customers can access their downloads via a secure link. Other notable features include multi-language capabilities, and you can accept customer payments via credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin. You can also invite affiliates to sell your videos and run promotions to offer users discounts. On top of that, you also have the option of drip-feeding your content.
There are four paid plans and a generous 30-day free trial. Paid plans start from $9/month for ten products and 1GB storage. This rises to the most expensive plan, costing $39/month for 250 products and 15GB storage plus other features, including video streaming and web page customization.
Sky Pilot Review: Our Final Verdict
Now you’ve read our full Sky Pilot review and perused some of the alternatives, you may be ready to decide which app is the best for you. All of them are available on the Shopify app store, and the prices are pretty similar.
While some free trials are more generous than others, there’s not much in it. However, we have to say that Sky Pilot is apparently super easy to use, offers excellent and responsive support, and doesn’t take customers away from your Shopify store.
In addition, while it’s more expensive than some of its competitors, Sky Pilot’s storage capacity is pretty generous. So we think, on balance, it’s ideal if you need a free plan at first and want to keep all transactions and streaming/downloading within your own site. It’s also an excellent option if you’re familiar with Vimeo.
Are you ready to start using Sky Pilot? Or have you decided to choose one of our alternatives? Either way, tell us all about it in the comments box below!