Are you an eCommerce entrepreneur?
If you’re running a membership-based business model, selling online courses, or downloadable content, Podia could be your ideal eCommerce solution.
When you sign up with Podia, you get access to a complete digital solution for creating your storefront.
With some time and effort, you can be up and selling in less than 24-hours.
Podia comes with unique features to enhance your eCommerce efforts, helping you sell more product.
From your dashboard on the platform, you can design and launch email campaigns, distribute newsletters, and process your payments.
The clean, user-friendly interface is easy to navigate and effective for covering your eCommerce needs.
Podia seems like the ideal tool for startups looking for a business-in-a-box solution. However, is Podia the best choice?
There are other companies out there with similar offerings. How does Podia stack up to the competition, and what can you expect from your use of the platform?
In this Podia review, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about this eCommerce service.
WordPress Plugins vs Podia
If your eCommerce website is already working with WordPress, you can open a digital storefront using the WooCommerce plug-in. There is a range of other useful tools designed specifically for WordPress sites.
The issue with installing and using plug-ins is that they can conflict with each other, causing glitches that require a developer’s assistance to fix. While many plug-ins are free, there are plenty of add-ons that end up costing you a hefty monthly subscription fee.
While most plug-ins have a user-friendly design, try and tell that to anyone struggling to set up Magento on their site. With Podia, you get a complete front-to-back eCommerce solution specifically designed for selling online.
What are the Key Features of Podia?
When creating our Podia review, the features of the platform are a critical concern. The last thing we want is to make a recommendation, only to find it’s a useless piece of garbage that doesn’t do anything for your business.
Podia focuses its offering around three core services.
- Membership services
- Product services
- Email marketing
Let’s look at each of these services in detail to see if Podia is worth your time and hard-earned money.
Podia Memberships Portal
The Podia membership portal is accessible from the site. After opening your account with Podia, you have access to your dashboard. Click the “memberships” tab on your dashboard at the top of the ribbon, and the system prompts you to enter your membership site name before moving forward.
If you click on the “Plans” tab, you can create price plans and product bundles for each of your membership plans. If you visit the settings tab, you’ll find you can change the membership site’s name and link a Slack or Facebook channel.
After publishing your membership site, you can access the other menu items. Build out your site and create Posts, Comments, Promotions, and monitor your sales from within the Podia portal. There is plenty of functionality in the system. It’s simple to use, with easy navigation.
Podia Products Portal
Under the Podia site’s products section, you’ll find the options for creating online courses or digital downloads for your business. You can access the Products section from your dashboard, and the site pulls you through to three offerings.
- Online courses
- Digital downloads
- Product bundles
What are Podia Online Courses?
Let’s continue our Podia review by looking at the “Online Course” section. When entering the portal, the system prompts you to enter the name of your online course after clicking on “Create & continue.” The greetings page also gives you the option of going directly to the “Online courses” page.
You get the option of choosing from a few basic templates when setting up your online course. You have the option of uploading content, files, and links to your course. Set up your course scheduling, sustainably releasing your modules that your customers can handle.
Podia comes with a sales-page built into the interface, allowing you to collect payments and issue coupons to your prospects and customers. Take advantage of the pre-launch page and pitch your courses to prospects in advance to build excitement around your launch date.
With Podia, you can create as many courses as you want, collecting the email addresses of interested parties that subscribe to your email list. There’s no limit on the number of enrollees, and Podia helps you manage the entire process from within the platform.
What are Podia Digital Downloads?
The products section also contains a tab for “Digital Downloads.” Using this service, you can sell your downloadable content like Video and PDF files, audiobooks, cheat sheets, checklists, and various other ideas.
You can set up your storefront to charge for your products. You also have the option of listing some of your downloads as freebies to attract prospects into your funnel. The Podia checkout process is lightning-fast, helping optimize conversion on your site.
The platform remembers users’ accounts, meaning your clients don’t need to create a new account with each new purchase they make at your store. We like the free sales page offered by Podia. You get the option of inserting FAQs, videos, and an email magnet to collect addresses.
Take Advantage of Product Bundles
While you’re at the products page, check out the “Product Bundle” tab. With this section of the Podia offering, you can combine courses and digital downloads as bundle offerings to your prospects.
Podia Email List Marketing Portal
Podia comes with a built-in email marketing feature to enhance your eCommerce business. You can access it in the “Emails” section. Or get to it through the integrated site functionality in the membership and product sections.
Using this Podia feature, you get to send out weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly emails to your list. You can design drip campaigns and build sales funnels that attract more customers to your storefront. Using the email marketing function, you create real engagement with your subscriber list, providing value to them without asking for money.
With the Podia email marketing system, you can send out automated and manual messages and include your logo and branding in your communications. The system allows you to check in on your metrics, checking vital stats like click-thru, open rate, and users unsubscribing from your list.
With the email marketing feature, you can set up lead magnets capturing new email addresses on your storefront and pre-launch page. Send out course updates from within the platform, and let them know if you add a new video or chapter to a course.
Podia keeps its offering simple, with two pans available for purchase.
- The Mover is priced at $39/month, with Podia billing you upfront for a year’s subscription at $390
- The Shaker is priced at $79/month, with Podia billing you upfront for a year’s subscription at $790
The Mover is the more affordable option of the two, but it doesn’t include the “Memberships” portal. You have the option of terminating your subscription at any time, but you won’t get a pro-rata refund for the outstanding amount.
When your subscription expires, there’s no automatic renewal if you cancel.
Podia understands it’s a commitment to pay out for a year’s subscription in one go. Therefore, they offer you a free 14-day trial of the platform. There’s no commitment needed from your side, and you decide if it’s a service worth using.
The free trial doesn’t have all the platform functionality, but its good enough to see if you think the service is worth the subscription. You can make your payment through credit card, PayPal, or Stripe when signing up for Podia.
What Did We Like About Podia?
Our Podia review is a mixed bag of results. We like the user-friendly navigation and use of the Podia platform. The minimalistic design and effective service are fantastic, making it a top consideration for an eCommerce storefront and online course builder.
With Podia, you can set up a storefront and start selling in less than 24-hours. There’s no need to use third-party sources like Dropbox to store your data, making your storefront and products’ maintenance and organization easy.
The drag-and-drop site builder is convenient, and it’s a great tool for anyone that doesn’t understand code. The free theme that you get looks great out-of-the-box.
What Didn’t We Like About Podia?
While there is a lot we like about Podia, there are a few issues we didn’t enjoy.
Podia has a simplistic, minimalist design and interface, and that’s its downfall. There are limitations to customizing your site, and it lacks any advanced customization features. Podia is convenient, but it doesn’t hold up to other platforms like Thinkific when it comes to creating and selling online courses in our opinion.
Podia Review – The Verdict
Podia is a great choice for selling online courses and launching an online store. However, the lack of personalization and customization of your storefront is a big drawback. The web builder is convenient, but you don’t get much in the way of customization options.
If you’re launching your first eCommerce store selling online courses, Podia can help you navigate most of the design speedbumps to get your offer online. However, for most users, an option like Thinkific will be a better deal.