How Digital River Has Been Impacting Online Software Sales For 25 Years


If you subscribe to various software for either business or personal use, there’s a good chance Digital River could be the commerce intermediary that served as the purchase portal and distribution center for it. Digital River is one of the IT and software industry’s most trusted payment and logistics providers that handles high volumes of software subscription transactions, and product fulfillment for some of the world’s most well-known software developers and consumer electronics manufacturers. Some of Digital River’s most notable clients include Microsoft, Lenovo, Logitech and even Avast, one of the top-rated free virus scanning software systems in the IT world today.

One reason Digital River’s clients partner with them is it allows them to outsource subscription payments and tax compliance issues. Digital River becomes designated as the Merchant of Record which means that if there’s an error either with a customer’s payment or in the processing system, Digital River handles all the disputes and resolutions for that and assumes all liabilities and legal compliance responsibilities. Their team of experts and fraud prevention software systems are always at work protecting their clients from illegitimate payments and subscriptions, and making sure the sales and subscription process upholds integrity and transparency. Their legal team is familiar in tax and regulatory codes across not only the US but around the globe.

Not only does Digital River offer payment processing and global fulfillment solutions, but they also have a sales and marketing platform meant to boost e-commerce traffic and drive in revenue. The services here include website optimization to enhance customer experience on many devices, data analytics powered by AI, search engine optimization for organic results, paid search ad campaigns and email marketing. Digital River also recently acquired Salesforce, a cloud sales and CRM platform meant to empower small businesses and sales teams in building new leads and expanding their social media presence.

Digital River actually was one of the first companies to really buy into potential of e-commerce and the future of software-as-a-service solutions. They began in 1994 in Minnetonka, MN founded by Joel Ronning and entering the online sales arena even before the internet was a regular sales avenue. One of the first acquisitions they made was the Walnut Creek CD-ROM branch of Simtel in 1998, and they would follow that with several others including and later Journey Education Marketing and THINK Subscription. In 1998, they also became publicly-owned and opened a London based office, and then a Tokyo office in 2005 followed by Russia and Brazil after that. Ronning stayed on as CEO until 2012 and was succeeded by David Dobson until 2018, and currently Adam Coyle holds that position. From time to time, the company hosts webinars and conferences on e-commerce trends.


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