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Digital / Downloadable Product Handling

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Estimated reading time: 3 min
This tutorial builds upon Managing Products but explains downloadable products specifically.

1. Setup and Configuration

1.1. On SmartSeller dashboard menu, go to Online Store > Settings > Products > Downloadable Products.

1.2. Select a File Download Method from the dropdown.

  • Redirect only – When users download a file, their link redirects to the file.
  • Force Downloads – File downloads are forced. To ensure files are protected from direct linking, Force Downloads can be used. (If your files are large and you experience timeouts during download, you need to use the redirect method.)
  • X-Accel-Redirect/X-Sendfile – It’s the most reliable method because the file is served directly to the customer and gives you the best performance. Files are also protected and secured.

1.3. Select a level of Access Restriction. Tick the Downloads Require Login checkbox if you want users to be logged in to download files. Guest checkout would need to be disabled.

1.4. Tick the Grant access to downloadable products after payment checkbox if you wish to grant access to files when orders are Processing, instead of Completed.

1.5. Save changes.


2. Creating Downloadable Products

2.1. Downloadable Simple Products

2.1.1. To get started, on SmartSeller dashboard go to Products > Add Product to add a new Simple Product as outlined in Adding Products or Managing Products.

2.1.2. Tick the Downloadable checkbox. After ticking this box, other option appear: Downloadable Files, Download Limit, Download Expiry.

2.1.3. Select the Add file button, and then name the file. Enter the downloadable URL if the file located elsewhere, or select the Choose file button to either insert an existing file from your Media Library or to Upload a new file. Upload the file and click Insert to set up each downloadable file URL. Match the URL of the product to the URL of your site. (i.e., if you have a www in your site URL, then make sure that is in the file URL.)

Downloadable Product supports multiple files per product!

2.1.4. Enter the Download Limit (optional). Once a user hits this limit, they can no longer download the file.

2.1.5. Enter the Download Expiry. If you define a number of days, download links expire after that.

2.1.6. Save.

2.2. Downloadable Variations

Variable products can also have downloadable variations. When adding a variation tick the Downloadable checkbox and more options appear.

Options work the same as regular products: Set the file path, optionally choose a download limit and expiry, and save.

2.3. Combining Downloadable and Virtual Products

If you tick the Downloadable check boxes, products can have stock and are treated as physical products. This allows you to sell downloads and real products together.

If you want to add/sell a downloadable product that is not physical, also enable the Virtual option. Normally, downloadable products are virtual products.


3. Usage

3.1. Ordering Process

3.1.1. Buyer adds product to their cart.

3.1.2. Buyer checkouts and pays.

3.1.3. After payment, several things can happen depending on your setup:

  • If items in the order are all downloadable and virtual, then the order is complete.
  • If items are physical and downloadable or virtual, the order is processing until you shipped the physical items and change the order status to completed.

3.1.4. Once complete, or if the option “Grant access to downloadable products after payment” is enabled, the user can:

  • Be granted download permission
  • See download links on the order received page
  • See download links in their email notification
  • See download links on their “My Account” page if logged in to their customer account.

3.1.5. Buyers can then download the files.

3.2. Invoice / Order Email

Customer receives an invoice/order confirmation with clickable link to download, if order is processed and paid.

3.3. Managing orders with downloadable line items

3.3.1 On dashboard, go to Online Store > Orders and select the order you wish to view or edit.

3.3.2. Scroll down to the Downloadable Product Permissions meta box, which displays the download and how many new downloads, or exit order.


4. FAQ

What happens if I edit a downloadable product’s files after customers have purchased?

Editing a download file row (changing the name, file URL or both) updates the download links on past purchases, but it leaves the expiry date and downloads remaining in tact.

Adding a new download does not affect past orders. Only new purchasers gain permission to download it.

Do old orders get access to new downloads after a product is edited?

No, any new downloads will not be accessible for previous orders.

Can I use cloud storage to store my files and downloads?

Definitely! SmartSeller online store only needs an external URL that points to your digital download file. If it is a valid external download URL, then it will work perfectly. There is no further validation.

How do I create an album of song downloads to sell music?

It’s possible to do this with another app Product Bundles.

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