Digital products

In addition to physical products, you can sell downloadable items such as e-books, photos, music, video tutorials, and more in your store. When you add a product to your store, you can upload a file that will be delivered to customers automatically via unique download links after they make a purchase.

We, Ecwid, take care of hosting your digital items and digital delivery. You can add as many files per product as you need, every file can be up to 25 GB.

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Adding a digital product

You can add a single file or multiple files under one product. There is no limit to how many files can be attached to a downloadable product.

To add a digital product:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Click a product to edit or create a new one.
  3. In the General tab untick Requires shipping or pickup:

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  4. Then open the Files tab.
  5. Click +Upload Files.
  6. In the popup click Choose file:

    Choose file on your computer

  7. Select the file on your computer. 
  8. Click to add more files.
  9. Click Upload Files.
  10. Enter the file description.
  11. Click Save.

All done, a file is added to a product. Your customer will automatically receive the download link for their product at the end of the checkout process once their payment has been sent to you and the order status has been updated to Paid.

Customers in the EU must pay VAT on digital products at the rate applicable in their own country regardless of where the seller is located.

Disabling shipping for a digital product

If you're selling a digital product or a service, you most likely would like to disable shipping for it. When a customer goes through checkout, the shipping portion of the checkout process will be automatically removed (it is retained for carts that include both physical and downloadable products).

To disable shipping:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Select a digital product.
  3. In the Tax and Shipping section of the product page, click This Product Requires Shipping or Pickup option and toggle the button to disable shipping.
  4. Click Save.

When the order is paid, the customer will get an email notification with a unique link to download the purchased items.

Make sure, the Download E-goods notification is enabled in your Ecwid admin, Settings → Mail. Otherwise, your customers will not receive their download links.

Protecting download links

There are two ways how you can prevent customers from sharing download links with others: 1) Set a lifetime for the link — this ensures that the link will automatically expire after a specified period of time; 2) Limit the number of downloads per link — this ensures buyers can download the link only the specified number of times.

To set limits:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Settings → General → Cart & Checkout.
  2. Scroll down to the E-goods section:

dig_4.png

  1. Add a number of hours and/or download attempts. 

Download limit examples:

  • Lifetime is set at 24 hours, and the number of download attempts is empty: the link is available for 24 hours only, with an unlimited number of downloads.
  • Lifetime is left empty, and the number of download attempts is set at 5: the link is available without any time limits but can only be downloaded 5 times per order.
  • Lifetime is set at 48 hours, and the number of download attempts is set at 3: the link is available for 48 hours and can be downloaded only 3 times per order.

Managing download links

You can manually disable a download link for an order, or vice versa, generate a new download link for a buyer (if they couldn’t make it to download the file till its link expiration, for instance).

To disable or renew a download link:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to the My Sales → Orders section.
  2. Find the necessary order and open its details.
  3. Click Change and choose the necessary action:

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If you choose to renew a download link, the buyer will receive an additional “Files ready for download” email that will contain a new download link.

If you choose the option to disable a download link, you will force its immediate expiration. Upon clicking on such a download link, the buyer will be redirected to an error page. There will be stated that no more downloads are allowed.

Offering digital products for free

You can offer free downloads in your store so that customers could download a file without paying for it. You can use it for various purposes, e.g. share sample files (audios, videos, etc.) or provide docs with instructions on how to use other products in your store.

There are two ways to offer digital goods for free:

  1. Create a product with zero price: Your customers can add this product to their cart, place an order, and get the download links without paying anything. To make the process more smooth, we recommend you to automatically mark the orders containing only a free product as paid, so that buyers can instantly receive the download link. For this, you can set the Default payment status for orders with zero total setting to Paid in your Ecwid admin, Settings → General → Cart & Checkout (the Checkout Settings section).
  2. Attach a file by adding a download link directly to the product description. By attaching a download link directly to your product, the customer doesn't have to place an order – they can download the file right from the product page. To do so, first, upload your file to any hosting service. For example, you can use SaberCat which is free. Second, add a link to this file in your product description. Note: this option does not allow you to see the downloads in the orders list.

Placing a test order

After you've created a digital product, you can place a test order to see how it works.

Make sure to change the status of your test order to Paid so that you could receive the download link.

Downloading product as a customer

Your customer will automatically receive the download link for the ordered product as soon as the order status gets Paid.

A buyer sees the download link right on the Thank you for your order page if their order is paid online:

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Buyers also get the "Files ready for download" email with the download links:

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Besides, the download links for ordered products are available to buyers in their customer accounts in your store:

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FAQ

How can I customize the email with the download links?

You can modify the Download E-goods notification sent to your customers when they purchase a digital product in your Ecwid admin in Settings → Mail. Read the article on Mail Notifications for more information.

What happens if a customer's download is interrupted?

If your customer has any connectivity issues, the file will automatically continue its download once the connection is reestablished. However, this only works if you do not limit the number of downloads.

Can I sell digital and non-digital variations of a product?

To offer customers the option to purchase a product as a download or a physical product, you can list these product versions as separate products in your store and upload a file to the digital product, then relate both products to each other. After that, when visiting a product page, customers will see that the product is available in another version, too, and can choose the preferred product.

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