We’re living in a digital world so, naturally, there’s a whole market out there for products that don’t even exist IRL (that’s “in real life” for you non-texters!).
At Volusion, we offer online store capability to businesses who sell all types of goods, including digital downloads. From graphics 🐯 to ebooks📚 to music 🎶, we can help you turn virtual products into actual profits.
How To Add Digital Products To Your Store
- Go to Inventory > Products in your Admin Area
- Click Add (for instructions on creating a normal product, see "Adding Products To Your Store in 3 Simple Steps")
- Fill in the appropriate product fields
- Under Basic Info, in the Weight field, type "0"
- Under Advanced Info > Shipping, make sure Fixed Shipping Cost is "0" and Fixed Shipping Cost Outside Local Region is "0," unless you intend to charge for downloading
- Under Advanced Info > Misc, locate the Download Filename field
- Click Upload File to browse your computer for the downloadable file associated with this product
- In the Download Filename field, enter the file name
- Click Save
Repeat those steps for each downloadable product.
When your customers purchase one or more downloadable products, your store will email a link to each one in the order after you mark it as Shipped. They will also be able to access their downloadable products by logging into their store account and clicking Review Orders/Track Packages.
Good To Know:
- A downloadable product can be associated with only one downloadable file. Therefore, you'll need to create separate products for each downloadable file.
- Although downloadable products have no maximum size limit, your store’s interface only allows uploads up to 10MB in size. To upload larger files, you must FTP them to your /v/vspfiles/downloadables/ directory. See "How to Use Your Volusion FTP (SFTP) Account" for more information.
- Part of your monthly hosting plan's data transfer allotment is used each time a customer downloads a product.
- When a digital product is purchased, the product is not automatically downloaded. Customers can access their files via logging into their accounts or through the Order Has Shipped email.
- Customers must create an account with a password in order to purchase and access downloadable products (they cannot check out anonymously and access their files).
When & How Customers Can Download Digital Purchases
Customers can download their purchases after you’ve marked the order as complete and shipped. However, if they just can’t wait to get to their virtual goods, there are a few other ways they can access them sooner, even immediately upon purchasing.
Once You’ve Marked The Order as Complete/Shipped …
Once you’ve clicked Complete Order on an order's Details page, and/or when the order is marked as Shipped, an OrderHasShipped.asp email will be sent to the customer. If they click the “$(DownloadLink),” they will land on their My Account page, where they can log into their store account and download their files.
You can also manually send or resend the OrderHasShipped.asp email to a customer within the associated order's Details page. Just select Shipped from the Email menu, then click Send or Resend.
Customers just can’t wait for their OrderHasShipped.asp email to access their files? No problem! They can log into their account from the My Account page from your storefront and access their purchased files that way, so long as their order payment has been Received.
The amount of time it will take to receive their order payment (and gain access to their purchased files) depends on what method they use …
Cash, COD, Wire transfer, etc.
The download will be available when you click Receive in the Payments section of an order's Details page.
Debit or Credit Card
The amount of time it takes to receive payment (and give customers access to their downloadable files) will depend on the Payment Capture Settings you selected under Settings > Payments.
If you’ve selected either Authorize at Sale, Capture at Shipping OR Authorize and Capture at Sale, customers can download their files immediately after they submit their payment.
If you’ve selected Authorize and Capture at Shipping, the downloads will be available once you authorize the sale.
If you don’t have your PayPal account set up to deliver Instant Payment Notifications (IPNs) back to your Volusion store, your customers’ downloads will be available after you click Receive in the Payments section of an order detail page. If you do have IPNs set up, the download will be available once the IPN is sent back to Volusion.
If you would like customers to have instant access to their downloadable files upon purchase, you can configure your Payment Capture Settings to Authorize and Capture at Sale or Authorize at Sale, Capture at Shipping.
Either way, the payment method will automatically be Received when a customer places their order. To help customers log into their accounts and access their files, add the following instructions to the OrderConfirmation_To_Customer.asp email template that will automatically be sent to them or to the OrderFinished.asp page:
How To Instantly Access Your Purchased Files
- Click My Account in our website’s (www.YOURSTORENAME’s.com) menu*.
- Log in with your email address and store account password
- Under My Orders, click Review Orders/Track Packages
- Click the Download File(s) >>> link beside your order
- At the top of the page, click the link labeled Click Here to Download the Files You’ve Purchased
- On the Your Downloads … page, click on the file name to download the file
Before you edit your OrderConfirmation_To_Customer.asp email template, first back it up. Then, if you have a basic understanding of HTML code follow these steps to add the instructions above to the template:
- Go to Design > File Editor in your Admin Area
- Click /v/vspfiles/email_templates in the menu on the right
- In the dropdown menu at the top of the page, select OrderConfirmation_To_Customer.asp
- Add the above directions into the body of the email template, ensuring that you don’t delete any of the required "$(Variables)" within the body of the template
- When you’re finished, click Save
To add the instructions above to the OrderFinished.asp page, do the following:
- Go to Inventory > Products in your Admin Area
- Click on the downloadable product that you want to provide instructions for
- Under Advanced Info, click on the Product Display tab
- In the Order Finished Note field, add the instructions above for customers to access their downloadable purchases
Limiting The Purchase Quantity
If you would like to prevent your customers from purchasing more than one of any given downloadable product, take the following steps:
- In your Admin Area, go to Settings > Config Variables
- Click Search
- In the Name field, type "maximum order quantity"
- Click the blue Search button
- Select the Value check box in the Enable Maximum Order Quantity For Product Pages row
- Click Save
- Go to Inventory > Products
- Click to edit the downloadable product that you want to limit
- Under the Advanced Info section, click Misc
- In the Max Qty field, type "1"
- Click Save
Product Keys 🔑
If you sell licensed computer software through the downloadable products feature, you’ll probably need to require a licensing code or product key for copy protection or registration requirements.
- From your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Product Key Distribution
- To create a pre-programmed product key, click Add
- Configure product keys using the following settings and, when finished, click Save:
PKey Email Template (Select a default email template to use for product key delivery; we recommend the Generic.asp template.)
PKey KeyType (Enter a basic name for each product key type; not the actual key value.)
PKey Email Subject (Enter a subject line for automated emails that are sent to customers when they order a product configured with a product key.)
PKey Allow Reuse (Leave this option disabled to configure a unique, one-time use key OR enable it if the key can be used more than once — more on that below!)
PKey Email Body (Enter text or HTML for the email message you will send to the product key recipient; include the actual key value.)
Repeat this process to create additional product keys.
Good To Know: If an order with a product key has been generated, the key is not emailed to the customer until payment is received and the order is marked as Shipped.
To complete the order, visit the Details page for each individual order and click Complete Order. Alternatively, you can manually send the product key email from the Emails menu, by selecting Product Keys and clicking Send.
Once you've created a product key, the system must be configured to distribute the key whenever its related product is purchased. You can assign product keys to products like so:
- In your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Products and click to edit the product that will use the key
- Under Advanced Info > Misc, in the Uses Product Key Type(s) field, type the product key
- Click Save
Distributing Multiple Versions Of The Same Product Key
To distribute a one-time key on multiple occasions (for example, a single software product that requires an individual activation key per user), use the following additional settings when creating a product key:
- In the PKey Email Body field, enter the unique product key for every version of the key. (Each key must have the same PKey Key Type value and a different PKey Date Added value.)
- Verify that the PKey Allow Reuse option is disabled (unchecked), unless you want to create a key to be distributed multiple times by a single product (e.g. the URL or password for an online meeting seminar.)
Now, when the product is ordered and marked as Shipped, the system will automatically send the oldest existing key for that particular PKey Key Type. Once this occurs, that key will be marked as Used (with Order ID and Order Details ID filled accordingly) and unavailable to distribute again.
To quickly create a large number of product keys:
- Create a key and then click Add to populate its settings over to the new, unsaved record
- Change the content of the PKey Email Body field
- Click the arrow on the Save button at the bottom of the page, and select Save and add new
- Click Save
Alternately, you can use Import/Export to export your initial product key table, update it using a text editor, and import the content into your store. See "Import / Export" and "Product Key Distribution" for more details.
Good To Know: To identify whether a product key has been assigned to a specific order, click Inventory > Product Key Distribution and click on a product key code. If the key has been assigned, there will be an Order ID number entered in the PKey Original Order ID field.
Offering downloadable products is a great way to reach an audience looking for digital art, entertainment and information. Plus, you have little in the way of inventory and no shipping! Now that you know how to add virtual products to your store and distribute them to buyers, you’ll see the real cash flow soon enough.