Sales of digital files

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Add a download file for sale

A digital product available for sale in your e-shop is a product that can be added in any catalog of your site but for which you must select the option "File" for its "Type" (located in the section "Price & stock" of the product).
Then you need select and add the digital file you want to sell and eventually reselect it to update it when needed by using the "Browse" button. The name of your file will be added and used as "internal" meaning that the file that will be published in a secure directory of your web space using this name. But the name of your file as it is seen by your customers when then will download can have a different name (and this is recommended to strengthen the safety of downloads on your website).
The choice of the "internal" name of the "Download File"  you add into TOWeb is important and keep it always the same if you need to update it with a new version  of this file. Because if you ever change the internal file name of a product then all your previous customers (those who bought it just before your changes) will no longer be able to download this product. So once you have create added a new download file be sure to always update it later one with the same name otherwise it will be considered as a different product with a different filename on your web space. However the file name "as seen by customers" it can be changed later at any time and without consequence.

Online order process for digital downloads

The purchase process works the same way as a normal product unlike there are no shipping costs applicable to a product file. Your buyer can therefore add to the shopping cart one or more digital files available for sale on your site, but also other hardware products if you sell both types of products.

Configuration of the digital download sales

The configuration of e-Commerce downloads can be done from the screen "Options> i-Services> e-Commerce Download: online sales of files to download". The main options there are:

  • The possibility to be notified by email if any problem occurs
  • The ability to set or not the maximum number of times a buyer can download a purchased file on your site and/or set the maximum download period for any purchased file from your site
  • The "convert each download file to a ZIP file" can be used to reduce the size of your files on your web space. This can be advantageous for you as well as your customers, but they will need a file decompression tool in ZIP format (usually present on most systems including those Microsoft Windows). But beware, because if you use this option then you will have to always keep it and never change it later on, otherwise your previous customers (those who purchased uncompressed files) will no longer be download the files they had purchased at the time your site was using non-compressed files
  • The ability to customize the title and text of the email that will be automatically delivered to your customers. This email will contain the specific download links to every customer for his order. Following field names may be used inside text & title of your delivery email and will be replaced by their value as defined below
    • {OrderID} = Customer order number
    • {ClientName} =  customer name
    • {DLFILES} = the list of digital files purchased by customers with their specific download links
  • The possibility to access to the backoffice of your files in order to edit the digital orders, delete or disable the download of a particular order or to process to a manual delivery of digital orders.

The backoffice for the orders of download files

The access to the backoffice of digital file orders can be done from the screen "Options> i-Services> e-Commerce Downloads: online sales of download files > Configure" and by activating the link "download files' backoffice". When access is made from this link inside TOWeb no user name nor password will be requested. However, if you try to access by yourself directly to the URL of this backoffice inside your web browser, then your administrator name and your password will be requested.
Once connected to the backoffice of your site, the orders containing file products will be displayed a list, where earch order has :

  • either a state "off" symbolized by a red cross (  ) indicating that the payment of the order has not been received and therefore its downloads are not possible/not authorized
  • either an "on" with a green marker (  ) indicating that the payment of the order to been received and that your customer can download the purchased files. When the downloads are possible the name of the file is displayed inside a link and this link is the download link to communicate to your customer (each link is unique to each order). If a customer did not receive your email with his/her download links then simply do a right-click from the file links of his/her order at this level to perform copy/paste to deliver them again to your customer. For more information also see the delivery of digital products.

The possible "actions" are the following :

  • use the buttons (  ) and (  ) to change the download states respectively "on" or "off" on each order.
  • use the button (  ) to edit a command and be able to
    • update its download counter. This counter lets you know how many times your customer has downloaded the file that he bought. So you may decide to disable his/her download links at this level if you ever see an abnormally high number of downloads due to a fraud (if your buyer has communicated to others persons the download links).
    • update the expiration date of the control downloads in order to prevent any risk of fraud in the malicious buyer with a shorter download time period and/or to reapply the download possibility of a purchase orders that was expired.
  • use the button (  ) to delete commands. Attention because the suppression of the order will be final, meaning that the person who placed this order can no longer perform the file downloads, it has purchased (in this case, your client will have to place a new order and / or make a new purchase order to get back its download links).

Delivery of the download files

Delivery of digital products is done by communicating to your customers secure links on your site that will be unique and specific to their order. This delivery can be performed automatically and/or manually from the back office depending on the type of payment used and/or depending on your needs.

  • automatic delivery is only available for payments supported by TOWeb offering IPN capabilities (meaning that your payment system can notify by calling script after payment) that is to payment systems such as PayPal, PayBox or iDeal. For other payments, including any deferred payments (check, wire transfer, cash, ...) the delivery shall be made manually via your backoffice.
  • manual delivery and consultation of all the digital purchase is made from the backoffice of your site accessible from the link located in the screen "Options > i-Services > e-Commerce Download: online sales of files to download". From your backoffice you can manually activate and proceed to delivery of an order but also get the download links of any order, edit and permanently ban downloads or even permanently delete the order.

It is important to note that the download links are specific to an order, meaning that even if two different people are buying the same file, their download link will not be the same. Therefore if you manually communicate by yourself a download link to a person make sure to communicate the correct link of his/her order.Finally TOWeb does not handle the billing part of your business/company so you must therefore manage this yourself by sending to your customers their bill either by post or by email.

Tests of download files on your e-commerce site

To test the digital products on your e-commerce website we advise you 

  • to put one or several products "file" in a catalog that you will protect with a password during all your testing time and/or not put any link in your menu to this catalog so that no one can see nor purchase them while under development
  • to publish your site and access your test catalog from which you will order one or several of your digital products
  • and then connect to the backoffice of your site to view your digitals order, see and test the downloads links, proceed with manual delivery, change or delete your orders.