Selling Digital Products & Downloads with WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

In this article, we will share an ultimate guide & tutorial for selling digital products & downloads with WooCommerce WordPress plugin.

Updated on October 27, 2023
Selling Digital Products & Downloads with WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

Selling digital products & downloads with the WooCommerce WordPress plugin. E-commerce stores allow you to reach customers and deliver products immediately after purchase, whereas selling physical products often requires you to forgo a large portion of your sales to cover shipping, manufacturing, and distribution costs. Here, merchants can significantly increase their profits by selling digital products through WooCommerce.

Selling Digital Products & Downloads with WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

However, selling physical goods introduces some complexities such as Inventory management, delivery performance, etc. In this case, selling digital downloads through WooCommerce might not be that complicated. But here, too, digital downloads will face many technical challenges.

Whatever you’re selling, WooCommerce lets you do it elegantly – including downloadable products. With careful optimizations and best practices, you can make digital products in your store sell just as well as physical products.

This tutorial shows how to sell digital products using WooCommerce. If you have the right basics, you can quickly build a successful digital download store with WooCommerce. In this article, we will talk about selling digital products & downloads with the WooCommerce WordPress plugin.

Why you should consider using WooCommerce to sell digital products

WooCommerce digital products are sometimes referred to as downloadable or virtual products. If you are new to virtual products, you may wonder about the types of virtual products that WooCommerce supports. Moreover, here’s an overview of the most popular types of digital products sold by online retailers:

  • eBooks (how-tos, guides, recipes)
  • Video (online course or training program) 
  • Computer software (web apps, game mods, plugins, tools)
  • Music and recordings (songs, sound clips, podcasts, audiobooks)
  • Graphic Design (Icon Packs, Font Packs, PSDs, Themes, Templates)
  • Graphic design (icon pack, font pack, PSD, theme, template) 
  • Photo 
  • Documents (printouts, reports, documents, templates, lists, checklists)
  • kinship

WooCommerce digital products sometimes called downloadable or virtual products. If you are new to virtual products, you may wonder about the types of virtual products that WooCommerce supports. So, here’s an overview of the most popular types of digital products sold by online retailers.

How to sell digital products with WooCommerce & downloads with WooCommerce WordPress plugin

So, if you already have a store or are considering opening a store that sells digital or downloadable items, here are simple guidelines you can use to ensure that your customers are happy with your purchase. Plus, it can help you develop a shopping experience that converts more shoppers into paying customers and attracts more searchers to your store.

Step 1: Configure WooCommerce downloadable product settings

By definition, WooCommerce offers a multitude of digital download options. Consider the fundamental components for setting up your WooCommerce store for downloadable products.

Your first task is to improve the fundamentals of setting up your WooCommerce online store by setting up your WooCommerce store download method. After completing this task, you can start setting up your eCommerce store for digital products.

  • Sign in and go to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Go to WooCommerce> Settings> Products> Downloadable Products.
Selling Digital Products & Downloads with WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

1.1: Select the file download method.

There are three different ways to download the file. These settings control how digital products are downloaded. 

  • Force Download: Uses PHP to force download files. This will ensure the security of your document. However, the server needs to be powerful, especially for large files. In addition, if a timeout occurs while shopping, the timeout can impact the store’s reliability.
  • Redirect only: Users are redirected to the folder via the URL of this type of purchase. And the advantage of this approach is that anyone with a connection can access the folder.
  • X-Accel-Redirect / X-Sendfile: A client for managing files is also available. To do this, you must install and activate the X-Accel-Redirect / X-Sendfile module on your server. However, you must work closely with your storage provider to ensure that your system installs on time. This download method is completely safe and reliable.

1.2: Select an access restriction level.

Selling digital products:

Select an access restriction level.
  • Check the Downloads require login checkbox to require users to log in before downloading files. In addition, you would need to disable guest checkout.
  • Check the Grant access to downloadable products after payment check box if you want to grant access to files while orders are being processed rather than completed.
Check the Downloads require login checkbox

1.3: Select filename.

Access Restriction If you want to ensure the security of your files, select Append a unique string to the filename for security. While it is recommended and enabled by default, it is unnecessary if someone else has set up your upload directory correctly.

And when this setting is enabled, it does not affect filenames or links; only files uploaded with this setting will have a unique string. And can turn on and this fully backward compatible setting off without affecting any previously generated file links.

1.4: Save your settings by clicking save changes.

Step 2: Create digital downloads in WooCommerce

2.1: Simple downloadable products

To add a new Simple product, navigate to WooCommerce > Products > Add Product.

Check the Downloadable checkbox; other options will be available: Downloadable Files, Download Limit, and Download Expiry for download.

Selling digital products:

Simple downloadable products

Therefore, select the Add File button and give the file a name. And if the file is hosted elsewhere, enter the download URL or click the Select file button to insert an existing file from the media library or upload a new file. Upload the files and click Insert to configure the download URL for each file you want to download. Easy-to-download products.

select the Add File button and give the file a name
  • Enter the download limit (optional). When a user reaches this limit, they will not be able to download the file.
  • Enter download expiration (optional). After a certain number of days, download links expire.

After you finish editing the Product, click Publish or Update as usual.

2.2: Downloadable variations

Selling digital products:

Downloadable variations

Downloadable Variations, In addition, downloadable variations are possible for variable products. When creating a variation, select the Downloadable checkbox to reveal additional options.

The options behave like a simple product. Specify the file path, specify the download limit and expiration date optionally, and save.

2.3: Combination of downloadable and virtual products

If the downloadable checkboxes are selected, products can order and treated with physical products. This allows you to sell downloads and physical products simultaneously.

Enable the Virtual option if you want to add/sell a downloadable product that does not contain a physical component.

The order process

For downloadable products, and the ordering process is as follows:

1 – First, the customer adds a digital product to the shopping cart.

2 – The customer completes the checkout process and makes the payment.

3 – After payment, various events may occur depending on your configuration:

  • For example, the order is considered complete if all items in an order are downloadable + virtual.
  • If you order physical and digital/virtual items, the order will be processed until you cancel it.

4 – Once completed, or also if the customer has enabled the “Grant access to downloadable products after payment” option, the customer will be able to:

  • Grant download permission.
  • You can find download links on order received page.
  • Check the download link included in the email notification.
  • And if they are logged in, they will see a download link on the My Account page.

5 – The client can then download the file.

Useful tips for selling digital products on WooCommerce

Helpful tips for selling digital goods on WooCommerce a store that sells digital goods is similar to, but not the same as, a store that sells physical goods. Instead, they require careful handling and consideration of various factors that and may not consider. So, let’s look at some tips for building a more robust digital store with WooCommerce.

1 – Make sure you select the “Downloadable” product type

If you’re not selling physical goods, you don’t want to create products with shipping fees, tax classifications, or other complex rules that don’t apply. Fortunately, a single checkbox can disable all of these extra settings. This will convert your Product into a downloadable one, removing redundant options and adding new ones.

2 – Choose the right Schema for your products

Schema structured data markup language is used to describe the content of a page. With the appropriate Schema, a preview of critical information will appear in the search results, giving buyers an essential preview of information.

3 – Include some screenshots, video clips, or other visuals

When you’re selling a physical product, representing it online is simple: snap a few pictures and done. However, when it comes to downloadable products, there is no way to photograph what customers will receive when they click the “buy” button. Therefore, you often need to communicate the Product’s value more clearly.

4 – Choose the best way to display your Product

You need to set your Product’s main image and theme. The salient features of the project need to be detailed. Digital items with multiple screenshots can achieve the same effect if you specify the item’s operating conditions.

5 – Provide a free product trial

Audio demos and tutorials give customers a good idea of ​​buying. The free trial is an effective method of familiarizing customers with a software product for a specified period. It sells SaaS (Software as a Service) digital products most effectively. However, a free item with limited functionality seems the best option for products like WordPress plugins.

Selling digital products: Final thoughts

After reading about selling digital products & downloads with the WooCommerce WordPress plugin, new entrepreneurs worldwide are stepping into online business due to the greater accessibility of e-commerce platforms. In addition, online stores have expanded their reach beyond physical products to include digital products such as music, pictures, e-books, and software. Moreover, it’s an excellent way to test the waters by selling digital downloads if you consider opening an e-commerce store.

Selling downloadable products protects you from shipping issues, inventory management, etc. Moreover, selling digital products with WooCommerce comes with its complications.

After reading this article, we hope you will not find any difficulties marketing digital products with WooCommerce as it offers excellent options for developing digital products in your store. In addition, several vital tips can help you create a strong electronics marketing strategy.