A new version of Easy Digital Downloads was released on Friday, so today’s Easy Digital Downloads 2.6 Review will take a look at the major changes in version 2.6 for store owners.
If you want some additional details on EDD 2.6, here are some announcements and overviews from the EDD team:
Overall, version 2.6 adds some useful new tools, such as new importers and customer management tools, that will improve the experience store owners have with day-to-day management.
EDD version 2.5 improved the product export capabilities within EDD core, so this release follows on the heels of that with a native product CSV import tool. Between the changes in versions 2.5 and 2.6, the free CSV Manager plugin is no longer needed to manage products via CSV, and can be done entirely with the core EDD plugin.
You can access the new product importer under Downloads > Tools > Import / Export. Here you’ll see two new importers, of which the product importer is one:
This tool allows you to import hundreds or thousands of products at a time, as the import is processed in the background to avoid timeouts. You can also map columns to product data during the import process, ensuring that several types of import formats are acceptable.
The import and export formats for products are compatible so that you can export products, edit product data, then re-import them.
In addition to the native product CSV import, a payments CSV import has been added in Easy Digital Downloads 2.6. This allows you to import payment records from Downloads > Tools > Import / Export.
The payment import also features a column mapper so that you can determine which columns in your CSV file correspond to which payment data, making it easy to export several CSV formats.
This is useful for updating order records in bulk or migrating them from other platforms.
Most of us have more than one email address, and your customers do, too. Easy Digital Downloads now accepts multiple email addresses for a customer account. This lets you keep payment records accurate, as all of these email addresses can be linked to the same buyer. Now when a customer purchases with a different email, it can be linked back to the customer’s account.
You can manually add new emails for the customer, and determine which one should be the primary email address for the customer account.
This has some really interesting implications for B2B sales, as the “customer” concept isn’t as tightly tied to a specific user. You could link multiple business emails to one business customer “account”, letting you accurately see sales for a business as a customer.
This isn’t true “sub-accounts” for a company, but it could be a step in that direction for companies using EDD to sell digital business tools or services.
One of my favorite features in this release is the addition of automatic refunds for PayPal standard purchases. This lets you process a refund entirely within your EDD dashboard rather than having to both update your store record and log into PayPal.
As a result, you’ll notice some new fields for the “PayPal Standard” gateway settings. In order to process refunds via PayPal, you’ll need to add API keys for your business PayPal account.
When viewing an order via Downloads > Payment History, you can change the status to “refunded”. If the customer purchased via PayPal Standard, you’ll see a “Refund in PayPal” option added when you select the “refunded” status.
If you enable this and refund the order, the refund data is automatically sent to PayPal. This will process the refund for you without any additional action needed, saving you the hassle of locating and refunding the order in your PayPal account as well.
There are some minor improvements for both store owners and customers as well.
First, the mobile checkout experience has been improved to make it easier to enter credit card numbers. The credit card fields now use the “number” input type to trigger a numerical keyboard on mobile devices rather than the full alphanumeric keyboard.
This makes it far easier for customers to go through the checkout process while using a mobile or tablet device.
Second, if your store is running WordPress 4.4 or newer, you may have also seen that your products can be embedded on other sites via oEmbed. This is helpful if you have affiliates writing about your products on their blogs, as they can embed product data directly into the post.
When embedding a product from your site onto another site, the product prices are now shown as part of the embed.
And finally, the admin experience has been improved with more context for new store owners. Helpful tooltips have been added throughout the admin to explain settings and key actions that admins can take so they can learn about store management when they begin to use EDD.
The EDD Customer class has added a customer metadata API that developers can leverage to store customer information. This works very similar to the way WordPress core treats postmeta so that a customer record can have additional data added, modified, and used via custom code or plugins.
Easy Digital Downloads 2.6 also brings version 2 of the Easy Digital Downloads REST API. Changes include improvements to the coupons endpoint and taxonomy support for the products endpoint. Developers can check out the GitHub repo for all v2 API changes.
My favorite changes in Easy Digital Downloads 2.6 are the changes to customer management and processing refunds. The ability to store multiple email addresses per customer moves the concept of a “customer” away from being heavily tied to a WordPress user, and also allows you to ensure sales tracking is accurate for a specific person.
The ability to process full refunds for PayPal Standard via EDD is also a really nice addition for store owners, as they no longer have to log into PayPal to process refunds. This brings PayPal Standard in line with Amazon Payments (core gateway), Stripe, PayPal Website Payments Pro, and PayPal Express to add another gateway that automatically processes refunds. Perhaps this means partial refund support will come soon? 😉
Overall, the 2.6 release provides some nice refinements for store management with native importers and improved customer management, while the mobile checkout enhancements will also help with customers and (hopefully) conversions. Don’t forget to check out the official release blog post for more details.
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