Easy Digital Downloads has tons of benefits for eCommerce sites that sell services or other virtual products and services:

  • the core plugin is free
  • it’s designed for virtual products, so it’s lightweight without being light on features
  • there are lots of payment gateway integrations so you can choose how to accept payments
  • it’s extremely extensible with tons of add-ons and a flexible codebase
  • any user can get support from the plugin authors

However, many eCommerce sites evolve from your original plans for the site, and as your business grows, you may find that you have different needs than when you original set up your shop. For example, you may sell digital goods, but what if you now want to include physical items with these purchases? You could sell CDs, but also sell a package that includes a physical disk signed by the recording artist. If you sell services, you may want also want to offer tangible goods like stickers or tee shirts.

Once you start to ship products, it’s difficult to sell them with Easy Digital Downloads because you’ll need to eat those shipping costs, and you can only gather a billing address from customers. If they want to ship items to a different address than the billing address, you’ll have contact customers to gather this information or ask them to forward shipping addresses in your Download Notes. As a result, I sometimes get this question from shop owners:

Is there a way I can add a fee to orders or products so that I can charge for shipping costs for the couple of items I send?

Sure, you can totally add fees to EDD with the help of a developer. Even better, there’s an extension already built for this 🙂 . The Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping extension ($23) lets you add simple flat rate shipping costs on a per-product basis, and also adds “Shipping address” fields at checkout so you don’t have to get back in touch with the customer to get this information.

EDD Simple Shipping: Overview

EDD Simple Shipping is really easy to set up and use. When you install the plugin, it adds one settings under “Downloads > Settings > General” for you to set your base region. This will be used to create a “domestic” rate, and orders from any country outside of this region will instead be charged an “international” rate.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: settings

Simple Shipping Setting

Once this is set, you can create your shipping rates for any product that requires shipping.

EDD Simple Shipping: Add Shipping to Items

Simple downloads (those with one price) can have shipping enabled with a single checkbox. You can then set your shipping rates for domestic and international orders.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: simple download

Shipping: Simple Download

Variable-priced downloads will have a similar set up, but you can choose to enable shipping only for certain variations. This can let you sell “files only” packages, or add shipping for variations that have a physical product included.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: variable download

Variable Price Download

All variations of your download will use the same shipping costs, so these can not be set on a per-variation basis.

EDD Simple Shipping: Shipping at Checkout

Simple Shipping will do a couple of things at checkout. First, your shipping costs will be displayed as a line item during the checkout.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: checkout

Checkout Table

Second, customers can choose to set a shipping address if different from the billing address:

Easy Digital Download Simple Shipping: enable shipping address

Checkout: enter shipping address

This will generate a new set of fields for “Shipping address” to make sure you can gather both the shipping address and billing address during checkout.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: checkout 2

Shipping Address added

EDD Simple Shipping: Purchase History

If customers have ordered a product that will be shipped, the fee for shipping costs and the shipping address will be displayed on the “Purchase Confirmation” page to confirm this information.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping:  purchase confirmation

Purchase Confirmation

These details will also be added to the order.

EDD Simple Shipping: Payment History

When you view your payment history, you’ll notice that you now have a “Shipped?” column for orders.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: payment history

“Shipped?” Column

This will use one of three values:

  • “No”: requires shipping but not yet sent
  • “N/A”: does not require shipping
  • “Yes”: required shipping and has been shipped

This lets you quickly see the whether a shipment is needed, and if one has been sent or not.

You can also view shipping details from the order and mark it as shipped.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: order

View Order

Finally, a shipping bulk action is available if you want to mark several orders as shipped at once.

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping: bulk actions

“Shipped” bulk action

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping

Easy Digital Downloads Simple Shipping ($23+) is a great option for adding simple flat rate shipping on a per product basis to your shop. The thing I really like about the way it works is that you can enable shipping on a per-variation basis, which makes it easy to sell only files, or a bundled version of a product that includes files and a physical product. This can let you sell an ebook or a bundle with an ebook + signed hardback, sell digital music downloads or sell a download + CD bundle (do CDs still exist??), or just simply sell some physical standalone products.

The plugin is really easy to set up and use, and can be a great way to extend your EDD-powered sales to shippable products as well.


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Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.