- 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 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.
Once this is set, you can create your shipping rates for any product that requires shipping.
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.
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.
All variations of your download will use the same shipping costs, so these can not be set on a per-variation basis.
Simple Shipping will do a couple of things at checkout. First, your shipping costs will be displayed as a line item during the checkout.
Second, customers can choose to set a shipping address if different from the billing 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.
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.
These details will also be added to the order.
When you view your payment history, you’ll notice that you now have a “Shipped?” column for orders.
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.
Finally, a shipping bulk action is available if you want to mark several orders as shipped at once.
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.