Today’s question is from Carl:
How can I send download links to customers after purchase? For example, if they purchase custom design services, I’d like to send them a proof or final download in the “Account” section rather than emailing so I have it in my records.
This is a great question, but one that doesn’t really have a definitive answer. If you’d like to show a download in the “My Account” or “My downloads” section, no matter which eCommerce plugin you’re using, you’ll need to attach this download to a product.
This means that you’d probably have to create a product that contains your custom download and assign it to the customer’s order (not ideal as you’ll quickly rack up products unless you’re deleting them once the project is complete). The customer could then see this downloadable file in the “My account” section with plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, or Shopp.
You can use WooCommerce to add custom downloads to a customer’s account via a customer note. This can be added as a public order note while editing the order for your customer. You can include a link to the file, whether in your media drive or somewhere like Amazon S3, so that the customer can download the file via this link. This won’t set expirations or download limits, but they’re probably not as much of a concern with a customized product as they would be with something like software or an ebook.
When you add this note, be sure it’s a “Customer” type note.
You’ll also see that it uses a different color in your order notes to signify that it was a public note shared with the customer.
This will do two things. First, customers will receive an email to let them know that the order has been updated.
Second, this will now show in the “My Account” section if a customer views the details for that order:
While this doesn’t add the custom file under the “Downloads” section, it will be accessible both by email and the “My Account” section.
You can also add customer notes using Shopp. These notes will not be displayed anywhere in the customer’s account, but the note will be emailed to the customer in relationship to the order being updated.
You can add a customer note while editing the order and checking that it should go to the customer:
I’m not aware of a similar solution for other eCommerce platforms (to send customer notes), but most eCommerce plugin will include the customer email, so you’d have to simply email your customized files and reference the appropriate order number in your email. You could then add a note in the order / payment notes as a reminder that an email was sent.
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