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.

However, there are ways around this using WooCommerce or Shopp. Let’s discuss another method you could use to send download links to customers after purchase.

WooCommerce

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.

WooCommerce add customer note

WooCommerce add customer 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.

WooCommerce Customer order note

Order Notes updated

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:

WooCommerce Customer order note

Note in “My Account”

While this doesn’t add the custom file under the “Downloads” section, it will be accessible both by email and the “My Account” section.

Shopp

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:

Shopp customer note

Shopp Add Note

Other plugins

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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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.

11 Comments

  1. Beka:

    I love your articles each week, but curious why you never list WP EasyCart in any of these reviews? As a powerful shopping cart, we handle digital downloads either from your server or we are connected with Amazon S3 for serving digital goods. customers can download right from their accounts. We also offer a full membership system for those using stripe.com that lets you build custom membership pages where they can access lists of downloads if they are members, etc…

    lots of ways to distribute, but might be worth mention?

    1. Hello Josh,

      You can promote your WP EasyCart service at mytechreport.com and let others know that your service exists.

  2. Thank you for the article Beka. I was looking for a solution like this since I sell voiceover services and also have to send customer’s download links post, post order. Not an ideal solution, but it your suggestion does solve the problem with a workaround method.

  3. That’s good if youre doing it manually. But there has to be a way to send a link when customer purchase a product in WC. Let us know if you find a plugin or a way for it. Thank you.

  4. I was researching this for my voice over work. Clients order jobs and then I have to send them a download link. I’m using the customer note method in Woocommerce and it works well. I wish there was another way but, there is not that I have found.

  5. Hey all, I did post a sort of updated / improved version of this here 🙂

    1. I don’t think that is a perfect way Mis. Beka …. If do the product as “virtual&Downloadable” shipping will be desabled. Other solution is, Make a individual page to upload design, and link dashboard, myaccount detals, login etc to that specific page !

  6. I am amazed you have to send a link manually to the customer? Otherwise whats the point?
    Has there been any change now? Please dont tell me after a customer pays i am expected to manually send an attachement or a link to the customer? Defeats the objective of an e commerce site doesnt it?

  7. Here is the plugin you can use to attach files in order page with many advanced options: WooCommerce Attach Me

    1. cost 17$, but not looks worth… Anyhow, no other options !

  8. All these week I was in search a good solution for this – to send artwork directly to customer / buyer’s order page or dashboard. Didn’t find any suitable plugin …. I think ‘WooCommerce Attach Me’ is only one solution !!

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