In BreezingCommerce, it is easy to create paid downloads, general memberships, paid downloads that are part of memberships or general virtual products. Learn here how to set it up right.
First things to remember when dealing with paid downloads and memberships are the way how BreezingCommerce deals with verified files, memberships and membership durations:
- Virtual products in BreezingCommerce do not affect the stock and allow the of use limited address data in the BreezingCommerce configuration (more below).
- In general, file downloads or memberships must be marked as virtual product in order to function properly.
- You can also set a product to be a virtual product without any file downloads or memberships attached to it.
- If you intend to offer file downloads or memberships, every virtual product item within an order must be verified and paid by the customer.
- Paid file downloads can be accessed by logged on users through the BreezingCommerce "Files" menu item.
- Memberships are implemented as Joomla! groups, means, upon payment and verification, the customer's user will be added by selected Joomla! groups.
For the rest of this how to we assume you already know BreezingCommerce basics such as product and payment setup, as well as basic configuration.
Setting Up Memberships (without file downloads)
If your product is of a membership type - for example access to articles, only accessible by one or more Joomla! groups - then simply mark your product as "Virtual Product" in the main product configuration screen.
Next browse to the "Parameters - Advanced" tab and locate the option "Verification Days". Here you enter the amount of days the membership should last. Keeping it zero means infinite days.
Now locate the option "Verification Groups" and select the desired groups that the customer's user should be assigned to as soon as the product has been paid.
Save the product and do a test buy with your product in your shop's front end. Once purchased and finished the order, go to the BreezingCommerce's administration => Orders and open your most recent order.
If you tested the purchase using a payment plugin like PayPal (in test-mode, if available), then the order should be checked out, an invoice got created and the membership item is marked as verified (ticked green). If the item is not ticked green but red, it means that the payment didn't get verified. In that case, you usually will find the "paid" checkbox at the top of order information. This gives you the opportunity to mark an order as paid and items within an order as verified manually if something gets wrong in the payment process (e.g. customer paid, but the payment system failed to notfiy your server).
In fact, if you are testing a purchase with an offline payment plugin (e.g. bank transfer), then you actually have to mark the order as paid and verify every item manually, as this kind of payment requires manual verification.
Once the order has been marked as paid, please check the user in the Joomla! user manager the test buy has been performed with and check if the user is within the right groups.
Please note that by offering memberships, you should disallow guest checkout in the BreezingCommerce configuration!
Setting Up Paid File Downloads
You can combine memberships as described above with file downloads or actually run file downloads as standalone option. In fact, membership-less file downloads are still a kind of membership but don't have any impact of groups and every file might have its own expiration date.
In order to setup paid file downloads, locate the "Files" tab in your product. You'll see an option to add a new file right away:
- Edit Files: Opens a modal window with all of your specified files
- File: The actual file to download by the customer
- Name: The name/title of the file
- Requires Verification: Is the file actually accessible as paid download?
- Verification Days: How many days should access to the file last? (0=infinite)
- Verification Download Tries: How many downloads are allowed? (0=infinite)
- Publish: Publish the file
- Description: A brief description about the file contents
In "File", select a file to download from your hard-drive and enter the name of the file. Switch to "Requires Verification" and setup the "Verification Days" by either entering the desired amount or leave it zero, also add a desired value for "Verification Download Tries" or keep it zero for infinite downloads and finally publish. Optionally, enter a description and save the product.
Once saved, you will see that the amount of files in "Edit Files" raised. When you click on it, you'll see a table with all available files giving you the opportunity to edit each one or view simple stats like overall downloads, file sizes and mime types.
Now add a BreezingCommerce => Files menu item in the Joomla! menu manager for registered user access and do a test buy in your shop's front end.
You can now check the order just like described in the memberships setup as explained above. Please remember that in order to be able to download purchased files, the order must have been paid and all product order items containing files must be verified.
Additionally, you may extend the expiration date for all files of an order item by clicking on the title of each item and specifying a new expiration date.
Once the purchase has been done and has been successful, log into the front end as the user who actually purchased your product and click on your previously created "Files" menu item. You should see a list with purchased files, ready to download.
Please note that by offering paid file downloads, you should disallow guest checkout in the BreezingCommerce configuration. Future versions of BreezingCommerce, starting with version 1.1, will allow for non-logged in downloads of purchased files.
Limited Address Data & Virtual Products
If a customer's cart only consists of virtual products and "Limited Address Data" has been allowed in BreezingCommerce configuration, the customer may pass the checkout process with a limited amount of data where only the full name, email and residence country are requested.
This option gives you the opportunity to lower the amount of drops in the checkout process significantly as a the customer is able to get through the checkout process more quickly.
If this combination is enabled, no invoice will be generated yet because there is data missing.
To be able to still download an invoice after purchase, BreezingCommerce will display the complete form with the rest of data like address and at the moment an invoice is requested.
Invoices can be added to the site by adding a BreezingCommerce => Invoices menu item from the Joomla! menu manager.