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How to Create & Sell Digital Downloads Product on BigCommerce

Last updated: July 01, 2024
This article has been written and researched by our expert Avada through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology





In the present age, thanks to the development of technology, not only physical products are being sold on the Internet but also downloadable ones. This has given many online store owners the opportunity to expand their brand and earn higher profits.

This is also the main topic of today’s article. It revolves around the definition of this type of product, advantages, what you should sell, and most importantly, highlight the guideline of How to Create and Sell BigCommerce digital products. If you are interested, don’t miss out on them!

What are BigCommerce digital products?

BigCommerce digital products

BigCommerce digital products (or downloadable products) are anything you offer online that does not have a physical form or substance. More specifically, you can not hold them in your hand, wear them like clothes; the only way to make use of it is to download them into your devices through the Internet, such as an ebook, a website theme, or a software program.

Actually, you are still able to transform a digital product into a tangible one. An example of this is a lot of individuals who purchased electronic books and printed them out into papers later on. However, based on the original format of these items, they are still categorized as digital products after all.

Why should you sell digital products instead of physical ones?

Perhaps you will be wondering why you would go to the trouble of manufacturing your own physical products rather than offering digital goods. In this way, you are likely to manage the quality as well as the quantity of them before selling them to your customers.

On the other hand, a large number of sellers, especially entrepreneurs, in the present age prefer to earning money from digital products for the following reasons:

  • No inventory: if physical products need a safe space to store them and it might be costly sometimes, you do not have to look for a storage place for your BigCommerce digital products
  • No waiting for delivery: customers have to spend a certain amount of time waiting for their items to be shipped to their address, worrying whether they will be damaged or not. With digital products, they will receive a link to download them right after the order is successfully processed.
  • Money-saving: there is no need to pay extra costs for materials or assembly associated with downloadable goods.

We are trying to deliver here that besides mentioned advantages of BigCommerce digital products, you must keep in mind other essential elements to be successful in the eCommerce industry. With the money saved for the inventory and shipping matters, online merchants can develop a well-planned marketing strategy to improve the brand identity.

5 types of digital products to sell on BigCommerce

Types of downloadable goods

There is a wide range of BigCommerce digital products you can sell, but only a few of them can gain your store an unexpected profit. Here are the top 5 best types of digital items to offer on this eCommerce platform:

  • Educational products: e-books, online courses, quizzes, knowledge checks - these are all helpful items for both teachers and students. A large portion of the world’s population is doing these jobs, and they have a high demand for this category of products. Plus, you can design multiple marketing strategies for them like adding presentations, recording videos or quizzes, and so on.
  • Artistic products: selling ringtones, beats, music or phone wallpapers, stock images are other ways for you to make money from. It’s great because you can try out various forms and formats to suit your audience’s taste without a lot of risks. Furthermore, your talents can also be discovered if you are a real musician or artist.
  • Membership: this is when you sell BigCommerce digital products in bulk and charge a subscription fee for the privilege of using them on an ongoing basis. It is best for those that aim to continually add new, high-quality material to their library and engage a diverse group of dedicated users.
  • Services: consultation, work out, personalized report, designing logos - these are all considered as delivering services to your customers as it depends on the working horse of an individual. Many people have the tendency to seek workers online rather than going to an actual company so take good advantage of this.
  • Licensed products: a plethora of eCommerce websites are applying this technique in order to attract customers. You may sell music, beats, sound effects, images but with a watermark printed on them. For this reason, users must pay money to legally make use of your products.

How to create BigCommerce digital products?

Here comes the main section of the article: How to create BigCommerce digital products. We will divide the tutorial into small, simple steps so that you can easily understand and catch up with:

Step 1: Things you need to know about downloadable items

Before uploading and selling any BigCommerce digital products to your customers, there are several things you need to know about this type of product:

  • You can attach as many files as you like - no limitation
  • Uploading the file to BigCommerce depends on you
  • You can both use WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) or the BigCommerce Control Panel to upload the product files
  • Despite the methods, the maximum file size allowed is 512 MB
  • CSV import may also be used to distribute downloadable items.

Step 2: Customizing Product Type

If you have fulfilled all the requirements above, it’s time to get started!

First of all, at your BigCommerce Dashboard, look for “Products” on the left side of the screen:

BigCommerce Products page

Then choose “Add”, BigCommerce will ask you to fill in the basic information of this new product, such as Name, Price, Product Type, etc:

Adding product page

For the Product Type, there are two alternatives for users to choose from: Physical Product and Digital Product. Click on the second one:

Select type of product

Once you have selected this type, a “Files” section under the “Description” part for uploading the files.

Besides, these fields for physical products will disappear:

  • Weight
  • Width, Height, and Depth
  • Shipping
  • Inventory
  • Pre-order

Step 3: Attaching your file (if needed)

As we have discussed, this is an optional step, so in case you are using a third-party service for selling BigCommerce digital products, please skip this step!

Scroll down there will be a “File” tab with a button saying “Upload file” on the left side:

Uploading your product file

Click on it, and a pop-up site will appear on your screen like this:

Drag your file and fill in further information

  • Description: this is how you describe the product, and it will be printed on the invoice and your consumers’ account when they download
  • File to Upload: choose the location of the file that you want to upload - from your device or directly from the current server
  • Maximum Downloads: limit the number of times your customers can download the file after purchasing.
  • Disable Downloads after: allows you to specify how long users may still use the file (days/weeks/months or even years)

You may have to use the WebDAV in order to upload an existing file from the server to the product_downloads/import folder. All the files are placed under the “Please choose a file” dropdown.

Step 4: Save your changes

Once you are finished, don’t forget to “Save” your work, or you will have to start over again.

How do BigCommerce downloadable orders work?

Some people might still wonder, there will be no shipping process so how will these BigCommerce digital products orders be processed? Here is the answer:

Different from the basic physical products, your clients will gain access to the item and start downloading them right after the transaction steps are completed. This link might appear directly on the Checkout page or through an email. All of these orders will be marked as “Completed” on your BigCommerce control panel.

Another scenario might happen when your customers purchase both physical and BigCommerce digital products simultaneously. To get the download link, store owners have to manually adjust the order status into “Completed” before the physical goods have been processed.

A Refunded or Cancelled order will prevent a download link from being sent to the customers. A notification will appear on the storefront saying, “Something Went Wrong…You have requested an invalid product download. Please try again.”


That is all you need to know about How to create and sell BigCommerce digital products. We hope that this article will successfully help you with the whole setup thing and choose the type of downloadable product to provide on your website.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.

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