Creating Product Variants for Digital Downloads in Shopify

Creating Product Variants for Digital Downloads in Shopify

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Setting up a Shopify Store
    • Installing the Downloadable Digital Assets App
    • Creating a New Product
  3. Setting Up Variants for Digital Files
    • Adding Variants
    • Specifying Type and Options
    • Customizing Variant Settings
  4. Uploading Assets
    • Uploading Files
    • Adding URL Assets
    • Attaching Assets to Products
  5. Configuring Delivery Methods
    • Email Delivery
    • Disabling Email Notifications
    • Displaying Download Links on Checkout Page
    • Enabling Download Links in Customer Accounts
  6. Conclusion


In the world of e-commerce, selling digital files has become a popular business model. Whether it's selling podcasts, e-books, or films, setting up variants for your products is essential to offer options to your customers. This article will guide you through the process of setting up variants for digital files on a Shopify store. By following these steps, you'll be able to provide different file types and options to your customers, ensuring a seamless purchasing experience.

Setting up a Shopify Store

Before diving into setting up variants, it's crucial to have a Shopify store in place. If you don't have one yet, create a Shopify store and ensure it is up and running. Once your store is ready, you can proceed with the following steps.

Installing the Downloadable Digital Assets App

To enable the functionality required for selling digital files with variants, you'll need to install a Shopify app called "Downloadable Digital Assets." This app allows you to manage and deliver digital files to your customers seamlessly. Head to the Shopify App Store, search for the "Downloadable Digital Assets" app, and install it. The app offers a free version, which you can use initially, or you can upgrade to higher versions for more advanced features.

Creating a New Product

To start setting up variants, navigate to your Shopify dashboard and go to the "Products" page. Click on "Add Product" to create a new product. Give it a suitable name that represents the digital file you're selling. For example, if you're selling a film, name it accordingly. You can also add an image to make the product visually appealing. As digital products do not have physical stock, uncheck the quantity tracking option. Since this is a digital product, make sure to tick the "Digital Product" option instead of the "Physical Product" option.

Setting Up Variants for Digital Files

The next step is to add variants to your product. Variants allow you to offer different options or file types to your customers. In the variants section, click on "Options" and specify the type of option you want to provide. For example, if you're selling a film, you can use "File Type" as the option. In this case, you can choose options such as MP4 or streaming. After adding the options, click "Done" to create the variants.

Adding Variants

Scroll down on the product page, and you'll see the variants section. Here, you can see the variants that have been created, such as MP4 and streaming options in the film example. Click on "Save" to finalize the creation of the variants.

Customizing Variant Settings

For each variant, you can further customize settings like SKU, price, and images. These settings allow you to differentiate between the variants and provide specific details for each option. Take some time to fill out these settings to ensure a comprehensive product listing for your customers.

Uploading Assets

Now that you have set up the variants, it's time to upload the digital assets associated with each variant. The assets can be the actual files or URLs leading to the files hosted elsewhere, like Google Drive or Dropbox. The downloadable links or files will be delivered to the customers upon purchase.

Uploading Files

Go to the Downloadable Digital Assets app and navigate to the assets page. Here, you can upload the digital files directly or add URL assets. If you choose to upload files, simply select the files from your computer and upload them. This process ensures that the files are ready to be attached to the corresponding variants.

Adding URL Assets

If you prefer adding URL assets, click on the "Add URL" button. This method allows you to provide links hosted on platforms like YouTube. For example, if you want to include a streaming option for your film, you can add a YouTube link as the URL asset. Fill in the required information, including the URL, and save the asset.

Attaching Assets to Products

To attach the assets to the products, go back to the products page in the Downloadable Digital Assets app. You'll notice that all your products and variants from the Shopify store are automatically synced here. You can attach the corresponding assets to each variant by selecting the variant and choosing the appropriate asset from the available options.

Configuring Delivery Methods

Once the assets are attached to the variants, it's important to configure the delivery methods to ensure a smooth customer experience.

Email Delivery

By default, the app sends download links or files to the customers via email. This allows customers to access their purchases conveniently. However, if you want to disable email notifications, you can do so in the additional settings of the app.

Displaying Download Links on Checkout Page

To provide immediate access to the download links, you can enable the option to display the links on the checkout page. This way, customers can access their purchased files right after completing the checkout process.

Enabling Download Links in Customer Accounts

Another option is to enable the display of download links in customer accounts. This allows customers to revisit their download links whenever they log into their accounts. Please note that these features may vary based on the plan you choose, with some options only available in paid plans.


Setting up variants for digital files on Shopify is a straightforward process with the help of the Downloadable Digital Assets app. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can offer different file types and options to your customers, providing them with a personalized and convenient shopping experience. Remember to attach the assets to the variants and configure the delivery methods to ensure a seamless buying process.

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