Introducing the New DPD Cart and Checkout System

  • Jason@DPD
  • March 15, 2012
  • 8 Comments

This is going to be a long post, but we’ve never released an update like this before!

Digital Product Delivery was started as a simple instant checkout and delivery system for single, standalone products. As we grew, customers requested features and we bolted them on as well as we could, but after a couple years we were in a corner. We had a place where we wanted DPD to be, but we couldn’t get there with our current cart.

About 8 months ago we sat down and looked at what we needed to do to make Digital Product Delivery the best platform selling and delivering downloads, keycodes, and tangible goods. There were no sacred cows- we decided that whatever we had to do we were going to do it, even if we had to rewrite the whole whole darn thing.

Well, we did.

We’re pleased to announce the all new DPD cart, checkout, and delivery system. The new cart has been rewritten from the ground up to support the advanced features that our vendors have been clamoring for. Written with expansion and improvements in mind, we designed it so future features could be added rapidly through an integration system.

New Cart Features:

Redesigned, Modern Cart and Checkout

That's Sexy!
The New DPD Cart
The new DPD cart and checkout has been designed with two goals in mind:

1. To improve conversions for DPD vendors
2. To be easy to customize and integrate with your website

The default look of the new DPD cart and checkout is modern, clean, and designed to blend well with today’s websites. Drawing from case studies and industry reports, we’ve designed the new cart to improve conversions and provide a smooth, secure checkout flow.

Of course, we know you want to customize it and make it your own, so we made it easier than ever to completely integrate the DPD cart with your own website. Vendors can easily add text, turn fields on and off, change colors, or use their own logo without ever touching a bit of code. If you’re a designer or handy around the HTML, you can now edit one layout file and wrap the entire cart, checkout, and delivery process in your own site’s design. We provide a visual editor too, so even if you don’t know the first thing about HTML you can still tweak the look to your heart’s content.

See a Live Demo

Want to see an example of the new checkout in action? You can view a lightly customized version using PayPal at the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s music store.

New Payment Processors

Authorize.net is the most popular gateway in the US. With an Authorize.net gateway account money is settled to your own merchant account daily, making it a great choice for established businesses or those who need immediate access to their funds.

Learn more about Setting up Authorize.net with DPD or sign up for an Authorize.net account.

Stripe is a full-stack credit card payments processor for US merchants. You don’t need a merchant account or gateway. Stripe handles everything, including storing cards, subscriptions, and direct payouts to your bank account.

Stripe integration with DPD is so easy a caveman can do it! Best of all, Stripe is reasonably priced at 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge. No setup fees, no monthly fees, no card storage fees, and no hidden costs. To get started head over to Stripe.com and create an account

Website Payments Pro is PayPal’s credit card processing product. Website Payments Pro is a paid add-on to your PayPal account. With competitive rates, it’s a good choice for those who want to offer credit card payment in addition to PayPal checkout.

View our information on Setting Up Website Payments Pro or head over to PayPal to learn more about signing up for Website Payments Pro.

Powerful Shipping and Tax Calculation right in the DPD Cart

One of our number one complaints was how poorly various processors handled shipping and tax. And, with the new in-cart credit card processors above we needed a way for vendors to charge shipping and tax without ever leaving the DPD cart. With this in mind we’ve added table based shipping and tax calculations.

Sales tax? VAT? GST/PST? No problem. DPD can now handle all those by country, state/region, or zip code. Need to only charge tax on tangible goods but not downloads? Yep, you can do that too. We even do compound taxes!

Sell physical products and need to create complicated shipping rules? DPD allows you to create rules based on location, weight, quantity, number of items, order total, or any combination of them all. Want to give free shipping, but only to customers in the UK who spend $100 and order 3 items? You can do that!

Learn more in our Knowledgebase:

Setting up Table Rate Shipping Options

Setting up Tax Collection Rules

We’ll be adding more shipping options, including automatic rate quotes from major carriers like UPS, Fedex, USPS, and Royal Mail, soon!

Your Own Subdomain at dpdcart.com

Every new cart will have it’s own unique URL at yourstore.dpdcart.com. This branding in the URL helps customers feel secure and adds legitimacy to your store. We have some exciting future features coming up that will use this, so stay tuned!

Access to Future Features

The new cart is the future of DPD. We’ll still continue to support the old cart for some time, but all new feature development will be on the new cart and checkout system. This includes new discount and cross-sale features, new processors, new shipping tools, and more!

Ok, How Do I Get It?

If your cart is eligible for upgrade to the new cart and checkout you’ll see a Upgrade Cart! link in the left menu under store setup. This will guide you through the 1-step upgrade process where you’ll pick your custom sub-domain. It’s easy! But first…

There are some things you need to know:

The upgrade process is one way- you can’t go back to the old cart once you upgrade. However, all your old links on your website will continue to work- we’ll make them point to the new cart automatically!

Any existing customizations other than tracker HTML and store image will be lost. It’s all new!

The v2 cart only supports PayPal, AlertPay, and the new merchant account processors.

Google Checkout and PayDotCom are not supported by the v2 cart. 99.9% of our vendors report to us that they use these processors because “They’re not PayPal.” They account for less than 3% of transactions through the whole of DPD, and their support is abysmal if you need help. We’re providing much better options for our vendors with the new processors above, and more are on the way. It is undecided at this time if support for these processors will ever be added (but probably not).

The Future…

Soon we’ll make the new cart default for all new stores and accounts. We’ve got a lot planned for the future!

  • More payment processors, including UK and international processors like SagePay.
  • More shipping integrations like UPS, Fedex, USPS, Royal Mail, and anyone else we can find a rate API for.
  • Up-sales, cross-sales, automatic discounts, and other advanced in-cart sales tools.
  • Subscriptions! More on this on later, but it’s going to be awesome.
  • Mobile Checkout, Mobile Vendor Access, and other mobile device features.
  • Maybe even Streaming video delivery and more secure delivery options!

Jim Gaffigan follows Louis CK in Self-Distributing His Comedy Special

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 15, 2012
  • No Comments

On December 10th, 2011, Louis CK, a popular and well known stand-up comedian, producer, and TV star (of his own show, Louie) offered up his Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater stand-up performance on his website for viewing and download, with no DRM, for $5 via PayPal.

On December 13th, he issued a statement on his website that had some amazing sales numbers:

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000.

On December 21st, he issued another statement with an unbelievable screenshot and earnings numbers:

So it’s been about 12 days since the thing started and yesterday we hit the crazy number. One million dollars. That’s a lot of money. Really too much money. I’ve never had a million dollars all of a sudden.

By anyone’s measure his self-distributed, download and streaming sale of Live at the Beacon Theater was a resounding success. He made so much money (and is such an awesome and socially responsible guy) that he gave $250K to his staff as bonuses and $280K to various charities, according to his statement. I bought it, and it was well worth the $5 price knowing that the proceeds from the sale went direct to the artist.

Jim Gaffigan is going to try the same thing

Today in a statement on his website, comedian Jim Gaffigan has announced that, inspired by Louis CK, he will debut his new stand-up special Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe on his website at jimgaffigan.com for $5.

Gaffigan also states that he will be donating $1 for every $5 purchase to charity.

He lists his reasons:

I know I am taking a risk here. People I respect have advised me to take the safer, more traditional route with the premiere of the special. However, I am incredibly motivated by the courage of Louie to offer his fans direct access for a low price. Buyers of my special can be assured that their money will go directly to feeding and raising my four children instead of a giant corporation. I will self-produce a high quality special with all new material that will be incredibly easy to download and then you will own it. Forever. For $5. Roughly the price of five packs of Ramen Noodles. And believe me my special is going to be much better than five packs of disgusting Ramen Noodles. Gross.

At DPD we think this is an exciting trend- With “experiments” like Louis CK’s bringing in over a million dollars more and more comedians and other big name artists will look at self-distribution online. We think this will get the public used to buying digital content direct from the artists website. That will benefit every self-distributed vendor of download content as the public becomes more comfortable with buying their content from the creator and not a big media conglomerate or central media store like iTunes or Amazon.

Are these results typical? No, these are famous comedians with thousands and thousands of fans. The typical DPD vendor might have hundreds of purchases a month, but nowhere near $1M in revenue. That’s not the point though- the point is that these famous comedians are going against the established distribution model, selling their own content (just like every DPD vendor) and winning. This benefits everyone!

PS- Now if we could only get them to use DPD instead of paying $35,000 for a website that does what DPD does for tens of thousands less….

Feb 15 2012 Update: PDF Stamping Enhancements!

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 15, 2012
  • No Comments

We’ve just released another update (two days in a row!) that adds some much requested options to the extremely popular PDF Stamping / Buyer Tracking feature.

Vendors can now:

  • Enable or Disable Stamping / Buyer Tracking on PDF products
  • Customize the stamp text using available merge vars outlined in our KB article
  • Set the Tracking Page Limit (for if you only want to stamp the title pages, etc.)
  • Set the Font Color to make the text stand out or blend in
  • Set the Font Size – from 6pt all the way up to 20pt!
  • Set the X and Y position of the stamp to put it right where you want it.

On Y and Y Positions

The X and Y positions are specified in points. There are 72 points in an inch.

The new X and Y positions can be tricky- every PDF has an “origin” that the X and Y coordinates offset from. For most Portrait 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages the origin is in the bottom left corner (and the default stamp is x20, y10 putting it just up and over so it appears in the bottom left corner) but for other page sizes, landscape layout, and non-default page sizes it could be in the bottom right.

To help you figure it out and get it just right we’ve also added a preview link where you can open your PDF and see the stamp exactly where it will appear when buyers purchase it. You might have to fiddle with it for a bit to get it right, but the preview means you can rapidly check where it’s printing and adjust in no time.

Feb 14, 2012 Update: Exclude Products from Coupons, Added Product Keys to Purchase Email, Bug Fixes and Tweaks

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 14, 2012
  • No Comments

Today we published a minor update that includes a number of customer requested features and a few bug fixes and tweaks.

Mark Products as Coupon Eligible

DPD vendors can now mark individual products as coupon eligible when editing a product. This is a simple on/off checkbox setting that when unchecked will exclude the product from all coupon calculations, both fixed and percentage based. This is useful for when you have a new product that you don’t want to allow coupons on, but want coupons to be valid for your older stock, etc.

Added {product_keys} Merge Var to Email Templates

Vendors can now print the product keys in a purchase directly to the Purchase Ready email. The {product_keys} merge var will print all the product keys in an order, one per line, in a productname: key format like so:


Product Name: Key
Product Name: Key
Product Name: Key
[...]

The {product_keys} merge var has been added to the default email template. If you have customized your email template you’ll need to manually add it where you would like it to appear.

Customer List Now Shows Customer Counts

We’re not really sure why we didn’t have this in there sooner, but a vendor pointed out to us that there was no way to get a customer count for people who have purchased from a store. We’ve added a count to the customer list, based on the filter results, just like the purchase list works.

Other Bug Fixes and Tweaks

  • Reports page now includes coupons in calculations
  • A broken link to a KB articles was fixed
  • Fixed a redirect issue with out support desk
  • Added ability to search purchases by coupon
  • Fixed a bug with Aquatic Prime licenses
  • Fixed a bug where customers who bought from more than one store on a vendor’s account didn’t show up for both stores
  • Fixed a bug that created a 404 error when editing email templates
  • CSS fixes and tweaks

Jan 18, 2012 Update: New Feature! Send Updated Downloads to Buyers!

  • Jason@DPD
  • January 18, 2012
  • 2 Comments

DPD vendors now have the ability, with one click, to update all previous buyers of a download product with the currently uploaded file. This feature is included with all plans $10/mo or more at no additional cost.

On the product detail page (available for each product on the Products list in DPD) you now have a button at the top to “Send Product Update.” This button will open a form that looks strangely similar to our “Send Customer Newsletter” feature but has one key difference- When this email is sent to your buyers it will also include a new, reactivated purchase link to the customer so they can download the currently uploaded version of your product file.

This feature works for two types of products: Download and Bundle / Combo products that contain a download product.

Download Products:

Sending an updated download to your customers is very straightforward- Go to the product’s detail page, click the Send Product Update button, optionally select a purchase date range you want to update (for example, if you only want to update the people that bought since the Jan 1st, 2012), edit your update email message where you can include what is new in this version, a thank you message, etc., and send!

All your customers who purchased that product will have their purchases reactivated, an email sent to them with the new purchase link and your message, and will be able to download the currently uploaded product file.

Bundled / Combo Products:

You send a bundled product update the same way as a download, but how DPD handles them is a bit different. For bundles that contain a download, DPD will re-evaluate every purchase and add (or remove) the current set of items in the combo before reactivating the download and sending the link / email.

This means-

If you just update the currently attached products in the bundle, the customer will get the new versions of the files in the attached products.

If you add an item to the bundle (such as a new template, supplemental PDF, etc.) the customer will have the new items you added to the bundle available on their download page when you send the product update.

If you remove an item from the bundle (for instance, outdated instructions or something you combined with another product in the combo) the item will be removed and not available to the customer when you send a product update.

Lets take a moment to talk about the implications of this feature.

Now, when you sell a product you can include free updates for a period of time (or forever) with the purchase. All you have to do when you update is upload the new file for your product to DPD, send the product update, and you’re done! DPD will automatically handle the download reactivation and sending of the emails. Easy!

Lets say you sell a product that has additional items you regularly add to enhance or expand the product. For example, a website script. You might make more themes for this script available on a regular basis and need to distribute them to your paying customers securely. If you create your product as a bundle with the main script + any additional themes, you can easily add a new theme at any time to the bundle, send a product update, and DPD will re-evaluate all previous purchases, find any parts that were added after the customer bought your bundle, add them, and send the product update!

In this way products and supplemental files can be updated with one click, delivering more value and content to your buyers.

We’re really excited about this feature and welcome any feedback you may have on it- specifically, we’re looking for how we can make it fit how you do business and make it a more valuable feature for everyone. Email options? More filters to narrow the customer group that gets updates? Let us know!

Other fixes and changes in this update:

– Changed Profile to Account in the top menu to more accurately describe the items functions
– Fixed an issue with tax and coupons that resulted in a PayPal bug on checkout
– A few typo fixes
– Changed the from: address in newsletter (and the new product update feature above) to come from Store Name
– Improvements to purchase log to store information about product updates and combo re-evaluations
– Tweaked some table alignment / visual elements in the admin

Oct 27, 2011 Update: Email Customers and Delete Transactions

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 27, 2011
  • 2 Comments

We’ve published an update that brings a couple requested features to DPD- The ability to email customers directly from DPD and the ability to delete transactions.

Email Customers Editor

Email Customers from DPD

We’ve built in a system where you can now email your customers directly from DPD. This is in addition to any 3rd party mailing list integration you may have set up and is useful for sharing product update, upgrade, or support information with your buyers.

You can currently filter the customer group you can send to by product purchased and/or date range of purchase. There is a rich HTML editor with available merge vars like “customer name” to customize the email to each recipient.

We’re looking for feedback on this new feature, so if you like it or have ideas on how to make it better please drop us a line and tell us what you think!

Delete Transactions

Delete Transactions

We’ve been asked recently how to delete transactions. You can now do so by clicking the delete button on the transaction detail page. This will remove the transaction from your sales statistics and product sales exports, as well as remove it from your purchase list in DPD.

Deleted transactions will have their downloads disabled immediately, so care should be taken when deleting active transactions!

Scheduled Server Upgrade Notice

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 10, 2011
  • 1 Comment

It’s that time again!

This Thursday, October 13 at around 9PM Eastern (UTC -5) we’ll be migrating DPD to new production web and database servers.

Periodically we upgrade the server hardware that the DPD service runs on to provide better capabilities to our users and increase capacity. This upgrade is also in direct response to the data center related network issues we experienced one day last month- we’re working to make sure something like that never interrupts service for our vendors again!

What this means for you:

Well, first of all once the upgrade is complete your customers will experience even faster, more reliable downloads than ever before. However, there are going to be some limited DPD services during the move as well as a short period of downtime while everything is redirected to the new location.

We Expect:

Around 10-15 minutes of downtime where all DPD services, including buy buttons and product delivery, will be unavailable.

We’re sorry about the downtime, but it’s required to migrate the DPD product and purchase database without transactions getting lost in between.

Followed by 5 minutes to 4 hours that you will not be able to create new products, but purchases and downloads will work.

During this time DPD will work for your customers, but you will not be able to create new products. Once the database is migrated we will disable creating new products on the old servers- once your computer’s DNS records update to point to the new server you’ll be able to create products again and DPD will be back to normal. This time frame is wholly dependent on your ISP’s DNS update policies and we expect the majority of our vendors to fall in the 5-60 minutes area before full services are restored.

So to recap- We’re upgrading! We’ll have a few minutes of downtime on Thursday night, followed by a couple hours weirdness on the admin side of DPD, but customer’s will be able to buy and download products. Then, everything will be more awesome! That is when the DPD guy’s will probably start drinking beer to celebrate.

And as always, thanks for using DPD!

Aug 18 Update: Campaign Monitor Integration

  • Jacob@DPD
  • August 18, 2011
  • No Comments

Today we’re happy to announce the release of the Campaign Monitor integration for DPD.

Integrating DPD with Campaign Monitor

Integration takes a few steps but it’s all straightforward. Campaign Monitor requires that you collect your API key in order to integrate with DPD.

Your Campaign Monitor API key

You can find your API key by logging into your Campaign Monitor account and clicking on the Account Settings link in the top left of your screen. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to click the Generate your API key link on the right side of the page. After that, click the big Generate my API key button.

Enter your API key and click on next step. Choose the list you wish to use and click on save.

That’s it! Now all sales for the selected store will pass their customer information to your Campaign Monitor list.

We’re still working down the list of requested integrations. If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to send us a support ticket or comment on this post and we’ll do our best to get you squared away.

Also In This Update

  • Fixed the pulldown builder to work with the lightbox cart. Existing pulldowns will need to be recreated to enable the lightbox.
  • Fixed the beta cart’s continue shopping button not working correctly in some cases.

Aug 8, 2011 Update: iContact Integration

  • Jason@DPD
  • August 8, 2011
  • 1 Comment

Today we’re happy to announce the release of the iContact integration for DPD.

iContact provides a robust array of tools to create, send and track your email marketing campaigns. We’re fans of iContact- from our testing they were easy to use and integrate with DPD. They also have a 30 day free trial.

Integrating DPD with iContact

Integration takes a few steps due to iContact’s security, but its all straightforward. iContact requires that you authorize DPD to add subscribers to your account and create a new username and password to use with the API.

Please do the following to create your password:

  1. Visit http://app.icontact.com/icp/core/externallogin
  2. Enter your iContact username and password to log in to iContact.
  3. Enter the following for the API-AppId:
  4. [box type=”info”]drXC3zFlGQb17EebiqLSnDNNq2VZxq0A[/box]

  5. Enter a password. Note: For security reasons, we recommend that this password be different than your iContact password.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Log in to DPD and visit the integrations page in the left menu
  8. Click the Add button to activate the iContact integration and enter your username and password created step 4 above.
  9. Click save

That’s it! Now all sales for the selected store will pass their customer information to your iContact list.

We’ve got a couple more integrations we’re working on as we move down our list of requests. If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to send us a support ticket or comment on this post and we’ll do our best to get you squared away.

August 4th Update: New Imnica Mail Integration

  • Jacob@DPD
  • August 4, 2011
  • 1 Comment

We’ve added Imnica Mail to our growing list of supported integrations. This is hot on the heels of [intlink id=”1133″ type=”post”]GetResponse yesterday[/intlink]. Click on Integrations in the left nav menu to get started.

There is one gotcha with Imnica: It’s vitally important that you have completed the welcome wizard and your list is set up correctly, otherwise the Imnica API will not be able to send the opt-in emails for the emails that DPD sends to your list.

Also in This Update

Added additional validation to the MailChimp and GetResponse API keys.

Integrations no longer use autocomplete in the configuration forms.