Interface Updates- Everything in One Place!

  • Jason@DPD
  • November 19, 2009
  • 1 Comment

Several months ago we added the DPD Storefront system- our own twist on multi-item checkout. DPD Storefronts allow any DPD account to have an unlimited number of customized shopping carts, allowing you to use one DPD subscription to sell on many sites all with their own customizations.

However, this new Storefront system was not compatible with the legacy Standalone “Buy Now!” single product purchase buttons. This lead to being two separate product creation flows, two seperate product lists (Storefront and Standalone), and a lot of duplication. We always kinda hated that- it’s pretty confusing to new users. To correct it we’ve released a minor update to DPD that unifies the product lists and product creation process.

When DPD vendors log in to the Dashboard they’ll see a new set of options down the side- one “Create New Product” link and one “View Products” link:

the new, simpler dashboard sidebar
the new, simpler dashboard sidebar

The new Create Product page will now explain the two types of products and ask you which type of product you’d like to create:

creating a new product gives you a choice now
creating a new product gives you a choice now

And the new Product List page will show both your Storefront Products and your Instant Checkout Products:

...and all your products are in one place
...and all your products are in one place

You may have noticed from the screenshots that we’ve changed “Standalone Products” to “Instant Checkout Products” throughout. You see, developers see things differently from most people- we tend to name things by how they function or how they interface with the rest of what we’re doing, not what would make sense to a laymen or non-developer. I’m going to admit that calling instant “buy now!” products “Standalone” was probably one of those bonehead developer moves. Our bad.

Well, on the bright side we corrected it! Now Standalone Products are called Instant Checkout Products, i.e. “No cart- go straight to checkout with one item.” Hopefully this will make more sense to everyone.

DPD is Moving Product Storage to S3

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 30, 2009
  • No Comments

In order to provide expanded product storage space to DPD as well as provide for faster, more reliable downloads for vendors we’re in the process of moving product storage to Amazon S3, a distributed content delivery network.

Amazon “Simple Storage Service” (S3) is a highly scalable, reliable, fast data storage and content delivery network that uses the same infrastructure Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites.

What does this mean for DPD Vendors?

  • More reliability. Using a unqiue caching strategy DPD will maintain and sync local and S3 copies of files to prevent any network or hardware related issues. This will also reduce load on the DPD server, providing better service to DPD users.
  • More download speed. Instead of customers competing for bandwidth on the DPD servers when there is high demand, now every customer will download at the full speed of their internet connection from S3- even when there are hundreds or even thousands of other customers downloading at the same time.
  • DPD will still continue maintain backups of all products. We’ve got dedicated backup servers that maintain copies of all products in our system.
  • There will be no additional cost. S3 product storage and all the benefits that come with it are included on every DPD plan with no additional costs.
  • And most importantly, DPD vendors will not need to do anything differently when creating or selling products. Nothing changes for you except for more reliability and a better experience for your buyers!

We’re in the process of migrating batches of products to the S3 based delivery system by consumer demand and popularity. Over the next couple weeks we’ll continue to migrate all products over in a planned, staged roll-out and everyone will benefit from the enhanced reliability and speed of this new feature.

As always, if anyone has any questions or support issues the DPD developers are available to help- log in to DPD and submit a support ticket for 1-on-1 assistance.

Tutorial: Setting up a Single Product Sales Site with a PayPal Standalone Product

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 16, 2009
  • No Comments

Some vendors prefer have a single product website with a simple “Buy Now!” instant checkout button. DPD allows for the creation of Standalone Products to suit this need. Standalone products are commonly found on “Pinch Pages” and for products that use affiliate systems such as ClickBank.

DPD Standalone Products:

  • Function exactly like PayPal “Buy Now!” buttons for the customer- instant checkout without a cart
  • Automatically deliver the customers product after purchase
  • Allow for integration with PayPal and 2CheckOut processors
  • Allow for integration with ClickBank and PayDotCom affiliate systems
  • Do not have coupon codes or multi-item checkout

For multi-item websites we strongly recommend you create Storefront Products for use with the DPD Storefront multi-item cart checkout system.

Important Note:

DPD Standalone Product buttons completely replace all other checkout buttons on the page. You must not have standard PayPal or ClickBank generated buy buttons on the page. If a customer begins checkout through a non-DPD button DPD will be unable to deliver the product!

Setting up a PayPal Standalone Product with DPD:

1. Log in to DPD

If you do not have a DPD account you need to create one. DPD plans >>

2. From the Dashboard, Go to the Products menu in the top blue bar and select “Products List” under Standalone Products.

Select Standalone products list highlighted with the red arrow.
Select Standalone products list highlighted with the red arrow.

3. On the Standalone Products page, click the “New Standalone Product” button in the top right corner.

4. On the New Standalone Product page, enter your product name and click Next.

Note: The product name will be shown to the customer during checkout. Use the product name you want your customers to see when they buy your product.

Name your new product
Name your new product

5. On the Product Setup page, enter your processor options. When you’re done, click next to proceed to upload.

Payment Processor: Select PayPal

PayPal Email: Your PayPal Business account email address.

Product Price: The amount you want to charge for your product. You can also select your currency of choice.

PayPal Product ID: This is your product’s SKU or item number that you make up. It can be anything you want. This causes a lot of confusion for some vendors for some reason, but its very easy- It’s just a part number that you make up for your product. For my example product “My Sexy Product” I might pick “MSP-001” or whatever.

PayPal Locale: DPD is a globalized service and allows you to localize your store to a specific country. For example, if I am in the US with a US PayPal account, but have a product targeted at the UK market, I can set my PayPal Locale to UK. This will make the PayPal checkout appear to be a UK checkout page. Most sellers will leave this “default” to use their home country.

PayPal product setup example options
PayPal product setup example options

6. On the Product Upload page, click the […] button, select your product file on your computer, and then click the Upload button. Once your upload completes, click Next.

7. On the Product Options page, select your product options and click next to complete product setup and get your button code.

There are only two required fields on the product options page: Vendor Name and Vendor Email. Since DPD does not provide customer support for your product, these fields are required and displayed on the customer’s download page. This is so they can contact you with questions about your product.

All other settings are optional. All settings include a description of what they do with their respective option.

8. Get your button code to insert on your sales page

Text Link: At the top of the page a simple text link is provided for use in emails, on forums and other social media sites, etc.

Buy Button Generator: To generate your button code click on the button design you would like to use. Once you have clicked on a button DPD will automatically generate your button code in the box below the example buttons.

Click on the button you want to use to generate your button code
Click on the button you want to use to generate your button code

Copy and paste this button code to your web page where you want the button to appear. You can change the button image by changing the image “src” URL to your own button graphic (hosted on your own website) if you prefer. Do not change the DPD buy URL in the a tag.

Once you have copied your button code to your own website click Finish.

9. Check your product status to confirm

Return to the Standalone product list by going to the Products menu in the top blue bar and selecting Standalone: Product List. You should see your newly created product in the product table with a green “checkmark” status icon- this means your product is set up and ready for sales and delivery.

Completed product with green "Active" status icon

You’re done! While this appears to be a complicated process it is very straightforward after you create your first product. More products can be created in just a few minutes following the same process.

DPD-Cart Plugin Updated

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 12, 2009
  • No Comments

We’ve updated the DPD-Cart plugin with a couple fixes and tweaks:

  • Full IE6 compatibility
  • Corrected a double-slash “//” in some generated URLs.
  • Corrected an API SSL issue some users were having when their host’s server was missing some root certificates.

This is a recommended update for all DPD-Cart plugin users.

To update simply overwrite the dpd-wpcart plugin folder with the new version in the ZIP file. No configuration or template changes are needed.

Get the updated DPD-Cart v1.1 from the DPD-Cart Plugin Page

Smashing Magazine: 15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 8, 2009
  • No Comments

Smashing Magazine has a great post on common mistakes made in ecommerce design.

Some key mistakes that people who sell downloads in particular might suffer from:

  • Hiding contact information
  • Long and confusing checkout process
  • Requiring an account to order
  • A poor shopping cart design
  • Confusing navigation
  • Not including store and shipping policies

Luckily DPD addresses many of these points- checkout using the DPD storefront system is quick and easy with only 3 pages- cart, payment, and delivery. No account is required to order using the DPD system, and the DPD shopping cart follows Smashing’s recommendation to load an item in the cart right on the product page without taking the customer to another site or page.

In the course of supporting vendors we look at a lot of sales sites. The most common problems we see amongst DPD vendors are lack of contact information and store / shipping policies.

Lack of Contact Information

Just because you don’t need the address and contact information of your customers to “ship” their download doesn’t mean they don’t want to know who it is they’re giving their money to. Making your contact information visible will go a long way to increasing buyer trust. We understand that you might be working out of your home (probably 80% of DPD vendors are home based with no actual store or business address) but that doesn’t mean you have to share your home address and phone number. There are always web based PO Boxes and web based phone services that can be had for as little as $9.99 a month. At the very least you should give an email address or web based contact form.

Store and Shipping Policies

DPD provides for instant delivery to paying customers. This is one of the strongest selling points for download products and one not enough vendors exploit- they buy it now they get it now! This is something that can be made in to a key selling point and benefit of buying from you- not some boring policy left off your site.

Check out the full article at Smashing Magazine and see if any of these points apply to you: Smashing Magazine: 15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design

New DPD-Cart WordPress Plugin

  • Jason@DPD
  • October 8, 2009
  • 1 Comment

We’ve just released the DPD-Cart plugin for WordPress.

The DPD-Cart plugin allows you to easily integrate a DPD Storefront with your WordPress blog. It features a View Cart / Checkout sidebar Widget and easy product insertion in to posts and pages with no copying and pasting of button code.

Get the plugin and more details from the download page: DPD-Cart Plugin

Our friends at Inspired Mag have also created a tutorial with step-by-step instructions and screenshots showing how to get up and running with the DPD-Cart plugin.

Check out: Start Selling Downloads from your WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes

How-To: PDF Buyer Tracking

  • Jason@DPD
  • September 23, 2009
  • 1 Comment

DPD offers a PDF buyer tracking feature that automatically marks PDF products with the buyer Name, Email, and Transaction ID.

This helps to prevent sharing sharing of your file because people have an aversion to mass distribution of their personally identifiable information. Well, everyone except for that LifeLock Guy and it didn’t turn out too well for him.

The best part about PDF Buyer Tracking? It’s turned on with a single checkbox during product setup!

There are only a few conditions to using the PDF Buyer Tracking feature:

  • You must have a DPD Paid account plan- this is a premium feature not available to free accounts!
  • Your product file must be a single PDF upload and not contained in a ZIP, RAR, ISO, or any other archive file.
  • Your PDF must be a Acrobat 5 compatible file.
  • Your PDF must not have an edit password set in the PDF file.
  • Your PDF file size must be less than 30 MB.

For more information on these conditions and the reasons behind them please refer to the DPD Knowledgebase documentation.

Enabling PDF Buyer tracking is ridiculously easy:

For Storefront Products:

  1. Create a new Storefront Product
  2. Check the “Enable PDF Buyer Tracking” checkbox on the first setup page
  3. Upload your product file as normal (be sure its a .pdf file)

For Standalone Products:

  1. Create a new Storefront Product
  2. Upload your product file as normal (be sure its a .pdf file)
  3. Check the “Enable PDF Buyer Tracking” checkbox on the Delivery options page after upload.

Thats it!

To test that it is working properly with your PDF you can send yourself a free delivery of the product- it will have your email address and transaction ID added to the bottom of the PDF.

Note: If the product is free for whatever reason (through a storefront coupon or a “free” standalone product) then only the transaction ID will be printed on the PDF. If you send a free delivery to a specific email address then the email you sent it to and the transaction ID will be supplied. The name is not provided for these types of transactions because we pull the buyer’s real name from their PayPal account as an added security measure, so if there is no checkout we can’t capture a real name.

New DPD Storefront Affiliate System- Affiliate Enable your entire store!

  • Jason@DPD
  • September 22, 2009
  • 1 Comment

Now entire storefronts can be affiliate enabled! Unlike standalone product affiliate programs that can be used for individual “buy now” products, the new DPD Storefront Affiliate System allows for all products sold through an affiliate enabled storefront to be tracked through the DPD affiliate system. No more individual signup links, and no changes to your current DPD “add to cart” or “checkout” button code! The new DPD Storefront Affiliate system can be enabled for any storefront by setting a few simple options for the storefront- affiliate enable your entire website in just minutes!

The storefront affiliate system is a full featured affiliate program manager for your store- Once affiliates sign up to promote your products they are given a special tracking hoplink that credits them with any sales generated by the traffic they refer.

And, because the DPD system allows for multiple storefronts on a single DPD account vendors can now run multiple affiliate enabled websites from one account!

For more information including a complete introduction to the DPD Storefront affiliate program please review the following knowledgebase article: Setting up and Managing a Storefront Affiliate Program

As always, we value your feedback- Suggestions are always welcome! Leave a comment here or send us a support ticket and we’ll respond ASAP.