Create a digital product variant

Shopify Partner
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Is there a way to create a variant via api that is a digital product?


As you know a variant is associated to a parent product it seems even if the parent product is already marked as a digital product the variant needs something set or it triggers shipping when the order is placed and it doesn't go through the proper  order path that a digital product does. 


I see no way to set digital product on a variant in shopify admin so im not so sure what can be done.


Also having looked at the api docs I see not way to even set digital product for a variant or for a product for that matter. 


What am I missing? Is this possibly just controlled via inventoryItem requires_shipping option?

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