Digital Downloads App - Mix of Physical and Digital Products

8 0 2

Our products are a mix of physical and digital. We give customers the option to buy the download -or- the download + CD.


The problem I've run into with the Digital Downloads app is that if you set it to be 'automatically fulfilled', you can't purchase a shipping label through Shopify because it automatically sets it as 'fulfilled' instead of 'partially fulfilled' like it should.


If you set it to manual fulfillment, they don't receive their download right away. (Which defeats the purpose of the Digital Download app, in my opinion) 


It's a fantastic app if you just have downloads. But I've run into a ton of issues with it when it comes to having a mix of physical and digital products.


All the posts I've seen recommend going with another download app or an alternative for shipping, but this really isn't an ideal solution. Especially considering the fact that I already have quite a few variants set up using the Digital Downloads app. 


Has anyone found a workaround for this? I know there has to be others out there that have run into this problem. 



Replies 7 (7)
Community Moderator
Community Moderator
3210 432 739

Hey, IndiaB!


Shopify's' Digital Downloads app isn't as robust as it could be as you've experienced. As it stands, the app will only send the digital file once the order is marked as complete which means it would require waiting for the physical file to be shipped before the file is sent off. I know that this isn't the most ideal setup, and from what I can find, there isn't a workaround that I'd be able to suggest other than using a different app. 


What I can do, however, is ensure that your feedback is sent up to the Digitial Downloads team for further review. This way, we can ensure your voice is heard, and help notify our developers of the features they should be working on to help better the app for everyone that uses it. In the meantime, you could consider using SendOwl, or there could be someone in our community that has a different idea that can work for you and your business!




Trevor | Community Moderator @ Shopify 
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8 0 2
Hi Peter!

I really appreciate it. Right now, all of our products are set up with the Digital Downloads app, so we’re trying to figure out some kind of workaround. If not, we may consider the SendOwl app.

New Member
1 0 0

Hi IndiaB

Did you find a solution to this? It would be interesting to hear, as I am looking at the same problem.



8 0 2

@Tubelubs I haven't found a solution for this as of yet. I've reached out to Shopify multiple times with no luck. I've been told that they've added it as a 'requested feature update' or something like that. I've been keeping an eye on the this page  to see the latest updates... Hopefully they'll update it soon. It's less of a feature request/update and more like a bug fix, in my opinion. 



41 1 75

The good news @IndiaB is that there are solutions, which do allow you to keep using the digital downloads app and do not require you to use a different shipping app.  Kindly, if this helps, I do ask please like this comment and mark it s an accepted solution!


So, there are various things you can do. But I think the easiest is what we have implemented on our store.  We use digital downloads.  And we keep the downloads as separate variants, rather than mixing them in the downloads app. For example, we sell books and eBooks, as well as CDs and MP3 Downloads. Rather than adding the attachment to the physical product, we have the digital attachment as a separate product (purchasable on its own, or together).


To encourage the purchase of both, we use two methods.  One is bundling, usually with a discount.  On the product page, we make bundles display below our add to cart button.  If they add that bundle, they will get all products in the bundle added as separate products in the cart with a discount applied.  A bundle can be the eBook and the physical book.   And the other way, which we do more often, is we have an upsale popup once they click add to cart on our books that have eBooks.  The upsale offers the eBook for only $1 with the purchase of the physical book.


When a customer adds both variants to their cart, either by bundle or upsale, it shows up as seprate line items in shopify.  The digital variant is delivered automatically and fulfilled, whereas the physical item remains unfulfilled until you fulfilled it.  The order successfully shows up as partially fulfilled until the item is shipped.


So, this process works and solves your problem.  The only thing to answer then is how you want to accomplish this.  You can code it into your store or pay someone to code it.  Or you can use an app which bundles and/or upsells, which has great use for sales and whatnot beyond just this use case.


Personally, we use an app called Selly United to accomplish our bundles and upsells, as well as to run sales, offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount (and notifying customers of their progress, offering bulk and wholesale discounts, and several other features.  I do highly recommend this app for the value it adds versus the cost (and no, I do not in any way receive compensation for saying this; we're just one of their happy customers).


I hope this was helpful.  If you want to view our store to see some of these things in action, here is a good place to do so:  (this product uses the upsell; click add to cart to see it in action)

New Member
2 0 0

i also experience similar problem. I just need an option for user to select physical or digital, and to proceed checkout.

3 0 3

Just experienced same issue. We sell craft kits that include a pdf pattern. Just encountered our first angry customer who never received the physical part due to the fact that the order had been marked as fulfilled. From what I just saw with the Shopify Unite event, Shopify considers their main customers to be App Developers. Therefore, I do not expect them to solve this issue internally despite that they are providing this app.