The blog of digitaldeliveryapp.com

 

Digital Delivery App is rebranding!

When George first started Digital Delivery App back in 2010 he never envisaged how quickly it would have grown, how far it would have come and how much it would have changed from his initial thoughts. In the early days it was just him on the project and at that point working part time. As the revenue grew he was able to jump to full-time and then start hiring, ultimately creating the team that runs the company today. Throughout this time everyone involved has worked really hard to keep the core values on which the company was founded - high reliability, ease of use, stylish design and fanatical support. If the support tickets we receive are anything to go by we think we're doing quite well at this. But we're always looking to improve and there's something that's been bugging George from day 1.

The name. Digital Delivery App says exactly what it does but we felt there were several issues with it long term: a) an app has become synonymous with something you install on a mobile device making the last part of the brand fairly confusing b) a lot of our competitors had similar sounding names and we wanted to stand out (we are, we feel, quite different from them) and c) it's quite long and doesn't have a nice sound to it which makes it less strong as a brand. In fact the name originated from the phrase George used when developing the first version: "the digital delivery app". It seemed good enough to launch with and see if there was sufficient demand for the service so that's exactly what happened. But it was never meant to be a long term solution and as time went on it was revisited several times although a new name could could never be settled on.

At the start of this year we knew we had to rebrand now or forget it before we got too big. So we hired a branding expert, found a great new designer for the job, fed them some tasty cookies and waited to see what happened. Ok we didn't literally just wait, there has been a lot of work between all the parties since the start of the year, but cookie pile now exhausted we're about ready to make the switch. Before I proceed any further I should make it clear that this is just a rebrand: it's the same team, same product and same pricing as before. Nothing else has changed. You might remember we have invested heavily in the last 6 months so our service can grow for the future with ease. There was a big software upgrade at the end of 2012 and a whole new load of server hardware bought in throughout April. This has made a fast service even more snappy and left us in a great position to scale. We see this new brand as the final part of this long term strategy to enable us to go grow faster....

Instant Sales Notifications

We published an update today that consolidates, and additionally adds functionality, to the way email notifications work. Let's take a look at how things used to work and how this change effects things:

Buyer Emails

Each time one of your buyers orders a product/package/subscription Digital Delivery App sends an order confirmation email with the download link, the contents of which are customisable. Merchants with the facility to send this themselves, or using an integration where this happens automatically such as with Shopify, can contact support to have these emails turned off. Please include an example email so we can test your mechanism works before disabling the Digital Delivery App emails.

Each time the buyer makes a payment Digital Delivery App also sends a payment receipt if it is the instigator of the payment - so this email is not currently sent for Shopify or Clickbank orders. For product/package orders the buyer will therefore receive a download order email and a payment receipt. For subscriptions orders the buyer will receive one download order email, and a payment receipt each time they pay. If we send the order receipt we'll include your company details if you have entered them in the Account tab and then Company in the sidebar. This will meet the requirements for a sales receipt in most countries but in some exceptions it may not. In these cases if a buyer contacts you to ask for an invoice you may have to provide this yourself (unfortunately it's pretty impossible for us to provide a receipt that meets the regulations of every country in the world).

Merchant Emails

Historically merchants only received a weekly email summary and a monthly accounting report (if they switched it on). As of today it's also possible to receive an email each time a payment is made by a buyer, which we've called Instant Payment Notifications. This has been much requested and although we were initially a little hesitant (as those kind of emails very quickly fill your inbox), we have now been converted (it is, after all, very motivating seeing those emails come in!) New merchants will have this setting on by default but existing merchants need to turn it on by going to Account section and "Notifications & Reports" in the sidebar.

Your payment gateway may also send you a payment notification although if this is on by default depends on what gateway you are using and where in the world you're located.

Affiliate Emails

Like merchants affiliates historically only received a weekly email summary but now they can have instant payment notifications for orders they referred. Again the new functionality is off by default for existing affiliates but will default to on for new affiliates....

Improved Subscriptions

Subscriptions were originally launched way back in July 2011 when we only offered PayPal and Google Checkout as payment options. Since then we've added a raft of new features including support for additional payment gateways. At the time of adding these new gateways subscription support wasn't available, but as the popularity of these gateways has risen so has the desire for subscription support for them. Today I'm glad to announce not only subscription support for Stripe, PayMill and Authorize.net gateways, but also some additional subscription features.

Subscription checkouts work exactly the same as normal product/package purchases. The buyer is directed to the pay by card page where they enter their card details and then are automatically redirected to the download page once payment is authorised. As buyers make multiple payments for subscriptions they are issued with an invoice email each time they are charged and also have access to a new subscription management area which is linked from the download page. This is a place where the buyer can view previous transactions, update their card or cancel their subscription as this screenshot shows:

FTP

Whereas on PayPal and Google subscriptions the charging and expiring cards are managed by the payment gateway, with the new gateways we instigate the charging and handle the dunning procedure. Should a charge on a card fail (either as it's expired or because the bank declined the charge) then we send a warning email to the buyer. After the initial email a warning email is sent a few days later (2 by default) if the charge is still failing, a final warning email is sent after a few more days (5 by default) and then the subscriber is finally cut off (after 7 days by default). The exact timings of these emails, the actions and the email contents can all be customised to your needs. Head to the Account tab and "Notifications & Reports" to get started.

As part of this we've also introduced the ability to change the price and charging periods of subscriptions. Existing subscribers remain on the plan they signed up for but new subscribers join at the current price. This is all handled seamlessly by our systems and doesn't require any intervention on your part. This was a real bugbear with the old subscription system so we're pleased to have lifted this restriction. We've also smoothed the edges off a few of the subscription features making them leaner, more efficient and easier to use.

The knowledge base article has been updated to reflect the changes. If you're ready to start using one of the new gateways on your existing subscriptions, or want to start selling subscriptions from scratch it's the place to start: ...

FTP now available

Uploading large files via the browser is a tricky affair - browsers have 1GB, 2GB or sometimes 4GB file size limit, users behind proxys often have network difficulties and the browser has no idea of bandwidth so often maxes out a connection when uploading a file. For this reason many people, especially those with large files, prefer to upload via FTP. Historically merchants have had to email into support to get access to the FTP server and we've then manually copied the files across to their account. This all changes today with the release of full FTP integration.

To get setup navigate to the Account tab and then FTP in the sidebar. Here you can enable a FTP account and once you've uploaded files, can see a list of all those in your account area. To turn your file into a product it's then simply a case of selecting a checkbox and choosing whether to create a new product, or update an existing one. The file is copied across from the FTP server and a few minutes later you are able to start selling.

This screenshot gives you a glimpse of the new functionality:

FTP

As you can see, and as you've probably grown to expect with Digital Delivery App, simple functional design is the focus. You can find more details on this in our FTP knowledge base article. We hope you find this new functionality useful and as always please send us your thoughts.

Latest Updates

The last month has been a busy time at Digital Delivery App HQ. Here's some of the things that have been going on:

Server Hardware Upgrade

After a large software upgrade towards the end of the last year, we've now performed a large hardware upgrade. This includes a new uber scalable design, more processing power, faster caching and better monitoring. The migration completed over the weekend with no downtime and we're currently sitting at 10x capacity we had last week. We spent a lot of time worrying about the scalability of the service in the future so with our new design dropping in new resource is a breeze. With new sub-minute resolution monitoring we can monitor long term performance of the system and know exactly when upgrades will be needed. A few customers have already reported an increase in site speed and we're glad it's noticable (it wasn't exactly slow beforehand either!). With our new architecture we can keep this level of service for the long term and won't be effected by flash sales, big launches or any other such events that our customers regularly challenge us with!

Affiliate site links

Previously accounts were limited to one affiliate site link but we have now lifted this restriction allowing you to create as many site links as you like. This is extremely useful for merchants running several sites through one account. Site links can be managed from the general affiliates page under the Account tab.

Shopify integration upgrade

Shopify integration has been upgraded to provide a smoother experience. We now have an easier onboarding process, more importing options and the ability to add download links to customer account areas. This has been based on customer feedback so many thanks for sending in all the emails.

Stripe GBP support

Stripe has added Beta support for pounds sterling (GBP) with euros on the way soon. We're on the beta so have tested and added support for other merchants that are too. We'll add euro support as soon as it's released by Stripe.

That's all for now. Plenty more exciting stuff in the pipeline the next few months. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for more.

Recover Lost Orders

A common support request for merchants selling digital goods is for the download url for an order taken x weeks/months/years ago. This is especially common when updating a product and informing customers via a different mechanism than our inbuilt system (which includes the link). These support requests don't seem like much but as the number of orders increases so does the amount of time taken. This makes it a prime candidate for automation!

After discussion with many customers facing this problem, I'm glad to announce a mechanism for customers to resend their order email. If you view the button code for any Product, Package or Subscription there's now another "recover order" option as shown in this screenshot:

Recover Order Image

This url can be used on your sales website, in support forums, in emails or wherever else you fancy. When a customer enters their email, and they've made an order of one of your items, then their original order email is resent. They will need to use the same email address as when they ordered so it's a good idea to make this clear wherever you distribute the link as some people use multiple email addresses. The link is the same for all your items so there's no need to repeat for each item you sell.

This is a simple solution that shifts the focus to helping the customer solve their own problem. As they get their download link instantly they end up much happier, and I'm sure merchants will be equally happy with less support requests!

We hope you find the new functionality useful and as always please send us any feedback you have.

Blog changing urls

Just a quick update to say we've moved the blog over to http://www.digitaldeliveryapp.com/blog Subscribers of the feed should be automatically updated as it's running through feedburner, although apologies go out to those who get all the back posts marked as unread. If you're not using the feedburner feed now's a great time to start: http://feeds.feedburner.com/DigitalDeliveryAppBlog

This change was a result of Posterous selling out, another sad loss of a great technology.

Bulk Uploader

Today we're launching a bulk uploader to make creating lots of products much quicker. As an experiment I created a video to show you the new functionality rather than write a blog post so I hope you enjoy it and let us know your feedback!

Introducing PayMill integration

Stripe has been a massive success since we introduced it around 18 months ago with the number of people using it really shooting up in recent months. Initially merchants were just looking to offer a second payment option, but more recently we've seen an increasing trend to using them as their exclusive payment provider. Merchants love the ability to look much bigger than their size by taking card payments on their site, without any of the headaches of PCI compliance. With the ability to customise your Digital Delivery App pages as well this leads to a truely seamless checkout experience.

Without doubt the biggest angst we've heard about Stripe is their lack of support outside Canada or the US. That's a need PayMill spotted and launched last year with support for European countries. Today we're glad to announce support for PayMill in Digital Delivery App.

Configuration is just the same as Stripe, or any other gateway for that matter, and can be found under the Account tab and then payment gateways in the sidebar. All that's needed is your PayMill private and public keys:

Introducing PayMill integrationWhen customers make purchases they end up at our ususal checkout page:

Introducing PayMill integration

and of course are redirected straight to download once their card details are verified. Everything else is the same as the other gateways so there's no changes in buyer experience to worry about. You can of course try it out for yourself on our demo page

The functionality is live now so go ahead and get setup now. We hope you find it useful and if our experience with Stripe is anything to go by, this is going to be a real game change for European merchants.

 
This is the blog of Digital Delivery App, an online service that allows you to sell your digital products in a secure, automated way. Check the main Digital Delivery App site for more details on the service we offer or continue to read the blog to find out the latest happenings.
 
 
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