Squarespace is one of the most commonly used website builders on the internet. It’s growing in almost every aspect, and it’s getting harder to ignore how easy it is to set up an online store or website with the platform.
We’ll discuss how you can set up an online store easily and sell digital downloads & products to your users. This won’t be a convoluted tutorial. We’ll get straight to the point while providing steps and images while answering questions we feel you may have.
How does this work?
Below is a first glance at the advantages of using the Squarespace method to sell digital downloads compared to using the method, which includes using Shopify as a backend platform.
Method 1: Squarespace + Shopify:
This is integrating Shopify into your Squarespace website. This is the best method with scalable tools.
It essentially adds the product buy buttons onto your Squarespace site pages and provides brilliant digital download delivery functionality with no limitations.
This method will cost $5/month for the Shopify subscription, which allows you to add Buy Buttons to your site.
- No file size limitations
- No file type restrictions; sell PDFs, Artwork, Videos, whatever you like.
- Download links can last forever, or you can add your own custom limitations
- Email tracking available (Scale plan)
- Links don’t expire unless you set it yourself
- Upgrade options, no limits
- Shopify’s award-winning commerce tools
- Several file protection features
- Use your own email to send downloads (Pro plan)
- Completely customizable email templates and branding
Method 2: Squarespace’s tools:
This is using Squarespace’s built-in commerce tools. You are very limited in selling digital products using this option, but we will cover it anyway.
The Squarespace method only supports digital products, not services. But this comes with more limitations listed below:
- 300MB upload limit
- Can only attach 1 digital file per product
- Cannot set quantity or add SKUs or variants for digital products
- Can’t sell digital subscriptions
- Can’t send replacement links to a customer if their download link has expired.
- 24hr, non-adjustable expiration time for download links
- No email tracking
- No upgrade options
- No product protection features
- No extra storage options
- Can’t use personal email to send download links
- No customization features for emails or branding
Information sourced from Downloadable Digital Assets
Method 1 (No limitations) – Using Shopify + Squarespace
This requires you to set up a Shopify account and integrate the Shopify buy button onto your Squarespace pages. Basically, the Shopify account will handle everything from the products, eCommerce tools and even the digital product delivery.
Shopify is an incredibly secure and intuitive platform for setting up an online storefront or even a system for selling products on other websites, like in this guide I am teaching you.
It’s worth noting that this method has no limitations when selling digital products on Squarespace. You can control almost every aspect of selling digital products, including file protection.
1. Sign up for Shopify & install the required free apps
First of all, you need to sign up for Shopify, so you have a backend store. You can do this on the Shopify website.
The Shopify Starter plan requires you to sign up for a $5/month plan.
This is to specifically use Shopify as a backend store. If you want to create a storefront with Shopify, you’ll need to sign up on one of their more expensive plans or use a platform such as Squarespace as a front-end platform and integrate the buy button.
Installing the required apps
You can search for these apps through your “Sales & Channel settings” on your Shopify dashboard.
- On your Shopify dashboard, click on “Sales Channels” > “App and sales channel settings“.
- Next, click on “Shopify App Store“. As you would guess, this will bring you to Shopify’s app store. You can search for the “Shopify buy button” & “Downloadable Digital Assets” here.
App download & install instructions
- Click “Add App“. You’ll be brought to a new page where you can add the sales channel to your store.
- Select “Add Sales Channel“. This will add the sales channel to your Shopify store.
- Click “Create a Buy Button“. A new window will appear, giving you options for creating a buy button. Follow the on-screen steps as they appear. We’ve explained further information below about creating the buy button in more detail.
Downloadable Digital Assets – quick link
- Click “App app“. This will bring you to your Shopify dashboard, where you can select “Install app“.
- Select your plan. There is a free plan available, highlighted in the image below. However, plenty of fantastic features & options are available with the paid plans.
2. Create & add your digital product
Next is to create your product to link your buy button to it from Squarespace.
We’ll label the step-by-step process below for you.
1. Create your product in Shopify
- You can start creating your product in Shopify by clicking the “Product” button on the Shopify dashboard.
- Next, select “Add Product“. This will bring you to a new page where you can change & edit all product details.
- Ensure you uncheck the “Physical Product” box. You can find it by scrolling down. This is because the product you’re creating is digital, this is so the shipping email and options do not show up at checkout.
- When you’re finished with everything, click “Save” at the bottom or the top of the page.
2. Upload your digital products
- Go to the “Assets” page from the Downloadable Digital Assets homepage. You can find it in the categories at the top of the webpage.
Upload your asset. You can upload an asset one of two ways.
- Add URL asset – This will upload an asset from a direct URL link. You’ll need to provide a file “Name“, “File size“, and “URL Link“.
- Upload your files – Directly upload files from your computer. Pretty much all file formats are supported. So you needn’t worry about compatibility.
- Now you need to attach your product. Do this by going to the “Products” category at the top of the page.
- Your Shopify product or products you created should appear in the list below. If they don’t, ensure you’re logged in to Shopify & refresh the page so Downloadable Digital Assets can sync with it.
- Now it’s time to attach your uploaded asset to your product. Start by clicking the drop-down box below, selecting the uploaded asset you want to attach to the product, and clicking “Attach“.
(If you’re uploaded asset doesn’t appear here. Repeat steps 1 & 2).
3. Add the digital product to Squarespace
- Open the “Buy Button” app on Shopify that you installed previously. (If you didn’t install it, scroll up and follow the app installation instructions).
- Select “Create a Buy Button“. Then “Product Buy Button“, and finally, select the product you want to integrate with the button.
- Select “Next“. This will bring you to the page where you can copy the buy button code and add it to Squarespace.
- Copy the code for your buy button by selecting the “Copy code” option, and go to your Squarespace dashboard.
- Go to your page panels editor. On the Squarespace dashboard, select “Pages” and then choose the page you’d like to edit. This will likely be a store page that you’ve previously created. Select “Edit“.
- Select “Add Block” in the section you’d like to add the buy button for your product. Then choose “</> Code“.
- You’ll see the new code block in your section. Select “Edit“. It’s the little pencil icon.
- Delete the first line of code called “<p>Hello, World!</p>“.
- Copy your buy button code and paste it into this box.
If the above steps have been followed correctly, you’ll see the below image.
Scroll to the top of your page and save your changes by clicking “Done”. You should be able to scroll down again and view your new buy button in all its glory.
5. Set up a Shopify payment gateway
Now you have your buy button on Shopify. It’s time to set up a payment gateway to take payment from potential paying customers.
- Go to “Settings” on your Shopify dashboard.
- Go to “Payments” within your settings tab. You’ll see an extensive list of payment providers. We know it can be tough to pick one, so here is an extensive guide we created to the best payment providers and gateways available on Shopify.
Once you’ve set up your payment gateway, it should be smooth sailing. You can add more digital products to your Squarespace store using the abovementioned method and fill out all the content through your storefront.
If you have any queries about the above-mentioned method, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help. We’d be happy to provide more information for you.
Method 2 (Limited) – Selling digital downloads just using Squarespace tools
Note: If you already have an online-store template on Squarespace, you can skip the first step.
We’ll start by creating the online store on the Squarespace dashboard. We’re using the latest version of Squarespace (7.1) to create this tutorial. The tutorial for 7.0 is slightly different but you should still be able to follow the majority of this and still get the job done.
1. Create your online store on Squarespace
You can start by clicking the (+) icon next to “Main Navigation” on your page editor on the Squarespace dashboard.
2. Optimize your new store page settings
Now, we recommend getting everything on your settings sorted out, as it’ll mean it’s out of the way.
You have 5 categories of settings. “General“, “Categories“, “SEO“, “Social Images“, & “Advanced“.
Store page settings
- General – This covers all standard settings from the page title to the URL slug and the ability to add a password if you want to lock the page while working on it.
- Categories – Gives you the ability to add a category to your store page if you want to separate specific products from each other.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This includes adding a page description and title to your page. This is an important process for ranking well on Google, so ensure you take your time to make this good.
- Social Image – This changes how your store shows on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram when embedded on those sites.
- Advanced – This allows you to directly inject custom code into your site’s header and manage any existing tags on your store.
3. Add your digital product to your store
Select “+ Add Product” on your store page, then select either “Create new products” or “Import from Etsy“. Since we’re talking about Digital downloads, we’ll choose “Create new products“.
Once you’ve selected “Create new products“, choose “Digital Download“.
Digital product settings
There are 7 categories of settings here. As you scroll down, you’ll change the category depending on where you are on this new pop-up page.
- Details – This covers your product name & description. Squarespace provides a relatively decent example of a product with its description here. Use this to help give your digital product a fitting name & description.
- Images – Add images of your product here. Ensure you use high-quality images with low file size, preferably under 500kb, without sacrificing image quality too much. You can use Google Docs, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Adobe Photoshop to compress image file sizes.
- Inventory – This is where you’ll store the digital product. Customers will be given the link to the digital download when the product is purchased. They will have access to the link for 24 hours.
- Organization – This lets you create categories to bucket products and add new or existing tags to your product. Ensure you use appropriate tags and categories where possible, as it will help significantly organize your store in the future.
- Visibility – Visibility allows you to display related products next to the product the customer is viewing, display product reviews, and turn a product into a featured product on your store.
- Marketing – These settings give you access to change the SEO title and meta description of the product. As explained earlier, SEO is very important to get right as it affects how your pages rank on Google. You can also change how your product page displays on social sites.
- Checkout – Here, you can change the add to cart button text and the ability to create a form to collect customer information when they add the product to their cart.
4. Publish your product onto your store to sell
It’s time to publish your product once you’ve edited your settings. We highly recommend you review all of your settings to ensure you have everything set correctly.
It’s better to find a potential problem sooner than later. The last thing you want to do is sell a product to a customer to then discover an issue with the product and reduce your customer satisfaction rate.
How do I set up a payment gateway on Shopify?
This depends on the payment provider you choose. They all have different requirements and set-up processes, but Shop Pay is by far the best choice.
Can I sell digital subscriptions?
You can! Despite what Squarespace say, you can set up a Shopify buy button and sell subscriptions through that by using Shopify as your backend store and using Squarespace solely as a front-end visual site. We explain the process in our first method above.
What types of digital files can I sell on Squarespace?
You can sell almost any type of digital product/file on Squarespace. Using the Shopify buy button and the Downloadable digital assets apps, you can sell almost any digital product you can imagine on your site.
These 2 methods are great ways to add digital products to your Squarespace website. However, we recommend using the first method. If Shopify isn’t an option available to you, you can easily use the second method to create an efficient storefront on your Squarespace site.
If there are any questions you have regarding the above content or if anything seems unclear. Don’t hesitate to contact us, and we can change or add new content to make things more clear for others.