The Ins and Outs of a Non-Instant Digital Storefront

Welcome back, friends! It has been a long and hard blogging hiatus, but the Aceti Design Co. blog is once again in full swing.

Over the past few months, I've had a few people reach out to me asking how exactly a digital, non-instant Etsy shop works. We're going to cover the basics to give you the confidence to open your shop!

Who would offer digital files that aren't downloaded instantly?

  • You are selling JPEG or PDF files, NOT the template itself
  • You customize the template for each customer - changing the names/details, as well as any colors or sizing adjustments
  • You offer products that are designed from scratch when the order is placed

If any of these things apply to you, you are ready to open a Non-instant digital shop!

Opening a Digital Store | Aceti Design Co.

How do customers order?

Before we discuss filling digital orders, we need to review the basics. Customers should always be able to easily, FULLY understand the product and the ordering process. The details of the order process should be in each listing description. You should also mention that if they have any questions, customers can send you a message.

The listing description

There are a few KEY things you need to include in your listing description to ensure your customers understand what they're purchasing and what to provide to you to complete the order. These things include:

  • A brief paragraph explaining what the item is
  • A "What's Included" list - this includes things like
    • The sizing, type & quantity of file(s)
    • Personalization included (some do not offer color changes, etc.)
    • Number of revisions included
  •  A "How to order" section

The "How to order" section is equally as important as the flashy paragraph at the beginning of the listing description. If your order process is too complicated, people won't order. They simply won't trust you enough to make a purchase.

In this section, you must explain, step by step, how to successfully order your product.
Here is a sample how to order section:

• Add this listing to your cart.
• At checkout, please specify all of the info you'd like on your invitation in the 'notes to seller' box, including:
- Honoree
- Date, time & location
- Host & registry info
- RSVP info & any additional info you'd like included
- Your color selection
- Any wording or sizing change requests
• Once personalization requests & images have been received, we will send you the first proof via email within 1-2 business days. 3 free revisions are included in your purchase.
• Approve your design. When you are happy with your design, we will email your final high resolution file to you. (Or if you've ordered a printed set, your order will be added to the printing queue.)

When customers submit info with their order, it is much easier to fill the order. You also won't be after your customers to send you details to complete their order. From there, you can take the info and make their proof. Easy as pie!

To fill the order, simply take their info and customize the template. Send them a message explaining that you've attached a proof and you'd like them to look it over and let you know if it requires further customization. 

Once the proof has been approved by your customer, send them a message explaining that you're sending your high resolution file to their provided email address. This is also the time to address the shipping notification.

Ship notifications & digital orders

On Etsy, if a listing is not an instant download, it is considered a physical product. This can get confusing to your clients. Here's my best tip - when your customer approves their proof, send them a message explaining that you're sending your high resolution file to their provided email address. Explain further that the order must be marked as "shipped" to be completed. Remind them that no physical item will be shipped.

Next, send your customer their digital file via email. This email is another opportunity to explain that no physical item will be shipped. it is also a great time to encourage your customers to follow your business on Instagram, Facebook, etc. It is definitely wise to have an email template ready to send to your customer. Here's an example:

Hi Sarah,
This is Michelle from Aceti Design Co on Etsy. 
Attached to this email you will find your hi-res JPEG of your bridal shower invite.
Your order will now be marked as “shipped” so the transaction can be completed. Please note that no physical item will be shipped. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to send us a message via Etsy conversations.

We thank you for your business and hope you remember us for all of your future stationery needs. Feel free to check out our Facebook & Instagram to stay up to date with contests, coupons, and new products!

If you have a moment, please fill out our customer satisfaction survey. You will receive a 20% off coupon code  for your participation!

We also encourage you to follow us on Instagram or Facebook for behind the scenes photos, coupon codes & freebies.
Thanks so much!

That's it! Easy, straightforward, and simple for your customers.

How do you manage your non-instant digital orders?