Crystal Lee
Author Crystal Lee
Drupal Wordsmith
Posted in Ecommerce , Video , Drupal , High Five
March 13, 2018
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Digital Products and Recurring Subscriptions in Drupal Commerce 2

In a previous post, we covered the basics of the Urban Hipster demo that Acro Media put together to showcase the amazing out-of-the-box functionality available with Drupal Commerce 2. Let us now turn our attention to some of the "plus" features that are still possible with Drupal Commerce, but that aren't quite so easy right out of the box.

Recurring subscriptions

Recurring subscriptions are really two things: recurring payments (payments that happen on a schedule) and also licensing (getting access to something). Those two things usually have to go together. For instance: you automatically pay $10 every month (the recurring payment) and you get Netflix (the license).

But there are things to think about. What if a customer's credit card doesn't process because they cancelled it and got a new one? Do they stop getting access immediately? Is there a grace period? You might not want to cancel outright; you might want to try to encourage renewal. Drupal Commerce 2 can handle all of that.

Digital products

A digital product can be a download, or access to a site, or a key that activates a trial. In the Urban Hipster demo site, Sir Mix-a-Bit is the digital product. When you go through the sales funnel, you can choose from three different subscription lengths (one month, three months, six months). You're able to add it to your cart, and it displays exactly the same way as any other product. The difference is that once you purchase it, Drupal Commerce knows it's a digital good, so it's handled slightly differently.

Drupal Commerce has two default product types: physical and digital. It understands that it doesn't need shipping or dimension details for digital products, and there is no fulfillment necessary on the back end (although you can if you need it).

The recurring subscription functionality is not limited to digital products, by the way. It could be a donation, in which case there is no product. Or it could be amortized payments, where customers pay for a product over time.

How different is this from Commerce 1?

It's simpler and more streamlined. In Commerce 1, you needed a whole suite of modules because you had to have the card-on-file functionality and so on; now, you just add two modules and all the functionality is there. It's much easier to work with.

Check out the Sir Mix-A-Bit recurring subscription digital product page.

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