One of the common questions I get is "why do I have to enter so many details to just buy a digital book?" And why do I need to enter those details if I’m paying by pay Pal? Another common question is why do I need an account?
The reason that you need to enter your full details is because they are required BY LAW for accounting purposes. The laws governing digital sales in the EU were changed a few years ago to combat certain large companies basing their business in the state with the lowest taxes, so now all digital sales have to account for VAT and TAX, and have to provide evidence, for each customer.
In other words, because digital downloads are governed by certain EU rules, a business is required to keep proper details of their customers for VAT and accounting purposes. EU law requires that buyers of digital content be identified by non conflicting two pieces of information, such as iP address and physical address.
Irish law requires that I keep detailed records of sales. I am a proper business and as a business I have to abide by the laws of the country that I operate from and also the EU.
If you are concerned about providing your details, see this support article for details of how we manage privacy.
Why do I need to enter details if I’m paying by Pay Pal?
Some sites have an option where you can just sign on with PayPal and it will automatically fill in your details. This is a single sign-on option called Pay Pal Express.
I had been trialling PayPal express in the store but it was causing too many problems, so I have disabled it for now.
You should be aware that even with this functionality, PayPal will supply your contact information to the store, so if you have an aversion to providing your details at all, having a single PayPal sign-on option won’t address your concern, as your details are still being provided. So, if you've bought something before from another store and you thought that you weren't providing personal details, if you paid by pay pal, you're still giving them.
Why do I need an account?
The reason that customers to this store are required to create accounts is threefold:
- So customers can re-download their content at any time.
- So customers can download their purchases if they give incorrect email details at the checkout process
- So that I can provide updates to products
Many people provide incorrect emails when ordering (believe it or not) and so having an account allows them to still download their downloads even if the delivery email bounces.
Without having an account I would have no way to provide updated products to customers. By having an account, you can download a product if it is updated. I occasionally update products, including e-books, so having an account you can log in and download updated or additional content when it’s available, without having to send an email and wait for a reply.
Having an account also allows you to re-download your purchase at any time. If you loose any of your products, you can re-download them by logging into your account, and going to the downloads section.
See this article for more details
Why not just give customers the option, and let them opt out of re-downloading?
In the beginning I had the option of allowing customers not to have an account, but it was a giant headache for both me and customers as people lost their downloads, didn’t get emails and so on. So now it’s a requirement, and many online stores require similar details and require you to have an account such as Amazon or iTunes.