How to Properly Add Products in WooCommerce
WooCommerce is one of the most popular and widely used WordPress plugins. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it is very easy to run a successful online shop with the help of WooCommerce. This e-commerce plugin is both lightweight and complex. For example, installing WooCommerce plugin and adding tags and categories or displaying new products is pretty straightforward. On the other side, there are some functions, like code editing that require more attention. Precisely because of its complexity, we thought it would be a good idea to look into certain basic actions more carefully.
In order to create a proper e-commerce shop, it is vital to have a good grasp of product types, categories, tags, and attributes. You’ll learn quickly how to use these properly. After that, creating the perfect shop for your business will be a piece of cake.
Adding products is the basic action in WooCommerce and the first one you need to master. Products can be added, modified and deleted anytime you want, and for whatever reason.
To add a product, go to the left-hand menu, click on Products, and then on Add New.
You now have in front of you the product page, where you can input all product features and write a description to explain to the prospective customer what is it that you’re offering here.
This description will be featured on the product page, under the Product Description tab. However, this is not the only description that you can assign to your product. There is also the so-called short description. This one is obviously more concise and offers a quick overview of the product.
The short description is located next to the product image. It is also shown in shop lists on other site pages, wherever the related product is displayed.
To your right, in addition to general page info, you also have the possibility to enter the product category and tag, to add a product image and product gallery.
Now that you have entered all the basic product info, you can move along to more specific settings.
The first setting you will want to make for each of the products is their type.
WooCommerce offers six basic product types:
- Simple – This is the basic, classic, most used product type. It is a physical item that you can actually ship to the buyer, for instance – a wallet.
- Grouped – Grouped products consist of two or more simple products. It is a sort of collection of items that are mutually related and that you can purchase together, such as a purse and a wallet. In this case, the product page will contain the link for each of the individual products in the group.
- Virtual – These are the products that do not require shipping and they usually consist of a service. Enabling this product type entails disabling certain shipping options and features. This includes dimensions, costs calculator and so on.
- Downloadable – These consist of downloadable files, such as music albums, movies, ebooks, courses and so on.
- External or Affiliate – These products are not available for purchase directly from your website but instead you list them with descriptions on your product pages, along with a link for the direct seller.
- Variable – These cover the products that come with variations, be it the SKU, the size, color, price, stock option, etc. For example, a wallet that comes in white and in black.
Each of these six types come with specific fields for entering data, adapted to the structure of the particular product. What this means is that there is no need to set shipping details for all products if there are products that are unshippable (services, downloadables…).
The Product Data panel is your go-to place for setting all the most important product features.
Your first step should be to set the product type. Simply select or check what you need from the dropdown menu.
When you’re done setting these, only those fields that are applicable to the specific type will be displayed.
Certain fields, such as the Price, are common for almost all types. Some others, however, like a download link, will only be displayed for downloadable products.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the sections displayed in this panel.
In the General section, you can set the price, both the regular and the sale price. There is also the handy Schedule feature. It allows you to set the start and end date for your sales. That way you don’t have to worry about forgetting to convert back to the regular price once the sale is over.
The Inventory section requires you to insert essential data regarding your product inventory. SKU or Stock Keep Unit is the number assigned to each individual product and serves for tracking.
Let’s say your store has a total of 100 different black wallets. How will you keep track of each individual black wallet? By assigning a different SKU number to each of them.
SKU has to be a unique number and it has to be different from any of your post IDs.
Under Stock status, you can choose between In stock, Out of stock and On backorder.
In stock means that the product is, well, in stock, but it doesn’t say how many pieces of this product there are left. That’s where the Manage Stock option comes in. Enabling this option allows you to enter the exact number of product units you have left in stock. This is particularly useful as you get to block orders for products that have reached 0. This is different from Stock status, which you have to change manually once you run out of a certain product.
As for the Sold individually option, check it if you want to limit the product to one per order.
The physical characteristics of your product (weight, dimensions, class) can be entered in the Shipping section.
Linking certain products can be very beneficial for your sales. Under Linked Products section you can link your products on two levels. If you assign the Upsells option to a product, its product page will feature the “You may also like” section with all the links you have entered for that product. For example, if a customer is looking at a wallet, he or she may want to see a matching purse shown alongside it.
The other type of linking is the Cross-sells. Similarly to Linked Products, this feature encourages the user to purchase an additional, related or similar item. If you go for this option, a cross-sells link will appear on the cart page at checkout.
The Attributes section serves for assigning previously defined attributes to the appropriate products. For example, if you sell a wallet that is available in two different colors, you will definitely want to let your customers know. Specifically, you will add the color attribute to the wallet.
Moving to the Advanced section, we have the Purchase note that allows you to message the buyer of a certain article. The Menu order option helps you set a custom ordering position for a product, and Enable/Disable Reviews option is rather self-explanatory.
Differences between options for different product types are pretty straightforward.
A Simple product will have all the above-mentioned options.
Virtual and Downloadable are subtypes of Simple products.
A Virtual product will not have the Shipping section displayed because you can’t ship a service, but it will have everything else.
Downloadable products have all the same things as simple products except they also have a download link specified under General options.
However, Grouped products have a much more limited range of options. This is because they already contain the existing Simple products that come with their own information, such as the price, shipping, and so on. The only thing that Grouped products have that Simple products don’t is the field where you enter links for products that are sold together.
The External or Affiliate product is, as we said earlier, a product that is sold somewhere else, on a different website. It only contains the most essential information. That’s why for this type of product you don’t need things like shipping or purchase note.
What you do need is the link to the website where the product can be purchased. The field for entering this link can be found under General>Product URL.
Variable product is the only one that gets its own settings tab.
With Variations, it is very important to assign attributes to a product. For example, if you assign the color attribute to the wallet product, and set the values to black and white, then you can create variations for that particular product (wallet). Variations will be “black wallet” and “white wallet.” Don’t forget to check the Used for variations field.
Once you’ve set the attributes for a product, you can add a variation for each of them.
As the first variation appears, the little arrow pointing down will open the fields where you can enter your values. The number #241 is assigned automatically here. In this case, we have the color attribute, black and white, to be exact, and in the field right next to the number you can choose one of the two, or select Any.
The difference is that if you leave it with Any, all the options you enter, including the image, will apply for both colors. If there’s no difference between the black and the white item, there’s no point in using variations. Because of this, you should create two variations and provide individual images and information for each.
To enter these values, click on the arrow to the right of the panel.
This will open the fields that, in other product types, are scattered across other tabs.
These were some of the basic things that each e-commerce shop admin should set when adding products in WooCommerce. As you can see, there’s quite a bit of tweaking to do here. Still, it’s all very intuitive and does not require a lot of your time. Fortunately for WordPress users, WooCommerce has a very similar interface and works pretty much the same way as everything else on your favorite blogging platform. Because of this, we are certain you’ll be able to set everything just right, sit back and watch your sales go through the roof.