WooCommerce is a powerful and flexible ecommerce platform. It can be used to cater for many different shop types and products. Let’s take a look at what types of products WooCommerce can handle and how you might use them.
First, all product types will have certain things in common. All products will have a name and description. They can also have a price, SKU, stock levels and categories.
Simple products are the basic type of product available for any store. They are the equivalent of a product on a shelf. Each item has a price and can be physical or not. Simple products don’t break out of the basic functionality of a product beyond this.
If you are selling single items or quantities of a specific item that doesn’t need variations then this is likely to be the product type you will use.
Variable products go a step further than simple products and allow for similar products with variations to be grouped.
If you had a clothing store and your items came in multiple sizes or colours then each size and colour would be a variation. This product type is necessary if you have many variations or your shop could easily become hard to navigate.
When you visit a shop with variable products, each product only has a single listing and page. You choose your variation by visiting that product and choosing specific options.
Variations are very flexible and can have individual SKUs, prices, sales and stock quantities to accommodate any number of use cases.
Digital products can be simple or variable but they are distinct because they are associated with a downloadable product or something you link to.
The main purpose of this product type is that once purchased, only then are you provided with a link to download or visit the item that you have purchased. This product type is great for selling digital goods such as software or eBooks that don’t require complex registration codes.
Subscription products are a great way to build ongoing income from your shop. Perhaps you would like to sell monthly food boxes. Perhaps you want to get into the loot crate business.
Subscription products in WooCommerce convert your one-time purchase products into regularly recurring payments. These types of products require special payment processes. Either payment needs to be made manually each time the product renews or for simplicity many payment gateways support tokenisation and automated payment at renewal.
In order to add subscription products to your WooCommerce store you will need to use a plugin. WooCommerce has an official plugin and there are many on the WordPress plugin repository or from 3rd party developers.
Be sure to take the time to read any documentation as handling automatic renewals can be a complex process depending on what you are trying to achieve. Make sure that you understand your product and take the time to understand how the plugin you are using was intended to be used.
Custom products (bespoke)
Sometimes you will find that the way you want to present your product just isn’t possible with WooCommerce on its own or with plugins.
WooCommerce is incredibly flexible and is a great platform for a developer to build custom product layout and types. Product pages can be changed to enhance the buying experience, customer account areas can be built to better suit your store and custom payment options are always possible.
Be sure to speak to our experienced team of developers who can understand your requirements and convert that into a working concept.
There are many other types of product that can be sold using WooCommerce. Events, memberships and anything else you could think of is possible with such a powerful e-commerce platform.