We recently adopted WooCommerce as one of our eCommerce platforms, and we are very happy with this decision because of it’s good code base, plugin support and the community behind it.

The transformation really improves our efficiency and the quality of our work. It gives us more time to focus on working out client’s business needs, rather than spending countless hours try to figure out how to make a plugin or a module works smoothly with the platform.

Haven said that, there’s still a missing part before launching your site: To get all your products in the system. So let’s chat about it.

Step 1: Understand your products

You can pretty much sell anything in WooCommerce, t-shirts, shoes, digital books, even membership subscriptions. To categorise your products is important, it makes sure you are not creating duplicates, nor playing hard to find with your customers.

The major two types of products are: Simple Products and Variable Products.

Simple products have the most basic setups. All you need are the product name, price, descriptions and some other info such as weight and dimensions. As soon as you fill in those details, your products are ready for sell. This probably is the choice for things like gift cards, sound tracks etc.

However, it’s more likely you are selling t-shirts, and they all have different colours and sizes, and the price may vary. This is where the variable products come in.

Variable products allow you to sell many versions of one product. If you allow customers to chose from different variations, then you will be defining a variable product.

Step 2: Setup the attributes

What is an attribute? Product attribute is something that makes your product special. It can be anything really, from colour to size, anything that you can think of.

So let’s say your DIY grumpy cat comes with different … textures:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.56.13 pm

And they have different age, character and meow volume, but they are all grumpy cats, not dogs.

It make sense to setup a ‘Grumpy Cat’ product. After the customer has shown their interests and want to purchase, there are options to allow them pick their preferences.

Your product setup should be something similar to this:

Name: Grumpy Cat

Attributes:

         skin colors: gray, pure white, hitler black and chinese eyes

         age: 3, 5, 7, 24 (years)

         miaow volume: mute, mute, dog sound and english

If you do the calculation, there are 64 combinations of these attributes. You don’t have to create each one of them, just the ones you have on hand would do.

Variations:

#1: mute gray, 3 years old – $300

#2: mute chinese eyes, 7 years old – $250

#3: pure white can speak english, 24 years old – $2,000

And yes, each variation of cats can have a different price. WooCommerce is smart enough to figure out the correct price base on customer’s choice.

 

I hope you now have a basic understanding of simple and variable products. I’ll be talking about how to move your products from current/legacy system to the WooCommerce system in a future post. Note: It will involve at least 6 keyboards and 12 monitors, be prepared.