Following up on our previous tutorial on adding physical items, now it’s time to tackle WooCommerce digital products. The WooCommerce platform makes a distinction between two different types of non-physical products: virtual and downloadable. On this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add intangible products of both kinds!
Following the WooCommerce digital products understanding, intangible items can be virtual or both virtual and downloadable. To make it a little clearer, here are three examples to help set them apart:
- Subscriptions aren’t downloadable, but they are virtual. The same applies to online services such as consulting hours.
- A song, an eBook or an embroidery pattern are virtual and downloadable products.
Now that we’ve cleared the difference between virtual and downloadable items so let us get to it!
Here’s what you’ll need to add WooCommerce digital products:
- Working and updated version of WordPress. Whoever is adding products will need to have Admin access.
- An installed, activated and configured version of the WooCommerce plugin.
Adding WooCommerce Digital Products
- The first step to adding new WooCommerce digital products is by going to Products > Add New.
- Fill the title, description and product image.
- Head to the Product Data meta box, where we’ll cover the General, Inventory, and Advanced tabs.
- Go to the product editing screen to configure the Product Data meta box.
- Define the type of product by ticking Virtual. The Shipping tab will disappear from the options.
- Proceed to add the same information you would if it were a physical product: SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), tax rate. If you’re offering a free service, it’s possible to set the price as 0.
Naturally, WooCommerce digital products don’t necessarily require stock management. If you want virtual items to be accessible to an infinite number of people, all you need to do is unselect Manage Stock?
However, if you want to limit how many people access virtual content, you can check the box and specify how many people can access. One example where this might prove useful is access to an exclusive webinar.
Here, you can:
- Add notes for the customers. In these, you can thank them for purchasing your WooCommerce digital products or add further information. If the product requires a further step, you can also add a relevant link, like an authentication for a subscription.
- Select whether you’ll allow product reviews on the item.
- Choose if you want the products to follow a specific order in archive pages.
Finish up by clicking Update, so all the changes you’ve made will be saved.
A few useful tips to further improve a subscription offer:
- WooCommerce Subscriptions allows you to take regular payments on products.
- Groups, which in its free version lets you manage the way visitors access the site’s different pages.
- The premium Groups for WooCommerce add-on can integrate both add-ons.
- Another option is creating a user account for those who purchase subscriptions.
Adding Downloadable WooCommerce Digital Products
Let’s move onto downloadable WooCommerce digital products. While setting up simple digital items is similar to physical ones, the situation changes for downloadables. Configuring them is a little different, as you have to specify the download process.
- As you did before, go to Products > Add New.
- Write the product title and description, and add the relevant image.
- On the Product Data meta box, tick on both Virtual and Downloadable. Once again, the Shipping tab will vanish.
The General tab enlarges when you select Downloadable products. Besides the usual options to add price, SKU and tax information, you’ll need to detail the download process. There are two ways to set up downloadable WooCommerce digital products:
- Upload the file directly to WooCommerce. This option is excellent for smaller downloadable products, as you can host them internally.
- Add a link to where customers can download the file. If the downloadable file is large, hosted somewhere else or already uploaded it on the WordPress media manager, this is the best choice.
Here, apply the same logic as mentioned on the Virtual products section above.
- Do you want to make the downloadable product accessible to an infinite number of visitors? Disable stock management by unchecking Manage Stock?
- Do you need to limit the number of downloads, like if you’re selling e-tickets? Keep the feature enabled and specify according to your needs.
It’s possible to add related products to downloadable WooCommerce digital products, just as you would with physical ones. Similar products can be virtual or physical.
Define the specifics of the downloadable item by using the characteristics you already configured.
- On the Custom product attribute drop-down box, choose the attribute you’ll use.
- Select Add.
- Specify the Value field and then choose relevant terms from the drop-down box.
If you need to add new attributes besides the ones already present, select Custom product attribute, and place the information regarding the new quality. Remember that these are classes and not relevant terms. Click on Add, and you’ll have the new taxonomy!
Once again, here you can:
- Add notes for customers to receive right after downloading.
- Choose whether you’ll allow reviews.
- Select how you want products ordered on archive pages.
- Now, click on Publish: you’ve uploaded your first downloadable product!
How Downloadable WooCommerce Digital Products Look to Visitors
Customers who purchase downloadable digital products will get a link where they can download the item. They’ll also get an email that looks like this:
Once their purchase has successfully gone through, customers will see:
You can see there’s a working link for them to follow and download the item. To keep customers from copying the file, you can set the download limit to 1 in Product Tab – General. This way, they’ll only be able to use this link once and not send it to third parties who didn’t pay for the content.
WooCommerce will also send buyers the download link by email.
You’re now ready to sell WooCommerce digital products of all types. Whether you’re adding them as freebies to the store or as cornerstone content, it’s essential to know how to manage virtual items. The process is somewhat similar to adding physical products, only you won’t have to deal with shipping, and will need a link for downloadables.
Read more on our WooCommerce Tutorials section and make it easier for yourself to manage a top-notch WooCommerce. At Bright Vessel, we have years of experience with this popular WordPress plugin, and we can help you navigate it. Find out more about our WordPress and WooCommerce rates and services on our website!