If you go back to the past, you will realize that all the ordinary things for a modern man today used to be thought of as mere fiction. Talking to people on the other side of the globe, sending and receiving an email, buying or selling WooCommerce virtual products – all this seems magical.
Whereas selling physical products often means losing a significant share of your sales – manufacturing, shipping, and distribution costs, now with the help of eCommerce stores, you can reach out and deliver products to customers the instant they make payment. That’s the reason why selling virtual products using WooCommerce is significantly more profitable for merchants.
Since WooCommerce provides shipping options, not everyone knows that WooCommerce plugin offers an excellent way of selling virtual (or digital) products.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything about virtual products and the types of virtual products you can sell. We’ll also guide you on how you can start selling them through your online store using the WooCommerce Product Table.
Let’s get started!
- WooCommerce Virtual Products
- The Difference between Virtual and Downloadable Products
- Types of Virtual Products
- How to Create Digital and Virtual Products
- Setting Up WooCommerce Pages to Sell Digital Product
- List Virtual Products using WooCommerce Product Table
What are WooCommerce Virtual Products?
With the availability of WooCommerce virtual products, you don’t need to worry about maintaining inventory with digital products, as they mainly comprise files stored on your web server. This means that you are selling the same old files time and again.
Moreover, virtual products in your WooCommerce store don’t require customization of any kind. On the contrary, physical products demand you to change their size, color or any other attribute quite often.
The Difference between Virtual and Downloadable Products
There’s not a lot of difference between virtual products and physical products, because both are similar in the way they’re set up on your site.The only major difference is that virtual products can’t be shipped.
Downloadable products, however, are more distinct from physical products as you have to set up the whole download process.
In other words, a virtual product is a type of product that doesn’t have any shipping option while a downloadable product allows the customers to download files after purchase.
Examples of Virtual & Downloadable Products
Virtual products can be the services which require people to purchase in advance such as hourly consulting fees. Examples of downloadable products can be ebooks, music or any other type of product that involves only a file download.
Note: When working with digital products, make sure to mark the virtual checkbox, whereas with downloadable products, ensure to check both the virtual and downloadable checkboxes.
Types of Virtual Products
If you are relatively new to the virtual product space, then you might be thinking about what kind of virtual products you can sell using WooCommerce. Here is a quick list of some of the most common types of virtual products most online stores are selling:
- Video (such as online courses or training programs)
- E-books (guides, how-to’s, and recipes etc.)
- Software (such as web apps, plugins, game mods, presets, and tools)
- Graphics (such as icon packs, font packs, PSDs, and templates and themes)
- Music and audio files (like sound clips, songs, podcasts, and audiobooks)
- Documents (like guides, printables, reports, white papers, checklists and templates)
- Memberships (If you have got a membership site, then you can sell memberships)
The best thing about WooCommerce downloadable products is that they can easily be replicated and are sustainable.
How to Create Digital and Virtual Products
Before you begin creating the product, it’s better to take a step back and gauge the product demand. By doing this, you will know if there’s a market for the virtual or digital product you are planning on producing.
You can start searching for the product keyword and related search queries in Google Trends. If you’ve got multiple ideas for virtual products, you can also compare them to see which one has a higher demand.
Once you’ve decided which virtual product you want, the next step is to see what’s already out there. It means you want to check the market saturation to get the idea of the competition. Go to Google search to see who else is selling similar virtual products.
By this method, you will get a better idea of the quality people expect & the keywords used to search for these products.
Selection of Right Tool for Creating Virtual Downloadable Product
Finally, you can begin creating your virtual downloadable product. For this purpose, you will need to ensure that you’re using the right tool. Selection of the right tool depends on the product you are creating.
For example, if you want to create printables, you should choose a free tool like Canva. And if you want to create sound clips, then you should consider using Audacity.
Step-By-Step Guide on Setting Up WooCommerce Pages to Sell Digital Products
Here’s the proper way to start selling virtual products using WooCommerce.
Step 1: WooCommerce Plugin Installation and Settings Configuration
To sell your virtual products via WooCommerce, you’ll first need to activate and install the WooCommerce plugin.
Once you’ve activated the plugin, next thing you should do is to create the WooCommerce pages. Then configure the plugin settings for digital products that you want to sell from your WordPress website.
To configure the plugin settings, log into your WordPress admin panel & navigate to WooCommerce > Settings. Then you’ll see an option Configure WooCommerce Settings for Digital Products – click on it & update the following settings:
- General Settings Tab – Limit the downloadable items purchase quantity to 1.
- Inventory Settings Tab – Disable Stock Management.
- Payment Gateways Settings Tab – Disable the payment options: Check Payment and Direct Bank Transfer. Then enable your PayPal payment option and enter your PayPal email address.
- Shipping Settings Tab – Disable shipping.
- Emails Settings Tab – Configure your order notification settings & customize your chosen WooCommerce email templates.
Step 2: Product Categories Creation
It’s a best practice to set up your product categories before adding products. You can do this by going to Products > Categories in the WordPress admin.
Step 3: Addition of Virtual Products in WooCommerce
In this step, you’d need to add your digital products that will be available for download.
Go to Products > Add Product. When you click on the Add Product option, it will redirect you to the product creation form. Just fill in the below fields:
- Long Description
- Short Description
- Select the product category
- Set a Featured Image
- Insert additional thumbnail images
If you want to make your digital products downloadable, scroll down to the Product Data section and do the following:
From the Product Data Metabox, select the Simple Product option from the drop-down. Then check both the Downloadable & Virtual check-boxes.
Next, assign a value to the Regular Price field. From the Downloadable Files path, tap on the Upload a File option & copy the link URL.
Save changes and then paste the URL of the digital product you’ve just uploaded into the File Path field.
You can also choose to set an expiration date for the product download link. This will help you stop the products from getting downloaded after the link expires.
How to List Virtual Products using WooCommerce Product Table
Listing virtual products using WooCommerce Product Table makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
Virtual products aren’t image-centric. It means that they don’t require the large images that physical products do. For this reason, the default WooCommerce store layout isn’t ideal for selling WooCommerce downloadable products.
If you’re selling many varieties of virtual products, then showcasing them in a product table layout is the best option. With the help of the WooCommerce Product Table plugin, you can select which columns to show in the front-end table layout.
For example, if you’re selling audio tracks, you might include columns for name, price, SKU, product image, download limit, & add to cart button (or checkbox).
If you want to boost your sales, you can even include an embedded audio player column which gives customers a quick preview of the audio track.
By using the WooCommerce Product Table, you can embed video and audio content directly in the table layout. Furthermore, you can add a search bar & filter options for more convenience as well.
At present, selling virtual goods is one of the most common ways to take part in e-Commerce. It’s a great opportunity to sell informational products (such as audio courses, e-books, training videos, manuals, etc.), software, graphics, various databases, discount coupons, text, etc.
Now you have better understood how to add virtual and downloadable products to your online store. The procedure for adding virtual products isn’t much different from that for adding physical products.
As for virtual products, you don’t need to include shipping information, meanwhile you’d need to provide a link, upload a file as well as specify a download limit for downloadable products.