Product Setup and Advice
We hope that this article provides a more clearer picture to being able to add as many products as you like. We will cover the many different product types and the way to upload and produce each type. There are many types of eCommerce software platforms – A more detailed description can be found in our article here. Once you have chosen a software and added the proper coding, you can proceed to the next step. This article also assumes that you have chosen WooCommerce as your eCommerce software, because it is the most used, it is SEO friendly, and it is free.
Before adding your first product, let’s get familiar with how product categories, tags, and attributes work. You will need to know these terminologies and their meanings so that you can add products with ease, no matter the type
- Product Categories – Product categories. They can be created, edited, and selected at any time. This can be done when you first create a product or you can edit it or the category/tag specifically.
- Attributes – if you are selling a product with different sizes, each size in an attribute. If you sell a product with different colors, that is an attribute. Attribute are variances to the product like size or color that in general fall into the same general product. If set up right, the images can be tied to these attributes so that a real picture shows up on each so that the buyer knows exactly what they are getting. Price adjustments, tax, and shipping costs can also be adjusted to these attributes too.
- Product Types – some products are digital downloads, some are services that you offer, some are physical goods that need to be shipped. These and more are known as product types. Product types in computer code, fall into one of the following criteria’s
- A Simple product type – This covers the vast majority of any products you may sell. Simple products physical goods that are shipped and have no options. For example, a book.
- A Grouped product– This is a collection of related products that can be purchased individually and only consist of simple products. For example, you could post a dining set that would include the chairs, tables, etc. in 1 grouped product…even though they would also be individual simple products as well.
- A Virtual product – This is one that doesn’t require shipping. For example, you are selling a service
- A Downloadable product – This s much like a virtual one. Your customers are given a downloadable file. For example, Music, Images, Videos, PDF magazine, or a software.
- An External or Affiliate product – is one that you list and describe on your website but is sold elsewhere. This is needed for later during the shopping cart process.
- A Variable product – is a product that has variations, each of which may have a different SKU, price, stock option, etc. For example, a sweater that is available in different colors and/or sizes.
- You can add other types through plugins like Subscriptions or Memberships
I know that you want to go right into your 1st product, but if you follow these steps, you will save hours of time in reorganizing and categorizing later.
Step One – Make sure you have set up the right eCommerce software. For more information on this process, click here
Step Two – Make sure you set up shipping details, Coupons, Specials, special instructions, and payment service before you add products. This will save so much time in the long run. It will tehn remember and apply this information to all of your products, plus, you will be set up and ready to sell when your first product is installed.
Step Three – Prepare images – So many times, images are overlooked. 1 image, and you increase your sales by 1,800%… yes this number is accurate according to Ebay and Amazon. Now for the wow factor, that number jumps to 3,300% if you add 3 images. And now that number is 3,800% if you add a zoom in feature. Therefore, if you like money and sales, get images of your products.
Step Four – Setting up your categories – For some, this may be easier if you grab a piece of paper and pen for this. Assign your initial product line into categories and subcategories. For example, if you offer clothes, a category would be shirts, a subcategory would be men’s shirts, and for some a sub-sub category of a long sleeve dress shirt. It is important to point out a new terminology called parenting. Moving up on the category is called the parent, conversely the subcategory is called the child. It is important to know these terms as you learn to organize all of your products in an easy to use structure. ( see picture for example.) Set these up so that your customers can easily move around your website. Use Category names that are common, not Sku’s or abbreviated codes. Example: —- Men’s Clothing > Men’s Shirts > Men’s Long Sleeve Shirts —- looks better than —- Men> shirt > 54323Long —- This also looks better with the search engines too now that they also look at categories as part of their ranking process.
Step Five – Choose product tags. These are words associated with your products that allows you to show customers similar products to the one they are viewing. As in the mens Long Sleeve Shirt example, tags like white shirt, Long Sleeve, Dress clothes, Dapper, or other words of your choosing. Tags me be the same as keywords or categories, but this is completely separate from them.
Step Six – Choose your product type. Once you choose the simple, group, or other types of products, the necessary fields that will need to be filled in will automatically appear.
For a Simple Product:
- First, click on “Product” and then “Add product”
- Second, Add a product Title
- Third, Add a product description. Be detailed, click on preview to see how it looks to the potential customer
- Third, scrolling the below, a general tab fills out your regular price, sale price and tax of your product. You can also add or review the shipping information if you are offering a tangible product. If you want, click on the schedule and you can put a timeline on your sales price.
- Fourth – on the right hand of the Add New Product panel, you can four meta boxes: Choose the Product categories and Product Tag
- Fifth – add the main image and additional product images
- Finally, click the button “Publish”.
- Congratulations – You are Live
For a Virtual product
– The screen will be the same but the Shipping information will disappear.
For a Downloadable product
– The screen will change slightly. You will have the option to add an url, or if your hosting allows, upload the product directly to the page. You will also be able to set a download time or limit, that is specify how many times the product can be downloaded or how many days they have to download it. For download type, select Music or software if it applies, if not, just leave the standard selected.
For an External or Affiliate product
– Just add the product URL and set the price. The money will then come into your account, then you will need to transfer the money to the seller and handle shipping with them. Some eCommerce stores make a lot of money this way using their SEO skills to sell products with a small profit margin.
For a Variable product:
- Select Variable Product from the dropdown at the top next to Product Data
- Under Attributes, click on Add. – Under this section you can add things like sizes and colors. Hint: You can setup a global variations to cut down on work time under Products>Attributes.
- Add a Name and Value(s) for each Attribute. The Name corresponds to the drop-down menu that will appear on the product page as a drop down choice, and the Values are what can be selected in that menu.
- Check Visible on the product page and Used for variations, and then click Save Attributes.
- Under Variations tab, click Link All Variations, then click OK on the confirmation messages. You will now have one variation panel for each combination where you must enter a price and stock. Once this is done click on each variation and you will be able to manually change the image, price, and even some of the description for each variable. Remember to hit the preview button if you want to see what something does. Until you hit publish, the public will not see it. So feel free to test out how it looks with the preview until you find a system you are happy with.
- When finished, click Update/Publish. And voila, you are live.
For a Grouped product
– Grouped products are related products that can be purchased individually. So now you want to offer a product deal if they buy the whole set. Or you want to offer free shipping if they buy it together. This all falls under a grouped product. Note that, grouped products can only consist of simple products. You cannot combine variable products into a grouped product.
- Upon setting the product as Grouped, the price and several other fields disappear. This is normal because a Grouped Product is a collection of “child products”; you’ll add this information to individual child products. Once finished with the grouped product, publish it. The grouped product is now still an empty group. You need to create child products to add to this grouped product.
- Grouped product is a multi-step process, first add the information just like you have with any other product type.
- To create a child product, create a new product. For the child product you will only be required to fill in the Title, Product type = Simple, add any necessary product data like descriptions or prices for each child product.
- Now you must connect this to the grouped product or what is called the parent product.
- Next, navigate to the linked products tab on your simple Product. Now that a grouped product has been established, a grouping field appears below the Up-Sells and Cross-Sells tabs. Select the parent product from the drop-down menu.
- Repeat as necessary until all of your child products are done.
- Do not add categories to your child product if you do not want the customer to see the individual items on another page of the store.
- Once you are done adding all the child products and have published them, go back to the group product, you will then be allowed to adjust, change, add, organize as you deem necessary.
Additional Tips for adding Products for your eCommerce store
- No more than 3 deep in the product category – Category, Sub Category, and Sub-sub Category, that’s it. Customers will not click on 5 or 6 categories to find your product. They subconsciously are trained to look at up to 3 pages.
- Images, Images, and Images – again look at the numbers. You can beat the odds sometimes but not all the time. It is clear that Images and videos sell the product, period.
- Make Product testing videos or How-to Videos – Make videos on how to use your product if it is something new. Or make a Product testing video. You can use a mobile device if you like but use a lot a light on the front of the product and a tripod to keep it stable. Speak slow and precise. Oh how we like to talk fast when we are nervous. But this of course does not sell the product.
- Quality over quantity – I know old school rules, “If you build it, they will come” or “need to see how big my store is or they will not buy from me.” Truth is, No customer will take the time to look at every product you sell, and two for SEO reasons, empty products without a good description, image, tagging, and keywords, will actually harm the placement of your website. It is better to be good at selling 20 products than to have 10,000 bad products.