How to sell custom products on WooCommerce.
Updated: Jan 17
We all want our customers to have the best experience while shopping in our store. We want to avoid broken links, slow pages, and abandoned carts.
The stakes get even higher for the shoppers who aren’t just browsing and shopping but are creating the products they want to purchase. Custom-created or personalized products can increase sales dramatically, but with their presence comes a need for product pages that go above and beyond the standard image gallery and add to cart button.
Now let's say you have a WooCommerce store and have taken a step into personalization. Who wouldn't, right? When shoppers who have the ability to personalize their products tend to be more engaged, purchase more often, and spend more per visit than those who can’t customize their goods in any way, personalization starts making a lot of sense for many stores.
But, how do you approach it? Offering personalized products can be tricky, but if you organize correctly it can be a great benefit for your company. So, whether you’re already selling products with personalization or are considering adding some custom creations for your store, we thought a little help could go a long way. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you master personalized products on WooCommerce.
First of all, let's take some time to think about what personalization will you offer. When you think of personalized goods, your first thought may be of old-fashioned monogrammed bath towels or novelty items like wedding souvenirs customized with the name of the newly married couple, but personalization can go way further than that. From small details such as custom gift wrapping to entirely on-demand products with custom materials and confection, knowing what you will personalize is and how always the first step.
What types of customizable products will you sell?
What types of options will you offer customers?
How will you display the options?
How will you display the personalization?
How will you fulfill the personalization?
It’s important to remember that the more options you offer to your customers, the more difficult it can be for them to choose what they want. We often recommend limiting the number of available options and making those options as easy to understand as possible.
Once you've figured this out, the process of adding product variations and custom options is pretty easy. You can rely on WooCommerce variations functionality to add basic product options like sizing, colors or other option that will affect your SKU.
To create a new product with variations, follow the steps below:
In your WordPress admin, hover over 'Products' and click 'New Product'.
Add product title, description and any other info you need, then scroll down to the product data box.
From the 'Product Type' drop down, choose 'Variable product'.
Go to the 'Attributes Tab' and hit Add to create a new custom attribute.
Add the list of attributes you want, check 'Used for variations' and save attributes.
Now go to the 'Variations' tab
From the drop-down select 'Create variations from all attributes' followed by 'Go' (You'll see an alert pop up, just click 'Ok').
You should now see your WooCommerce variations, as shown in the image below.
You can add as many variations as you want. However, having many variations can be a bit confusing, since it will create a separate variable for every combination of attributes you have. Also, variations are always limited to dropdowns which might not be very attractive for your product page, and might not cover all the personalization you need (like custom text fields).
This is why for custom options you'll need to work with extensions. Extensions will let you add extra dropdown options, swatches, text fields (for custom engraving or embroidery), and much more so you can allow your customers to create complex products with as many options or choices as you like. You'll find some free extensions on WooCommerce Extension Store that will let you add a certain amount of options. But if you want to go all the way, you'll be better with some premium plugins that will let your personalization run freely.
Guess one app that's great for adding custom options? Yeah, you got it right... Customily! With our WooCommerce extension, you can add as many options you want to any product, this includes text inputs, dropdowns, color and picture swatches, image uploads so customers can add their own pictures and more!
Once you add Customily Options App to your store, you'll be able to set all these options to any of your products, just by accessing the Customily Tab on your product data box.
So, adding custom options to your product is done. Now the challenge is how to showcase all these options in a way that doesn't confuse your customer or compromise your shop's design. Having the options accompanied by a preview is the perfect way to showcase all the potential of your customized products while giving customers a great shopping experience.
Customers will love to see what the product they’re ordering is going to look like, so finding the right way to preview your products is key to selling personalized gifts.
If you are dealing with a small number of personalization options, you can always rely on good product pictures that reflect what your client chose. This works very well if you allow changes in color, material or patterns, and it can be easily achieved by adding different pictures to each variation.
However, when your personalization gets more personal you know it's time to rely on a preview app. This is most useful when you want customers to add that unique personal touch to your products, such as a quote, name, date, monogram or even their own picture. It also works great for mix and match products, where customers get to choose different fabrics, textures, and stylings to make their product absolutely unique.
This type of software is great when looking for a product designer and previewer tool that takes into consideration your own designs. This means you can upload your own original design and let customers personalize on top of that, making their own unique products. This way you can guarantee a high-quality product while making unique original designs available that represent your brand.
Take the example of Customily. It integrates with WooCommerce with very simple steps, and it doesn't compromise your customers' shopping process at all. This means it doesn't add an extra step (the infamous pop up) before adding to cart. Instead, it adds a dynamic preview where your regular product picture used to be, removing shopping friction and most importantly customers uncertainty.
As your clients choose their options, the preview right next to them updates in real-time. And the best part is that it's very smooth on mobile devices. Even if you change a lot of settings or have an awkward screen size, everything adjusts perfectly, allowing you to design from any device.
With its web 2 print tools, clients can personalize online while seeing a photo-realistic dynamic preview, and you can then get the high-quality files ready for printing, engraving or embroidering after each purchase. Your orders will appear as usual on your WooCommerce Admin panel, only this time there will also be a link to download the ready to print file. There is no more need to manually process orders, since Customily will provide your clients designs ready for production in files like EPS, Ai, PDF, PNG or DXF.
And hey, you'll be feeding two birds from one hand, since you'll be a step ahead on setting up your production process, and make your personalization process efficient. It's very important to define a strategy to process every order to deliver the personalized products in time and form (imagine a customer receiving their name typed wrong!). This means, have an efficient way to transform customers preferences into actual personalized products.
We hope these tips for product customization have given you a few ideas for your own business. Whether you’re already offering custom designs and simply need to beef up your product pages or are just searching for inspiration, there’s a lot you can learn from here.
Have you tried adding personalization to your products in WooCommerce? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.