Use Case: Create Configurable Products

The most straightforward way to offer configurable products with WooCommerce is to use the Variable product type to create product variations.

From an inventory perspective, a variable product is a practical way to simplify the management of many related SKUs that share the same configurable attributes. However, only a single SKU is used when a variable product is purchased — the SKU associated with the chosen variation.

In contrast, a composite product consists of several other products that need to be assembled or bundled together. Multiple SKUs are affected when a composite product is configured and purchased.

If you are creating a configurable product and can’t decide between using the variable or the composite type, determine whether the offered options must be inventory managed individually. If yes, then choose the composite type and:

  1. Create Components to describe the parts or attributes of the configurable product.
  2. Create a new product for each option you want to offer and, if necessary, use Catalog Visibility to prevent it from appearing in your shop pages.

This guide demonstrates how to use Composite Products to create a Full Frame DSLR Kit that consists of a Camera Body, a Lens and an optional Memory Card.

Note that it would be possible to build a similar selection interface with the Variable type, by creating the Camera Body, Lens and Memory Card as Attributes and populating them with options. However, this would not allow you to manage the inventory of the chosen cameras, lenses and memory cards.

The Full Frame DSLR Kit composite product.
The Full Frame DSLR Kit composite.

Plugins/Extensions Used ↑ Back to top

Configuration ↑ Back to top

To configure the Full Frame DSLR Kit composite product, follow these steps:

  1. Create the Composite

    • Go to WooCommerce > Products and click Add Product.
    • Enter a Title, Description and Short Description.
    • Locate the Product Data panel and select the Composite product type.

  2. Define Components and Component Options

    • Locate the Product Data panel and go to Components.
    • Click Add Component to create a Component and name it Full Frame Camera Body.
    • Add Component Options to the Full Frame Camera Body.
    • Repeat the steps b-c for the Lens and Memory Card Components:

      Adding Components.
      Adding Full Frame Camera Body Components.

    Dependent Component Options

    To ensure that only compatible products can be selected and purchased together, Scenarios can be used to define valid combinations of Camera, Lens and Memory Card selections.

  3. Configure Pricing Options

    The Full Frame DSLR Kit costs as much as the sum of its components:

    • Locate the Product Data panel and go to the Components tab.
    • Tick the Priced Individually option in the Basic Settings section of all Components.
    • Go to the General tab and ensure that the Regular Price and Sale Price fields are blank.

  4. Configure Shipping Options

    The chosen camera, lens and memory card(s) are shipped in their original boxes – no assembly is required:

    • Locate the Product Data panel and check the Virtual box.
    • Go to the Components tab and check the Shipped Individually option in the Basic Settings section of all Components.

  5. Configure Layout Options

    • In the Product Data panel, go to the Components tab.
    • Select the Progressive layout.
    • Open the Full Frame Camera Body Component, locate the Options Style drop-down and select Radio Buttons. Do the same with the Memory Card Component. For the Lens Component, choose Dropdown.

  6. Add Finishing Touches

    Choose a Product Image, add some Gallery items and, if your theme is flexible enough, tweak the layout of the Full Frame DSLR Kit page.

    Using Storefront?

    If you are using Storefront, the Storefront Powerpack allows you to tweak the layout of individual product pages. The extension adds a number of layout options grouped under a custom Storefront tab, which can be used to allocate more viewport width to composite products by stacking all component content below the main product image.

    A similar result can be achieved with the free WooCommerce Stacked Product Layout plugin. The plugin, which has been used in this example, should work well with most themes, including Storefront.

Result ↑ Back to top

The Full Frame DSLR Kit.
…In the cart.

Questions & Support ↑ Back to top

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