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How to create composite products in WooCommerce

November 17, 2020

Setting up composite WooCommerce products is a great way to let customers build or configure their own products. It’s perfect for anyone that’s looking to sell personalized products, gift boxes, hampers, and product kits.

In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step how to create WooCommerce composite products the easy way. Before we begin, let’s take a look at some popular use cases for composite WooCommerce products.

Composite WooCommerce product

When you might want to create composite WooCommerce products

Composite WooCommerce products (also called product builders) simply means building a product by combining several other products. For example, if you sell computer parts (motherboards, RAM, graphics cards, and processors), you could let customers build their own PC by creating a WooCommerce composite product. Customers would select all the individual components to make up their complete computer.

Here are some use cases where it makes sense to create a WooCommerce composite product:

  • Gift boxesWooCommerce composite products are perfect for e-commerce stores that sell gift boxes and gift baskets (hamper/packs). Customers can select a box, choose the products they’d like to add to it, place their orders, and proceed to checkout.
  • Product kit builderIf you sell products like custom PCs or skateboards, you can create a composite WooCommerce product to let customers select the parts they’d like to use in their custom build.
  • ‘Build your own’ productsYou can create composite products if you’re selling bespoke vegetable boxes, luxury food hampers, or build your own pizza or burrito. Be sure to check out our tutorial on ‘build your own’ products for inspiration.

It’s a good idea to plan out the composite product types you’re going to build before getting started. This way, you’ll know which products you’d like to offer as options for assembling the composite product and how much to charge for them.

The best WooCommerce composite products plugin

The easiest way to create composite WooCommerce products is by using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. You can use it to create a one-page order form that lets customers choose the items they’d like to use to assemble their composite products.

WooCommerce Product Table
The easiest way to list and sell composite WooCommerce products.

You can list hundreds of products in your product table along with any data you want. For example, you might want to display a product image, SKU, name, description, and pricing for each item. Customers can use the built-in search box to quickly find exactly what they’re looking for. Or, they can use the product table’s instant sorting and filtering options to narrow down their search.

Build your own skateboard

The WooCommerce Product Table plugin makes it incredibly easy to create a product kit or gift basket using multiple products in WooCommerce. All you have to do is add your products to WooCommerce and use a Gutenberg block (or shortcode) to insert the product table on your page. It’s incredibly easy to use and you don’t have to mess around with complex functionality like conditional logic.

Case study: using product tables to create composite WooCommerce products

Flowers by Annette, built by Delight Designs, uses the WooCommerce Product Table plugin to sell hand-tied bouquets. They’ve built a composite product in WooCommerce to let customers place their orders.

Flowers by Annette

Customers can use the product table to make their selections using the dropdown menus and checking a tick box next to the items they’d like to add to their gift pack. Once they’re done making their selection, they can click the Add Selected to Cart button to add all of the items to their cart in one go.

According to Delight Designs developer Delyse Wright:

I was building a website for a client who had a strong focus on gift baskets. She wanted a solution for the user to create their own individual gift basket using particular components/products. I was trying to make Woocommerce Composite Products work, however the Composite Products plugin was incredibly frustrating and not user-friendly at all, returning multiple errors and visual issues. I looked for an alternative solution and found the WooCommerce Product Table in the Gift Pack section and on the standard product page. The Barn2 website was really easy to navigate and the tutorials were terrific and very clear. Very happy to have come across this plugin, I will definitely use it again.

They also use Product Add-Ons to add extra options to their composite product order form which allows additional configuration options. For example, customers that purchase the Soft & Dreamy Bouquet can enter the wording they’d like to have written on their complimentary gift card and specify any special requests for their flower bouquet.

How to create WooCommerce composite products

Here, we’ll show you how to create composite WooCommerce products in a few simple steps. For this tutorial, you’ll need the WooCommerce plugin installed on your WordPress website. You’ll also need to get the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.

Step #1: Add products to WooCommerce

The first thing you need to do is plan out your WooCommerce composite product. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the different products that will be included in the composite product? For example, if you’re selling computers, this might be motherboards, RAM, graphics cards, and processors.
  • Do any of the items have variations? If so, you’ll need to add them as variable products to your WooCommerce store.

Once you’ve planned out the products, you can start adding them to WooCommerce as individual products.

WooCommerce add product screen

For this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a composite product for a DIY aquarium. We’ll add the fish tank, tank plants, and lighting as individual products to WooCommerce.

Step #2: Configure the WooCommerce Product Table plugin’s settings

Head over to WooCommerceSettingsProductsProduct tables from the WordPress admin panel and configure the following settings:

Set the Columns option to display the columns you’d like to show on the front-end. For example, if you want to display the product’s image, name, short description, product price, and add to cart button then you would enter image,name,short-description,price,add-to-cart.

Table content settings

Next, set the Add to cart button option to Button and checkbox using the dropdown menu. Set the Variations option to Dropdown lists in add to cart column.

Add to cart column settings

Check out the plugin’s complete documentation for more information.

Step #3: Display the composite WooCommerce product on the front-end

Finally, it’s time to display the composite WooCommerce product on the front-end. Create a new page and give it a title. Following our example, we’ll call it Build Your Aquarium.

Add a Shortcode block to the text editor and enter [product_table] in it or if you’re using Gutenberg then look for the WooCommerce Product Table block and insert it into the page. When you preview the page on the front-end, it should look something like this:

Composite WooCommerce product

Bonus: add extra options to your composite product

Depending on the type of product you’re selling, you might want to offer customers extra component options. This way, you can set a base price for the composite product and charge extra for add-ons.

WooCommerce composite product with product add-ons

For example, if you wanted to let customers add different types of plants to their aquarium, you could add them as extra component options instead of variations. Customers would then be able to select all of the plants they’d like to include in their aquarium. You could also add a text box and let customers enter special requests.

You can add extra customization options for each product in the table by using the Product Add-Ons extension. It works seamlessly with the WooCommerce Product Table plugin and allows you to add configuration options to your composite product.

Bonus: set minimum or maximum quantities

You might want to set a minimum or maximum value for the number of items customers can place orders for. This is possible with the YITH WooCommerce Minimum Maximum Quantity plugin.

The plugin lets you set min and max quantity for each product or product category. For example, you can use it to create a rule requiring customers to order more than one product from a specific product category.

Create composite WooCommerce products

There you have it! We showed you how to create composite products in WooCommerce and, hopefully, you’re in a good position now to take the next steps. With the WooCommerce Product Table plugin, it’ll only take you a few minutes to set everything up and start selling.

WooCommerce Product Table
The easiest way to list and sell composite WooCommerce products.

Ready to create composite WooCommerce products for your online store? Get the WooCommerce Product Table plugin today.

2 Comments

  1. Fred
    November 9, 2020 Reply

    Nice idea !

    I would like to create gift boxes with the plugin. They have two slots where I can add one product in each.

    Would I be able to only select two products max in the table ?

    Can I limit to a single variation (size) for each product ? Thanks.

    I already have your plugin. It is very useful for my quick purchase page.

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