Composite products are made of more than one component. They may also be referred to as kit builders, custom product builders, or “build your own” products.
WooCommerce doesn’t offer a way to build composite products by default. Hence, you need a plugin to create composite products for your store.
In this article, we will learn everything about creating WooCommerce composite products, managing them in the quickest way possible and whether there are better alternatives to composite products.
But before we start, let us understand what composite products are.
What are composite products?
In essence, a composite product is a type of a grouped product created by combining several other products to create a unique one. Consider a bicycle where the rider may customize every aspect, including the gear, horn, seat, etc.
You can classify composite products into three major types:
- Build your own products – wedding suites, pizzas, cakes, etc.
- Product kit builders – bicycles, cameras, custom PCs…where you sell custom products and allow customers to select the components parts they like to add.
- Gift boxes – chocolate box, skin care hampers, books…where customers can select a box and choose the products they’d like to add.
Now that we know what composite products are, let us learn how to create composite products with a plugin as it’s not possible to create them with default WooCommerce.
Creating WooCommerce composite products
Composite Products plugin lets you create composite products with ease.
Thanks to its advanced product grouping capabilities and support for conditional logic; creating gift boxes, building your own product and kits is quite flexible with the plugin.
It’s a highly-rated plugin on the WooCommerce marketplace and has been active on 10K+ sites. It is priced at $99.
There are a few things to consider before creating composite products:
- Identify the components that make up your product bundle.
- Create all products you wish to offer as component options.
For example, for a custom DSLR camera kit, you can choose from professional wide-angle lenses, a camera case, a tripod, a memory card and a remote switch, all are individually manageable stock.
For creating a skateboard, you can choose the deck (actual board), wheels, wheel bearings, trucks for mounting the wheels on the deck, and other hardware materials.
Let’s begin creating the composite product – the skateboard.
To create your first composite product:
- Go to your
WordPress Admin panel > Products > Add New.
- From the Product data dropdown, select
- Click on the
Add Componentto create a component. Give it a name.
- Add some Component options, price, quantity. Choose the
Select Productsoption to add existing products one by one, or choose the
Select Categoriesoption to select product categories.
- Repeat these steps to create more components.
- Publish the product.
Your product is ready.
Component options can only be used with simple products, variable products and product bundles. For more details on adding shipping, composite products appearance in the cart and other advanced settings, refer to this Composite Products plugin documentation.
Managing composite products from one place using Smart Manager
Now, the ability to create composite product bundles and edit them on a smaller scale is possible. But the ability to manage hundreds of product kits and bundles requires a plugin that can simplify the process and save a great deal of time and effort as well.
By using Smart Manager plugin, you can edit, update or manage your composite products quickly from one place using an Excel-like sheet editor.
Editing hundreds of composite products and their components with Smart Manager have a lot of benefits, a few of which are:
- With the bulk edit option, making changes becomes fast.
- Filtering options make editing and selecting very easy.
- No need to enter each product to make any change.
- The overall editing process becomes more manageable and faster.
Perform hundreds of operations for composite products. Modify inventory status, edit description, edit data by date and filtering, search or filter products using the product name, categories, attributes, SKU which is a lot in itself.
Let’s find out how!
With hundreds of products out there, it is time-consuming to locate composite products. However, with Smart Manager, it becomes quite easy. Enter the name or ID or SKU of the composite product and it will be in front of you.
Learn how to do an advanced search for finding composite products or bundles.
Inline or direct edit
Once you filter the composite products, you can directly make changes to the composite products’ data. That’s the striking inline editing feature of Smart Manager. Know more about inline editing.
Make bulk edits
The holiday season is here, which means deals, sales and offers. By using the bulk edit feature, you can quickly decrease or increase prices without calculating manually all at once.
You can input multiple parameters and get data updated at once in bulk. For example, we are modifying the sale price, adding a description and selecting the date range for the sale.
Explore how to do bulk editing step by step.
Filter-based export to CSV
You can even export composite products data for future reference. In addition, you can customize which columns you want to be included in the exported file or not.
Not just composite products, you can also export, manage and bulk edit other WooCommerce product types, orders, customers, coupons, any WordPress post type.
Now, we all know that composite products, force sells, chained products are all types of product bundles. As a result, this fact can lead to a lot of confusion sometimes, so let’s take a quick look at the key differences between chained and composite products to clear up the confusion.
Chained products or composite products – what’s better?
We will first examine the differences between chained products and composite products.
In general, chained products are pre-configured product bundles with fixed options.
- Chained products linked to the main product purchased cannot be removed.
- Chained products do not incur any extra cost, but it is the final bundle price that counts.
- You can also enable the ‘Price Individually’ option and let the bundle price be a sum total of all the chained items’ prices.
For example, when you buy an Android phone and there is a charger chained to it, you need to purchase the phone along with the charger. You can’t change the charger or remove it from the cart.
The number of secondary products that can be chained together is up to the vendor.
On the other hand, with composite products, the user can build a dynamic product kit from a list of options. In essence, this means making sure that customers do not miss out on something significant when they purchase a product. This is majorly optional in case you do not want to buy all the components but rather choose between them.
So which is better?
It majorly depends on the situation and requirements of the store. Chained products are appropriate for people who wish to provide fixed product bundles as per what they feel is the best, while composite products are suitable for those who wish to suggest alternative products.
Composite products provide greater options and suggestions, allowing customers to choose between two or more related products for the bundle. Chained products seem more customer-centric, thus customers prefer these bundles as it creates an illusion of a free product. As a whole, both can contribute to better sales.
Both chained and composite products can have different combinations for the same main product, which customers may find more appealing than one uniform option.
You may want to consider the Chained Products extension if you want to group products without paying for expensive options. It’s easy to use, economical, and well-supported.
Composite products are not difficult to deal with once you understand how they work. They become especially important if you want to create a bundle of several items in your WooCommerce store.