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WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

Whenever we are talking about existing or would-be WooCommerce store, we realize that products work as backbone for it. Accurate, in time product management determines site performance and helps acquire positive customer experience. To make catalog handling more flexible you should consider WooCommerce product types.

Out of the box WooCommerce supercharges its admirers with powerful possibility to classify all the merchandise and assign them to suitable product type. In this way entrepreneurs can adjust product data and set properties depending on this or that type. Hopefully, this tutorial will provide you more details as to what type of product you can create with WooCommerce.

WooCommerce Product Types List:

We differentiate the following product types in WooCommerce:

  • Simple products
  • Grouped products
  • Affiliate or External WooCommerce products
  • Variable products

We also distinguish virtual and downloadable merchandise, which are actually simple products and do not represent separate product class.

Let’s figure out what peculiarities are inherent to each class, dive into details and look at samples, representing each of product type mentioned.

WooCommerce Simple Products

Obviously, we start from simple items, since it is basic WooCommerce product type. As its name speaks of itself, simple items are the easiest to understand, create and manage.

Simple products are one-component items, having single SKU and price, that do not acquire optional selections and are shipped.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

When you add new product listing at WooCommerce, by default it is marked as Simple and further you can change the type and assign desired one to this item. Simple items are fundamental for grouped products, since function as their constituents.


What products at your WooCommerce store will you mark as Simple? If you sell physical, unique merchandise that do not vary in color, capacity, material or other properties, Simple Product Type is the exact choice. These might be table lamp, book, musical instrument, picture or perfume.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

Simple Virtual and Downloadable Products

As it has been mentioned, WooCommerce lets you distribute virtual and downloadable products over your store. These are simple intangible merchandise that do not require shipping and inventory management.

Whenever you offer services or, for example, subscriptions, you may efficiently configure them by means of virtual product subclass.

In case virtual products, you sell, require downloading, like e-book, music or application, you should configure it as virtual and downloadable.

A product, marked as downloadable only, can perform the role of physical product and, correspondingly, stock for it will be calculated. Enable both, virtual and downloadable boxes for an item, if you do not want to sell it as physical.

Grouped Products

You might have guessed that grouped WooCommerce product stands for a set of simple merchandise, united by certain logic. Grouped product consists of main parent item and linked simple ones, that can be sold separately. Simple items that belong to Grouped one are standalone products, each possessing unique SKU.

In this way you can consolidate related simple items at one page at the storefront and allow shoppers to purchase them individually.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

WooCommerce grouped products are used for promotional reason to a certain degree. When customers open Grouped product page, they can see related items, find the collection useful and order all the group in one go.


Selling kitchen appliances and electronics, you may promote some creating Grouped product. As for example, Kitchen Appliance Package, including refrigerator, microwave oven, gas cooker, coffee machine, dishwasher. All these items will be displayed at one product page so can be bought together.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

Affiliate or External WooCommerce Merchandise

Another WooCommerce advantage is the possibility to distribute external products at your store. Affiliate products are actually listed at another site (retailer, affiliate, multiple sales channel). You, as WooCommerce user, can advertise desired external merchandise via Affiliate/External WooCOmmerce product type, getting fees in return respectively.

The peculiarity of Affiliate product is that, you need to provide the URL to original listing at another website when creating merchandise at your web shop. The purchases are transferred to this site, accordingly and customers complete their orders at this site. You are not responsible for tax, delivery and external merchandise inventory what definitely cuts down the scope of work to be done.


If you want to dispose, for example, Amazon products at your website, you can fulfil this practice creating External products.

Variable Products

Last but not least, we speak about Variable products, WooCommerce supports. This is really helpful and advantageous feature, since it facilitates catalog customization.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

Variable is actually a single entry with multiple selections (variations) assigned. If one and the same product differs in some characteristics, you are not obliged to create separate entities and multiply product pages. All the options can be displayed within one product page if you create Variable product. Moreover, you can accurately fulfil control over stock, image, prices of WooCommerce variations.


Imagine your online WooCommerce shop sells shoes. You need to display somehow that some pair comes in several colors and several sizes. Instead of configuring each combination of size and color as a simple product, you can add one variable with color and size as options.

WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight
WooCommerce Product Types: Detailed Insight

Wrap up

WooCommerce is approachable and flexible in terms of product management. It supports various types of merchandise: Simple (Downloadable and Virtual), Grouped, Affiliate/External, Variable and lets create sophisticated product catalog.

Use Store Manager to Simplify Product Management

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