A feature of WooCommerce I have used a lot is the External / Affiliate Products. It adds another layer to what you can do with WooCommerce. But the two things it doesn’t allow you to do are:
- Sell the product yourself and add an outside reseller
- Sell a specific product from various distributors under a single product page
In today’s business environment, where you can sell products via multiple sales channels, this can be done using the Product Retailers extension for WooCommerce.
Sell the product yourself and add an outside reseller
Let’s take an example, something I have experienced with a few clients in the past: the sale of a book, (a physical book and/or an ebook).
You have a book you want people to purchase on your site. But you would also like to give them the option of purchasing it on, say, Amazon. You want to include both options to address the preferences of your customer. Options are always good.
Basic Settings for the Extension
There are three basic, global settings that you will find under your WooCommerce Settings > Products > General. You can change the product and catalog button text and set the external links to open in a new tab. The custom button texts can be also overridden when creating specific products.
Adding Retailers to Your List
Now you want to start building your list of retailers. All of them will be found under WooCommerce > Retailers and you will be able to add them here as well.
It’s quite simple to add a retailer, by simply naming them and adding the URL. Again, the URL can be changed when you are creating each specific product.
As you add these, you may want to keep in mind that it might be good to break down options, even from a single retailer. For example, I have added the option to buy the book—and the Kindle version— on Amazon.
Adding a Retailer to a WooCommerce Product
Now we can add these to the product for the book on my site. You will find a Retailers tab with these options. Before I actually add a retailer, notice the options you have:
Retailer Availability: This give you more control over what you choose to show on a specific product. This is great because you may be using this feature for several products, and on some, you may not have the option to buy it on your own site.
Use Buttons: More of how you want to display the list, buttons vs. dropdown. This also is dependent on the Product Button Text.
Product Button Text: This button will be displayed on the dropdown linking to an external product or right before the buttons if you choose to display the list of buttons vs. the dropdown.
Hide Product Retailers: This is handy for displaying the options in a sidebar using a widget or somewhere else on the page using a shortcode, which I will show you later on in this post.
To add the retailer(s) you have created, simply type in what you want to add.
Once you add them, you can add the price of the book for each option, as well as change the URL. You want to pay attention to what you name the retailer on your list as that cannot be changed here and will appear on your product page.
Your Final Product Page Using the WooCommerce Product Retailers Extension
Let’s visit what the product page will look like now.
Using the Dropdown Menu
Here is what we get with the dropdown menu.
And this is what it looks like with your button menu:
Widget Menu Option
You can add a widget in the menu to show in the sidebar while hiding it on the page itself. This might be an option if you want the focus to be more on purchasing it on your site vs. another retailer’s.
The good thing here is that you don’t need to worry about custom sidebars as the widget will only show itself in the sidebar when the product is using the extensions functionality.
Also be aware that some responsive themes will drop the sidebar at the bottom of a product page when viewing it on mobile.
Using a Shortcode
You can hide the retailer list and add it anywhere on your product page. Although I don’t have an example to show you, I suggest that you use the WooCommerce Tab Manager and create a custom tab with the label More Places to Buy the Book or something like that.
Use with a Variable Product
Another thing to note is that this only works with Simple Products and will not work with Variable Products.
It might not be realistic to manually add the number of retailers you need. There is a method for doing this that is explained in the extensions documentation.
As you can see, this is one example of how you might use this extension. If you get creative, you might find other ways as well. If you want to check it out further, you can find the WooCommerce Retailers Product Extension here.
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