There will be times when you want to sell a product that is displayed on your site but is purchased on another site (or example if you are an affiliate or a reseller). In this post, I show you how to set up external and affiliate products for your online store.
External and Affiliate Products in WooCommerce
An external or affiliate product is a useful way to add a product on your site that your customers will purchase on another site.
An example of this would be a product that you link to on another site and you receive a commission. The benefit of adding external products is that the outside site takes care of inventory, tax and shipping. Although Amazon is a perfect example of this, read on to learn what you need to be careful with when it comes to Amazon.
Affiliates are a great way to make some extra income on your site. This allows you to take it even further. Instead of simple images or a hyperlink that someone clicks on, instead you can add that product or service directly to your online store.
Setting up an external/affiliate product
Setup is very simple since you don’t need to worry about tax or shipping. Simply choose External/Affiliate product from the Product Data dropdown menu.
1. Add the product URL. This will be the affiliate link or other links you were given that lead the customer directly to the outside site.
2. Being able to add a custom button is a big advantage here. So you are not confusing or surprising your customers, you can have the button say something like “Buy On Amazon.” That way, they know what is going to happen and you are not misleading them.
The challenge of changing prices for your external products
Typically, if you are using this for affiliate links, you can keep up with the price. But if you are creating other external links, it will be up to you to change the price on your site. If you are using Amazon affiliates, be careful. I have been told that they are opposed to you setting prices manually, which you would be doing here, and it might appear that you are quoting a lower price than it really is. Best to go with just links for your Amazon affiliates.
And if you are linking to prices outside of Amazon that change often, you may want to make note that this price may have changed when they click through.
Want to learn more about using WooCommerce for your affiliates?
Here are a couple other posts you might be interested in.
How to Use WooCommerce for Your Affiliate Marketing
In an episode of our WP eCommerce podcast, learn how to set up your affiliate in WooCommerce and WordPress, better manage your affiliates and how we use it for our own site, as well as what you should consider before setting up your affiliate shop page.
How to manage your affiliate links with WooCommerce
Need to open your WooCommerce external links in a new window?
If you’re using links from Amazon or somewhere else, and would like to have the link open in a new window, check out the free plugin WooCommerce External Products New Tab .
A Few More Resources to Help You with Affiliate Marketing
We have several posts here on our blog related to affiliate marketing. Also, here are some that may be more specific and helpful to you:
This is a weekly podcast available in video, audio and text. It’s all about monetizing your WordPress site or blog and we talk about affiliate marketing quite a bit.
Starting with Affiliate Marketing
On our WP eCommerce Podcast, long-time affiliate marketer Shawn Collins shared with us some helpful tips on getting started with affiliate marketing. You can listen to that show here.