To get started with creating products in WooCommerce, we will cover types of Simple Product  and how to add a simple product in WooCommerce admin.

Simple products have only one SKU (stock-keeping unit), and have no variations. (Learn the difference from products that have variations in our article about how to create WooCommerce variable products).

Simple products are divided into 2 types:

  • Physical products that are shipped to buyers (ex: a couch, a bed, a garden tool, etc…)
  • Virtual/Downloadable products that are not shipped but that buyers have to download online (ex: an e-book, a music album, an online course, etc…)

Before explaning the differences in setting up physical simple products vs virtual/downloadable simple products, let’s look at the general settings that you have to take care of when adding a simple product of either type.

Go to Products >> Add New >> Choose Simple product in the Product data field.

Firstly, name your product, write detailed product description, and add produc image.

In General tab: you will add pricing details. If you have a sale price, you can schedule a period to temporarily promote your product on sale.

add woocommerce simple product

In Inventory tab:

  • SKU: each simple product only has one unique SKU code as the identifier for the product. SKUs are important in product inventory and order management.
  • Manage stock: for simple product, you can manage stock quantity at product level by enable this option and put in the number of stock you have available and want to track.
  • Backorders: Allow backorders if you have to give customers the ability to purchase when products are out of stock. Backorders will be fulfilled when products are back in stock.
  • Sold individually: Enable this option if you only allow 1 item of the product to be purchased in a single order.

manage inventory of woocommerce simple products

In Linked Products tab:

This is where upsells and cross-sells are set up for the main product. As this step is the same for all WooCommerce product types, we recommend that you learn how to create upsells, cross-sells, and related products in WooCommerce here.

In Attributes tab:

Attributes are product options such as color, size, weights.

woocommerce simple products with attributes

You might be confused about the differences between simple products with attributes and variable products with variations:

  • A simple product with attributes is actually 1 product with 1 single SKU, price and can only be managed in product level.
  • Meanwhile, a variable product is managed in variation level: each variation is a combination of different attributes, has its own SKU (different from the SKU of the primary product), price details and stock quantity. Creating a WooCommerce variable product is more complicated and takes more steps than other products.

Handling virtual / downloadble products in WooCommerce is a bit different from physical products.

  • Virtual products are intangible products that cannot be shipped (for example: an online course, a consulting session, etc). When you choose to create a virtual product, the shipping section will be removed.
  • Downloadable products are delivered to purchasers with a link to download (customers receive this link after they finish checkout, on website and via email confirmation). Thus, details of the download will appear on the general tab so you can set up link or file to download, download limit and expiry date:

create downloadable products in WooCommerce

Don’t forget to check store settings for downloadable products, by going to WooCommerce >> Settings >> Products >> Downloadable products, as below:

enable woocommerce download product settings

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