How to Setup WooCommerce External / Affiliate Products
Have you ever thought about building an eCommerce site but decided against it because of a lack of products? Fortunately, WooCommerce makes it easy to supplement your eCommerce site with third party affiliate products through the use of the “External/Affiliate Product” product type option. The External/Affiliate product type option helps to eliminate the issue of not having enough of your own products when first starting out. Using affiliate products allows you to beef up your eCommerce site with more products which in turn should theoretically lead to more traffic and more revenue over time. In this Upload WP tutorial we'll show you how to supplement your WooStore with external products so lets get stared…
Benefits of the WooCommerce External / Affiliate Product Type Option
In our example video below, we promote a soccer t-shirt on Zazzle.com which is a popular custom apparel marketplace. The cool thing about using the external / affiliate product type option is that it does not take visitors away from our site until they are ready to actually purchase the product. Only when our site visitors click on the Buy Product button (on the product detail page of our site) are they are taken to the product detail page for that product on Zazzle where they can buy the t-shirt. This means that our site visitors cannot really tell who actually manufactures the products on WordCupTees.com. The only thing they see is the large selection of products available which is what you want as the owner of the eCommerce site.
When you employ the external / affiliate product type option you set yourself up to reap the benefits of passive affiliate commissions by having a large product catalog. You will get the referral commission because your Zazzle affiliate link is behind the “Buy Product” button. Another positive thing about using the WooCommerce external / affiliate product option is that it cuts down on the amount of work you have to do while increasing your profits. For example, when your site makes a successful referral you don't have to do a thing in terms of actually processing the order like you would have to do if it was your own product. Instead, the third party takes care of processing the order for you. You simple collect the affiliate commissions each month via PayPal.
It's Easy to Find Good Products to Promote on Your WooCommerce Site
Zazzle was a natural fit for WorldCupTees.com so we joined their affiliate program by simply creating a free account. If your eCommerce site sells products other than t-shirts, simply find similar sites that fit your niche and see if they allow you to promote their products. No matter what types of products your site sells, chances are excellent that there are many third party sites that would love for you to promote their products and earn commissions in return.
Exact Steps on how to Setup WooCommerce External / Affiliate Products
Step 1: Identify the third party product(s) that you want to promote on your WooCommerce site. In our tutorial video below, we identified a soccer t-shirt called “Go Hard” on the popular custom t-shirt site Zazzle.com.
Step 2. Register for / join their affiliate program so that you earn commissions for each successful referral. When you create an account with Zazzle you are automatically enrolled in their affiliate program and give an affiliate ID which you can append to the end of any product URL. Other affiliate programs may require you to actually apply for their program. Simply do the necessary research to figure out what you need to do to become an affiliate for the particular third party product(s) you want to supplement your WooStore with and get it done.
Step 3: Identify / locate the affiliate URL for the product you are going to promote on your eCommerce site.
In this example, we identified our affiliate URL for the “Go Hard” soccer t-shirt on Zazzle by hovering over the “Share” button > clicking on Link > Link to this > copy the HTML > paste the HTML into Notepad > locate your affiliate URL inside the HTML
Step 4: Get the images for the third party affiliate product that you are promoting on your site. In our example we grabbed an image of the front and back of the Go Hard soccer shirt on Zazzle.com.
You can do this by right-clicking on the each product image > click Copy > open and image editing program such as Photoshop > paste the image into Photoshop via the CTRL + V keys > Save the product images to your computer for later use
Step 5: Create a Product Title, product Long Description and a Short Description in Notepad. I recommend creating original content and making it as long as possible so that your eCommerce site benefits from organic traffic. In other words, make the product titles and descriptions your own instead of just copy and pasting them from the third party site. Taking the time to write long, original product descriptions will pay off big time in the long run.
Step 6: Now that you have you've identified the product you want to promote on your eCommerce site, registered to be an affiliate, located your affiliate URL for the product, gathered the product images and created an original product description you're ready to add the product to your site.
To add an external / affiliate product to your WooCommerce site take the following actions… Log into your WordPress admin and go to Products > Add Product > copy and paste the Product Title, Long Description and Short Description from Notepad > change the Product Type drop-down to “External/Affiliate product” > paste your affiliate product URL in the “Product URL” text box > enter a Regular Price (higher than the actual price) > enter a Sale Price (the actual price of the product on the 3rd party site) > Publish the product and it will be live on your site.
Important Notes on WooCommerce Affiliate Product Setup:
- Product images should be uniform – make sure to use the exact same dimensions for all of your product image (your own products as well as affiliate products) so that your eCommerce site looks professional.
- Please refer to our earlier UploadWP.com post on “WooStore Product Setup and WooStore Product Variations” for more detailed instructions on setting up a new product in the WordPress admin.