Product specifications for WooCommerce: A comprehensive guide

April 24, 2023

Product specifications for Woocommerce: A comprehensive guide

While selling products online, it’s important to provide customers with all the product details to help them make informed purchase decisions. WooCommerce product specifications are an excellent way to display details in an orderly manner. They give give shoppers all the product insights quickly and with less clutter.

By providing your customers with detailed product information, you can increase their likelihood of purchasing.

In this article, we’ll first learn the significance of displaying product specification data to customers in your store. Then, we’ll check two flexible and easy ways to add product specifications to WooCommerce product pages.

With these methods, you’ll be able to build a complete and effective product page that provides your customers with all the necessary information they need. Whether you are a WooCommerce beginner or looking to enrich your product pages, this guide will provide you with everything you need to add WooCommerce product specifications tables.

Let’s first understand the use of product specifications.

What is the purpose of product specifications?

Simply put, product specifications help display detailed and granular information about a product, such as features and characteristics, beyond what is provided in the basic product fields. The specifications are neatly organized on product pages to help customers quickly find the information they are looking for to make an informed product decision.

What is the difference between product fields and product specifications?” is a common question when it comes to this topic. The simple answer is that there isn’t any fundamental difference between the two. They both help in displaying product information to customers; the difference lies in the level of detail they offer.

You can display broad information about the product, such as the price, category, or colors, using product fields or custom fields. But if you want to display granular information about the product, such as product dimensions, item weight, warranty, or the product manufacturer, using product specifications can be a great alternative. By adding even minor details, you can help your customers make a more informed purchase decision and reduce the likelihood of returns and increase customer satisfaction.

A good structured product specifications table can also help you with the search rankings of your product page by improving SEO and thus giving you a competitive edge over your competitors.

Product Specifications: Use cases

Before we learn how to add WooCommerce product specifications to your website, let’s check some of the use cases where adding product specifications can be useful to the business.

Broadly, any product where you need to display detailed information to help customers make an informed purchase decision is a good example. That being said, how you display your product specifications can affect your customer’s purchase journey. For example, you can either display product specifications in a table or add them to product pages as downloadable specifications files. Here are some good use-case examples for both.

💻Electronic products

Every electronic product has multiple technical features that are necessary for the customers before they can make a purchase decision. For example, if we consider a mobile, it is important for customers to know its various aspects, such as the display size, RAM, storage size, battery capacity, network options, and whatnot. Instead of adding all this data in a blob of a paragraph, you can display it in a more structured way in a table or give the option for customers to download the specifications.

🛠Industrial products

Usually, industrial products are quite technical and complex and require multiple reviews of the specifications of the products before one can place an order. For this use case, adding a downloadable specifications list can help the purchase process. For larger industrial orders, the products are usually reviewed by multiple departments of the company before they actually place the order. Giving customers access to a downloadable specs sheet or a specifications document can speed up the purchase process.

🧱Construction and DIY products

When it comes to construction, almost every product has a few unique specifications that set it apart from other variations of the product, such as nails of different sizes and different paint bases or lumbar. Customers purchasing such products often need to know the specifications, such as the coverage area, durability, and warranty. Providing a downloadable specifications document that contains this information can help customers understand if the product will meet their needs and if it is suitable for the project they're working on.

🧥Apparel products

Most apparel products have some aspects that a user usually checks before placing an order. These aspects can be size, color, material, country of origin, design, or even occasion. Adding these details on the products page can help your customers in placing the order and reduce product return/refund rates as the users can check these aspects before placing the order. Displaying these specifications in a table can be a great addition to your product page.

📲Digital products

Digital products such as apps, extensions, or plugins often have multiple specifications attributed to them. Attributes such as total downloads/active installs, version number, last release date, and product feature sets are crucial in almost every digital product. Most customers prefer checking these details before making a purchase decision, and simply displaying the specifications in a table can be a good addition to your product page. You can also add the details as a downloadable file if you think your customers will require a copy of the details of the products offline as well.

🔬Medical and laboratory products

Due to their nature, medical and lab products such as chemicals or equipment can carry multiple attributes with them that needs to be checked prior to ordering. Even a single order of a chemical needs reviewing of factors such as size, molecular weight, test results, source, manufacturer, or license grade requirements for ordering the products. For this, adding a downloadable specs doc on the product page can help the customers and their teams authorize the purchase orders.

Simply displaying product specifications in a table and adding them as a downloadable file are both good alternatives, depending on the nature of the products. In this tutorial, we’ll checkout both methods in detail. Let’s jump into it!

How do I add specifications in WooCommerce?

As we covered earlier, there are two primary ways of displaying product specification details to the customers.

Method 1: Create structured product tables with separate columns for product specification data

product table with attributes

If you only have a few pieces of extra product data to display, then you can display these on your main shop and product listing pages. The best way to do this is to replace your current store layout with a structured product table view. You can include columns headers for extra product data. This allows customers to view related products side-by-side and compare the product specifications.

You can easily do this with the Product Table WooCommerce plugin.

Method 2: Display specs in a resource list on the product page, with downloadable product specification documents

Product page with multiple downloadable specification documents

If you have multiple specs documents for each product, you can display them on individual product pages. The Document Library Pro plugin lets you upload product specs docs to your WooCommerce store and then display the relevant documents for each product on the product page. That way, customers can download them or read a preview in their browser.

Let’s check out both options in detail.

Method 1: Create a WooCommerce product specification table

product table with attributes
In this method, we’ll display product specifications data directly in our list of products. Instead of displaying the details on product pages, the customers can check the details on shop and/or category pages.

If you have a few very crucial specs that are important for customers while selecting the products, you can display them in the shop or product category page and make the shopping experience more smooth for customers. This way, customers can see all the relevant product details before clicking through the single product pages.

For this method, we’ll use the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. The plugin is perfect for displaying your store products in rows and columns in a structured manner.

Create instant product specification tables, anywhere on your site.

How do I use attributes in WooCommerce?

The best way to display product specifications is to add them as product attributes. We will display these attributes as columns in the product table.

That raises the question: How can I add a product specification to a product? To use attributes, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard → Products → Attributes.
  2. Now add the attribute title and slug for the attribute you are adding.
  3. Click on the Add attribute button.
  4. Now go to your product page customization page and click attributes.
  5. Select an attribute you wish to display and select the value.
  6. You can also click on the checkbox to make the products visible on the products page.
  7. Once you have made the changes, click on the Save Changes button.

What fields to use to add the specifications information?

Before adding attributes, you need to consider what information will be the right fit for displaying in the product table. Adding multiple irrelevant columns is not the right fit, as it can lead to information overload and eventually make potential customers abandon their purchase in confusion.

Think about the product specification data which is most important to customers. Display this as columns in the product table.

Case Study: Universal Fans

Here’s a good example from one of our customers, Universal Fans.

Universal Fans sell electrical fans requiring technical data to be displayed to customers.

The Universal Fans website

Universal Fans displayed only vital information in the table, such as fan motor capacity, motor wattage, noise level, and IP rating. Customers can compare these attributes with other products as they are all displayed in a table.

If customers want to check further and look into other specifications, they can see the other details by viewing the desired products on a single product page. Customers can find other product-related specifications on the product page, such as duct size, ceiling hole size, material, manufacturer, etc.

universal fans Australia

Just like Universal Fans, you can also display vital product-related information and display it in the product table using WooCommerce Product Table.

Now that you have added the specifications to your WooCommerce products as attributes, we can display the vital ones on the shop or categories page.

For this, we’ll use the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. With WooCommerce Product Table, you can display the products in your store in well-structured tables.

Installing WooCommerce Product Table

Once you have the plugin, install it on your website like any other plugin. You simply need to go to your website’s Admin dashboard → Plugins → Add New. Select Upload File and upload the plugin zip file. Once the installation is finished, activate the plugin and enter the license key in the setup wizard.

For displaying the table on your main store pages, such as the shop page and product categories, you can select the desired pages in the setup wizard.

To display your vital specifications in the product table, you can add the attributes in the table columns field. To do this, either use the plugin setup wizard or go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables. Now scroll down, look for the table content field settings, and list all the columns that you want to include in the table. Include any attributes, adding att: before each one to tell the plugin that it's an attribute.

For example, you might create columns for: name, att:color, att:size, att:brand, price, buy

This is what the final result will look like (depending on your WordPress theme):

product table with attributes

Method 2: Create a table of downloadable product specification documents

In this method, we will display downloadable product specification documents in a structured table on the single product page. This method is recommended for products with long specification lists. It's also good for products that require reviewing specifications multiple times before placing the order. Moreover, you can use it for products that have downloadable specification sheets including visual information such as diagrams and size charts.

For this, we will use Document Library Pro. With this WordPress plugin, you can display downloadable specification documents in structured tables. You can make the files downloadable to help your customers get access to product specifications. Alternatively, customers can view the document in a preview window.

The plugin is 100% flexible. For example, if a product has lots of specification documents then you can add filter dropdowns and a search box so that customers can find what they need in no time.

Install Document Library Pro and add downloadable spec docs direct to your product pages.

Let’s see how you can display the downloadable documents for each product in a specifications table with the Document Library Pro plugin.

Install Document Library Pro

You need to install the plugin and activate it on your WordPress website. If you do not have the plugin, you can get it here.

You can install the plugin by going to your WP admin dashboard → Plugins → Add new. Click the Upload Plugin button and install the Document Library plugin zip file. Once the installation is complete, activate the plugin and enter the license key in the setup wizard to finish setting up the plugin.

By default, Document Library Pro comes with multiple features, such as sort, filter, search, reset, etc., that are displayed above and below the table. You may not need these if each product only has a few specification documents. That's fine - you can disable these from the plugin settings page or in the setup wizard. If you need help, you can refer to this article for the full list of settings.

Click on the Save Changes button once you are done making changes.

Now we need to add the downloadable files as individual documents.

Adding product specifications documents

To add documents, go to Documents → Add New in your admin dashboard. That's where your documents post type is managed - you need to add each product specification doc as a separate 'Document' post.

Enter the Document name as the title and a brief summary of the document as the description (if required). You can also add an image image if required, for example a thumbnail of the specification document.

Now add the product specification document by uploading it to the 'Document Link' section.

Since you’ll need to add different documents for specific product SKU's, you can organize them using categories. Click on the “+ Add New Category” to create a new one or select an existing category from the list.

Once you are done, click on the Publish button. Now repeat the steps to add more product specification documents.

Displaying product specification documents on the product page

Now, lastly, you need to display the product specifications table on the single product pages.

For this, you need to add the shortcode simply[doc_library doc_category="category_name"] in the product description. This will list the relevant product specification documents on the page as a new table.

This is what the specifications documents will look like:

If you want, you can change the titles of table columns and customize the colors and design. Do this on the Document Library settings page.

For example, let's say that you want to change the column names. Find the 'Columns' option on the plugin settings page at Documents → Settings → Document Tables. Next, enter a colon followed by the desired name for each column, e.g. title:Document, excerpt:Details, link. The updated specifications table will be displayed like this:

The customers can now download and preview the product specification documents from the specs table.

Bonus: Display product specification documents in a separate tab on the product page

Displaying the specification table directly in the description can clutter up the product page and can make it look too loaded. If the product description is getting too long, then you can make it much more organized by displaying the specification table in a separate tab instead.

For this, we recommend using the WooCommerce Tab Manager plugin. The plugin can allow you to display product descriptions separately from the specification table. This will improve the overall look of the product page while making information more organized.

If you do not have the plugin, you can get it here.

To create a new tab, go to WooCommerce Tab Manager and create a new tab and select the tab type as Global tabs. This way, the tab can be shared with other existing products or new products. If you want to create a tab just for a single product, you can select the product-level tab option.

Now give the tab a proper name. It can be Specifications for this scenario. To display the specs table, you need to add the shortcode we used earlier in the description for this tab. Simply add the screenshot [doc_library doc_category="Category_Name"] in the description and click on the Save Tab button. You can also select the product categories if the specification table only applies to a particular category of products.

Once done, your product specs download table will start showing up in a separate tab.

You can tweak the tabs further and make other changes as per your store needs. Check out WooCommerce Tab Manager to learn more about adding tabs to WooCoomerce Product descriptions. The plugin is entirely codeless and you can start using it even if you don't know HTML, CSS, or PHP.

Create a product specification widget

Of course, there are even more places where you can list the product specification documents. Another option is as a sidebar widget. If your product page template includes a widget area, then you can use that to list the specification docs too.

Just create a widget for each product, and insert the Document Library Pro shortcode shown above into it. Use a free WordPress widget visibility plugin to choose which product page to show each widget on.

How will you add WooCommerce product specifications to your store?

Adding product specification documents to your eCommerce products can greatly help your customers in making the right purchase decision. This can also help your store conversions as your customers will be able to make a more informed choice. In turn, this can lead to fewer refunds and returns.

In this article, we covered two different ways to add WooCommerce product specifications:

  1. List products in a structured table view with product specifications columns using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.
  2. Or you can let customers download product specifications documents on the product page with the Document Library Pro plugin.

Both methods serve different purposes depending on the product you choose to display them on. Choose either method depending on your products, and give your customers access to crucial product information in the most structured way possible. You can also use them together to add basic product specification data to shop pages, plus full downloadable documents on product pages.

Install Document Library Pro and add downloadable spec docs direct to your product pages.

Which method was the right fit for your store? Let me know in the comments section below.

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