If you’re planning to start a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business, you need a way for people to sign up online, make regular automated payments, and manage their subscription. Whatever platform you've used to build your SaaS service, keep reading to learn how to sell SaaS products through a WordPress website - powered by a WooCommerce SaaS plugin.
WordPress and WooCommerce are the ideal combination for selling SaaS products and other types of software, even if WordPress doesn’t power your actual SaaS products or software.
This is the complete guide to selling SaaS products or software through your WooCommerce store. We’ll start by explaining why WordPress is an excellent CMS for selling SaaS services or software apps using WooCommerce and how a SaaS WordPress site works.
We’ll also walk you through a step-by-step tutorial explaining how you can sell SaaS services or software using a SaaS WooCommerce plugin.
Why you should use WordPress and WooCommerce to sell your SaaS services or software apps
As an online business owner, you need an easy way to sell your SaaS services or software. The great thing about WordPress is that it’s an incredibly flexible SaaS platform. Paired with WooCommerce and the right SaaS WordPress theme (or page builder), it’s great for selling digital downloads, like SaaS products or software.
With WordPress and WooCommerce, you can sell any type of software to customers regardless of the technologies you used to build the actual software. This is because there are plenty of high-quality, off-the-shelf SaaS WordPress plugins that are perfect for allowing users to sign up to your SaaS solutions and collect on-going subscription payments.
It’s also worth mentioning that the SaaS WordPress and SaaS WooCommerce plugin combination is significantly more cost-effective than hosted solutions, such as Shopify. In addition, it requires far less development time than building a bespoke solution to sell your software products. The key benefit here is that it frees up your WordPress developers to focus on perfecting the software instead of getting caught up in the details of how to sell it to customers. You will, however, need to use a SaaS WordPress theme on your website.
And, finally, there are many payment gateways out there that support subscriptions and integrate seamlessly with WordPress and WooCommerce. Some popular examples of payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, credit cards, and others.
How a SaaS WordPress site works
A WordPress-powered website that sells SaaS or software products works a little differently than a typical online store. Here’s a quick overview of the main customer journey:
Step #1: Selecting and purchasing a license:
- Customers view the available plans or license options for your SaaS product or software on your SaaS website.
- They subscribe to a plan or license by adding it to their shopping cart.
- The customer proceeds to the WooCommerce checkout page to enter their information and payment details.
- Customers are added to your website as WordPress users (WooCommerce customers).
Step #2: Signing up and using the SaaS service:
- Depending on the sort of SaaS service or software you’re selling, the customer will either receive login credentials or a software license via email.
- The customer can then start using the service or install the software.
Step #3: Continuing the subscription:
- The customer will be billed regularly (and automatically) for their subscription.
- Customers can manage their account information and edit their subscription details or payment methods via the WooCommerce account area i.e., the My Account page.
Now that we have a better idea of how the typical customer journey goes on a WordPress and WooCommerce-powered SaaS site, let’s look at how you can start selling your own SaaS services or software.
How to sell SaaS services or software using a SaaS WooCommerce plugin
Regardless of whether you have SaaS services or software products, the process for selling them through SaaS WordPress is similar.
Here, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to sell SaaS services or software using SaaS WooCommerce plugins.
Step #1: Install WooCommerce
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the free WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website. Once that's done, you'll see a setup wizard on your screen.
Start by entering your store's details. You will also need to select the currency you accept payments in and use the dropdown to select the types of products you sell.
For SaaS products, you should select the I plan to sell digital products option.
Enable the different payment methods you'd like to make available to customers.
For SaaS products, it's a good idea to go with online payment options like PayPal and Stripe.
That's it! You can choose to install any of the themes and plugins in the Recommended and Activate steps if you'd like though they are not necessary for selling SaaS products in WooCommerce.
Once that's done, simply click the Create a product button on the Ready! step to get started.
Step #2: Add your SaaS services or software as WooCommerce products
If you haven’t done so already, divide the software products or SaaS services you’re selling into different licenses or plans.
For example, if you have a bookkeeping SaaS product that allows users to manage their business finances and budget better, you could create three different plans for it – Lite, Plus, and Pro.
Following this example, you would add the Lite, Plus, and Pro licenses as individual WooCommerce products to your website.
Step #3: Set up a subscription option
By now, you’ve added your SaaS service or software as a product to your WooCommerce store. The next step is to set up a subscription option so customers can choose whichever plan or license they’d like to purchase.
For this, we recommend using the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin. This SaaS WooCommerce plugin lets you allow customers to subscribe to a plan and pay regularly. Generally speaking, store owners choose to offer customers a monthly subscription option for SaaS products or an annual subscription option if they’re selling software products, like WordPress plugins.
Step #4: List your SAAS plans on the front-end using WooCommerce Product Table
Once you’ve configured the subscription options, you need an effective way to list your SaaS plans or software product licenses on the front-end. Ideally, you want to make it easy for customers to discover your products (i.e. have good SEO for people searching using Google) and understand the differences between the available pricing plans.
For this, we recommend using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. It’s the easiest way to list software products or plans in a table layout. The SaaS WordPress plugin is user-friendly and lets you add various columns to show information about each option so that prospective customers can easily compare the plans and products, and choose whichever one they’d like to subscribe to.
For example, you can display information about the SaaS plan’s title, who it’s best for, ratings, and subscription price. Once the customer decides which plan they’d like to purchase, they can simply click the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout page.
Step #5: Send the software to customers
When selling SaaS products, you also have to think about how customers will receive the products they’ve purchased. This depends entirely on the types of products or services you’re selling.
Hosted SaaS services
If you’re selling SaaS services, you have two different options available to you.
Let’s say you want to host the SaaS service on a hidden (protected) part of your WordPress website. For this, you can use the WooCommerce Memberships plugin to automatically grant access to the SaaS area when customers purchase the relevant subscription product.
On the other hand, if you want to host the SaaS service on a separate platform, you will need your development team to integrate this with WooCommerce. This way, customers with a valid subscription can automatically have access to the service when they complete their purchase.
WooCommerce digital products
You can use WooCommerce digital products to sell, say, WordPress plugins, and other electronic software that users can install on their computer, smartphone, tablet, or website. For this, we recommend using the Software Add-on extension, which can help you sell software licenses for your product.
Bonus: Advanced options for selling through SaaS WordPress
As we mentioned above, WooCommerce is a suitable platform for selling SaaS services and software products. We already explained how you could set up SaaS billing and subscriptions on WordPress and get products across to customers.
In addition, WooCommerce also offers built-in options for setting up coupons (with tax support). It’s also worth mentioning that WordPress and WooCommerce integrate seamlessly with most CRMs and email marketing services since they’re open source. This makes them the perfect combination for running a successful SaaS business.
Bonus: Send customized emails to customers
As an e-commerce site owner, you want to deliver the best possible user experience to your customers.
This involves getting content, exclusive deals, and helpful tips across to them that will keep them engaged with your offering and ensure they don’t cancel their subscription. The Follow-Ups add-on for WooCommerce allows store owners to send customers custom emails easily.
Start selling SaaS products today
With WordPress and WooCommerce, it’s entirely possible to sell SaaS products, WordPress plugins, web design templates, software delivered electronically, and all sorts of apps online. And, with the right SaaS WooCommerce plugins and WordPress theme, you can present your offering in a neat table layout and offer subscription options. For this, you’ll need the right SaaS WooCommerce plugins.
- Display your plans and licenses on your website.
- Allow customers to sign up for a subscription.
- Accept recurring payments.
- And much more!
Ready to start selling SaaS products in WordPress through your WooCommerce-powered e-commerce store? Get the WooCommerce Product Table plugin!