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Setting up a free product sample in WooCommerce: Complete plugin guide

April 5, 2022

Setting up a free product sample in WooCommerce using a plugin

A WooCommerce free sample involves giving away a free version of your product to customers. Once they try out the product and make sure it's what they're looking for, they’ll be more confident in paying the full price for it.

Though it may seem daunting at first, giving away free product samples in WooCommerce can actually help you boost sales. You can use free samples to introduce a product to customers who may not be familiar with your brand. This way, more people can learn about the products you offer and you can earn more sales.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up the best WooCommerce order sample plugin. You'll learn how to allow customers to order free product samples, with or without shipping charges. We’ll also reveal how you can convince customers to order the paid version of the product after trying it out for free.

Benefits of offering a free product sample

Offering a free product sample helps new customers learn about your products. They can try it out for free and be more confident paying for the paid version. Unlike a coupon, you can encourage just about everyone who lands on your WooCommerce store to get the free product sample.

Here are some of the ways free samples can help you increase sales:

  • Let customers try before they buy. By offering free samples, you can let customers try out the product to see how they like it. This gives them confidence before they order the full product. For example, people like to try a free make-up sample before buying a full sized bottle.
  • Customers can make comparisons and know exactly what they’re getting. Images and product photos on computer monitors aren’t 100% accurate. With a free sample, customers can see exactly what the product will look like. For example, if you run an upholstery fabric store, you can send customers a free sample that lets them see if the fabric will look good in their homes.
  • Charge for shipping. You can charge for shipping on free samples to cover your costs. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping. (If you sell digital free samples, this doesn’t apply.)
  • Sending email follow-ups. As an e-commerce store owner, you can increase the chance of converting prospective buyers into paying customers by sending email follow-ups. In other words, when prospective buyer receives a free sample, they’re more likely to buy the full product. This is particularly important if customers have ordered samples from more than one company.

WooCommerce free sample use cases

If you sell physical products or digital goods, chances are you can benefit from offering customers a free sample.

Shop page free sample

Here are some products that make for great free samples:

Fabrics and soft furnishings

If you run an upholstery fabric store, you can offer to send customers free samples before they place their order for the full product.

Some examples of products you can offer free samples for include:

  • Curtains
  • Upholstery fabrics
  • Custom cushion covers
  • Made-to-measure clothing
  • Shades

Home improvement

E-commerce stores that sell home improvement goods might consider offering customers free samples. This way, customers will have an easier time deciding whether the product will look good in their homes.

Here are some products you can offer free samples for:

  • Floor and wall tiles
  • Carpets
  • Paint samples
  • Solid wood, laminate, and composite flooring
  • Fabric or wood samples for furniture
  • Cabinet handles

Stationery and printing

Stationery stores that sell products in bulk can send customers a free sample before they place their order. For example, you might offer a free sample for:

  • Paper before a custom printing job
  • Paper, envelopes, letterheads, or business cards before a bulk B2B order
  • Brochures and menus
  • Wedding cards

Digital samples

Free samples aren’t limited to physical products only. If you sell digital goods, you can offer customers free digital samples to encourage them to purchase the full version of the product.

Some examples of digital products you might want to offer free samples for include:

  • Images (with a watermark or a low-resolution image)
  • Music tracks
  • Stock video

Free product sampling marketing

Free sample marketing is when you give products away to prospective buyers for free. Giving out free samples to your target market can help you quickly gain lots of paying customers. The idea is simple: you’re getting your product in the hand of people who are likely to want it.

Product sampling marketing is often done at trade shows but can also be done on a website. That way, giving away free WooCommerce products can really pay.

Introducing WooCommerce Product Sample

WooCommerce Product Sample is a WordPress plugin that allows you to let customers “try before they buy”. You can use it to offer free or paid samples and it works for both simple products and variable products in WooCommerce.

Let customers try before they buy with free or paid product samples, complete with follow-up emails.

You can enable free samples globally for all products or per product, per category, or per variation. This gives you full control over exactly which products you want to offer free samples in WooCommerce.

The WooCommerce Product Sample plugin lets you display ‘Order a free sample’ buttons everywhere in your online store. You can choose to have them appear on the WooCommerce shop page, category pages, and single product pages. The best part is that the ‘Order a free sample’ buttons can also show up in other plugins such as the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.

You can change the button wording to anything you’d like such as:

  • Order a free sample
  • Get your free sample today!
  • Try before you buy
  • Order sample for $1

In addition to this, the WooCommerce Product Sample plugin lets you charge for free shipping, if you’d like. This is a great way to cover costs. It’s perfect for e-commerce stores that want to offer free samples to customers without worrying about incurring a hefty fee in shipping charges.

WooCommerce Product Sample also lets you manage free sample stock together with the main product or separately, based on your preferences.

The best part about this WooCommerce free sample plugin is that it lets you send follow-up emails to customers directly from your WordPress site. No other free sample plugins for WooCommerce offer this feature.

You can send friendly follow-up emails shortly after customers receive the free sample nudging them to buy the full version of the product.

How to set up a free product sample in WooCommerce

For this tutorial, make sure you have the WooCommerce plugin installed and activated on your WordPress site.

Here’s what you need to do to set up a free product sample in your online store.

Step #1: Get the WooCommerce free sample plugin

To get started, purchase the WooCommerce Product Sample plugin. You’ll receive the plugin files and license key in a confirmation email.

Log into your WordPress site and go to PluginsAdd New and click the Upload Plugin button. Upload the plugin files and click the Install button to continue. Once that’s done, click the Activate button.

Finally, go to WooCommerce SettingsProducts Product Sample and paste the license key to start using the plugin.

Step #2: Configure the free product sample settings

From the same plugin settings screen (i.e. WooCommerce SettingsProducts Product Sample), tick the checkbox next to Enable samples for all to set up free product samples for all products in your store.

Global settings

Next, you can set the Sample price number field if you want to charge for the sample. For free samples, you should leave this field blank.

Use the Button text field to enter the text you want to show on the front-end. For example, you might set this to Order a free sample today!

The Enable on shop/category pages option lets you display the Order free sample button on the WooCommerce shop page and category pages in addition to single product pages.

Next, use the Maximum sample quantity option to set the maximum number of free sample products a customer can order from your store. The WooCommerce Product Sample plugin also lets you set the Maximum quantity logic to either Per order, Per category, or Per product/variation.

Order a free sample button

In addition to all of this, you can also change the add to cart button and checkout text, allocate shipping conditions, and assign tax classes. Charging fees for shipping on free samples is a good way to cover your costs while allowing customers to try out the product before they buy the full version.

Note: The WooCommerce Product Sample plugin lets you set up product samples on a per product, per category, and per variation basis, as well. If you want to enable product-level options, go to the Add/Edit Product screen and scroll down to the Product data section. You can then select an option from the Product samples dropdown.

Free product sample variations

Customers can click the Order a free sample button to get their free product sample without having to pay at the checkout page.

Where to get the plugin

Setting up a free product sample in WooCommerce is a great way to let customers try out the product before they buy. This way, you can help customers make informed purchase decisions, deliver an exceptional user experience, and increase sales.

The WooCommerce Product Sample plugin lets you set up free product samples in WooCommerce. You can use it to offer free samples for all products in your e-commerce store or set them up for specific products, variations, or product categories.

Using the WooCommerce Product Sample plugin, you can:

  • Offer free or paid product samples to customers.
  • Enable free samples for all products or for specific product categories, products, or variations.
  • Manage stock for free samples and assign shipping and tax classes.
  • Set a maximum quantity for sample orders.
  • Send follow-up emails to remind customers to purchase the full version of the product.
Let customers try before they buy with free or paid product samples, complete with follow-up emails.

Ready to set up a free product sample in WooCommerce? Get WooCommerce Product Sample today!

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