How to offer sample products on your WooCommerce website: Complete Guide

March 23, 2022

How to offer sample products on your WooCommerce website: Complete Guide

Looking to offer sample products in your WooCommerce store? Want to increase the chance of converting customers from buying free samples to the full product? If the answer is yes, this guide is for you.

The problem? You can’t add sample products to your WooCommerce store by default. Fortunately, there’s a plugin for this.

WooCommerce Product Sample allows you to offer free or paid WooCommerce sample products for your customers to try out before purchasing. What sets it apart is its unique follow-up emails feature. This enables you to persuade customers to purchase the full versions of the product after trying out the sample.

woocommerce sample products

So if you intend to offer sample products on your WooCommerce website, this article is for you.

We’ll show you how to set up free or paid samples in your WooCommerce store and we’ll talk about the benefits of doing so.

First, let’s look at why you would offer sample products in your WooCommerce store.

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

Why offer sample products in your WooCommerce store?

There are many benefits to offering sample products in your WooCommerce store. Below we’ve listed some of the biggest ones.

Sample products help you showcase quality

It has been statistically proven that sample products boost sales. Sample products on your WooCommerce store give your customers a chance to experience and assess the quality of your product before buying.

By allowing them a little time to see if the product is right for them, you’ll build trust with the customer and show them you have faith in your product.

Sample products help convert customers

Customers who purchase free product samples from your WooCommerce store have shown an interest in your product. That’s step one. Because you have faith in the quality of that product, next comes stage two - converting them to buy.

You can increase the chance of converting customers from ordering free samples to purchasing the full product by sending follow-up emails. This is especially important if customers have ordered sample products from multiple sellers.

print product sample

Sample products help you showcase new products

Sample products can work to introduce a new brand or product to your store. Or as a way to refresh an older one. Offering samples enables you to introduce the brand’s products to your customers, which helps in marketing them.

Offering a WooCommerce product sample is not limited to beverage or perfume manufacturers. You can offer sample products for a wide range of products.

Examples of why you might want to sell a sample product in WooCommerce

There’s a diverse range of products for which you can offer samples, it doesn’t matter whether your products are physical or virtual. WooCommerce stores of various types stand a chance at growing their sales by offering sample products. Let’s have a look at some examples.

Fabrics and soft furnishings samples

If you deal in fabrics and soft furnishings it would benefit both you and your customer to sell sample products in your WooCommerce store. Customers would require samples to assess:

  • ColorWhether you sell curtains or upholstery fabrics, it is nearly impossible to capture the accurate color in the product image. Offering samples for these products in your store will enable customers to see the color of the product in natural light and determine whether it fits well with other items in their houses.
  • QualityIt‘s difficult to represent the feel of fabric in a product image on the product page, and customers may not be convinced that this product is of good quality. If the fabric is meant for custom cushion covers, customers would want to know that it won’t easily wear when it’s washed. The same goes for fabrics made for made-to-measure clothing. Offering samples enables them to feel the quality of this fabric.

As the shop owner, customer feedback from the samples will help you determine their color and quality preference. You can concentrate on supplying more of these to drive sales.

Home improvement samples

If you sell home improvement products such as floor and wall tiles, you could offer/sell cut-down swatch-like samples. From these samples, customers can feel the quality in their hands. The same goes for flooring products such as solid wood and laminate. For carpets, customers will be able to feel the texture apart from the quality and assess color in natural light for paint samples.

flooring product sample

Stationery and printing samples

Before embarking on a custom printing job, you could provide sample papers to your customer, which could be plain or printed. Customers get to try these papers before approving the project to go forward.

As a store owner, this will enable you to avoid reprint requests, which would result in the wastage of materials.

Digital product samples

Digital product samples will help market the full versions. It is very rare for a customer to purchase music tracks that they have not heard before or images that they can’t access. You can offer images with a watermark or in lower resolution or the hook of a music track as sample products on the product page.

Once customers have tried these samples for free/cut-price they will be more confident in purchasing the full version. Free product samples - or even WooCommerce free products - are an excellent inventive to buy. This is even truer when the free products don't cost you anything, which applies to virtual or digital products.

digital product sample

Food and beverages

Let’s say you have a beverage manufacturing business and you intend to introduce a new flavor. Giving out a sample would assist customers to gauge if they like the new flavor, and could even convince them to regularly purchase it.

Perfumes and other cosmetics

You could also be introducing a new scent for perfumes or other cosmetics. You will give customers the chance to determine if they like the new scent. This can help you decide if you’re going to stock more.

Free product sampling marketing

You can freely give out WooCommerce sample products to market them. Product sampling marketing is important if the products are new to the market. It's often done at trade shows, and can equally be done online in your WooCommerce store.

This is just a small set of examples of product sellers that can benefit from offering free or selling WooCommerce sample products. The standard WooCommerce setup doesn’t have a feature that allows you to sell sample products. Luckily, there is a plugin for this.

Introducing the WooCommerce Product Sample plugin

WooCommerce Product Sample is the plugin that allows you to offer paid or free product samples on your ecommerce store.

Customers can order free or paid samples in the same way they would order other products in your store. They will be able to decide which products they want to buy after trying the samples out at home. This plugin also lets you send follow-up emails shortly after samples arrive.

product sample email

With WooCommerce Product Sample, you will be able to:

  • Let customers order free or set prices for paid products for any product category or variable product.
  • Flexibly manage sample products including stock, tax class, and shipping class.
  • Allow customers to order multiple samples to compare.
    Set a maximum quantity of samples for which a customer can order.
  • Decide where to place the ‘Order Sample’ button on the shop, product, and category pages.
  • Send follow-up emails to remind customers to purchase the full version of the product.

WooCommerce Product Sample is the only plugin in the market that allows users to send email reminders to customers to purchase the full version of the products after receiving samples.

Now we have an overview of what this plugin can do for you, let’s see how you can add a sample product or sample order to your WooCommerce store.

How to add a sample product to your WooCommerce store

To get started, you’ll need to purchase WooCommerce Product Sample.

Install the plugin, WooCommerce Product Sample

After purchasing WooCommerce Product Sample and downloading the files to your computer, take the following steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and click Plugins → Add New → Upload Plugin.
  2. Select the files from your computer and click Install.
  3. Now that you’ve uploaded your files, click Activate.
  4. Next, go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product Sample and paste your license key.

Now we have WooCommerce Product Sample activated, let’s get to setting it up.

Customize your product sample settings

Once you’ve downloaded WooCommerce Product Sample, you’ll need to customize the settings for the sample products.

If you prefer, you can adjust settings per category or product, but the following settings will apply throughout your whole store. You can customize your product sample general settings in the following steps.

Step 1: Enable samples for all/individual categories or products

The first thing you’ll need to do is enable samples in your store. To do this, take the following steps:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product Samples.
  2. Check the Enable samples for all box if you want to provide samples for all your products.
enable product samples WooCommerce

If you want to offer samples for specific categories or products though, you can do so later in this guide.

Step 2: Customize additional product sample settings

Once this is done, you’ll have a number of additional settings you can customize. These include:

  • Sample price number field - Set a price for your sample products. If free, leave blank.
  • Button text - You can change the text on this button to ‘Order sample for {price}’ or ‘Order Free Sample’ if the sample products are free.
  • Enable on shop/category pages - The ‘Order Sample’ button can be changed to appear on the shop and products category page in addition to the single product page.
  • Maximum sample quantity - This setting allows you to set the maximum number of samples that can be ordered.
  • Maximum quantity logic - You can use this to set the method by which the maximum quantity of sample data will be calculated. It could be:
    • Per order (default).
    • Per category.
    • Or per product/variation.
  • Cart/checkout text - You can change the ‘Sample’ text displayed by WooCommerce Product Sample Pro to any other text or delete it. You can also display the ‘sample’ text after the name of the product by adding the {name} placeholder to the cart/checkout page text.
  • Shipping class for product samples - This setting allows you to allocate shipping conditions to charge different shipping fees for your sample products if necessary. Before you do this, you need to set shipping classes under WooCommerce settings.
  • Tax class for product samples - If you offer paid samples you can assign tax classes to them. Here you also have to set tax classes under WooCommerce settings.
product sample settings

The settings above cut across your whole store (global options). You might want to customize the individual product or category sample settings, and WooCommerce Product Sample allows you to do exactly this.

Customize individual product sample settings in WooCommerce

To get more specific, you can manage the product sample settings separately for each product or category. This can be useful when you want to offer samples for some but not others, or add prices to some while others are free. Here’s how you do it.

Managing product samples in a category

WooCommerce Product Sample gives you the option to manage all the products in a category.

  • Product samples - You can use this dropdown to choose whether to stick with the global settings, disable samples for the category, or configure samples for this category only.
  • Set a price for samples - Next, you can use the sample price setting to set a price for products in the category.
  • Select a shipping class - This setting allows you to select a default shipping class for products in the category. Before you use it, shipping classes need to be set under WooCommerce settings.
  • Select a tax class - This setting allows you to select a default tax class for products in the category. Before you use it, tax classes need to be set under WooCommerce settings.
category sample settings

The above settings override global options but can be overridden by individual product/variation settings.

Manage product samples for individual products

You can manage WooCommerce product sample settings at the product level. These settings override the global and category level options.

  • Enable product-level options - To enable product-level options go to Add/Edit product → Product Data → General, then select an option from the ‘Product samples’ dropdown. You can follow the same procedure if you want to disable them.
  • Set a price for the individual product sample using the ‘Price sample’ filed under the ‘General’ tab for simple products. You can also manage stock and set shipping using the inventory and shipping tabs respectively for both simple and variable product samples.
  • Finally, you can use the variations tab to manage product sample options individually for each variation.
per-product sample settings

That’s it, you’ve now set up product samples in your WooCommerce store and customized them per product and category.

Offer sample products in WooCommerce today

Offering sample products on your WooCommerce store is a great way to increase sales for new and existing products, but it can’t be done without the help of a WooCommerce plugin.

WooCommerce Product Sample is a plugin that allows you to offer free and paid samples in your WooCommerce store. It lets you customize settings for sample products at the store, category, and individual product/variation level.

With WooCommerce Product Samples, you will be able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Offer free or paid WooCommerce product samples.
  • Enable samples for any product type, category, or variation.
  • Flexibly manage stock and choose shipping and tax classes.
  • Set a maximum quantity for sample orders.
  • Send emails to remind customers to buy the full product.
Let customers try before they buy with free or paid product samples, complete with follow-up emails.

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