5 WooCommerce Shops That Don’t Sell Physical Products
If you’ve been around the web for a while, you’ve probably heard about WooCommerce, which just like WordPress, is similar to a capsule that can easily transform into many forms, specific to the needs of your business.
But did you know, that apart from selling physical products, the WooCommerce plugin is just as good at creating websites that sell digital products and much more?
The following are 5 examples of items you can sell through WooCommerce that don’t require you to sell physical products but still create a thriving business.
1. WooCommerce Bookings
From making appointments for your dental clinic, hairdresser, or other service-based small business to selling event tickets and making hotel reservations, WooCommerce has got you covered.
The Bookings extension is quite robust and provides you with all the important functions for managing any kind of appointments or reservations.
By allowing users to pick the date and time for their booking and lots of other ingenious controls like preventing overbookings, email reminders, or checking for availability prior to booking — this is a one-stop shop for your online scheduling needs.
The most common application for this extension is designing a business site in the service industry. Instead of clients having to call to book an appointment, they can head over to your website and pick the most ideal time and day for their visit, with benefits to both the business and the client.
The client will find it easier to make the reservation because they can do it from anywhere without having to call, and the business will reduce the overheads since the process is automated. Examples of professionals in the service industry that can benefit from this business model include physicians, barbers, therapists, masseurs, hairdressers, etc.
2. WooCommerce Subscriptions
The subscriptions model is absolutely the best way to create a thriving business, with plenty of growth possibilities.
There are two primary ways to monetize such a model. Paying for access to content on a periodical model, or create a subscription-box business.
The subscription-based box model is anything but new. Traditionally, subscribers get their box in the mail monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Companies like Birchbox are averaging close to 100M in revenue from their subscription-based boxes. There’s a bit of initial work in setting up the logistics, but from then onwards, it’s mostly a case of marketing and reducing churn to grow your business!
But there’s also a way to do this, without requiring digital products. Using WooCommerce, you can utilize the recurring revenue model, by starting a subscription-based website that offers digital products to your members at a monthly fee.
Depending on the service you are offering, you can send it to your clients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The most common model is monthly subscriptions that have a discounted rate for subscribers that pay their subscription annually instead of monthly. Such products would include valuable content and downloads such as eBooks, or designs, templates, newsworthy content, courses and training, via videos or downloads and plenty of other options.
Since WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with most payment processors, users will have plenty of flexibility in managing their payments. For instance, if a user decided to cancel their subscription for whatever reason, they can either do so on your website or they can log into their payment processor website and cancel it from there.
3. Dropship with WooCommerce
This is another fantastic way of building a business without requiring handling of physical products.
Dropshipping is a revolutionary way of running an e-commerce store without having to deal with inventory or shipping of products. You pass every order you get on your website to a warehouse or manufacturer with whom you’ve set up a relationship, who then ships the products directly to your customers.
This makes it possible for anyone to run a full-fledged e-commerce business without having to spend money on creating or buying the products.
WooCommerce has made the process of dropshipping with WordPress very easy. You can have the store up and running in just a couple of hours.
You will need to find a supplier that you can work with and then import their products to your WooCommerce store. You want to go with a supplier that has the infrastructure to supply nationally or internationally.
For instance, a supplier like AliExpress can deliver the products ordered to almost anywhere on the globe. However, AliExpress works with suppliers based in China so shipping products can take more than a month.
Thankfully, there are plenty of American-based suppliers that you can work with if you want a shorter shipping time.
Once you have settled on the supplier you want to go with, you can import the products into your store and you should be ready to start selling right off the bat. The plugin will import the products together with the relevant product details like the description, size, variants, etc.
You can choose to edit these details to make them more relevant to your audience or you can go with the default details. Make sure you mark up the prices in such a way that you are competitive without eating completely into your margin.
4. Product vendors
Do you ever walk into a mall during the holiday season and wonder how much money must be exchanging and how much money the mall is actually making?! Sound familiar? By having thousands of micro-transactions, getting a small margin from each transaction, and possibly a rental fee, the mall makes a good amount of revenue.
So what if you could do all of this – digitally?
What if you could create an eBay kind of portal, which is a collection of vendors, all of which are giving you a margin and a fee!
WooCommerce Product Vendors is another WooCommerce extension which is designed to create a multi-vendor marketplace. You can also enable the selling of both digital and physical products.
You may not be creating the new eBay, AliExpress, or Amazon, but if you could find a local niche to create a digital “fairground”, there’s plenty of room for making revenue. Think vintage shops, T-shirts, handmade jewelry, or accessories and other small vendors who would be glad to get more national and international exposure.
5. Amazon affiliate
Affiliate marketing is arguably the easiest way to sell products online with the least investment possible. Amazon is loved by most affiliate marketers because they have lots of products to promote in any niche you can think of.
Additionally, Amazon still pays you if the person you referred ended up buying something different from the product you were promoting.
So how does affiliate marketing work?
Unique links that have tracking codes are provided to affiliates. When users click on these links and make a purchase on Amazon, you are paid a predetermined commission, between 1% and 8%.
You will need to create a website that has a specific selection of Amazon products, typically it’s best to select a specific niche of products, and focus solely on it.
Getting the products up and keeping them synced with Amazon can be a laborious process, especially if you are promoting lots of products.
This is where WooCommerce and its extensions come in handy once again. You can use an Amazon affiliate plugin which interfaces with WooCommerce to automatically import the products you want to market on your blog. This gives you more time to focus on growing your traffic because traffic will help you get more sales.
So if you’ve been wanting to set up your digital store but you always held back because of the lack of physical products, start thinking outside the box, find a niche which you will enjoy working it, research it and then set yourself up and start selling!