When you hear WooCommerce, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? An eCommerce website like Lowe’s or Nordstrom that sells and ships physical, tangible goods to your doorstep, right?! Given that a large portion of WooCommerce websites does just that, and the fact that it offers numerous innovative shipping management features, your perception is natural and not completely off.
However, this immensely popular eCommerce platform serves a much larger purpose; it can be used to sell everything – not just goods, but services too.
Selling Services Using WooCommerce
As a popular WordPress e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce provides all the basic functionality needed to create and sell a product. In the case of services, the product is the service you’re offering. Now, as is the case with products, there can be different types of services and not all services have the same set of requirements. WooCommerce offers a host of extensions that are helpful in performing many functions.
For example, when it comes to selling “hourly” services, or bookable services – could be housekeeping services, pet grooming services, doctor appointments, etc – WooCommerce’s ever-so-popular WooCommerce Bookings extension can be used for the job.
But when it comes to project-based services, for example, “Logo designing”, “Content writing”, “Project consultation”, you might need a combination of plugins to sell your service. For instance, your service might not have a fixed price or might have a dynamic price based on the size of the project, you might offer add-on services to a base package, you might want clients to request for a price quote, and a whole lot more.
Each functionality needed can be deal with using a specific plugin.
And that’s what we’ll explore next!
How to Start Selling Services using WooCommerce
There’s plenty of features, extensions, and plugins that will help you effectively sell services on WooCommerce, but for the sake of making it simpler, let’s take an example. Say you offer project consultation services and that’s what you want to sell online.
Once you have your WordPress website ready, WooCommerce can be easily set up with the super-easy setup wizard. Follow the instructions, to create a digital store (that’s unless you plan on selling shippable products along with digital products).
In case you plan to purely sell services, you’ll need to select “I plan to sell digital products” under Store Setup > What type of products do you plan to sell?
What this will do is save you the hassle of having to set up shipping options.
Under Payment settings, make sure you choose “Offline Payments” like Check or Bank Transfer if you’re planning on offering these means of payments to clients.
Next, you’re offered a recommended selection of plugins and the WooCommerce Storefront theme. While Storefront is ideal for any WooCommerce store, it’s quite a minimal and simplistic theme. You might want to skip this step and choose a theme more suitable for your business and brand (if you don’t already have one).
The same applies to the next step, Jetpack is optional for now, go to the absolute last step, enter your admin email id, and your all set! Your WooCommerce store is ready, and you can start creating your first product.
Step #1. Create a Simple, Virtual product
Now, each service you offer has to be an individual product. So let’s say you offer “3 Hours Project Consultation” for $199.
Create a new WooCommerce product, either from the last step of your setup wizard or under Products > Add New.
The WooCommerce user tour should guide you through the various settings. Set the product name, description, and price. Make sure, under Product Data you’ve chosen a “Simple product” and checked the “Virtual” option.
This indicates that your product is actually an intangible service and that it cannot be downloaded or shipped.
Under “Advanced” option, you’ll be able to set a “Purchase note” which you could use to intimate buyers of a service agreement or terms of your service.
Set a product category, the needed tags and you’re set to publish the product.
Now, a virtual product like this doesn’t actually have an image to describe it. But to generate some appeal, it’s best to get creative and opt for illustrations that signify some aspect of your business. In your case, it could be images related to corporate, consultation, or something simple like a laptop or a graph.
To strengthen your credibility as a project consultant, be sure to obtain and include testimonials from past clients praising your work.
Pro Tip: If a service contract has to be signed by the client before the project begins, WooCommerce has you covered on that front too, with the Digital Signature extension. It helps you create and sign contracts made with clients virtually. Likewise, the PDF Invoices extension lets you send automatic invoices to customers for services availed.
Step #2. Add a “Request a Quote” Option
More often than otherwise, your service might not have a fixed price. In the case you don’t have fixed prices for certain services, or are open to negotiating the cost of bigger projects, you need a quotation system in place.
Since WooCommerce does not have an inbuilt quotation option, you’ll need the WooCommerce Product Enquiry and Quotation plugin.
This plugin duals as an inquiry and quotation system by allowing interested clients to ask pre-sale questions about your service, or request price quotations for the same.
Once you install and activate the plugin, you’ll notice a “Product Enquiry” option in the backend. Under Settings > General > Enquiry & Quote options choose where you want to display this button. By default, the button is displayed on all product pages. If you want to display it on your ‘Store’ page or product category archive pages, check the “Display Enquiry or Quote button on Archive Page” option.
If you want to allow clients to request a quote for multiple services at once, make sure you check the “Enable Multiproduct Enquiry and Quote Request” option under General > Multiproduct Enquiry & Quote Options.
Under General > Forms, make sure you set the “Enquiry Button Label” field to the button name, e.g. “Inquire about this Project” or “Request a Quote”.
Save the settings and you’re good to go!
With Product Enquiry Pro, you can create a quotation and send it to the client from the backend of your store itself. You can revert with your price which the client has the freedom of accepting or rejecting. If rejected, the client can send you a counter-offer as well.
This makes it easier for you to automate the entire process instead of having to sift through emails looking for quotation requests from clients.
Pro Tip: By default, if the price of a product is not set in WooCommerce, WooCommerce will display the product as “Free”. To fix this for services that do not have a set price, make sure you use the Product Enquiry Pro plugin setting to hide the price of the product and hide the “Add to cart” button.
Other Helpful Strategies
#1 Product Bundles or Combos for Upsell
Bundling services is a great way to upsell what you have to offer and induce your clients to avail services that will also get you more profit. You can do this by clubbing two or more services together using the Product Bundles WooCommerce extension. For example, you can create a bundle like 3 hours Project Consultation + 2 hours Project Development for $500. This way, you can get clients who need both services and ensure a profitable venture for yourself too.
Pro Tip: When it comes to bundles, images come in handy to help clients easily realize about the value on offer. It also makes sense to offer the bundle at a lower price than individual prices of the services.
#2 Offer Dynamic Pricing
It isn’t unknown that when people purchase goods in bulk or avail services for the long-term/in a large number, they do expect some kind of discount. You can set up a dynamic system of pricing for such occasions using the WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing plugin. This will help you to create discounted pricing packages that are customized as per the size of the order.
#3 Manage Clients with a CRM
For services, managing client data is extremely important. It gives you the scope to improve client experiences and to cross-promote other services that you offer by using email marketing and so on. WooCommerce seamlessly integrates with many popular CRM extensions like Agile, Salesforce, 1CRM and many more.
WooCommerce is the perfect WordPress plugin to sell your services. The variety of plugins and extensions that it offers pretty much take care of all your selling and advertising needs. Right from setting up the payments to taking care of the legal requirements (contracts), it has everything. With WooCommerce and a “Request for Quote” plugin, you can set up and sell any service under the sun.
Remember, selling services using WooCommerce (or not) is a lot tougher than selling products. The sales cycle can be long, despite having a product that can be directly purchased from your website. Make sure each product is well explained. Invest in creating a custom product template that describes the USPs of your service, the benefits of working with you, and what clients can expect as part of the service. Commonly asked questions can be listed too along with your answers.
Do you have any specific strategies you’re looking to implement? Is there any plugin you need for the same? Let us know, the comments section is open for discussion.