Looking to offer free products on your WooCommerce store?
Research suggests that free product samples can have a positive effect on sales. In this post, we explain how you can easily make free products available to online shoppers. But first, let’s explore the benefits of this marketing strategy for short and long-term sales.
Why are WooCommerce free products important to your store’s sales?
The idea of receiving anything for ‘free’ is irresistible to online shoppers. Think WooCommerce free gifts, free shipping, coupons, and samples. Your product samples could be sachets of lotions, creams, shampoos, seasoning, or condiments, to name just a few. You could, for example, offer a WooCommerce free product with a purchase – it works especially well when you want to build momentum for a new product or service among your existing customers.
Whether you’re a product or service-based business running on WooCommerce, you have the opportunity to offer freebies and samples. You could offer a basic version of your product, a free trial, a free lesson, a 1-month free membership or subscription, or a free first chapter of your book, to name just a few examples.
Research finds that offering something for free can be good for your sales, reach and reputation:
- Increase immediate purchases: Free samples can significantly increase the immediate sales of a product. If you’re launching new products, categories, or brands in your online store, a sample can bring in quick sales.
- Attract repeat sales: Free samples have an ‘acceleration’ effect on sales, whereby customers make repeat purchases of the sampled brand earlier than they would. They also have an ‘expansion’ effect, attracting customers who wouldn’t consider buying the brand without a free sample. These effects are noticeable as long as 12 months after the promotion.
- Boost awareness: WooCommerce free products are an effective way to increase awareness about your store’s products. One in three consumers use social media to discover new products. Publicizing your free samples on social media with relevant hashtags will also help get your online store before more people.
- Build a connection: Getting something for free has a feel-good effect that can last a week. We connect with people who bring us satisfaction, so it’s quite natural for someone receiving your free samples to think positively about you and reciprocate by buying from you.
- Create confidence: A free sample allows people to try a product first and decide whether they’d like more of it. You can offer a WooCommerce free product with a purchase to encourage your current customers to give another product a shot.
- Stand out: While product samples are quite common at physical stores, they’re yet to catch up in online stores. So, you have the opportunity to grab attention with your WooCommerce free products. You can promote your offers on social media, and add testimonials of buyers stating their satisfaction with your samples and buying the sampled product soon after!
With so many benefits to offering WooCommerce free products, you don’t want to miss out on planning creative strategies for offering and marketing your samples!
How to offer free samples on your online store
When it comes to extending the functionality of your WooCommerce store, you have two options: code or a plugin. Writing code is not every store owner’s cup of tea. Any issues while adding new code or tweaking existing code can cause your site to crash. A plugin is a safe bet. It’s also a faster way to offer WooCommerce free products, and there are many plugins that get the job done, although they vary in terms of features and support.
There are three plugins worth considering when you want to offer a WooCommerce free product with a purchase. Here’s a brief review of each.
Product Sample for WooCommerce from DotStore
Product Sample for WooCommerce is the best plugin to offer WooCommerce free products at your store. You can configure it to offer samples on specific products only, limit the number of samples that users can order, and display a personalized ‘maximum samples requested’ warning. Yet another option is to offer samples only to customers that have a big average order spend, or enable product sample orders only for your sales representatives ordering for their customers.
The plugin allows for a lot of flexibility in planning your sample marketing, and it includes charging a percentage of the price of the sampled product or a discounted flat rate. You can also configure custom shipping charges for samples. Free shipping is always welcome to eCommerce customers, but they’ll also appreciate getting a lower shipping rate for a larger number of samples. In addition, you can apply custom tax charges. If your goal is to send samples to sales representatives, you can create a separate menu for sample products and differentiate them from your regular inventory.
A use case would be offering samples for a product typically bought in bulk or which you sell for a specific minimum order quantity only. Sellers can try the product free of cost or at a lower price before committing to a purchase. If you’re a fashion store selling custom-made clothes, you can offer a WooCommerce free product with a purchase to allow buyers or distributors to see, touch, and feel the fabric before commissioning new custom clothing.
‘Try before you buy’ and ‘buy one get one free’ works best for specific categories like personal care, beauty, and condiments in which personal preferences weigh heavily and people tend to form strong brand/product loyalties. If you belong to these sectors, Product Sample for WooCommerce is perfect for you. By offering WooCommerce free products and billing for shipping only, you can give your audience the chance to try something new without having to commit to a purchase.
If you were wondering whether more features translate to more complexity, you’ll be glad to know the WooCommerce plugin is easy to set up even for non-technical users. You can also count on excellent customer support, a strength of all plugins from the DotStore stable. The 14-day money-back guarantee is perfect to give you a clear idea of how the plugin will work for you.
This plugin allows you to offer your WooCommerce products as samples for customers to try. You can set up ordering for both simple and variable products in your catalog, sample prices for sample products, shipping and tax classes for sample products, and disable the sample button for products and categories. You can also set a conditional price for sample products and user roles based on sample price. However, a lack of customer support has been reported, which means you may have to solve any problem you encounter setting up a WooCommerce free product with a purchase on your own.
The plugin allows you to add a ‘request sample’ button to your product pages. You can configure the price for each product and the maximum number of samples for each order. It’s a simple plugin with limited functionality and may be adequate for some online stores only. It’s unsuitable if you want to offer samples based on order value or users.
A guide to setting up a WooCommerce free product with a purchase using Product Sample for WooCommerce
Follow the tutorial below to offer any WooCommerce free product with a purchase from your store.
1. Activate Product Sample for WooCommerce from your WordPress Admin dashboard.
2. Create your ‘Request Sample’ button. You can customize the text as you want it to appear on the front end.
3. Offer samples by product or category.
4. Set the number of free samples customers can order. Say you want to offer a WooCommerce free product with a purchase – you can allow, for example, only 3 shampoo or oregano seasoning sachets with any purchase.
5. You can charge a flat price or a percentage of the product price.
6. Assign access to the individual who will decide who qualifies for samples – this could be your site administrator. The administrator will have the right to make samples available to the qualifying individuals.
7. You can customize sample charges based on shipping class and tax class.
Tips on offering WooCommerce free products
Increase conversions with these tactics on offering free product samples:
Create a customizable product package
You can always give away copies of all your products at no charge or a discounted price. But also consider the possibility of allowing people to club different product samples together so that they can try a few of your new products or categories in one go.
Avoid multiple restrictions on sample orders
Make sure there aren’t one too many restrictions on sample orders. While it’s necessary to cap the order quantity, a minimum order value to receive a sample can be overkill and make shoppers think less of you. This is especially true for frequent buyers or VIP customers. As they will want to be the first to know about your new arrivals, it’s best to make it as easy as possible for them to receive a WooCommerce free product with a purchase.
Make limited period offers clear
You may not be able to offer WooCommerce free products indefinitely. If you do have a limited period offer on sample products, convey it clearly on your shop and product pages. Also, reiterate the message via email reminders to create urgency and drive conversions in a short period!
Avoid an excess of freebies
Offering too many WooCommerce free products may result in a loss of revenue. Use market research and buyer behaviors in determining the products or categories in which freebies are likely to attract a higher take-up and make a considerable difference to sales.
Create free product offers for your store
Free samples are an important factor for making purchase decisions, with 34% expecting online retailers to offer them. Offering WooCommerce free products or a minimal price for samples will encourage people to try new products from you, and help boost short and long-term sales. Your existing customers are already familiar with your quality and service. They’re likely to be more amenable to adding a WooCommerce free product with a purchase. You can run free product offers for an unlimited or a fixed time, and promote your free offers on social media, your website, and via emails to existing and new customers.
Plugins are the easiest way to offer free samples, and Product Sample for WooCommerce from DotStore offers more options and better customer support than other solutions. Sign up for a free 14-day trial or purchase a site license, and receive a year of updates and support.