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Creating WooCommerce Grouped Products in version 3.0+

We’d previously written a tutorial on setting up WooCommerce grouped products that many readers have referenced over time, as the concept of a “grouped” product can be a bit difficult to understand for a new shop owner. WooCommerce 3.0 changed the way grouped products are created in the shop, so we’re going to revisit this tutorial today, as we’ve gotten some version of this question from many shop owners:

The way I set up my product groups in WooCommerce 3.0 has completely changed — what’s the easiest way to do this now?


Grouped products are a very useful feature for stores, as they give store owners a way of showing customers multiple products on the same page. Using a grouped product is helpful to:

  • show cross-sells or related items immediately together on one page, such as batteries for a camera or a screen protectors for a cell phone case
  • show various versions or options available for a product, such as a subscription

The changes to grouped products in the newest versions of WooCommerce have been welcome in my eyes, as they may setting up grouped products much easier for merchants who are just getting started with WooCommerce, but the new system is definitely a departure from the old one. Here’s the main difference:

  • Before WooCommerce 3.0, a merchant had to take these steps to set up a grouped product:
    1. Create the parent grouped product, which just served as a “holder” or shell for other products that will belong in the group
    2. Create each product that will belong to the group. For example if you wanted to offer a set of camera, batteries, and case, you would first create a “holder” product for the group, then the product for the camera, batteries, and case separately.
    3. You’d then add each item to the group under “Linked products” when creating the group.
  • Now this process is essentially reversed in WooCommerce 3.0 and later. Rather than creating the grouped “holder” first, you’ll create that last:
    1. Add each product in the group to your store (ie camera, batteries, and case first)
    2. Then add a new product to hold the group together.
    3. On the new grouped product, add each item in the group to “Linked Products”.

So it’s definitely a new concept, but I think it makes more sense for new store owners to think this way — “I’ll create my products and group them together” — instead of “I’ll create the placeholder group, then add the products to it”.

So here’s what the new process looks like to create a grouped product with new versions of WooCommerce.

WooCommerce Grouped Products in version 3.0+

The first thing you’ll now do is create each product that will belong to the group. I’m going to stick with my camera example, and add each camera item and related product as a separate product listing in my store.

WooCommerce Grouped Products: add items

If you want these items to show up individually in your catalog, you can publish them and leave the items alone. If you only want to show the item as part of your group, you should consider changing the catalog visibility of each item to make them “hidden” from the catalog:

WooCommerce Grouped Product visibility

Once you’ve added all products that will belong to the group and determined whether they should be shown individually in your shop or not, you’re now ready to group them together.

Here’s the most powerful thing about the changes to grouped products: because you no longer have to add the group on the individual item; but rather, products are added to the group, well, through the group, you can add more product types into a group. This means that, while you couldn’t add a variable product to the group in previous versions, you can with WooCommerce 3.0+.

So you can prepare your group by adding your final product: a grouped product. You’ll then add all of the items you just made to the group under “Linked products”.

WooCommerce Grouped products create group

Once you’ve added all items to the group, you’re done smile

WooCommerce Grouped Products display

You’ll now see the ability to add any item in the group, and if you’ve added a variable product to the group, you’ll see that it shows “Select options” like the shop page instead of a quantity selector (to ensure customers add a specific variation to the cart).

Beka Rice
Beka is the head of product at Jilt. She works on app improvements, integration plugins, helping merchants improve recovery campaigns, and shares tutorials on reducing abandonment or improving recovery on our blog.

20 Comments

  1. Been building a new WooCommerce website for my company this past year, which includes a lot of grouped products. Finally updated both WooCommerce and my DIVI theme that connects to a child theme this past week. Even though there are some nice improvements, it unfortunately caused all the simple products in my groups to display the same group name for the simple products instead of the different product names. So it looks like I’m selling four of the same thing with different prices. Interestingly, when I add them to the cart, the simple products display the correct name. Curious if you’ve come across this before and how it could be fixed?

    1. It will be patched in version 3.0.7, but I don’t know when that will be. If you have FTP access, you could consider taking that template file that I’d amended from the WooCommerce repository and copying it over to your site manually for now until this is out.

  2. Hi Beka,

    When you add a Variable product to a Group it shows “Select Options” on the product page, and if clicked takes you to the real product page. That doesn’t make much sense to me, that basically makes it a useless option, right?

    I mean the whole point is to have all the products available on 1 page, easy to shop easy to buy. But by clicking Select Options your directing people away from the page, and to me that takes away the whole point of having it there.

    If there was a way to select options without ever leaving that page then it would be an excellent feature.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Hey Justin, I don’t really see a way for this to be possible on the product page without customization. While it would work for stores with one or two variations, there are stores with thousands of configurations for a product, so there’s not really a way to put 8 – 10 dropdowns in that form in a way that works for the majority of stores. You could likely do it via some customization though, I just wouldn’t anticipate this working its way into WooCommerce core :)

      1. Hey Beka,

        I understand that wouldn’t work for products with lots of variations.

        What about this, how about being able to add a specific variation, instead of the Parent?

        This is doable in certain Coupon Plugins, and other plugins. I’m assuming that the functionality is there to be able to that. ?

        1. I agree, that would be very useful. Being able to add a defined variation of a variable product to a grouped product. So the visitor would not be directed to the included product page undoing one benefit of grouped product purchase. Saves the visitor a trip to another page, helps the visitor buy a group of variable products in one swoop. Saves the shop having to setup additional simple product to add to a grouped product.

        2. I am so on board with this idea! I just commented on the pre 3.0 version of this blog before seeing this post. Being able to select a variant of a variable product would be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

  3. I just upgraded from woocommerce 2+ to woocommerce 3.09. How do you setup the groups? I tried following your article, but the new way you showed is exactly how I have it setup previously, and it is not working. I know I am missing somethhing here. Can you help me?
    Thanks..
    here is the product…

  4. Hey Guys, I’m still having this exactly issue on 3.1.2. The names of our subscriptions are changing to the group name. Is there any reason why your patch wouldn’t work for Subscriptions? Any other ideas?

  5. Amazing article .
    I have one more questions and you may be able to help me out with it .
    I am trying to show the grouped products displayed in a categorized format.
    Eg : Bed Set (Main Product – Grouped)
    Sub Products . Pillow cover 10×10, Pillow cover 10×20,Bedsheet 50×50,Bedsheet 100×100.
    Now I want this sub products to be displayed like TITLE : Pillow cover and options below are 10×10 and 10×20.
    Basically i am trying to achieve a layout something similar to this website : http://en.olivierdesforges.fr/p/b/parure-melchior.html

  6. Hi thanks for the tutorial.

    I’ve been digging the internet and can’t find if anybody has come up with a solution of creating a stock quantity for the Grouped Product / Placeholder itself.

    It would be nice if we could create “xxx in stock” for the Grouped Placeholder so we can easily manage, track or limit the amount of quantity Grouped Placeholder we’re selling, regardless of how many linked products listed inside being sold.

    Do you know how it can be achieved?

    Thanks

  7. Hi Beka,
    My group product does not show the simple product images. In your picture above it nicely shows the camera, case, and battery with some opacity since the qty is 0. I image that as the visitor increases the qty that the images become full color. NICE! but… I do not see any thumbnails of my simple products that have been successfully added to the group. Can you help?

    1. Hey Jordan, I added these images manually to the grouped product — so they’re part of the image gallery on the grouped / parent product; they’re not automatically added from items in the group. You’ll need to attach those images yourself.

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