How to design an effective WooCommerce Bulk Order Form

August 10, 2020 2 comments
WooCommerce Product Table order form

If you want your WooCommerce store to succeed, you’ll need to design it with the needs of your specific customers in mind. For instance, shops that regularly sell items in large quantities may require something beyond a traditional layout.

These stores can benefit from making the ordering process quicker and more efficient. Fortunately, this can easily be achieved by setting up a WooCommerce bulk order form. This feature will enable your customers to buy everything they need on one page, and add it all to their cart with a single click.

In this guide, we’ll explain how WooCommerce bulk order forms work and discuss what kinds of e-commerce stores they’re most suited to. Then we’ll walk you through how to set up and customize one. We’ll use the WooCommerce Product Table plugin for selling multiple products in the same order form; or WooCommerce Bulk Variations to create bulk order forms listing the variations for a single product. Let’s get to work!

WooCommerce Product Table
Create a WooCommerce bulk order form today!

An introduction to WooCommerce bulk order forms

Most WooCommerce stores are set up so that customers must visit each product’s individual page to buy it. This works well for shops where visitors are likely to purchase only one or two items per visit.

However, what if you’re running the type of shop where customers tend to buy many products or variations at once, in bulk? Forcing them to navigate to every product page will only slow them down. This leads to frustration and increases the risk that they won’t complete the bulk purchase.

That’s where a WooCommerce order form plugin comes in handy. This adds a one-page product table to your site, either listing one or many products like this:

 

Customers can see all your products and variations at once (or the ones you’ve selected to display). They’ll have the important information about each item right at their fingertips. Most importantly, they can pick everything they want to buy on the form, and add their entire order to the cart simultaneously in bulk. It’s the perfect way to allow bulk buying in WooCommerce.

A WooCommerce bulk order form can be a smart addition to your site. It streamlines the buying process, improving the user experience at the same time. As a side benefit, it also promotes all your products, and encourages visitors to buy more items.

Case study – Darren Bowen Photography’s WooCommerce bulk order form

Darren Bowen is a photographer who sells his photographs online at Darren Bowen Photography. On the website, customers can also buy a range of mugs and iPad smart covers all printed with Darren’s images.

Buying the mugs and iPad smart covers in bulk is easy because of the two WooCommerce bulk order forms powered by our WooCommerce Product Table plugin.

It’s an easy to understand order process. The customer chooses the right quantities on the bulk order form, then uses the “add to cart” function. Once everything’s in the cart, the customer can check their order before proceeding to pay. From there, it’s a fast and simple one-click single-page checkout.

Carry on reading to find out how you can add your own WooCommerce bulk order form.

How to know if your store needs a WooCommerce bulk order form

Of course, not every site needs a bulk order form. How do you decide if this feature is right for your WooCommerce store?

The short answer is that a bulk WooCommerce order form comes in handy for any shop where customers tend to make multiple purchases in the same order. The more likely your visitors are to buy in bulk, the more beneficial this type of order form can be.

Let’s look at a few examples of e-commerce sites that will find a WooCommerce bulk order form invaluable.

Wholesale stores

WooCommerce wholesale ordering pluginsIf you’re running a WooCommerce wholesale store then a bulk order form plugin is essential. Your customers are likely to know exactly what they’re looking for, and to buy dozens or hundreds of items at once. Requiring them to browse through separate product pages to choose their quantities and variations is hardly the optimal solution.

With a WooCommerce bulk order form, on the other hand, you can enable buyers to make selections quickly. This is a smart way to encourage them to keep coming back.

Further reading: Read our ultimate guide to WooCommerce wholesale plugins.

Office supply shops

Of course, some stores regularly sell items in bulk to individual customers. Office supply shops and similar sites are a perfect example. Customers will often want to purchase everything they need for their office in one convenient order. You need to make this bulk buying process easy for them.

The same applies to any store where the products offered are fairly simple and self-explanatory. Rather than listing out each type of printer paper on its own page, you can offer all the options on a one-page bulk WooCommerce order form.

Grocery and catering businesses

Bulk grocery stores are becoming more common, since few people purchase only one or two food items at once. These customers aren’t likely to need a lot of in-depth information about each product. A WooCommerce bulk order form plugin lets them check off everything on their shopping list, and move on:

A WooCommerce bulk order form for a restaurant.

The same goes for catering businesses, and some types of restaurants. Customers ordering food online will appreciate the option to select everything they want on a single page.

Further reading: How to create a WooCommerce restaurant ordering system.

Which is the best WooCommerce bulk order form plugin?

At this point, you probably know whether you’d like a WooCommerce bulk order form plugin for your online store. All that’s left is to choose the best tool for the job.

You’ll need one of the following plugins:

  1. WooCommerce Product Table – create bulk order forms listing multiple products. If you have variable products then the variations are either listed as dropdowns for the customer to choose from, or on separate rows of the table. Comes with search, sort and filters to help customers find what they want more quickly.
  2. WooCommerce Bulk Variations – create a bulk order form listing the variations for a specific product. This normally appears on the single product page, but you can list variations anywhere on your site.

As a reminder, here’s what the two options look like:

Both bulk order form plugins let you list products or variations on your WordPress site, and customize it fully. They are 100% integrated with WooCommerce, and are excellent tools for creating a bulk order form.

How to design an effective WooCommerce bulk order form (in 4 steps)

Fortunately, both plugins are very easy to use and customize. Now, we’ll take a look at how you can use each one to set up your own WooCommerce bulk order form.

  1. WooCommerce Product Table instructions
  2. WooCommerce Bulk Variations instructions

#1. WooCommerce Product Table setup guide

The following steps will walk you through the process of creating and customizing a WC bulk order form with WooCommerce Product Table. Let’s start with the basics!

WooCommerce Product Table
Create a WooCommerce bulk order form today!

Step 1: Install and activate the plugin

The first thing you’ll want to do is purchase and install the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. You can do this on an existing or new WP site. Just make sure you have WooCommerce installed, and you’ve added all the products you want to display.

After that, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings in your WordPress Dashboard. Choose the tab labeled Products, and click on the new Product tables section:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings.

Paste in the license key you received when you purchased the plugin. Then select Save changes at the bottom of the page. This is essential for ensuring that all features will work correctly.

Step 2: Customize your bulk order form settings

At this point, you can start customizing your WooCommerce bulk order form. There are a lot of options you can configure. To get you started, we’ll run through a few of the most important settings to consider when setting up a bulk order form.

Your first stop should probably be the Columns field:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for columns.

Here, you can determine exactly what information will be displayed in your WooCommerce bulk order form. You can show images, descriptions, categories, and much more. Don’t forget to include an Add to Cart button!

The next two options are also important:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for cart buttons.

By selecting the Quantity selectors checkbox, you enable customers to easily purchase more than one of the same item. Then, in the Add to cart button drop-down menu, choose the Checkbox or Button and checkbox option. This is crucial, since it will let customers check off all the items they want and add them to their cart with one click (using a handy button at the top of the order form).

Next, it’s a good idea to change the default setting under Product variations:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for variations.

Customers shouldn’t have to visit individual product pages to see all of an item’s variations. Instead, you can display product options (such as colors or sizes) within your Woo bulk order form, either as a dropdown list or on separate lines.

Just below, you may want to enable the Filter dropdowns option:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for filters.

Use the filter options to let customers filter the order form so that it only displays items meeting a certain criteria (such as products in a particular category, if your table contains a category column).

After that, scroll down a bit and look for the Lazy load option:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for lazy loading.

If you have hundreds or thousands of products, your bulk order form can take a while to fully load. By selecting this checkbox, you’ll speed up the process so customers don’t have to wait.

Near the bottom of the page, you’ll find a setting called Show links:

The WooCommerce Product Table settings for links.

By default, certain columns in your bulk order form will display as links to the individual product pages. However, you may want to disable some or all of those links. That way, you keep customers on the bulk order form page throughout the entire buying process.

Step 3: Generate your WooCommerce bulk order form

When you’re done tweaking the product table settings, don’t forget to save your changes. Then, you’re ready to actually create your bulk order form.

Open up or create a page, and check out the icons at the top of the WordPress editor:

Adding a WooCommerce bulk order form in the WordPress editor.

The last option is called Toggle Toolbar. Select that, and a new row of icons will appear. Click on the one labeled Insert Product Table:

Adding the WooCommerce Product Table shortcode in the WordPress editor.

This will place a shortcode on the page, which will pull all the product table settings you chose and generate your order form. You can view it on the front end using the Preview button:

An example of a customized WooCommerce bulk order form.

If you want to make any additional changes to your WooCommerce bulk order form, go back to the product table settings page and alter whatever you like. Your changes will automatically be applied to your existing order form.

By default, all of your WooCommerce products will appear in the bulk order form. You can change this, however, if you want to display particular categories or specific items. This is a good idea if you want to create more than one bulk order form, each listing different WooCommerce products.

When your WooCommerce bulk order form is complete, simply Publish the page to make it live on your site! Customers will now be able to use it to make bulk purchases. Before wrapping up, however, let’s look at a few more optional features you can add.

Step 4: Add ‘extras’ to your WooCommerce bulk order form

In this final step, we want to present a few extra features you can use to enhance your WooCommerce bulk order form. While these options aren’t required, they can be a valuable addition.

Add product quick view lightboxes

WooCommerce Quick View Lightbox with Product Variations

A WooCommerce bulk order form is a brilliant way to create one-page shopping. But what if you want a way to display more information without taking customers to a separate page? What happens if you have too many variations or product options to fit neatly into the order form?

WooCommerce Product Table Quick View Magnifying Glass
Add quick view buttons or links to the bulk order form.

The answer is to use WooCommerce Product Table with its sister plugin, WooCommerce Quick View Pro. This lets customers view extra product information in a popup lightbox window. It’s a great option because customers are not taken to a separate page. When they close the lightbox (either by closing it manually or adding the product to their cart), they remain on the bulk order form. This encourages them to buy more and more from the order form, increasing your average order value.

The quick view plugin has lots of options so that you can control how customers can access extra information from the bulk order form:

  • Choose whether to open the quick view by clicking on the product image, name or a dedicated quick view button.
  • Rename the quick view button to anything you like, e.g. ‘Configure’, ‘View More Images’ or ‘Choose Options’.
  • Show or hide the quick view icon.
  • Choose whether to display the product image gallery in the lightbox, and/or product information and purchase details.
  • Choose exactly which product data to include in the lightbox.

Get WooCommerce Quick View

Upsell with extra product options

As we’ve discussed, you can easily display product variations in your bulk order form. However, what if you also want to offer add-ons to specific items? To do this, you can purchase the Product Add-Ons extension for WooCommerce:

The WooCommerce Product Add-Ons extension.

This extension is simple to use, and gives you more flexibility in what you can let customers buy using your bulk order form.

Show the cart contents on the bulk order form

If your bulk order form page has a sidebar, it can also be a nice touch to display the customer’s cart contents and subtotal there. You can do this easily in WooCommerce by navigating to Appearance > Widgets in your dashboard, and dragging the Cart widget over to your sidebar:

The WooCommerce cart widget.

Now, your customers will be able to see the contents of their carts without leaving the order form page:

A bulk order form and WooCommerce cart widget.

#2. WooCommerce Bulk Variations setup guide

Next, we’ll look at how to create bulk order forms for your variations with WooCommerce Bulk Variations. As we saw earlier, this plugin lists the variations for a specific product in a variations grid or matrix.

WooCommerce Bulk Variations lets customers view and purchase variations in bulk. This is the easiest way to sell more variations and increase sales.

WooCommerce Bulk Variations
Sell more products with a user-friendly bulk variations grid. Love it or your money back!

Customers can use quantity selectors next to each variation to quickly add multiple product variations to their cart. You can use the WooCommerce Bulk Variations plugin as either a bulk order form or a price matrix.

With WooCommerce Bulk Variations, you can display products that have either one or two attributes used for variations. The plugin automatically lists your variations in a matrix-style grid format. For example, if you sell t-shirts and have Size and Color as attributes, your bulk variations matrix might look something like this:

WooCommerce Bulk Variations grid

The bulk variations order form has a quantity box for each variation. This makes it easy for customers to quickly add products to cart and proceed to checkout. The best part is that customers won’t have to select each variation individually. This speeds up the purchasing user flow.

Most people add these to the single product page, so I’ll show you how to do that.

Step 1: Install WooCommerce Bulk Variations

  1. Log into the WordPress admin and install the WooCommerce Bulk Variations plugin.
  2. Go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Bulk variations and activate your license key from the order confirmation email.
  3. Choose the default settings for your bulk variation forms, and whether or not you want to enable them automatically.
WooCommerce Bulk Variations settings page

Step 2: Add bulk variation order forms

If you used the option on the settings page to enable the bulk variations form for each product automatically, then you can skip this step! Alternatively, you can enable it for specific products only by going to the Add/Edit product page.

Product with 1 or 2 attributes which are used for variations will have an extra ‘Bulk variations’ tab in the ‘Product Data’ section of the page:

WooCommerce Bulk Variations product page tab

You can use this to configure the variations grid for each product individually.

If you want to display the bulk variations order forms elsewhere, then you can do this using a shortcode.

Step 3: View the variations grid

Finally, view the product page and you will see the variations listed in a beautiful bulk order form like this:

WooCommerce Bulk Variations grid

Bonus tips

You can use the following tips to enhance your bulk variations forms whether you’re using WooCommerce Product Table or WooCommerce Bulk Variations.

Get more sales with quantity-based bulk discounts

WordPress bulk discounts plugin
Research into buying psychology has proven that customers buy larger quantities if they believe they’re getting better value. This fits perfectly with a bulk WooCommerce order form.

Use your bulk order form with the official WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing plugin. Set up quantity discounts to reward customers for buying in bulk. It’s a great way to increase your revenue from the same number of customers!

Speed up the bulk ordering process by skipping the cart page

Finally, you can speed up the buying process even further by automatically directing customers to their cart when a product is added. This option is found under WooCommerce → Settings → Products. Just check the box next to Redirect to the cart page after successful addition:

The WooCommerce Add to Cart settings.

You can even use a dedicated plugin to skip the cart completely, and move customers directly to the checkout page. Customers who order in bulk are usually busy people, after all. The quicker you can make the buying process, the better their experience will be.

Create a bulk WooCommerce order form today!

If you’re only selling a handful of items, then it makes sense to feature them on separate pages. However, if you’re moving a lot of products on a daily basis, then you need a better way to display them. For shop owners, this means using a WooCommerce bulk order form pluign.

Choose whichever plugin is best for your store:

Both plugins come with full support and a no-risk 30-day money back guarantee. They only take a few minutes to set up, so install your chosen plugin and start selling in bulk today!

WooCommerce Product Table
Create WooCommerce bulk order forms for your products.
WooCommerce Bulk Variations
Sell more variations with a user-friendly bulk variations order form.

Do you have any questions about how to build the perfect WooCommerce bulk order form? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Wikipedia.

Will Morris

Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he's not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.

2 Comments

  1. Andrea Godard
    January 23, 2020 Reply

    A question about your product table plugin. Can you force quantities? For instance, A customer is building a case of wine, so they must choose a quantity of 12. Thanks for your time!

    • EJ
      February 5, 2020 Reply

      Hi, Andrea.

      Thanks for asking and sorry for my late reply. If you haven't come across the info already, to force or set quantities for a product, I suggest you use the official woocommerce.com extension WooCommerce Min/Max Quantity plugin (for which we have a detailed tutorial as well as a front-end demo).

      If needed, you can also use this plugin to set the quantity increments. For example, only accept quantity increments of 12 bottles (12, 24, 36), which is useful and makes perfect sense if you sell per dozen.

      Cheers!

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