Many online shop owners need to be able to take and place WooCommerce manual orders for customers. This could either be over the phone, email, or chat. Typically, this involves creating an account for the customers, filling out their order, and entering payment information.
The only problem is that WooCommerce manual orders aren’t supported out of the box. Shop owners need an easy way to be able to place customer orders efficiently.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to a WooCommerce manual orders plugin that you can use to quickly place customers orders. We’ll also walk you through a step-by-step tutorial to help you integrate this functionality in your own WooCommerce store. We'll do this by creating a simple, one-page order form that's searchable, sortable, and filterable.
Let’s put everything into context before we begin.
Why you might need to take WooCommerce manual orders
Many online businesses cater to customers that would prefer to place orders over the phone, by email, or live chat. In other words, they provide their order details, payment information, and shipping method to a salesperson who manually enters their order through the online store.
Since the e-commerce plugin doesn’t support WooCommerce manual orders out of the box, shop owners resort to other measures:
- Accessing their online store from a private (or incognito) window or from the online store's backend to place the customer’s order.
- Logging in and out of their admin user account to place orders for customers.
- Placing the customers’ order only to find that they’re a new customer and, therefore, need a user account first.
Aside from the fact that this isn’t a user-friendly approach to placing orders, it’s also incredibly inefficient. Instead, shop owners need a way to be able to:
- Create a WooCommerce order form that’s hidden from regular customers so they’re able to place new orders without logging out of their admin user accounts.
- Make it easy for multiple salespeople to place customer orders through the hidden order form and choose from all of the available payment methods. It's a good idea to make all payment gateways available.
- Place WooCommerce phone orders on behalf of their customers – whether they’re existing customers or new customers.
With the right WooCommerce manual orders plugin and implementation, you’ll be able to do all of this and much more.
Introducing a WooCommerce manual orders plugin
Taking WooCommerce orders from customers manually – either over the phone, email, or live chat – is incredibly important for some online businesses. One of the easiest ways to implement this sort of functionality into your own online store is by using a WooCommerce manual orders plugin such as WooCommerce Product Table Pro.
WooCommerce Product Table lets shop owners create a dynamic, front-end WooCommerce order form that’s hidden from public view. Salespeople will then be able to access the order form (without having to log out of their own account) and place the customer’s order.
With WooCommerce Product Table, you’ll be able to create a searchable, sortable order form with filters that makes it easy to quickly find the product(s) customers would like to purchase. At the minimum, the plugin lets you:
- Add products to cart without navigating to single product pages.
- Select product variations directly from the order form or from a quick view lightbox.
Additionally, salespeople will also be able to place orders for customers with existing user accounts and new customers. You’ll also have the option to automatically create an account for new customers or offer a guest checkout option.
How to take WooCommerce phone orders manually using WooCommerce Product Table Pro
With WooCommerce Product Table, you’ll be able to create a hidden page where admins and salespeople can take phone orders or add orders from paper order forms, emails, or live chat.
Assuming you already have a WooCommerce store setup with some products added to it, here’s what you need to do to take WooCommerce phone orders from customers.
Step #1: Install and activate the WooCommerce Product Table plugin
To get started, get the WooCommerce Product Table plugin and install it to your WordPress website. Once that’s done, head over to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables to activate the license key.
Click the Save changes button at the bottom of the screen to continue.
Step #2: Create a WooCommerce order page
Create a new page (by navigating to Pages → Add New) where you’ll add the WooCommerce manual orders form.
To do this, simply enter the shortcode
[product_table] to the text editor.
- Click the (+) icon and search for the Shortcode widget. Add it to the text editor.
- Add the
[product_table]shortcode to the shortcode widget.
- Click the Publish button to proceed.
For classic editor:
- Click the Insert Product Table icon in the toolbar. This will automatically insert the
[product_table]shortcode to the text editor.
- Click the Publish button to proceed.
Once you’re done, preview the page on the front-end. It should look something like this:
The key benefit of using WooCommerce Product Table to create an order form is that it allows employees and salespeople to quick find products, select variations, and place the customer’s order.
Pro tip: If you sell a lot of inexpensive products or find that customer typically purchase multiple products from you at a time, you might consider replacing Add to Cart buttons in the table layout with add to cart checkboxes. Here’s how:
- Head over to the WooCommerce Product Table plugin’s settings screen (WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables).
- Scroll down till you reach the Add to cart column section and set the Add to cart button option to either Checkbox only or Button and checkbox.
- Click the Save changes button to continue.
For example, if you go with Checkbox only, it should look something like this:
Step #3: Hide the WooCommerce order form from public view
Since we don’t want the WooCommerce manual orders form to be accessible to regular customers, we’ll use an SEO plugin (such as Yoast SEO) to
noindex the order form page.
- Simply open up the page you created in Step #2, and scroll down till you reach the Yoast SEO widget.
- Click the cog icon to access the Advanced settings.
- Set the Allow search engines to show this Page in search results? option to No.
- Click the Publish button to proceed.
This way, the WooCommerce manual orders page won’t appear in search results. You can share a link to this page with salespeople and employees. However, you shouldn’t add a link to it to your online store’s navigation menu so that it remains hidden from public view.
Step #4: Taking phone orders from customers
Now that you’ve set up the online order form using WooCommerce Product Table, there are two main ways you can place orders on behalf of the customer.
For customers with an existing account:
Install the Shop as Customer for WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website. You can use it to switch to the customer’s user account before placing their order.
For new customers:
When taking orders for new customers, you can either offer them a guest checkout option or place an order as a new customer. For the latter, you’ll need to ensure you’re logged out. You’ll be able to create an account for the customer automatically since entering their email address is part of the order placement process.
Bonus: For orders with lots of variations
If you’re selling products with lots of variations, they’ll likely take up a significant amount of space on the one page order form. Instead, you can use the WooCommerce Product Table plugin with WooCommerce Quick View Pro to add quick view lightboxes.
By doing so, salespeople will be able to choose product variations and add them to cart directly from the quick view lightbox.
The WooCommerce manual orders process
Once that’s all done, your WooCommerce phone orders process will look something like this:
- Whenever a salesperson receives a phone call (or paper order form), they’ll login as the relevant customer, add new user account on their behalf, or select the guest checkout option.
- Next, they’ll place the customer’s order using the order form, select products and variations, and add them to cart.
- Finally, they can head over to the main WooCommerce checkout to complete the order. From there they can choose from the available payment gateways to complete the transaction.
- Customers will receive the usual email order confirmation email letting them know that their order has been placed along with other important details (such as order status link).
For some online store owners, making it easy for customers to place phone orders is a step in the right direction to increasing sales and improving customer experience.
With a WooCommerce manual orders plugin – like WooCommerce Product Table – you can make it easy for customers to place orders over the phone while making the order placement process seamless for salespeople.
Do you have any questions about how to take WooCommerce manual orders – over the phone, by email, or via live chat? Let us know in the comments section below! And see this tutorial if you want to create a WooCommerce one page order form and checkout for your customers to use.