Sell More Products with a WooCommerce Order Form Plugin
WooCommerce store owners are always on the hunt for new ways to sell more. In many cases, the solution is as simple as adding a quick order form to your website, using a WooCommerce order form plugin.
Order forms allow customers to view and compare a longer list of products than the traditional WooCommerce layout. For lots of stores, an order form layout aligns better with how customers browse and buy products – encouraging more sales by enabling them to shop quickly and efficiently.
WooCommerce Product Table is a popular plugin for creating a quick order form. In fact, people keep telling me it’s the best WooCommerce order form plugin around! We’ve built a quick order form demo so you can see how it works – go ahead and have a play.
Of course, an order form layout isn’t for everyone. In this post we’ll help you choose between using a WooCommerce order form plugin and the standard WooCommerce shop layout, so you can rest assured you’re creating the ideal product layout for your store. Once you’ve learned all about WooCommerce order forms, I’ll provide step-by-step instructions plus a video tutorial on exactly how to set it up.
What is a WooCommerce order form?
By default, WooCommerce displays e-commerce products in a standard format, with each product occupying a relatively large amount of space.
This typical store layout has a grid format with 3 or 4 products per row. Each will have a large featured image, a title, a short description, a price, and an Add to Cart button. Customers click through to a single product page to read more information before adding the item to their shopping cart:
A WooCommerce order form is an alternative way to list products. Presented in a structured table format, each product takes up a single row in the table, and product images are much smaller. The layout is far more compact and often includes extra features, such as sort options and filters:
An order form plugin lets you list many more products on a single page than you could in the default WooCommerce store layout. And, instead of clicking through to the single product page, customers can select variations, specify a quantity and add their chosen items to their cart – all directly from the WooCommerce order form.
Boosting sales with an alternative layout
Both the traditional category layout and order form view use the WooCommerce cart and checkout. Once a customer has chosen their products, the process for placing an order is exactly the same either way.
The real difference is how the products are presented in the first place. This is a key part of the buying process: it’s the point when customers are exploring your products and making buying decisions. The layout has a big impact on your sales and conversion rates, so it’s vital to choose the right layout for your products.
Using the product table, you’ll fit twice as many products into the same amount of space. Because of the compact layout, it’s also possible to fit in plenty of extra features, including filter dropdowns, a search box, sorting, and the ability to select quantities and variations.
What sort of websites need a WooCommerce order form plugin?
While the standard WooCommerce shop format is great for some stores, there are many cases when an order form gives customers a better buying experience.
A WooCommerce order form plugin is ideally suited to stores where customers don’t want to hang around browsing, but instead want to quickly choose from a list of products.
Let’s take a look at some examples of when an order form layout is the best way to go:
WooCommerce wholesale order form
Trade customers typically make regular orders of products they’re already familiar with. A compact wholesale order form lets them quickly select multiple products from a table and instantly add to cart. This is more efficient for wholesale users than a more traditional WooCommerce product layout, which is too visual and spaced out.
You can use it with other plugins such as WooCommerce Password Protected Categories to hide a whole WooCommerce store and make your products private. You can even have a central WooCommerce customer login page for your wholesale store.
Large product directory
A lot of our WooCommerce Product Table plugin users have HUGE e-commerce stores with thousands of products. A WooCommerce quick order form plugin is a good way to list large numbers of products in a directory structure.
For example, one website uses WooCommerce Product Table to display thousands of ball bearings for sale. Customers can use the filters to find the type of ball bearing they require based on product attributes such as size and color. They can then tick the products they want, add to cart and buy online. This would be a cumbersome process using the traditional WooCommerce shop layout. Not to mention that large pictures of ball bearings aren’t necessary! Check out our tutorial on how to create a WooCommerce product catalogue.
Online restaurant order form
A WooCommerce order form replicates a physical menu much more closely than the traditional WooCommerce layout. Plus, an order form layout is how people expect to order their fast food. So any food delivery website would benefit from displaying their menu in a table layout. Check out our tutorial and video on how to create an online food ordering system for a restaurant.
WooCommerce bulk order form
Similar to a wholesale order form, a WooCommerce bulk order form is useful for ordering large quantities of products. If a customer is buying products in bulk, they won’t want to browse through the standard WooCommerce layout. A product table is perfect as a bulk order form because they can quickly order as many products as they like.
‘Build your own product’ configurator
Lots of WooCommerce websites let customers choose multiple items from a list to build a box, create their own pizza, build a luxury hamper, or similar. Customers can select items from a list and add them all to a cart with a single click. A WooCommerce order form is ideal for this ‘build a product’ format.
Case study – using a WooCommerce order form plugin to sell hampers
Barks and Squeaks is an online store selling gifts and treats for fur buddies and their owners. As well as offering individual products, the Barks and Squeaks store sells hampers. To do this, they’ve created an order form using our WooCommerce Product Table plugin. This enables customers to quickly pack a hamper full of lots of products, without changing pages:
Which WooCommerce stores don’t need a quick order form?
As you can see, a WooCommerce order form plugin is the right choice for lots of stores, but it isn’t for everyone.
If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the following questions, it’s worth considering whether the standard WooCommerce shop format is a better fit:
- Do you only have a few products?
- Do you sell highly visual products that will benefit from big images or multiple images?
- Do customers need to spend a long time reading detailed information about your products before deciding to buy?
As an example, imagine you own an online boutique clothing store. Think about how your customers would use your store. Big images will definitely play a crucial role in encouraging sales. Your customers will also be happy to take their time browsing items and reading detailed product information. They may then go on to make a considered purchase of one, two, or perhaps a few items.
With a WooCommerce Product Table order form, customers can click through to a single page for full product information. You can also increase the size of the product images for a more visual table:
But ultimately, deciding on the right layout to use comes down to which one best suits your particular customers. With smaller purchase quantities and less need for quick purchases, your imaginary boutique clothing store is likely to benefit from the highly visual layout characteristic of the standard WooCommerce shop format.
What features will my WooCommerce order form have?
If you do decide a WooCommerce order form plugin is the right fit for your store, you’ll be happy to know WooCommerce Product Table comes with all the features you need to create professional online order forms. It’s also super easy and fast to set up on any WooCommerce website.
You can see a full list of what’s possible in the product table knowledge base. Here are just some of our favourite features you can use to optimize the performance of your order form:
Choose which information appears on the order form
The WooCommerce Product Table plugin lets you control which columns appear in your order form table. You can display various data about your products including SKU, ID, name, description, short description, date, categories, tags, image, reviews, stock, weight, dimensions, price and Add to Cart button. The plugin supports product attributes and custom fields as separate columns in the table, e.g. size or color.
You can choose whether the Add to Cart column includes product variations and quantity selector, or whether you want customers to click through to the single product page to view the variations. And if you’re using the official Product Add-Ons plugin, then the add-ons will appear in the WooCommerce order form too.
You can also choose whether to have normal add to cart buttons, multi-select checkboxes, or both. Or if you use WooCommerce Product Table with our free WooCommerce Custom Add to Cart plugin, you can even replace the cart button with a simple cart icon:
Use filters to help customers find your products
The WooCommerce order form can include filter dropdowns above or alongside the table. This lets customers filter by category, tag or attribute. You can either include all possible filters or choose specific ones to appear.
Add a cart widget
If you add your WooCommerce order form to a page with a left or right sidebar, then you can use the WooCommerce Cart widget to show the contents of the cart directly on the page. When a customer adds items to the cart from the order form, the cart widget will update instantly. They can see subtotals and order totals and click through straight to the checkout.
Disable the WooCommerce single product page
By default, customers can click on a product title or image in the order form to view a separate page for each product. Most WooCommerce order forms don’t need this feature. You can disable these links if needed so that the only way to view a product is on the order form page.
Change the order of the products in the table
You can choose how the products on the order form are sorted by default. Customers can also sort the products by clicking on a column header.
Choose which products are included in the order form
By default, the plugin lists all your products on the WooCommerce order form. If you don’t want this then you can include specific products by their ID, categories or tags. You can also exclude products by ID or category.
Control the number of products per page
Your order form can be as short or as long as you like. Simply choose how many products appear on each page before pagination links appear at the bottom. (You can even choose the style of pagination buttons, or display all your products so that no pagination is needed.)
Lazy load option improves performance on big WooCommerce stores
The plugin comes with a lazy load option to speed up the order form load time for WooCommerce stores with many products. This uses Ajax to load products one page at a time, so if you have thousands of products then this makes a big difference.
Control your order form column widths, image size etc.
WooCommerce Product Table will automatically choose an appropriate size for each column and your product images (if you’re displaying them). You can override these to control the column widths, responsive priorities, description length, image size etc.
Divide your WooCommerce order form into sections
You can add multiple product tables per page. To create a multi-section order form, simply add a subheading for each section followed by a table displaying products from a specific category.
Skip the cart & automatically redirect customers to the checkout
The whole point of a one-page WooCommerce order form is to make the buying process quick and easy. With this in mind, you might want to skip the cart completely and take people straight to the checkout when they add products to the cart.
This is very easy to do, with full instructions in the knowledge base.
Add multiple payment gateways
Your WooCommerce order form will make more sales if you provide a choice of payment methods. Some customers like to pay online via PayPal, some prefer credit or debit card, and others want to pay later via invoice.
WooCommerce lets you add as many payment methods as you like. This includes PayPal, credit card (via a payment processor such as Stripe), and offline payment options such as Cash on Delivery or Cheque. Use Payments section of the official WooCommerce documentation to set them up.
It’s not immediately obvious how to set up payment by invoice. However, it’s actually really easy. Just choose ‘Cash on delivery’, ‘Cheque’ or ‘BACS’, rename it to ‘Pay By Invoice’ and change the wording to instruct customers to add their invoice details.
How to create a WooCommerce order form
Watch this video tutorial below to learn how to create a order form. You can watch me create the exact order form shown on the demo site then create your own on your WooCommerce site! Alternatively, read the written instructions below the video:
- To start, you need a WordPress website with WooCommerce set up and some products added.
- Get WooCommerce Product Table and install it via Plugins > Add New.
- Get your license key from the confirmation email and enter it into WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Product tables.
- Also on the settings page, choose all the default settings for your WooCommerce order forms. The settings you choose here will apply to all the order forms on your site. (To create multiple order forms, each one different, use the knowledge base to override any of the settings directly in each order form.)
- Create a new page which you will use for your WooCommerce order form. If you prefer, you can also add the order form to a post, text widget, or directly to your shop and category page template file.
- Add any content that you like to the page. For example, you can add text or other content above and below the order form. You can also add subheadings (e.g. one for each category) and insert a different order form after each one.
- Go to the part of the page where you wish to add a WooCommerce order form. Click the ‘Insert product table’ toolbar button, and it will add the following shortcode to the page:
- Publish the page and view it.
On your WooCommerce order form page, you’ll see all your products listed in a neat table layout with the options you chose on the plugin settings page. Tweak the settings and use the shortcode options to configure your order form in whichever way you like.
Create a printable WooCommerce order form
Since publishing this article, some of our customers have asked about how to create a printable order form. The idea of this is that customers can print the order form on paper, fill it in manually, and then post it to place the order. In response, we’ve created a separate tutorial on how to create a printable WooCommerce order form.
Choose the best layout for your customers
How your customers want to shop should dictate your store’s product layout. The default WooCommerce shop layout works for customers who are happy to take their time browsing images and reading descriptions. But, when your customers need to buy multiple items quickly, a WooCommerce order form plugin is a much better solution.
We’d love to see your WooCommerce order form – drop us a line or share your website in the comments below. We might even link to it from the WooCommerce Product Table showcase!