Excel order form templates are a common element in wholesale stores. Using a template, you can enable users to make orders quickly and share them with you in minutes. All of that in a format that is easy for you to process. However, as your operation grows, you may find yourself in need of more sophisticated ordering solutions.
Ideally, your wholesale store should have a custom system that enables customers to review your inventory, order in bulk, and get orders to you quickly. In this article, we’ll show you how to use the Wholesale Suite to set up your own ordering system. Let’s get to it!
Why Use a Custom System Over Excel Order Form Templates
Excel order form templates are a popular tool among wholesale stores because you can easily create documents that fit your business’ needs. When you approve a new wholesale customer, you can share your store’s template with them so they can submit orders whenever they want:
Although Excel order forms are versatile, they also present a lot of practical issues. To make an order, customers need to either review your store or have access to a full list of your inventory.
Once customers submit an order, you need to check if your inventory can cover it and submit an invoice. It’s a straightforward process, but one that we can simplify using WordPress alongside WooCommerce and the Wholesale Suite.
How to Add Wholesale Order Forms to Your WooCommerce Store
For this tutorial, you’ll need to use the Wholesale Order Form plugin from the Wholesale Suite. Although you don’t need access to the whole suite of plugins, they’re designed to complement each other, which can help you run your store more efficiently.
Step 1: Set Up and Configure the Wholesale Order Form Plugin
Once you install and activate the Wholesale Order form plugin, you’ll be able to configure the way that users interact with your wholesale order forms. To get started, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Wholesale Ordering:
The first choice you have to make is what type of order form you want customers to use. By default, the plugin will display your entire inventory in a paginated fashion, which each item on its own row.
If you select the Standard option, the plugin will include an Add to cart button next to each item. The Alternate setting, on the other hand, adds a single button to the bottom of each page, so customers can select multiple items, then place them into their shopping cart in one fell swoop.
Per our experience, the Standard option tends to be more user friendly, which we’ll show you in a minute.
Next up, the Wholesale Order plugin will ask you select what type of pagination you want to use for your store. The Paginated setting requires users to move from page to page to browse your inventory. Lazy loading, on the other hand, can load your entire inventory in a single page as users scroll down.
If you opt for the standard paging style, you can also configure how many items you want your store to load on each page. Finally, there’s an option that enables you to show variations alongside each item in your product listings.
If you run a store that features a lot of product variations, we recommend that you enable the Show Variations Individually setting. That should make it easier for customers to add the variations they want to their carts without making mistakes.
Step 2: Test Your Wholesale Order Form
Once you’re done tweaking the Wholesale Order settings, it’s time to see your new wholesale order form in action. By default, the plugin set up a brand new wholesale order page that’s separate from your regular shop.
To access that page, go to Pages > Wholesale Ordering to check out what its URL is. Out of the box, it should be something like yourwebsite.com/wholesale-ordering:
Here’s what your brand new wholesale order page should look like:
Using this new wholesale order form, customers will be able to add precise numbers of items to their cart. Once a customer’s cart is ready, they can proceed to the checkout as usual.
Online wholesaling orders can be much easier to use than Excel order form templates. By using the right plugins for your WooCommerce store, customers will be able to review your existing inventory and place wholesale orders in a matter of minutes.
By switching from Excel order form templates to a built-in system, you’ll be able to save time and get to work on order fulfilment faster. If you use the Wholesale Suite alongside the Order Form plugin, you won’t need to deal with Excel order forms any longer.
Do you have any questions about how to switch from Excel order form templates to wholesale order forms? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!