WooCommerce has come a long way since its launch in 2011.
Needless to say, you might already be familiar with its workings and limitations.
Out-of-the-box WooCommerce helps you set up a conventional store.
But it may happen that your needs are different. Say you want to create a membership-only store or sell custom-made products, which are made on order or are customized per buyer. In such situations, you might want a store with products on display, but not want to provide visitors the option to make a direct purchase.
This setup is know as a “Catalog Store“.
What is a Catalog Store or an Online Catalog?
A catalog store or an online catalog allows store owners to showcase their products but not sell them directly.
In such stores, customers can view products and their details, but the option to purchase any product is absent.
A catalog store in WooCommerce can be set up using an extension plugin. Working to this end is Product Enquiry Pro – the complete Catalog store and Enquiry management plugin for WooCommerce. Not only does it convert the WooCommerce store into an online catalog, it provides option to add an enquiry or quote request button, that lets interested customers send across questions or quotes for the products in the catalog.
How to Setup a Catalog Store in WooCommerce using Product Enquiry Pro?
A cool feature Product Enquiry Pro provides is a global and per-product option to convert your WooCommerce store into an online catalog.
The plugin installs like any other WooCommerce extension. Once you activate it, you need to head to the plugin settings page.
By unchecking ‘Enable Add to Cart‘ under ‘Price and Add to Cart Visibility Options‘ you can hide the product purchase option across all products in your WooCommerce store.
To all customers to make an enquiry or request a quote, you can check the corresponding options under ‘Enquiry & Quote Options‘.
Now you’re good to go!
You’re store has been converted into an online catalog.
But the plugin provides you additional options too. Let’s explore.
How to Show/Hide Product Prices
With Product Enquiry Pro you can choose to either hide or display prices for all or certain products. This becomes necessary if prices of your products are not fixed (in this case prices can be hidden), or if you want to set a base price for the product when customers request a quote (you can show the price even though purchase option is hidden).
The global option to show/hide prices for all products is available under ‘Price and Add to Cart Visibility Options‘.
Selectively Disabling the Purchase Option
Now, you may want to disable the purchase option, hide the price, or enable the enquiry option only for certain products.
In this case you can fine tune these at a per-product level by enabling or disabling the respective options on every product page. There’s a bulk editing option to, which you can use to set these options for several products at once.
How to Manage Enquires, Quote Request and Close Sales?
If an interested customer send across an enquiry or quote request for a product in the catalog, you can view the details right in the admin panel of your Woo store.
Product Enquiry Pro stores all customer details, and allows the customer to attach a note too. You can view enquiry details or the quote request, and reply to close the sale.
Quote PDFs are automatically generated and emailed to the customer, allowing them to directly make a purchase at an agreed upon price!
If a Catalog store suits your business model, then Product Enquiry Pro definitely has a lot to offer. It’s highly customizable and makes switching to a catalog store in WooCommerce as easy as pie!
With the option to show/hide prices, selectively display purchase option for products, and a complete quotation management system it’s a comphrensive package for a great price!