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How to take manual WooCommerce orders (including phone orders)

September 26, 2022

WooCommerce manual phone orders

Many online shop owners need to be able to take and place WooCommerce manual orders for customers. This could either be phone orders, email, or chat. Typically, this involves creating an account for the customers, filling out their order, and taking payment in person or over the phone.

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.

WooCommerce manual orders plugin with checkboxes only

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 in person, over the phone, by email, or live chat. In other words, they provide their order details and payment information, and shipping method to a salesperson.

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 the 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.

An easy-to-use plugin for taking manual WooCommerce orders over the phone or email.

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 WooCommerceSettingsProductsProduct tables to activate the license key.

Enter the WooCommerce Product Table 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 PagesAdd New) where you’ll add the WooCommerce manual orders form.

To do this, simply enter the shortcode [product_table].

Adding shortcode to Gutenberg editor

Once you’re done, preview the page on the front-end. It should look something like this:

Default preview of the WooCommerce order form

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 for selecting products more quickly

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:

  1. Head over to the WooCommerce Product Table plugin’s settings screen (WooCommerceSettingsProductsProduct tables).
  2. 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.
  3. Click the Save changes button to continue.

For example, if you go with Checkbox only, it should look something like this:

WooCommerce order form with checkbox only

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.

Page set to noindex using Yoast SEO plugin
  1. Simply open up the page you created in Step #2, and scroll down till you reach the Yoast SEO widget.
  2. Click the cog icon to access the Advanced settings.
  3. Set the Allow search engines to show this Page in search results? option to No.
  4. 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: Take manual payments in WooCommerce

Next, you need a way to take payment from customers. It needs to work whether you're doing face-to-face sales, phone, or something else.

There are a few options here:

  • Enter their payment details manuallyThis is best for WooCommerce phone orders. Just choose a normal payment gateway such as Stripe, and enter the customer's credit card details on the checkout page. This is just as if the customer was ordering directly on the website, but you're doing it on their behalf.
  • Use WooCommerce In Person PaymentsWooCommerce has launched a service for the US and Canada where you order a card reader which takes credit card payments from customers.
  • Use a PayPal card readerIn the last few years, PayPal has introduced card readers which provide an affordable way to take face-to-face credit card payments. These are called "PayPal Here" card readers. Use the free WooCommerce PayPal Here plugin to take website payments using a PayPal card reader.

Step #5: Taking 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 WooCommerce Login and Shop as Customer 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.

WooCommerce quick view with variation options

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:

WooCommerce manual orders plugin with checkboxes only
  1. 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.
  2. Next, they’ll place the customer’s order using the order form, select products and variations, and add them to cart.
  3. 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 (or use a card reader for in-person payments).
  4. 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).

Conclusion

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.

An easy-to-use plugin for taking manual WooCommerce orders over the phone or email.

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.

14 Comments

  1. Brian
    November 17, 2022 Reply

    Confused by this article. WooCommerce has a way to do manual orders. Am I missing something?

    https://woocommerce.com/document/managing-orders/#manually-adding-an-order

    • Edge
      November 21, 2022 Reply

      Hi, Brian. Thanks for asking about this. I appreciate the link about Manually Adding in Order in WooCommerce. This allows admin users to to so from the back-end of your website, and quantities of products and/or variations are added one at a time by first searching for each. Our solution allows you to do this from a front-end order form that displays your products in a table that you can filter, sort, and search to find and add products to an order much quicker and more efficiently.

      I hope this makes sense and helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions. You can also enquire and we can discuss this in more detail via our Support Center. Cheers.

  2. Peter Borchers
    October 12, 2021 Reply

    Hi, are you able to login as a customer, create an order using the product table page, and then instead of checking out and paying, generate an invoice with a "pay now" link to the customer, rather than a salesperson completing the payment step?

    Thanks.
    Peter

    • Jae Narra
      October 13, 2021 Reply

      Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. You can use the WooCommerce Login and Shop as Customer plugin to place the order on behalf of your customer then select the order/products from the product table.

      WooCommerce has an Invoice option that lets customers place orders without paying online. They can pay outside of the website using bank transfer or similar.

      Please let us know if there's anything else we may help you with. You may also reach us via our Support Center. Thank you.

  3. Kara Gamber
    August 27, 2021 Reply

    Will your solution reflect sales? Currently placing an order on the backend doesn’t show the discount tiers we have.

    • Carlo
      August 27, 2021 Reply

      Hi Kara, thank you for the comment. The solution discussed above creates orders from the frontend. This means it will basically work in the same way as regular WooCommerce orders, provided that the product table will be able to accommodate any customization you have. I recommend trying it out first-hand. If it does not work for you, you can use our 30-day money-back guarantee and get a refund.

      If you have further questions, you can reach us via our support center.

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