There are several eCommerce business models where you don’t want all store visitors to be able to make a purchase. Instead, you may want them to contact you directly, or register on your site. In some cases, you may want to redirect customers to another site to make a purchase. For all these scenarios, you have to customize the eCommerce functionality in your store. If you have a WooCommerce store, how will you manage this? In this article, we will discuss how to enable WooCommerce catalog mode on your store to restrict the purchase capability.
How to enable WooCommerce Catalog Mode?
You can use a plugin to enable WooCommerce catalog mode easily on your store. For this article, we will use ELEX WooCommerce Catalog Mode plugin. You can download it from ELEX website or from the WooCommerce plugin repository.
Install and configure the plugin
First, install the plugin zip file and activate the plugin. If you need help in setting up a plugin on your WordPress site, please refer to our article how to install and set up a WooCommerce plugin.
Once, you install and activate the plugin, you can go to the plugin settings page to configure catalog mode according to your requirements.
Access the plugin settings from WooCommerce > Catalog mode. Here you will see different capabilities of the plugin. Let’s look at one by one.
Remove the Add to Cart button
The first option is to Remove the Add to Cart button. You can enable this option and you will see a few more additional options. You can specify whether you want to remove it from Shop page as well as individual product pages.
In addition, you can add a placeholder text to be displayed at the space where the button was located.
Enable the option, and save the changes, and Add to Cart button will be removed from your Shop and product pages. The specified placeholder text will be displayed in its place. If you are temporarily not allowing purchase on your store, and are planning to get back soon, this option could be useful.
Customize Add to Cart
In certain scenarios, you may not want to remove the Add to Cart button, instead change its function and text. The second option of the plugin is to help you with that. Tick the checkbox to enable Customize Add to Cart. Now, you will see further options to specify how you want to apply the changes. You can add custom button text for the Product page as well as Shop page.
You can also change the functionality of Add to Cart button by redirecting customers to a page of your choice. In the next field, enter the url of the page.
For example, some wholesale stores may offer bulk discounts and may want to sell only in bulk. Customers can contact them for a quote by specifying their requirements. In that case, you can change the button text to Request a Quote, and redirect customers to a form where they can enter their quantity requirements.
As you can see, the text on the button will change as per what you have specified. And customers clicking the button will be redirected to the page where they can submit the details for a quote.
With the next option, you can hide the price of the product as well. In a bulk purchase sometimes you may want to provide custom product prices as well. So, you can hide the fixed price of the product and simply show a placeholder text.
On the plugin settings page, you can simply check the option to hide the price and then enter the text to be displayed.
This will hide the price and display the custom text on the store’s frontend.
Hide Cart and Checkout pages
You will be able to make Cart and Checkout pages inaccessible to customers by choosing this option. When customers click on the Cart and Checkout links on the navigation menu, they will be redirected to the homepage.
You can also remove these pages from the menu if you are maintaining catalog mode for longer periods. Simply go to Appearance > Menus, and remove these pages from the menu.
You can exclude site administrator from the catalog mode settings and apply them only to other users. When you enable this option, all users with Administrator user role will be excluded from the catalog mode settings.
If you want to know more details about WooCommerce user roles, refer to our article How to understand WooCommerce user roles.
How to enable WooCommerce catalog mode for specific user roles?
Now, if you want to enable WooCommerce catalog mode only to specific users, you can use the premium version of the plugin. You can purchase and download the Advanced Catalog Mode for WooCommerce plugin from extensions store. The setting up is more or less similar to the free plugin above, except for some additional settings. Using this plugin, you can enable WooCommerce catalog mode only for specific user roles.
For example, you can Customize the Add to Cart button only for unregistered or guest users on your site. Under the role-based settings, you can select the user role and then specify the text and the redirect user role.
Now, when guest users access the page, they will see the custom button text, and will be redirected to the page you have specified for registration.
Additional options while enabling catalog mode
When you enable WooCommerce catalog mode using this plugin, you will get some additional options as well. Here is a list of features you can manage with this plugin.
- Enable catalog mode only for specific user roles like unregistered users.
- Remove the Place Order button on checkout page for specific user roles.
- Add a placeholder text to replace Place Order button based on user roles.
- Hide specific Payment Gateways for individual user roles separately.
Scenarios where you want to enable WooCommerce Catalog mode
There are several advantages in enabling catalog mode on your WooCommerce store. Here are some of them.
To create an online product catalog
Certain businesses would want to keep a product catalog, which customers can use to familiarize themselves with the products. They don’t necessarily need to purchase the product online. In such scenarios, often customers would go to the store directly or contact for more details.
To get a head start before the launch
Before launching your store, you can display the products without the purchase capability. This way, customers can get to know your products before the official launch. And, when you are ready to launch, you can simply disable the catalog mode and start selling.
For wholesale stores to encourage customers to register
One of the main applications of WooCommerce catalog mode is for wholesale stores that sell to different segments of customers. Most wholesale stores would want their customers to register on their site accepting the terms, before they can make a purchase. In such scenarios you can enable WooCommerce catalog mode and direct guest users to a registration form.
Hopefully, this article has explained how to enable WooCommerce catalog mode on your store. You can use the catalog mode option according to your specific store needs. Moreover, with plugins like ELEX WooCommerce Catalog Mode, Wholesale & Role Based Pricing, you can offer individual product pricing for specific user roles. Leave us a comment if you have a query.
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