If your business needs an online product catalog, you can use WooCommerce to create listings of all your products without selling them. You can catalog WooCommerce products using the free Simple Catalog for WooCommerce plugin to hide prices from all users, or restrict eCommerce functionality to registered and logged in users.
Sometimes, you may want to only showcase products on your site without the ability for customers to purchase. For example, if you sell exclusively to wholesalers, you may need to provide them with a catalog of your entire product shelf. Paper-based catalogs can be cumbersome and not easily searchable. You can create a better user experience by putting your catalog online.
You may also want to display your products prior to launch so that customers can get information. You can use the links to drive traffic in pre-launch campaigns, and to promote your products.
Another case is when you want to only display prices or the ability to purchase for registered users on your store. In this way, you can create a simple exclusive membership store. This provides people incentive to sign up and log in to your store. This not only builds a dedicated member base, but also gives you a better idea about customer behaviour and patterns.
In such cases, you can set up the products and product information using WooCommerce without creating a separate area on your store for the catalog. You can make this happen with the free Simple Catalog for WooCommerce plugin.
Once installed, you can navigate to the plugin settings by going to WooCommerce > Settings > Simple Catalog. Here, you can choose from three display settings – hide from all users, display to all users, and display to logged in users – for different areas of your WooCommerce store. These include:
- Add to cart button
- Product ratings and reviews
- Cart and checkout pages
In addition, you can add alternative text to display in place of prices. This can be used to display instructions for people to purchase items. Some examples of this can be the launch date, prompting customers to sign in to the store to see prices, or a call to action about how they can purchase the products.
Once you save, the applicable changes are reflected on the store. Now, users will be able to interact with the products and eCommerce components of your WooCommerce store at the level you have set.
You can easily use your WooCommerce store to create a product catalog. This allows you to showcase your products without giving people the ability to purchase them. You can do this to display products before you launch to create a bigger buzz. This is also useful to sell your products wholesale where you want to give merchants an overview of your products.
You can use the Simple Catalog for WooCommerce plugin to hide prices and other eCommerce functionality from all users, or from users who are not logged in. In this way, you can create a store with eCommerce functionality to restricted to registered users.
How do you use catalogs for your eCommerce stores? Please tell us in the comments below.