Hiding prices in WooCommerce, how to build a trade only catalog or buying site for free.
If you’re running a WooCommerce powered online store and you’re looking for a way to hide the add to cart button or to hide prices from prying eyes, there is, in fact, a plugin to do just that.
Interestingly enough it’s not a paid for an extension for WooCommerce, no sir. It’s a free plugin to hide prices, hide the add to cart button and more. Is it any good though? Let’s find out, shall we?
Why would you want to hide prices in WooCommerce?
There’s a wealth of reasons why you might want to do that in fairness. I myself have worked in the wholesale/reseller industry and publishing prices was ALWAYS a bone of contention.
You want your resellers to know your pricing but you do not want members of the public seeing them. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do.
It’s a bit of a nightmare in fairness. Thankfully the free plugin (available on WordPress.org) Simple Catalog for WooCommerce aims to help solve this problem.
Scenario for hiding prices in WooCommerce
Let’s just say you’re in the tech sector you make (scratches head) custom USB drives in a variety of shapes and sizes. Now the trick to attract resellers or indeed keep them informed of prices would be to send them emails, PDF’s of pricing and such.
You want your resellers to know pricing, but you don’t want your average Joe to see them. However keeping them up to date is key, you can, of course, do this by emailing them.
However, you can make it look sexier by showcasing the product along with all the features getting them to subscribe for updates and have a platform them to view and order product from.
Creating a trade only platform for resellers / wholesale customers with WooCommerce
WooCommerce is great don’t get me wrong, as a wholesale shopping solution or indeed reseller platform? It’s not the best. However this plugin could help you change your mind, did I say it was free? (Got your interest huh?).
Now the review of Simple Catalog for WooCommerce
Installing Simple Catalog is a breeze as you would come to expect with WordPress. Simply visit WordPress.org or install the plugin from the WP backend searching for Simple Catalog. Nice and easy. Now once installed you will be greeted with the following:
It’s from here you can choose to hide the add to cart button, prices, product ratings, cart page and of course the checkout page. You can choose from the following options: Display for all Users, Hide for all Users and lastly Display for logged in Users.
You can, in fact, change the pricing text with something fancier if you wish. Ignore the click here to register text in the box for Price Text Replacement. I was testing to see if I could insert a link for people to click on to request access to the register. That doesn’t work by the way! However, you can change the text to whatever you wish.
Product listing before using Simple Catalog for WooCommerce
Product listing after using Simple Catalog for WooCommerce
As you can see from the above the price text replacement is rather handy indeed. You could change it to whatever you wish, things like ‘call us now on 555 for access to pricing’ or ‘visit our contact us page for access’.
Would have been nice: It would have been great to have an additional field under the price text replacement field to add a URL to redirect users to a register for trade pricing page.
Something powered by contact form 7 with a set criterion for trade customers/resellers to adhere to. Then let the admins create a specific account for them. Just my two cents and no discredit to the plugin author, just an idea is all!
What about product listings in category pages?
Well, I like to have a proper old test here on WPin, so I took a couple of before and after pics using this plugin. See below:
Standard Category view in WooCommerce
Standard Category view in WooCommerce with Simple Catalog
It’s also worth noting from the above, that I have elected to hide the add to cart button. This is what will be shown to end users, obviously, you can change the price text replacement field to whatever you wish.
Hiding WooCommerce ratings – UPDATE!
You will note that there is a setting in the Simple Catalog WooCommerce section that allows you to hide ratings on the basis: Display for all Users, Hide for all Users and lastly Display for logged in Users.
I’ve tried this a number of times and it doesn’t work the plugin will not hide ratings (tested multiple times now). It’s probably just a glitch and will be ironed out in time. Just a heads up though.
In fairness, if you’re looking at creating a trade only or reseller website using WooCommerce you probably don’t want to enable ratings. I mean who wants to read ratings /reviews of the competition right?
Hiding WooCommerce ratings/reviews now updated
Anthony the plugin creator reached out on Twitter and let me know that he has actually added a new option to hide reviews completely. Which is useful if you just want to have a catalog site! Kudos to Anthony for taking the time to add the option.
This plugin just keeps getting better!
Hiding the cart page & checkout page in WooCommerce
It’s also worth noting that you can obviously hide the cart page and indeed checkout page in WooCommerce, the same principle applies: Display for all Users, Hide for all Users and lastly Display for logged in Users.
If you choose to hide the page the plugin will redirect visitors to the home page, which is great if you want people to sign up to view pricing. My advice (I sound so bossy) would have been to choose a URL to redirect to if someone visits either of these pages it would have been great to redirect them to a sign up for pricing page of your choosing.
Again I may come across as demanding, however, it’s an opinion and I know WordPress plugin developers crave input on new functionality and feedback. So theirs mine for you!
What about Google indexing the pricing, even though I hid it with the Simple catalog?
Yeh, the thought had occurred to me actually, it’s all well and good hiding the prices from prying eyes. Not much good when Google indexes the prices you have set in your freshly created wholesale or trade only catalog!!
Well, I did a bit more testing, standard stuff for me.
You will notice using the Structured Data Testing tool from Google themselves this is the standard output of a WooCommerce product listing. Takes everything into account and outputs all the info you would expect to see in the SERPS.
Which is great if you want everyone to know your pricing on your website. Not so great if you’re running a wholesale only or reseller website. So I tested it again with the plugin enabled:
You will note from the above screenshot Simple Catalog has removed the offer Schema, thus meaning it will not be displayed in Google as there is no data for Google to return to the end user.
Meaning no prices will be shown on product listings that get indexed by Google. Ensuring that your efforts to hide prices from standard consumers is safeguarded!
Other ways to hide content in WooCommerce
Sometimes, you might want to hide entire products from public view so that only pre-approved customers can see them. Or perhaps you’d like to show all your products in the public part of your store, but require customers to enter a password in order to access the single product page or add to the cart.
You can do this with the WooCommerce Password Protected Categories plugin – either on its own or by combining it with Simple Catalog. This lets you create hidden password protected categories which only customers with the correct password can see. It also lets you password protect entire categories while still listing the products on the main WooCommerce shop page.
Simple Catalog Plugin Review
- Ease Of Use - 10/1010/10
- Cost - 10/1010/10
- Features - 8/108/10
Simple Catalog Plugin Review Verdict
It's hard not to like Simple Catalog, it's premise is pretty darn awesome. It's free and works like a charm!
However I do believe a fix is needed for hiding product reviews is needed. This has been added which is awesome, I have updated the review score to reflect this!
To make this a killer plugin for WooCommerce I firmly believe an additional field to link the price text replacement field to a specific page is needed. It gets my vote!
As well as the ability to redirect users who visit the checkout or cart page to specific page of your choosing, this plugin would be epic if it did that!!
All things considered, if you're looking at using WooCommerce as a trade only / wholesale cart this plugin should be your first port of call. It's pretty awesome, thanks @Anthony Hortin for creating something for WooCommerce that's not only free, but incredibly useful.