How to take online orders without WooCommerce

An online shop or store is a popular addition to most businesses nowadays. It can help boost your branding, increase sales, and increase your customer base. However, most e-commerce platforms can be arduous to set up and maintain and are not cheap to get started.  Good news then! We’ve come up with a cost-effective way to sell products online without using e-commerce platform software. 

Hannah Raeside

General Manager, Pod Creative

What is woocommerce?

WooCommerce is one of the most recognizable e-commerce plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. It’s a robust plugin that offers both single and variable products (same product different sizes or colours), takes payment online, and automatically confirms with the customer. 

Whats the alternative?

Please don’t get us wrong, we love WooCommerce and use it as the main e-commerce platform for a large number of our clients. It’s absolutely fantastic for medium to larger-sized online stores with multiple products. However, it does lack in a couple of areas. It’s not designed for products that change often, like a menu. While there are plugins and applications you can use for menus they are often designed for stagnant menus, not rotating ones. The same goes for products. It’s also not a great option if you have just a few products, or if you’re doing made-to-order products.

This is where Gravity Forms comes in. Gravity Forms is a premium plugin with powerful features including payment options, backups of submitted forms stored on the website, and intuitive conditional logic. We love Gravity Forms and use it as our main contact form plugin on all our sites. It’s simple to use and super effective.

How does this work?

Gravity Forms is hands down the best (in our opinion) contact form on the planet right now. Simply because it’s so much more than a contact form. The ability to take payment on the form, either directly in the form or through Stripe or PayPal integration is incredible. From registrations to subscriptions, donations to product sales, Gravity Forms lets you manage transactions with the same tool you use to create contact forms on your site.

Let’s say you’ve got a specific product you want to sell. It’s a product that is made to order, like a cake, and you want the customer to have the ability to give you more details about the cake they want to order. You’re a small bakery and can’t afford an e-commerce site, as most start around $5,000. Here’s where Gravity Forms can help. With a quick and straightforward form, you can allow your clients the ability to choose from a flavour, icing flavours, and size, and even provide them with an area to make special requests. The clients can pay right on the form and bing bang boom, you’ve sold a cake online! The best part is if you want to make any changes to the form to update flavours or sizes or remove information it’s super easy to do. You can even set a time and date window when the form is open to order! No more last-minute orders or people ordering when you’re closed.

Case Study –

In spring 2022 we were contacted by a new client, Cheffanie, who needed help launching their new business venture online. Cheffanie offers a weekly menu of heat and serve gourmet meals, and needed a flexible ordering system that would allow for customizations and edits. After reviewing all of our options, and the price points attached to each option, we settled on using Gravity Forms. The forms are easy to set up weekly, offer flexible customizations, and a seamless ordering system. Clients have the option of paying in PayPal or straight through the order form itself.

Since spring 2022 Cheffanie has been accepting on average 30 orders a week for their meal service and amassed over 500 Mailchimp subscribers. If you are in the Comox Valley area we highly recommend checking out their weekly meals, trust us, they are DELICIOUS.

Wrapping this up

There are multiple systems one could use to create an online ordering system including WooCoomerce, Shopify, or our personal favourite, Gravity Forms. The unassuming workhorse plugin is a testament to its programming and offers diverse functionality that cannot be beaten. We highly recommend trying it out for your next online ordering system!


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