Most eCommerce stores sell the same products all year round. But what if you want to sell seasonal products which are hidden for the rest of the year? What if your entire store is seasonal, and you need a quick way to switch on and off the eCommerce facility as needed? That’s where WooCommerce seasonal products and pricing come in.
With over 41% of all online stores running WooCommerce, it’s not surprising that there are plugins available to add seasonal products and pricing to your shop. This is the complete guide to creating a WooCommerce seasonal store. You’ll learn how to show and hide specific products – or even your entire shop – at different times of year. And all without writing a single line of code.
Who Needs a Seasonal WooCommerce Store?
There are lots of reasons why you might need WooCommerce seasonable products. These case studies illustrate some different types of seasonal store.
Wholesale Store with WooCommerce Seasonal Products
A B2B wholesale store might sell the majority of their products year-round, while having a category of Summer-related products which is only available to distributors in Spring and Summer. It’s not cost-effective to stock these items in other seasons, and you sell the same Summer products each year.
You obviously don’t want to waste time adding the seasonal products to WooCommerce each Spring and deleting them again in Autumn. Instead, you can use a WooCommerce seasonal products plugin to show and hide the entire ‘Summer’ category at the click of a button.
WooCommerce Christmas Store
Some businesses are entirely seasonal, with products that are only available at specific times of year. Christmas shops are the best example of a completely seasonal WooCommerce store. They come into existence each year as Christmas approaches, and completely close down when the season ends.
For SEO reasons, a WooCommerce seasonal store shouldn’t go completely offline once the Christmas season is over. The best way to maintain your search engine ranking is to keep your website permanently online – ideally with details of when your Christmas store will open again.
However, you want to prevent people from making purchases out of season. A WooCommerce seasonal store plugin provides a quick way to publish your store each year before Christmas, and instantly hide it afterwards. The rest of your website remains public all the time.
WooCommerce Seasonal Sale
Some websites sell the same products year-round, but have seasonal pricing and sales. For example, a WooCommerce clothing website might sell products at full-price for most of the year, with seasonal sales in January and August.
Instead of manually changing your pricing 4 times a year, a WooCommerce seasonal pricing plugin lets you switch between different versions of your products – one at full-price, the other at sale price.
Here are some tips on setting up a WooCommerce seasonal products and pricing, whatever type of store you’re creating.
2 Plugins to Create WooCommerce Seasonal Products
Next, I’ll tell you about two 2 WordPress plugins that can be used to create a seasonal WooCommerce store. Which plugin to choose depends on whether you need to create a completely seasonal store, or seasonal products within a permanent shop.
- WooCommerce Private Store – Use this plugin if your entire eCommerce store will be seasonal. You can quickly show and hide your WooCommerce store depending on the season, while leaving the rest of your website public.
- WooCommerce Protected Categories– Choose this plugin to create WooCommerce seasonal products within a wider online shop. You can instantly show and hide the seasonal products, while leaving your other products available all the time. You’ll also need this plugin to change your product pricing at different times of year.
Read on to discover how to use each plugin to sell seasonal products in WooCommerce. Before you start, I’m assuming that you already have a WordPress website with WooCommerce set up and some products added. (If not, WPBeginner have an excellent tutorial about setting up WordPress and WooCommerce.)
Option 1 – Create a Seasonal WooCommerce Store
WooCommerce Private Store is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that lets you show and hide your WooCommerce store at the click of a button. It’s perfect for eCommerce stores that are completely seasonal and only available at certain times of year.
The plugin publishes and unpublishes your online store whenever you need to. The rest of your website (e.g. Home, About, Contact, Blog, etc.) remains available year-round, so you’ll always have an online presence even when your store is closed.
- Buy WooCommerce Private Store. Install and activate the plugin by following the instructions in your confirmation email.
- Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Private Store. Add your license key and click Save.
- Navigate to Appearance > Menus and add links to your store to your website menu. For example, you might want to add links to the main WooCommerce Shop page, product categories, or individual products. You can add these links even when the seasonal store is offline. The plugin will automatically hide these links from the menu.
Once you’ve done this, you can show and hide your WooCommerce seasonal store whenever you like. Deactivate WooCommerce Private Store any time you want to make your store available to the public (e.g. in the run-up to Christmas). Activate the plugin whenever you want to hide your store.
Will it Really Hide my Entire ECommerce Store?
Simply activating the Private Store plugin will hide every part of your store, so no one will be able to find it. This includes hiding your main shop page, products, product categories, cart, checkout, and any other WooCommerce content.
The plugin automatically hides any store-related menu items and widgets. This means that you don’t have to add these links manually each season. While the plugin is inactive, the menu links to your store will be hidden so that no one can find it. When you deactivate the plugin, the menu links to your store will instantly appear so that people can start shopping.
Of course, there’s always a chance that someone will accidentally find a link to your seasonal store while it’s offline. If this happens, WooCommerce Private Store will prevent them from viewing any products or make purchases. A password login form will appear, preventing people from accessing the store content. You can customize the text for this page on the plugin setting page. For example, you could change the wording to “Sorry, our seasonal store is currently closed. It will re-open on 1st December”.
Option 2 – Create Seasonal Areas Within Your Store
WooCommerce Protected Categories is a WordPress plugin that lets you show and hide specific categories within an eCommerce store. It’s a good option for creating seasonal areas within a wider store. You can publish seasonal products at certain times of year, and quickly hide them when the season ends. The rest of your website remains public all the time.
- Buy WooCommerce Protected Categories. Install it using the instructions provided with the plugin.
- Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Protected Categories and enter your license key. DO NOT tick the ‘Category Visibility’ options. Your protected seasonal categories and their products need to be hidden from the public parts of your store.
- Next, go to Products > Categories and create your permanent and seasonal categories. You can create as many categories as you like, both for the permanent and seasonal parts of the store.
- On the main Products list in WooCommerce, use ‘Quick Edit’ to easily categorise your products.
- Go to Appearance > Menus and add links to the navigation menu. For example, a lot of WooCommerce online stores have a ‘Categories’ menu dropdown with links to all the product categories. Add links for your seasonal products, as the plugin will hide them automatically when it’s out of season.
How your WooCommerce seasonal product categories work
At this point, all your categories and their products will be visible on your website. When it’s time to hide your seasonal products, go back to Products > Categories and select the ‘Password Protected’ option for each of your seasonal categories. This will instantly hide the categories and all their products from your WooCommerce store. The seasonal products will be automatically hidden from your main shop page, menu links, and widgets.
When it’s time to publish your seasonal products, simply return to Products > Categories and change your seasonal categories to ‘Public’. The categories and their products will immediately appear on your website. It’s as simple as that!
Create WooCommerce Seasonal Sale Pricing
You can also use the plugin to create a WooCommerce seasonal sale. The instructions for doing this are exactly the same as for selling seasonal products. However, instead of creating a category of seasonal products, you need to create a category of ‘Sale’ products. This will contain duplicates of your main products, but with the reduced sale pricing. (Use the Duplicate Post plugin to quickly clone WooCommerce products.)
Whenever you want to activate the seasonal sale pricing, hide your full-priced categories and set the sale categories to ‘Public’. When it’s time to switch back to standard pricing, switch your full-priced categories back to ‘Public’ and hide the sale categories.
Bonus Tip – Early Access for your Top Customers
As an added bonus, you can give a select few customers early access to your store. They can start shopping before it officially opens for the season! For example, if you have a WooCommerce wholesale store then perhaps your most valued distributors want to stock up early for Christmas.
To do this, simply give them the secret password to unlock the store. Leave WooCommerce Private Store active so that no one else can access it.
There are lots of reasons why an eCommerce store might want to create seasonal products. If you’re using WooCommerce, there are fantastic plugins available that let you achieve this quickly and easily.
Once your chosen WooCommerce seasonal store plugin is set up, you can show and hide products at the click of a button. This is much quicker than manually adding and removing products every time the season changes. Ultimately, it helps to free up your time to focus on more important tasks such as building your business.
How does your business use seasonal products or pricing? Let me know in the comments!
I am good at managing my schedule, so I can usually get projects booked in without much lead time. Let’s get our heads together and get your project done.