'Display Only' Order Cycles - with checkout disabled

In some cases producers and hubs may want to be able to display products but not actually allow customers to buy e.g. to show the range they will have but when orders are not actually open. We have therefore created three states as described in table below.

By having an Order Cycle open, but making all the Payment methods on the Shop or Hub inactive, the Customer will not be able to add to cart or checkout - thus enabling a sample or ‘showcase’ order cycle.

I have just tried this and I have 2 comments:

  1. it is an all or nothing solution: all order cycles for a given hub will be in demo mode or none. A better solution would be to add a configuration on the order cycle level to specify that it is for demo only
  2. When this workaround is configured for a hub, it seems to still allow for check-out but when a user actually presses the " Checkout now" button he/she is simply logged out. So it fulfills the requirement of not allowing check-out but not really intuitive. The “check-out” button could be grayed out or not displayed instead
    This is the order cycle I tested it on: https://www.openfoodnetwork.no/borettsalg-sofienberg/shop

Yes absolutely, this set-up is not perfect. This feature comes about by accident, rather than design, so it’s not flawless. Below is the advice I have given to someone who asked about having a closed shopfront between open order cycles:

"How it works is essentially if you have an active order cycle, but don’t have any active shipping or payment methods, customers will land in your shop (reflecting the active order cycle), they’ll be able to add products to cart, but when they try to go to checkout they’ll be stopped, and get a message saying “The hub you have selected is temporarily closed for orders. Please try again later.”

If this is something you’re wanting to setup this is how you would do it:
*- Create a ‘demo’ order cycle, which stocks the kinds of products you want to showcase to potential new customers. *
- Each week, after your ‘real’ order cycle closes, you would open the ‘demo’ order cycle. Then you would need to ‘deactivate’ your shipping method- this makes it impossible for customers to place orders. I would suggest that you also change your ‘shopfront message’ to something along these lines… “Our shop is currently CLOSED, but this demo shops shows a selection of the kinds of products we sell each week. Come back on Monday to place an order…” . The ‘ready for’ part of your shopfront should also read CLOSED.
*- Then, each week, before you open your real order cycle, you would need to reactivate your shipping method, take down the ‘our shop is closed’ shopfront message and turn off the demo order cycle. *

As you can tell, this is a bit of a tricky operation, involving lots of steps, and therefore room for error. I would probably only recommended this to someone who’s quite familiar with the system.

If this is an important feature for you guys in terms of recruiting new customers/members, another option could be to create a duplicate demo shop, which is permanently in this disabled state, and is only accessible to people who have the URL (set it to invisible). Then you could share this link with interested new members, but not have to worry about setting up the demo each week. This enterprise wouldn’t be searchable on the OFN though."