How to Create an Order Form that Sells

How to Create an Order Form that Sells

A maker's catalog or line sheet isn't the only printed tool that will successfully sell a line. An order form can be a compelling sales tool that will promote the collection as well as make a retailer's ordering easy.

As both a designer and retailer I've seen hundreds of different styles of order forms and my favorite remains a formula populated Excel spreadsheet. By formula populated, I mean that quantity, unit price, unit total and total order automatically update when a number is inserted into the field.

This is the format I have used for years and have found can successfully communicate my offering as well as make both filling out and receiving orders a breeze. I share my FREE Order Form Template below. I'll show you an order form outline that will convert to sales.

Sign Up Here to Receive your FREE Formula Populated Excel Order Form


Order Form Essentials

There are some basic items that an order form must have. Every designer and maker's order form should include the selling company's logo and contact information at the very top and preferably bottom of the form just as you'd find on a website.

Additionally, order forms should include a field for the following items:

Purchase order number  

A purchase order number is a number that the retailer will provide to let them track the order through their receiving process. Some retailers will bypass this field in which case a maker can leave it blank or provide a purchase number that will be referenced on shipping documents, email communications, packing slip, purchase order and/or receipt.

Order date

The order date is the date that the order was taken. This is not the invoice date as an order might not ship and be invoiced on the day it was made, although it certainly could if you're speedy!

Retailer Name

This is the buyer's business name that I like to call out at Retailer because 'Company Name' can be confusing if considering the vendor too.

Contact Name

This is the person who is your main contact. It's essential to have a personal contact with any partner so that you can build a human relationship that's more than just a series of emails to 'customer service' or 'sales.'


Ideally this is the personal work email of your Contact above, but in some cases it may be a general email box for the buying team. Either way, ensure that you have an active email account to rely on for efficient communications.

Shipping Date

This is the field where your retail partner can insert a requested shipping date or indicate any special needs such as ASAP, as ready, etc. 'As Ready' means you can ship when product arrives in your warehouse, is completed or other. This is great for makers with made-to-order items.

Reseller Number

This is a critical piece to your order form as having a current Reseller Number on file for each of your retail partners allows you to waive sales tax. Your bookkeeper or accountant will need these for file as well.

Create an Order Form that Sells 

After collecting essential contact information, gather logistical information from retailers. An order form should include a few more pieces of information before moving onto the product selection.

Ship To

This address is critically important to capture accurately as this is where you'll be sending the completed order. Be sure to note any differences between the Ship To Address and the Bill To Address.

Bill To

This address is often a retailer's office or home address associated with a business credit card. Note any differences to streamline your billing and shipping processes. 

Order Form Categories that Sell

When you sign up to receive my FREE Order Form Template, I've populated the order form with auto populated formulas for item price, item quantity and totals. You'll want to include explicit product info such as:

  • Product name
  • Materials
  • Color options
  • Size options
  • Price

You can include all features and benefits in your catalog or one-sheet. Keep your order form streamlined and efficient with just the essential information for a retailer to cross-reference with your order form.

Your order form should add up quantities and price totals for the retailer at the bottom of the form.

Protect Your Business 

Finally, add terms and conditions that protect your business and bottom line. Sign up to receive my FREE Order Form Template to note my terms and conditions that have protected me from bad orders time and time again. 

Sign Up Here to Receive your FREE Formula Populated Excel Order Form



how to create an order form that sells


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