Setting up Shopify back in stock notifications


Shopify back-in-stock notifications can play a crucial role in enhancing the customer experience and driving Shopify sales for eCommerce businesses.

The basic premise of back in stock notifications, is that customers who visit a product page displaying a sold out product or a product that is currently unavailable have the option to provide their email address to receive a back in stock alert.

Some of the benefits of setting up Shopify back in stock notifications includes; customer engagement and retention, increase customer satisfaction, maximise sales opportunities to recover lost sales, and improve inventory management.

How back-in-stock notifications work

Back-in-stock notifications are alerts/messages sent to customers who have expressed interest in a product that was previously out of stock or not yet available but has now become available on a Shopify store.

Below is how the basic process typically works:

-The store sets up a back in stock flow on their website

-A customer expresses interest; A customer visits a product page on a Shopify stores website and finds that the desired item is out of stock or currently not available.

-The customer can then choose to opt in for restock alerts, by providing their email address/phone number through an on-page widget. This is typically a ‘back in stock’ button that launches a pop-up modal to capture the customer details.

Opting in to back-in-stock notifications

-When the product is restocked and becomes available again, the Shopify store will automatically send a notification (via email, SMS, or app notification) to all the customers who signed up for back in stock alerts for that specific product.

-Once notified, the customer can click on the link provided which will take them directly to the product page to make a purchase. This simplifies the buying process for the customer and can lead to quicker sales.

Why a stock alert app brings customers back to your store

Customers who have signed up to be notified of restock alerts, have already expressed that they are interested in the product. You can imagine how much better qualified a back-in-stock email list would be when compared to most email campaigns.

Sending restock alerts to customers reignites their interest and as they have already previously missed out they will be even more driven to quickly purchase the product.

The back in stock notification not only drives sales but also directs traffic back to your eCommerce site. Customers receiving back-in-stock emails are likely to browse other products as well and potentially make additional purchases during their visit to your shop.

Setting up a back-in-stock Shopify app

Choosing a back-in-stock app

When choosing a back-in-stock app for your eCommerce website, there are several key factors to consider to ensure that the app you select best suits your business goals. Here are important aspects to look for:

Ease of Use and Integration:

The app should be relatively user-friendly to use and set up, you also want it to integrate seamlessly with your site theme, as well as have a great support team. An app that you can comfortably use and set up means you’ll actually use it. You can always look into more feature-rich apps, once you’re ready.

Customization and Branding:

Find an app that allows customization to match your brand’s look-and-feel. Use the app’s interface to customize notification templates, colors, etc to ensure a cohesive brand identity.

Notification Channels:

You will need to check the notification channels the app supports, such as email, SMS, push notifications, or other messaging apps and ensure that the app supports the channels preferred by your target audience for the most effective communication.

Adding the “notify me” button to your shopify theme

You’ll need to incorporate a code snippet/block into your Shopify theme that triggers the automatic display of a “Notify Me When Available” button whenever products are no longer in stock. Most apps will now use Store 2.0 block that you drag from the “Online Store -> “Shopify Customizer”. But if you are are not on a 2.0 Shopify theme, you will need to add a code snippet.

After you have added the code snippet/block, shoppers browsing an out-of-stock/unavailable a product will see a “Notify Me When Available” button appear directly next to, or below, the “Sold Out” button. It is important to ensure the correct placement and visibility of the “Notify Me When Available” button, as this will encourage customers to register their interest.

When shoppers clicks the “Notify Me” button, a pop up form will appear that allows shoppers to enter their email to be notified when the item is restocked or available.

Once this form is submitted by shoppers, a Subscribed to Back In Stock event will be tracked on the shoppers profile

Customising the back-in-stock button and form for your store

The “Notify Me When Available” button and form should allow a lot of customization, depending which app you choose. Klaviyo for examples allows you to change the colors, fonts, text, and other elements according to the style of your online store and your design preferences.

Setting up the back-in-stock notifications email/text flow

Creating effective back in stock alert email notifications is essential to captivate customers and motivate them to make a purchase. Services like Klaviyo can useful as they allow you to automate the email flows.

Below are some of the best practices to utilise when writing back in stock alert emails.

Clear and Compelling Subject Line:

Grab attention with a clear and engaging subject line that conveys the purpose of the email


Address the recipient by their name to create a sense of personal connection and make the email feel more tailored to their preferences.

Announce Product Availability:

Clearly state that the desired product is back in stock, setting the tone for the rest of the email.

Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA):

Use a prominent and compelling CTA, such as “Shop Now” or “Grab Yours Today,” that directs customers to the product page to make a purchase.

Offer Limited-Time Incentives:

Encourage immediate action by offering limited-time promotions, discounts, or free shipping to incentivize purchases.

Create a Sense of Urgency:

Use language that creates a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to act quickly before the product runs out of stock again or the pre-order discount stops being available.

monitoring analytics and reporting

Many Shopify apps that offer back-in-stock notifications, allow you to monitor the performance of your various flows and product pages. It’s best practise to monitor these analytics and optimise your front-end wording and email campaigns appropriately. Consider split tests with something like Klaviyo’s AB testing.

Why you might use a pre-order app instead

what level of order intent do you want to capture?

Sending a back in stock notification to customers is very much worthwhile, however a customer is giving quite a low level of commitment. There is another option however… pre-orders.

If you want to ensure you’re capturing genuine interest, as well as start a transaction in a way which is still flexible and without any money charged upfront. Pre-orders can be a great way to level up your back-in-stock alerts.

By using a pre-order system that supports pay-later pre-orders, you can tap into a customer’s willingness to commit to a purchase even before an item is restocked. This offers a clearer indication of product demand than mere stock notifications.

pre-orders that allow you to charge later

Shopify capture only pre-orders, allow you to capture a customer’s intent to pre-order. When you are ready to finalise the pre-order and collect payment, you send out payment links to customers, and this allows them to pay for their pre-order through your online store.

Shopify charge later pre-orders are similar to ‘capture only’ pre-orders in that the customer pays for the product at a later time (whenever suits the store owner). However, the customer goes through the Shopify checkout at the time of pre-order and enters their card details and agrees to a deferred charge. Shopify vaults these card details and charges when the store owner triggers the charge.

Setting up a pre-order app in the place of back in stock notifications

We’ll use PreProduct in this example, although other pre-sale apps may support similar functionality.

  1. Install PreProduct from the Shopify App Store
  2. Add PreProduct’s block to your theme’s product pages via the Shopify Customize editor
  3. Visit PreProduct’s “Templates” screen and set the eligibility conditions for which products should show be allowed to show the back-in-stock button. Make sure to choose capture-only or charge-later when specifying the pre-order listing settings.
  4. Finally, turn on the listing manager automation from PreProduct’s “Setup” -> “Automations” screen, so that eligible out of stock products will be pre-sold.

The Listing manager gets the chance to run every time a product has a change in Shopify (e.g. a change in stock level), but as soon as this first change happens, eligible products will stay in sync.

Back in stock app Shopify FAQ

Back-in-stock email subject lines should be; Clear and to the point so that customers immediately understand what the email is about, attention-grabbing so that customers want to open and read it and urgent so it is opened and customers act fast to purchase.

How to write back in stock email subject lines?

Yes, you should definitely customize your back-in-stock emails/messages. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and clicked on than generic emails.

Should you customise back in stock emails?

Both back in stock notifications and pre-orders can both be beneficial for online stores. Back in stock notifications can be great when you have products that regularly go in and out of stock, so customers can be notified as soon as they are back in stock, and allow you to sell more items. Pre-orders allow you to take the order even when the product is out of stock and does not rely on the customer purchasing the product once back in stock after receiving the notification.

Should you set up back in stock notifications or use a pre-order app?

You will need to download a back in stock app from the Shopify app store, and then configure it in your Shopify store.

How do I set up back in stock alerts on Shopify?

“Back in stock” refers to a situation where a product that was previously out of stock or unavailable for purchase is once again available for purchase. It indicates that the product is available again and is ready for customers to buy.

What is the meaning of back in stock?

The “back in stock” strategy involves strategies used by businesses to effectively manage and capitalize on the restocking of products that were previously unavailable. This approach is crucial for maximizing sales.

What is the back in stock strategy?

It’s up to you to add and remove stock in the Shopify product admin. As customers purchase items, the stock level will naturally decrement. Once you have new stock arrive on premise, you can go into Shopify’s product admin and increase the inventory level.

How do you know if something is back in stock?

This is commonly referred to as a “back in stock alerts” or “stock notifications” app. There are many options available on the Shopify app store.

What is the app that tells you when something is in stock?

Eliza Wegener

Co-founder @PreProduct

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

Are pre-orders legal?


Pre-order sales are a great way to gauge customer interest and generate revenue before launching a new product. However, before offering pre-orders, it’s essential to ensure that you’re complying with relevant laws and regulations in your country.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the legal requirements for offering pre-orders in various countries, so you can make an informed decision for your business.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and are not to be used for any legal decisions. This article is intended to provide guidance as to where you can find further information and should not be construed as professional advice or guidance

We strongly recommend doing your own research and seeking professional advice if needed.

Are pre-orders legal in my country?

1.1 Are pre-orders legal in Germany

In Germany, pre-orders are subject to consumer protection laws, which are designed to protect customers from unfair or deceptive business practices. Here are some key consumer protection laws that may apply to pre-orders in Germany:

  1. The Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB): The BGB sets out the general rules that apply to pre-orders in Germany. According to the BGB, pre-order agreements are binding contracts between the consumer and the seller, and the seller is required to deliver the goods or services by the agreed-upon date.
  2. The Distance Selling Act (Fernabsatzgesetz): The Distance Selling Act applies to contracts for goods or services that are concluded over the phone, online, or by mail order. According to the act, customers who order goods or services online have a right of withdrawal, which means they can cancel the order within 14 days without giving a reason.

It is generally permissible to take deposits in Germany. However, there are certain legal requirements that must be met in order to take deposits in compliance with German law.

It’s important to note that these laws may be subject to interpretation by the courts and may also be subject to change. As such, it’s recommended that you seek legal advice if you have specific questions or concerns about how these laws apply to pre-orders in Germany.

1.2 Are pre-orders legal in France

It is generally permissible to take pre-orders in France. However, like in many countries, pre-orders are subject to consumer protection laws that are designed to protect customers from unfair or deceptive business practices.

Under French law, pre-order agreements are considered to be binding contracts between the consumer and the seller, and the seller is required to deliver the goods or services by the agreed-upon date. Additionally, consumers have a right of withdrawal, which means they can cancel the pre-order within 14 days after receiving the goods or services, without giving a reason.

In France, the main law that governs consumer protection is the Consumer Code (Code de la consommation). The Consumer Code sets out the rights and obligations of both consumers and businesses in relation to pre-orders and other consumer transactions.

Businesses that take pre-orders in France are generally required to provide consumers with clear and accurate information about the goods or services being offered, the total price of the transaction, and the terms and conditions of the sale. Failure to provide this information or engaging in other unfair or deceptive business practices can result in legal and financial consequences.

In France, the rules about taking a deposit for an online purchase are governed by the Consumer Code (Code de la consommation) and other relevant laws and regulations.

Under French law, a deposit is typically considered to be a partial payment for a product or service, and the seller is obligated to deliver the product or service within the agreed-upon time frame. If the seller fails to deliver the product or service as agreed, the consumer is entitled to a refund of the deposit.

If you are taking a deposit for an online purchase in France, you must provide clear and accurate information to the consumer about the amount of the deposit, the total price of the product or service, and the terms and conditions of the sale. The consumer must also be provided with a clear and easy-to-understand description of their rights under French law, including their right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days after receiving the product or service.

In addition, businesses that take deposits for online purchases in France are generally required to comply with other provisions of the Consumer Code, such as those related to consumer protection, unfair commercial practices, and distance selling.

1.3 Are pre-orders legal in the United Kingdom

Under UK law, the main law that governs consumer protection is the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The Act sets out the rights and obligations of both consumers and businesses in relation to pre-orders and other consumer transactions.

Businesses that take pre-orders in the UK are generally required to provide consumers with clear and accurate information about the goods or services being offered, the total price of the transaction, and the terms and conditions of the sale. Failure to provide this information or engaging in other unfair or deceptive business practices can result in legal and financial consequences.

In the UK, a deposit is generally considered to be a partial payment for a product or service, and the seller is legally required to deliver the product or service within the agreed-upon timeframe. If the seller fails to do so, the consumer is entitled to receive a refund of the deposit.

Businesses that accept deposits for online purchases in the UK must provide consumers with clear and accurate information about the deposit amount, the total cost of the product or service, and the terms and conditions of the sale. They must also inform consumers of their legal rights under UK law, which includes the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days of receiving the product or service.

1.4 Are pre-orders legal in Australia

In Australia, there are several rules and laws that businesses need to follow when taking pre-orders for products or services.

Firstly, businesses must comply with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which is a national law that sets out consumer protection rights and obligations for businesses. The ACL requires businesses to provide consumers with accurate and truthful information about the products or services they are offering, including any terms and conditions that apply to pre-orders.

Under the ACL, businesses must not make false or misleading representations about the availability, quality, or nature of a product or service that is being pre-ordered. They must also provide consumers with a clear and accurate estimated time frame for the delivery of the product or service.

Businesses that take pre-orders must also comply with the rules and regulations set out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC has published guidelines for businesses on pre-orders, which includes recommendations for businesses to clearly communicate any risks or uncertainties associated with pre-ordering a product, such as delays or changes to the product.

In addition, businesses must also comply with any specific state or territory laws that apply to pre-orders. For example, in New South Wales, businesses that take pre-orders must provide consumers with a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the pre-order, including the estimated delivery date and any cancellation rights.

1.5 Are pre-orders legal in Canada

In Canada, there are rules and laws that businesses must follow when taking pre-orders for products or services.

The Competition Bureau of Canada, which is responsible for enforcing Canada’s competition laws, has issued guidelines for businesses on the use of pre-sale activities, including pre-orders. These guidelines set out some general principles that businesses should follow when offering pre-orders, such as providing clear and accurate information about the product or service being offered, the delivery date, and any associated risks.

Additionally, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of each province and territory in Canada sets out specific rules that businesses must follow when taking pre-orders. For example, in Ontario, businesses that take pre-orders must provide consumers with a written agreement that includes the total cost of the product or service, the delivery date, and the terms and conditions of the pre-order.

Under the CPA, businesses must not make false or misleading representations about the product or service being pre-ordered, and must provide consumers with clear and accurate information about any risks or uncertainties associated with the pre-order.

Moreover, the Canadian Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) provides federal guidelines for consumer protection. It requires businesses to provide consumers with clear and accurate information about any pre-sale activities, such as pre-orders. The CCPA also prohibits false or misleading advertising, and requires businesses to provide consumers with a clear and accurate description of the product or service being pre-ordered.

1.6 Are pre-orders legal in the United States

When businesses offer pre-orders in the United States, they typically enter into contractual agreements with customers. These agreements specify the terms and conditions of the pre-order, including the price, expected delivery date, cancellation policies, and any other relevant details.

The legal framework for pre-orders in the United States is primarily based on contract law. By placing a pre-order, customers are essentially entering into a contract with the seller. As with any contractual relationship, both parties have rights and obligations.

However, it’s important to note that specific laws and regulations may vary across states and industries. Consumer protection laws, such as those related to advertising, unfair trade practices, and refunds, may apply to pre-orders. Therefore, businesses must comply with applicable federal and state laws, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and relevant state consumer protection statutes.

Tips for Staying Legally Compliant When Offering Pre-Orders

When offering pre-orders for a product, it’s important to ensure that you stay legally compliant to protect both your business and your customers. Here are some general tips to consider:

  1. Transparency: Clearly communicate all relevant information about the pre-order, including the product/service description, expected delivery date, refund policy, and any risks or uncertainties associated with the pre-order.
  2. Accurate product representation: Provide accurate and detailed information about the product being offered for pre-order. Avoid misleading or false claims that may misrepresent the product’s features or availability.
  3. Terms and conditions: Create clear and comprehensive terms and conditions for the pre-order, including details about payment, cancellation, refunds, delivery, and any potential changes to the product/service before release. Ensure that customers explicitly agree to these terms before placing a pre-order.
  4. Payment processing: Use reputable and secure payment processors to handle pre-order payments. Clearly state the payment methods accepted, payment schedule (if applicable), and any fees or additional charges that may be incurred.
  5. Refund policy: Establish a fair and transparent refund policy for pre-orders, clearly stating the conditions under which refunds will be provided. Make sure customers understand their rights regarding cancellations and refunds.
  6. Delivery timeline: Provide a reasonable estimate of the expected delivery or release date for the pre-ordered product or service. Be cautious about making absolute guarantees or overly optimistic claims to avoid potential liability.
  7. Customer communication: Keep customers informed about the progress of their pre-order, including any shipping delays, changes in wait time or any other changes that may occur. Maintain open lines of communication to address customer inquiries or concerns promptly.
  8. Data protection: Comply with applicable data protection and privacy laws when collecting and storing customer information. Clearly state how customer data will be used and protected in your privacy policy.
  9. Compliance with consumer protection laws: Familiarise yourself with consumer protection laws specific to your jurisdiction, such as regulations related to distance selling, warranties, and consumer rights. Ensure that your pre-order practices align with these laws.
  10. Professional legal advice: Consult with a lawyer or legal professional experienced in consumer protection and e-commerce to review your pre-order process and terms. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific business and help ensure legal compliance.

Remember, these tips are general guidelines, and it’s important to consult with a legal professional who can provide advice based on your specific circumstances and jurisdiction to ensure full legal compliance.


Offering pre-orders can be a great way to generate revenue and gauge customer interest, but it’s important to ensure that you’re complying with relevant laws and regulations in your country.

By following the legal requirements outlined and linked to in this article and taking steps to stay compliant, you can offer pre-orders with confidence and avoid any potential legal issues down the line.

Eliza Wegener

Co-founder @PreProduct

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

How to set up pre-orders on Shopify

1. Introduction

Pre-orders can be a great tool for your online store, with potential to increase hype around new releases whilst solving your cash flow problems. It’s beneficial to understand how to set up pre-orders on Shopify.

What is a pre-order?

A pre-order is where customers can place orders for products or services before they become available for general sale. Essentially, customers are buying an item before it is physically in stock or released.

There are several benefits to setting up pre-orders:

Pre-orders can provide insight for Shopify stores about the demand for their products.

By seeing how many people are pre-ordering an item, stores can adjust their production and inventory management to meet demand. This can help them avoid overproduction, which can lead to excess inventory and financial losses. If you plan to use pre-orders for probing future demand, we recommend capture-only or charge-later pre-orders, that way customers aren’t being charged anything until you’re comfortable moving forwards.

Pre-orders can generate buzz and excitement for a product before its release.

By allowing customers to pre-order, store owners can boost hype and create a sense of exclusivity around new releases. It also gives you an opportunity to launch twice in a way, once for the pre-order release and once again when the product arrives and you start taking regular buy-now orders.

Pre-orders can boost your online store cashflow, as they can capture revenue upfront.

When customers pre-order products, they typically pay the full price or a deposit at the time of the order, which provides stores with a cash flow boost before the product is even released. This can be especially helpful for small businesses or startups that may not have access to significant capital or financing (although financing options for small e-comm brands is in improving!) .

2. Set up pre-orders on Shopify

Does my Shopify store support pre-orders?

All Shopify stores are capable of supporting pre-orders, however not all payment processors support deferred-charge pre-orders. Currently both Shopify Payments and PaPal are supported, however you will run into issues when using an unsupported third party payment gateway or even Shop Pay.

That said, Shopify will automatically hide any unsupported payment providers from your checkout. So, as long as you have Shopify Payments or PayPal enabled, you’re good to go and move forward to set up pre-orders on Shopify.

Installing a Pre-order App

To get started and set up pre-orders on Shopify, visit the Shopify App Store and search for “pre-order”, then select the app you wish to install.

Once you have located the app, click on it to access the app listing page, and then select the “Add app” option.

To grant the app access to your Shopify admin account, click “Install app” and authorize its use.

Integrating the App with Your Storefront

Shopify 1.0

If your Shopify theme is Shopify “store 1.0” and you’re not comfortable with customising the code of your product template, then I’d recommend contacting the app developer, as they’ll need to edit code to add their snippet to your online store.

Generally the process is to locate the Shopify theme file containing the “buy” button and insert the app’s customized code beneath the {% endform %} liquid tag. This will let the app’s script determine which product the pre-order button should apply for (if any) when running on that page.

Keep in mind that the file name may differ, but commonly it will be one of: product-template.liquid, product-form.liquid, or product-main.liquid, among others. (Typically in your ‘sections’ or ‘snippets’ folder)

*We also recommend saving your theme file locally first, incase of any mistakes. That way you have a backup if anything goes wrong, as well as being able to take advantage of powerful code editor ‘file find’ tools like ‘find in project’.

Shopify 2.0

With the introduction of Shopify 2.0, app blocks can now seamlessly integrate into the Shopify admin’s drag-and-drop theme customizer, making it much easier to set up pre-orders on Shopify. (‘app block’ is effectively the same as a ‘snippet’ in this context)

App blocks streamline the product pre-order template installation process, as well as automatically removing themselves if you uninstall the app.

Listing Pre-orders on Shopify

Once you’ve completed the above steps to integrate the app with your Shopify storefront, you can now start pre-selling!

Begin by listing a product in your selected pre-order app. Most if not all pre-order apps sit on top of your existing Shopify product listings. Once listed in the app, the pre-order product page’s cart button text should be replaced with a pre-order version, accompanied by any other front-end additional information, i.e. special pre-order messaging.

You will need to decide which type of pre-order to use, generally depending on the payment settings they use. The general pre-order types are:

  • Charge upfront pre-order – 100% charged upfront (Most apps will offer this).
  • Charge Later pre-orders – 100% charged later when you trigger the charge.
  • Deposit-based pre-orders – A percentage paid upfront, with the outstanding charged later.
  • Capture-only pre-orders – A payment link is sent once you’re ready to send customers through your payment gateway.

Different apps may support or not support any of the above, so it’s important to research this ahead of installing (for example, PreProduct’s list is here).

What kind of pre-order should you use?

pros, and, cons

The below is just a set of rough guidelines from what I’ve seen running a pre-order solution over the years.

Charge upfront pre-orders are useful if you need the cash flow upfront, and appropriate if you have a good idea of when the pre-order items will be ready for shipping. Charging upfront also comes with a higher commitment from customers, over something like capture-only or notify-me-when-in-stock.

Charge upfront may not be the best type of pre-order if you’re worried about manufacturing delays or freight issues. Customers could become frustrated if they’ve fully paid, but then have unexpected delays receiving the product.

Charge later pre-orders can be one of the better choices when you’re not sure how long manufacturing may take, or when there is some uncertainty around production and supply chain. As customers will be less inclined to be annoyed by delays when they haven’t parted with any money yet. It’s still important to keep customers informed of delays though.

Charge later is also convenient if customers have a change of mind, whilst waiting for the out of stock product to come in; because no refund is needed, the pre-order can just be cancelled (without any bank transaction started/cancellation needed).

Deposit-based pre-orders is a good alternative that sits between charge upfront pre-order and charge later pre-order. This type of pre-order shows commitment from customers, but also means customers do not need to pay for the full product upfront, which can help increase pre-order sales by lowering the price to buy for customers.

Capture-only pre-orders can be a great pre-order option when you need to gauge interest. They require the least amount of commitment from both the buyers and shop owners. Similar to a back-in-stock flow, customer’s only go through checkout once the product’s available and can be imminently shipped.

Deciding on a pre-order shipping statment

When creating a pre-order listing, you will also need to set a shipping statement. This could be in a period of days or fixed phrase (ie ‘Next Summer’). The balance here is that a pre-order listing with too vague a shipping statement can deter potential buyers, however an exact shipping statement with a much longer duration can also detract from the willingness to buy.

At PreProduct, generally we advise merchants to keep it specific when they can. With the caveat that you should go with what’s comfortable and if that’s not committing to an exact date, then that’s a completely sensible decision. You should also bear in mind that the communicated shipping statement can be changed at any point (well in a lot of apps at least).

Choosing an exact pre-order shipping statement

Using a less specific pre-order shipping statement

Shopify product settings

The product/variant section of the Shopify admin dashboard contains an option to enable the ‘continue selling when out of stock’ feature. This setting is crucial when utilising pre-orders and has two important purposes:

  1. If a product has zero stock and the box is unchecked, customers will not be able to purchase it. However, if the box is checked, the product can still pass through the checkout, whatever the inventory level. Some apps (eg PreProduct) automatically manage this box, when creating/finishing a pre-order listing.
  2. Furthermore, most Shopify themes display an ‘out of stock’ message when a product/variant has zero stock and the box is un-ticked. Ensuring the ‘continue selling when out of stock’ box is ticked will prevent this message from being displayed.

3. Offering Discounts on Pre-orders

Basic Discount Setup

If you’re not using a pre-order app, you can set up a discount in any theme by altering the ‘Price’ and ‘Compare at Price’ in the Shopify product admin. The ‘Compare at Price’ is the original price and the ‘Price’ is the discounted price. This means the Shopify will know that there is a discount and your theme will most likely reflect this on your front-end. 

Purchase Options Discounts

For pre-order listings that use purchase options (in PreProduct’s case, this is every kind apart from capture-only listings), rather than altering the price of the product directly on Shopify, the discount is applied at the pre-order listing and order level.

This means that the discount is fixed for any pre-orders already captured, but if you decide to change the discount for future pre-orders, they’ll have the updated subtraction applied. This is great, as you don’t need to worry about the price change; and furthermore, can even change the Shopify product price without impacting previous pre-orders.

With early bird discounts, you can enable customers to commit to a purchase early on and capture more sales, this is due to a created sense of exclusivity and urgency. Tapping into the classic psychology of ‘wanting more for less’ and FOMO.

Letting early adopters get in early can boost customer loyalty, and rewarding these customers with a discount can boost this dynamic even more so.

4. Setting up pre-orders on Shopify to use deposits

Creating Deposit-based pre-orders

When you set up pre-orders on Shopify and create a listing, there should be an option to choose whether to capture deposits/partial payments for pre-order listings in supporting deposit pre-order apps.

When creating a pre-order listing, you will just need to select the deposit type: fixed amount or percentage. This will be communicated on the product and cart pages, as well as next to the payment authorization section of the checkout.

How do deposit pre-orders work?

Pre-order listings that use deposits will communicate to customers the price and terms of the order before they click the pre-order cart button. They’ll then be directed through your usual checkout process, however there will be details of the deposit price, the outstanding price, as well as when the merchant plans to charge it. Then once you’re ready to trigger the outstanding payment, you can trigger the charge via your pre-order app. Usually this is is powered by vaulted credit card technology so no further action is needed from the customer.

Using deposits can be beneficial as they require customers to commit a portion of the pre-order payments upfront, demonstrating a genuine interest and commitment to purchasing the product.

Deposits provide an immediate influx of cash for the business, which can be crucial for covering production costs, marketing efforts, or other expenses related to fulfilling pre-orders. It’s completely up to you whether you implement a non-refundable deposit policy.

Charging Tax and Shipping Fees

When using deposit based pre-orders, both shipping and taxes will be charged in the final outstanding amount, not in the deposit amount. Your existing tax and shipping profiles will be respected.

5. Summary and Conclusion

In summary, to use and set up pre-orders on Shopify offers several powerful advantages for ecommerce stores.

  • They provide valuable insight into product demand for pre-order products, enabling stores to predict inventory amount and avoid overproduction.
  • Pre-orders generate anticipation for a product, improving hype for your future releases.
  • Lastly, pre-orders can generate upfront revenue, providing cash flow before product release, something that ecommerce companies of all sizes can get excited about.

If you are interested in giving pre-orders on Shopify a go and experiencing some of these benefits I mentioned above, we’d love you to start a free trial of PreProduct today.

Get the Shopify App

Eliza Wegener

Co-founder @PreProduct

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

Adding pre-orders to the Shopify Turbo theme

The Turbo Shopify Theme

The Turbo Shopify theme is one of Out of the Sandbox’s flagship themes and a favourite of Kurt Elster. This article will go through adding pre-orders to the Shopify Turbo theme. Turbo is fully featured and performant, as well as being Shopify store 2.0 compatible. Meaning it’s pretty straight-forward to add third-party apps. However, we’ll also go through a more limited ‘free’ way of setting up pre-orders with Turbo.

There are many great reasons to offer pre-orders, including a positive influence on cash flow, the wiggle room it can afford your product launches, and the supply chain risks that can be offset. If you’d like to read more about the advantages of Shopify pre-orders, we talk about them extensively on our homepage.

Turbo theme

ref: Out of the sandbox

Adding Pre-orders Manually

We do not recommend this method at all, but realise that some people would prefer to see a free of charge version of offering pre-orders. Backup your themeAlways backup theme files before you change code. This way, you’ll always have a safe version to revert to if something goes wrong.

Word of warning

It’s possible to collect pre-orders without any apps and with minimum developer work, by using the following bare-bones approach. Although I don’t recommend doing this for several reasons that we’ll go into after the step-by-step:

  1. Shopify has a checkbox in the Shopify product section under ‘inventory’ called ‘continue selling when out of stock’. When ticked, Shopify will accept orders for that product, even when the stock level is empty or negative.
  2. It’s also possible to change your add-to-cart button’s text via the Shopify theme files so that it shows ‘pre-order’ when a product has 0 in stock and the above setting is enabled. Using something like the liquid code below within the button tag.
{%- if product.variants.first.inventory_policy == "continue" and product.variants.first.inventory_quantity == 0 -%} pre-order {%- endif -%}

As well as the overhead of hardcoding a change into your store’s theme that doesn’t localise to the user’s language, the above method will also mean:

  • ‘pre-orders’ and ‘buy-now’ orders are mixed together in your Shopify order section, leading to mistakes and laborious admin.
  • No efficient control of what product is on pre-order and what is on ‘buy now’.
  • Your store’s front-end won’t communicate to customers when they’ll receive their pre-order.
  • You have no way of communicating with customers during the pre-order process. e.g. A ‘Your natural deodorant is three weeks away from shipping’ email or customer portal.
  • Pre-order payment has to be upfront (no pay later or deposit option)
  • No way to place limits or any advanced pre-order features on your listing.

All of these drawbacks can very quickly add up to a negative customer experience with a lot of work on your end to manage and stay in control. Luckily Shopify’s app ecosystem has many apps who work on these problems and ways to increase your pre-orders. Thanks to Turbo’s Store 2.0 compatibility, you won’t need to write a line of code to integrate one either.

Using PreProduct for pre-orders

Like I just mentioned, Shopify’s Appstore is home to many pre-order apps that will help you find success with your pre-sales.
PreProduct offers the below benefits, as well as a customisable pre-order cart. After selecting PreProduct from the AppStore, simply click ‘install app’ from the top of the page and Shopify will take you through a quick install process.

PreProduct’s feature set includes:

  • The ability to choose which specific product/variants will be on pre-order.
  • A designated dashboard for your pre-orders, without regular orders being mixed in.
  • Customisation of the design/messaging of the pre-order button and front-end, including dynamic variables like shipping time.
  • Email campaigns to keep customers in the loop and engaged throughout the pre-order campaign.
  • Different payment options like; ‘pay later’, ‘deposit’ and ‘pay now’. Meaning you can list pre-orders much earlier and with better flexibility (+ in some countries, conform to necessary legal requirements).
  • Analytics and dashboards for reporting/interacting/merging the individual pre-orders.

Using the Shopify store 2.0 ‘customize’ editor you won’t have to add permanent code to your theme. You can just drag and drop a block into your product page. Meaning you’re in complete control of where the pre-order section goes in your storefront, as well as when it gets taken out.

Adding a pre-order app block to your Shopify turbo theme

Once you have PreProduct installed, you’ll be able to drag it’s block into your product page exactly where you want it. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to the ‘Online store’ section of your Shopify dashboard.
  • Click ‘Customize’.
  • You will now be greeted with Shopify’s customize editor. It will be set to your home page. Click ‘catalogue’ to go to a collection page and then click on any product to select your product page.
  • Notice the different areas of your product page in the left-hand side bar, signified by the tag icon and name in bold. We want to add to your ‘Product Information’ section, so click the blue ‘Add block’ link at the bottom of that list.
  • A pop-up should appear with a list of blocks under the ‘APPS’ heading. Click the PreProduct block.
  • The PreProduct block has now been added to the ‘Product information’ section. To choose it’s position, click the little back arrow to the left of its nam and drag it up or down until you’re happy with the position.
  • That’s it, you should be all good to go. Don’t forget to save! (Top right corner of the page).


You have now finished setting up pre-orders for the Shopify Turbo theme. You can now start listing products for pre-order and taking pre-sales for your future and out of stock products.

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans