Increase Shopify Sales with 6 Proven Pre-order Strategies



Introducing pre-orders for growth on Shopify

Looking to increase Shopify sales? The secret can lie in effective pre-order strategies. This article cuts straight to the point, providing six practical tactics that translate customer interest into secured revenue— crafting urgency, exclusivity, and increasing average order value to name a few. We’ll guide you through these methods and showcase how they’re each working for real-life online stores.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-orders can significantly boost Shopify sales by creating urgency, leveraging influencer marketing, increasing average order value, and securing revenue before inventory is available.
  • Tactical pre-order strategies including limited edition items, exclusive discounts, charge-later options, time-limited availability, sustainable practices, and offering exclusive benefits can enhance customer engagement, loyalty, and overall sales.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of pre-orders, it’s essential to employ an effective customer centric marketing strategy. That way you can engage customers with a compelling narrative, offer flexibility, align pre-order strategies with brand values, and maintain transparent communication.
  • Implementing loyalty programs can enhance customer engagement, improve retention rates, and motivate repeat purchases.
Shopify's official pre-order landing page for how to increase Shopify sales
https://www.shopify.com/pre-orders

Why and How Pre-Orders Can Increase Sales on Shopify

Stepping into the ecommerce store arena, you quickly learn that the key to a thriving Shopify store is not just attracting potential customers but converting their interest into actual sales. Pre-orders let you do this before stock hits your warehouse. Imagine the power of knowing your product is sold even before it’s physically available. It’s a strategy that transforms potential customers into committed buyers and increases customer retention in an otherwise volatile online shopping environment.

But how exactly do pre-orders amplify your Shopify store’s performance? Pre-orders can build a compelling sense of urgency by bridging the gap between anticipation and ownership. As the launch date nears, exclusive ad campaigns, early bird discounts, and time-sensitive offers can coax the prospective customers from the sidelines and into an action. Utilizing Google ads alongside other paid advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram can further enhance these campaigns, driving targeted traffic and boosting sales. This urgency can be manufactured by employing a customer-centric playbook designed for increasing sales on Shopify.


Tried and Tested Shopify Pre-order Strategies

Now, let’s dive into each strategy in the form on mini case studies. The ecommerce market thrives on innovation, and pre-order strategies are a testament to this. These six strategies are proven tactics that can boost conversions. From limited editions that sell out rapidly to exclusive discounts that spur customers to click ‘pre-order’, each strategy is essential for boosting conversions and enhancing the performance of your ecommerce business or Shopify store. Additionally, bolting on additional marketing techniques like loyalty programs can further boost conversions and enhance customer engagement.

We’ll explore the mechanisms behind these strategies and how you can tailor them to fit your online store.

Illustration of a Shopify store with increased sales
Pre-orders on Shopify

1. Limited editions pre-orders (Fenty Beauty)

Fenty Beauty’s limited edition pre-orders capitalize on the power of scarcity. Each exclusive launch generates significant excitement among customers, leveraging the brand’s association with Rihanna and aligning product releases with major events to maximize impact. The strategy isn’t just about celebrity influence; it’s about creating a compelling narrative around unique, one-time-only products.

When Fenty Beauty releases a limited edition product, the buzz generated drives significant interest and sales. This approach involves cohesive brand messaging across all customer touchpoints, supported by digital advertising, Google ads, and search engine optimization to maintain visibility and engagement.

The allure of limited edition pre-orders lies in the exclusive, unrepeatable nature of the products, which attracts a dedicated following eager for the next release. However, this strategy also requires meticulous planning and brand management to ensure each launch meets high expectations and reinforces the brand’s commitment to quality and innovation.

Tip: Creating Artificial Scarcity with limited edition BundlesIf you don’t have a fixed amount of units, consider releasing a bundle as a limited edition with an artificial limit. This strategy allows you to create a sense of exclusivity and urgency without needing to precisely manage inventory quantities. By curating a unique bundle and setting a cap on availability, you can drive pre-orders and excitement, effectively leveraging the power of scarcity to boost sales.

Rhianna's brand Fenty Beauty's limited editions
fentybeauty.com/collections/limited-edition

2. Exclusive Pre-order Discounts (The Mindset Journal)

Moving on from specific limited editions, limited discounts can be employed as well. The magnetic pull of an exclusive deal really plays our sense of FOMO. A customer of ours at PreProduct, The Mindset Journal puts this to great effect with an exclusive 20% discount on pre-orders of their V1 product. Pre-order discounts, don’t use a catch-all discount code; but are early bird specials that are only received when the product is purchased as a pre-order. This can propel customers to lock in the lower prices before they’re gone.

This strategy can be a great way to increase Shopify sales, as it allows you to discount without deprecating the perceived value of the product. i.e. the sub-text is that the item is discounted as it’s new, not because it’s failing to shift from shelves. The core mechanics of the Mindset Journal’s offering is:

  • A 20% discount to early adopters.
  • A valuable personal development tool at a bargain price.
  • Early sales and customer loyalty even before the product ships.
  • Incentivizing early purchases through loyalty programs to improve customer retention.
Offering a 20% pre-order discount
themindsetjournals.com/

The Mindset Journal can then drive traffic and attract customers by:

  • Explaining the discount codes in promotional emails
  • Leveraging their social media presence and organic traffic
  • Providing an additional 5% off for mailing list subscribers or influencer campaigns (Shopify discount codes can stack on top of pre-order discounts)

These tactics paired with traffic can create a cascade of incentives that increase customer retention, keeping loyal customers coming back for more.

Moreover, exclusive pre-order discounts often lead to repeat purchases. Customers who snag a deal are more likely to return, trusting they’ll find value and savings again. This strategy not only boosts sales on Shopify but also gives The Mindset Journal an additional reason to send marketing emails and communications.


3. Offer 100% Charge-later Pre-orders (Jala Clothing)

Jala Clothing’s approach to pre-orders focuses on giving a 100% charge-later pre-order option, ensuring customers are not billed until their item is ready to ship. This strategy helps manage customer expectations and good will, as no money changes hands until Jala are ready.

On the The Bhakti Pant (a collection that’s on pre-order at the time or writing) product descriptions, the marketing copy talks about a smaller batch, mindful fashion approach, that promotes sustainability and limits waste, with each piece being a unique hand-dyed creation. By marketing these aspects, Jala Clothing appeals to customers who make purchasing decisions based on a brand’s environmental responsibility as well as the $0 upfront incentive to lock in a pair.

Charge-later pre-orders offer the following logistical benefits:

  • Flexibility in fulfilment, especially for items with delayed shipping or those that offer free shipping
  • Transparency about shipping estimates and updates to customers, without the risk of customers being frustrated that they’ve already parted with their hard earned cash.

Moreover, charge-later options can be a boon for cash flow management. Shopify store owners can utilise apps like PreProduct to establish pay-later terms that fit their inventory and financial strategy. It’s a move that also benefits the bottom line, as it encourages sales without immediately impacting stock levels or cash reserves.

Charge-later pre-orders for Bhakti pant
jalaclothing.com


4. Offer Time-Limited Pre-Orders (Good Smile)

Moving to the next of the pre-order strategies, Good Smile (a hobby store out of Japan) shows how time can becomes a powerful lever. They offer pre-orders from their store page for a limited time period; creating a ticking clock that encourages customers to act swiftly. Sometimes offering products for as little as 24-hours. This is an incredible way to generate sales from a heightened sense of urgency and induced quick decision-making.

This strategy plays on the psychological trigger of scarcity, compelling customers to make a purchase before time runs out. It’s a potent tool that not only boosts sales but also enhances the online shopping experience by making it more thrilling and interactive. Customers become part of an exclusive event, racing against time to secure their desired items.

Using a limited time window for pre-orders
goodsmileeurope.com

The success of time-limited pre-orders lies in their ability to create a buzz around a product launch. The limited availability window is a signal to customers that they’re getting access to something special, something not everyone will have the chance to own. This exclusivity feeds into the desire to be part of a select group and can lead to a significant boost in sales.

Furthermore, the sense of urgency generated by Good Smile’s strategy is not only beneficial for the initial launch but can also have a ripple effect on future releases. Customers who miss out on one timed pre-order are more likely to pay attention to subsequent launches, increasing the chances of early engagement and securing sales well before the official release date.


5. Sustainable Pre-Order Practices for Customer Retention (Frahm Jackets)

Leading the charge in ethical business practices, Frahm Jackets takes sustainable pre-ordering to heart. Their approach includes:

  • A buying experience that’s exclusive to pre-orders, ensuring no excess production (sometimes known as made-to-order)
  • Increased boost to their reputation and culture of sustainability
  • Resonating with a growing segment of consumers who prioritize the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions.

Frahm’s allows customers to pre-buy their coveted jackets, fostering a sense of commitment and anticipation, whilst being part of a clique. It’s a model that not only reduces waste but also builds a narrative of conscious consumerism around the brand.

“We design modern classics that don’t go out of style. Each design is made once a year.We deliberately don’t make enough to meet demand, so we don’t overbuy, which affects quality. You have to pre-order to get what you want.”

Communication is crucial in this process. Frahm makes it a point to clearly mention dispatch dates and keep customers updated on their order’s shipment and delivery. This level of transparency nurtures customer trust and loyalty, leading to repeat purchases and a robust, social media marketing presence that can amplify the brand’s message of sustainability.

Moreover, by aligning their business practices with the values of their target customers and audience, Frahm Jackets cultivates a brand image that is not only about selling a product but also about promoting a lifestyle. This deeper connection with customers can translate into a more engaged and dedicated following, willing to advocate for the brand and its principles.

Frahm jackets pre-order manifesto
frahmjacket.com/pages/why-preorder

6. Insiders Club – Exclusive Pre-Order Benefits and Status for Loyal Customers (Daylight Computer)

Our final pre-order strategy takes us into the tech world with Daylight Computer. When talking about pre-orders, they call them “founders editions”, thus creating an insider’s club that rewards customer engagement and loyalty. This strategy provides intangible value to pre-order customers, making them feel like VIPs with access to behind-the-scenes updates and special treatment.

This approach transforms the pre-order process into an experience rather than a transaction. Customers aren’t just buying a product; they’re buying into a journey that unfolds over time, with Daylight Computer guiding them every step of the way. This feeling can be bolstered with exclusive updates, product pages and insider information keeps customers connected and invested in the brand.

The benefits of this strategy extend beyond the initial sale. Fostering a sense of belonging and exclusivity strengthens customer relationships, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy among existing customers. Implementing a customer loyalty program can further enhance this effect and increase Shopify sales. And when customers feel like they are part of something special, they’re more likely to share their experiences on social media platforms, providing valuable user-generated content that can boost sales and attract new customers.

Furthermore, exclusive benefits can come with a call to action that encourages customers to share and become one of the first to receive the product, these incentives are a powerful motivator for customers to commit early, ensuring Daylight Computer secures sales and bolsters their buyers journey well before the product’s official release.

Using pre-orders to create an "insiders club" and increase Shopify sales
daylightcomputer.com

Conclusion and next steps to increase Shopify sales through pre-orders

In review, these six proven pre-order strategies are a masterclass in ecommerce marketing. From the excitement of limited runs to the allure of exclusive discounts and sustainable practices, there’s a strategy for every Shopify store looking to boost its performance. The essence of a successful pre-order strategy lies in creating a compelling customer journey, tapping into the psychology of anticipation and reward.

So, what’s the next step for your Shopify store? Embrace the strategies that resonate with you, align them with your brand’s values, and start implementing pre-orders to increase sales and build a stronger connection with your audience. Unlocking the potential of pre-orders can transform a good Shopify store into a great one. By driving urgency, offering value, and resonating with your target audience, you can enhance the shopping experience and foster a loyal customer base.

In addition to pre-orders, leveraging Google ads can effectively target specific audiences and top search results, while loyalty programs can incentivise behaviours, improve customer retention rates, and increase average order value. These strategies will help you increase Shopify sales, greater customer engagement, and build a thriving online store.

At PreProduct, we’re always happy to talk pre-orders, so feel free to drop us an email. Alternatively, if you’re ready to start capturing pre-orders of your own, we currently have free trials on all of our subscription plans, as well as a commission only option.


Oli Woods

Co-founder @PreProduct


Pre-order Shopify Sales FAQ

Choose a pre-order strategy that aligns with your brand’s values and goals, considering your target audience and product uniqueness. Test various approaches to see which resonates best with your customers.

How do I know which pre-order strategy will increase Shopify sales for my store?

Yes, pre-orders can significantly increase your store’s sales by locking in revenue before stock arrival, creating a sense of urgency, and offering exclusive benefits to customers. It’s a proven method to boost sales and customer retention.

Can pre-orders really increase my store’s sales?

Yes, there are risks such as failing to meet shipping estimates and customer expectations. Transparency and clear communication are crucial to maintaining trust and satisfaction. Offering charge-later or deposit-upfront pre-orders can be a safer option here.

Are there any risks associated with pre-orders?

To manage customer expectations, be transparent about availability and dispatch dates. Provide regular updates and offer excellent customer service to handle inquiries and issues effectively.

How do I manage customer expectations for products that aren’t immediately available?

Yes, pre-orders can help gauge interest in your products and increase Shopify sales. Ensure you have a clear marketing strategy and can fulfil orders efficiently. For first-time ordering from suppliers, consider charge-later pre-orders, as customers aren’t charged until you explicitly trigger payment.

Can I use pre-orders if I’m just starting my Shopify store?

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

The best Shopify pre-order app



Before evaluating the best pre-order apps, I just wanted to highlight that I personally run a Shopify pre order app, PreProduct.

Introduction

Shopify offers many pre-order app options within the Shopify app store. A pre-order is an arrangement where a customer agrees to buy a product before it is officially released or becomes available for general sale. This can involve paying for the product upfront or paying at a later stage, or may require a deposit and the remaining amount to be paid later.

Pre-orders can be used for many different scenarios including; for out of stock products, new product releases, limited edition releases and made to order products. Pre-orders can help to boost sales, and increase revenue, additionally, as well as to help businesses gauge demand for their products and adjust production accordingly, and reduce wastage.

There are many benefits of using a Shopify pre-order app to manage preorders including; boosting cashflow, managing the pre-order process in an organised manner, gauging demand and reducing risk, whilst building hype and excitement around new product releases and re-stocks. When you sell out of stock, a pre-order app will allow you to still collect orders/revenue and avoid losing customers to a competitor.

The best pre-order apps often allow merchants to market benefits or incentives for those customers who place an order, such as exclusive behind-the-scene updates, special editions, or discounts, to assist in convincing customers to purchase a product before its public release date.

Pre-order features

There are many possible features that pre-order manager apps for Shopify offer, including;

  • Deposits/partial payments: allows you to charge an initial amount up-front and the remaining payment at a later date when suits your business.
  • Pre-order discounts: allows a discount to be offered on pre-order campaigns, rewarding customers for supporting your product launch, and incentivising them to make the pre-order.
  • Custom pre-order button & companion wording: Customisation to ensure the pre-order button follows your business branding, whilst the wording above the pre-order button allows you to communicate important information like estimated shipping date.
  • Different pre-order types: charge upfront pre-order, charge later pre-order, capture only pre-order, and deposit pre-order (as mentioned above).
  • Pre-order limits: if you have limited stock coming in, you may want to limit variants/products as to manage overselling.
  • Automations: some apps will automate certain processes, saving you time. For example, the ability to schedule pre-orders or manage pre-orders automatically according to product stock levels.
  • Reporting: allowing pre-order management by viewing and updating pre-order, as well as pre-order items.
  • Pre-order listings with specific variants: allow you to list only specific variants for pre-order.
  • Isolating pre-order and buy-now items: allowing you to isolate buy-now products from pre-order products in the cart if required, and vice versa. This helps with the “double shipping” pre-order problem.
  • Customer portals: Allows customers to view their pre-order and to view shipping updates etc.
  • Comprehensive pre-order settings: Flexible shipping statements, discounts and manage which variants are on pre-order as opposed to buy-now.

Questions to ask yourself before picking a Shopify pre-order app

There are many pre-order apps available in the Shopify app store, so it is important to work out which features from the above section you require. The questions we recommend asking yourself to determine this include:

  • Checking for comprehensive guides/docs for reference when setting up a pre-order campaign, along with helpful app support.
  • Checking for customisation and keeping on brand.
  • Is flexible pre-order charging important to you? Or will you shipping pre-orders out quickly?
  • Do you want to double-down on customer communication points, portals, emails, custom wording etc? Or are you more concerned with keeping the buyers journey as simple as possible.
  • What are your requirements in terms of business needs and size, if you have a small business you may not need an app that allows you to list hundreds/thousands of products with deep ERP integrations, but communication and flexibility may be important to you. If you have a business with many SKUs/product you may need a pre-order app that allows you list thousands of products, with automation functionality.

This article will analyse the current best Shopify pre-order Shopify apps available on the app store, and recommend the best pre-order apps based on 3 categories; Free, Beginner Friendly and Premium/comprehensive.

Top pre-order apps

Premium/comprehensive pre-order apps

PreProduct next‑gen pre‑order


Obviously as this is our app, we are biased, but we do believe it is the best pre-order app available in the Shopify app store.

PreProduct lets brands capture pre-orders for upcoming product launches at any point in the new product cycle, along with listing out-of-stock products for pre-order, so you don’t miss out on sales.

There are many amazing functions and features available in PreProduct, with a few of them listed below.

PROS:

  • Communicate via custom front-end wording, customer portals and an email campaign.
  • Full customisation available for pre-order button, wording/messaging, email campaign.
  • Charge when ready; pay-later, pay-now & deposit-based (partial payment option) pre-orders supported
  • Capture only pre-orders allow you to gauge customer interest
  • Offer pre-order discounts
  • Deferred charges let customer’s approve a future payment in advance
  • Fulfilment holds stop premature fulfilment.
  • Accept mixed-carts or opt in to isolating pre-orders in their own carts/orders.

Notify! Back in Stock|PreOrder


Pre order with partial payment for presale products. Send auto restock alerts to waiting lists.

PROS:

  • Customization options, such as personalized email templates and product variant selection for back in stock notifications
  • Get reports about lost sales and revenue recovered with reminders to convert.

DC Pre‑orders | Preorder NOW


DC Preorders simplifies pre-orders, backorders, and B2B pre-sales.

PROS:

  • Manage inventory levels easily & handle complex ordering scenarios
  • Offer flexible preorder purchase options – pay later, deposits & partial payment

Beginner friendly pre-order apps

EZ PreOrder: Presale Manager


Start accepting pre orders on any products regardless of inventory levels, all with one click.

Unlimited pre-orders for $5 per month, for bulk listing functionality it is $10 per month.

PROS:

  • 3 pre-order rules based on inventory.
  • Easy to view all of your pre-orders, sort by fulfilment status and see order total.

Preorder Wolf | Pre order now


Preorder Wolf lets you accept orders for products you don’t have at hand right away. While setting the correct expectations with your customers regarding when will they get their order. You can enable Preorders for specific products/variants, Collections or All Products.

PROS:

  • No Coding required, 24/7 quick and professional support.
  • Effective pre-order functionality, easy setup, and customization options.

Pre-order NOW WOD


Ideal for print-on-demand stores, this tool lets you gauge interest in new designs without inventory risk, manage demand surges with ease, and offer exclusive discounts for preorders.

PROS:

  • Easy to use, with seamless integration and customization options.
  • Replace out-of-stock products with pre-order buttons, enhancing inventory management and pre-order conversion rates.

Free pre-order apps

At the time of writing, we’re testing a commission-only plan for PreProduct where you don’t pay anything unless you successfully receive paid pre-orders.

Timesact Pre order Notify Me Pre‑Order 


Timesact helps you easily toggle between between in-stock and pre-order offerings for your customers.

The app offers the FIRST 10 presale orders for free.

PROS:

  • 24/7 support to help you get set-up quickly
  • Save time by turning pre-orders & restocks on/off based on inventory levels
  • Build hype with countdown timers on coming soon, drops, pre-sales & restocks

PreOrder Globo | Back in Stock


Merchants value this app for its reliable pre-order and out-of-stock notification features, along with customization options and pricing flexibility.

First 10 pre-sales FREE, so allows you test out using pre-orders and see if it is beneficial for your business.

PROS:

  • The support team is recognized for their efficiency and responsiveness.
  • Easy to configure pre-orders based on inventory, date time start/end preorder.

Appikon – Pre-order


Automatically create waitlists or pre order lists for sold out, out of stock, and coming soon products.

It’s ideal for new businesses, offering a free plan for the first product.

PROS:

  • The app swaps Add-to-Cart buttons with Pre Order buttons so very simple to set-up with a very user-friendly interface.
  • Create preorders & waitlists to sell more “coming soon” & “out of stock” items.

Summary

In this article we have discussed what a pre-order is and the many features that pre-order apps will offer.

We then looked at the questions you need to answer regarding the needs of your business, your business size, your specific use case situation, in order to determine which Shopify app will best meet your needs.

After this, we explored some of the currently available options on the Shopify app store, breaking them down by three categories: Premium/comprehensive, Beginner friendly and Free. We recommended our top three apps for each of these categories.

Hopefully this article has been helpful for deciding which pre-order app to move forwards with. As a general rule, experimenting by putting a test product on pre-order first before rolling out anything to customers will ensure you’re comfortable with your chosen solution before going live and can iron out any issues.

If you have any outstanding questions/concerns, feel free to leave a comment below or email me personally: eliza(at)preproduct.io

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

Pre-orders for Sustainability: Mastering Made-to-Order Sales Through Shopify



Introduction

Before we get into pre-orders for sustainability, some quick stats: Did you know that the fashion industry is responsible for approximately 10% of the world’s carbon emissions? That’s a significant chunk, considering it includes everything from making clothes to shipping them and eventually getting rid of them. The quick and constant turnover of trendy items in the fast fashion world is a big part of the problem, leading to more waste and environmental harm. This is effecting buyer behaviour; According to a survey from McKinsey & Co., 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents say that they consider sustainability when they make a purchase.

The concept of sustainability in fashion and online retail revolves around adopting practices that prioritize environmental, social, and ethical considerations throughout the entire supply chain and product life cycle.

I am Eliza, a co-founder at PreProduct, which is a pre-order app for ecommerce brands where I work on many fashion and made-to-order pre-order campaigns.



Made-to-order production provides a more responsive and sustainable approach to fashion manufacturing, addressing issues related to overstocking, heavy discounting, and the disposal of excess stock into landfills. It aligns production with actual demand, reduces waste, and promotes a more environmentally and economically viable business model.

Pre-orders serve as a mechanism in e-commerce to effectively implement a made-to-order model. Pre-orders allow for demand forecasting, customization options, cash flow management, and production efficiency, as they allow you to take order interest upfront reducing the risk of over or under supply, along with reducing wastage.

Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce platforms that enables individuals and businesses to create and manage online stores. I will be focusing on it for the article, as it’s the go-to solution for online fashion brands today.

The Rise of Sustainable Fashion

Consumers

Sustainable fashion is about creating, making, and wearing clothes in a way that thinks about how it impacts the planet, people, and communities at every step of the process. The goal of sustainable fashion is to minimize the negative effects associated with the fashion industry, which traditionally has been resource-intensive, environmentally damaging, and sometimes associated with poor labor practices.

A survey of 10,281 global consumers showed that 78% of consumers feel that sustainability is important and that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly brands

Consumer trends towards sustainability and ethical consumption have become increasingly prominent, reflecting a growing awareness and concern about the environmental and social impact of products. This shift in consumer behavior is noticeable at various levels, including individual purchasing decisions, industry practices, and global business strategies.

Consumers are more informed about environmental and social issues related to the products they buy. This awareness is being driven by social media, online platforms, and awareness campaigns by environmental and ethical organizations.



Industry

There is also a rising demand for transparency in supply chains. Consumers want to know where and how products are made, whether fair labor practices are followed, and the environmental impact of the production process. This has led to an increase in companies providing detailed information about their sourcing and manufacturing practices.

Whilst this has been going for quick a while already, it shows signs of growing to even more front-of-mind. This rundown on Gartner’s top trends for 2023 describes sustainability as one of the technologies that will drive disruption and opportunity over the next five to 10 years.

The popularity of brands with a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices has grown. Consumers are actively seeking out and supporting companies that prioritize these values, leading to the rise of eco-friendly and socially responsible brands.



Some examples of exciting sustainable focussed fashion brands include; Alohas (the Spanish footwear brand that works to an on-demand business model meaning they never over-produce and only make what is actually needed, Aligne (a womenswear brand that focused on using conscious materials and using ethical factories) & Riley Studio (Gender-neutral clothing made from waste materials and natural fibres. On a mission to change mindsets and make conscious consumerism the norm).

https://www.alohas.io/products/manhattan-black-sandal?variant=37680289546433

Pre orders for sustainability

Pre-orders work by allowing customers to reserve and purchase or commit to purchase a product before it is officially available.

Stages of pre-orders

  1. Customer clicks a pre-order button
  2. Customer chooses variant/quantity and is redirected to cart/checkout where they are charged or accept a future charge (depending on the pre-order type)
  3. Customer receives optional confirmation email.
  4. Time…
  5. If …
    • Charging upfront, brand releases fulfilment. Customer receives an optional shipping email, and brand ships the pre-order item.
    • Charging later, brand triggers deferred charge. Customer receives optional upcoming charge email, after a delay the customer’s card is charged.
  6. Campaign cycle
    • If you’re a made-to-order brand, you might operate a perpetual pre-order campaign. Which is to say; constantly taking new pre-orders and fulfilling existing ones.
    • For a more standard model fashion brand that plans to pre-sell ahead of time and have a limited quantity or order might be more of a one-off campaign. i.e. taking pre-orders for a set amount of time before stock arrives, then fulfilling all pre-orders together.

Whether you’re an independent merchant, boutique or larger fashion brand, made-to-order can dramatically reduce your excess stock. Meaning zero (or close to it) stock has to go to landfill.



Benefits of pre-orders for both consumers and businesses

Benefits to merchants

  • This strategy for sustainability doesn’t impact how your products are designed, made or sourced; meaning it can be one of the easier ways to increase your brands sustainability.
  • Leading on from the above point, sustainability via pre-orders is a lot cheaper than a product audit and overhaul. It can also be better for cashflow, due to receiving purchases upfront or when you’re ready to ship.
  • A low risk tactic for reaching your sustainability targets. We recommend experimenting with a pre-order campaign for an upcoming product first. Once you’ve iterated on your pre-order setup and standard-operating-procedure, you can then roll pre-orders out on a larger scale.

Benefits to consumers

  • Customers can buy from one of their favourite brands (you!), whilst feeling good about their purchasing decision.
  • By purchasing from a business who is using pre-orders to be more sustainable there will be a reduction on the environmental impact associated with unnecessary production, as well as a lower carbon footprint.
  • Modern pre-order technology like PreProduct allows for more flexible types of pre-orders, for example charge-later pre-orders, where the customers card is ‘vaulted’, meaning they’re only charged when you’re ready to ship.
  • Being able to participate on a less abrupt buying journey. Emailing pre-order customers to keep them in the loop and communicate how their purchase is coming along is a great way to build brand affinity. You can see this dynamic with Kickstarter campaigns; backers love following along with the journey.


Integrating & setting up Pre-orders with Shopify

Step-by-step guide on setting up a pre-orders on Shopify

  1. 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 (surprisingly, we recommend PreProduct).
  2. Once you have located the app, click on it to access the app listing page, and then select the “Add app” option.
  3. To grant the app access to your Shopify admin account, click “Install app” and authorize its use.
  4. Integrating the App with Your Storefront: We have an in-depth guide on the installing a pre-order app here and would absolutely recommend reaching out to customer support if you’re at all uncomfortable with HTML/Liquid coding.
  5. If you have a Shopify “store 1.0” theme, then you’ll need to add a snippet to your online store’s product page theme file. For themes from 2022 onwards, the introduction of Shopify 2.0 themes means that app blocks can now seamlessly integrate into the Shopify admin’s drag-and-drop theme customizer.

Listing Pre-orders on Shopify

Once you’ve completed the above steps to integrate the app with your Shopify storefront, you can now start listing products for pre-orders. 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 (as explained below), along with the shipping time frame and whether to offer any discount. 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.

Besides the terms of payment for your pre-order listing, there are many other other useful features available that are worth considering before you choose an app to go forwards with.

  • Listing specific variants
  • Setting max pre-order limits for variants
  • Early bird discounts that are exclusive to pre-orders
  • Custom text in and around the pre-order button
  • Email campaigns to keep customers in the loop with their pre-order
  • Isolating pre-order items from buy-nows in orders
  • Fulfilment holds so items aren’t prematurely pushed to your shipping/ERP platform
  • Automatic listing of out of stock products for pre-order
  • Automatic charging of pre-orders as stock comes in
  • And many more!

Marketing Your Made-to-Order Products



When marketing made-to-order products, ensure you highlight the unique aspects of customization, personalization, and the tailored experience. Below are some of the strategies to consider including;

  • Emphasize Customization: Highlight the ability for customers to customize their products according to their preferences. Showcase the range of options available, whether it’s color choices, materials, sizes, or features.
  • Tell a Unique Story: Craft a compelling narrative around the made-to-order process. Explain the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the personalized journey each customer undergoes when ordering a product.
  • Educate on the Process: Provide transparent information about how the made-to-order process works. Explain the steps involved, the craftsmanship behind it, and the benefits of choosing a personalized item over mass-produced alternatives.
  • Limited Edition Releases: Create a sense of exclusivity by framing made-to-order products as limited edition releases. This can evoke a feeling of uniqueness and urgency, encouraging customers to place orders promptly.
  • Social Media Engagement: Leverage social media platforms to showcase the customization process, share behind-the-scenes glimpses of craftsmanship, and engage with your audience through polls, Q&A sessions, or live videos.
  • Utilize Email Marketing: Build an email marketing campaign to nurture leads and inform customers about the benefits of made-to-order products. Include visuals, success stories, and exclusive offers to encourage conversions.

Pre-order and made-to-order product launches can unlock a whole new set of strategies for marketing:

  • Launching your product more than once. Once when you open pre-sales, then once when it’s in stock.
  • Having multiple sales pushes for your made-to-order products as sales/stock goes up and down. There are many artists that are really effective with this approach, for example Kimmy Hogan an Australian print and ceramic designer will often post multiple times a week as new editions become available or are pre-released.

Case Study: Frahm Jackets

  • Frahm is a UK men’s jacket company, that focuses on high quality and timeless style.
  • Frahm uses a pre-order process, to ensure they are not left with excess stock, as over buying impacts the quality they can product. Each jacket design is only made once a year, every year, so if you place a pre-order with them before they have placed their order with the factory then you are guaranteed your choice of size and colour.

https://frahmjacket.com/collections/jackets/products/ripstop-puffer-jacket-2024

Overcoming Challenges in Pre-order and Made-to-Order Models

Potential challenges you may experiences when using pre-order and made-to-order models include;

  • Production timing issues – if you experience any production delays or inventory management issues, ensure you keep customers up to date. This can be done by email, as well utilising the customer portal both should be available in the pre-order app you choose to use. Clear communication about expected delivery dates is crucial to managing customer expectations, as is setting realistic delivery timelines to avoid over-promising and under-delivering.


  • Quality control – is crucial as products are often produced based on individual customer specifications. Consistency is key. Similar to product timing issues, ensure customers are kept informed of any changes.


  • Cancellation and returns – customers might cancel orders, leading to revenue fluctuations and potential inventory management challenges. Ensure you have a refund/cancellation policy that you are happy with and works for your business.
  • Cash Flow Management – the production process often requires upfront costs, therefore managing cash flow becomes crucial as expenses may need to be covered before revenue is generated. Therefore is very important to choose the type of pre-order that will work for your business.

If it is your first time using pre-orders, and you feel apprehensive about the process, and have any doubts on production timings/fulfilment, we would recommend starting with charge-later pre-orders to begin with so that you’re not charging any money upfront; generally customers will be much more tolerant of delays when they haven’t paid anything yet.

Conclusion

This article has highlighted that there are many benefits of using pre-orders for sustainability, including;

Reduced Overproduction:

  • Pre-orders allow you to gauge customer demand accurately. By producing items based on confirmed orders, the risk of overproduction is significantly reduced. This helps in minimizing excess inventory, which can be wasteful and environmentally harmful.

Resource Efficiency:

  • With pre-orders, resources such as raw materials and energy are used more efficiently. Manufacturers can plan production based on actual demand, optimizing the use of resources and reducing the environmental impact associated with unnecessary production, this will also contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

Extended Product Lifecycles:

  • Pre-orders can contribute to the creation of products that are more timeless and have longer lifecycles. Instead of following fast fashion or other trends that lead to rapid product turnover, pre-orders can encourage the production of durable and lasting goods, reducing overall waste.

Financial Stability for Sustainable Investments:

  • The cash flow generated through pre-orders can provide financial stability for your business, allowing you to make long-term investments in sustainable practices.

We strongly encourage businesses to look into and adopting these practices for a more sustainable future in retail. If you find pre-orders intimidating, we recommend merchants start with a single product as an experiment and use a ‘charge-later’ strategy so that you’re not charging customers until you’re comfortable.

Pre-orders for Sustainability FAQ

Pre-orders help in reducing overproduction, which is a major issue in the fashion industry. By producing only what is pre-ordered, brands can minimize waste and reduce their environmental footprint. This approach ensures resources are used more efficiently, leading to a more sustainable production process.

How do pre-orders actually contribute to sustainability in fashion?

Absolutely! Shopify’s platform is user-friendly and scalable, making it ideal for brands of all sizes. Pre-orders can help small or emerging brands manage inventory more effectively, reduce upfront costs, and build a customer base interested in sustainable fashion.

Can implementing pre-orders on Shopify be beneficial for small or emerging fashion brands?

Common challenges include managing production timelines, setting realistic delivery dates, and maintaining customer communication. To overcome these, plan your production schedule carefully, set clear and transparent communication channels with your customers, and use Shopify’s tools to keep track of orders and inventory efficiently.

What are the key challenges I might face when setting up pre-orders on Shopify, and how can I overcome them?

Leveraging social media, creating email marketing campaigns, and engaging in storytelling about your brand’s commitment to sustainability are effective strategies. Also, consider offering exclusive perks for pre-order customers, like early access to new products or special discounts.

Are there any specific marketing strategies that work best for promoting pre-order campaigns on Shopify?

Transparency is key. Keep your customers informed about the status of their orders. If delays occur, communicate them promptly and offer options like order modifications or cancellations if needed. Building trust through clear communication can turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.

How can I ensure a positive customer experience with pre-orders, especially when there are delays?

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

Best practises for pre-selling a limited edition on Shopify



Introduction

Pre selling a limited edition on shopify refers to the release of products/variants in a restricted quantity, for a specified period or both. A limited drop can be used in many situations, such as for highly collectable item/s, for coveted items, for items that have only a small supply, and for products that have a large lead time.

There are many benefits that a company can see by offering limited drops of a product on Shopify, such as increased sales, creating brand loyalty, fostering growth and community as well as reducing financial risk and assisting overall business success.

The below article will discuss pre-selling a limited edition on Shopify, and the best practises for a successful campaign.


Limited edition shoe drop

Preparing for a limited edition drop

Building hype and anticipation

  • Marketing and promotion of your limited edition product is imperative for success. Companies often use limited edition drops as a marketing strategy to generate buzz, build anticipation, and drive sales.
  • Limited Editions in e-commerce offer several appealing aspects that can attract and engage customers. Limited editions imply scarcity, which can create a sense of urgency. The fear of missing out can drive people to make a purchase sooner rather than later, increasing the likelihood of a sale.
  • Limited editions are also often designed to be unique or exclusive, providing customers with a product that not everyone can have. This exclusivity can make customers feel special and privileged, enhancing their perception of the product. Offering limited edition via pre-order, can allow your customers to place their order and secure the product before it is available.
  • The use of weekly drops or monthly drops in small batches can also help with the buzz around your ecommerce brand.


Optimizing your Shopify store for limited edition drops

  • There are a few technical and strategic tips we recommend when setting up your Shopify store for limited edition releases.
  • One product page optimization that can be really effective is the use of a countdown timer. This is an app/widget that allows you to set a specific amount of time and counts down towards the moment your drop goes live (or is available for sale). The countdown timer typically displays the remaining time in hours, minutes, and seconds.
  • Another product page optimization is the use of a waitlist. Waitlist software can manage and automate the process of creating and managing customers who sign up to hear about new release or out of stock products. It will allow you to embed a section on your website to collect potential customers email and other details, which you can then use to advise customers when the product is released.
  • Using a pre-order app can be a good way to go and will also allow you to collect pre-orders in advance before the product is available, allowing you to manage customer expectations and charge on your terms (whether that be charging upfront when the pre-order is placed, collecting a deposit, or charging the full amount at a later date when you are ready).
  • Email newsletters/SMS broadcasts as well as updating information on your website can all be helpful to promote and communicate to customers when the limited drop will be released. Here you can also explain why the new drop is special/unique and create a buzz around the new product.
  • One trick for SEO and Google ranking is to launch the landing page in a ‘placeholder’ state weeks/months before the drop goes live. This is a way to give Google a chance to rank the page ahead of you promoting it and starting to take sales.


Leveraging social proof and scarcity

  • Both the psychology of scarcity and social proof plays a significant role in influencing consumer behavior and can be powerful tools to boost sales. Limited drops are a perfect situation to put some of these dynamics to work.

Scarcity:

Scarcity is the principle that limited availability increases perceived value. When something is perceived as scarce or in short supply, people tend to assign it higher value and are more motivated to acquire it. Here’s how scarcity influences consumer behavior:

  • Urgency and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Scarcity creates a sense of urgency, triggering the fear of missing out. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they believe the opportunity is time sensitive, leading to quicker decision-making.
  • Perceived value: Limited availability often increases the perceived value of a product or service. Customers may feel that they are getting something exclusive or special, which justifies a higher price point.
  • Competitive advantage: Brands can gain a competitive advantage by strategically employing scarcity. Limited editions, time-limited promotions, and low stock notifications are common tactics.

Social proof:

Social proof is a phenomenon in which individuals observe and consider the actions and behaviors of others as a guiding influence on their own decision-making processes. When individuals see that others are engaging with a product in a positive manner, they are more likely to purchase said product. Here’s how social proof contributes to boosting sales:

  • Trust and credibility: Positive reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content create a sense of trust and credibility. When potential customers see that others have had a positive experience, they are more likely to trust the brand and make a purchase.
  • Influence on decision-making: Our decisions are often influenced by the behavior of those around us. If a product is popular or endorsed by either someone the potential customers trust or a significant number of people it signals to potential customers that it’s a worthwhile choice.
  • Reducing uncertainty: Social proof helps reduce the perceived risk of making a purchase. When individuals see that others have successfully used a product, it minimizes uncertainty and increases confidence in their own decision.
  • Word-of-Mouth marketing: Positive experiences shared by customers through word-of-mouth or online reviews can serve as powerful marketing tools. Recommendations from friends, family, or online communities carry significant weight.


Integrating scarcity and social proof into sales strategies can be highly effective. For instance, presenting a product with limited availability and emphasizing its positive reviews not only creates a sense of urgency but also strengthens trust and credibility.


Capturing pre-orders

Pre-orders are where a store allows customers to reserve and purchase a product before it is officially in stock or available for general sale. This approach serves multiple purposes, including gauging interest, and generating buzz.

Here’s how pre-orders can achieve these objectives:

Gauging demand:

  • Early interest measurement: Pre-orders provide a tangible way to measure initial interest and demand for a product.
  • Market validation: A high number of pre-orders can validate the market appeal of a product. It helps brands ascertain whether there is a sufficient customer base willing to commit to a purchase before the product is physically available.
  • Inventory planning: By gauging interest through pre-orders, brands can also make more informed decisions about how much inventory to produce for future releases to limit waste and optimize supply chain management.

Generating excitement:

  • Anticipation and buzz: The concept of pre-orders creates anticipation and buzz around a product. It allows businesses to build excitement by highlighting features, benefits, or exclusive offerings associated with pre-orders.
  • Exclusive incentives: Offering exclusive incentives for pre-orders, such as early access, special pricing, or limited-edition bonuses, adds a feeling of excitement. Customers feel a sense of privilege and exclusivity by being among the first to acquire the product.
  • Marketing opportunities: Pre-orders provide a natural opportunity for marketing campaigns. Brands can utilise the period leading up to the official release to engage with their audience, share teasers, and create a narrative around the product. They also let you effectively launch twice; once when pre-sales go live and once when buy-now sales do.
  • Customer engagement: The pre-order phase encourages customer engagement as potential buyers express their interest and commitment. This engagement can extend to social media, reviews, and discussions, further increasing the product’s visibility.
  • Building brand loyalty: Customers who participate in pre-orders may develop a stronger connection with the brand. Their early commitment reflects a level of trust and loyalty, especially if the pre-order experience is positive and seamless.


Implementing a limited drop on Shopify

Setting up product listings in Shopify (step by step guide)

  • Step 1: Go to the Products section on your Shopify Admin.
  • Step 2: From the Products page, click Add product.
  • Step 3: Add a Title (include limited edition statement)
  • Step 4: Include a Description (ensure you include further information about the limited edition drop)
  • Step 5: Add Images.
  • Step 6: Include Pricing.
  • Step 7: Enter your Inventory.
  • Step 8: Add Shipping Details.
  • Step 9: Enter Variants.

Using a pre-order app to run limited edition drops

As mentioned previously using a Pre-order app can be beneficial when running limited edition campaigns.

To initiate the process of setting up pre-orders on Shopify, begin by navigating to the Shopify App Store. Perform a search for “pre-order” and choose the desired app for installation.

After identifying the app, click on it to access its listing page, and opt for the “Add app” selection.

Grant the app permission to access your Shopify admin account by clicking “Install app” and providing authorization for its use.

Next you will need to integrate the app with your theme, the app you choose should provide step-by-step instructions.

Once the app is integrated, you will be able to now list the limited edition product/s for preorder in your chosen app. You will be able to choose what kind of preorder to offer based on what will best suit your specific online shop. Options include; Charge later, Charge up-front or Deposit based. You will be also able to add additional information/messaging regarding the product being a limited edition drop etc.

After listing the product in the app, the pre-order product page’s cart button text should be replaced with a pre-order button.



Managing inventory

  • Accurate inventory management is crucial for the overall success and efficiency of a business. Here are several reasons highlighting the importance of maintaining accurate inventory:
    1. Meeting customer demand:
      • Accurate inventory levels ensure that products are available to meet customer demand. This helps prevent product being out of stock, backorders, and unhappy customers who might turn to your competitors if the desired products are not available.
    2. Optimizing stock levels:
      • Efficient inventory management allows brands to optimize stock levels. Maintaining the right amount of inventory helps prevent overstocking and under stocking.
    3. Cost control:
      • Accurate inventory management contributes to cost control. Overstocking ties up funds in unsold goods, while understocking can result in a reduction in sales/revenue.

Who does it best? Learning from past successful limited edition drops

Case studies

Below are some examples of brands who have successfully used limited edition drops to sell more, and increase revenue.

Supreme

  • Supreme, a streetwear brand, regularly releases limited edition clothing items. The scarcity of these products, combined with strategic collaborations and unique designs, has made Supreme a highly sought-after brand. Their limited drops generate significant hype and often sell out quickly.

Air Jordan

  • Nike and its subsidiary, Jordan Brand, are well-known for their limited edition sneaker releases. The Air Jordan line often features exclusive colorways, collaborations with artists and designers, and limited quantities. This strategy has helped create a devoted sneakerhead community and maintain high interest for their products.


Fenty Beauty

  • Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand has achieved considerable success through the strategic use of limited edition drops. The brand consistently releases distinctive collections and engages in collaborations with influencers and celebrities, cultivating an aura of exclusivity that captures consumer attention.


Maximizing revenue with limited edition drops

Pricing strategies

Pricing plays a crucial role in creating perceived value and exclusivity for products and services. The way a product is priced can significantly influence consumer perceptions, shaping their opinions about the quality, exclusivity, and overall value of what is being offered.

Here are key aspects of the role of pricing in establishing perceived value and exclusivity:

  • Limited edition pricing:
    • Products released as limited editions often come with a premium price. The scarcity of these items, coupled with the notion that they are unique and exclusive, justifies a higher cost. If utilising limited edition drops, then it makes sense to also implement limited edition pricing as this contributes to the perception that the product is a rare and highly desired possession.
  • Premium pricing for exclusivity:
    • Setting your prices at a higher rate can assist in creating a the feeling of exclusivity and high quality. Consumers often associate a higher price with better craftsmanship, materials, and overall product excellence.
  • Pricing tiers and tiered offerings:
    • Offering different pricing tiers allows brands to more efficiently capture value from their various customer segments. By providing more premium or exclusive versions of a product at a higher price, companies can appeal to consumers seeking a more elevated experience or additional features.


Upselling and cross-selling

Utilising upselling and cross-selling (using an app like Adoric) during a limited edition drop can be very potent and result in increased purchases and revenue. Below are some steps to ensure you effectively utilise upselling and cross-selling;

  • Create bundles or sets:
    • Bundle the limited edition item with related items, creating sets that offer additional value. For example, if the limited edition product is a clothing item, offer a bundle with matching accessories or complementary items. Clearly communicate the value of purchasing the set.


  • Strategic product placement:
    • Display related items prominently on the product page of the limited edition item. Use visually appealing layouts and compelling copy to draw attention to the complementary items. Highlight the benefits of purchasing the additional items alongside the limited edition product.
  • Limited-time promotions:
    • Introduce time-sensitive promotions for related products during the limited edition drop. For example, offer a discount on a second item if purchased within a specific timeframe. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages customers to make additional purchases.
  • Personalized recommendations:
    • Leverage customer data and artificial intelligence to provide personalized recommendations. Tailor product suggestions based on the customer’s purchase history, preferences, and browsing behavior. This enhances the relevance of upsell and cross-sell offers.


Summary

Limited edition drops can be a very effective strategy for Shopify store owners. They can be used for many different types of products, allowing merchants to create hype, boost revenue and launch with a splash.
In this article, we explored proven strategies that can elevate the success of your upcoming limited edition launch. If there’s any we’ve missed, please reach out as we’d love to hear them.

Limited edition FAQ

Yes you can use Shopify for limited edition clothing drops, you can either run these normally via your usual product template, or you can choose to use a pre-order app to assist you in running the campaign.

Can you use Shopify for limited edition clothing drops?

Limited editions tend to have a higher demand, due to their perceived exclusivity and the fear of missing out.

Do limited editions sell more?

Yes we highly recommend the use of pre-orders for a limited edition release, in particular the utilisation of a pre-order app.

Can I use pre-orders for a limited edition?

Yes limited editions work, by leveraging scarcity and social proof they can build hype and excitement.

Do limited editions work?

Limited editions can increase sales, establish brand loyalty, foster growth and community as well as reducing financial risk and assisting overall business success.

What are the benefits of limited editions?

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans

Boosting Your Sales with a Shopify Waitlist App



Shopify waitlists are software applications or platforms that are designed to help merchants handle product and variant waitlists, and send stock alerts to customers when items are back in stock. They can also be used for pre launch, to generate buzz, grow demand and capture potential leads.

You can improve inventory management as well as boost sales by collecting a list of interested customers prior to receiving stock.

This guide will explain the reasons you might implement a Shopify waitlist, as well as how to make sure it’s successful. We’ll also touch on how to choose an app and how to set it up.



Key Takeaways

  • A Shopify Waitlist can help Shopify stores grow their customer base, increase customer loyalty, manage inventory and drive sales growth. It can also be a useful technique for a new product launch.
  • Selecting the right app is essential.
  • Implement a waitlist strategy that can be improved and optimised over time. To do this you’ll need to setup integrations with your main email marketing tool, so you can leverage segmentation and personalization strategies.

The Power of Waitlists for Your Shopify Store

Waitlists can be a win-win addition to your Shopify store, if you’ve currently got live out-of-stock product pages on your storefront. By letting customers know when their chosen products come back in stock, you’re marketing to the ‘converted’, and this can encourage customers to complete a purchase.

Customer Retention and Loyalty

Waitlists are a great way to nurture loyal customers, increase customer satisfaction and retention. When products are unavailable, customers can join the product waitlists in order to get early access when it returns into stock. This sense of special treatment from early access, can help sales increase and by streamlining the waitlist experience, casual shoppers may be more inclined to purchase.

Inventory Management

Waitlists can be great tool by providing valuable data on your Shopify store products which aids in making informed choices for inventory management as well as product selection.

By reviewing this valuable data, you will be able to understand highly requested products better so they can be properly stocked according to demand.

This ensures there won’t be any overselling issues as well as preventing frustrating shopping experiences for buyers or inadvertently training shoppers to look elsewhere. Having a soundly-managed stock flow has the power to heighten customer commitment plus increase overall profits too.

Through more advanced techniques like referral marketing you can motivate individuals to recommend products to their friends, by offering them an exclusive incentive, such as securing a prime spot at the head of the waiting lists.

Sales optimisation and capturing intent

Waitlisting can be an important factor to help increase sales. Allowing customers to join waiting lists for out-of-stock items, as well as for new products pre-launch, is a huge buying signal. And one that you can and should take advantage of. Collecting customer interest will allow you to specifically market towards these potential customers, growing hype and converting this interest into sales, as well as assisting you to grow your customer base.


Choosing the Right Shopify Waitlist App

The Shopify app store has many different Shopify waitlist apps available for Shopify store owners. So when deciding which app to utilise for your Shopify store, it’s important to look into features, pricing and user reviews.

Essential Features

When you analyze a Shopify waitlist app, it is vital to ensure it has the following essential features:

  • Customer registration – Easy registration process for customers to join the waitlist, that captures all the details you need.
  • Notifications – Automated notifications via the method you choose (email, sms etc).
  • Customer engagement – Marketing features to allow you to engage with customers, and generate excitement.
  • Analytics and reporting – Insights into customer behaviour and preferences for better decision-making regarding future product selection.
  • Customization options – Important to allow you to customize the join waiting list button as well as the notifications/emails sent to customers.

Pricing and Reviews

When selecting a Shopify waitlist application, cost is an an important factor and one that can indicate to you the the level of support and extent of the features the app may offer.

App reviews also offer insight on the quality of service and other stores experiences using the app as well as positive and negative aspects of the app, so you can make an educated decision about which waitlist app best suits your Shopify store.


Top Shopify Waitlist Apps to Boost Sales

For merchants seeking to boost sales and improve inventory management, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the top waitlist apps in the Shopify app store that you can utilise in your online store.

Each application provides their own exclusive set of capabilities and benefits – from tracking who’s on your waiting list to automated emails when products become available – meaning it’s really important that stores find which suits them best before investing in any platform.

Appikon ‑ Back In Stock: Overview and Benefits

Appikon ‑ Back In Stock app states that it helps you automatically notify customers when previously out of stock products become available. Highlights of this app includes; Automatic back in stock notifications & back order reminders via email and 100% customizable SMS and Signup form is compatible with all themes.

Krtbite: Back in Stock|Restock

Krtbite: Back in Stock|Restock app states that it creates the out-of-stock & price drop waitlists to see products in demand. Highlights of this app are that they allow alerts/notifications for back-in-stock alerts, price drop alerts, abandoned cart alerts and is also fully customisable.



Setting Up Your Waitlist

Below is a step by step guide for setting up a waitlist app on your Shopify store:

  1. Choose a waitlist app from the app store.
  2. Install your chosen waitlist app: click the “Add app” button on the app’s page in the Shopify App Store. Follow the prompts to install the app on your Shopify store.
  3. Configure the app: access the app from your Shopify admin. Configure the app settings, including appearance, notification preferences, and integration with your store.
  4. Enable product waitlists, in the app settings, specify which products or variants should have waitlist functionality enabled. This is typically done by selecting products in your Shopify product catalogue.
  5. Customize the waitlist: customize the appearance and functionality of the waitlist to match your Shopify store’s branding and design. You can typically adjust colours, text, and notification templates.
  6. Customer sign up and notifications: set up the customer sign-up process. Ensure customers can easily join the waitlist by clicking a button or filling out a form. Configure the notification system to send alerts to customers when waitlisted items become available.
  7. Testing: Thoroughly test the waitlist functionality to ensure it’s working as intended. Place test orders and have friends/family join the waitlist to experience the process from a customer’s perspective.
  8. Promotion and communication: Promote the waitlist feature to your Shopify customers. Use various marketing channels, such as email, social media, and on-site banners, to inform them about the benefits of joining the waitlist.
  9. Monitor and optimize: Keep a close eye on the performance of your waitlist. Monitor customers engagement, conversion rates, and the impact on your sales. Make adjustments based on data and customer feedback.

Managing and Analyzing Shopify Waitlist Data



Monitoring waitlist sign-ups, conversions and engagement with the collected data enables businesses to make informed decisions when it comes to inventory management, product offerings and marketing.

The analysis of this info allows one to identify trends regarding high demand products, enabling companies to adjust their stock levels as well as sales approaches accordingly.

The usage of said data can facilitate more personalized email campaigns designed for particular audiences. This is really powerful when putting together a successful strategy to boost both user interaction and commercial transactions rates.


Leveraging Referral Waitlists

Referral-based waiting lists are an effective way to boost customer loyalty and engagement, while generating new leads.

By incentivizing customers for sharing your products and to invite friends to join the list, you can generate a buzz that attracts potential customers interested in what you offer.

To ensure success of this approach, strategies should be employed to motivate referrals as well as promote the referral program itself.



Integrating Waitlists with Email Marketing Campaigns

One way to engage and encourage customers which will result in more sales is by combining waitlist data with email marketing. Segmenting the subscriber list based on this information gives you an opportunity to personalize emails for your audience, using promotions or updates that are specific and relevant.

Below some of the techniques of segmentation are highlighted and how it can be used in personalized campaigns as well as providing helpful tips on best practices when connecting waitlists with email marketing initiatives, to assist with a seamless integration.



Segmentation and Personalization

Using waitlist information to segment and customize email marketing efforts is an effective way of heightening customer engagement as well as boosting sales.

By distinguishing your customers into smaller categories on the basis of their past activity, interests or place in the queue, you can refine what content reaches each group for maximum resonance. Including details such as a person’s name or favorite product preferences (based on past purchases) enhances engagement with emails resulting in great rewards.

We recommend using an email marketing software (such as Klaviyo) to collate and store all of your waitlist data. Centralized email marketing will allow you to gather and store all subscriber data in one place making it easier to analyze, segment, and use the data to tailor your email campaigns and marketing strategies effectively.

When subscribers are centralized, you can segment your email lists more accurately. This enables you to send targeted and relevant content to specific groups of subscribers, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Centralized email marketing services often provide comprehensive analytics and reporting, giving you a unified view of email campaign performance. This can be beneficial for making data-driven decisions.

Best Practices for Email Marketing with Waitlists

For successful email marketing with waitlists, it’s essential to comply with relevant regulations such as CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR.

To help maximise sales conversions from your waiting lists, you should take steps like:

  • Sending emails/SMS about product availability or possible alternatives (if not planning to re-stock).
  • Extending promotional offers based on the data from waitlist customers’ preferences.
  • Creating personalized content that develops customer relationships.
  • A/B testing your waiting list front-end and email campaign wording for better conversion rates.

By using these best practices in conjunction with law compliance measures, you can put yourself in better stead for a successful Shopify waiting list setup.


Why you might opt for offering pre-order over using a waiting list app

What level of order intent do you want to capture?

While waiting list apps offer an avenue to notify customers when a product becomes available, the level of commitment from the customer tends to be relatively low. Enter pre-orders.

If your goal is to capture more genuine interest and initiate a transaction that remains flexible without charging upfront, offering pre-orders might be the best way forward.

How pre-orders are different?

By embracing a pre-order system that supports pay-later pre-orders, you can gauge a customer’s true intention to purchase even before a product becomes available.

This approach provides a more accurate measure of product demand compared to simple waiting list notifications. …and maybe more importantly, you’ve got everything ready to charge customers once you’re ready.

Benefits of offering pay later pre-orders

-High customer commitment; as the customer commits to the pre-order and enters their card details, they are less likely to cancel their order.

-Less risk; as customers have committed to the pre-order.

-Flexibility; as you choose when to trigger the charge.

How pre-orders work

Pay-later pre-orders allow customers to pre-order your out of stock, soon to launch, and limited availability products.

The customers pre-order and provides their personal details, and then at check-out they provide their card payment details and agree to be charged at a later date. Shopify then vaults these card details, and then at a later stage when you the store owner are ready you can trigger these deferred charges.

Notifying customers of any updates (such as shipping delays or when there card will be charged) is easy via fully customizable email campaigns offered by most apps.


Summary

In summary, a waitlist app can be an invaluable asset for Shopify store owners who are looking to collect customer feedback on out-of-stock products to improve inventory management while increasing the number of sales opportunities.

Before committing Shopify waitlist app it is important to consider the features, and ensure it will work well with your online store. You may also want to consider whether Shopify pre-orders may instead work better for your business.


Shopify Waitlist FAQs

Shopify offers many waitlist apps in the Shopify App Store that allow customers to create an alert for out-of-stock items and receive notifications when the app has replenished their favoured products. As of this writing, there isn’t a native way to do it.

Is there a waitlist option on Shopify?

To create a waiting list you will need to download a waiting list app from the app store. You will then need to setup and configure the app to start collecting data.

How do I create a waiting list?

When products are out of stock, customers can join a waitlist to be notified when they become available again. This helps the store build loyalty and satisfaction from customers.

Keeping track of demand for these particular goods also lets the retailer stock up on the right products, as they’re getting real market feedback on demand.

How can waitlists improve customer satisfaction and loyalty?

There are many factors to consider when choosing an app, some of the most factors include; customer registration, customization options, and analytics and reporti

What factors should I consider when choosing a Shopify waitlist app?

Customers join waitlists by clicking on the waitlist button and providing their details.

How can customers join waiting lists

Pre-sell With PreProduct

7 day free trial with all plans