How to do Pre Orders on Shopify
Pre orders are a marketing strategy used by e-commerce businesses to encourage customers to purchase a product before it is officially released or available for purchase. Understanding how to do pre orders on Shopify can be very valuable & useful for your business.
Pre orders on Shopify can be a great way to generate buzz and anticipation for a new product or variant, as well gauging demand and ensuring there is sufficient interest in a new product before investing in production.
Additionally, pre-orders can help to secure early sales and revenue, which can be very important for smaller or newer businesses.
Types of pre orders on Shopify:
There are 4 main types of pre orders you can offer on Shopify; Capture only pre orders, charge later pre orders, deposit pre orders, charge upfront pre orders.
- Capture only pre orders – this type of pre-order involves changing the buy now/add-to-cart button to a pre order button, and capturing the customers details/order in the pre-order system.
- Charge later pre orders – this type of pre-order involves changing the buy now/add-to-cart button to a pre order button, the customer goes through the check-out at the time of placing the pre order and authorises a deferred charge. Shopify vaults the card details, and then the store triggers the deferred charge at a later stage.
- Deposit pre orders – this type of pre order allows you to charge the customer for a portion of the purchase price up-front, and then the remaining at a later stage via a deferred charge.
- Charge upfront pre orders – for this type of pre order the payment is taken upfront.
2. Setting up Pre Orders on Shopify
2.1 Enabling pre orders in your Shopify store
You will need to download and install a pre order app from the Shopify app store. You will then need to integrate the app within your Shopify store. There are normally two different ways to do this depending on whether you have a Shopify 1.0 theme or a Shopify 2.0 theme. Both are outlined below:
- Shopify 1.0 theme integration – you will need to find the Shopify theme file that has the buy button within it, and then adding the app’s snippet.
- Shopify 2.0 theme integration – you will need to drag and drop the app block, from the theme customizer in Shopify admin.
2.2 Setting up Pre Order products
Once you have added the snippet or app block to your store you will be ready to list pre-orders on your Shopify store.
You will need to list any products you wish to have on pre-order, in your chosen app. You will also be able to choose whether or not to offer an early bird discount, what variants to list for pre-order, along with pre-order limits and shipping timeframe.
3. Best Practices for Pre Orders on Shopify
3.1 Promoting pre orders effectively
There are several different e-commerce marketing options that can help to promote and assist in having a successful pre order campaign. These are listed below;
- Social media content both organic and paid
- Press coverage
- Email campaigns
Alongside these marketing options, there are some other strategies that can work really well with pre orders.
- Targeting early adopters for new releases, new products etc
- Generate an urgency for purchase by offering an early bird discount that is only on offer for pre order
- Only offering a certain number of items, this will create a sense of scarcity
3.2 Setting realistic pre order timelines and delivery dates
It is important to ensure pre order customers are aware of approximate shipping timelines and that there may be some delay. With pre orders, shipping times are never certain, due to potential manufacturing and freight delays, which is often out of your control.
Pre order apps should allow you to regularly communicate via email with your pre order customers, so you can ensure they are kept up to date with shipping timeframes.
3.3 Communicating with pre order customers
A multi pronged approach is the best way to communicate effectively with pre order customers.
This can include the following methods:
- Front end wording; this communicates to the customers pre order details/shipping time frames etc on the store front/on page cart
- Email campaign; this can be used to keep customers updated
- Customer portals; allows customers to check on the progress of their order, and can communicate shipping updates etc.
3.4 Managing refunds and cancellations of pre orders
Pre orders can be cancelled in Shopify in the same manner normal orders can be cancelled. Some pre order apps that feature a customer portal, also allow customers to cancel their pre order via the portal.
Refunding customers is at your discretion and can done as per the usual process in Shopify.
Pre orders, are a great tool that can be used by businesses to generate excitement for a new product, line, or sold-out products along with giving a business access to revenue sooner than may normally be possible.
There are a few different types of pre orders, and there will be one that best suits and aligns with your business model and goals. Alongside your chosen pre order type, there are many different techniques you can use to promote your pre order campaign and ensure it is successful.
This article was written by the team at PreProduct. PreProduct is a next generation Pre Order app, that specialises in helping stores run successful Pre Order campaigns.
If you would like to run a successful Pre Order campaign, then we recommend starting a free trial of PreProduct, to see if it is a good fit for your business.