Jan 11, 2024

How to Manage Pre-Orders on Shopify.

In recent years, pre-orders have become increasingly popular among both consumers and businesses. This is especially true in the world of eCommerce, where Shopify serves over 700 million buyers in 2024, contributes to over $319 billion in eCommerce and has emerged as a leading platform for online stores. Let’s dive into the world of pre-orders on Shopify, providing you with invaluable insights and practical tips to make the most of this powerful sales strategy.

Understanding Pre-Orders on Shopify

Pre-orders allow customers to reserve and purchase products before they are officially released or available for immediate delivery. The following are some of the features of pre-ordering:

  • They are essentially reserving a product in advance, meaning that they are committing to purchasing the item once it becomes available, even if it is not currently in stock.
  • Pre-orders often require customers to make a partial or full payment upfront, depending on the business’s policies.
  • They allow businesses to gauge customer interest and demand for a particular product before investing heavily in production and inventory. This helps mitigate the risk of overstocking or understocking, ensuring efficient inventory management and reducing potential losses.
  • By offering the opportunity to reserve highly sought-after products before they hit the market, businesses can create a buzz around their brand and drive increased engagement. 
  • Customers often feel a sense of excitement and satisfaction knowing that they have secured a product before it becomes widely available.
  • Pre-orders allow you to gather valuable data and insights about your customers’ preferences and purchasing behavior.

How Pre-Orders Work on Shopify

Now that we understand the value of pre-orders, let’s explore how this process works specifically on the Shopify platform. Shopify provides a user-friendly interface that makes setting up and managing pre-orders a breeze. With just a few simple steps, you can start offering pre-orders and reaping the benefits for your business.

Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that your Shopify store is set up to handle pre-orders. This involves enabling the pre-order feature in your store settings and configuring the necessary options, such as specifying the availability date and setting the pre-order price.

Once your store is configured for pre-orders, you can start adding products that are available for pre-order. When adding a new product, you’ll have the option to set it as a pre-order item and specify the expected release date. You can also customize the messaging and product description to highlight the benefits of pre-ordering.

When a customer visits your Shopify store and comes across a product available for pre-order, they will be able to add it to their cart and proceed with the checkout process. During checkout, they will be informed that the product is a pre-order item and given an estimated shipping or availability date. They will also be required to make the necessary payment, either in full or a partial amount, depending on your pre-order policies.

As a store owner, you’ll have access to a dedicated pre-order management section in your Shopify dashboard. This allows you to track and manage all pre-orders, including viewing order details, managing inventory, and communicating with customers about their pre-orders. Shopify provides a seamless and intuitive interface to streamline the pre-order process and ensure a positive customer experience.

Pre-orders are a powerful strategy that can benefit businesses in various ways. By offering customers the opportunity to reserve and purchase products in advance, businesses can gauge demand, create anticipation, and drive sales. With Shopify’s user-friendly platform, setting up and managing pre-orders becomes a seamless process, allowing businesses to leverage this strategy effectively.

Setting Up Pre-Orders on Shopify

Getting your Shopify store ready to accept pre-orders involves a few essential preparations. By following these steps, you can ensure a seamless and successful pre-order experience for your customers.

Preparing Your Shopify Store for Pre-Orders

Before launching pre-orders, it’s crucial to update your store’s settings and policies to accommodate this sales strategy. Consider creating a dedicated pre-order page or section on your website to showcase upcoming products and provide all the necessary information.

When setting up your pre-order page, be sure to include enticing product descriptions, high-quality images or renderings, and any relevant details regarding pricing, release dates, and shipping times. Transparency is key to building trust with your customers and ensuring they have a clear understanding of what they are pre-ordering.

Steps to Enable Pre-Orders on Shopify

To enable pre-orders on your Shopify store, you’ll need to adjust your product settings accordingly. Shopify allows you to specify which products are available for pre-order and configure the options and limitations for each pre-order item. By navigating to the product settings, you can define the pre-order start and end dates, as well as any specific requirements or conditions.

When setting up your pre-orders, it’s essential to communicate these details clearly to your customers. Make sure they understand that pre-ordered items will not be shipped immediately and provide an estimated delivery date or timeframe to manage their expectations effectively.

Managing Pre-Orders on Shopify

Once your pre-orders are up and running, it’s important to have a robust system for managing and fulfilling them. This ensures a seamless customer experience and helps you stay on top of order tracking, inventory management, and customer support.

Tracking and Fulfilling Pre-Orders

As pre-orders accumulate, it’s crucial to have a streamlined process for tracking and fulfilling them. Shopify provides various tools and integrations that can help automate this process. By leveraging order tracking systems and order management apps, you can stay organized and ensure timely fulfillment.

Keep your customers informed throughout the process by sending regular updates and notifications. Let them know when their pre-ordered item has been shipped and provide tracking information if available. This enhances transparency and customer satisfaction, fostering a positive shopping experience.

Handling Pre-Order Cancellations and Refunds

Pre-orders can come with unexpected challenges, such as the need for cancellations or refund requests. It’s essential to have a clear policy in place for handling these situations and communicate it to your customers upfront. Consider offering refund options or store credit, depending on the circumstances, to maintain customer goodwill even in unfortunate situations.

Best Practices for Pre-Orders on Shopify

To maximize the effectiveness of your pre-order strategy on Shopify, it’s important to implement best practices that drive engagement and conversions.

Pricing Strategies for Pre-Orders

When setting prices for pre-orders, it’s crucial to strike a balance between incentivizing early purchases and maintaining profitability. Consider offering exclusive discounts or limited-time offers to encourage customers to place pre-orders. Additionally, clearly communicate the regular price that will apply once the pre-order period ends to manage customer expectations effectively.

Promoting Your Pre-Orders Effectively

To ensure the success of your pre-order campaigns, robust promotion is key. Leverage social media platforms, email marketing, and other digital marketing channels to create excitement and drive traffic to your pre-order page. Engage with your audience, tease upcoming releases, and create a sense of urgency to encourage conversions.

Common Challenges with Pre-Orders and How to Overcome Them

While pre-orders can be immensely beneficial for your business, it’s important to be aware of potential challenges and have strategies in place to overcome them.

Inventory Management for Pre-Orders

Managing inventory effectively is crucial when offering pre-orders. It’s essential to strike a delicate balance between meeting customer demand and avoiding excessive inventory. Regularly monitor pre-order quantities and adjust production or sourcing as necessary to ensure a seamless fulfillment process.

Customer Service Considerations for Pre-Orders

Providing exceptional customer service is paramount during the pre-order period. Be proactive in addressing customer inquiries and concerns promptly and transparently. Regularly update customers on the progress of their pre-orders and be prepared to handle any issues that may arise during the fulfillment process.

Pre-orders on Shopify offer a powerful sales strategy that can revolutionize your business. By understanding the fundamentals, setting up effective processes, and implementing best practices, you can leverage pre-orders to generate buzz, build customer loyalty, and drive increased sales. Embrace the world of pre-orders on Shopify and unlock the full potential of your eCommerce business.

Sell more on Shopify today.

Neeta is the Content & Community lead at AMP. She has over 8 years experience in eCommerce marketing having previously worked for TradeGecko.

Start today,
for free

Start a free trial of any of AMP’s tools today.