How Does Pre Ordering Work on Your eCommerce Site?


If you run a firm that frequently encounters supply challenges or well-known backorder, pre-ordering may be the best option. It allows you to assess consumer demand, determine the best reorder point, and increase your revenue.

Continue reading to learn more about pre-orders, the benefits they can provide your business, some best practices, and how does pre ordering work on your eCommerce site.

What Is Pre Ordering?

A pre-ordering, or pre-order, or preordering is the act of purchasing a product that has not yet been released or manufactured. Pre-ordering is an effective sales strategy since it allows you to charge customers a deposit or full payment in order to reserve things. The best part is that you don’t have to spend anything to keep these items on hand.

Pre-ordering is also advantageous for customers because it ensures that they will receive a product as soon as it is available. Customers may be unable to purchase the products ordinarily if demand is really high or production runs are small.

A pre-ordered product is essentially a way to sell something on your eCommerce website that is currently out of stock but will be at a specific time in the future. By allowing pre-orders on your online store, you can give your consumers the ability to reserve the things they want ahead of time before they go on sale, without having to worry about their selling out.

Retailers and suppliers have used pre-orders for many years, for instance in the gaming and music industries. Retailers and suppliers can guarantee a particular volume of sales and revenue by pre-ordering products, which helps them understand the present level of demand for certain products.

Pre-orders are useful in any business, from handcrafted crafts to premium designer goods. Many prominent shops, such as Apple, use pre-orders to adapt new product manufacture and shipment to specific locales based on local preferences.

Pre-orders can be a terrific way to support creative initiatives for musicians, writers, developers, and artists, as well as for new manufacturing enterprises looking to cut expenses.

Pre Ordering: Pros and Cons

Selling pre-order products can be an effective strategy to expand your online business, but they must be managed carefully. They may tarnish the reputation of your eCommerce website if you fail to deliver. Before adding a pre-order button to your online store, you should consider its benefits as well as drawbacks.

Benefits of pre ordering

You should think about a pre-ordering strategy for various reasons:

To market a new product before its official introduction.

Many book and video game publishers, for example, launch pre-sale campaigns to generate interest in upcoming products. This allows purchasers who want to be the first to obtain new things to feel a sense of urgency. Pre-order campaigns can be timed to correspond with specific dates or events (for example, pre-order in time for spring) and can serve as the focal point of marketing initiatives.

To keep customers (enable backorders).

If you have a successful product that quickly sells out, pre-orders can help you keep the sale even if your inventory is at zero. To spice up your offer, you might even promise a special price for shoppers who take advantage of pre-order incentives. Pre-orders also help to lessen wait times for popular items by ensuring that your consumers receive an item as soon as it becomes available and does not have to return to your site to place an order.

To support the creation of products.

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter connect creators with people who want to contribute money to their ideas. Backers can expect to receive the product as soon as it is completed. Similarly, if you want to evaluate a new product idea or test different product variations (e.g., colors, sizes, smells) before committing fully to a new product line, you can use a pre-order method.

To improve the cash flow

The average production process lasts between 30 and 60 days. You’re probably communicating with several suppliers, obtaining samples (in the event of a new product), and preparing orders for distribution during this time. Accepting pre-orders on your things may help you maintain cash flow when you’re burning through cash and time.

To test demand

Pre-orders offer two significant advantages to store owners, who must prepare for purchases ahead of each season. First, they assist you in understanding the demand for a specific product. Will bento lunch boxes be the hottest item this school year, or will eco-friendly bamboo lunch bags be a better investment? Pre-orders are also a consistent source of sales revenue. These two advantages work in tandem to assist online store operators in planning and funding their purchases.

To collect email addresses and build a database of interested customers

In addition to these benefits, pre-ordering can also be a great way to build your email list and connect with potential customers. By offering an exclusive discount or access to a valuable resource, such as a doctor email list database for a healthcare product store, you can incentivize customers to provide their email address and sign up for updates. This allows you to nurture those leads and keep them engaged until your product is ready to launch. Plus, having a database of interested customers can be a valuable asset for future marketing efforts.

Drawbacks of pre ordering

Customers must be coaxed into purchasing at some point. Pre-ordering is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.

Despite the sales boost provided by pre-ordering, this technique has several downsides.

Depend on the manufacturer.

Assume you told your customer that you would deliver their pre-ordered products. However, the manufacturer claims that they are experiencing difficulties and that the goods are not yet available. As a result, your customer will be unhappy. In the worst-case scenario, your disappointed consumer will publicly criticize your store as an untrustworthy supplier.

It is usually advisable to ensure that all of your partners are prepared to fulfill the order and that there are no complications in the process chain.

Cannot be your sole marketing plan.

You cannot run a profitable online store just through pre-order promotions. If you only sell a certain number of items, it will be unclear what you need to do to expand your firm. Customers have the option to cancel their orders. With the emphasis on pre-orders, you may find yourself with unsold goods.

Face marketplace’s restrictions

If you wish to sell your products on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, you’ll need to replace the pre-ordering strategy with another one. These behemoths demand rigorous delivery terms and will not tolerate delays.

When should you offer pre-orders on your online store?

You might consider pre-orders at any stage of your company’s development. Pre-orders can keep sales pouring through the door from the time you provide your initial items until the time you expand to additional channels and nations.

Here are some scenarios in which you would want to activate a pre-ordering button.

When you introduce a new product on your website. 

If you’re launching a new product, pre-orders can help you measure interest, generate revenue while the item is being manufactured, and educate website users about the item’s impending availability. Remember that you’ll need to identify a dependable manufacturer for your product concept—one who can deliver on quality, timeliness, and communication. Customers are waiting for their orders, and your reputation is dependent on delivering the goods on time.

When providing VIP clients with early access to limited-edition items. 

You can give priority access to your most valuable consumers for new or in-demand items before they are made available to the public. This is a fantastic approach to getting customers to sign up for your email list or loyalty program and to create brand loyalty. Additionally, it enables you to advertise well-liked products in advance and aids in determining how much of the item to acquire.

When pre-orders are combined with special offers or discounts. 

Even if your product is out of stock, allowing pre-orders in addition to discounts and promotions can encourage customers to buy. This strategy, which may be shared via your website, social media accounts, email newsletters, and advertising campaigns, works especially effectively when related to an occasion, holiday, or season.

When testing a new product.

Before committing resources to a complete product launch, test the viability of a product. To gauge demand and gradually roll out your products, you may build a coming soon landing page. Prior to officially launching your product, you can purchase time to fix any supply chain difficulties (which are inherent in any new product release) and/or set reasonable expectations with buyers.

3 payment methods for eCommerce pre-order

There are various payment methods you can provide when placing a preorder button on your website.

Pay Now

While shipping is delayed until the product is available, this method demands payment at the time of purchase. Due to the fact that it allows store owners to make money before the item can be sent, this sort of pre-order is the most common. If you currently have an online payment system in place, setting it up is very simple. However, if you sell worldwide, you should look into any payment-related red tape. You would have to select “pay later” in these circumstances because the sale of out-of-stock items is prohibited in some countries.

Pay later 

In this case, the client agrees to pay for your goods when they are delivered. Both the customer and the seller can often cancel a “pay later” order if they so choose, so if there are numerous cancellations, you’ll need to plan for surplus inventory.


Crowdfunding is a well-liked choice if your company is developing a new product and needs money for the manufacturing process. Even though a product isn’t guaranteed, customers frequently agree to send you money in exchange for prizes, equity, or the finished product (if and when it’s constructed). This strategy deviates from that of a conventional eCommerce company.

How Does Pre Ordering Work?

Pre-ordering is a straightforward process that involves selling things that your company does not own. It is comparable to dropshipping, but on a much smaller scale.

The first step in pre-ordering from a commercial standpoint is to establish a contract with your suppliers that guarantees you a specified amount of products on release day. Then, in order to sell the products, you’ll need to create a web page for them. Then, using eCommerce marketing, you may tell clients about the restricted stock and direct them to the site. Finally, after the products arrive, your order fulfillment staff will instantly package them and ship them to the consumer.

Placing a pre-order is as simple for customers as making a regular transaction. Many businesses will just charge a deposit for pre-orders, but some may request full payment. The consumer will be given an expected arrival date, which is normally the same day as or close to the product’s release date. They then wait for delivery.

Pre-orders ensure a specific amount of sales for your online store. Pre-ordering also enables you to reduce the risks associated with stocking up on items that won’t sell and save money on warehouse expenses.

The plan, however, calls for appropriate agility and efficient interactions with your suppliers.

How does pre ordering work? Here are some suggestions to help you improve your pre-ordering strategy:

Provide convenient pick-up and delivery options.

The simplest way to gather pre-orders if you regularly create your goods (such as pastries or floral arrangements) and have an offline store is by offering the self-pickup option. This can be a contactless pickup, self-pickup from the store, or any other comparable service that is offered at your store.

In an online store, you can schedule the pickup time for when the item will be ready. You can also include a schedule for your store. The consumer will thus be informed when their product will be ready for pickup at the earliest opportunity.

Offer different types of payment options

You can accept payments using both online and physical channels. The first choice enables clients to pay immediately after selecting the “pre-order now” option. Your consumers will be able to pay for the merchandise later if they choose the second option. Select the choices that work best for you and your clients.

Utilize social media to market your products.

Include social media in your marketing effort if you want to boost pre-conversion ordering’s rates. By informing your clients that the new things will only be available through pre-orders on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you may build suspense. It will draw a lot of people to your online store.

Talk to your clients.

First and foremost, clients should be aware that they are now pre-ordering a product that will not be available immediately. You may guide your clients and help them establish proper expectations by doing the following:

  • Create pre-order terms for your online store;
  • Provide detailed information on how to place a pre-order;
  • For pre-order items, use unique labels and brief descriptions.
  • Indicate the expected delivery date.

You may also send out an additional email campaign informing your loyal consumers about the new products that are available for pre-order. It will not only assist in drawing attention to your business, but it will also make your regular customers and subscribers feel valued.

How To Get Started With Pre-Orders In Your WooCommerce Store?

Business owners who run their businesses on various eCommerce platforms can use a pre-order function in their store by installing a pre-order extension.

If you run an eCommerce shop on WooCommerce, you can give a pre-order option to your website visitors by using one of the many WooCommerce plugins available. To use these plugins, you must first download and install them in your store. It may result in increased security risks and costs.

If you don’t want to use a third plugin, you should consider using the Woostify theme. With Woostify, you can effortlessly create an exceptional online store with a variety of functions. You can also enable a pre-order option on the shop pages to increase sales.


Woostify’s pre order addon allows you to customize the time and date of the preorder, the amount of pre-ordered products, the pre-order button, and so on. 


Bottom line,

Selling things on pre-order is an excellent approach to generate demand and revenue. You can also avoid costly problems with excess inventory. It’s an excellent tool for increasing revenue and cultivating relationships with suppliers. If you have further questions or recommendations, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions about Preordering

Let’s check out the questions below before implementing the preorder marketing technique in your online business.

Do I (customers) need to pay when preordering an item from an online shop?

Items that are offered for pre-order may not usually require payment at the same time. It is determined by how the pre-order is constructed, the platform used to manage pre-orders, and whether or not a payment gateway is attached.

Pre-ordering a musical release or a book, for example, normally necessitates payment in advance. The funds may be used by the creator to make the piece, or the platform on which they are selling may need it.

Crowdfunding, on the other hand, is a sort of pre-ordering that does not always need an upfront payment. An unfinished crowdfunding campaign should warn supporters that if the campaign is successful, their payment method will be charged. In this manner, supporters are not required to make a financial investment until the campaign has met its fundraising objective.

Do I get the item earlier when preordering it?

Pre-ordering a product does not guarantee that you will receive it on time or before the items are available for purchase. Some companies distribute pre-orders before the public release, while others use pre-orders to raise funds for production.

Companies who use pre-orders to generate early interest in their items may dispatch pre-orders ahead of release to thank you for being a quick buyer. Pre-orders are sometimes accompanied by discounts to encourage early sales and to assist businesses in forecasting how many purchases they will receive following a public release.

Whatever you’re pre-ordering, the company should state whether or not you’ll receive the product ahead of schedule. Businesses that want to use pre-order payments to create the goods should also specify this.

Are preordered items more expensive?

Pre-orders typically cost the same as the retail price, if not a bit less. The item’s characteristics, the company releasing it, any special pricing, and price variations for product bundles all affect the pre-order price.

A musician might, for instance, allow pre-orders for their forthcoming record while simultaneously offering merchandise bundles. Even though the record itself is $5 cheaper during the pre-order period, the bundles are more expensive because they contain more items.

Pre-orders frequently include shipping and handling as well, which could result in a higher price than if you had made a retail purchase. Depending on the product being delivered and how the maker or creator is selling it, you may have to pay a final pre-order fee.

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