How To Create a Pre-Order On Shopify

Introducing a preorder model is a sustainable business practice with a number of benefits for your online store. By predicting product demand, you can control your inventory and avoid excess purchases and/or production, and increase sales by removing the ‘sold out’ barrier. 

The best way to add preorders is by adding a Preorder Manager app to your online store. This provides a range of features and customizable settings that can be easily managed in your Shopify dashboard. 

If you’re not sure of how to create a preorder on Shopify, we’ll run you through using a  preorder Manager app and how to adjust the settings in your Shopify dashboard. 

Continue reading for our guide on how to do a presale on Shopify, plus the benefits of adding a preorder option to your online store. 

How To Create A Preorder On Shopify – A Step-By-Step Guide

Changing products so they can be preordered can be done in a few simple steps. 

Preorder isn’t a built-in feature with Shopify yet, you will need to add a preorder app via the Shopify app store to activate preorder on products. Using a preorder app comes with a number of benefits, such as comprehensive set-up options and partial payment facilities, which will seamlessly integrate within your Shopify theme.

Using our recommended pre-order Manager app allows you to manage your products within a simple dashboard, where you can enable each product, variant or collection as ‘preorder’, ‘coming soon’, and ‘notify me’ which will trigger a range of useful functions.

We’ll go through all the key benefits later, but first, let’s run through how to do a presale on Shopify. 

Create A Pre-Sale on Shopify using a Preorder Manager App

Step 1) Download The App

Firstly, follow this link to Shopify’s app store which will take you to our recommended preorder management app. Once you’ve clicked “add app” you can access in your menu sidebar alongside the rest of your navigation options. 

In your Shopify admin, click on ‘preorder Manager’ in apps and you’ll be taken to your management dashboard. To start selecting products, go to ‘Products’ in the menu bar where you’ll see a full list of your store and begin the set-up. 

Step 2) Enable Pre-Order

To enable a product for preorder, toggle ‘preorder’ to green and click on ‘default settings’. You can then customize each of the following options to suit your needs.

Step 3) Customize Your Settings

  • Choose a display message or automatically set preorder to off if preorder is closed due to a limit or date
  • Enable preorder discounts if applicable 
  • customize button text
  • Enable a preorder quantity limit
  • Schedule preorders: Select a date range and notifications 
  • Preorder Locations: Narrow the offer down to select countries
  • Activate: preorder badge, T&Cs 

Step 4) Enable ‘Coming Soon’ and ‘Notify Me’

You can also enable ‘coming soon’ and ‘notify me’ on products on the same settings page. Simply move across the menu in the pop-up window and navigate through: 

Coming Soon: Activate ‘coming soon’ and you will be able to set a time when the product will be available for preorder before the start of your preorder campaign.  

Notify Me: Add a ‘notify me’ button to the product page, where customers can subscribe to an email update that will inform them when the product is back in stock. 

Enabling ‘preorder’, ‘coming soon’ and ‘notify me’ buttons is a great way to increase customer engagement and build hype around your products. 

Displaying these buttons is an effective marketing technique too, all you need to do is customize the appearance and you’ll have enticing on-brand features displayed throughout your online store. 

Customize Your Preorder Display

When going through the set-up of how to create a preorder on Shopify using preorder Manager, you can customize the text, colors, and the placement of the buttons within each product page. 

To change the design and text of the button, edit the message and style in the preorder settings, as you’ll see when following the steps we just ran through.  

To change the placement of the preorder button on individual product pages (your theme will need to be Online Store 2.0 compatible), follow these steps:  

  1. Go to ‘themes’ in your Shopify Admin Panel and select ‘customize’ 
  2. Select ‘products’ then ‘default products’ in the page navigator located in the top-middle of the screen 
  3. In the left-hand menu bar, click ‘product information’ then ‘buy buttons’ and you’ll see the button for preorder Manager: 
  1. Drag and drop the block of the preorder button to where you would like it to be displayed. 
  2. Click ‘save’ to complete the process. 

Benefits of Creating A Preorder on Shopify

There are a number of benefits to changing the model of your online store to incorporate preordering. 

First of all, you’ll be able to generate revenue without having stock available. This can be really helpful for cash flow, not only to alleviate the pressure of pre-sale costs but encourages sales during quieter months in anticipation of the next release. 

By generating upfront revenue while products are on preorder, you will be able to calculate the reorder point better in the future based on product demand. 

Preorder models can be particularly helpful for start-ups that might lack the upfront cash to deliver initial numbers. Making items available through preorder is a cost-effective way to test product demand and avoid dead stock if the sales don’t do as well as you planned. Not only will you save money this way, but you’ll also reduce waste. 

Finally, preordering is a fantastic way to increase sales. Carry out market research to understand what your customers want and discover the products that will maximise revenue and build brand awareness. 

By making products available for preorder, you are providing an incentive to draw customers in and then utilise a range of communication techniques (on-site buttons, display mentions, email notifications) to spread the word and increase customer engagement.  

Final Thoughts On How To Do A Presale On Shopify

This step-by-step has been designed to make the set-up as simple as possible when introducing presale to your online store. By accessing a range of easy-to-manage settings in the Pre-order Manager dashboard, you will have activated preorder across your chosen inventory in a few simple steps. 

What’s more, if you come across anything you’re unsure of throughout the process, Preorder Manager has a 24/7 customer support chat where an engineer will be on hand to address any potential integration issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you create a presale on Shopify without using an app? 

You can’t actually set up a presale directly in Shopify settings, but what you can do is continue to sell an item when out of stock. This comes with a number of limitations but will stop an item from being listed as unavailable if you don’t have it in stock. 

Doing so isn’t exactly preordering and your customer won’t be aware that it isn’t in stock, which can lead to communication issues depending on your turnaround time from order confirmation to shipping but can inadvertently work as a preorder in terms of selling items when out of stock. 

Can I update the payment terms for preorder items?

Yes, you don’t have to take payment in full for preorder items. Preorder Manager allows you to take partial payment for preorders, meaning you can take a deposit instead of charging the full amount. 

This can be an effective way to secure manufacturing costs upfront and charge customers the remaining amount when the product is ready to be shipped.

What are the first steps to changing to a preorder model? 

Like any update to your business strategy, you will need to do some preparation before activating preorder on your online store. 

Martina Swartz, the founder of sustainable handwash company ‘Blackmarket’, recommends building a strong community of supporters with the aim to have around 50% of them ready to preorder when you go live. 

Forbes delves into ‘How To Run A Successful Pre-Order Sales Strategy’ – a useful guide for any business owner considering a preorder sales model. 

Once you have your strategy in place, revert back to this guide on how to create a preorder on Shopify and reap the benefits to follow.