5 Tips For Pre-Launching Your Products On Shopify

According to Professor Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, 30,000 new consumer products are launched each year—and many fail. Therefore, pre-launching your items on Shopify requires careful planning to make it a resounding success. When you pre-launch your items, you’re changing the order process from selling items once they’ve been produced and/or purchased and in stock to generating interest ahead of time and only producing the quantity that has already been sold. 

This hugely beneficial business model allows you to generate upfront revenue, test product demand, reduce production costs, avoid excess inventory, and increase sales. However, there are some factors to consider when planning for a Shopify pre-launch. This article contains five tips for pre-launching your products on Shopify. This selection of best practices will enable you to effectively plan and execute your Shopify pre-launch and manage your website before, during, and after your Shopify pre-order goes live.

1. Prepare Your Shopify Store

First and foremost, if you’re planning for a Shopify pre-launch, you will need to ensure that your online store’s back-end can support the function. 

Setting up products for pre-order isn’t a built-in feature with Shopify yet, so you will need to add a Shopify pre-order app to enable the function. Using a Shopify pre-order app comes with a number of benefits. The best Shopify apps for pre-order management typically offer comprehensive set-up options and partial payment facilities, which will seamlessly integrate within your Shopify theme.

2. Create A Strong Community

Now that your online store is ready to go live with a Shopify pre-launch, it’s time to focus on generating a buzz around your brand and creating a strong community of customers who are ready to click that ‘pre-order now’ button. 

Focusing on your brand awareness will allow you to generate more leads and build your upfront revenue to manufacture the products. 

An article by Forbes featuring industry insight into a pre-launch sales strategy found that creating a waitlist in advance allowed one UK-based start-up to open pre-orders with 4,000 people already on their waiting list. This was a direct result of building a community on social media and promoting the product during a one-year buildup, which proved to be hugely successful for their product launch.

While your pre-launch doesn’t have to last a whole year, building anticipation and engaging with potential customers consistently can significantly boost initial sales. An easy way to start promoting your planned Shopify pre-launch is with your existing customers. You can do this by adding the products to your website in advance and labeling them as ‘coming soon.’  

3. Build Hype at the Time of Launch

A report found that 15% to 18% of all pre-orders are made on the first day. Do not make the mistake of delaying the hype until you launch. The report stated that “the most critical period for any product launch is the weeks and months leading up to the pre-order date — not the weeks and months following the pre-order launch.” 

Building hype in the immediate run-up to your Shopify pre-launch is, therefore, a crucial time to generate interest and increase sales for the launch date. 

To ensure your community is prepared for the Shopify pre-launch date, utilize email marketing and send out regular updates in the immediate run-up. Make sure to build hype on social media channels too, using hashtags and direct traffic to your website, particularly during the critical run-up period.

4. Manage Delivery Expectations

To manage customer expectations when preparing your Shopify pre-order sales, it is important to provide clear information regarding the turnaround time from pre-order to shipping. 

Update your T&Cs and shipping information pages to communicate the details, with precise information included in each product page to reflect the general process. 

Transparency is key to customer retention, and this becomes more relevant when advanced payments come into play. When your customers know what to expect, from the initial payment to receiving their items, they will be more supportive and likely to return after you successfully deliver according to plan. 

5. Prepare For Success

Last but not least, prepare for success from your Shopify pre-launch campaign. We tend to undermine our potential, especially when launching something new, which can lead to being unprepared when the plan is set in motion.

Do some research on your target market while you’re growing your community. This will help you predict how well your products will sell. You can learn things like which product variations are most popular, and if certain products are generating more interest than others. Through market research, you can get a better understanding of potential volumes ahead of the launch. 

That said, when it comes to pre-ordering, there’s no harm in overestimating its success. By that, we mean ensuring your website can handle high volumes of traffic and that your order process is well-managed.

Introducing Amai PreOrder Manager + Notify

Amai PreOrder Manager + Notify is a versatile app that enables effortless pre-order management and customer engagement. With an array of features designed to help merchants better handle their prelaunch campaigns, it supports customizable pre-order settings, creates urgency with quantity limits, and offers continuous customer assistance to ensure a smooth and successful product rollout.

Features and Advantages of Amai PreOrder Manager + Notify

The app comes with a selection of beneficial features that have been designed to manage your Shopify pre-launch products easily.

These include:

  • Pre-Order Discounts: Incentivize customers to buy and offer a discount on Pre-Order products. Setup is easy; simply select the products you’d like to enable discounts and input any percentage or amount.
  • Partial Payments: Easy to set up and give you the option to accept any deposit amount up front, charging the remaining amount once the product ships.
  • Coming Soon Product Timer: Start marketing your best or newest products before stock arrives with a timer. Generate hype and clearly show customers when products are set to go on sale. 
  • Stock Alerts & Waiting Lists: A widget that allows you to grow your mailing list and give customers the option to sign up for email alerts when products are back in stock. Simply 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 available for pre-order. 
  • Fully Customizable Design: Modify your text and design for all buttons and widgets. You can add a pre-order badge on product images on product and/or collection pages and customize the pre-order label text in the shopping cart and checkout pages. With Pre-Order Manager, you can apply Shopify pre-launch products throughout your store, enable notifications for customers, manage your products within a simple dashboard, and more. 

Summary and Advice

Launching a new product on Shopify is not simple, neither is it rocket science. It is an exciting venture that requires meticulous planning and execution to maximize its success. By following the strategic tips outlined in our article, such as building a strong community and generating anticipation through effective prelaunch hype, you can create a solid foundation for your product’s market entry. These approaches engage potential customers early on and heighten their excitement and commitment to your brand. Remember, the most successful Shopify merchants don’t leave success to chance—they leverage powerful tools to amplify their efforts. That’s why they choose Amai PreOrder Manager + Notify, equipping themselves with top-tier resources to ensure their prelaunch is as impactful as possible.