How to Set Up a Pre-Order on Shopify
By Sam Thomas Davies Head of Content
@ Sleeknote

Pre-orders on Shopify are a powerful tool for businesses looking to generate hype and secure sales before a product is officially released. By allowing customers to place orders in advance, businesses can gauge interest, manage inventory, and build anticipation for upcoming releases. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up a pre-order system on Shopify, from understanding the benefits to troubleshooting common issues and maximizing revenue potential.

Understanding the Benefits of Pre-Orders on Shopify

Before diving into the technical aspects of setting up a pre-order system on Shopify, it is important to understand the numerous benefits it offers for businesses. First and foremost, pre-orders allow you to gauge customer demand and validate the market for your products. By collecting pre-orders, you can make informed decisions about production quantities and anticipate the level of interest before committing to large-scale manufacturing.

Additionally, pre-orders can help generate buzz and excitement around your products. By offering exclusive access to upcoming releases, you can create a sense of anticipation and urgency among your target audience. This can lead to increased brand awareness, word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, higher sales.

Furthermore, pre-orders can provide a steady stream of revenue before your products are even available. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that require upfront capital for manufacturing, marketing, or other expenses. By collecting payment at the time of pre-order, you can alleviate some financial strain and ensure a smoother product launch.

Overall, pre-orders on Shopify offer a range of benefits, including market validation, increased brand awareness, and early revenue generation. Now, let’s dive into the practical steps of setting up a pre-order system on your Shopify store.

Another benefit of pre-orders on Shopify is that it allows you to build a loyal customer base. When customers pre-order a product, they are demonstrating their trust and confidence in your brand. This can create a sense of loyalty and encourage repeat purchases in the future. By delivering on your promises and providing a positive pre-order experience, you can foster long-term relationships with your customers and establish a strong reputation in the market.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a Pre-Order on Shopify

Setting up a pre-order system on Shopify involves a series of simple but crucial steps. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure a seamless and successful pre-order experience for your customers.

Step 1: Choose the right products for pre-orders

The first step in setting up a pre-order system on Shopify is to identify the products that are most suitable for pre-orders. Consider which products generate the most anticipation and demand among your target audience. It is also important to assess whether your production and fulfillment capabilities can accommodate pre-orders for these products.

Step 2: Configure your Shopify store for pre-orders

Once you’ve chosen the products for pre-orders, it’s time to configure your Shopify store to accommodate this feature. Shopify offers built-in functionality for pre-orders, making it relatively easy to set up. In your Shopify admin, navigate to the product settings and enable the “Allow customers to purchase this product when it’s out of stock” option. This will enable customers to place pre-orders even when the product is not yet available.

Step 3: Create compelling product descriptions

To drive pre-orders on Shopify, it is crucial to create compelling product descriptions that highlight the unique features and benefits of your upcoming releases. Use persuasive language and include high-quality images to entice customers and provide them with a clear understanding of what they can expect from the product.

Step 4: Design eye-catching pre-order buttons and banners

Visual cues play an important role in capturing customers’ attention and driving pre-orders. Design eye-catching pre-order buttons and banners that stand out on your Shopify store. Use contrasting colors, clear call-to-action messages, and visually appealing graphics to encourage visitors to place pre-orders.

Step 5: Implement pre-order discounts and incentives

One effective strategy to boost pre-order sales is to offer discounts or incentives for early adopters. Consider offering a limited-time promotional price or exclusive bonuses for customers who pre-order your products. This can create a sense of value and urgency, encouraging customers to take action sooner.

Step 6: Manage inventory and stock levels

With pre-orders, it is crucial to carefully manage your inventory and stock levels to ensure a smooth fulfillment process. Keep track of the number of pre-orders received and adjust your production quantities accordingly. Communication with suppliers and accurate inventory management are keys to delivering on customer expectations.

Step 7: Communicate with customers about pre-orders

Clear and timely communication with customers is vital when it comes to pre-orders. Make sure to provide regular updates regarding the status of their pre-orders, including estimated release dates and any relevant information about the product. This helps build trust and transparency, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Step 8: Integrate payment gateways for pre-orders

To accept pre-order payments on Shopify, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen payment gateways support this feature. Most popular payment gateways, such as Stripe and PayPal, can be integrated with Shopify and enable pre-order payments. Make sure to configure your payment gateway settings accordingly to accept pre-order transactions.

Step 9: Automate order fulfillment for pre-orders

Efficient order fulfillment is essential for a successful pre-order system. To streamline the process, consider automating order fulfillment as much as possible. Utilize apps and integrations that sync your pre-order data with your fulfillment processes, ensuring a timely and accurate delivery of pre-ordered products.

Step 10: Track and analyze pre-order performance

Tracking and analyzing the performance of your pre-order system is crucial for making data-driven decisions and improving future pre-order campaigns. Use Shopify’s built-in analytics and reporting features to assess the effectiveness of your pre-order strategy, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your overall approach.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can successfully set up a pre-order system on Shopify and leverage its numerous benefits for your business.

Step 11: Promote your pre-order system

Once you have set up your pre-order system on Shopify, it’s important to promote it to your target audience. Utilize your marketing channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and your website, to create awareness and generate excitement about your upcoming products available for pre-order. Consider running targeted ads or collaborating with influencers to reach a wider audience.

Step 12: Offer exclusive pre-order perks

To incentivize customers to place pre-orders, consider offering exclusive perks or bonuses. This could include early access to the product, limited edition packaging, or additional freebies. By providing unique benefits to pre-order customers, you can create a sense of exclusivity and reward their loyalty.

Best Practices for Marketing and Promoting Pre-Orders on Shopify

Setting up a pre-order system on Shopify is just the first step. To maximize its effectiveness, you need to implement best practices for marketing and promoting your pre-orders. Here are some key strategies to consider:

1. Build anticipation before the launch: Start generating buzz and excitement around your upcoming products well in advance of the pre-order date. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to tease the release, share sneak peeks, and create anticipation among your audience.

2. Leverage influencer partnerships: Collaborate with industry influencers or brand ambassadors who can help spread the word about your pre-orders. Their endorsements and reviews can significantly impact customers’ purchasing decisions, driving more pre-orders and increasing your brand’s exposure.

3. Offer exclusive perks for pre-order customers: In addition to discounts, consider offering exclusive perks or bonuses for customers who pre-order your products. This could include early access to additional content, personalized packaging, or limited edition merchandise.

4. Implement scarcity tactics: Create a sense of exclusivity and scarcity around your pre-orders by setting strict release dates or limiting the number of pre-orders available. This can create a fear of missing out (FOMO) among customers, prompting them to place pre-orders sooner rather than later.

5. Optimize your product launch strategy: Make sure your pre-order campaign aligns with your overall product launch strategy. Coordinate marketing efforts, PR activities, and other promotional initiatives to maximize the impact of your pre-orders and ensure a successful launch.

By implementing these best practices, you can effectively promote your pre-orders and drive increased sales and brand awareness on Shopify.

6. Provide clear and detailed product information: When promoting your pre-orders, it’s crucial to provide potential customers with comprehensive information about the product. Include detailed descriptions, specifications, and high-quality images to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.

Handling Customer Inquiries and Support for Pre-Orders on Shopify

As with any sales process, it is important to provide exceptional customer support when it comes to pre-orders on Shopify. Anticipate common customer inquiries and concerns and proactively address them through clear communication channels. Be responsive to customer queries and provide timely updates on order status and fulfillment progress. By prioritizing customer support, you can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

In addition to providing exceptional customer support, it is also important to offer flexible cancellation and refund policies for pre-orders on Shopify. Customers may change their minds or encounter unforeseen circumstances that require them to cancel their pre-order. By allowing for easy cancellations and providing prompt refunds, you can build trust and confidence with your customers. Clearly communicate your cancellation and refund policies to ensure transparency and avoid any misunderstandings. This will help create a positive customer experience and maintain a good reputation for your Shopify store.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Setting Up a Pre-Order System on Shopify

While setting up a pre-order system on Shopify is relatively straightforward, some common issues may arise. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you address these challenges:

1. Inventory management: Ensure that your inventory is accurately tracked and readily available to fulfill pre-orders. Invest in inventory management systems or software that can streamline this process and reduce the risk of overselling.

2. Communication gaps: Be transparent and proactive in communicating with customers about their pre-orders. Provide regular updates, set realistic expectations, and promptly address any concerns or questions they may have.

3. Payment processing: Double-check that your chosen payment gateway supports pre-order payments. Verify that you have correctly configured your payment gateway settings to process pre-order transactions.

4. Technical issues: If you encounter any technical difficulties or errors during the setup process, reach out to Shopify’s support team for assistance. They can help troubleshoot and resolve any issues that may arise.

By being proactive and addressing these common issues, you can ensure a smooth and successful pre-order system on Shopify.

5. Customer expectations: Clearly communicate the estimated delivery dates for pre-ordered items. Set realistic expectations and provide updates if there are any delays or changes to the delivery timeline.

6. Marketing and promotion: Develop a marketing strategy to promote your pre-order system and generate excitement among your target audience. Utilize social media, email marketing, and other channels to create buzz and drive pre-order sales.

Maximizing Revenue Potential with Limited Edition or Exclusive Pre-Order Products on Shopify

One effective strategy to maximize revenue potential with pre-orders on Shopify is to offer limited edition or exclusive pre-order products. By creating a sense of scarcity and exclusivity, you can drive higher demand and increase the perceived value of your pre-order offerings.

Consider collaborating with designers, artists, or influencers to create unique and limited-edition versions of your products that are only available for pre-order. This can create a sense of urgency and collectible appeal among your target audience, encouraging them to place pre-orders sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, you can offer exclusive bonuses or add-ons for customers who pre-order these limited edition products. This could include personalized packaging, autographed items, or additional digital content. These added perks further enhance the exclusivity and value proposition of your pre-order offerings, attracting customers and increasing revenue potential.

By leveraging limited edition or exclusive pre-order products, you can create a strong sense of desire and drive increased sales on Shopify.


Setting up a pre-order system on Shopify can be a game-changer for businesses looking to create buzz, manage inventory, and generate revenue before product launches. By following this comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge and step-by-step instructions to set up a successful pre-order system on Shopify. From understanding the benefits to troubleshooting common issues and implementing best practices for marketing and support, you have the tools to leverage pre-orders for your business’s growth and success.

Remember, the key to a successful pre-order system lies in effective communication with customers, clear product descriptions, and compelling incentives. By strategically marketing and promoting your pre-orders and maximizing revenue potential through exclusive offerings, you can make the most of this powerful sales strategy on Shopify.