Collecting pre-orders

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Pre-orders let your customers place orders for products that aren’t currently available. This can be for items that are temporarily out of stock or even items you have yet to produce. Pre-orders help you limit idle inventory and gauge your customers’ demand. Ecwid allows you to collect customer pre-orders without charging them until the products are shipped.

In this article:

Why use pre-orders

Collecting orders prior to production can be useful for any merchant that hopes to limit inventory. Pre-orders can be particularly useful if you create custom goods with bespoke features. For example, including an engraving or another message on your product requires you to hold production until you know what your customer wants.

With this feature, you can open your store as a catalog without any goods in stock. As soon as you receive a pre-order, you can place the order with the manufacturer or the wholesalers. This approach allows you to save money on the initial investment.

You can also use pre-orders to plan the release of a book or any other product in high demand.

Collecting pre-orders automatically

Get an Offer app allows you to collect pre-orders, and general inquiries.

The app is available on all paid plans. Sign up for Venture, Business, or Unlimited to access Ecwid’s App Market.
Upgrade to get this feature.

With the help of Get an Offer, you can create a inquiry button for visitors. When a customer clicks the button (shown on all product pages), they are prompted to leave their contact information for you to get back to them.

As soon as somebody leaves an inquiry, we’ll send you an email with the contents of their message. With this information, you can contact the customer with an appropriate response.

Get an Offer gives you the flexibility to choose what information to collect from your customers: their name, email, phone number, address, company name, etc.

This app is paid with a month of free trial. Try out Get an Offer.

Ways to collect pre-orders manually

In case Get an Offer does not suit you, you may collect pre-orders manually. This section will detail how you can create a custom “Place a pre-order” button on any product listed in your online store.

Adding pre-order labels to products

Collecting pre-orders is easy if you use only offline payment methods (wire transfer or cash on delivery). Simply inform your customers certain products can only be pre-ordered. You can do so with a note on any product.
For example, when a customer goes to order your product, they will see a note that indicates the item is only available for pre-order and will not ship right away. In this event, we advise providing a time frame to set proper expectations with your customers.

So when ordering, customers will see a note that this is a pre-order, so you will not ship the product right away.

Below are workarounds you can use to add the corresponding note to your product.

Variant 1: use the description field to inform customers this product is only available for pre-order:

  1. Go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products.
  2. Open the product you want to edit.
  3. Open the General tab.
  4. Add the text into the Description field:

Note about pre-order

Variant 2: add the notification for customers to product attributes. To achieve this proceed with the steps below:

  1. Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products
  2. Open the product you want to edit.
  3. Open the Attributes tab.
  4. Click Manage attributes:

Add pre-order note as an attribute

  1. Add a new attribute, e.g. “pre-order” and save the changes:

Add pre-order note as an attribute

  1. Go back to Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products
  2. Open the product you want to edit.
  3. Open the Attributes tab.
  4. Add a note that shipping will be postponed:

Add pre-order note as an attribute

As a result, your product will look like this:

Pre-order note in storefront

Variant 3: create a product option where customers must acknowledge the product is only available for pre-order.

  1. Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products.
  2. Open the product you want to edit.
  3. Open the Options tab.
  4. Click Add new option.
  5. Type “Pre-order” notification as the option title.
  6. Choose Drop-down list as the input type.
  7. Tick Require customer’s selection.
  8. Add a new selection with the text “I acknowledge this is pre-order and the shipping will be postponed”:

Add pre-order confirmation note

With this modification, your customers must acknowledge the information by selecting an option from a drop-down before placing an order.

Pre-order confirmation note in storefront

Once your customers click the Add to bag button, the corresponding order will appear in your Ecwid Control Panel → Sales → Orders page.
. Once ready to ship, you must inform your customers.

Remember, at this point you have not charged your customers. You can request cash on delivery, send a PayPal.me link, or choose another offline payment options.

Creating a custom “Place a pre-order” button

You can create a button on any product listing for customer inquiry. After a customer clicks this button, we prompt them to send an inquiry on the product.

Below are step-by-step instructions to help you set it up.

Remove the Add to bag buttons

First, you need to remove the Add to Bag buttons from your product listing:

  1. Copy the CSS code:

.ecwid-productBrowser-ProductPage-123456 .details-product-purchase
__add-to-bag button.form-control__button
 {    display: none;
 }
  1. Replace "123456" in the code with the ID of the product you want to collect pre-orders for. Here is how you can get the Product ID;
  2. Add the above code to your custom CSS theme. Here are instruction.
  3. You have removed the Add to bag button from the product page.

Create a button to enable your customers send enquiries

Then you need to create a custom button:

  1. Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products.
  2. Open the product you want to edit.
  3. Open the General tab.
  4. Find the Description field.
  5. Switch to the HTML mode in by clicking the <> sign:

Edit the product description

  1. Then copy the below code and paste it into the "Description":

<p>
<a href="mailto:info@mymail.com">
<img border="0" alt="send a request" 
src="https://dabuttonfactory.com/button.png?t=Send+a+request&f=Calibri&ts=
24&tc=fff&tshs=
1&tshc=000&hp=20&vp=8&c=5&bgt=gradient&bgc=
999&ebgc=999" "="">
</a>
</p>
  1. Save the changes.

Your product page will look like this:

Custom button in storefront

When your customers click this button, we prompt them to send an inquiry.

It is possible to change the way your button looks. Try using Dabutton factoryto explore different button styles, colors, and text.

Related articles

Turning your store to a product catalog
Adding options to products
Using product attributes

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