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Accepting pre-orders in your Ecwid store

Pre-orders let your customers order products that are currently out of stock. These can be items that are temporarily sold out or those that you only plan to launch. If you track inventory in your Ecwid store, you can enable pre-orders for products and product variations with zero stock.

Items that are available for pre-order are marked as such on your storefront, so customers know they’re ordering in advance when they check out. Pre-ordered products then get a special Pre-ordered label on the Orders page in your Ecwid admin as well as in your store’s notifications. You can view the number of pre-orders for a particular product or product variation on its page in Catalog → Products.

Pre-orders are available in the stores registered after 02.06.2022. If you signed up earlier and want to use this feature, please contact support@ecwid.com to enable it.

If you plan to accept pre-orders/backorders, take time and study the rules concerning them in your country. You can describe your policy on pre-orders (payments, estimated shipping & order fulfillment time, returns, etc.) on your stores’ legal pages to keep your customers informed.

How pre-orders work in Ecwid

Enabling pre-orders is voluntary. Products available for pre-order are your regular products when out of stock.

Once product stock reaches “0”, the product is marked with a special Pre-order label both on the storefront and on the product page, and its “Buy Now”/”Add to Bag” buttons turn into “Pre-Order” buttons:

Accepting_pre-orders_in_your_Ecwid_store__4_.png

For product variations, pre-orders work in a slightly different way. When a particular variation is out of stock, then on the product page, it gets a Pre-order label, and its ”Add to Bag” button turns into a “Pre-Order” button. On the storefront, the changes take place depending on the base product stock settings.

When customers click the “Pre-Order” button, the product or product variation is added to cart, and they can proceed with checkout to place a pre-order. The same payment, shipping, delivery, and pickup methods apply to pre-ordered items that are available for them while in stock.

You can create product-specific payment methods that will apply only to the products that are available for pre-order. For example, if you want your pre-orders to be prepaid, or, on the contrary, you want them to be paid by an invoice after you produce an item.

After choosing a shipping, delivery, or pickup method at checkout, customers are reminded that the items are pre-ordered and will be shipped/available for pickup once they are in stock. In case there are both pre-ordered and in-stock items in the order, customers see a notice that they will get all the products together once the pre-ordered items are in stock. If a customer wants to get the available items sooner, they can place a separate order.

You can show an estimated delivery time for pre-orders on a product page. That way, customers will know when to expect the order and more likely buy from you.

Once you replenish the stock for a product or product variation so that it’s “1” or more, customers will be able to buy this item on a regular basis again.

Enabling pre-orders for products

To take pre-orders for a product, you need to specify its stock in your Ecwid admin and set pre-orders as the out of stock behavior for this product. When its stock reaches “0”, the product will become available for pre-orders.

To enable pre-orders for a product:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Open the product or create a new one.
  3. Find the Stock Control block and click Manage stock control.
  4. Set the actual Quantity in Stock value. To start accepting pre-orders for products that haven’t arrived at your store yet, you can enter “0”.
  5. From the When out of stock dropdown, select Show and allow pre-order:

    Accepting_pre-orders_in_your_Ecwid_store__1_.png

  6. Save the changes.

That’s it! Now once this product is out of stock in your store, your customers will be able to pre-order it.

To save time on individual product setup, you can set pre-orders as the default out of stock behavior for all the new products in your Ecwid store. To enable pre-orders for several products in bulk, use our Bulk Product Editor.

If you want to edit the “Pre-order” text on labels and buttons (e.g., turn them into ”Booking”/“Book a service”), you can do that with the Store Label Editor.

Enabling pre-orders for product variations

If you track the stock of individual product variations, you can enable pre-orders for them. For example, to keep accepting orders for sold out variations that you know will restock soon while selling product variations that are in stock on a regular basis.

To enable pre-orders for a product variation:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Choose the product.
  3. Go to the Options → Variations tab.
  4. Find the variation you want to enable pre-orders for, then click Manage.
  5. Set the Quantity in Stock value. For variations that haven’t arrived at your store yet, you can enter “0” to start accepting pre-orders right away.
  6. From the When out of stock dropdown, select Show and allow pre-order:

    Accepting_pre-orders_in_your_Ecwid_store__2_.png

  7. Click OK, then Save.

That’s it! Now when this product variation becomes out of stock in your store, your customers will be able to pre-order it. Other variations will remain available for purchase if they are in stock.

To enable pre-orders for several product variations in bulk, use our Bulk Product Editor.

Managing pre-orders

All the pre-orders that customers place in your store will be displayed on the Orders page in your Ecwid admin along with the regular orders. You can recognize pre-ordered items by a special Pre-ordered label next to them:

Accepting_pre-orders__5_.png

If there are several products in the order, click on it to see labels for the pre-ordered items.

When you’re ready to ship the pre-ordered items to customers, change the order status to Ready For Pickup or Shipped. Make sure you have the Order shipped and/or Order is ready for pickup notifications enabled in Settings → Notifications if you want your customers to get the corresponding automated notification. You can also contact your customers by email or by phone to let them know that their pre-order is on the way or that they can come and pick it up.

The Pre-ordered labels remain displayed for your items after you replenish their stock. You can use order notes to mark pre-orders that you’ve already processed.

If you want to view all the pre-orders in your store, you can access them by clicking this link.

Viewing pre-orders for individual products

You can view all the pre-orders placed for a particular product since the date you’ve replenished its stock for the last time.

To see a list of pre-orders for a product:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Choose the product.
  3. Find the Stock Control block and click Manage stock control.
  4. Click View pre-orders:

    Accepting_pre-orders_in_your_Ecwid_store__3_.png

  5. On the opened page, you will see all the pre-orders for this product that were submitted since the date you’ve replenished the stock for the last time. The list will also include pre-orders for product variations (if any).
The View pre-orders link is available only if there are pre-orders placed for the base product.

To view how many pre-orders there are for a particular product variation, go to the products page in Catalog → ProductsOptionsVariations and see the number of pre-ordered items in the Stock column:

Accepting_pre-orders_in_your_Ecwid_store__6_.png

Related articles

Managing inventory
Order comments and admin order notes
Viewing your inventory

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