Marketing Psychology: Hacks To Use To Get More Pre-orders

Are you launching a new product on your eCommerce store? We are sure you and your team are elated about it. But do you have a plan to get that product sold out even before it’s launched? There’s only one way to ensure it happens — by opening pre-orders.

Think of it as a customer.

It’s that same old Monday morning. You are sitting at your work desk, lost in the thoughts of exploring the world. But these are just thoughts, and you’ll end up getting bored. Every day of your life looks identical.

But hold on, you just received an email. It’s from your favorite eCommerce store. They have just announced a pre-order for a product that interests you. Well, your boring Monday just got interesting because you can get hold of this product before others.

This is how having a pre-order strategy can be groundbreaking from a brand’s standpoint. You ask your target audience to be the first ones to get on board. You ask them to taste a delicious flavor before others even know about it. Sounds interesting?

Of course, it does. But this is not where it ends for you. To make it more lethal, you can amalgamate your pre-order strategies with marketing psychology. It triggers the emotional side of consumers’ brains and ensures whoever comes across your pre-order announcement is more than willing to buy the product.

In this article, we’ll define what marketing psychology is and how it influences consumer behavior. Then we’ll explore how you can leverage marketing psychology to bring more pre-orders. Let’s jump right into it.

What Is Marketing Psychology?

Marketing psychology is a branch of psychology that helps marketers understand how consumers think, reason, and make their purchase decisions. The goal of marketing is to convince customers that a certain product is good for them, and there’s no better way to do it than tapping into their emotional side. After all, people buy emotions and then rationalize the decision with logic.

The eCommerce business is crowded irrespective of what you are selling. But marketing psychology equips you to always stay a step ahead of your competitors. It helps you find an intersecting point where your organizational objectives and customers’ emotions meet.

When you know what triggers your customers’ emotions, you can use those points in a tactical way in your campaigns. The more trigger points your campaign has, the higher the chances of it bringing sales. Let’s see how marketing psychology influences customer behavior.

Using Marketing Psychology to Influence Consumer Behavior

First of all, you don’t have to be a trained psychologist to appeal to your potential customers’ emotions. Most successful marketers implement psychology in their campaigns by doing a little research and constant experimentation.

The crux of marketing psychology is to understand the hows and whys behind your customers’ actions. When your marketing efforts align with this understanding, more customers take actions that you want from them.

For example, let’s consider you are a content writer who’s writing a blog for a certain company. Your effort will produce a far better result if you’ve written a blog by keeping in mind the people who are going to read it. You must know who these people are and why they should care about reading your blog. When you understand their psychology, you’ll be able to write your CTAs in a way that allures them to perform the action.

Enough of theories. Let’s head on to the next section to look at the marketing psychology strategies that’ll help you generate more pre-orders by attracting and persuading customers.

5 Marketing Psychology Strategies To Get More Pre-orders

In the last couple of decades, marketing psychology has provided business owners and salespeople with valuable insights to grow their businesses. It is essential to understand that there’s not just a single psychology principle you can rely on. You’ll have to use all of them in tandem or sometimes use different ones in different campaigns.

marketing psychology


In one of his TED Talks, MIT Researcher Dan Ariely says, customer behavior is predictably irrational. There are various motivational factors based on which people make a certain decision. For example, when you launch a product, you’ll have to ensure that the timing is right. And even selling the product at a discounted price during your pre-order campaign can also play a huge part in making it successful.

Here are five marketing psychology principles you can use to get more pre-orders.

Scarcity Heuristic

The scarcity heuristic is a psychological principle that says people find the product more attractive when a product or service is limited in availability (or if they perceive it to be so). And this principle attests to the law of supply and demand.

Let’s look at this on an intuitive level. Didn’t you want that toy even more, when mom said you couldn’t have it? Similarly, if you are launching a decent product, convince them that it might run out of stock and can take an indefinite time to return. This will lay a perfected foundation for the scarcity effect to kick in. And not only will it increase your pre-order sales, but it will also give you a chance to launch your product at a relatively higher price.

scarcity marketing psychology for preorders


The scarcity heuristic, however, is not a silver bullet. It doesn’t always work. If people have a decent knowledge of persuasion strategies, they are very likely to not value a scarce product as much as they would do otherwise. The effect of scarcity also gets diluted if the frequency of claims is too high. In short, you have to be smart when you’re using this principle for your pre-order campaigns.

Loss Aversion Bias

No one likes to lose, be it a game or an opportunity to buy a product that’s just getting launched. And that’s what loss aversion bias is about — it’s the human tendency to prefer avoiding loss strongly over acquiring gains.

We humans (your customers) are hard-wired to keep losses at arm’s length. In an article, Russell A. Poldrack, a Stanford University psychology professor, explains that our brains act more strongly when dealing with losses than with gains. This emergence of strong reactions with some additional factors is what helps marketers in motivating customers to buy the product.

When you tap into loss aversion by creating a little urgency, customers act fast. If you’re sending emails to your customer base to pre-book an order, you can use a subject line that says — Pre-book… You might never see it again. These tactics might look obnoxious from a distance, but they work, and that’s the ultimate truth.

You can offer discounts in your pre-launch campaigns and add a time frame to them. By adding a time frame to it, you ensure that your customer places the order for the product within that time window to avoid losing out on the discount. But again, don’t mislead customers by running the discount even after the time has passed. At best, they’ll cancel the order, and worst, they’ll never come back to your store, leave bad reviews, etc.

Anchoring Heuristic

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, in the 1970s, identified what is now known as the ‘anchoring effect.’ It is also known as a cognitive bias — a shortcut that the brain uses to simplify complex decision-making processes.

Have you ever noticed that if you like a product in one sight, no matter how many other variants you look at, the first one just wins? That’s because of the anchoring heuristic, the tendency of customers to rely too much on the first piece of information to make their buying decision.

You have to ensure that your pre-order campaign page is optimized tactically to give your customer every piece of information they need to buy the product. For example, you can show multiple-unit pricing. In a study, Psychologists Brian Wansink, Robert Kent, and Stephen Hoch found out that even when the sale value was the same, multiple-unit pricing performed 40% better than the single unit pricing.

These psychologists also came to the conclusion that a limit on purchase quantity influences the buying behavior of customers. With the help of their field study, these psychologists used an end-aisle display to promote a soup for $0.79/can. They also place a banner of “Limit of 12 per person.” The results had a significant difference — customers who bought it without the banner purchased an average of 3.3 cans. On the other hand, with limits, the average number of purchased cans increased to 7 per person.

Similarly, you can even apply a limit on the number of products an individual can purchase. It will surely be an effective way to increase your pre-order sales.

The Timer Effect

As an eCommerce business, the idea behind pre-orders is to increase conversions and lower cart abandonment rates. The timer effect, like most of the marketing psychology principles, is based on creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).

When you’re opening the pre-order for the first few hours, you can try to give a significantly higher discount. The countdown timer will create a sense of urgency in customers, making them feel that they’ll miss out on this amazing product and discount it if they don’t act quickly. More often than not, they are going to press that pre-order button.

The timer effect, however, is not only for the price drop countdown. As we have mentioned above too — sometimes, using these psychological principles in tandem can produce the best results. Here’s what the SushiShop, a French leader in home and office sushi delivery, did. They used the timer effect and scarcity heuristic together to appeal to the customers who order their products for lunch.

countdown timer on preorders shopify


On their mobile app, they implemented a banner to urge employees to pre-order to avoid the order surge at lunchtime. Since an average employee only has half an hour to get done with their lunch, they were more inclined to pre-order it to save time. Moreover, the SushiShop also added the in-stock count (showing scarcity) for certain products to sell them off even quicker.

This improved the customer experience as the employees got their lunch right on time. And the card order confirmation increased by 3% — the result was outright positive.


Exclusivity is a key marketing psychology principle that you must master to reach your eCommerce business goals. When you launch a product exclusively for your customers, the demand for it increases. After all, it is human nature to desire to have products that other individuals covet.

In your pre-order campaign, you can do various things to trigger that feeling of exclusivity in your customers. It can start as simply as by optimizing the words you use in your pre-order page copy. Here are nine phrases that imply exclusivity:

  • Login required
  • Members-only
  • Membership now closed
  • Class full
  • Ask for an invitation (OnePlus example ahead)
  • Become an insider
  • Exclusive offers
  • Get it before everybody else (this work well for pre-orders)
  • Only available to subscribers

Here’s what OnePlus did in their first pre-order campaign. They got famous in a span of a few months by playing entirely on scarcity and exclusivity. You could only buy a OnePlus smartphone if you had an invitation. They were not available in any store. The only place you could get that phone was from their website.

When OnePlus One was launched, there was a massive FOMO in the tech-savvy community because of exclusivity. Because of this daring and exclusive campaign, they were able to sell 1M units and got 25 million visitors to their website. 


Product Out-of-stock in Pre-order Campaign

Using these marketing psychology principles humanizes your pre-order campaign. When you combine these psychology tactics with other marketing strategies, you get guaranteed results. Moreover, these also open the door for your product to go out of stock even before you have launched them.

What do you do in that case? Well, it will be terrible news for the people who come to your pre-order page and find out that they can’t order the product. However, with Appikon – Back in Stock Alerts, you can convert this terrible news into a fairly good one.

You tell your customer clearly that the product got out of stock even before it was launched. This builds excitement in their mind. What is so special about the product that’s making people buy it? Customers will now want to try it even more.

And when you’re ready to take orders again, the back-in-stock alert app will allow you to notify customers on the channel of their choice.

Skyrocket your pre-order sales with these marketing psychology tactics.

Get the Appikon pre-order app today.

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