Launching a new product? Open to pre-orders? That’s awesome. We know you and your team are absolutely ecstatic. But are your customers equally thrilled about this new launch?
Wait. They don’t even know about it yet?
That’s because as a brand you have to plan and strategize product launches – just like Apple does. This brings us to product pre-orders – just like the industry tech giant does.
Right from having the right set up in place to getting awareness around the new launch, creating a pre-order marketing strategy involves a whole lot of things.
And it’s important. Because according to the Harvard Business Review, one of the biggest reasons why product launches fail, is the lack of preparation.
So let’s get to it.
So, what is a pre-order sale?
A pre-order is when a brand allows customers to place an order for a product that hasn’t been launched or isn’t available yet, but will be available soon.
Pre-orders are used for both coming soon products and collections, as well as products that may have run out of stock.
While customers get to make the purchase before the product runs out again; as a business, you get to secure a sale even before the inventory comes in!
Setting up pre-order sales on your Shopify store
Before driving traffic to your online store for pre-orders, you need to have the ability to accept those orders. Else, it could blow up in your face.
Take for instance, the case of pre-orders for PlayStation 5. Many enthusiastic customers had subscribed for its pre-order notification and were waiting for the D-day.
However, many retailers listed the item as available before the subscribers could be sent pre-order notifications. As a result, those who had subscribed for pre-order alerts, discovered that retailers had already sold out. This is a classic case of bad customer experience, one full of frustration.
And this is just one example of a pre-order strategy gone wrong. So, it’s important that you set up your pre-order plan well.
Shopify’s Pre-Order Today app is most preferred by online stores for its smart, customer-centric, customizable features. Here are some:
- Set up a pre-order button in place of ‘buy now’. The app is smart enough to automatically switch to the pre-order button as soon as a product goes out of stock.
- Customize pre-order features. The app allows you to customize the pre-order button as well as the text, visual design, messaging, quantity, and time details.
- Analyze pre-orders. You can make informed decisions based on the pre-orders collected through the app. The app sends you detailed reports that help you predict the demand and consumer interest in your products.
- Manage pre-order strategy activities through the app. Send automated emails, SMS, Messenger communication, web push notifications, as well as discounts and deals when the product is available.
Pre-order Sale Marketing strategies to use
1. Teasers, posts on social media platforms
Your pre-order product might be completely new. Unless you spread awareness about it, consumers will not come to know about it. Social media is one of the most effective channels for brands to spread awareness about their upcoming products and collections.
Create and share product teasers and posts that give a few more details on what’s in store for the customers. Tell them about the product’s features, how it adds value to them and why they should buy it right away.
Apart from that, partner with influencers on social media as well. Nudge them to build excitement around your products by creating authentic content and sharing it with their audience. Encourage them to create different content formats like posts, videos, Reels and more.
Study shows approximately one-third of pre-order sales happen on the first day of the launch. So make sure that your hype strategy is implemented and started accordingly.
2. Don’t forget to reach out to your existing customers
Agreed that it makes more sense to specifically target those on the pre-order subscribers’ list because they were the ones who showed interest in the product by subscribing. But this doesn’t mean you ignore your existing customers.
What’s the reason customers keep going back to a particular brand? Because that brand provides value to them. Sharing information about pre-orders with your existing customers can add value to your relationship.
It means you’re giving them early access and an opportunity to buy your new product. It builds a feeling of exclusivity. Since existing customers have more faith in you, they are also more likely to convert to your pre-order marketing campaign.
3. Promote pre-order through paid social media ads
54% of social media users agree that social media ads influence their buying behaviors. You can reach potential customers through paid social media ads for your pre-order strategy, too.
Schedule your ad campaigns in such a way that your target audience sees them repeatedly until the day of the launch. But make sure you’re not targeting them with the same visuals and ad copy as that might lead to campaign exhaustion. You need to ensure they see more and more reasons that make the pre-order more enticing.
As you move closer to the launch date, include time-sensitive discounts and deals for the early bird buyers.
4. Send out an email to your subscribers
Make use of your subscribers list to introduce your coming soon products and collections. People who subscribed to your newsletter, promotional emails, or other communication, did so because they like/d your brand. They know who you are and what you offer so when you send out a to-be-launched email, they’re more receptive to it.
Send your subscribers a drip-email campaign that guides their journey towards placing a preorder.
For example, your first email could simply tell them about the product that is going to be launched soon. In the second email, you could tell them the product story to help build trust.
You could use the next email to send out an exclusive deal or discount on pre-orders to entice them. Remember to create a sense of FOMO!
If not discounts, you can also create a similar effect by mentioning how you’re accepting pre-orders only until a set date.
PS. Did you know, 60% of consumers make purchases because they fear they might miss the boat?
5. Catch pre-order subscribers’ attention through web push notifications
Your subscribers are busy and their inboxes are full of promotions at all given hours in the day. But the one way you can ensure your message gets conveyed is by using web push notifications. Marketing communication shared via web push notifications is said to reach 80% of internet users.
Web push notifications get instantly noticed owing to how they are delivered. The popups ensure they’re seen on both mobile and desktop devices.
The crisp nature of the messages also ensures your promotion is conveyed within seconds.
But make sure that your web push message feels enticing enough to a subscriber. Add in rich media like banners of GIFs to further appeal to the subscriber and lead them towards clicking on your call to action button.
Similar to emails, you can also create a series of web push notifications to remind the subscribers to pre-order until the day of the launch.
6. Send out a message on Facebook Messenger
Another extremely effective strategy to get more pre-orders on your products is by sending a message on Facebook Messenger. With 1.3 billion people using Messenger every month, the majority of your buyers are most likely lurking around on the chat app to communicate with their friends and family.
Facebook Messenger is an awesome place to grab customers’ attention. It’s personal and direct in the inbox. Moreover, most people use Messenger on their mobile devices, which is always close to them. Meaning, your message won’t get missed out.
An experiment conducted by Buffer found Messenger outperforms email by leaps and bounds.
7. Promote your pre-order campaign on SMS/ text
According to surveys, more than 76% of consumers choose to receive communication from brands on SMS. They like the channel as it ensures the information or deals from the brand reach them, even if they’re not logged into online channels.
So leverage this preference and run your pre-order marketing campaigns on SMS. Similar to other channels, you can create a sequence of SMS marketing campaigns to build hype around your upcoming products and then to finally place the pre-order.
The good thing about SMS? If you’re using an app like TxtCart, you can also have two-way communication on your pre-order marketing campaign. So if a subscriber has any hesitancy towards making the purchase, you can address it right there and then!
8. Remarketing and retargeting
Before we delve into the details, let’s understand the difference between retargeting and remarketing. Many brands think the two are the same, but they’re not.
- Remarketing helps you reach shoppers that have already visited your website via other pre-order campaigns
- Retargeting helps you reach shoppers that have already shown interest in your product through paid advertising
When you’re launching a new product, it’s important to have a certain level of aggressiveness to be in front of your customers’ eyes. This is where retargeting and remarketing come in. The cookie-based technology follows people who visit your pre-order page to wherever they go on the Internet, reminding them of what they left behind along with little motivations like additional deals and discounts.
It was found that 96% of these visitors can come back to your store when your retargeting and remarketing campaigns are strategized right.
PS. Use these campaigns to remind consumers of the interest they had shown in the product. But at the same time, create enough urgency to get them to act now.
Ready to launch your pre-order sales?
The main aim of the above pre-order marketing strategies is to generate more interest for your upcoming products. But at the same time, capture the intent of interested buyers and get them to actually make the purchase.
Consumers love to feel exclusive, special and are the first to get their hands on new things. Remember, your pre-order marketing strategy communication is effective only when you understand this psychology!
Ready to take the first step to launch a kickass pre-order marketing campaign?