Pre-order sales give an opportunity to shoppers to bag a product that’s yet to be launched before it’s available to the public. It gives online shoppers a sense of exclusivity and a sense of excitement that is beyond measure.
We’ve all seen and experienced it before. Think about the latest iPhone launch or when a new game on the PlayStation is about to hit the market. Or for that matter, when Tesla announces an upcoming launch.
But for customers, placing a pre-order means spending money on a product that they’re unsure of and won’t get their hands on right away. They obviously have doubts, fears, and concerns.
And that pre-purchase anxiety can take away your sales. But there’s a way around it!
Things to include on your pre-order sales page
1. Add as much information about the product
Your pre-order campaign has one key purpose – to make visitors buy a product that’s not even there yet. And that’s no easy feat!
35% of visitors don’t buy products because they didn’t find what they wanted. 10% said there was too little information. But half of these visitors are those that couldn’t even find the basic product information on the pre-order sales page.
To be able to address these inquisitive shoppers, your pre-order sales page needs to have the following information about the upcoming product/ collection:
Tell customers the product’s unique features and the benefits – how it’ll change the customers’ life. Make sure you list it all down in an easy-to-understand manner to make the information consumable.
The expression, ‘Seeing is believing’ is true when it comes to pre-ordering products. The human brain transmits visual information faster than text. Images can help you showcase the key features that make your product worth buying. It can also reinforce branding. Hence, make sure you include plenty of visuals on the page.
Here’s how Apple does it:
Behind the scenes
Don’t we all just love the behind the scene footage at the end of movies? We barely move from our seats to the exit doors in the theatre halls. How about you applied the same engagement tactic to your pre-order sales page?
The product is new. Customers know nothing about it. But you can make the shopping experience more engaging by sharing some behind the scenes. A Stanford research shows stories are 2200% easier to remember than facts and figures.
You can make your pre-order sales page product story exciting by telling customers:
- Why you developed the product
- The challenges you faced when developing it
- The changes it will make to customers’ lives
- The making of the product
73% of shoppers watch product videos to make purchase decisions. Why? Because product videos can help answer many questions that customers might have, can show the product in motion/action or in use, and show information in an easy-to-understand manner.
Customers are too busy to read information. Facts and figures might bore them and they might lose interest in the product. But videos capture attention differently.
97% of marketers say video helps their customers understand their products better.
What’s more? Product videos can also help you hold the pre-order sales page visitors longer, reducing the bounce rate.
Product in use
Showing products in context can give shoppers a better idea about the product. For example, if you’re selling an underwater torch, show an image or a video of the torch being used underwater.
This will also give a sense of the potential uses of the product and what owning the product can do for the customer.
Mention the dimensions of the product clearly and prominently. If there are multiple dimensions, it’s all the more important to have the size options displayed clearly so that the customer doesn’t end up ordering a wrong size.
You can do this in two ways. One, you can include information similar to size guides. Two, you can actually place the product next to a person to show the comparison.
Of course, this entirely depends on the products you’re selling on your pre-order sales page.
The price of the product is one of the first things that shoppers look at before proceeding to make a purchase. Make sure you share the product price clearly.
Consider factors such as taxes, shipping costs, packaging costs, and any other added costs. Mention all related costs clearly so that the customer isn’t in for a surprise when they’re completing checkout.
If you’re offering discounts as part of your pre-order sales marketing strategy, you can creatively mention it alongside the price. Here’s an example of the same:
We understand sharing a lot of information and yet making the page look uncluttered is challenging.
But the more you share, the more confident the visitor feels about making the purchase of a product they wouldn’t instantly get in their hands.
2. Clearly state your product exchange policy
As the pre-order product could be completely new, you might not have any reviews and ratings to share. This might be a huge drawback. When buying new products, customers always have a doubt, ‘What if I don’t like the product after purchasing it?’
They’ll want to know the exchange policy.
Matter of fact, 68% of customers check exchange policies before making a purchase. But if the exchange policy is not clearly thought through, managing exchanges could eat up a lot of your time and resources, and also compromise the shopping experience you want to offer.
To communicate the exchange policy clearly, you must include the following:
- Clearly mention whether the product can or cannot be exchanged
- Against what can the product be exchanged? Eg. same product, similar product, etc
- Mention the number of days post purchase within which it can be exchanged
- The condition of the product in which it can be exchanged. Eg. intact packaging, price tag, etc
- Whether the exchange will cost an extra amount to the customer. Eg., shipping cost
- How an exchange can be initiated
3. Include a crystal clear return policy
It’s possible that some customers are not happy with the product and want to return the product altogether, in exchange for nothing. Similar to the exchange policy, you should have your return policy in place and clearly mentioned on your pre-order sales page.
Include the following information to avoid any kind of ambiguity:
- Can the product be returned and the cases in which it can be returned
- The number of days within which it can be returned
- Will there be any costs cut if the product is returned
- The condition in which a product can be returned. Eg., damage, broken, etc
- How a return can be initiated
- The time the return would take to complete
- The exact process. Eg., will the customer have to repack and ship it back
Remember, the simpler your return policy is, the more faith a shopper has in your brand for future purchases.
Let’s understand how important a well-though return policy is with the case of JOLYN, a swimwear brand. The brand used to take a week to two weeks to complete a product return. This caused a huge amount of load and stress on the customer service team flooded with emails and calls from customers. It caused frustration to both the customer service teams and customers.
The brand then reduced its returns processing time. The result: an increased number of customers chose store credit and didn’t ask for refunds!
Return of products isn’t always a loss to the brand. If done well, it’s an opportunity for more sales.
4. Make sure you have a refund policy
Depending on the refund policy you create for your Shopify store, you should clearly share the details. Customers, especially those paying for pre-order products will always be apprehensive – ‘Will I get a refund if I don’t like the product and don’t want it to be exchanged?’
The efficiency of your refund policy is also a key aspect of your customer service. If you process and manage refunds quickly and seamlessly, your customers will have a good experience and will feel more confident to order again.
Here’s an example of the PlayStation store’s refund policy page to give you a little direction:
Either link to a dedicated refund policy page from your pre-order sales page or simply mention it on the page itself.
5. Give customers multiple payment options
Pre-orders can have two to three different types of payment categories:
- Pay full amount now
- Pay part amount now
- Pay full amount later
The three different types of payment options are self-explanatory. However, they each have their own pros and cons.
If you ask for full payment during pre-ordering, new customers might not trust you enough to pay in advance before seeing the product.
Similarly, if you allow customers to pay the full amount later, they might change their minds and end up not making the payment.
So make sure you know who your target audience is and offer what is feasible, and trusting to the both of you.
The next step is to enable the actual payment. You must offer customers as many possible payment options, eg., credit card, net banking, Apple Pay, etc. You could authorize the details of your customers’ credit or debit card that can be automatically charged once the product is shipped.
Cash on delivery (COD) and pay full later might not be ideal in the case of pre-orders because it would mean the sale isn’t confirmed.
Another important factor to consider when setting up the payment options is the return and exchange policies. If you’re going to have to refund a part or the full amount paid by the customer, you should have the necessary systems in place.
6. Don’t forget the ‘Notify Me’ option
So far so good. Shoppers are convinced about products and are placing orders. What next?
Well, now for the shoppers who don’t want to place a pre-order, but want to be notified when the product is available for purchase.
Adding a “notify me” button is important to turn these pre-order sales page visitors into subscribers, who have a high intent of making a purchase. But this button needs to let the shopper subscribe via a channel of their preference – email, SMS, web push notifications or even Facebook Messenger messages.
But the game doesn’t end there. Once the visitor does subscribe to a pre-order notification, you need to ensure they’re notified at the right time. This is where automation comes in!
Appikon’s Pre-Order Today Shopify app enables you to automatically add a ‘notify me’ button on your pre-order sales page, alongside the pre-order button. It also takes care of sending out the multi-channel notifications when the stocks come in.
7. Implement a Shopify live chat
Customers may have many questions before placing an order for a product available on pre-order. And they expect brands to help them with their queries before they make a purchase decision.
A study shows that more than two-thirds of customers expect brands to be proactive with their customer service. In this case, your availability to answer their concerns and queries when they’re considering buying from you.
You can do this by implementing a Shopify live chat app on your pre-order sales page. With a live chat solution like TextChat, you can set up a welcome pop-up message as well to initiate the conversation with the visitors, helping them understand the upcoming product better. The app notifies you of customer live chat queries on SMS, with a quick join link that you can use to reply to them from your mobile browser, delivering a quick turnaround time.
By doing so, you can help shoppers make an informed purchase decision. So much so that you can actually increase your sales up to 45% through prompt conversations.
Getting visitors to convert into pre-order sales
These seven key points wrap things up for this article on how you could address your customers’ concerns regarding pre-orders.
However, these are not exhaustive. You may want to include more information relevant to your product as well as look at Shopify apps that can help ease or automate a part of your pre-order sales strategy.
Learn how visitors interact with your pre-order sales page and optimize accordingly to drive results!