Creating a product for your business to sell isn’t an easy feat. This process will take months or even years and will require a lot of your resources. The more features you want your product to have, the more time and effort you’ll have to spend making it.
To ensure that the work you’ve put into creating a product will not go to waste, building an effective preorder campaign on social media and other platforms is essential. This strategy can excite and grab the attention of your target audience and prompt them to place orders even if the product is still in its development phase. A preorder campaign will also give you an idea of how many products will sell during its launch and determine if you need to produce more.
However, with the number of businesses implementing robust preorder campaigns today, it’s not enough that you have one just for the sake of it. Instead of gaining traction and creating excitement, a poorly planned preorder campaign will only create a negative image and discourage the public from buying your product.
To launch your product successfully and sell as many as possible, take note of the tips from this article.
How Do Preorder Sales Work?
Implementing a preorder campaign can become your ticket to increasing the number of preorders. However, before you make one, it’s vital that you understand how pre order sales work. This information will ensure that you can provide the best experience to your target audience during the preorder period up until the day of the product launch.
Simply defined, a preorder is the sale of a product that isn’t immediately available to the customer yet but will be available sometime soon. Pre order sales are usually offered to customers when the product is still in its development stage or is already packaged for sale but not yet available to the public.
Pre order sales work by allowing customers to place an order for a product that is not yet released. If you have an e-commerce store, you can use a pre order button on your online platform and indicate a pre order sale along with the preorder dates.
Generally, you can either charge the customer the moment their orders are placed or when the preorder products are shipped to their addresses. You can also ask customers to pay a small down payment when they place their order and have them pay the remaining balance when their orders arrive.
What Does a Successful Preorder Campaign Look Like?
A preorder campaign can bring countless benefits to your online store, which is why you should remain committed to creating an effective one. As mentioned, offering a preorder campaign just for the sake of it will do more harm than good and can prevent you from earning profits and gaining customers on the day of your product launch.
If you’re planning to craft your preorder campaign but don’t know where and how to start, the information presented in this section can make your life easier. When you know what a successful preorder campaign looks like, you’ll determine the elements to incorporate in your campaign.
Ideally, a successful preorder campaign has the following:
1. Dedication from You and Your Team
As a business owner, you’re responsible for many things to ensure the short- and long-term success of your business. For starters, you need to make sure that the daily operations of your business run smoothly to make it easier for your team to achieve bigger goals in the long run.
The amount of time and effort you put into ensuring your business’s operations should also be the same resources you’ll put into creating a preorder campaign. Most importantly, you should also make sure that your entire team is just as committed as you are in creating and implementing a successful campaign.
A successful preorder campaign requires a team effort, so it’s vital that everyone is on the same page throughout the entire process. If you want to create the best preorder campaign months before your scheduled product launch, inform your team about your intent and encourage them to share their ideas. You might be surprised how a team member’s suggestion on doing a giveaway or offering a swag pack can increase the success of your preorder campaign.
2. Preorder Plan and Timeline Based on Preorder Life Cycles
As a budding entrepreneur, you need to understand that products also have a life cycle in the market. Simply defined, a product’s life cycle talks about the amount of time the product goes from being marketed to the general public until it’s taken off the shelf. This cycle has four stages, namely introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
Understanding a product’s life cycle is vital, as this will help you determine when and how you should market them to gain the best results. The same works for preorder campaigns, because their appeal to your target market isn’t always consistent and will require different resources from you to ensure efficiency.
According to statistics, 28% of preorders are made during the first day of preorder availability, which is usually set at least six months before the actual product launch date. After the preorder launch day, statistics also show that there is a “dead zone” over the next seven to ten days, wherein customers’ activities lessen as the initial buzz of the product starts to die down.
In the next months, you can expect to see preorder spikes as a result of your PR and marketing efforts and then experience another “dead zone” at least one week before the date of the product launch. This happens because loyal customers already made their preorders, and potential customers are waiting until the date of the product launch so they can get feedback from others.
Based on this life cycle, you can start creating an effective pre-launch campaign calendar with these considerations:
- When is the best time to announce that preorders are available? Ideally, you should announce the availability of preorders at least six months before your actual launch date. However, this timeline should also consider what works for your business, like when the prototype is available and when you can come up with resources or a budget to support an effective pre-launch campaign.
- How can you minimize the effects of “dead zones”? As mentioned above, every preorder campaign will likely experience a “dead zone,” but there are many ways to minimize its effects. Since this will be a quiet time for your preorders, it’s best to spend more time and effort focusing on creating high-quality content to generate hype for your products. This content should be SEO-friendly so you can gradually build a solid online presence that can help your product gain traction again.
3. Constant Communication
Constant communication is a crucial ingredient in maintaining healthy relationships, and that includes the relationships you want to build with your customers. Even if your customers already placed a preorder for your upcoming product, you need to regularly communicate with them to keep them excited and ensure that they remain engaged with your business.
As part of your preorder campaign, don’t forget to regularly update your customers with the manufacturing process and the expected ship and delivery dates. Even if your products are manufactured and delivered on schedule, your customers will surely appreciate continuous communication, as this shows how transparent you are as a business.
If there are delays in the production or delivery of the products, always inform your customers as soon as possible. Apologize for the inconvenience that the delay might have caused and provide reassurance of the new schedule so that customers will remain in the loop.
4. Value and Scarcity
Just like its importance to your business, money is also essential for your customers. They work hard to afford to live comfortably, which is why many of them are frugal and don’t get too excited when they see preorder campaigns on social media and other platforms.
For you to create a successful preorder campaign, you should give customers a reason to preorder from you rather than waiting for the actual date of your product launch. For example, you can offer customers discounts or promos on their future purchases once they buy during your pre-launch campaign. You can also add a little gift or freebie when they place an order during your pre-launch campaign as their pre order incentive.
Another excellent way to increase urgency and drive demand is to create scarcity by evoking a customer’s fear of missing out. You can do this by limiting the number of products you’re going to sell during your pre-launch campaign or the preorder period. This is a simple technique that will help drive maximum impact from your preorder campaign.
Depending on the budget you’ve allotted for your preorder campaign, you can announce to the public that customers who make the first 100 preorders will get a special gift, and the next 200 will have 25% off their future purchases from your business. These are effective pre order incentives that will encourage customers to buy from your pre-launch campaign and not wait until your product is available in stores.
5. Preparedness to Cater to a Surge of Traffic and Orders
Customers are important in every business because the experience they have can influence their decision to buy from you. Even if you’re able to create a product that addresses their pain points, if you have poor customer service, no one will likely buy from you. In worst cases, the general public might even see you as a business with a negative brand or image.
Every successful preorder campaign prioritizes providing the best experience to its customers by preparing themselves to accommodate a surge in traffic and orders. After executing a robust preorder campaign, you should expect to receive an overwhelming number of orders on the day of your product launch. Customers who aren’t accommodated during your product launch will likely turn to your competitors to buy.
To prevent such situations from happening, your preorder campaign should include an action plan on what you and your team should do to prepare for the actual launch date. Ideally, you should check the bandwidth of your website and online store to ensure that it can handle the sudden spike of online visitors. You can also increase your manpower count so customers will be assisted with their orders regardless of if they place through email, social media, or over the phone.
To easily track the number of available products on your launch date, you can also invest in the right software to automatically update your inventory. These tools will help you and your team determine how many customers you can cater to during the day and avoid overpromising to them.
How Does a Business Know When to Offer Preorders?
As mentioned, creating an effective preorder campaign is a long-term process because once you have the campaign, you have to decide when you’re going to use it. Timing is essential when it comes to preorder campaigns because using one for every minor product launch or update will make the launch of your major products look too ordinary. When this happens, your customers won’t be too excited even if you launched bigger, better, or newer products for them.
If you’re wondering, “how does a business know when to offer preorders?” the answer is this: a preorder campaign should only be used for major product launches and company events to successfully build momentum and increase demand.
For example, if you’re offering a new flagship product in your e-commerce store, you should definitely have a preorder option on your website. Flagship products are core products that are usually the reason why businesses are built in the first place.
Aside from this, you can also launch a preorder campaign weeks before the scheduled release date if you’re going to sell limited edition or special items, such as a limited-edition holiday product. You should also use a preorder campaign when you’re launching big discounts or promotions on existing products.
What Will You Do to Reach the Most Customers Possible to Build Hype Before You Take Preorders?
Customers play a vital role in the success of your preorder campaign. The preorder campaign you’ve built with your team won’t provide the best results if only a limited amount of your target audience knows about the existence of such campaign or your business’s new product.
For you to make the most out of your preorder campaign, you should allocate resources to expand your reach. The more people who know about your preorder campaign, the more chances you’ll have of gaining new customers. Reaching a broader target audience can also supplement your marketing efforts, allowing you to earn more profits from your new products.
If you’re looking for ways to reach the most customers as possible before you take preorders, the tips listed below can surely help:
1. Leverage Social Media
According to statistics, over 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide, and this number is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025. While some people use these platforms to stay in touch with their friends and family, others are using social media to stay up-to-date with current events and news.
Because of the number of people using social media on a regular basis, it’s essential that you use these platforms to reach customers. Social media platforms have many features that can help you expand your reach without breaking the bank.
For you to build hype before you take preorders, regularly post photos or videos about your new product. You can also market your new product by sending messages to a potential customer’s profile, leaving messages in the comments section, or paying for a Facebook ad. You can even post about the details of your preorder campaign so online users will know what to expect.
Aside from creating excitement over your new product, leveraging social media can also help build brand loyalty and improve customer service.
2. Partner with Influencers
Creating a strong online presence requires a lot of time. For your business to be established as an authority or expert in the industry, you need to regularly post different types of content and communicate with your target audience. Since entrepreneurs like you will have too many things on your plate, focusing on creating a strong online presence can become a challenging task.
To make it easier for your business to build an online presence while keeping customers excited about your preorder campaign, work with influencers. An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect a person’s buying decision because of their knowledge, authority, or position. Influencers have spent years gaining the trust of their followers and have built a community with them.
By working with influencers, you can easily influence their followers to patronize your preorder campaign and buy your new product. You can let these influencers promote your new product by letting them use it or tell their followers about it.
For example, if you’re promoting a PS5 pre order campaign, you can send a sample product to the influencer and have them make a video about their experience. You can also ask the influencer to talk about your preorder sale or host a giveaway to encourage their followers to buy your new product.
Since there are many influencers on the World Wide Web today, you should partner with one who fits the niche of your business and matches your goals. Don’t partner with an influencer who doesn’t know how to play video games if you’re selling the PS5.
3. Start a Blog
It’s common for potential customers to look for resources to help them know more about your new product and business. Customers don’t want to waste their hard-earned money to buy a product that they’ve never heard of.
Starting a blog is a great way to increase the exposure of your business and keep your customers excited for the launch of your new product. High-quality blog posts can influence a customer’s buying decision and help them learn more about your business and the new product you’re about to introduce to the market. These blog posts can also add more value to your product and enable your business to build authority in the industry.
Although blogs are generally easy to start, you need to prioritize quality at all times. For you to do this, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and highlight how your new product can improve their lives. If you’re creating a preorder campaign for the latest iPhone model, your blog posts should showcase the features of the device and how these can help address the pain points of your target audience.
Most importantly, you should not use your blog as a platform for your sales pitch; you should use them as a medium to show how you can relate to your target audience and that your new products are designed to help them long-term.
4. Engage With Customers Through Chat
When introducing a new product to the market, expect that customers will have a lot of questions about it. If you posted an announcement on social media about the launch of a new app, for example, expect that customers will flood your profile with questions about its features, costs, customization options, and OS compatibility.
To keep customers excited about your new product, engage with them through chat. You can use the messaging features of different social media platforms to promptly answer any of their questions. You can also set answers to some of their frequently asked questions so they can get responses fast, and you won’t have to invest in additional manpower. If you want to inform your customers of your pre order process, pre order date, and pre order option, use the chat feature of your social media profile or website.
You can also incorporate a chat feature on your website where they can quickly type in their questions and get a response within minutes. If your budget allows it, consider investing in a chatbot for your business to interact with different customers at the same time.
How Can Preorder Sales Help Online Businesses?
The growth of e-commerce is one of the reasons why businesses worldwide already have their own online stores. In fact, it’ll be challenging to find a business that doesn’t sell online through their website, landing page, or Shopify app.
Offering pre order sales can help your online business in many different ways. A robust preorder strategy can increase the long-term success of your online store, even if you’re competing against household brands or entering a fully saturated industry or niche.
Here’s how pre order sales can help your online business:
1. Gauge Demand
The product development process is long and often complicated. Once you have a product idea, you’ll have to conduct thorough research to assess the market, analyze the business landscape, develop the technical specs of the product, and then launch the product.
You won’t get the most benefits from this process if you end up over or undersupplying your product during its launch date. An oversupply of products means countless materials are wasted and financial losses are incurred, while an undersupply can result in unhappy customers and a negative brand image in the market.
Gauging demand is one way that pre order sales can help your business. When you set a preorder period on your e-commerce store, you’ll easily forecast how many products you should make or order. When you have a rough estimate of the number of products you’re going to sell on the launch date, you’ll avoid the over or undersupply of products.
Knowing how many products to produce to meet the market’s demand will guarantee that none of your resources are wasted and you can satisfy your target audience.
2. Limit Financial Risks
Regardless of the nature of your business and the product you’re planning to sell, money is an essential ingredient for your online store to sell products and make profits. Without the financial resources, your business can’t start the product development process or create an effective landing page to accept orders from a potential customer.
If you’re looking for ways to save and maximize your financial resources, pre order sales can help. Since pre order sales can help gauge demand, this strategy will eventually help you lower costs from overproducing too many products.
Moreover, pre order sales can limit your financial risks, as you can use the payment you’ve collected from a potential customer to fund the manufacture or purchase of your products. This technique is helpful for small or new entrepreneurs or for those who are looking for a cheaper alternative than borrowing money from financial institutions.
3. Generate Excitement
Creating the most innovative and unique product will be useless if no one knows that it exists. How can you earn profits from your Shopify app if your target audience doesn’t have any idea what you’re offering? Do you think your online store will succeed if you only inform your target audience about a new product after its launch date?
Another way that pre order sales can help your online business is because it generates excitement. Allowing potential customers to submit a pre order form as part of your pre order strategy can create hype, especially if these products are scarce in the market and you’re only going to sell them for a limited time.
Pre order sales can make potential customers feel valued and special and can motivate them to create a buzz both on online and offline platforms. When you implement a pre order strategy and inform the general public how they can earn their pre order status, you’ll increase the need and want of more customers to buy your products. Plus, you can also use these customers for marketing your products on your behalf.
Use Additional Resources
Building an effective preorder campaign is a challenge, especially if your competitors made news implementing theirs. You’ll likely have to exert time and energy to create a unique preorder campaign to ensure that it will still stand out and serve its purpose.
If you’re clueless on where and how you can build an effective preorder campaign, follow the tips in this article. When you understand how a preorder campaign works and what the steps are in creating one, it’ll be easier for you to launch a preorder campaign that will bring in lots of buying customers and profits.