How to Grow Your Business Using Shopify Preorders on Back in Stock

How to Grow Your Business Using Shopify Preorders on Back in Stock

Shopify preorders are vital to the success of your online Shopify store. Not only can you generate buzz around your product, but you can create a sense of scarcity surrounding it, keeping customers coming back for more. So, are preorder campaigns necessary? 

The answer is a resounding yes. Let’s examine why by reviewing:

  • What is a Shopify preorder?
  • Features and benefits of setting up Shopify preorders
  • When to use Shopify preorders
  • Things to consider before setting up a Shopify preorder
  • How to use Back in Stock Shopify preorders
  • Tips for setting up a Shopify preorder campaign

Set up Shopify Preorders with Back in Stock

Allow customers to purchase out-of-stock products or upcoming releases with preorders.

14-day Free Trial.

What is a Shopify preorder?

A preorder is a process by which an individual places an order for an item that hasn’t yet been released or isn’t currently in stock. Once available, the product is shipped to the customer. This guarantees the purchase of an item before it’s been restocked. 

hiut-denim-shopify-preorders

An example of a preorder. Hiut Denim Co. is a Shopify store.

Features and benefits of Shopify preorders

Like any tool that can help with your Shopify store, there are specific features and benefits of Shopify preorders. So, bring out your old Moleskine notebook, and let’s review.  

  • Build hype for your product’s launch date.

build-hype-shopify-preorders

Booksellers and video game companies capitalize on the preorder tactic and just like in our Harry Potter example, preorders build excitement around your new product. They not only create awareness, but also a feeling of scarcity and purchase urgency for your product.

  • Gain valuable customer feedback.

customer-feedback

Preorder customers give valuable feedback as they are the alpha- and beta-testers of the product. If your product preorder launch is successful, they are also the first to provide good reviews and spread the news about your product.

  • Improve inventory management.

    shopify-inventory-management

Have 500 orders been placed but you only have 250 items in stock? Time to order more, and quickly. Preorders require inventory organization, so they keep you disciplined and accountable when it comes to this area of your business. Without inventory management, your store will quickly fall apart, and customers will leave disgruntled and annoyed.

  • Enjoy guaranteed revenue.

    revenue-shopify

During the launch period, you will be flush with cash. Preorders guarantee a set amount of revenue during that initial time. Early on you’ll know how successful your product is and the amount of income generated.

  • Earn more and grow your business by starting the process early.

It’s complicated to run a physical goods shop as there are constantly moving parts. From overseas supplier logistics to packaging wait times, your process is probably time-consuming, at best.

But, when you offer preorders, you can take orders earlier in the procurement process which means more orders, improved cash flow, increased revenues, and, eventually, a higher profit.

  • Validate a new product offering before investing too much.

Though more often done with software, apply the minimum viable product (MVP) concept to products as well. To test and validate a product idea, you create new product image mock-ups without having to commit production and orders until you know if your preorder numbers can justify it. This way you get to see, for instance, which styles, designs, and colors work the best for a particular offering.

  • Limit your financial risk.

You already know that producing products requires mass capital, which you may or may not have at the ready. If you don’t, the nice thing about using Shopify preorders is that your cash builds up as customers place their advance orders, creating a nice little cushion for you. This could mean the difference between needing a high-interest business loan that ties up significant future capital or self-funding the purchase or mock-up of new products.

When to use Shopify preorders

when to use shopify preorders

Now that you understand what preorders are and why they can be so beneficial, you might be wondering about the best use cases for them.

While there are several, don’t make the mistake of launching a preorder campaign for every new product release, especially if it’s a small item or upgrade. The reason for this is preorder campaigns are meant to create excitement and buzz around something new, and you have a lot riding on that anticipation. Plus, they’re time and energy-consuming. The last thing you need is a failed release or a frustrated team, so be sure to reserve preorder efforts for products that are indeed worthy.

Here are a few cases where launching a Shopify preorder campaign could be a great business move.

Immediately monetizing an out-of-stock product

No more waiting around for your product to be back in stock to receive orders. Especially if it takes a while, you’re likely to lose your customers’ attention as they move on to a competitor’s shop for something similar and available.

When you use Shopify preorders, your customer sees an out-of-stock product on your store’s site and can do one of two things: request to be notified when the item is restocked, or place a preorder so they’re guaranteed to get that item later, without having to continuously check back for it themselves. It’s a win-win for both of you since they save time and hassle and you don’t lose a sale.

Releasing a new flagship product

Industries like gaming, electronics, and automotive often spend a lot of time and effort creating preorder campaigns, since first-day preorders account for a significant portion of total campaign sales.

You don’t need to sell cars or iPhones to take advantage of this, though. If you have a flagship product, consider a Shopify preorder campaign to create buzz before the release and make the most of that sales opportunity.

Discounting existing items with a limited-time promotion

Shopify preorders don’t need to be exclusively new items. If you have an excess amount of particular merchandise, have a sale to move your product. By offering a discount on preorders of these items, those who don’t want to miss out will have their chance to get in on the deal early.

Launching a new business or brand

If your eCommerce strategy is taking you to new heights and you’re branching off into a different business or brand, a preorder campaign can serve you well.

Fashion, for instance, used to operate on a seasonal calendar with over-produced products that would lead to massive season-end sales. In more recent years, however, the industry has embraced preordering to promote new merchandise. So, consumers have the chance to shop their favorite brands all year long while, at the same time, the companies understand the interest level in their new lines and brands. They can create scarcity and buzz around items, which increases sales.

Offering limited-edition product versions

Speaking of scarcity, when you offer limited-editions of products, many people develop a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and are tempted to impulse-buy, something that of course benefits eCommerce shops like yours. Plus, consumers appreciate knowing that they won’t have to stress to be first in line on day one of the product’s launch.

Things to consider before setting up Shopify preorders


Automate preordering

Back in Stock allows customers to purchase out-of-stock products, which may be those that have sold out or are upcoming releases. This automates the preordering process, making it easier for a customer to guarantee the purchase of an item even before it’s back in stock.

Pick your preorder method

Shopify outlines three preorder methods:

    • Pay now preorders. The customer pays now, you ship later. This is the most common method of preorder. Some benefits include guaranteed revenue and easy integration with Back in Stock. Back in Stock automatically takes the preorder when an item is out of stock. This also guarantees customer retention. 
    • Pay later preorders. The customer places an order but doesn’t pay until the product ships. Either the customer or the seller can back out of the preorder at any time. Some benefits include capturing orders, testing a product’s popularity, and flexibility for both customers and sellers to back out at any time.
    • Crowdfunding. Think “Kickstarter.” Kickstarter and other Crowdfunders allow brands to list pre-production products. The customer is only charged if a certain number of preorders are made. Some benefits include setting minimum sales targets, guaranteed revenue, gauging item popularity, and building an early fanbase for your company. 

Be sure to pick your preorder method wisely. Each method has pros and cons and you want to pick your method based on the type of sale you are running.

How to use Back in Stock Shopify preorders  

back-in-stock-inventory-alert

Back in Stock easily integrates with Shopify, taking preorders for customers while an item is out of stock. However, Back in Stock doesn’t preorder a product by default nor will it send customers notification for a preorder product with zero inventory. Not to worry, you can set this up in the Back in Stock app. 

  1. Once you are in your Back in Stock dashboard, choose Customize, then click the Product page button. 
  2. Click the Behavior tab. Then, select Show for preorder items. 
  3. Hit the Save button.

Customers can purchase items when sold out in the Shopify catalog. As mentioned above, by default, Back in Stock only notifies customers if inventory has at least 1 product or more. You can bypass this by following the method below.

  1. In your Back in Stock dashboard, choose Account, then Your details.
  2. Select Send notifications for preorder products.
  3. Click Save account details.

back-in-stock-preorders

Tips for setting up a Shopify preorder campaign

Listing preorder products is easy but, remember, you need to deliver. We have a few tips to help make this process easier.

  • Get your entire team involved. This isn’t a one-person job. You need an entire team of creatives to assist with copywriting, photography, product and brand alignment, etc. As they say, there is no “I” in “team”.
  • Drive awareness by building a marketing campaign.
  • Advertise, advertise, advertise. Use any and all forms of social media: Facebook, GoogleAds, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc., and target each of your posts to fit the personas of the platform.
  • Use your existing clients. Whether you use a CRM or simply have an email list, using your existing database can boost sales and awareness of the product. After all, these are customers who have already shopped at your store before; they’ll be interested in knowing more! Schedule email blasts when preorders are open, and regular follow-up emails to remind them of launch dates. Pro-tip: Give existing customers the first opportunity to purchase an item for preorder. They’ll feel special.
  • Content marketing. Have a new product you’re looking to sell? The best way to create a buzz around it is to dedicate your content to this product in the lead-up to its launch date. Write blog posts about the product, and create social media posts about the product with FAQs.
  • Spread the word online. Facebook groups and Shopify forums are great places to start. This is an opportunity to get personal. One in three customers prefers personalized advertisements. Take the time to answer specific questions without sounding overly promotional or transactional. If you have case studies, this is a perfect opportunity to share them with the community. Get to know Shopify customers and invest in relationships with your community.

Shopify preorders FAQs

  • Is there a preorder option on Shopify?
    Indeed, there is. The way to do it is by using a preorder application like Back in Stock. This includes the features to set up notifications for out-of-stock items when they are restocked as well as easily set up a preorder button. It’s as easy as going into your dashboard and checking a box. 
  • How do I set up a preorder on Shopify?
    The only way to do this is by using an integrated app. Simply log in to your Back in Stock dashboard, choose Customize, click the Product page button, and select Show for preorder items. Once you save, your store is set up for preorders.
  • What does preorder mean?
    Preorders allow customers to purchase a product before it’s been released, or purchase a product that needs to be restocked before it’s been restocked. The order is paid ahead of time and ships once it’s either been officially released or is back in stock.
  • How long should preorders take?
    It’s good practice to offer preorders anywhere from a week up to two months in advance. Some book sales have preorders of 6 months, but these are one-of-a-kind items. Unless your item is rare or one-of-a-kind, cut the wait time down to a couple of months lest you lose customer interest.

Preorders are an easy way to guarantee revenue, build hype, and promote your brand. No matter what stage your business is in, when used properly, this marketing technique is invaluable. 

Set up Shopify Preorders with Back in Stock

Allow customers to purchase out-of-stock products or upcoming releases with preorders.

14-day Free Trial.

A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Marketing Automation

A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Marketing Automation

You’re reading this blog post because you know that ecommerce marketing automation is the future, but aren’t sure where to start. You want to maximize your ROI on every dollar spent on advertising and get more customers in the door. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up an automated marketing system for your business.

Get Started with Ecommerce Marketing Automation

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

What is ecommerce marketing automation?

Ecommerce marketing automation is a set of tools and strategies designed to help manage the process of growing an online store. It can be as simple as automating some email campaigns or lead nurturing, but often it’s more complicated than that.

Ecommerce marketing automation:

  • Targets customers with automated messages across multiple channels (email, web, social media, text, phone).
  • Allows for the implementation of a digital marketing strategy without manual effort.
  • Saves time and resources
  • Drives revenue and ROI

What is the goal of marketing? To drive sales. In order to drive sales, you must drive traffic. Traffic begets leads, leads beget customers, customers beget money. Marketing automation assists with conversions and customer retention. So, getting the customers and keeping them, pulling them through the sales funnel.

Types of eCommerce Marketing Automation

In marketing automation, software programs execute certain internal and external marketing tasks. There are various types of marketing automation, and each alleviates repetitive activities. 

In Stock Notifications

Providing restock notifications adds a level of trust and improves the customer experience. This way, customers can also automate their response to your automation. Instead of checking back for updates on product availability, customers can sit back, drink a mimosa, and enjoy the in-between time while they wait for your product to restock.

Best tool for automated in stock notifications: Back in Stock

back-in-stock-automation

Back in Stock. How does it work? When someone subscribes to a restock notification, their data is stored and tracked back to their customer profile. The profile is entered into a group of customers subscribed to receive an alert for a specific item. When the item is restocked, they automatically receive an alert when the item is available. 

Back in Stock automation is necessary when you have uncertain inventory. Otherwise, you’re stuck with blasting everyone on your list or no one at all. 

Some considerations? 

  1. Set inventory rules. How many items need to be restocked before you notify subscribers? Supply and demand are important considerations. 
  2. Notification rules. How many customers are notified about each restocked item? Send blasts of notifications to prevent inventory backups.
  3. Wait time. How long are customers waiting in between each email blast?
  4. Realistic timelines. If you’re going to specify a timeline for restocking (for example, “item ships in 6-8 weeks”), set a realistic expectation for the restocked item. 

Best for: All Shopify store users
Pricing: Starting at $19/month

Automatically Notify Customers when Products are Back in Stock

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

Email Marketing Campaigns

Email automation software can trigger an email campaign at any time. It also provides a template to personalize emails to customers without having to type out the same email over, and over, and over again.

Some examples of email automation include welcome emails, reminder emails, birthday emails and reengagement emails. We’ll show you what these look like later in the article.

Best Tool for Email Automation: Mailchimp

Mailchimp Email Automation

Not only is Mailchimp an email service provider, it also offers the ability to automate emails. You can send drip emails, segment your customers, A/B test, monitor campaign activity and more. It’s a staple in the email marketing world and an important service to consider.

Best for: Businesses of all sizes
Pricing: Starting at $0

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Automation

CRM’s aggregate customer information into one space. It’s easily accessible for marketing and sales teams to quickly access customer information including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and where the client is in the sales funnel, among other demographics. 

It’s designed to help sales and customer service representatives track and organize their leads and current customers. Marketers can use this information to send out relevant marketing messages to turn leads into conversions.

CRM automation allows marketers to communicate through notes and reminders. This way information is accessed at a moment’s notice. 

CRM automation includes automation for:

  • Data entry
  • Email
  • Logging customer interactions (phone calls, emails, and texts are logged for every engagement)
  • Customer service (chatbot software to answer common questions)

There are dozens of CRMs. Choosing the best one for your business is a monumental task, but here are a few common Shopify CRMs:

Best tool for CRM Automation: Hubspot

hubspot-email-automation

You may know Hubspot from taking sales or marketing lessons from their academy, but did you know they have their own CRM that fully integrates with Shopify? It’s a specialized application for Shopify merchants and is completely free, regardless of how long you’ve used the app.

You can set up specific product workflow pipelines corresponding to your Shopify store orders. It includes email tracking, customer logging, tidy timelines, and deal pipelines for management convenience. 

Best for: Shopify stores with customized products
Pricing: Starting at $45/month

Landing Page Automation

A flawless landing page leads to higher conversion rates. That’s right–fast sites lead to more customer bites! If your site takes a while to load, consider optimizing each page, and specifically focus on your landing pages. Tailor-make your landing pages to fit the buyer personas of your top customers. 

Landing page automation software allows you to build landing pages in a matter of minutes. There’s no need to know HTML or CSS. It’s a simple, point-and-click editor. You can either choose from pre-designed layouts or customize your own with your company’s brand images.

Marketers can track leads through the sales funnel and adjust strategy accordingly.

Tip: Optimize your landing pages for mobile devices. Mobile commerce accounts for 23% of sales, so why not capitalize on this market segment? 

Blog Automation

This doesn’t mean automatically generating content for you, but the process of creating blog posts and managing the blog is made easier. Blogging automation provides the opportunity to customize your blog with images, text, and your company’s CTAs. There are hundreds of blog templates available. Why not set up RSS email syndication to sync blog posts with your email newsletters? Anytime new content is posted, your subscribers receive a notification.

Just like social media marketing, you can schedule your articles whenever you want, and share them automatically to your social media accounts. Not only that, but integrated analytics allows you to see how your articles are performing in search results so you can easily adjust your content strategy. 

Best tool for Landing Page & Blog Automation: Shogun

Shogun is an ecommerce app that will help you automate your marketing efforts with the use of pre-made templates, so you can focus on what matters most. Shogun has templates for all sorts of different purposes from blogs to landing pages and more!

Best for: Customizing your Shopify store’s pages with no coding required

Pricing: Starting at $39/month

Social Media Automation

Another time sink similar to email is social media automation. A VerticalResponse survey found that a little more than 40% of small business owners spend six hours per week on social media marketing. It’s not only required to post to different social media channels, but also to respond to commenters, connect with followers, curate content specific to each platform, staying consistent with your branding. Sounds exhausting? Well, it is and that’s why social media marketing automation is your new bff. 

Social media automation allows you to schedule and publish content automatically without having to manually submit or post. There are programs that publish across multiple platforms scattered throughout the day and/or the week. Program frequently asked questions for your chatbot for general customer questions and track how many website visitors discovered your site through social media. 

Turn your followers into $$$ by using social media automation. 

Best tool for Social Media Automation: Buffer

Buffer Social Media Automation

Buffer was designed to help people balance their social media engagement, so they can spend less time on social networks. It is a free tool that shows users’ feed and posts from social networks in one place, so they don’t have to log into different accounts for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This allows individuals to save time by not having to switch between the apps constantly, as well as making it easier for marketers who are trying to update multiple sites at the same time. The app also has tools that allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time and track what content performs best with your audience.

Best for: Scheduling social media posts in advance

Pricing: Starting at $5/month

Examples of successful ecommerce marketing automation

Businesses of all kinds use marketing automation. Here are a few examples of successful email automation campaigns:

Back in Stock Emails

Back in Stock Email Automation

One of the best ways to grow your email list automatically is with Back in Stock forms. When customers find a product that’s no longer in stock on your site, all they have to do is fill out their information and click “Notify Me.” Then, you’re able to stay in touch with potential customers instead of losing them immediately because your products aren’t in stock yet.

Get Started with Ecommerce Marketing Automation

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

Welcome emails

vanity-fair-email-marketing

The moment a new subscriber joins your list, use a welcome email to introduce yourself. Welcome emails have high open and click-through rates because often 1) companies offer a discount upon signup and 2) the customer is excited about what a company offers. 

Vanity Fair is an excellent example. When you sign up for a subscription, they send you daily news emails. Their verbiage makes a customer feel important because they’re “in the club.” 

old-navy-email-marketing

Old Navy is another great example. Not only do they make the customer feel special (“We’re glad you’re here”), but they send a 20% off coupon upon signup. 

Reminder emails 

Reminder emails nudge customers to purchase a product in an abandoned cart, remind customers of sale dates, to update their software, to get their hair trimmed. It’s a way to reenergize the customer in coming back to your store. 

reminder-emails-automation

1-800 Contacts created a cute ad for reminding clients to come back to purchase more contacts. 

Birthday emails

Apparently, birthday emails are highly effective with around a 480% higher transaction rate, and 340% higher revenue per email than typical promotional emails. 

ulta-birthday-emails

Ulta offers a free in-store gift on a customer’s birthday. They also offer bonuses like 2X, 3X, and 5X points. This is one way to win at the birthday email game.

Re-engagement emails

The staple “we miss you” emails. When you’re starting out, you may have an initial inclination to send emails to new customers, but marketing to existing, loyal customers results in higher ROI. Bain and Co. found that retaining 5% of customers led to an increase in overall profitability by 75%.

Send a re-engagement campaign to inactive customers. Be careful though, as sometimes a customer may have an inactive and an active service. Sending an email to an active client accidentally can result in confusion

Also, this is your last chance to make a lasting impression. Go big or go home with the discount. 

BroadwayHD offers great discounts for subscribers who’ve left.

broadway-hd-emails

Conclusion

The focus of marketing automation is fostering relationships not overselling or upselling. It frees you of simple, mundane tasks so that you can carry on with other projects. 

A successful marketing automation campaign results in increased email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. It easily segments customers making it easier to personalize messages. 

If you find yourself spending more time sending emails than writing them, consider marketing automation. Then, you’ll finally have time to go to the gym (or the more favorable option, sleep).

Try out Back in Stock today.

The 15 Best Shopify SMS Apps

The 15 Best Shopify SMS Apps

SMS has become a very popular marketing channel among Shopify brands.

This is because it’s an inexpensive yet effective way to reach and engage a large number of customers. SMS also has a higher open rate than emails and easily integrates with other marketing channels.

Because of these advantages, more and more Shopify stores are using SMS marketing. In this post, we’ll take a look at the 15 best Shopify SMS apps you can use to market your products effectively and build a loyal customer base.

(more…)

35 of the Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales in 2021

35 of the Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales in 2021

One of the biggest benefits of managing an e-commerce business with Shopify is that there are thousands of apps you can add to the service to enhance it. Whether you want to notify customers who were interested in a product that it’s back in stock, export orders automatically, add customer reviews, or get a deeper insight into your sales with analytics, there’s an app for that. But not all Shopify apps are created equal. If you’re just opening your Shopify store, or looking to take the next step in growing your e-commerce business, this list of the 35 Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales in 2021 is for you. Bonus: They all have either free plans or free trials, so you don’t have to spend a dime trying them out.

(more…)

Tips & Resources for Shopify Retailers Navigating COVID-19

Tips & Resources for Shopify Retailers Navigating COVID-19

There’s no question that the novel coronavirus pandemic is impacting retailers with governments around the world shutting down any business deemed “non-essential.” What might be coming as more of a surprise is the impact COVID-19 is having on online Shopify retailers as it ushers in rapid and sweeping shifts in consumer buying patterns.

(more…)
Bring back those lost customers with back-in-stock notifications.
This is default text for notification bar