If you have an e-commerce store of your own, the concept of pre-order is not foreign to you. But what you may not know is that you can use pre-order as a strategy to capture demand and increase sales.
Take Greta van Riel (Founder & Partner, Skinny Me Tea, Fifth Watches, Hey Influencers) for example, who generated 1 million dollars in one day by using a unique e-commerce pre-order strategy.
Crazy right? Well you can also achieve a similar success rate for your store if you implement the right pre-order strategies. And we’re here to help you out with that.
6 Steps To Launch A Successful Pre-order Campaign
When it comes to pre-order marketing strategy you can follow any you think is best suited for you. But although you can have your own set of strategies, we're here to recommend you a winning strategy by Vance Lee- a 7-figure seller and alumni of 7FSS. Vance tells us how he sold over $1.3 million in pre-orders BEFORE spending $1 on inventory.
Want to do the same for your e-commerce business? Then keep on reading.
Step 1: Determine your unique selling point
If you want someone to invest in your product before they even get it, you need to make it desirable. This is your first step in creating a successful strategy.
The way you present your product can either make it or break it. Now, this does not mean you need to have an edge-cutting technology nor do you need a one-of-a-kind product. You just need to be smart about how you present your product to your target customers. Here are four ways that you can follow to achieve that
Edge 1: Product positioning:
Change the way you present your product
Positioning is changing the way you present a product. So if your product is something that already is in use and is pretty popular in the market, you need to change the way it is used. This means if you are selling wet wipes, you change the narrative and sell it as makeup wipes. But of course, you need to be a bit more creative than this to get the hang of this strategy. Here’s a company that used product positing to boost sales-
Taskin Kompak-The easy way to pack more and more less
This San Francisco-based company decided to launch travel packing cubes for their store. A product that is already very common in the market. And their packing cubes were not so different from the generic products. But what made them stand out is the way they decided to position their product.
They focused on a two-sided travel packing cube. By showcasing that one side is for clean clothes and the other is for dirty clothes. They focused on the fact that this can save you 40% more space. This change in the positioning of their product helped them generate sales worth $289,108.
Present the product to a new audience
Another way for you to position your product is by serving it to a different audience. A product that is popular in a specific target group may not have a similar reach on another target group. Take leverage of this opportunity and serve the untapped audience with your product.
This company decided to work with no shoe socks. Which is something that already existed in the athletic realm, commonly used by outdoor sports enthusiasts. Aftersocks took the same product and presented it to a different audience - females.
More specifically, females need to wear high heel shoes for a long time. The purpose of the product is to help you run your errands comfortably in the no shoe socks after your feet are all sore from wearing the high heels. This campaign raised €93,091.
Edge 2- material or design change
The next edge is to bring a modification in the material or design of your product. This is something that is already being done by most sellers.
Twinz Chopsticks- Ecofriendly chopsticks made from aerospace grade titanium
Chopsticks are something that already existed for years. So in order to create a unique market offering, this company changed the material to aerospace-grade titanium. And marketed it as an eco-friendly alternative to other chopsticks. This campaign raised $272,664.
Edge 3- functional upgrade
In edge 3 there’s a functional upgrade in your products. Which is basically adding new features to your product to further enhance it.
Vasco - Smart packing cubes and bags
This Atlanta based company took regular packing cubes and changed their design to be more sleek and niche based. So each cube was made to fit each category of product. And they made a set of seven. Making an ultimate package for all travel necessities. This campaign raised $287,349 just by launching well designed packing cubes.
Edge 4 - advanced functional upgrade
Edge 4 is where you bring the most amount of complexity to the product. Here you bring a significant upgrade to the product itself and how it’s used. This upgrade creates a new way for the product to be used. You can combine edge 1,2 and 3 for this.
Outlery - pocket sized reusable cutlery and chopsticks for on the go
This company introduced a travel friendly and eco-friendly option for cutlery. Which allows users to twist open their cutlery whenever they need it. And they twist it short to make it pocket friendly. With its claim to be the world’s smallest cutlery set this campaign raised €1,096,885.
Step 2: Create Your Campaign
Your next step is to create a solid campaign. This is the part where you really need to invest in marketing so that you can grab your audience’s attention. A lot of people don’t see the necessity of investing much here. But just think of it this way-
Someone lands on your site. Whether you do ads or SEO, or email marketing. They check out the product you put up on pre-order. But then, they don’t see much. They just see a few sentences and maybe a picture.
Do you think they will want to pre-order it?
No! And that’s because your 3 key assets are lacking. It’s not convincing enough for them to really want your product. So make sure to really work on this part. Because this will be the foundation for getting the pre-orders.
3 key brand asset
To set up your pre-order campaign on Shopify, you’ll need the following standard assets. As we mentioned before, It’s important that you put emphasis on the quality of these assets. Because you’ll be using them not only on your website. But also on different e-commerce channels, social media, publications, advertisements, and more.
Use high-quality photos that capture the main essence of your product. Make sure the pictures highlight the edge you are going for to position your product (as we mentioned above).
Copy and write-up
According to Neil Patel, 99.9% of e-commerce products will never sell without a persuasive copy. And Vance believes the same. If you want people to pre-order your product, you need to show them why it’s worth it. And the key to doing so is by having good persuasive copy and write-ups.
According to research done by Lemonlight, 94% of respondents shared that watching a video has helped them make a purchase decision at least once. Of those, 72% were swayed by a product demonstration video. So you can clearly understand the importance of a good product video for your campaign. Your campaign video should be convincing enough for your customers to make that pre-order.
While setting up your campaign it is also important for you to set up a dummy goal for you to achieve. This will be an all-nothing goal. So the idea is, if you can’t hit this, you’ll assume that you were not successful with the campaign. By doing so you can keep a track of your success rate and bring necessary moderation.
For pre-order campaigns, Vance recommends keeping it less than $30,000 or anything in between $10,000- $30,000. But this may alter depending on your product category and your individual goals as well.
According to what Vance observed, a campaign duration of 30-45 days seemed to work best for a successful campaign. This is why he recommends following that time frame. But anything between 1-60 days works as well. But not more than that.
Step 3: Build your list
The next step is to build your list. Building your own list of customers is very important to support your current and future launches. Along with it, Increase CLV and increase the value of your business. They act as an asset to your business.
This is also beneficial for first-time clients who may have intended to make a one-time purchase. Using email lists to keep your clients engaged raises the likelihood of them returning. According to the INSIDER, 81 percent of online buyers who receive emails based on previous purchases are more likely to make a purchase as a result of the brand's targeted email.
- Ideal future customers
Your first priority to build your list will be to find your ideal customers. These people are the ones who are most likely to buy and use your product. And for that, you need to find out where do they usually hang out. It could be in Facebook groups, quora, Reddit, Twitter, etc. Once you find out where your ideal customers are, start building a community there.
You can always go for a paid program. But it’s recommended to go for the free and more organic approach. Although it will take more time and effort, it will pay off.
According to Forbes, A trusted influencer can make or break your brand, advance sales rapidly, recover marketing ROI and, finally, intensify brand awareness.
And so obviously your list should also consist of relevant influencers. Influencers will bring credibility and more traffic to your store if you use them right. Now when we say influencers, we don’t mean Instagram models or fashion experts.
There are different kinds of influencers you can use. And you want to use industry experts who are relevant to your product or business category. These experts will give you access to different communities who are more likely to try your product.
Step 4: Launching Strong
After launching your campaign you want to be successful in the first 48 hours. By success we mean, get the traffic and sales coming. This is why we tell you to work on your list prior to the launch. You want to leverage your list and the community you built. Send out the notifications, share them on your community platforms and forums to let your customers know about the launch.
Although it is optional, It is also recommended to opt for PR. Driving the external traffic from the PR can deliver great results. And it helps build credibility during and after the campaign.
Step 5: Fulfill orders
After your campaign closes, get started with fulfilling your orders. Once the pre-order payment is done, they’re your customers. And it’s your duty to deliver on the promise. Don’t slack off and exceed the promised time frame. It may not influence your ongoing campaign but it will influence your future ones. Customers who had a bad experience with your store are less likely to come back to make a second purchase.
Step 6: Establish your brand
This step is actually very important and not many people talk about this. That is, building your brand after the pre-order campaign. Once you fulfill the orders, you can ask for reviews from the community you built and get that user-generated content. Use your community to spread words about your brand to boost its credibility.
And if you are wondering - “does pre-order sales boost business?”. It’s a yes.
And nothing gives more credibility to a brand than UGC. The more shares, likes, and comments you have the more organic traffic you’ll get. And with that, more sales. And with this kind of traffic, you don’t need to pay anyone anything.
You know How to do pre-orders on Shopify or any other platform and get the best results. Although every store is a different case, following the base idea of the above steps will definitely help you to capture demand and increase sales.