How to use pre-order strategy to capture demand and increase sales

Kazi Nazia

Content Editor

Use pre-order strategy to capture demand and increase sales

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.

6 Steps To Launch A Successful Pre-order Campaign
6 Steps To Launch A Successful Pre-order Campaign

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.

Campaign video 

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. 

Campaign basics 

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. 

Fundraising goal 

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.  

Campaign duration 

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.

  1. 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. 

  1. Influencers

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. 

Drawing Conclusion 

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. 

Do you find yourself chasing down new customers because current customers aren't sticking around, and you need to keep your eCommerce business afloat? Is it a sustainable strategy to run your eCommerce business?

We hear you saying no because it actually isn't. It's time you need to focus on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

In this competitive narrative, you can't really go far by keeping on investing in getting NEW customers rather than keeping your OLD customers. What you really need to concentrate on is maximizing your revenue from your present customers. And this is where customer lifetime value comes into play.

According to Tim Cameron Kitchen - CEO of Exposure Ninja, "In order to increase your customer lifetime value, you need to pull two levers. One, increase the number of purchases. And two, increase the purchase value of each customer. And of course, a good business will have a combination of both of these levers."

We want your business to have high customer LTV. So we noted down a series of pointers that you could follow to increase your customer lifetime value and higher profits. Before we dive into the strategies, let's start with the basics.

What is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?

According to Omniconvert, "customer lifetime value (CLV) shows how much revenue a business can expect from one customer compared to how long the company predicts that customer will stay."

Customer lifetime value is an important metric for eCommerce brands to measure the average accumulating total of their purchase for some time.

Lifetime value helps you determine if your business will scale the ROI from marketing. It also helps you evaluate the retention strategy depending on how low or high your LTV is.

How To Increase Customer Lifetime Value

You can increase your customer lifetime value by either increasing your Average Order Value or Average Purchase Frequency. An increase in either of these metrics will rise Customer Lifetime Value. Apart from that, let's take a look at the other ways to increase CLV.

Improve Your Customer Support

Treating your customer right is the core to increasing customer lifetime value. According to Tim Han, an international speaker and author from success insider - "treating your customers like family is the key to recurring customers."

Now we're not telling you to turn a blind eye to their red flags and keep on supporting them. But we definitely recommend you to go a bit above to give them special treatments. In fact, according to research from PWC,  86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. So enhancing your customer support is an absolute must.

A solid customer support strategy includes attention to the customer pre, mid and post-sale. Your customer support should cater to your customer at every stage of their buying journey. A great way to make sure your customer's queries are always answered in no time is by using an AI-powered chatbot. Having a live chat available can turn a customer question into a sale or complaint into a resolution. We recommend you check out MyAlice as their chatbot can actually automate your entire selling process from start to finish. And the best part is, MyAlice is completely free to sign up!

You need to make sure your customers are returning again and again for the delightful experience you provide.

Send out occasional gifts

Who doesn't like free stuff? Especially when it comes as a surprise from a place you shopped from. We find ourselves leaning towards shops that offer great discounts or free goodies in most cases. And that's because this is a psychological trick that all of us fall for.

Lippincott's creative consultancy provided a scientific and psychological-based study called the "Happiness Halo" - proving exactly that. In the "Happiness Halo," the author stresses, "Appeal to customers' reason and they're yours for a day. Appeal to customer's emotions, and they're yours for a lifetime."

And nothing is more solid than sending gifts to appeal to your customer's emotions. It shows them that you care about them more than just a means of getting some sales.

We're not telling you to send out gifts 365 days a year to every customer for every purchase. But rather, identify your loyal set of customers and potentially loyal customers, and then send out occasional gifts to show them you care.

Nudge Your Customers into Subscriptions

One of the most popular ways (that works) of increasing the number of purchases of your customers is by bumping them into subscriptions. They're one of the new trends of e-commerce. And they can be lucrative enough that we even see big names like GoPro getting into the subscription realm they previously didn't opt for.

You can nudge them into a subscription by displaying a subscription-biased pricing option of your product.

This basically means you will show the pricing option of a one-time purchase on one side. And on another, the pricing option is based on subscription. However, you need to show your customers how the subscription pricing will be more effective and profitable.

This will incentivize them to opt for the subscription rather than going for a one-time purchase.

Another way of getting your customers into subscriptions is by showing the subscription as the default purchase method. And if customers want to go for a one-time purchase, they need to click on that purchase method.

You can do to level up the subscription game by giving them an option to allow your customers to customize the time frame and the amount of product for the subscription. This way, they will not have too much stock of the product based on their lifestyle. And they are less likely to cancel the subscription altogether.

Integrate Add-ons and Upsells

Another great way to increase the average order value of your customers is by adding add-ons and upsells. Big names like GoDaddy GoPro have been using this pricing strategy for years now, which has helped them generate more sales.

Everything that you throw at your customers before and after purchasing the products is for one thing - increasing the order value.

And therefore, there's an increase in customer LTV. Some of your add-ons and upsells features may seem annoying to your customers. But it's a genius idea for your business.

Since you are competing in a very competitive and price-sensitive space, If you want to maximize your customer acquisition, you need to maximize the value of every customer you get through the door.

By doing so, you can save the money that you would have otherwise spent on getting new customers. So you can now invest it in other business activities. Like - marketing. Which will help you build market share without increasing the price of their core product.

— Introduce Premium Versions

Introducing a line of premium versions of the same product can incentivize your customers to opt for better options. But, you need to make sure you can present it in a manner that demonstrates why the premium versions are better than the regular ones.

That way, customers who always want the best of everything are more likely to opt for the premium purchase. The pricing of the premium product will also be higher than the regular, which may be a problem for some of your customers. In such a case, you can introduce split pay for that.

Now split pay is absolutely everywhere and another massive trend of e-commerce over the last few years. One of the biggest players in the split pay market -Klarna, claims to increase the average order value by up to 58%.

Split pay will help you get more sales for your premium products and end up increasing the average order value for your customers.

Drawing Conclusion: Loyalty Brings Revenue

The right customer lifetime value model can boost your company's growth and progress in many ways. It puts more money in your business's wallet by lowering customer acquisition costs and saving money on marketing and sales activities.

Delivering a great deal of value, understanding the customers being in their shoes, prioritizing customer service are what they need to come back to you again and again.

Learn More:

  1. How Customer Service Can Help Sustain Your E-Commerce Business
  2. How To Get Repeat E-commerce Customers: Encourage Them To Return For More

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