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How to Set Up Pre-Orders on Shopify

GemPages Team
8 minutes read
How to Set Up Pre-Orders on Shopify

Offering pre-orders can work wonder for your store in certain business situations.

Looking to make a big splash with your new product? Running low on inventory? Need to fund production in a hurry? Offering pre-orders is a savvy strategy that can create buzz, restock your shelves, and get your product to market faster.

However, setting up pre-orders is a bit complex process and there are more than one methods to do so. Plus, you need to consider all the requirements and restrictions to set up pre-orders on your Shopify store.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to set up pre-order on Shopify with different methods, the best pre-order apps for Shopify, and the requirements and restrictions that you should keep in mind.

How Does a Pre-Order Work in Shopify?

A pre-order is a marketing strategy where customers are allowed to buy a product even before it’s launched or made available in stock. 

As a Shopify merchant, you need to provide the customers with a certain date or duration within which you’ll deliver the product. Once pre-ordered by a customer, the item is then shipped to the customer upon launch or once available in stock.

Depending on your technical expertise and the features you need, you may choose the right method to set up pre-orders on your store.

How to Set Up Pre-Order on Shopify

There are multiple ways to set up pre-orders on your Shopify store. And there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But we wanted to share the best option for a common scenario and that’s why we also asked other experts to see what they think is the best option.

Here are the results of the poll:

Poll for the best method to set up a pre-order on a Shopify store

As you can see, 61% of the respondents suggested installing a pre-order app.

So, now let’s take you through the step-by-step guide for this method:

Method #1: Install a Shopify Pre-Order App (Easy Way)

As mentioned, this is the easiest and recommended method for most Shopify merchants as you won’t require any manual coding from your end. Plus, you can set various logic and conditions as well.

Step 1: Select a pre-order app of your choice

Go to the Shopify App Store and search the keyword - “pre-order”. You’ll see more than a dozen apps to choose from. Based on your budget and feature requirements, choose the app that meets your needs.

Shopify App Store showing pre-order apps

Step 2: Install the pre-order app

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll install the PreOrder Now PreSale ‑ Kaktus app. It’s a free app and has an impressive rating of 5.0 from more than 300 reviews.

Click on the Install button.

Kaktus pre-order app in the Shopify App Store

Review the Privacy details and Permission details, and click on the Install app button.

Installation of the Kaktus pre-order app

Step 3: Enable the app in your current theme

Once the app is installed, you’ll land on its welcome page. Click Next.

(Side note: If you want, you can chat with their support team for assistance.)

Kaktus pre-order app configuration in Shopify

Follow the instructions to complete the storefront integration. Click on the Enable in theme settings button.

Kaktus pre-order app configuration in Shopify

You’ll be redirected to your theme editor and the app will automatically turn the button on in the App embeds setting. Just click the Save button. 

Kaktus pre-order app configuration in Shopify

The app is now enabled in your theme and you can exit the theme editor.

Step 4: Create the pre-order product(s) in the Kaktus app

Now, you’re all set to create pre-order products in your app. Click on either of the “Create Pre Order” buttons to start creating your pre-order products.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Now, follow all the steps to set pre-order logic, payment conditions, rules, etc.

First, give your offer a name and select the product(s).

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

You can select specific variants or all variants as needed, and then click Next.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Set the Stock Management condition and click Next.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Now, set up your plan policy, shipping date, and inventory policy.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Then, select and customize your offer template.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Now, design the template to match it with your branding. 

Pro Tip: The Call-to-Action (CTA) button on your product page is one of the most crucial elements. Make sure your “Pre-Order” button stands apart. Also, you can give a different color to the Pre-Order button than your regular products to differentiate them.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Lastly, configure Additional Rules if needed. Once everything is set up, click on the Save & Close button.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Once your pre-order setup is completed, you can preview or edit the product page from the ACTIONS section.

Creating a pre-order product in Shopify with the Kaktus app

Product page preview for a pre-order product

Pro Tip: When selling pre-order products, it’s important to provide a precise and compelling message to your customers. Don’t just go with a regular product description. Write a clear and captivating product description to convince your customers to buy your pre-order products.

Learn more: The A-Z Guide to Creating Effective Shopify Product Pages (+Best Examples from The Pros)

Build product pages with GemPages effortlessly
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Method #2: Shopify Pre-Order Without App (Require coding)

Step 1: Create a new product page template for pre-orders

In the Shopify admin, go to Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes. Click on the more options button (three dots icon) in your current theme section. Then, select the Edit code from the given options.

create new product page template

Click on the ‘Add a new template’ button on the left sidebar.

Add a new template

From the dropdown, select the product template.

Step 2: Edit the code for the pre-order template

Step 3: Set the new template for pre-order products

Step 4: Explain more details in your product description

This method requires technical knowledge. You may take help from a Shopify Expert, Partner, or freelance developer.

Method #3: Use Shopify's Pre-order APIs to Build Your Own Solution

Shopify has introduced its own solution: Pre-order APIs. This solution allows developers to create a custom pre-order experience within Shopify checkout.

Again, this option too requires technical knowledge and you may need help from a developer if you don’t have coding experience.

For developers: Learn more about pre-order APIs and purchase options.

Best Pre-Order Apps for Shopify

1. PreOrder Now PreSale ‑ Kaktus

This is one of the best free pre-order apps for Shopify.

Shopify pre-order app - PreOrder Now PreSale ‑ Kaktus

Summary of Key Features:

  • Set "Pre-Order" and "PreSale" buttons for out-of-stock products
  • Analytics to track revenue and average order value (AOV)
  • Customizable templates to match your store's branding

Pricing: FREE

2. Vertex: Preorder, Wishlist

Shopify pre-order app - Vertex: Preorder, Wishlist

Summary of Key Features:

  • Set pre-order options for specific products or variants
  • Set maximum pre-order limits
  • Countdown time for coming soon products
  • Let your customers save their favorite products to wishlist
  • Customize your pre-order and wishlist style with API
  • Multiple languages supported

Pricing: FREE

3. Pre‑Order & Restock | Timesact

Shopify app - Pre‑Order & Restock | Timesact

Summary of Key Features:

  • Collect partial payment and offer discount
  • Collect email addresses to notify customers for back-in-stock products
  • Countdown timers for coming soon products
  • Set inventory-based logic to automate pre-orders and restock


Timesact app’s pricing plans

Learn more: 10 Best Shopify Pre Order Apps in 2023

The Requirements and Restrictions for Pre-Orders on Shopify

Before you start using pre-orders on your Shopify store, make sure to review these requirements and restrictions as advised by Shopify:

  • The rationale for pre-order:

You must provide a rational reason as to why you’re saying that the product would be shipped within a specific time.

  • Specific date or timeline:

If you’re unable to provide a specific date of shipment, you need to have a reasonable belief to assure customers that the product will be shipped within 30 days of purchase.

  • Conditions for a missed commitment:

If for any reason, you’re not able to deliver the product within the committed timeline, you must provide your customer with a revised shipment date. Also, you must inform the customer about their right to cancel the order and get a refund.

  • Sales channels:

Only the “Online Store” and “Custom Storefront” sales channels support the selling of pre-order products.

  • Payment options:

If a customer uses any of the following accelerated checkout options—Shop Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Meta Pay—the customer won’t be able to buy the pre-order product.

Local payment options—Klarna, mollie iDEAL, and Sofort—are not supported for pre-order purchases.

  • Checkout configuration:

Pre-orders are NOT supported if your store has a customized checkout.

  • Purchase options:

While it’s possible to set up multiple purchase options on your product page, if you do so, customers won’t be able to combine different purchase options for a given product in a single checkout transaction.

For example, if you set up a pre-order option on a subscription product, customers won’t be able to pre-order that product.

  • Discount offer:

You can’t combine a “Buy X, get Y” discount offer with pre-orders.

Pro Tips to Run a Successful Pre-Order Campaign 

Elevate your pre-order campaigns and reach a wider audience by creating a dedicated landing page. Showcase all the amazing features and advantages, persuading customers to pre-order your product.

Use GemPages to design a stunning and conversion-ready landing page. Take advantage of ourr intuitive visual editor, vast template library, and cutting-edge Image-to-Layout AI feature to effortlessly to streamline your campaign preparation process. 

Your landing pages could look like these
Try GemPages for free to create landing pages faster and smarter for any marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts on Shopify Pre-Order

While setting up pre-orders on your Shopify store has multiple benefits, it has to be a well-thought-out decision.

Always keep in mind that customers are smart. So, be strategic in your decision and implement the pre-order strategy with proper communication with your customers.

When deciding what method to use for setting up pre-orders on your Shopify store, consider how extensive a setup you want or what features you want to combine with pre-orders.

FAQs about Shopify Pre-Order

Can you set up a pre-order in Shopify?
Yes, you can. Just make sure to follow the requirements and keep all restrictions in mind before start selling pre-order products.
How do I add a pre-order button to Shopify?
There are two ways: 1. you can change your button to “Pre-Order” by custom coding and 2. install a pre-order app to add a pre-order button.
What are the benefits of pre-orders?
By offering pre-orders, you can increase your cash flow, sell products before getting them in stock, analyze the market demand, and raise funds for your product launch as well.

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