This is a guest post from Jeff Campbell. Jeff is a digital marketing veteran, eCommerce entrepreneur, and professor at Wake Forest University. His strategic vision and operational approach have yielded multiple successful business acquisitions and exits. Jeff co-founded aiCommerce in 2020 and is responsible for its strategic vision, client services, P&L management, revenue growth, talent development and the overall success of business operations. aiCommerce is an eCommerce brand owner and global digital marketing agency with a focus on marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
In eCommerce, staying ahead of the competition and capturing customer interest is a challenging but vital task. One effective strategy that can help you not only generate buzz but also boost interest and sales is the introduction of preorders on your DTC website. Preorders allow you to build anticipation for your products, engage with your audience, and secure sales before items are available on the market.
In this guide, we’ll explore how eCommerce brands can utilize preorders to their advantage, offering tips and strategies to harness the full potential of this powerful sales tactic from its development through post-preorder success.
Start by choosing products that are likely to generate significant interest and demand among your target audience. The more demand a product has, the more likely a presale will see success. To identify high-demand products, conduct market research or surveys to gauge interest or need for a given product.
Once you’ve settled on a concept, ensure your chosen product is not only appealing but also unique and valuable. Items that satisfy a need in the lives of consumers are more compelling and thus likely garner higher sales. High-quality products with unique features or benefits tend to attract more preorders.
Introducing preorders into your business model can bring multiple benefits, including:
Follow this step-by-step walkthrough to maximize your preorder strategy:
Before launching a preorder campaign, start building anticipation through teasers. Post on social media, leverage email marketing, and showcase sneak peeks of the new release to pique interest in your upcoming product.
Announce a specific launch date for your preorder campaign. Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency and encourages potential customers to act quickly. Publish the release date on social media and your website and post timely reminders as the day draws closer.
Create a dedicated landing page on your website where customers can learn more about the product, see teasers, and sign up for preorder notifications. You can also include a countdown timer here to induce excitement.
Encourage preorders by offering exclusive incentives. This could include discounts, early access, limited-edition extras, or bundles. When customers feel important to a brand, they feel inclined to buy, with 84% of consumers asserting they’re more likely to shop from brands that offer personalized experiences. The more attractive the offer, the more likely customers will commit to preordering.
Ensure you have enough inventory to meet the demand your preorder campaign generates. Overcommitting to preorders without the ability to fulfill them can diminish your customer experience and damage your brand’s reputation.
Make the preorder process as seamless as possible. Minimize the steps involved, offer multiple payment options, and provide clear instructions to prevent cart abandonment. Consider a guest checkout option as well so buyers can reach the finish line more quickly.
Once you’ve built your campaign, you’re ready to launch it. For maximum visibility, leverage these marketing channels and strategies.
Capitalize on the power of social media to promote your preorder campaign. These platforms are highly influential, with 71% of customers more likely to make a purchase due to social media recommendations. In 2023 alone, it’s predicted almost $1.3 billion eCommerce sales will take place on social media platforms.
With the increasing popularity of social commerce, now is the perfect time to invest in your brand’s growth on these channels. Share engaging content like product images, videos, and customer testimonials to capture attention and drive traffic to your website.
Build compelling email campaigns to target your existing consumer base and subscribers. Although it may seem old-fashioned, eCommerce brands that utilize email marketing see an average return on investment (ROI) of 122%. You can boost your sales and customer interest by incorporating eye-catching visuals and personalized messaging that highlights the benefits of preordering.
Since over half (61%) of consumers trust the opinions of influencers, embracing this marketing tactic can make a huge difference in your sales. Influencers can create authentic content that showcases your product and encourages their followers to preorder. Look for influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience.
Paid advertising on platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads targets your ideal customer. Also, use retargeting campaigns to reach potential buyers who’ve shown an interest in your product. Retargeting ads boast a 400% increase in engagement rates compared to regular ads, proving customers do take notice and interact with retargeting efforts. This will keep your brand top of mind as people regularly see your advertisements and promotions, in turn increasing the likelihood of a sale.
Optimize your website and product pages for SEO to increase organic traffic. Include relevant keywords in product descriptions and meta tags to improve visibility in search results. Keeping your site optimized will also produce a smoother shopping experience, making it more enticing for customers to become repeat buyers. Also, ensure your site can accommodate mobile devices, as mobile shopping is expected to account for 43.4% of all eCommerce sales in 2023.
Because you’re collecting purchases in advance, it’s crucial to stay on top of preorders so nothing falls through the cracks. To oversee them properly, be sure to:
Your work isn’t finished once your preorder campaign ends. Besides actually fulfilling orders, there are other actions you should take to cultivate stronger ties with your buyers and attract potential customers to your new release:
Preorders are a powerful tool for eCommerce brands to generate excitement, secure sales, and gather valuable customer data. They’re a win-win for both your brand and your consumers, who enjoy the exclusivity of being “first in line.”
Remember that successful preorder campaigns require careful planning, transparency, and a commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience. When executed effectively, preorders can help your brand thrive in the competitive eCommerce landscape while building strong, lasting relationships with your audience. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can harness the full potential of this sales tactic to propel your business to new heights. With the right approach, preorders can become a cornerstone of your multi-channel eCommerce success story.