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Selling products online through Shopify can be particularly rewarding, but managing orders can also be a challenging task.

Mismanaging backorders and pre-orders can result in lost customers, unhappy clients, and unfulfilled expectations.

Thankfully, there are strategies for successfully managing these types of orders and troubleshooting issues that could arise when utilizing them on Shopify.

In this article, we will explore the differences between backorder and pre-order orders, provide tips on how to effectively manage inventory levels to avoid oversold situations, suggest strategies for communicating shipment information with customers, discuss methods to troubleshoot common issues with pre-orders/backorders, and offer advice for ensuring customer satisfaction.

What is the Difference Between a Backorder and a Pre-order

Pre-orders and backorders are two types of orders that a business may encounter while using Shopify.

A pre-order is placed before the product has been created or manufactured; it allows businesses to manage their inventory levels and plan for the future sales of new goods.

On the other hand, a backorder occurs when goods are already in existence but are out of stock at that specific moment.

This means that businesses must still fulfill customers’ orders, despite not having all items in stock at the present time.

When dealing with pre-orders, businesses should be mindful of customer expectations since these items may take longer to produce than goods that already exist on the market.

Customers should also be aware that their order will not be delivered until the item is manufactured.

To be clear, regular contact is recommended for businesses to detail expected delivery dates and inform customers about updates related to their pre-order.

Backorders present a different challenge since items have already been made, but supply does not meet customer demand at that moment in time.

To ensure client satisfaction when managing backorders, businesses should determine accurate stocking levels to minimize oversold situations and keep expectations realistic with regard to shipment timelines for products on backorder due to restricted availability.

Additionally, it is important to provide customers with pertinent information regarding their back-ordered items, such as estimated restocking dates or available alternative products if they choose not to wait for items on backorder.

Why Managing Backorders And Pre-orders Are Important For Shopify Businesses

Managing backorders and pre-orders is an important aspect of running a successful business on Shopify.

Pre-orders act as a form of reservation that guarantees customer access to their product at its earliest possible availability. They can also help improve cash flow, build customer loyalty, and forecast demand better.

Using pre-orders as a survey to gauge the demand for products in a target market can provide businesses with valuable insight into what quantity they need to fulfill customer requests.

Additionally, it offers customers the convenience of reserving items before they become available in a store or warehouse.

Backorder management is equally essential for businesses trying to maintain customer satisfaction and keep up with consumer demand.

Accurate stocking levels and transparent communication regarding restocking dates are key aspects when dealing with backorders due to restricted availability.

Overall, managing pre-orders and backorders is important for Shopify businesses in order to maintain customer loyalty and meet consumer demands for new products:

  • Pre-order reservations guarantee customers access to products at their earliest availability.
  • Pre-orders offer convenience and provide businesses with valuable feedback on target markets.
  • Accurate stocking levels are key when dealing with backorders due to limited availability.
  • Providing customers with information about restocking timelines keeps expectations realistic.

Strategies for Managing Backorders and Pre-Orders on Shopify

Managing backorders and pre-orders for Shopify stores is an essential part of running a successful business.

There are various strategies that businesses can employ when utilizing pre-orders or backorders on Shopify:

  • To use pre-orders, install a pre-order app from the Shopify App Store and then manage pre-orders in the Shopify admin. Set up an item for pre-order by completing the set-up within the chosen app.
  • Enable either backorder for your entire store or selectively turn on backorders for specific products. When customers add a product to their cart with backorders enabled, they will be able to checkout as usual, and the order will be fulfilled once the item becomes available.
  • Keep accurate stocking levels in order to minimize oversold situations and provide customers with updates regarding estimated restocking dates for any items that are not currently in stock.
  • Utilize customer feedback to forecast demand, build loyalty, and improve cash flow when using pre-ordering processes.
  • Promote transparency between businesses and customers by detailing expected delivery dates and providing information about updates related to their orders.
  • Invest in technology that allows you to automate inventory management processes. Automation can help ensure the accuracy of stock levels, provide real-time updates on order status, and efficiently manage item availability information.
  • Utilize marketing campaigns to create excitement around pre-ordered items and incentivize customers with rewards for their loyalty.
  • Optimize your store’s listings by adding additional details such as estimated delivery dates and additional product information. This will allow customers to make informed decisions about the products they want to purchase.
  • Regularly review sales data to understand customer demand trends and make adjustments accordingly. This helps businesses best allocate resources, plan production schedules, and provide better customer service.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Backorders & Pre-Orders on Shopify

Backorders and pre-orders provide an efficient way for businesses to manage stock levels and keep customers informed of product availability.

However, there are certain challenges that can arise when dealing with these processes.

Here are a few strategies for troubleshooting common issues associated with back orders and pre-orders on Shopify:

Accurate Product Availability Indicators

Accurate product availability indicators are essential in order to prevent any confusion or frustrations on the part of customers when it comes to purchasing items from your store.

Be sure to regularly check stock levels against sales data to ensure accuracy across all listings.

Pricing Errors & Shipping Problems

Pricing errors and shipping problems can cause delays in fulfilling customer orders. 

Monitor your suppliers and shipping services closely to keep up with changes in pricing so that customers receive accurate quotes.

Utilize tracking numbers in order to follow packages along their route, alert customers of delays, reschedule shipments if necessary, and make any needed adjustments as quickly as possible.

Returns & Refunds/Replacements

When dealing with backorder or pre-order products, efficiently managing returns is key.

Establish clear return policies and ensure customers have access to them easily so that they know what their options are in the case of an unfulfilled order or unsatisfactory product upon delivery.

Likewise, offer refunds/replacements where appropriate for customers who do not receive what they ordered due to supplier delay or other issues on your end.

Automated Inventory Management

Invest in technology that allows you to automate inventory management processes. Automation can help ensure the accuracy of stock levels, provide real-time updates on order status, and efficiently manage item availability information.

Optimize Listings & Utilize Marketing

Optimize your store’s listings by adding additional details such as estimated delivery dates and additional product information.

This will allow customers to make informed decisions about the products they want to purchase.

Additionally, utilize marketing campaigns to create excitement around pre-ordered items and incentivize customers with rewards for their loyalty.

Review Sales Data

Regularly review sales data to understand customer demand trends and make adjustments accordingly.

This helps businesses best allocate resources, plan production schedules, and provide better customer service.

In Summary

In summary, when managing back orders and pre-orders on Shopify, it is essential to ensure accuracy across all product availability indicators.

Utilize tracking numbers to follow packages along their route and alert customers of any delays or adjustments needed.

Establish clear return policies that customers can easily access, offer refunds/replacements where applicable, and invest in automated inventory management technology.

Additionally, optimize store listings and utilize marketing campaigns to create excitement around pre-ordered items.

Finally, review sales data regularly to understand customer demand trends and make adjustments accordingly — the key is to provide better customer service at every step of the way.

With these strategies in place, entrepreneurs and business owners can successfully navigate back orders and pre-orders on Shopify to ensure customer satisfaction and business success.

Good luck!

About the Author

Des Dreckett

Des Dreckett is the eCommerce and growth Marketing Director of XenMediamarketing.co.uk: a writer, blogger and a paid media specialist.

Writing content to help you grow and build your business.

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