Pre-order products are not something strange to us. We see them all the time. For example, game producers usually let people order their games before the release date.
The main benefit of pre-order products is to get some funding even when the product is not available. For example, you may need a bit of capital upfront to develop the product. Another benefit is to see how much your customers want the product you are making (stocking…) Whatever the reason, pre-order products can be a great option for your store.
How to create pre-order products in WooCommerce
WooCommerce itself doesn’t support pre-orders by default. However, there are many plugins available to help you accomplish this. I’ve tried some and found the one from WooCommerce store itself is the easiest to use. You can get it below to get started.
Create a Pre-order product
Now I assume that you have WooCommerce Pre-Orders plugin installed and activated. Let’s create a product that enable your customers to pre-order it.
Now, go to Products->Add new and scroll down to product data area, you’ll see there is a new tab called pre-orders:
The details of that tab is quite simple but enough for your to enable a product to be pre-orderable (That’s my made-up word)
I’ll explain the fields briefly since they are straightforward enough:
- Enable pre-orders: This is obvious. If you want to enable pre order for the current product, check this box
- Availability Date/Time: The date, time that this product is available for the customer to use. It should be the day you deliver the product to your customer
- Pre-order Fee: Do you want to charge an EXTRA fee for this pre-oder. Note that this fee will not be deducted from the product price. Most products I see on the market don’t charge a pre-order fee.
- When to charge: You can either charge now or charge when the product is shipped to the customer. Normally, stores will charge upfront. However, if you don’t need cash upfront, you can choose to charge later (upon release)
Now let’s quickly fill some details to make a valid pre-order enabled product.
As you can see that, the test product is a simple product that has regular price at $60 and sale price $45. Let’s make a test order.
Making a test order on pre-order product
Let’s click on the pre-order now button and walk through the checkout flow. Note that if your customer has other products in cart, those products are removed since pre-order products must be order separately.
Let’s go to the cart page. You’ll notice that other than an available notice right below the product name, there isn’t any difference from a cart page of normal products:
Let’s finish the checkout. As the admin of the site, you’ll see the pre-order appears in WooCommerce->Pre-orders:
Now you see that creating pre-orders products in WooCommerce is quite simple. However, as I mentioned above, pre-order products must be ordered separately. That means you can’t have two pre-order products in one cart.
You may say that you can use grouped products to group multiple products together. That doesn’t work too.
The only option as I know now is to create a product bundle (you will need another plugin from WooCommerce :O). However, using product bundle doesn’t bring much flexibility. Your customer still can’t order two or more random pre-order products together.
As you can see, with the help of WooCommerce pre-orders plugin, you can create pre-order product quite easily. However, this plugin works best if you only have one product in store (think about a video game that has its own domain) or a store that people will buy products separately. If your customers usually order multiple products including “buy it now” products, this product may not be your choice.
If this plugin fits your need, great! Click here to get it now