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How to Offer a Pre-order on Your WooCommerce Store

Giving your customers the chance to pre-order specific products or even services is essential for certain product types. Consider apps, courses, events, etc. With the added bonus of giving you the option to collect money ahead of time, or at release time is even better.

This is exactly what WooCommerce Pre-Orders extension does for you. You can choose to automatically or manually fill the orders. Then just sit back.

Watch this video and/or continue reading the post.

Sell Pre-orders for Products and Services via WooCommerce

After installing the extension, you will find it under WooCommerce > Settings > Pre-Orders with several options for customizing the text for your buttons, the product message, cart and checkout display. In this example, I am leaving them at a default setting and you will see them throughout the pre-ordering process.

You also have the option to disable the automated pre-order process if you want to test your site first.

Setting Up Your Pre-Order

You can set it as a pre-order whenever you are creating a product, . What you need to remember is that this can only be set for the product level, which means if you have applied it to a variable product, all variations are also set as pre-orders. You can still do this using WooCommerce Backorder option under stock status.

I am creating a simple product here and will find the settings for a pre-order, including the available date and time, if I have a pre-order fee and whether to charge it upfront or upon release.

On the shop page, or any product listing page, you will see that it displays the available date and a button to pre-order.

On the product page, same information and option.

And in the cart, the date again and the fee added. I suggest that if you do have a pre-order fee, you may want to share this information somewhere on the product page so you don’t s surprise any customers.

Also, it lets them know that the amount is going to be charged upfront.

To avoid any confusion, all this info will again be shown at checkout.

Pay on Release Date

Now if we had chosen the upon-release option for the payment date, the difference would be that we would see this in the cart. The verbiage would be similar at checkout as well.

Emails for Pre-Orders

There are several emails that are used for pre-orders.

If you want to send an email anytime to the customers that have pre-ordered, you can do that here:

You can also add messages and other information for emails to send out if there is a change in the release date, to initiate payment by completing orders or if the pre-orders need to be cancelled.

Based on a pay later pre-order, this is what the email would look like when it’s first ordered.

List of Pre-Orders

You have the list of pre-orders as well as an option to cancel:

There are specific payment gateways that work with automatic payments, so you will want to check that list over on the extensions page as well as learning more about the WooCommerce Pre-orders extension.