Why We Recommend Launching with a Pre-Order
For new launches from brands that haven’t yet accumulated ecommerce sales data, we recommend launching with a pre-order period of at least ~4 weeks to optimize the starting retailer inventory per SKU and the experience for your initial customers.
While we handle the sell-in of your products to our retailers, it’s up to each retailer to determine how much product they want to take in - typically determined by past 30 days sales volume.
Meanwhile, we’ve historically seen a larger volume of orders following a brand’s launch due to pent-up demand for previously unavailable products.
This launch period volume is then followed by a more steadied pace that’s more reflective of the expected, year-round sales velocity.
Retailers typically don’t want to take on excess product until they have sales data to work off of. Without prior sales data, retailers are likely to limit their initial purchase order to a single case per SKU.
So, if many orders flow in at launch, and if a retailer has only ordered a case of each SKU, then there’s a greater chance that an out-of-stock will occur.
If that happens, the retailer will have to place another PO and the fulfillment time for your first customers will increase.
In the event of a self-distributed scenario (as with LibDib), the pre-order period also helps to alleviate the time it takes to get product to retailers.
How to set up pre-orders in Barcart
The product set up process for a pre-order is no different from our standard set up process for products. The difference is in the way that the messaging of the on-sale and buy buttons are positioned to manage consumer expectations.
To run pre-orders through Barcart:
- Inform our team of your pre-order plans so that we can best coordinate with retailers.
- Name the product in Barcart as “Pre-Order: [Product Name]”.
- Label the buy buttons as “Pre-Order” rather than “Buy Now”.
- Add additional language in your Barcart checkout by going to each product, selecting "Barcart Button", and entering your custom text in the "Checkout Text 1" field. Be sure to do this before generating and implementing your buy button code.
- Sample language: "This order is a pre-order. Orders are expected to ship on or around [Date]!"
- Don't forget to remove this language once the pre-order period is complete.
On your website and in your marketing, we recommend being very clear about the pre-order details, including estimated ship date.