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Pre-orders vs. Reservations: An E-commerce Review

Pre-orders vs. Reservations: An E-commerce Review
Simon Krystman
  • By pre-ordering a product, a customer pays the purchase price to receive the item as soon as it launches commercially
  • When placing a reservation on a product, a customer pays a small down payment on the item to indicate their interest in buying the product at a reduced price when it launches commercially
  • Pre-orders and reservations are not mutually exclusive payment models: they can be utilized to cater for different levels of customer interest in a product and their relative disposable income in order to pay for it

The power of early commitment

As a seasoned expert with over ten years in the rapidly evolving e-commerce industry, I've watched various sales strategies emerge and evolve, each providing unique ways to connect with consumers, manage demand, and secure sales. Among these strategies, the concepts of pre-orders and reservations have held a significant place, offering different yet intriguing avenues for securing customer interest. These two strategies, though sometimes confused, diverge significantly in their execution and purpose. 

As we explore these differences, we'll also examine how CrowdMall effectively capitalizes on pre-orders to drive its marketplace.

Embracing pre-orders

Pre-ordering has made a name for itself in e-commerce as a sales tactic that allows consumers to purchase a product before its official launch or commercial availability. This strategy is employed across a variety of industries, from video games and electronics to publishing, where it's harnessed to stir anticipation and secure early sales.

The charm of pre-ordering resides in the promise it offers to consumers. By placing a pre-order, buyers ensure that they receive the product as soon as it becomes available, often coupled with additional bonuses or benefits exclusive to pre-orders. This creates an aura of exclusivity and urgency around the product, promoting early sales and sparking conversation.

From the business perspective, pre-orders offer insightful glimpses into customer demand, facilitate efficient inventory management, and secure early revenue. It also serves as a reliable tool to validate a product concept before a full market launch. 

At CrowdMall, we harness the power of pre-orders to assist product creators in validating their ideas, reaching early adopters, and securing initial sales.

Placing reservations

Traditionally, the concept of reservations pertains more to services or experiences rather than tangible products. Think about reserving a hotel room, booking a table at a restaurant, or securing a spot at a coveted event. Reservations allow businesses to manage capacity and predict demand.

However, a different flavor of reservations has emerged in the product industry. In this context, consumers reserve a product by placing a deposit, with the intention of securing a discount when the product is ready for sale. This act of 'reserving' a product essentially puts it on hold and confirms the consumer's interest without necessitating a full upfront payment.

While CrowdMall does not currently offer this reservation model, understanding its function within the broader e-commerce industry is beneficial. This model provides customers with assurance of product availability upon launch and also allows them to benefit from a discounted price due to their early commitment. 

For businesses, this kind of reservation can be a valuable tool for gauging product interest, securing an initial commitment from buyers, and managing inventory and production planning effectively.

Distinguishing between pre-orders and reservations

Pre-orders and reservations, while sharing the common thread of providing early access to products, differ fundamentally in their transaction dynamics and the promises they make.

Pre-orders involve a full upfront payment with a commitment to deliver the product once it's available. This strategy typically aligns with the product launch phase, with customers paying for the product ahead of its official release. The value proposition for consumers lies in guaranteed availability, potential bonuses, and the thrill of being among the first to access a new product.

Reservations, on the other hand, do not usually involve a full upfront payment. Instead, customers put down a deposit, indicating their intent to purchase the product once it's ready for sale. The reservation strategy offers customers the promise of product availability upon launch, typically at a discounted price as a reward for their early commitment.


Pre-orders: The cornerstone of CrowdMall's success

At CrowdMall, we have chosen to champion the pre-order model, as it aligns closely with our mission of validating product ideas, driving initial sales, and providing a platform for early adopters to discover innovative products. We believe that this strategy offers an optimal combination of customer engagement, demand prediction, and initial revenue generation.

We recognize that understanding the differences between pre-orders and reservations, as well as the unique advantages of each strategy, can provide valuable insights for businesses looking to maximize their e-commerce potential. 

By harnessing the power of pre-orders, CrowdMall aims to fuel product innovation, facilitate early customer engagement, and help creators navigate the exciting path from concept to market success.