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The Psychology of Why Customers Love Pre-Ordering

The Psychology of Why Customers Love Pre-Ordering
  • Early adopters love being tastemakers: they get a buzz from being ahead of the curve.
  • Buyers love being the first to own a product and sharing news of their purchases with their family, friends and contacts.
  • Pre-ordering at CrowdMall gives buyers the thrill of the chase because they feel part of the process of realizing finished products.

The lure of pre-ordering

In the bustling world of e-commerce, trends come and go, but one that has demonstrated its staying power is the concept of pre-ordering. From the latest tech gadgets to limited-edition collectibles, customers are increasingly opting to pre-order products, securing their purchase ahead of official release. But what's the allure of pre-ordering? Why do customers willingly trade instant gratification for a future reward? 

This blog post delves into the psychology behind pre-ordering and explores why this trend continues to captivate consumers.

The anticipation factor

Central to the appeal of pre-ordering is the concept of delayed gratification, a psychological principle that underpins much of our decision-making. Delayed gratification refers to the capacity to resist the temptation of an immediate reward, choosing instead to wait for a later, often more significant, reward.

When customers pre-order a product, they are embarking on a journey of anticipation. There's a certain thrill attached to knowing that they'll be among the first to own a sought-after product. This anticipation can enhance the overall purchase experience, adding an element of excitement to the buying process that isn't typically present in traditional shopping.

Exclusivity and scarcity

Two psychological principles heavily influencing the pre-ordering behavior are exclusivity and scarcity. Pre-ordered items are often unique, limited edition, or new-to-market products. Owning such products provides customers with a sense of individuality, catering to our innate desire for uniqueness.

The scarcity principle is a well-documented psychological phenomenon where people attribute higher value to an object that is scarce and lower value to those abundant. When products are available for pre-order, particularly when stock is limited, it can create a sense of urgency and desire among consumers. Pre-ordering becomes a means to secure the product before it potentially sells out post-release, thus augmenting its perceived value.

Community and belonging

Pre-ordering can also foster a sense of community and belonging among consumers. When customers pre-order, particularly when it involves products within a specific niche or fandom, they're buying into more than just a product. They're joining a community of like-minded individuals who share similar interests and passions.

This sense of belonging can enhance the overall buying experience, leading to deeper customer engagement and loyalty.

FOMO: A powerful motivator

Fear of Missing Out (a.k.a. FOMO) is a potent psychological trigger, particularly in the age of social media. This pervasive apprehension of being left out of exciting or interesting events can significantly influence buying behaviors.

When a new product becomes available for pre-order, especially if it's a limited edition or in high demand, it can stimulate this fear, prompting customers to pre-order to avoid the disappointment of missing out.

Trust: The foundation of pre-ordering

Trust forms a crucial component of the pre-ordering process. By pre-ordering, customers are placing their money and faith in the hands of retailers or manufacturers, banking on the promise of a future reward. This leap of faith is facilitated when the transaction is conducted through a trusted platform.

Reputable platforms like CrowdMall provide regular updates, ensure the quality of the products they host, and have cultivated a sense of trust with their customers, making the pre-ordering process less risky and more appealing.

The power of instant gratification

Even though pre-ordering revolves around delayed gratification, there's still an element of instant gratification involved.

The moment customers complete a pre-order, they receive immediate confirmation of their successful purchase, which can trigger a dopamine release, causing a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. They know they've secured their desired product, which can bring instant peace of mind.

The empowerment of choice

Pre-ordering also empowers consumers by giving them the choice to prioritize what matters to them. By placing a pre-order, customers are effectively voting with their wallets, showing support for the products they believe in.

This can be particularly appealing when it comes to innovative products or startups, where customer pre-orders can significantly influence the success of the venture.

The novelty factor

We humans are naturally drawn to novelty. It's why we're often captivated by the latest tech gadgets or new product releases. Pre-ordering typically involves products that are new to the market, catering to this inherent attraction to novelty.

Customers who pre-order get to experience the thrill of trying something new before the majority of other people.

Supporting innovation and creativity

When customers pre-order, particularly from independent creators, startups, or innovative companies, they're directly supporting innovation and creativity. This support can be incredibly fulfilling, allowing customers to feel like they're part of something larger than themselves. It gives them the opportunity to contribute to bringing a new product to life, which can be a strong motivator for pre-ordering.


Pre-ordering taps into multiple psychological principles, from the thrill of anticipation to the allure of exclusivity and scarcity. It fosters a sense of community and belonging, stimulates the fear of missing out, and builds on the trust between the customer and the retailer or platform.

Moreover, pre-ordering empowers consumers by giving them choice and novelty, and lets them support innovation and creativity. Whether it's the satisfaction of securing a sought-after product, the thrill of being part of a community, or the fulfillment of supporting a product they believe in, pre-ordering provides a unique buying experience that many customers find irresistible.

In understanding the psychology of pre-ordering, businesses can better strategize their product launches and marketing efforts, making the most of this powerful trend. As for customers, they can become more aware of the factors influencing their buying decisions, helping them make more informed choices.

Ultimately, pre-ordering represents a shift in the way we think about consumption, one that emphasizes the journey just as much as the destination. It's about more than just buying a product—it's about the entire experience that leads up to that moment when the product finally arrives. And for many consumers, that's a journey well worth embarking on.