Preorders

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As preorders are becoming an increasingly important way in which books are sold and marketed through stores, we’ve compiled a list of the Preorder features we offer.

NEW: Stores can now choose to show preorders as 'On Our Shelves Now' as long as the store is using Local Store Inventory and the preorder is present in the LSI file.

ALWAYS SHOW THE PREORDER BADGE

The Preorder Badge can be enabled to display automatically for ALL books with a future publication date.

INDIECOMMERCE
To enable this on your site navigate to: Store > Configuration > Account Information and Preferences > Configure Book Settings and enable the 'Always show preorder badge?' setting.
INDIELITE
To enable this on your site navigate to: Store > Configuration > Account Information and Preferences and enable the 'Always show preorder badge?' setting.

PREORDER BADGE (IndieCommerce members only)

If you do not want to add the Preorder Badge to all books with future publication dates, and would like to limit it to only certain titles that you promote, you can do so. You can add a Preorder badge to titles coming soon, similar to the Staff Picks badge that is displayed when you add a review to a title. You can also upload your own badge to replace the default badge.

Add the preorder badge for a particular book
Navigate to the book product page www.yoursitename.com/book/ISBN (or use the search feature to navigate to the book product page)

  1. Once on the book product page, select the ‘Staff Review & Preorder’ tab
  2. Select ‘Create A Review’
  3. Confirm the ‘Is Preorder’ checkbox is enabled
  4. Submit

You should now see a Preorder badge on the upper left corner of the book cover image

NOTES:

  • The preorder badge can be added only for ‘Coming Soon’ and ‘Not Yet Published titles
  • The preorder badge will disappear automatically when the book goes on sale
  • If a book is flagged as a preorder and staff pick, the preorder badge will appear until the book goes on sale.
  • Once the book goes on sale, the ‘Staff Pick’ badge will appear if it is enabled; otherwise no badges will appear
  • Preorder badges will only appear on a format that is flagged, meaning that the paperback version of a hardcover book will not be flagged automatically
  • If you want to remove the badge manually, edit the existing entry
  • This feature cannot be added via a booklist
  • You can upload a custom preorder badge to replace the default badge through Store > Configuration > Account Information and Preferences > Configure Book Settings

PREORDERS AND LOCAL STORE INVENTORY (IndieCommerce members only)

If you are using Local Store Inventory and have ISBNs in your inventory file that are marked for Pre-Order on your website, you can elect to show these titles as in stock at your store. For this functionality, your website must already being using our Local Store Inventory feature.

Typically, books that are available for preorder are tagged with 'Coming Soon - Available for Preorder Now' on the product page. If this title is already in stock at your store and you include the title in your LSI file, the title will reflect on the website with the tag 'On Our Shelves Now' instead.

  1. Navigate to Store > Configuration > Local Store Inventory > LSI Settings
  2. Expand 'LSI For Books: Settings'
  3. Locate LSI Preorder Settings
  • If the checkmark is PRESENT, preorders will appear as 'On Our Shelves Now' as soon as they are present in your LSI file.
  • If the check is NOT PRESENT, preorders will appear as 'Coming Soon - Available for Preorder Now'

After enabling this setting and after the next processing of your LSI file, all preorder titles that your store has in stock will appear as 'On Our Shelves Now'. This setting can be changed at any time.

PROMOTE SELECT PREORDER TITLES ON YOUR SITE

  • Using a Responsive Book List Grid or jCarousel (IndieCommerce Members Only) you can create a list of books and display their covers on the front page (or any page) of your site.
  • Select Preorders can also be displayed in a list by curating a Booklist

PREORDER CONDITIONS

If stores want to include special conditions surrounding the sale of pre-orders, it is now possible to do so on IndieCommerce by adding a condition that will detect a pre-order within an order. This can be used to limit payment options, limit shipping conditions, or alert customers their order will incur additional shipping charges.

Payment Methods

Oftentimes, stores would like for customers to pay for their pre-orders in advance so as to avoid the customer forgetting about their order or to collect payment ahead of time in case the customer changes their mind. The easiest way to do this is to not allow the customer to choose ‘Pay at Store’ during checkout.
  1. Navigate to Store > Configuration > Payment Methods
  2. Next to ‘Pay at Store’ click ‘Conditions
  3. Click ‘Add Condition
  4. Select “Order has a book with a future publication date
  5. Check ‘Negate
  6. Click ‘Save’‘

Shipping Methods

Your store may also want to limit the shipping rates that are available to the customer when they have a pre-order title in their cart. For this example, we will be excluding UPS Overnight Shipping as an option if the customer is placing a pre-order.
  1. Navigate to Store > Configuration > Shipping Quotes
  2. Click ‘Conditions’ next to the desired rate (Example: UPS Overnight)
  3. Click ‘Add Condition
  4. Select “Order has a book with a future publication date
  5. Check ‘Negate
  6. Click ‘Save

Message on the Website

Customers will often purchase a pre-order title alongside titles that are already published. Stores will want to alert customers that additional shipping charges will apply as the entirety of their order will be arriving at different times. The easiest way to do this is by displaying a message at the top of your website during checkout.
  1. Navigate to Configuration > Workflow > Rules
  2. Click ‘Add new rule
  3. Enter a name (Example: Pre-order Notification)
  4. Set the ‘React on Event’ to ‘Customer Starts Checkout
  5. Click ‘Save
  6. Locate your new rule and click ‘edit
  7. Click ‘Add condition
  8. Select ‘Order has a book with a future publication date
  9. Click Save
  10. Click ‘Add action
  11. Select ‘Show a message on the site
  12. Under Message, use the value field to type your message to the customer. (Example: A book in your order has a publication date in the future. Additional shipping charges may apply.)
  13. Under Message Type, set the dropdown to ‘Status
  14. Uncheck ‘Repeat
  15. Click Save

PROCESSING ORDERS FOR PREORDER TITLES

Whether to charge a customer for a preorder as soon as the order is placed or wait till the book is ready for pickup/shipping is a business decision made by the store. Please note that customer’s credit card authorizations will expire within 4 weeks and stores may have to contact the customers for payment if the order is not processed within 4 weeks. Our recommendation is to mark these orders as “Payment Received” as soon as the order is received. This will charge the customer’s credit card and store will have the option to refund the customer if necessary.

On IndieCommerce, if a customer opted to have their credit card profile saved, stores have the option to reauthorize the customer’s credit card.

On IndieLite, customer credit card profiles are not saved and it is not possible to reauthorize the customer’s credit card.

The main page for orders is found by navigating to: Store > Orders > View Orders

CUSTOM ORDER STATUSES (IndieCommerce Members Only)

A popular solution to keep your preorders organized and easy to access is ‘custom order statuses’. You can create custom order statuses (of ‘pending’ or ‘payment received’ states)  for preorders. When it is time to fulfill these orders, reports can be generated based on these custom order statuses. This will also help to keep these pre orders from your regular order queue.

 

IndieCommerce Help Documents

 

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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