Pre-ordering, a phenomenon which was once popular in the world of books written by famous authors, (remember Harry Potter and JK Rowling?), is now the current buzzword in the Indian internet space. But it is a fairly established process in the US, for new launches, especially in the start up space for new technology products. In fact many ideas and startups have recently taken off by raising crowd funding on the basis of preorders.
As business concept, pre-ordering (not to be confused with exclusive launches) works well. From a marketing point of view, pre-ordering works well by building up buzz and anticipation, from a finance point of view, can provide much needed oxygen for product launches and cash flow, and from a customer point of view provides some assurance of getting their hands on a product which is perceived as ‘hot’ and may fly off the shelves.
Of course this has to be balanced with matching adequate supplies when the rubber meets the road so that the customer actually has a fair shot of getting an object of desire, which becomes a thing of pride. If not managed correctly, the backlash against the retailer and the brand can sometimes be quite strong particularly in today’s socially connected world and that is the fine line retailers have to walk on today.
To sum it up, pre-ordering is a great example of how the advent of digital commerce has opened up new horizons which were not really possible earlier in the physical world.
Authored by:- Mr Soumya Banerjee, Sr. Vice President Digital at Infibeam.com