by Ngoc
January 17, 2022

How to add pre order in Woocommerce for your ecommerce website

In case you’ve ever wanted to offer products in your store that aren’t yet in stock. So you should give your customers the option to pre-order.  You’ll need a WooCommerce pre order plugin for this. Thanks to it, your customers will then be able to purchase the items that will be shipped as soon as they become available. This is a good way to boost revenue and attract more visitors to your website. For that reason, in this blog, ArrowTheme also bring to you the comprehensive guide for answering the question “How to add pre order in Woocommerce for your ecommerce website?”. So let’s start right now!

How WooCommerce pre order help your stores?

Giving customers the option to pre-order goods is a good way to increase excitement and momentum before your product releases. Customers using e-commerce can place orders for products before they are available for purchase. They can also choose to be notified if extra items become available for pre-order. However, if you’re a developer, setting pre-orders on your WooCommerce store without a devoted pre-orders plugin is difficult. It will entail integrating custom code into your theme and overriding the default WooCommerce templates. However, there is a high possibility of error in terms of setup, sales for pre-orders, and fulfillment of pre-orders.

You can simply add goods to be available for pre-order, set a release date, and get sales numbers before your product launches with WooCommerce pre order. The plugin focuses on automating the pre-order process and reduces the possibility of error when gathering payment information, managing pre-order stock, and fulfilling orders.

Features of WooCommerce pre order

By setting up pre-orders in your WooCommerce store, your customers can order products before they are released. Moreover, when your products are ready, you can release and fill orders automatically or manually, and the extension will do the rest!

The pre-order experience is completely customizable. Besides that, it supports both upfront and on-release pre-orders. Pre-orders maypaid upon release if you use a supported payment method, without the buyer having to return and pay for their order.


  • Set an optional release date/time for the product.
  • Charge orders automatically as the product becomes available.
  • Change the release date of a pre-ordered product
  • Send an email to all clients who have pre-ordered a product.
  • If the product is no longer available, cancel pre-orders.
  • Use a custom “pre-order” order status to filter your pre-orders.
  • Works with items that are both basic and variable.
  • You can optionally charge a fee for pre-orders.
  • For pre-orders, customize the Add to Cart/Place Order buttons.
  • *WooCommerce Subscriptions are not supported.
WooCommerce pre order

How to install WooCommerce pre order?

1. From your WooCommerce dashboard, download the extension.

2. Go to Plugins > Add New > Upload and choose the ZIP file you just downloaded.

3. Click Install Now and then Activate.

4. To learn how to configure the extension, click Configure and keep on reading.

4. General settings WooCommerce pre order

Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Pre-Orders.

pre order WooCommerce pre order

Add to Cart Button Text:

This affects the text of the add to cart button on single product pages for items with pre-orders enabled. For example, “Pre-Order Now” rather than “Add to Cart.”

Place Order Button Text:

This determines the text that appears on the place order button during the checkout process when an order comprises pre-orders. For example, “Place Pre-Order Now” rather than “Place Order”

Single Product Page Message:

Add an optional message below the price on a product page. Using {availability_date} and {availability_time}, you may announce when the pre-order will be available. Only a limited amount of HTML is permitted. To disable, leave the field empty.

Shop Loop Product Message:

Insert an optional message above the add to cart button to each pre-order allowed product on the shop loop page. Using {availability_date} and {availability_time}, you may announce when the pre-order will be available. Only a limited amount of HTML is permitted. To disable, leave the field empty.

Availability Date Title Text:

This determines the title of the availability date section on the cart/checkout page, as well as on the “thank you,” view order, order email templates, and order information tables. If you leave the blank, the availability date will not be displayed in the cart.

Charged Upon Release Order Total Format:

This sets the order total format when a pre-order is charged upon release in the cart. By utilizing availability date and order total, you may designate when the client will be paid for their pre-order.

Charged Upfront Release Order Total Format:

This determines the purchase total format when a pre-order is charged upfront in the cart. By utilizing availability date and order total, you may determine how the consumer gets charged for their pre-order.

Disable automated pre-order processing:

Use this if you’re on a staging/testing site and do not want any pre-orders to be handled automatically.

Product settings WooCommerce pre order

You can enable Pre-orders for either basic or variable product types by modifying a product and navigating to the new “Pre-Orders” tab in the Product Data admin panel:

ettings WooCommerce pre order

The following fields are available for setup, as indicated in the figure above:

  • Enable Pre-Orders: You have permission to make pre-ordered product.
  • Availability Date/Time: You can set an optional availability date/time when the pre-order product is available for purchase. If configured, this availability date and time will be shown in a variety of places on the website. Moreover, once achieved, the product will no longer be a “pre-order” product and will act normally.
  • Pre-order Fee: This enables you to charge an optional pre-order fee in addition to the price of the product in the currency you define for your store.
  • When to charge: This specifies when a pre-order product will be charged. Among the alternatives are:
  • Upon Release: A pre-order product charged “upon release” is not charged until the product is made available for purchase, at which point it no longer qualifies as a pre-order product. This can happen if the optional Availability Date/Time is reached, or if a shop administrator manually completes a pre-order. Supported gateways will immediately charge a pre-saved credit card for pre-order clients, but any gateway may be supported by sending a “Pay Now” email to the pre-order consumer to collect money.
  • Upfront: A pre-order product that is paid “upfront” is charged at checkout just like any other purchase.

Updating product pre-order configuration

You can modify and update the Pre-Orders section with various constraints.

When the “When to Charge” option is set to Upon Release, the Pre-Order tab turns read-only:

product pre-order configuration

The cost and “when to charge” options cannot be modified. However, you also can adjust the release date by using the new WooCommerce > Pre-Orders > Actions tab

Displaying pre-order countdown timer

By using new shortcode [woocommerce pre order countdown], you can add pre-order countdown timers to any page, including the product page. This shortcode accepts a number of optional parameters. Moreover, it also displays the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the Availability Date/Time for the current page product. You can use the following settings to tailor the timeframe to your requirements:


Pre-Order product ID or SKU to countdown to. If no product is specified, the current product is used. This allows you to add the countdown timer for a certain product anywhere on your site that supports shortcodes.


the date/time to count down to, which overrides the product release date if it set. “15 March 2015”, “+1 month” are two examples of values.


The default countdown layout is y Years o Months d Days h Hours m Minutes s Seconds.


The countdown display format.such as the year, month, day, and time.


If true, you can display the date/time labels in compact form, i.e. ‘d’ rather than ‘days’. 


Text to display before the countdown. Defaults to ‘false’. If ‘layout’ is not set to “, this option is not available (an empty string)


Text that will appear after the countdown. If ‘layout’ is not set to “, this option is not available (an empty string)

Product inventory

You can enable/disable and handle product inventory in the same way that any other product is. This helps us create stock, mark as “out of stock,” and track inventory for your pre-order goods as usual. In case you can enable stock management. So each pre-order reduces the product inventory. Therefore, it allows you to simply and efficiently limit the number of products available for pre-order. Users will receive the notice “No longer available for pre-ordering” in case an item is out of stock and backorders are not permitted.

Pay Later payment gateway

The Pre-Orders plugin contains a “Pay Later” gateway. You can use it to support the payment gateways for “upon release” pre-order items. You also can present the Pay Later gateway as an option during checkout only if there is a pre-order in the cart and the “upon release” pre-order amount in addition to any other supported gateways:

Pay Later payment gateway

Moreover you can adjust the Pay Later gateway by browsing to WooCommerce > Settings > Checkout > Pay Later and enabling/disabling it, as well as customizing the displayed Title and Description.

payment gateway

6. How to manage WooCommerce pre order?


You are able to handle a pre-order in the same way as a normal order, with the addition of a “pre-ordered” stage during which the pre-order is active and can be canceled or completed. The Pre-Orders plugin introduces a new Order status called “pre-ordered.” This status order shows that a pre-order for a product which is not yet available for fulfillment has been placed. Moreover, you also can generate and connecte a “Pre-Order” record with the order (known as the “Parent Order”). A “Pre-Order” will have one of the below statuses, which differ from the standard Order status:


An “active” pre-order status shows that a product has already been pre-ordered but is not yet ready for fulfillment. You can mark the parent Order as “pre-order”. The product is the upfront product or may ask for payment “upon release”


A “completed” pre-order status shows that a product has been pre-ordered and is now ready for fulfillment. Depending on the pre-order setup, payment status, and order handling procedure, the parent Order should have a state of “pending”, “processing”, “failed”, or “finished”. The item may have previously been paid for or may still be asked for payment. When a pre-order status changes to “complete,” the parent Order is not “pre-order”. Because it should be maintained in the same way as any other order.


A “canceled” pre-order status shows that the order has been canceled. When customers cancel a pre-order, the parent Order status changes to “canceled”. Furthermore, the order is not “pre-order” in terms of refunds, etc.

You are able to see, control and mantain Pre-orders and pre-order statuses under WooCommerce > Pre-Orders


You may do the following on the Manage screen:

  • View all of your pre-orders at a glance.
  • Sort your pre-orders based on their status (Active, Canceled, Completed)
  • Client can filter the product, availability date of Pre-order
  • Apply a bulk action to one or more pre-orders. Each bulk action sends an email to the affected customers informing them of the change in pre-order status. Besides that, an optional message may be entered in the textarea seen in the image above. The following bulk actions are available:

Cancel: Stop selling one or more pre-orders. However,  for “upfront” payment pre-orders, any costs will not be automatically reversed. Moreover, you have to complete manually, as with any other WooCommerce refund.

Customer Message: You may send an arbitrary message to all customers who have selected pre-orders without modifying the pre-order status. Your consumers are able to up to date on the status of their pre-orders or other vital news.

Finish: Finish one or more pre-orders. This will charge the buyer for “upon release” pre-orders, either automatically through a compatible gateway. Moreover, it also allows to send them a “Payment Required” email to complete the checkout process. Depending on the setup of the pre-order and the payment status, the parent order status will change to “pending”, “processing”, “failed”, or “finished”. Regardless, after finishing a pre-order, you ahve to handle the order administration in the usual WooCommerce manner.

7. Pre-Order Actions

Pre-Order Efforts

In addition to managing/administering pre-orders individually/in bulk from the “Manage” tab, specific actions on pre-orders based on the product may be done from the WooCommerce > Pre-Orders > Actions tab. These actions enable you to choose a pre-order product and conduct an action on all pre-orders for that product. Therefore, you can send an email notice to the affected customers. Furthermore you also can provide an optional customer message. We also list the encouraged acts below:


Email enables you to send a personalized email to a group of pre-order consumers depending on their product. This has no effect on the pre-order status.

personalized email
Change release date

You are able to update and optionally alerts all impacted consumers when you modify the Availability Date/Time for a pre-order product. This has no effect on the pre-order status. In case you move the date to a date in the past or “now”. So the pre-order is no longer valid. Furthermore, it becomes a past/current order. Besides that, no activated functionality, and orders do not finish.

pre order in WooCommerce

Completes all active pre-orders for the given product. Besides that you can charge customers who use a supported gateway. Moreover, you also can optionally send a notification to the affected customers to inform them that their pre-order is available or requires payment which depends on the pre-order configuration and order payment status. Depending on the pre-order setting and payment status, the parent order status will change to “pending”, “processing”, “failed”, or “finished”. Regardless, after a pre-order has been “finished”, you can handle the order administration in the usual WooCommerce manner.

pre-order configuration

Cancels all active pre-orders and optionally sends an email notification with a personalized message. Moreover, for “upfront” payment pre-orders, any costs will not be automatically reversed and must be done so manually, as with any other WooCommerce refund. This action will also change the status of the parent order to “canceled.”

add pre order in Woocommerce

8. Customer experience

Add to cart

Because of the difficulty of the pre-order checkout procedure, an order may only contain one pre-order product and no additional goods. When a consumer adds a pre-order product to a full cart, the cart is automatically emptied and the pre-order product is added:

Add to cart woocommerce


There are two basic “modes” of collecting payment at checkout: “upfront” and “upon release”.

  • Pre-order items that use to require payment “upfront” can be purchased using any gateway in the usual way. Because you can collect money at the time of checkout, just like any other product.
  • Payment is not authorized/settled during the checkout process for pre-order goods that are designed to collect payment “upon release”. However, rather later after you finish a pre-order.

Customer account

Customers may check previous and current pre-orders by going to the Pre-Orders tab on their My Account page:

Pre-Orders tab
Emails for pre-orders

The Pre-Orders plugin adds many pre-order emails to enable for updates about new pre-orders and order statuses. The following are summaries of the new emails:

New Pre-OrderAdminWhen a pre-order is placed, this email is sent to the shop admin. It is the equivalent of the usual “New Order” email and alerts the admin that the store has received a new pre-order.
Pre-OrderedCustomerThis is the same as the standard “Processing Order” email. Moreover, it is sent to the customer when a pre-order is placed. It informs the customer that their pre-order has been received successfully.
Pre-Order Release Date ChangedCustomerWhen a pre-order release date changes, a notification is optionally sent to the consumer informing them of the change in availability date. The store administrator may give an optional message.
Pre-Order CancelledCustomerWhen a pre-order is canceled, an email is optionally sent to the consumer informing them of the cancellation occurrence. The store administrator may give an optional message.
Pre-Order AvailableCustomerWhen a pre-order is finished, an email is optionally sent to the consumer informing them of the availability of their pre-order product. In case customer use a payment “upon release” product with a non-supported gateway or a supported gateway which deal with a payment processing error, a “payment required” message and link. So the store administrator may give an optional message.

In the WooCommerce Email settings, you can customize and adjust all of the above emails: WooCommerce > Settings > Emails

Order completion

After finishing the pre-order, the order is not “pre-order” and order processing returns to normal. The consumer will get all emails and alerts as if they had purchased any other goods from your business.

Gateways for automated payments that are supported

Several payment gateways accept automated payments for pre-orders. This implies that a client may enter their credit card information during the checkout process. Besides that, their card will be charged when the pre-order is ready.

  • Bambora
  • Braintree for WooCommerce Payment Gateway
  • Chase Paymentech
  • CyberSource
  • Elavon Converge
  • First Data (Payeezy Gateway and Payeezy API)
  • Global Payments HPP (formerly Realex)
  • GoCardless
  • Intuit (Payments and QBMS)
  • Moneris
  • Opayo (Formerly SagePay)
  • Paya (formerly SagePayments USA)
  • PayFast
  • Stripe
  • Square


Hopefully, this article of ArrowTheme by AHT TECH JSC brings lots of useful information for your business. One more special thing here is that we also provide Woocommerce Website Packages which help you own a world-class Woocommerce website. Therefore, you can put you ahead of the competition and increase leads, conversions, and sales. Don’t worry about building your Ecommerce store because our Woocommerce package is the perfect option for obtaining a solid website rapidly and effectively. So what are you waiting for? Let’s CONTACT US right now.



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