Your Pre-Order Process Explained!
Date Posted:20 October 2020
Your Pre-Order Process Explained!
Our Pre-Order project was hugely successful, thanks to our fab customers who were willing to go through this first time process with us!
To say that it was a surprise would be an understatement. The initial idea was to offer something to assist our customers with forward planning stock in a very turbulent and unsure year. Without a physical tradeshow, we thought we would help where we could and provide something in a digital format.
What resulted was a tsunami of pre-orders, larger and more comprehensive than we could have ever anticipated! Our challenge then became how to ensure that the stock split was the fairest and most even amongst our customers, whilst also dealing with ever-changing container arrival dates!
So, we decided to rely on the old chestnut - “first in, best dressed.” We made the pre-order option as visible as possible over all of our socials, marketing newsletters and the website and even extended our original time frame to allow as many customers to take advantage of this option as we could. We hoped this tactic would reach the bulk of our customers, and we were right! We then worked a system where we monitored every response that came in, time and date stamped it, to determine the order in which you were notified. Orders were given a number based on when it was received, so the “first in, best dressed” rule truly applied. That was seemingly simple, but once the stock arrives and orders get split several times, it gets a little complicated!
The tricky component is waiting on proforma payments. For accounting reasons, we cannot take payment for stock we hadn’t received yet, thus we could not take payment upfront for these pre-season orders. So, once the stock arrived, we chronologically went through our orders and sought proforma payments.
Essentially, the orders that are paid first are the orders that get sent to the warehouse for processing. It’s how things have to operate in the wholesale world otherwise we would have orders sitting in our system for months on end! The quicker those payments come in, the quicker the order is processed and out the door. It’s when we have to wait several days for payment that the delay becomes detrimental to the chances of securing stock (which was mentioned throughout the pre-season order process.) What further complicates this is that we have no clue who is going to back out of their orders by not paying proforma, or who has changed their minds and secured stock elsewhere. Because of this, orders with oversold SKUs that are paid will still be sent to the warehouse for processing.
In a perfect world we would be able to buy the amount of stock that exactly matches our customer’s needs. Unfortunately it is just not possible, but we do try our best to accommodate everyone!
Here are some tips for you guys to help the process along the way and to avoid disappointment :-
- We email you (alot!!) If you haven’t heard from us, check your junk folder!
- As much as we would like to call to follow up, we have several hundred customers on this pre-order program and there aren't enough hours in the day!
- Please do not pre-sell stock to your customers - we mentioned this before pre-season sheets were even released because we simply cannot guarantee that we can supply the stock to you.
- If you get a proforma request, make the payment as soon as you can. That’s your best chance of having your order processed quickly! With stock as scarce as it is and demand through the roof, we have to cancel your order within about 3 days if we haven’t received payment.
- Our warehouse is working overtime to get through orders. We totally get how important having stock is and we’re working as hard as we can to make this happen for you
- Keep an eye on our social media, newsletters and the new arrivals section of the website - this gives you the best chance to secure stock. Once we make products “live” on our website, they are selling out in hours
- Please be kind to us! We really do try our best!
We hope this explains the challenges of our pre-order system and how we are approaching this.
Please be assured, throughout all of this, our customers are at the forefront of our mind and we are all working very hard to get you as
much stock as we possibly can! We value your constructive feedback, so please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.