Preorders vs. Waitlist/Requests
Our humble online store hasn’t formally launched yet, and we’ve been testing the website for but a few months, yet we have already connected with many customers and have learned a lot from them!
Truth is we haven’t done any marketing or advertising at all — zero, zilch, nada, talagang wala — because we wanted to make our backend systems robust first. Even the website is wanting in many respects. Despite the lack of outreach on our part though, Pinoys and friends of the Philippines from across the United States and even overseas have found us! And boy, do they want a lot of stuff!
We thought we’d just ignore the waitlists we set up for each product… deal with them when our warehouse management and inventory systems are in place… but seeing how long the lists were getting and how a few of the items are fairly easy to get and ship out, we thought, why not? Especially since many folks not only would join the waitlists, they were also going out of their way to send us messages following up on when the items would be available…
If we can get it for them now, why not?
In time, the “Join the Waitlist” morphed into a “Request” button (fewer characters means it fits better on mobile) and along with that a few lessons. That it’s very easy to join the waitlist. Yay~! The caveat though is that requesting an item doesn’t necessarily mean the customer will follow through once we’ve manually prepared their customized order. We don’t hold that against the customer at all. In fact, we’re just happy any customer is connecting with us. 🙂
It’s our fault that we don’t have our backend ready to withstand the vagaries of human desires. So shouldn’t we be focused on preparing our systems instead of manually fulfilling orders? Yes… But what about the customers? Quite a few of them do really want — even need — stuff that we can easily get. We’re talking about bakers, chefs and homemakers with appetites to satisfy.
After some discussion and quite a few humongous orders involving hundreds of bottles that will be going nowhere anytime soon, we’ve decided that if someone really wants or needs stuff that bad, they’d do a preorder to affirm their commitment to the purchase.
It sounds like a simple issue requiring very little brainstorming to resolve early on, but you know how Filipinos are, we can’t say no to a fellow kababayan making a request. 😅