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Sell items as preorders with Square Online

Note: enable preordering for pickup and delivery by upgrading your Square Online subscription.

If you’re selling items for pickup and local delivery which are only available on certain dates (holiday specials, for example), your customers can preorder on Square Online and get the items when they become available.

Set up preorders

To set up preordering for items available for pickup and local delivery:

  1. From your Square Item Library, select the item you want to edit.

  2. Under Ordering, toggle on Sell as preorder. Note: Your item must have pickup or delivery enabled.

  3. Select Edit preorder settings to choose the date or date range when the item will be available for pickup or delivery. You can choose any date or time from 24 hours up to 365 days in advance.

  4. Optionally tick Customise fulfilment hours to choose the specific fulfilment hours within the selected date range. For example, if you set the time range as 10:00–14:00, buyers can choose only these hours for pickup or delivery on the specified pickup or delivery dates. If you leave this option unticked, your location’s standard pickup or delivery hours will apply.

  5. Enter a Preorder cutoff date. This is a date and time after which you’d like to stop taking orders for the item. The item won’t be available to order online after the specified date and time. Click Done.

  6. Click Save when finished.

You can make changes to your item’s preorder status, edit dates or preorder availability, or turn off preordering at any time.

Buyer experience

When you set up preordering, customers will see a badge on your item page showing that the item is available for preorder, as well as the corresponding fulfilment window. When they add the item to their basket and proceed to checkout, they’ll see and can edit the pickup date and time, as well as the location information.

If the customer’s order contains a standard item along with a preorder item, the pickup date will be adjusted to the preorder fulfilment date. They’ll see a notification about this change and can adjust their order, or order separately if they need to pick up the item immediately.

About preordering vs scheduling

It’s important to know that preordering and scheduling serve different purposes.

  • Preordering: Preordering is for items that are not currently available for purchase, and need to be ordered in advance to be picked up or delivered at some point after the items become available. Preorders are often used to create preliminary excitement about an item pending release.

  • Scheduling: Scheduling is for items that are already available for purchase, but the customer wants to order and pay now, and schedule the pickup or delivery for a specific time in the future (as long as it’s within your pickup and delivery hours). Scheduling is often used by restaurants and other food and beverage businesses.

The primary differences between these two ordering techniques are the item availability and the length of time the item can be ordered ahead of the fulfilment date.

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