A deferred product is a good way to accept early commitment for a product but only collect payment later when it begins (e.g. your business is not allowed by law to collect payment before it starts or you need to collect a deposit instead of the full amount). For example, if you sell courses that begin in September, but you accept early registration from July. You can create a deferred product by following the steps below.
- Under Catalog > Products, create your actual product with the desired name and price as usual. Uncheck the Published checkbox so it's hidden from the public catalog. Please see How to create a simple product for more information.
- Create another new product. This will be your dummy product that you will sell right away on the first checkout. Give it a price of $0.00. Make sure it's marked as published so it's visible in the public catalog. Although, it's a dummy product, it should have a recognizable name so that the customer thinks they're buying the actual product. You can set the inventory for this product if you have limited quantities available.
- Set your dummy product to require the actual product you created earlier under the Required tab.
- Uncheck the Published if you don't want the required product to be visible. Set the Defer date to a future date.
The customer browsing your site will see the dummy product for sale and adds it to cart. During checkout, they will be prompted to enter their credit card details. Since the amount is $0.00, they will not be charged, but their payment information will be kept in the system. When the actual product is due following the configured deferred date, the Storefront will automatically generate a new order and attempt to charge the customer's payment for the amount due.
Alternatively, if you're simply accepting new orders over the phone, you can also create a deferred order by marking the order as "Preordered" with a future Order date. Please see Preorders for more information.