There have been fairly major changes made to the Google Play Store over the last few weeks, including integration between the market and the Google+ social network. One of the most anticipated additions to Google Play is the ability to pre-order items, with the recent launch of the LG Nexus devices serving as a prime example of why pre-orders are vital to a successful product launch. It appears Google has taken note, and will soon start offering pre-orders, but not for the items you might expect.
Perhaps as a test run for bigger and better things, Google Play will soon allow users to pre-order books before their release date. Rumors about the pre-order system have been circulating for a few weeks since the new Play Store APK was broke down and scoured for clues about future Google offerings. After it was discovered that there would be a pre-order system, people became convinced that the coveted pre-order of hardware was coming soon. Instead, users are getting the chance to put their money down on their most anticipated books before they are available.
The process looks fairly simple; books that are available for pre-order will have a 'PRE-ORDER' instead of a 'BUY' button on its page in the store. Here are the full instructions from Google:
Books available for pre-order in the Google Play store will display a PRE-ORDER button rather than a BUYbutton. To pre-order a title, make sure you meet the same requirements stated in the Help Center article, "How to buy". Then,
- Having signed into your Google account, visit the Play store on the web or the Play Store app on your Android device,
- Find the book you would like to pre-order (you can browse titles to pre-order in the New and Coming Soon books section of the store),
- Click or tap the Pre-order button,
- Complete the order process.
After you complete the order process it will show the date that the book will be available. The pre-order will stay in your 'My Orders' page until it's released. Users will get an e-mail confirmation the day the book becomes available for download.
Don't worry, if you decide you don't want the book or you'd prefer a physical copy instead you can cancel the order before the release date for a full refund. Users can choose to use their Play Store credit or regular credit cards for payment. There is one potential problem though, and that's regarding the control that publishers maintain over the sale even after the pre-sale is completed. From Google:
My pre-order was cancelled on its own.
Sometimes publishers change the prices of their books or the dates that they will be released before the book's originally listed availability date. When there is a price or date change, we unfortunately cannot sell you the book under the original terms. Instead, we will send you an email informing you of this change and as a precaution, we cancel your pre-order on your behalf. Your form of payment will not be charged, and you can pre-order or purchase the book at its new price. In addition, you may see your pre-order cancel if your original form of payment is declined. If you used Play store credit to make the pre-order, it will be canceled if you don't have sufficient credit when the book is released.
Will that be enough to keep people from making their decisions in advance? Is there even a good point to ordering a digital copy of a book in advance when there's no chance that there will be a shortage of supply? Is there a pre-order option for devices in the near future? It's all up in the air at this point, but hopefully this is a sign that Google is planning for even bigger changes in the future.