Discovering the Best Solutions for Accepting Offers Online

Most merchants accept offers in-store. But not online.

I spoke to hundreds of Shopify store owners earlier this year. I spoke with them about their needs and the state of their business. The absence of Shopify make an offer functionality was a common fact among most of them.

Everyone understands the benefits of accepting offers on products.

If merchants accept offers in-store, why change the policy online?

The answer was simple: they thought it would be too difficult to so.

In one way, they are right. Shopify does not have any native solutions to add true make an offer functionality to your online store. 

However, this is where the Shopify App Store comes in. It offers many options for implementing this easily and affordably.

Solution

The best way to add a Shopify make an offer to your store is to use an app that will manage negotiations for you.

To come to this conclusion, I spent some time learning about the native and app-based solutions available for adding Shopify make an offer. Here’s a summary of my findings: 

  1. The “Add to Cart” button can be replaced with “Make an Offer”, but its functionality is limited.
  2. Custom code can be created to implement make an offer, but this is difficult to do.
  3. Both native options come with a host of potential issues, but this can be avoided with apps.
  4. Apps allow you to set up Shopify make an offer in minutes, saving you time and potential frustration with native options.

Native Shopify Solutions for Make an Offer

Lack of True Native Support

Are there native solutions to adding make an offer?

Shopify does not have native functionality to add a “Make an Offer” button to your website.

Adding this feature in a way that enables true offer negotiation management is fairly complex. It requires a lot of time and technical knowledge to set up a custom solution.

Shopify does not have native functionality to add a “Make an Offer” button to your website.

What are the native solutions?

There are two native workaround solutions to consider:

1. Change the ‘Buy Now’ Button to Contact Us

One workaround that allows customers to make offers is to replace the “Add to Cart” button on your website with a button that links to the contact form:

  1. Label the button  “Make an Offer” or “Inquire Now”. 
  2. Add a line “We accept offers on this item” on the product page so people will know they can contact you to negotiate.
  3. Direct the button to the general Contact Us page of your site. Or build a new, separate contact page that includes fields for making an offer. This page would only be accessible through the ‘Make an Offer’ button.

This is the easiest solution to implement natively. But it can still be fairly challenging if you’re uncomfortable editing your website’s code.

This solution is really just a contact form so it’ll have some limitations. There won’t be any sophisticated ways to manage your inquiries if you get a lot of them. There also won’t be any automation so you’ll need to review every offer even if it’s a lowball.

How to implement:

Shopify outlines How to Replace “Add to Cart” with a Contact Link in detail on both vintage and Shopify 2.0 themes. These instructions work if you want to replace the Add to Cart button on specific products.

If you’re not sure what type of theme you’re using, you can verify your theme architecture version here.

In general, it’s a good idea to create a copy of your theme and work on that to preview the changes before applying, especially if you are editing the raw code.

Vintage Themes

On specific products, to replace the “Add to Cart” button with a “Contact” link in vintage themes on Shopify, follow these steps:

Sectioned Themes:

  1. From your Shopify admin, navigate to ‘Online Store’ > ‘Themes’ and edit the code of your selected theme.
  2. In the ‘Templates’ directory, create a new product template named requires-contact.
  3. In the ‘Sections’ directory, add a new section and remove the default Add to Cart button by commenting it out.
  4. Add an email link or contact form where the button was.
  5. Assign this new template to the desired products.
  6. You can find more details on the Shopify Help Center page here.

For Non-Sectioned Themes:

  1. Similarly, go to ‘Online Store’ > ‘Themes’ in the admin and click ‘Edit code’.
  2. Create a new product template and name it requires-contact.
  3. Find the HTML code for the Add to Cart button and comment it out.
  4. Add an email link or contact form where the button was.
  5. Assign this new template to the desired products.
  6. You can find more details on the Shopify Help Center page here.

Shopify 2.0 Themes

If you have a Shopify 2.0 theme, these instructions can generally be adapted for any Shopify 2.0 store, but the exact steps might vary slightly depending on the theme’s design. This update will replace the “Add to Cart” button with your custom link across all products on your website globally.

To replace the “Add to Cart” button with a custom link on your Shopify store using the Dawn theme, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Online Store” -> “Themes” in the Shopify admin.
  2. Click “Customize” for your current theme.
  3. On the product page, open the “Product information” section.
  4. Disable the “Show dynamic checkout buttons”.
  5. Add a new block, select “Custom Liquid”, and insert the HTML for your custom link.
  6. Style the button using CSS to match your theme.
  7. For detailed code and further customization, you can view the solution and discussion on the Shopify Community here.

If you only want to replace the “Add to Cart” button on specific products, then you can follow these steps:

  1. In your Admin store, click Online store > Themes
  2. Go to the theme you want to edit, click Actions > Edit Language
  3. This will open a new window, type in search box add to cart, then you can change the product add to cart
  4. For more details, you can view the solution on the Shopify community here.
2. Create custom code to add make an offer

If you find that replacing the “Add to Cart” button with a contact link is insufficient, you may consider adding custom code to create a “Make an Offer” button.

This option is a lot more sophisticated and will enable features that weren’t possible when simply replacing the “Add to Cart” button with a contact link, such as:

  1. improving the user experience with modal pop-ups to collect custom information, 
  2. managing the data you receive so you can track all your offers, 
  3. integrating the button with email notifications and inventory management systems,
  4. automating the process.

However, this method is not easy.

In this forum, Shopify staff write

“…You could consider hiring a freelance developer from our Shopify Experts site. This may be a more expensive route to go however, so the apps above might be a more sensible option.”

This process often involves understanding and editing HTML, CSS, and Liquid (Shopify’s template language). Implementing features that interact with the store’s backend, such as form submissions and managing data, requires technical skill that most Shopify store owners won’t have. As a result, users without coding experience might find the task too daunting and will likely need to hire a developer. And as Shopify staff said, this is expensive.

What are the potential issues?

Setting up make an offer features natively can lead to several potential issues.

If you replace “Add to Cart” with a contact link, you’re effectively removing the “Add to Cart” button, so you might find that your overall conversion rate drops. 

This is because you’re removing the opportunity for impulse buyers to purchase at full price. You might also confuse customers who are used to seeing “Add to Cart” which is standard on e-commerce websites.

There is also the issue of an increased workload for you as a store owner. Shopify merchants always tell me that they feel the pressure of not having enough time in the day. Managing offers this way will increase your workload because you’ll need to manually sift through emails on a case-by-case basis. 

You also won’t be future-proofed as you likely won’t have support from a third party if certain features break or stop working later.

Creating custom code to add make an offer

If you go the route of adding custom code to your site, there are many potential issues to consider:

  1. Hiring a developer is time-consuming in its own right and comes with its own challenges, such as budget constraints, project management, and receiving support after its implementation.
  2. Custom code needs regular updates for compatibility with Shopify or other apps you use, which can be time-consuming and costly. They also might not integrate well with existing apps.
  3. Custom code can introduce vulnerabilities to your website, risking data breaches and other security issues.

Whichever route you choose, it’s also unlikely that you’ll have a dedicated support team to troubleshoot any issues that arise down the road.

Which native solution do you recommend?

If you’re a small business simply looking to add a “Make an Offer” button to a few products, then replacing the “Add to Cart” button with a contact link is the better option. If you do this yourself, it won’t cost anything. The technical skills required to do this are not as significant as setting up your own custom code.

However, if you’re a very large store that needs a more customized user experience, and you have the internal resources and budget to create custom code, then this might be a better option for you.


Shopify App Solutions for Make an Offer

Since native solutions are either too simplified or too cumbersome to be good solutions for accepting offers, you’ll be glad to know there are several apps available for accepting offers on the Shopify App Store.

Technically you can also develop your own app if you’re a large store that has significant in-house resources and a strong need for a custom app, but most average store merchants will want to install an app that already exists.

We’ve spent some time comparing the top Make an Offer apps that you can install today. Here are the best apps when comparing side-by-side:

1. Make an Offer

Most-reviewed app to add a ‘Make an Offer’ button. Use automated rules to accept, decline and counteroffer.

View on App Store

2. Nibble

Innovative, easy-to-install app with multiple discount options and AI negotiation.

View on App Store

3. Negotio

Simple, straightforward Make an Offer app. Fully automated.

View on App Store

Which app solutions do you recommend?

Magical Make an Offer is the best app solution for Shopify make an offer.

It has a high user satisfaction and a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, easy-to-use dashboard, thorough automation, and usability across all industries. It’s one of the most popular pay what you want and best offer apps being used by Shopify merchants everywhere.

Magical Make an Offer works great for stores of all sizes and various industries, including jewellery, antiques, used furniture, collectibles, and any other store that can take advantage of flexible pricing options.

Using an app is the fastest and easiest way to start accepting offers on your website, no coding required.

Using an app is the best way to add make an offer.

In this article we looked at two native solutions for adding a “Make an Offer” button to your website – one option was replacing the “Add to Cart” button with a contact link, and the other option was to achieve this with custom code.

Neither option is a good solution compared to apps. One option is too limiting in terms of functionality. The other option is too time-consuming and expensive. Both were cumbersome to set up. They won’t work well for most merchants.

Apps come with an interface that makes it easy for customers to make offers and merchants to manage these requests.

Using an app will give merchants access to data management and automation features that will save time from being wasted on missing information, lowball offers, and manual management of your offers.

Using an app is the fastest and easiest way to start accepting offers on your website right now.


Magical Make an Offer

Use the Magical Make an Offer app to sell more products. Easily add Make an Offer and Pay What you Want buttons to products.