Modern Retail can get your WooCommerce website integrated with your Point of Sale (POS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This article gives you an overview of how this integration works.
The WooCommerce Integrator synchronizes three key pieces of information with your POS or ERP system:
Depending on your POS or ERP system, products can get marked to sell on your website in a variety of ways. Some systems have a simple checkbox that you check to specify the products you want to sell online. Others have a concept of a "webstore," allowing you to have a sophisticated business and pricing rules for everything you're selling online. Some send your entire product catalog, allowing you to pick and choose which products you want to sell online within the e-commerce platform. To learn more about how your specific POS or ERP handles marking products to sell online, please consult your provider or check out our notes in this section:
Regardless of the approach, our Integrator handles the adding and updating of products in a similar fashion across all POS or ERP systems.
New products coming over from your POS or ERP system are added as "Draft" products in WooCommerce. This allows you to merchandise the products directly within WooCommerce. For example, you can change the product name to make the product sound more appealing to your customers, write a better short or long description of the item, upload images and alternate images, cross sell, up sell, etc. You are free to edit the product as you see fit, knowing these changes won't be reflected in your POS or ERP system and won't be visible to customers until you're ready to make the product live on your website.
Making Products Live
Making a product live on your website is easy. After you've uploaded an image for your product and have gotten the name, description and the rest of the product information just how you want it, simply hit the "Publish" button. That's it.
Once a product has been added to WooCommerce, our integration continues to update two key pieces of information:
- Price or Sale Price
- Quantity on Hand (Inventory)
Except for the SKU field, you can change and edit all other information in WooCommerce.
The SKU field in WooCommerce holds the unique identifier from the POS or ERP system. This identifier is the glue that connects the product in your POS or ERP system to the product in WooCommerce. This number should never be edited directly in WooCommerce as it will break the connection to the product in your POS or ERP system.
Orders & Customers
Our WooCommerce Integrator will also send order and customer information down to your POS or ERP system. However, it is important to know when and how this information will be sent. Order and customer information are sent to your POS or ERP system after they've been Completed or Shipped in WooCommerce.
Now Wait a Second
Yes, we often get asked why orders aren't sent to the POS or ERP system when they are "placed" by the consumer online, instead of when they are "completed" or "shipped" as discussed above. There are many reasons why it isn't done this way with the most important ones being:
- We're simply not able to do it this way because the POS or ERP system doesn't support it. Many of them support the inserting of invoiced orders, but few of them support the two-way communication needed to tell us when an item has been shipped in their system so we can trip the order as shipped in WooCommerce.
- We've found that people prefer to work exclusively in WooCommerce and don't want to switch back and forth between WooCommerce and the POS or ERP system.
- This approach allows you to use third party shipping tools like ShipStation, ShipWorks, OrderCup, ShippingEasy, etc. This is an important distinction because as your online orders grow, you will probably need a more powerful shipping tool and will need to switch to one of these third party tools; switching to one of these tools will have no affect on your integration.
Undoubtedly, you're probably questioning us about inventory and how in the world we are we preventing people from buying products that are no longer in stock. Well, we have some pretty advanced functionality called Allocation which addresses this issue.
Allocation keeps track of the orders that are currently outstanding in WooCommerce and dynamically adjusts the inventory for those products that are in WooCommerce but haven't yet been shipped. This is all being done for you in our middleware, making it harder for you to oversell products because the inventory is constantly being adjusted to account for the orders that are sitting there in WooCommerce but haven't yet been shipped. It's actually quite brilliant, and you can read more about it here:
We've found the above process works for most implementations. However, please contact us if you absolutely must ship your orders from your POS or ERP system because we might have a solution for that as well.
Everyone seems to love our WooCommerce Integrator dashboard. This dashboard gives you an overview of your integration at a glance.
Modern Retail's WooCommerce Integrator makes integrating with your POS or ERP system as easy and painless as possible; we think you will agree. Please fill out a Support Request if you have any questions about how this integration works or need additional information. Thank you.