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Managing Drop-Shippers

What Drop-Shippers Do

Many Internet stores do not maintain an inventory of all the products they sell. Many stores use third parties to stock products and fulfill orders. These companies is what we refer to as Drop-Shippers.

ProductCart allows you to create Drop-Shippers, associate products with them, and manage orders in a way that assumes that those products will not be shipped directly by you, but rather by the drop-shipper.

Adding a New Drop-Shipper

To add a new Drop-Shipper, select Products > Manage Drop-Shippers > Add New Drop-Shipper.

  • In the first section of the page, add general contact information for the new drop-shipper.
  • Under Ship-From Address enter the address from which products will be shipped by the drop-shipping company, which might be different from the billing address.
  • Under Login Information, enter the User Name and Password that the Drop-Shipper will use to log into a special section of your storefront where order information can be updated (the login page is pc/sds_Login.asp). Once logged in, the Drop-Shipper will be able to update you on the status of the drop shipping requests.

    For example, the Drop-Shipper could let you know that all products that were part of order XXXX were shipped, or that one or more products could not be shipped and indicate why. If you check the setting Notify Customer When Order is Updated, if the Drop-Shipper logs in and adds shipping details for an order (e.g. all products have been shipped), the store manager is notified, AND the Order Shipped email is automatically sent to the customer. Otherwise, the store manager is notified, but the customer is not contacted.

  • Under Drop-Shipping Settings:
    • Order notification e-mail is the e-mail address to which order information is sent when a Drop-Shipper is notified of products that need to be drop-shipped.
    • Order notification content
      When an email is sent to a drop-shipper, you can include either “Products + Customer shipping information” (shipping name and address) or “Products Only”. If you select the second option, no customer information is included. This assumes that you wish products to be shipped to you. Therefore, your store's shipping address is included instead of the customer's address)
    • Order notification message
      This field contains the message that is sent to the drop-shipper by default. The items included between […] brackets are variables that are replaced dynamically by ProductCart with information specific to that drop-shipper, customer and order. Be careful if you decide to edit the message. Make sure that the opening and closing “subject” and “body” tags remain intact. If you make changes to the default message, make sure to test your changes by creating a test drop-shipping account, placing test orders for products associated with that account, and going through the process of notifying the drop-shipper of a new order that needs to be shipped.
[SUBJECT]Drop shipping instructions for order <ORDER_ID> - <STORE_NAME>[/SUBJECT]

[BODY]
Dear <DROP_SHIPPER_COMPANY> <DROP_SHIPPER_NAME>,

A new order has been placed on our store. The order number is <ORDER_ID>. The following products should be shipped as soon as possible to the following address, using the shipping options indicated below.

Once the order has been shipped, or if you need to update us on product availability, please log into your account using the link below to update the order status for this order:

<LINK>

<CUSTOM_COPY>

<SHIPPING_INFO>

<SHIPPING_METHOD>

<PRODUCTS>
[/BODY]
  • Only notify manually
    Any drop-shipper involved in an order is notified automatically via e-mail when the order status is updated from “Pending” to “Processed”, unless this option has been checked. If this option has been checked, then the drop-shipper is notified only when the store administrator uses the “Send Drop-Shipper Notification” feature, which allows the store administrator to send or re-send the notification e-mail at any time, independently of the processing of the order. Note that if the processing of the order happens automatically (e.g. order was placed using a payment option that had been setup for automatic order processing), then the notification e-mail is automatically sent to the drop-shipper unless the “Only Notify Manually” setting is turned on.
  • The Billing Address is strictly for administrative purposes.

Click on Add Drop-Shipper to add the new drop-shipping company to the store database.

Locating a Drop-Shipper

From the Products menu, click on Manage Drop-Shippers > Locate a Drop-Shipper to search existing drop-shippers based on a number of search filters. Once you find the drop-shipper that you were looking for, click on Products to assign products to or remove products from the selected drop-shipper. To quickly move products from one drop-shipper to another, you can use the Global Changes feature.

Ordered products and changes in Drop-Shipper

Please note the following about how the relationship between a product and its drop-shipping assignment is handled once the product has been purchased. In ProductCart purchased products are partially “detached” from the products themselves. For example, you could change a product price, but the purchased product price will not change when you do so.

The same concept applies to drop-shipping. Specifically:

  • The drop-shipper associated with an ordered product does not change even if the drop-shipper associated with the product is changed after the product has been purchased.
  • That is: once a product has been ordered, the drop-shipper for that product within that order remains the same even if the same product is assigned to another drop-shipper.

Multiple Warehouses

Although drop-shippers are typically third parties that you have partnered with, you can certainly use this feature to manage multiple warehouses within your own company. ProductCart will help you alert each warehouse of what needs to be shipped and to whom.


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