1.    What is Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that facilitates online stores & retail point-of-sale systems. This enables small merchants to run an online store by enabling receive/make payments, marketing, shipping, enable customer engagement tools, etc.

Shopify’s application programming interface (API) & App Store allows developers to create applications for Shopify online store & sell them on the Shopify App Store.

If you have inventory in one location or multiple locations you can upload the inventory through a CSV file. You can use the same template to import updated product quantities to Shopify.

 

2. Let’s look at how Shopify works with some of the inventory systems

In this article, we will consider some of our famous inventory systems, DEAR, Cin7 & Unleashed.

  1. DEAR Inventory system

This is a cloud-based inventory management system which facilitates inventory management for the retail, wholesale & manufacturing environment. 

  1. Setting up a Shopify store.
  • A link between products in Shopify and DEAR has to be established. 
  • In order to create a link, go to Integration & select the Shopify app in the app store.
  • You can use your Shopify credentials to connect your Shopify account to DEAR.
  • You can have any number of Shopify stores with DEAR.
  • Once you get connected, in the Setup menu you can adjust your setting as you prefer.
  1. DEAR Integration Settings
  • Capture order – specifies when a Shopify order is captured – created, fulfilled, paid. Applies when historical orders are downloaded.
  • Consolidated orders – two options are considered
    • No consolidation – sales are captured as they occur
    • Daily consolidation – consolidate all orders from that day into a single order, at this option you can select a consolidated time.
  • Customer – to process pending orders an existing customer must be created in DEAR. 
  • Use Company as a Customer – effective when no consolidation option is selected. Each sales order has an optional field to fill customer name in Shopify, this option is preferable if you want DEAR to create a customer by company name instead of the customer name.
  • Pick, Pack and Ship Processing Mode – helps DEAR to process sales orders, whether to auto pick, auto pack & auto ship inventory.
  • Invoice Status – create the invoice process in Shopify. If the status is ‘Authorized’, an invoice will be automatically authorized & sync with the respective accounting software.
  • Update Stock Levels in Shopify – if enabled, update stock levels in Shopify when the DEAR stock level changes. 
  • Additionally, DEAR also provides the following features which simplify your inventory management.
  • Allow users to purchase an item, even if it is no longer in stock 
  • Create fulfilment in Shopify even if a tracking number is not available
  • Allow DEAR to create Shopify products when DEAR product names are not unique 
  • Bring Discount Codes from Shopify 
  • Add a company name to the address line
  1. Things to note:
  • Link Shopify locations to DEAR

Shopify does not facilitate multiple warehouses; each Shopify store will have a respective storage location in DEAR. The default option, All Locations will show the consolidated stock quantities in all locations. 

  • Gift card liability account

DEAR will use a liability account instead of a revenue account for gift card sales, this should have the ability to accept payments. If Shopify gift certificate feature is selected it’s mandatory to select gift card liability account.

  • Optional revenue account

To be utilized in Shopify sales download. This will override any other account mapping & settings at product/customer level.

  1. Also, the following are crucial 
  • Ensure Tax rules are properly applied.

DEAR uses the actual tax amounts applied in Shopify order, provided DEAR tax rule name is selected in the setting. Tax-free mapping is used for non-taxable products. If a DEAR tax rule is mapped to Shopify rule, it will override any other taxes in instances where the tax amount is zero. 

If Tax mapping is not done properly orders will not download accurately.

  • Link Shopify payment methods to DEAR payment accounts

DEAR can automatically identify & add payments to Shopify sales invoices if the account mapping is done at the integration. If not, invoices will still flow through but payments have to be added manually in DEAR.

  • Disconnect from Shopify store – This will remove all links between DEAR & Shopify, i.e. log & product catalogue as well. 

 

  1. Linking Inventory from Shopify to DEAR
  • Downloading products from Shopify to DEAR

Shopify can download single products or group of products when download option is selected, DEAR checks if this belongs to a single/ a product group. If these already exist in DEAR, it updates the existing products.

In DEAR, SKU is a unique feature, so if there are duplicate SKU products in Shopify, DEAR will recognize the first product & skip duplicate ones. In the end, DEAR will show skipped items, which can be later uploaded manually. When downloading from Shopify it will also update any new product details.

If a product is not in catalogue but a sale has been made it will get added to DEAR products.

If Update stock levels in Shopify is set to Yes & a product is deleted from Shopify any attempt to update the quantity in Shopify will unlist the product in DEAR.

  1. The following features are enabled in the catalogue tab.
  • List/ unlist a product
  • Change prices in Shopify
  • Remove a product

In order to enable them, you can select a product in the catalogue tab & select the relevant option.

 

  • In the bulk listing tab, you can upload products in bulk.
  1. Processing an order between DEAR & Shopify

Depending on the settings, DEAR will capture Shopify orders & save it as pending orders. When a sale is first captured in DEAR, it’s placed into a pending order & stock is allocated. DEAR imports sales orders as specified in settings. 

  • No consolidation- Shopify sales is created to an identical sale in DEAR. 
  • Daily consolidation – once a day will use the customer selected in the integration settings, then the Shopify customer information will be ignored.

When a Shopify order is cancelled DEAR will automatically void that order if it has not been processed.

Pending Orders can be processed manually by clicking Process. They can then be viewed in the Log tab.

  1. Downloading customers

This function enables DEAR to download Shopify customers. If customers already exist then this will update customer information. DEAR creates customers automatically in DEAR when processing sales orders (in no consolidation option).

  1. Downloading orders & payments

Orders are automatically downloaded from Shopify if their status is changed. You can use the Load orders option if DEAR has not captured the order.

All imported orders are saved in the pending order section & previously loaded orders will be overridden by new ones, ensuring no duplicates are there. 

When downloading orders customer information, billing & shipping addresses are recorded with quantities, prices & totals. Order discounts are recorded as additional charges without distributing by line item. Shipping & handling charges are also saved as additional charges. 

  1. Fulfilment in Shopify

When a shipment is authorized & a carrier is specified, DEAR will try to replicate the shipping information in DEAR. This is valid in no consolidation instances.

  1. Logs

Pending orders create a log, which creates a link between DEAR & Shopify. In DEAR pick, pack & ship tab can be authorized & payments can be applied. By deleting a log, you can reprocess an order, it will not void any order in DEAR. 

If you’re reloading orders from Shopify ensure DEAR sales task & the log entry is deleted. Then go to pending orders tab & click Load Orders. Ensure to set a date before the order for reloading was made. 

Operation logs- every time a download happens a record is added to the operations log.

  1. Key points

Shopify has a limit of 100 variations per product. Therefore, DEAR should have less than 100 variations.

 

  1. Cin7 Inventory systems

All in one cloud-based Inventory management software. Allows managing sales channels, inventory, POS & supply chain.

Through Shopify integration with Cin7 the following can be carried out.

  • Download sales orders
  • Update stock levels
  • Update order status
  • Download customers
  • Download products
  • Update prices
  • Download credit notes
  1. Integrating Cin7 with Shopify
  • Ensure you’re logged in as an Administrator.
  • Go to Integration- App store & select the Shopify icon. 
  • Enter a name /code to identify the Shopify connection.
  • Click on Request app installation. Someone from Cin7 will get in touch with you.

 

 

  1. Linking accounts
  • Go to the Shopify app, then click on Settings at the top right-hand corner. Click on the Connect section. 
  • Enter a Shopify shop name in the Shop Host Name & click Connect.
  • You will be led to the Shopify site where you will be asked to log in. Then you can approve the integration. 
  • Once done you will be navigated to Cin7 settings page.
  • In the Shopify admin page, from the two Cin7 apps, you can delete the first app & for the ‘reason’, state ‘other’ & in the ‘describe your experience box’ type upgraded to the second app.

 

 

 

  1. Shopify Dashboard

The dashboard provides graphical information & links to certain Cin7actions. There is a link to settings at the top right-hand corner of the dashboard. 

  • Order Activity

This section shows the recent orders. This has many options where you can view the total number & numbers split by branch. 

By clicking on View Mapped Orders, you can view a list of orders downloaded & search for a particular order.

 

  • Order Status

This shows the date the orders were last downloaded & the number of orders downloaded today & in the last 7 days.

  • Stock Activity

Shows popular inventory that is low in stock & needs to be reordered & also any errors when updating stock. By clicking on these you can view the list.

  • Stock Update Status

Shows the last day the stock was updated & the number of stocks that were updated today & within the last 7 days.

  • Updating stock levels from Cin7 to Shopify

In order to show accurate stock levels, you can either update all inventory or the ones only had recent transactions. In the stock update status, you can use update recently modified stock or update all stock to carry out this task. 

 

  • Product Activity

Shows items that are not mapped & items that are in Shopify but not in Cin7. Again, by clicking on these you can view the respective lists.

  • Product Status

Shows when the products were last downloaded, also the number of products in both Shopify & Cin7.

  1. Shopify Settings

In order to arrange your Shopify settings, go to Shopify module & click on Settings from the top. 

 

 

  • Product Settings  

 

By ticking the checkbox of the product, it will enable Cin7 products to be synced with Shopify.

  • Download Products from Shopify

Shopify products can be downloaded to Cin7 & they will be matched with existing Cin7 products, based on SKU or product code. Products that do not exist in Cin7 will also be downloaded. If you do not want to import certain products, they can be manually removed during the downloading process by using a spreadsheet. Ensure you’re logged in as an Administrator. 

By entering a last updated date, products created after this date will be downloaded. 

  • Process

Go to Shopify- Dashboard – Product status tile- Download Products

 

  • Download Images from Shopify 

By ticking on the box this will enable downloading images.

  • Log in to Cin7- Shopify account as an Administrator. 
  • Go to Dashboard- Product Status tile- Download Product Images, this will queue the action to be run in the background.
  • Simultaneously download products & images

If you need to download both products & images simultaneously, run the download product option & before finalizing the last step tick ‘Import product images’. This will import images to all products.

  • Upload Products to Shopify 
  • Can be enabled by ticking on the box in Shopify settings.
  • Inventory policy can be set in here to limit the purchase of inventory that is not in stock.
  • Then go to Dashboard- product status tile & click on upload products.
  • Upload Product Options in Shopify
    • by ticking on the Enabled tick box you can upload product options from the last date you uploaded previously.
  • Criteria’s to be met to upload product options.
  • Product has to be previously uploaded/mapped to Shopify & product options have to be added to the product since it was uploaded & unmapped. 
  • The Shopify channel has to be ticked in the product detail page & the product & options have to be active in Cin7.
  • If the product options already exist in Shopify, they will be mapped in Cin7 based on the SKU.
  • In the Product tile click on Upload Product Options- Upload Recently Modified Product Options.
  • Update Pricing to Shopify 
    • by ticking on Enabled this will enable update pricing in Shopify after a certain date. 
  • In order to carry out this the following has to be matched.

Products must be matched & products must have the channel option ‘Shopify’ ticked.

  • Price Tier – The default price to be updated to Shopify.
  • Special Price – The special price to be updated to Shopify.

Select Price tier & Special price Tier. This decides which price tier in Cin7 to draw from.

Cin7 can update both prices & compare at price in Shopify based on the price tiers specified in settings.

If the Special price is selected as default this will only be updated during the period specified. When a special price is applied compare at price will be updated with the retail price & the price will be updated with special price. Compare at price will only be updated if the special price is less than the retail price.

  • Stock Settings

By ticking on Stock, this will enable inventory to be updated from Cin7 to Shopify.

 

  • Last Updated – Inventory will be updated after the mentioned date.
  • Auto Sync Stock – by ticking on it, inventory will be updated when you visit the admin screen & download an order. 
  • Get Stock Levels From – you can select a branch to update the inventory.
  • Stock Levels to Update to Shopify –When updating stock levels, you can choose which option to calculate the stock number to update. Eg: stock available, stock on hand, etc
  • Subtract Buffer Stock from Stock Levels – You can add in buffer stock levels to ensure your accurate inventory level.
  • Map Warehouses – By ticking in this you can map Shopify Locations to Cin7 Branches. This is useful when updating stock and order status. If you assign multiple branches to the same location the inventory levels will be shown as a summation of everything. Orders will also be fulfilled based on the Cin7 branch. If no mapping was done inventory updates & order fulfilment will be done to the primary location.

Once settings are updated click Refresh warehouse options in the settings menu to download new locations.

  • Enable UOM Mapping – By ticking on this option it allows you to match variants in Shopify to UOM options in Cin7. 
  • Order Setting

By ticking on Orders, we can enable order settings.

What orders to download

  • Last updated: Orders will be downloaded after the mentioned date, after all orders have been downloaded these fields will be changed to the current date & time.
  • Created after: Only orders created after this date will be downloaded
  • Auto download orders: By ticking on this it will enable orders to be downloaded automatically. This will happen within a time gaps of 5 minutes to 2 hours.
  • You can decide when to start the download by mentioning a time in Download Orders Daily Schedule
  • Set Default Stage to – Select under which stage Cin7 orders should be created. If left blank orders will be created as ‘New’. Useful if you’re filtering orders by stage.
  • Download Fraud Warnings – This will create a fraud warning when orders are downloaded. When orders are marked with a fraud warning following will be acted upon.
  • If orders are completed, they will be undispatched
  • Order stage will be set to fraud warning
  • The 3PL will be set to ‘Do not transfer’.

In order to remove the warning, you can correct it in Shopify & click on download orders, if auto download orders are enabled, this will happen automatically the next time the download completes.

  • Credit Notes

 By ticking on the enable checkbox, when orders are downloaded if refunds or returns exists these can be downloaded as credit notes into Cin7.

  • Credit Note Default 3PL Status – set the default 3PL Status for Credit Notes when downloaded
  • Credit Note Default Accounting Status – Accounting status can be set for credit notes. By selecting ‘do not import’ orders will not be imported to your accounting software.

 

  • Update order status 

 By ticking on the enable checkbox, you can update orders from the mentioned date forward. 

  • Auto Update Order Status  

By enabling this will automatically update the order status on the same schedule as Auto Download Orders.

  • Only Update Status if Order has

 A condition can be added to update the order status.

  • Inventory Setting
  • Auto dispatch orders

 Upon download, Cin7 can automatically dispatch orders. Useful if you prefer to dispatch orders from Shopify module & download orders for the stock purpose only. Not viable for batch or serial number orders or if there is not enough stock.

  • Automatically Load BOMs for Kits 

If your product involves Bill of materials (BOM), you can select the BOM to be expanded when downloading orders. This requires the finished product order type set to ‘Kit’ in product details.

  • Estimated Time of Delivery 

You can set time to download orders.

  • Branches Setting
  • Set Default Branch To 

You can set a default branch where the orders can be downloaded, this can be changed manually in the sales order before dispatching

  • Set Default 3PL Status – Select one which is suitable for you.
  • Route Branch by Country and Stock – branches can be routed based on country, state, shipping option & stock. Shopify also has the option to route by, external route code which is the location ID from your Shopify site. Convenient if you have multiple Point of sale (POS) locations & you wish to route orders to multiple branches. 
  • Customers Setting
  • How to Create or Assign a Customer from an Order 

Matches customers when orders are downloaded, this is based on the email address or ID.

There is an option where you can download all your online customers to a particular contact. 

  • Assign to CRM Customer Group – This will assign new customers to particular reporting groups. Customer groups can be added in the settings. 
  • Customer Payment Terms – can automatically assign payment terms when a customer is created.
  • Customer Price Tier – can select a price tier from the drop-down list
  • Customer GL Account – Select an alternative GL account to customers when orders are downloaded from Shopify to Cin7.
  • Notify Customer on Fulfillment – When an order is fulfilled in Shopify you can choose to select Shopify to update the customer. If you plan to update historic transactions you can select ‘No’. 

 

 

 

 

  • Accounts Setting

This allows orders to be a batch invoice in the accounting software rather than one by one. 

  • Allow batch invoices – this will leave the invoice date & number blank until you manually fill it or process batch payments. 
  • Import Invoices Individually – this will add an invoice date & generate a number for all orders.
  • Default Accounting Status – can select a default accounting status, by selecting do not import- orders will not run into your accounting system.
  • Order Payment Terms – when downloading orders, we can select a payment term from the drop-down menu. 
  • Order Price Tier – when downloading orders, we can select a price tier assigned to the order from the drop-down menu.
  • Order GL Account – Select an Alternative General Ledger account to apply to Shopify orders. 
  • Additional Settings
  • Settings that are specified in the Shopify module
  • Mark PayPal Payments as Paid- this will override all orders where the payment type marked as Paypal as ‘fully paid’.
  • Location –The primary location has been automatically selected based on your Shopify accounting settings. You can change this after adding a new location.

 

  1. Unleashed Inventory System

Cloud- based inventory management software for manufacturers,wholesalers & distributors.

  1. Special features
  • Stock availability is automatically updated real time in Shopify
  • Availability of accurate margins for sales channels based on the landed cost calculated 
  • Stock movements relating to sales are accurately updated in the accounting software
  • Have centralized sales figures for different sales channels based on Unleashed reports (retail or wholesale)
  1. Shopify Integration Setup
  • In order to set up go to Integration – Integration Store & click on Shopify Icon
  • Enter the Shopify shop name on the right-hand side & click install. Then click on the Install app button on the next page.
  • Please note you can add up to 5 Shopify shops.

In the configuration & managing data page, you can set up features for your Shopify shop.

  1. Manage Your Data tab

Used for manually importing & exporting information.

  • Export Stock on Hand:  Will enable available stock on hand quantity for all products to be exported from Unleashed to Shopify.
  • Import Customers from Shopify to Unleashed:  Enable imports of all customers from Shopify to Unleashed. 
  • Import Products from Shopify to Unleashed: Importing of all products from Shopify to Unleashed. 
  • Export Products from Unleashed to Shopify: Enable export of all products from Unleashed to Shopify.
  • Import missing orders: will enable you to find orders that have not been imported, where you can import them accordingly.
  • You can close some Shopify shops while the integration is on. You can also close the whole integration off.
  • Tax Settings – Select the relevant option if you’re products are tax inclusive.

 

  1. Configuration Tab
  • Order Import Options – select from two options whether to ‘create a customer & an order based on each Shopify order’ or use a single customer for all Shopify orders. This is similar to Cin7.
  • Shopify Order Status – select whether you want import paid or fulfilled orders from Shopify. When fulfilled orders have imported both shipments & tracking details will be imported. 
  • Unleashed Order Status – You can select which stage the Shopify orders can be saved in Unleashed. Eg: Parked, Placed or Completed.
  • Set a prefix of this shop – you can assign a prefix to identify orders from Shopify. By default, the shop name is assigned.
  • Add Sales Group to orders – you can add a sales group for new orders
  • Warehouse Mapping – Select the warehouse in Unleashed where the Shopify orders are imported to
  • Accounting System Invoice – Enables you to select whether you want to send the invoice to your accounting system from Unleashed. If you’re sending directly from Shopify this option can be kept disabled
  • Export Stock on Hand to Shopify – the available inventory in Unleashed will automatically update in Shopify, enable if you’re only sure of the level of stock on hand 
  • Include quantities for auto-assembled products – This will be enabled only if the previous option is activated. This will show the quantity of auto-assembled products.
  • Assign warehouses for stock availability- Once you assign these the available inventory in these warehouses will be sent to Shopify. You can either select all warehouses or only selected ones.
  • The Frequency of Exporting Stock on Hand to Shopify – you can set time intervals to export stock on hand to Shopify.
  • Product Synchronization – enables any changes to the product to synchronize from the system labelled as Master. You can select from either Unleashed is master or Shopify is master. When multiple shops are integrated by default Unleashed is master will be selected. If you need to make any changes you can request help from Unleashed support through [email protected]
  • Auto Publish to Online Store – Enabled only if Unleashed is master option is elected. This will enable new products in Unleashed to be visible in Shopify.
  • Create Missing Products in Unleashed – By enabling this, it will create missing products in Unleashed when importing from Shopify. 
  • Product Sell Price Tier for this shop – the product prices assigned will be shown in Shopify as the selling price. If your product synchronizing has Shopify as the master Shopify prices will flow through as default sell price, irrespective of the selected price tier.
  • Customer Synchronization – By enabling this any customer updates in Shopify will flow to Unleashed.
  • Shipping Charge Account – The account selected in your accounting software will be used for shipping charges for sales orders imported from Shopify to Unleashed.
  • Once all configuration is done click on Save Configuration.

 

  1. Manage your products

Select which products should appear in multiple Shopify stores. You can select specific products individually or select all.  The product configuration option in the configuration tab is based on this setting.

You can search for a particular product name or filter products by product group. Or view by product type. Product type can be used to filter component products or assembled products.

The action cog shows the below functions.

  • Select all
  • Select current page
  • Unselect all
  • Unselect current page

Click on Save configuration.

If you need to make changes to any of the configurations click on the configure button in the relevant Shopify shop.

  • Connection Log

This can be used to analyze & fix errors. The following filters can be used.

  • Error
  • Info
  • All

 

  1. What happens after successful Shopify Integration
  • Stocks will be managed through Unleashed instead of Shopify
  • All stock reports being run in Unleashed

 

  1. Things to note
  • Instead of making a change to existing orders create new orders
  • You’re unable to add an existing transaction in Unleashed & process a credit to it.
  • Refunds are not integrated with Unleashed & have to be created manually.
  • When Unleashed is the master, products created & edited in Unleashed are imported to Shopify, when Shopify is the master, products created & edited in Shopify is flown to Unleashed.
  1. Downloading Products
  • When the SKU is different between Unleashed in Shopify a new product code is created in Unleashed.
  • When product description information is the same in both systems a link will be established. If the product has variants product descriptions will be updated with main product title & option value.
  • If product notes, default selling price, barcode is different, they will be overwritten with the Shopify information.
  • Images in Shopify will be added as default in Unleashed.
  • Product Variants

Shopify enables product variants to be shown. Eg: size, colour, etc These are grouped together in Shopify & each variant has its own SKU. Once integrated these product variants will be shown as unique product codes in Unleashed. This is valid when Shopify is Master.

Eg: 

200g pack of white Sugar SKU:1001

500g pack of white Sugar SKU:1002

1Kg pack of white Sugar SKU:1003

 

  1. Downloading Customers
  • After the initial integration when a new customer is added to Shopify & passed to Unleashed customer code will be the ID number in Shopify customer URL.
  • The customer name in Unleashed will link to first & last name fields in Shopify, if they are different a new record will be created in Shopify.
  • For Address, contact number, notes & taxable fields if information is the same a link will be established, if different information will be overwritten with the information from Shopify.
  • When multi-currency is involved where you’re Shopify currency has a different currency to Unleashed this has to be added in Unleashed settings in order to link Shopify shop with a different currency.

Which system caters more to your needs

Product Features DEAR  Cin7 Unleashed
Number of Shopify stores Any Number Any Number Up to 5 stores
Update stock levels automatically 
Create & sync invoices to accounting system
Purchase items not in store  
Multiple Shopify warehouses  Does not facilitate
Tax Mapping
Add payments to Shopify invoices  
Update products with different SKU Notify when downloading products Create new products Create new products
Create customers in the Inventory system
Create Credit notes    
Show product Variants  

 

Sources:
https://inventory.dearsystems.com
https://go.cin7.com
https://au.unleashedsoftware.com