The promise of an all-in-one inventory management software (TradeGecko) synchronizing in real-time with an industry-leading eCommerce platform (Shopify), seems to be a match made in heaven. Or is it too good to be true?
At Rue Digital, we are big fans of this important integration that allows customers to manage their Shopify inventory, pricing, and sales orders through TradeGecko. We also advise businesses to temper their expectations about how well and granular it works.
In this article, we are highlighting 3 important areas you (perhaps) didn’t know Shopify and TradeGecko are yet to fully sync – we wish they do soon! – and why they matter for businesses like yours.
Updating Product Details
When first setting up the Shopify integration, the installation wizard provides 3 choices about how you would like your product information to sync between TradeGecko and Shopify.
Adopting TradeGecko to be your all-in-one inventory management software and “source of truth”, you would want to select All product information (option 1), thus allowing you to manage all product details from the TradeGecko portal directly. Or does it?
Indeed, our experience working with numerous clients on their TradeGecko setups taught us that, although newly created Products are synced properly between the two platforms, this is unfortunately not (yet) the case when it comes to updating Product information.
A few examples of gaps in product integration:
- Shopify product’s Vendor field displays in TradeGecko under Brand (although the definitions for both terms are different).
- The Supplier field in TradeGecko does not display in Shopify.
- The Collection field in Shopify does not display in TradeGecko.
- Changing the Variant default image in TradeGecko does not reflect at the Shopify product page, however it will be added to the image gallery. You will then have to select it manually within Shopify.
Confused? So were we. Rest assured that while the gaps we have identified will most likely not break the workflows you have or want to put in place between Shopify and TradeGecko, they do exist. By the time you encounter them (hopefully with our hands-on assistance!), this should not come as a surprise anymore.
Updating Customer Details
Does your sales staff primarily work from Shopify? Are you looking to handle customer contact information without having to jump back and forth between Shopify and TradeGecko?
Thankfully the integration automatically ports any newly created Shopify customer card over to TradeGecko as a Relationship, so you can have the same view in TradeGecko. Convenient! Whether it will be categorised asConsumer or Business Customer, would depend on how you configure the Shopify integration however.
That being said, you should know that updating or deleting a customer in Shopify will not (yet) update or delete the corresponding relationship in TradeGecko, and vice-versa.
Whether it is a simple customer email address change, important notes left by the assigned account manager, or a yearly clean-up/archiving of obsolete customer data, customer-related edits you make on Shopify will have to be manually entered in TradeGecko in parallel.
If you have a limited pool of unique customers and operating on a B2B model, this will be hardly an issue as manual edits are fairly easy to make. However with a large majority of Shopify users serving the B2C consumer market with thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers… such edits may take hours or days, literally!
Creating Stock Transfers
Businesses often have multiple warehouses and/or shops, and stock transfers – the act of moving goods from one part of the distribution chain to another – are a common practice to satisfy customer’s orders.
Therefore, it is important for Shopify businesses to have an accurate and complete view of their available and incoming stocks across locations, otherwise running the risk of losing a sale.
The good news is, TradeGecko synchronises available stocks across matched locations with Shopify without a hitch, in real-time. Unfortunately (you were expecting it), incoming stock information are not synced in Shopify.
Running out of goods, and moving your entire cargo of items from the warehouse to your shop for an upcoming seasonal sale? Your front staff will still only see zero in Shopify under Incoming goods, with the Available stock only increasing once the Stock Transfer in TradeGecko is effectively received.
While the Available stock information is the most critical piece of information, there is value in having the Incoming stock field synced as well (e.g. for pre-sales, urgent requests, etc.) It would seem that this is an easy fix for the TradeGecko technical folks, so fingers crossed!
Curious about other integration gaps? As official TradeGecko partner, Rue Digital can help you turbocharge your TradeGecko with hands-on custom implementation services, backed with in-depth expertise. Focus on your business. Contact us now.