Before you go live with your connection, understand some of the basics of how Pipe17 works.
This guide is part of is an overview of what you need to do to get your Pipe17 account up and running:
- Step 0: Sign up for an account
- Step 1: Get connected to your channels!
- Step 2: Configure basic settings
- Step 3: Test
- Step 4: Go live!
In this article
- Orders, shipping requests, and fulfillments
- Order Hold
- Order routing
- Inventory and locations
- Common use cases
Orders, shipping requests, and fulfillments
Now that you've got your selling channel added, Pipe17 will start pulling your open orders from that channel. You should understand that each order follows a specific journey within Pipe17:
- Ingestion: this is the process of being "pulled" from your sales channel and created in Pipe17. We will pull the products, customer, shipping address, billing address, and other order information.
- Order routing: if your order is un-fulfilled and contains shippable items, our Order Routing Engine will determine where this order should go for fulfillment. This is dictated by your order routing rules, covered in the section below.
- Shipping request: if the Order Routing Engine finds a valid location to send your order, it will create one or more shipping requests. This is the piece of data containing the exact SKUs that need to ship and any specified shipping methods. The shipping request will be visible on the order page in Pipe17, and it will be sent to the fulfillment channel (assuming you have "push shipping requests" enabled in your fulfillment channel).
- Fulfillment: once the fulfillment channel receives the shipping request, they will work on shipping out the requested items. Once they do, they will report the order fulfillment back to Pipe17, and this fulfillment will be displayed in the Pipe17 order page. Finally, the fulfillment will sync back to the selling channel so your customer can be notified that their order shipped (assuming you have "push fulfillments" enabled in your selling channel).
Setting up order hold gives you the ability to hold a given order for a period of time or mark it review required. When an order is marked review required, it will require manual approval within the UI for it to be processed for fulfillment. This could be a valuable step as you are testing or dealing with large orders that might require review.
Setting up order routing is an important step, because without this your orders will just sit in Pipe17 - they won't actually go anywhere. Generally, you will fall into one of two categories:
- All your orders should be routed to one fulfillment location.
- Your orders should go to different locations, or maybe not route at all, based on specific criteria for each order (like shipping address or order tags).
In the first scenario, you just need to head into your Organization > Order Routing page in Pipe17 and specify your fulfillment location here:
For the second scenario, take a look at our in-depth guide on Order Routing to configure your routing rules.
Inventory and locations
If you are syncing inventory from your fulfillment to your selling channel, you should understand how locations work in Pipe17. The fulfillment channel that you connect to Pipe17 may have multiple different warehouses - or, you may have connected multiple single warehouse fulfillment channels to Pipe17. In either case, you'll have more than one stock location and these will be differentiated in Pipe17 as locations, visible in the Inventory > Locations page of the portal.
Many selling channels, like Shopify, also have the concept of locations. In this case, you may have one location in your selling channel for each of your possible fulfillment locations, so that you can accurately track inventory in each one.
Locations are used in two important processes in Pipe17:
- They are used by the Order Routing Engine, to determine exactly where a specific order should go.
- They are used to sync inventory, so that you can specify exactly which stock locations should sync to each selling channel.
For the second process to work, you need to make sure your selling channel locations are correctly linked to your fulfillment locations - otherwise, Pipe17 doesn't know which corresponds to which. The easiest way to understand this is to head into the "Locations" page in your selling channel: in Shopify for example, find this by navigating to Settings > Locations. One of the locations listed here is the one that should hold your inventory from Amazon MCF. Which one? The Pipe17 system needs to know so that we can send inventory to the right place and make sure it's sellable in your store!
To configure this, you'll use the steps covered in our Merge Locations guide.
|But my setup is super simple! I just want all of the inventory that exists in Pipe17 to map to a single location in my selling channel. Great! Certain Pipe17 connectors also support aggregating all of your fulfillment stock locations into a single selling location. Review the settings available in your specific selling channel connector in the Pipe17 portal, or review the setup guide for that connector in our Connectors page. Once you find the setting (usually called "Inventory Totals" or "Inventory Aggregation"), add your selling channel location there and you're all set.|
You can learn more about locations by reviewing our in-depth explainer article on Locations.
Common use cases
Do you have SKUs in your selling channel that actually represent "sets" of individual SKUs stocked at your fulfillment channel? If so, you'll need to make use of Pipe17's bundling functionality. If this feature is included in your plan, now is the time to configure your bundles.
If your selling and fulfillment SKUs don't correspond exactly, you'll need to map them. This can be done in a few ways:
- You can actually set up 1-to-1 SKU mapping using bundles, by adding the fulfillment SKU as a "component" of the selling SKU using these steps.
- Most fulfillment connectors have a "SKU mapping" field in the connector settings. Review the setup guide for your specific connector in our Connectors page for more information on this per-connector option.
If your orders don't come in from the selling channel with a shipping method that is accepted by your fulfillment service, you likely need to specify which other shipping method(s) should be used for fulfillment.
Many fulfillment connectors have "shipping method" settings in the connector settings. Review the setup guide for your specific connector in our Connectors page for more information on this per-connector option. If this isn't an option for your connector, ensure that your orders come in from your selling channel with the correct shipping method for your fulfillment service to use.
You may not want to use the Pipe17 Order Routing Engine and instead choose to pre-assign orders to a specific location from your selling channel. In this case, you can configure Pipe17 to skip order routing for these orders and instead respect the pre-assigned location. This option exists in your Integrations > Order Routing Engine settings under "Create Shipping Request for Pre Routed Orders/Items".
Out of stock orders
Before you start to process your orders through Pipe17, you'll want to consider what to do with orders that fail to fulfill because of lack of stock. The two most common options for dealing with these are:
- Periodically retry order routing on OOS orders
- Auto-cancel OOS orders ("fill or kill")
Both options are available as settings in your Integrations > Order Routing Engine - you should choose which one you'd like to use and enable it.