Abel’s Interface for Shopify® or WooCommerce® Websites

Posted on 13.11.2023 by Rik

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Abel can interface with both Shopify and WooCommerce websites. In this article, we’ll focus on Shopify as an example. Abel’s Shopify interface includes both Retail (B2B) and Trade (B2C) workflows. The workflow includes receiving orders, processing despatches and (for trade websites) processing invoices as well.

Web Sale Process – Retail

For Retail customers, the Shopify interface captures the web order, customers details and payment. The tender process is handled by Shopify. Retail website orders then come through to Abel as a Website Cash Sale.

Individual retail customers are not set up in Abel. There is usually one generic retail “cash sale” customer at the Abel end (some sites have two generic customers – one for domestic sales and a second for international). This does not affect your Shopify Customer Account options. i.e. in Shopify, you can optionally have accounts for retail customers if required.

Web Sale Process – Trade / Wholesale / B2B

Trade customers log on to the trade area of the website. Abel detects inbound trade orders and processes them as Website Customer Orders for the corresponding Abel customer (rather than Website cash sale for the single generic cash sale customer). Website Customer Orders complete their lifecycle (despatch, invoice and payment) using existing standard Abel processes and settings.

Outside of Abel, new Trade Customers go through an application process and your team manually enters the trade customer’s Client details into Shopify.

Abel’s customer importer runs on a timer and imports new customers from Shopify with an automatically generated Abel Customer Code.  The Shopify ID goes into an Abel dictionary field.

Your team then edits the Abel Customer to enter any additional details required by the trading relationship such as credit terms and credit limit.

Outside of Abel, your team provides the Trade Customer with a login to the trade website.

Shipping and Fulfillment

Orders are fulfilled in Abel using the standard Abel despatch process.
Abel has a Despatch Notification extract that runs on a timer for updating Shopify.

Inventory and Pricing

Inventory is maintained separately in both Abel and the Website.

Pricing – Retail. In Abel there is a pricing extract that runs on a timer.

Pricing – Trade. The trade workflow prices must be maintained manually on the website by your team. Abel’s Customer Order and Customer Invoice will use the prices passed to it from the website.

Stock on Hand. The available quantity for inventory is updated in Shopify by a process that runs on a timer in Abel.

Shopify Interface Implementation

In a Shopify implementation the following tasks are normally undertaken by your team.

  • Implement the Shopify end of the interface.
  • Maintain the inventory items on the website with inventory codes that correspond with Abel inventory items.
  • Manually maintain trade pricing on the website for the B2B workflow.
  • Manage the onboarding process for new trade customers and enter them into Abel manually.
  • Manage the completion of web order workflows using their normal business process e.g. despatches and (for trade) invoices.

The following are additional points to note or consider for your Abel – Shopify Interface:

  • For retail and wholesale, identify the URL’s that are in scope.
    Are there multiple URL’s? Or one URL with a sub-domain for trade?
    Multiple web sites can be interfaced to Abel.
  • Are the customers all local or are there international customers as well?
  • If international – are the sales made in foreign currencies or in NZD?
  • A Shopify site will have a store currency e.g. NZD but offer to convert to a customer’s currency based on their location.
  • GST – for International orders, the website must apply the correct taxes when accepting the order. For NZ orders, GST is calculated in Shopify and the tax amount is imported into Abel.
    i.e. Shopify handles sales taxes both local and foreign. Order values and taxes are all calculated prior to import into Abel.
  • Shipping and freight. Shipping choices are typically handled in Shopify.  Shopify passes the freight amount to Abel and Abel creates a Freight line. 
    i.e. Shopify generates freight lines and values which are simply built into the Abel Order.