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Best Practices: Drop shipping and Elastic export

Thanks to the combination of our plugins ElasticExport and ElasticSync including the FormatDesigner, data exchange between plentymarkets and additional systems or service providers can be easily automated.

1. Creating an interface with your drop shipping provider: no coding skills needed

If you want to use services that require data from your plentymarkets system but cannot be integrated directly via an interface, our plugins ElasticExport and Elastic Sync including the FormatDesigner offer you a simple and versatile solution.

In the following, the connection and the interplay between the two plugins will be shown with the help of a use case. The use case will demonstrate how order data can be transferred to a local shipping provider without having to rely on a separate interface for data transmission.

2. Creating the necessary format

The first step consists of creating the necessary format with the help of the FormatDesigner.

Creating the format in the FormatDesigner:

  1. Go to Data » FormatDesigner.

  2. Create a new format of the type orderItem.

  3. Assign a distinct name to the format and select the separators that should be used.

  4. By clicking on Save, the new format is created.

Use the FormatDesigner to flexibly create a data export that meets the requirements of your service provider. First, select the appropriate category and the desired field within the category on the right-hand side of the menu. By clicking on the field, it is added to the format. You can now enter an individual name for that field. For example, you can rename the field with the default name Custom_value so that it is displayed as fulfilment_custno in the final export file.

In our example, we have a preset external customer number assigned by the shipping provider. Click on change value to include a fixed value.

The following fields from the orderItem format are typically needed to manage drop shipping:

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Pay attention to data protection laws

Make sure that you work within the legal frameworks concerning the protection of customer data. Should your drop shipping provider require data such as telephone numbers or email addresses from customers, those data need to be documented separately. To pass on such data, you have to be authorized by the respective customers to do so.

3. Using the created format

In the second step, the format created in the FormatDesigner is used for an Elastic export.

Using the format with Elastic export:

  1. Go to Data » Elastic export.

  2. Click on New export to create a new export.

  3. Select the type Order item.

  4. Use the field Provisioning to determine whether the export file should be provided via HTTP or via a server.

  5. In the field File name, template variables can be entered. Example: The template variable $day$hour.csv inserts the respective date and the matching hour into the name of the export file.

  6. Use the field Transfer to select the interval in which a new file should be exported.

  7. Use the Order item filters to determine which order items should be included in the export file.

  8. The option below Format settings allows you to set up a status change for successfully exported orders. The advantage of a status change is that orders are only exported once and are thus only processed once by the drop shipping provider.

  9. Save the settings.

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4. Transmitting the export files

After using the FormatDesigner to create the format and selecting the options for the Elastic export, you only have to decide on how you would like to transmit the export file to your drop shipping provider.

Your selection for the field Provisioning in the menu Data » Elastic export is crucial here. If you have selected an FTP server, the drop shipping provider can access data independently on that server on a daily basis. In case you want to manually transmit your data in certain cases, you can use the Download function in the menu Data » Elastic export any time to download the latest export file and process it as needed.

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