Order Processing Overview
The main page listing all orders for review is at Store > Orders. Here you will find a list of all active orders and it is from here that you will process these orders as needed. In this document, we’ll review what each order status means and the difference between Store Fulfilled Orders and Wholesaler Fulfilled Orders. We will also go over 5 basic order scenarios and how to complete them.
Note: If an IndieCommerce site uses the ABA’s shared Authorize.net Payment Gateway account, credit cards used for all orders placed on the site are processed by ABA’s credit card processor.
ORDER STATUSES DEFINED
- Active - Any order that is not ‘Canceled’, ‘In Checkout’ or ‘Abandoned’ The main order page (Store > Orders) will always show Active Orders by default.
- Canceled - Order that was manually canceled by the store.
- In Checkout - Orders that a customer had begun the checkout process for, but not completed the checkout. These orders are not valid, may not have payment information, and the customer is generally aware that their order did not go through. The store can either cancel or ignore these orders. Orders can also remain in ‘In Checkout’ status when a customer could not complete checkout because of an error during checkout - invalid credit card information, missing shipping or billing information, missing customer email etc. Orders that remain ‘In Checkout’ for a specific length of time (default is 1 month) will automatically move to ‘Abandoned’ status.
- Pending - An order that is waiting for the store to take action on. The order has been placed by the customer but no further action has occurred yet.
- Processing - Order that the store is working on. It is recommended that a store change a ‘Pending’ order to ‘Processing’ as soon as any action is taken on that order.
- Payment Received - Order for which payment has been received, and this status can be used for any payment method. For credit card orders, marking an order as “Payment Received’ will charge the credit card and is often used to charge a customer's card before the order is ready to be filled. For example, a store pre-selling signed copies ahead of an author event might want to charge a customer's card before having the book signed. Generally, canceling a ‘Payment Received’ order will automatically refund the customer’s credit card.
- Pending Warehouse - Order that has been sent to Ingram, and will be filled by Ingram from one of its warehouses. There is nothing a store needs to do with an order that is ‘Pending Warehouse’.
- Shipped via Warehouse - Order that has been shipped by Ingram. For orders shipped by Ingram, it is at this status that the customer’s credit card is charged.
- Completed by Warehouse - Order that has been successfully filled and shipped by Ingram. Ingram sends ABA an invoice for that shipped order.
- Completed - Order that has been processed and shipped by the store. It is recommended that an order is marked as ‘Completed’ after it has been marked as ‘Payment Received’.
- Paypal Pending - Order, paid for using Paypal, and waiting for the store to take action on; a credit card authorization has been obtained on Paypal’s end, but not a charge. When the store captures the funds manually via Paypal, the order status will be updated automatically from ‘Paypal Pending’ to “Payment Received’.
- Abandoned - Any order that left in 'In Checkout' for a month is moved by the system to 'Abandoned' state.
Note: Selecting all order statuses together will provide a list of every order that has ever been placed on the site.
STORE FULFILLED V. WHOLESALER (INGRAM) FULFILLED
If an order status is ‘Pending Warehouse’, Shipped via Warehouse’ or ‘Completed by Warehouse’...then the order is slated to be filled by the wholesaler.
Store admins cannot edit or change the status of orders filled by the wholesaler. However, if an order has been assigned to the store, you will occasionally (when the specific circumstances occur) have the option to push the order to the wholesaler.
WHOLESALER FULFILLED ORDERS
When a new site goes live, by default, all orders will first come to the store’s order queue for review. If the system determines that an order can be filled through Ingram, a large, grey button will appear at the top of the order that says, “Send to Wholesaler”. If you click the button, the order will be sent to Ingram to fill, order status will change to ‘Pending Warehouse’ and the store will no longer have any control over that order.
There is a setting that will allow the system to automatically send eligible orders to the wholesaler, and that can be found by navigating to: Store > Configuration > Account. Information & Preferences > Store Preferences
The relevant preference is “Wholesaler fulfilled”, at the top of the page. If you select it, and click “Save Configuration”, the system will thereafter send eligible orders* to Ingram, without the store’s input.
* Conditions that make an order eligible for Ingram fulfillment is listed here “Conditions for Store v. Wholesaler Fulfilled Orders”
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ORDER IS SLATED TO BE FILLED BY THE WHOLESALER
Orders can be sent to the wholesaler in 2 ways:
- ‘Send to Wholesaler’ appears for a specific order and the store staff opts to push the order to the wholesaler for fulfillment.
- If automatic wholesaler fulfillment is enabled for the site, as soon as the customer finalizes their order, if the order is eligible for wholesaler fulfillment
When an order is picked up by the wholesaler, it is generally filled within 24-48 hours, meaning the order would be packed and handed off to UPS for delivery within that time. Keep in mind, though, that titles available from the wholesaler are listed in the database as 'Usually ships in 1-5 days', indicating that they have up to 5 days to ship the order from the warehouse.
When the order is shipped, the order status is changed to ‘Shipped via Warehouse’ and the credit card used to place the order is charged. The shipping tracking number will be added to the (online) order invoice, which the store can choose to email the customer. In a day or 2, ABA will receive the order invoice from the wholesaler, and it is at this time that the order status is changed to ‘Completed by Warehouse’. ABA is responsible for paying the wholesaler the invoice amount, which will include the cost of books, cost of shipping and the wholesaler handling fee. ABA will collect this amount from the store in the next following ACH transfer, the details for which are available in the reconciliation report.
Stores should alert ABA staff if orders pending wholesaler fulfillment remain in the same order status for longer than 72 hrs.
It is also important to keep in mind that occasionally, the wholesaler picks up an order, only to find that it cannot be filled as placed. This may be due to damaged stock, incorrect on-hand counts, stock that has been held for another customer etc. On the rare occasions when this happens, the order will be pushed back to the store and the order status will be changed to ‘Pending’. When this happens, an email is sent to alert the store staff, however, as always, we ask that stores log into the website and check their orders every day, regardless of whether or not an email alert has been received.
STORE FULFILLED ORDERS
When an order is listed as store-fulfilled, it is almost as if the customer had called on the phone to place an order. It will be up to the store to contact the customer to let them know that the order was received, to let them know if the order can be filled as placed, and whether there will be any delay. It is also the store's responsibility to obtain the book(s), and to ship them out in a timely fashion. If a store ever has a question or issue regarding a particular order, they should contact ABA IndieCommerce (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
When a customer places a store-fulfilled order, they receive a confirmation email. At the same time, an email is sent to the store, so that the store is aware that an order has been placed. However, it is important to keep in mind that while an email is generated for every order, these emails may not always reach their intended destination. We have seen emails delivered a month later, deleted by spam filters, or lost altogether. Therefore, it is recommended that a store log into their order view page at least once a day and check for new orders. Do not rely on receiving an email to know if you have new orders.
As stated above, Ingram cannot fill every order that comes through the site. To learn more about the various conditions that determine if an order can be filled by the wholesaler please review: Conditions For Store V. Wholesaler Fulfillment
While processing store-fulfilled orders, it is important to remember that the store does not have direct access to credit card information. We've set up the system this way in order to be PCI-compliant (we are prohibited, by law, from insecurely storing or transmitting credit card information to our member bookstores). When an order is placed to be paid with a credit card, at the time of checkout, an authorization is placed on the card for the order total. The 'pre-auth' or 'hold' may last anywhere from 3 days to 4 weeks (the length of time is determined by the card's issuing bank). This is standard banking procedure, and ABA has no control over it. When this order is marked as ‘Payment Received’, the card is charged against this authorization. This means that for a store-fulfilled order, the store controls exactly when the customer's card is charged, if at all.
ABOUT COMPLETING ORDERS
When a store fulfilled order has been processed and shipped, the order should be marked as ‘Completed’. This is a recommended step for all orders, irrespective of the payment method.