Getting Started for Printers
IN THIS GUIDE
This guide is for print companies interested in learning more about Order Desk. If you are an artist who sends your orders to a print company for fulfillment, please see the Getting Started for Artists guide instead.
What Order Desk Does
Order Desk is an order management app that can be customized to support the unique workflows your customers have. If you are a supplier looking for a way to simplify and consolidate the transition of orders from your customers' stores to your fulfillment service, Order Desk may be the solution.
With dozens of shopping cart integrations available, Order Desk can connect to your customers' stores and quickly download their orders so they can be sent to your company for fulfillment.
Each Order Desk store can be set up to edit, split, move and process orders exactly how the customer needs them to be handled. As orders are fulfilled, Order Desk can send tracking updates back into the original shopping carts.
What Order Desk Really Does
Order Desk builds integrations to the APIs and webhooks of other services, allowing order data, inventory information and shipping and fulfillment details to be pushed and pulled between them. This lets a merchant or supplier compile everything they need to know about an order in one single hub, here in Order Desk, to facilitate and ease the management, communication and fulfillment process.
Order Desk has over 250 integrations with more being added all the time. If you already have an Order Desk account, you can access the current list of available integrations by clicking on Manage Integrations in the left sidebar and navigating through the integration type tabs: Shopping Carts, Shipping, Fulfillment, etc.
A single Order Desk store can connect to as many integrations as needed, but it can only connect to one instance of an integration. For example, if your customer has two Shopify stores, they will need one Order Desk store for each API connection (each Shopify store), but orders can be copied or moved from one Order Desk store to another if necessary.
If an integration doesn't exist, this doesn't necessarily mean that Order Desk can't work. Order Desk can still be automated for as much of the fulfillment process as possible using import and export templates. We’ll cover that in more detail in the next section.
And there's more!
Order Desk is more than just a hub connecting services to each other. With Order Desk, it's possible to set up a custom workflow, use the Rule Builder to automate most things, split orders for multiple vendors, fix or set shipping preferences, communicate to customers, yourself or anyone else, create custom order documents and manage inventory.
Options to Integrate
If you would like us to build an integration to your printing company, please contact us and tell us a little more about your setup. An integration isn’t always feasible or necessary, so we’d need information like your API documentation, the products you provide, your location(s), and anything else that you believe would be necessary to help our developers review your request.
If it is determined that an integration can be built, a development fee will be required to sponsor the build. If you are not able to cover that fee, we can add your company to our list of feature requests instead. This internal list is used to record customer interest for new integrations, and we prioritize requests when we see that the interest is higher.
If you have an API, Order Desk can potentially build an integration directly to your service. If you would like to start a conversation about this, please send an email to Order Desk support with a link to your API docs and some information about your company. Our developers will review your API and we will follow up to let you know if an integration is feasible.
Import and Export Files
If your company does not have an API, you can still communicate with Order Desk through import and export templates. Every Order Desk subscription offers the ability to build an export template that sends out order information in a file through email or FTP. Also included is the ability to send shipment files back into Order Desk via email or FTP by creating an import template.
To be able to send and receive information like this, simply create your own Order Desk account and test it out with a few of your customers. If, after using Order Desk and becoming familiar with how the platform works, you would like to discuss the possibility of turning this process into an integration—where the setup work is handled by the integration rather than with manually created import and export templates—please contact Order Desk support to begin that conversation.
Copy Orders into Primary Store
Another option for companies that do not have an API is to use Order Desk as the fulfillment software by creating your own primary Order Desk store and having a secondary Order Desk store for each of your customers on your account. The secondary stores would import orders from the shopping carts and then copy those orders into your primary store. In the primary store, you can manage the orders and add shipments when they are fulfilled.
When shipments are added in your primary store, they will be copied back into the secondary stores automatically and sent back into the original shopping cart.
For more information on this, please see the How to Manage Multiple Stores on One Account guide.
If, after using Order Desk and becoming familiar with how the platform works, you would like to discuss the possibility of turning this process into an integration, please contact Order Desk support to begin that conversation.
Each of your customers will need their own Order Desk store to be able to connect to their shopping cart(s). A single customer that has multiple stores on one platform (such as multiple Shopify accounts) will need to have a separate Order Desk store to support each connection.
With this in mind, there are two ways you can use Order Desk to have your customers' orders sent to you.
1. You Manage Multiple Stores
You can manage your customers' stores for them with or without their involvement in the Order Desk process.
For this to work, they will need to either give you permission to access their shopping carts through integrations or provide spreadsheets of their orders to be imported into Order Desk.
If they will be providing access to their carts, these are your options to connect to their stores:
- They can share their credentials with you so you can connect the integration.
- If they are on Shopify, they can give you access through the private app method.
- You can give them access to their own Order Desk store to set up the connection for you.
You can connect all of your customer stores to the billing plan on your primary store.
2. Customers Manage Their Own Stores
You can have your customers sign up for Order Desk on their own and ask them to use the app to send their orders to you through the option you have chosen to receive orders.
They can pay for their own stores this way, but if you still plan to cover their stores on your own Plus plan, they can add you as a user to their store so you can link it to your own billing.
How Fulfillment Works
This section explains how you can use Order Desk to help fulfill your customers' orders and send shipment information back to their stores.
Order Desk pulls orders in from shopping carts, lets merchants add extra details to the orders or items, and then sends the orders to the fulfillment service to be created and shipped.
How does this work for your print business?
Most shopping carts will not have a way to add print details to items, nor will most be able to connect directly to your company allowing your customer to quickly transfer orders to you for fulfillment.
Using Order Desk, they (or you) can connect their shopping cart(s) to Order Desk, where their inventory is already set up with the artwork files and your product codes for the items to be printed on. When orders come into Order Desk, the print details are automatically synced into the items in the orders, and the store can be set up to automatically send the orders to your company for fulfillment.
Keep in mind that Order Desk does not talk directly to your printing machines. All orders will be collected in a single location and the info will be translated, the print details attached, and the orders will be sent to your company through the method you select.
Fulfillment and Tracking
Once the orders have been sent to your company, you can fulfill them the way you normally do.
If your fulfillment service is integrated with Order Desk, tracking and fulfillment details will automatically be pulled back into orders in Order Desk.
If your service does not have an integration, you can still add tracking and shipment details to the orders in your stores a few different ways. The most efficient option is to import a file with the tracking details.
If the settings are in place and the shopping cart integration allows for it, as an order is fulfilled in Order Desk, the fulfillment details will be pushed back into the shopping cart as a notification that the order has shipped and the order should be closed.
In some cases, you may want to send shipment notification emails directly from Order Desk.
Order Desk has three payment plans to choose from:
- Starter Plan: For stores that are just getting started and have a lower volume and/or that only need up to three integrations. $12/month + 25¢/order
- Pro Plan: For established stores with a volume under about 3,000 orders per month and that do not need more than three Order Desk stores. $40/month + 5¢/order per store.
- Plus Plan: For merchants or suppliers with more than 3,000 orders per month and/or a need for multiple Order Desk stores. $100/month + 3¢/order. Unlimited Pro stores.
Each Order Desk store can be set up under a different plan. However, as a supplier, you may find that the Plus Plan is your best option since it comes with unlimited Pro stores and has a discounted per order fee.
If you choose the Plus Plan, start by creating your own primary store where you can add your payment details. This is especially important if you plan to give your customers access to their own stores as it will keep your top level store and payment details separate from their stores and activity. As long as you do not give them access to your primary store, they will not be able to see your billing information or any of your other customers' information.
Every Order Desk store has its own billing settings which can be accessed from the Billing link under the Account menu in the left sidebar.
Stores on the Plus Plan can have secondary stores linked to them from the billing page, and the orders from each store will be added to the bill.
If there will be separate billing plans and payment details for every store, visit the billing page in each store to choose the store's plan and add payment details. If you add your customers as store users, they will be able to handle the billing themselves.
Many of these guides are linked throughout this article, but here is a comprehensive list of Order Desk help guides to show you around the app and help you set up your stores:
- Getting Started: General getting started guides that provide an overview of the app. Learn how to connect to integrations, add inventory, work with folders, submit orders, and get some tips on working with the Rule Builder.
- Print on Demand Fulfillment: This is the ultimate guide for Print on Demand stores so know how the print process works from beginning to end in Order Desk.
- Getting Started for Artists: This is the getting started guide to share with your own customers if they will be using Order Desk to send orders to you.
- How to Work with Inventory Details: See this guide for information on the different ways to work with inventory in Order Desk.
- Print on Demand Integration Product Settings: Need to swap a SKU, skip a SKU or work with gift messages or picklist messages? Read how in this guide.
- Print on Demand Bundles: This guide explains how to break apart bundles for print on demand items.
- Print on Demand Order Syncing: Learn how to sync the print details connected to inventory items into orders in this guide.
- How to Work with Rules: How to use the Order Desk Rule Builder.
- How to Set Up Shipping Class Matches: Set shipping preferences in each fulfillment integration so orders are sent through with the right info.
- Imports: Import files of orders, shipments or inventory into Order Desk.
- Exports: Export any order data in the format and layout you need. Send files to yourself, to third parties or use them to create custom reports.
- How to Split Orders: Instructions on the different methods for splitting orders once they are in Order Desk.
- How to Split & Dropship Orders for Separate Vendors: Overview on how to split orders and send to separate vendors.
- How to Work with Email Templates: How to work with emails using Order Desk.
- How to Send Shipment/Tracking Info to Customers: If you need to send customers tracking information as their orders ship, do so with Order Desk following the instructions in this guide.
- Customizable Receipts/Order Documents: Create your own customized order documents such as receipts, packing slips and invoices.
- How to Create PDFs: Instructions for creating a PDF from a receipt template.
- Common Errors from Integrations: A list of the most common errors received from integrations.
- Multiple Stores on One Account: Set up and work with multiple stores on one Order Desk account.
- How to Add Store Users & Permissions: Add users to a store and learn how to set their permissions.
- How to Cancel an Order: Not every order can be canceled or handled the same way in Order Desk. Read this guide for integration specifics as well as general advice on working with canceled orders.
- How to Handle Returns: How to handle returns in Order Desk.
Don't forget to search the help site for guides about the specific integrations you need to enable. If available, more information will be provided in the integration guide.
Do you communicate with our printing machine?
Order Desk does not communicate directly to the machines that print your items; it sends order information to your company via API, FTP, email or directly within the Order Desk app, depending on the connection type being used. Once the orders are received by your company, you can then send the information to your printers in whichever manner you typically use.
How will I charge my customers through you?
Order Desk cannot charge your customers for you. You will need to continue to bill your customers the way you normally do, which must be handled outside of the Order Desk process.
Will you build an integration to my service/software?
Maybe! This depends on the technical details. Contact Order Desk Support for more information. In your email, please include the name of your software or service, a link to the website and any API docs that are available. We will review the information and let you know if it's possible or not. There is a fee for integration development.
If you plan to build your own API first, please refer to these best practices.
I want to have an integration built, but I don't have an API. What can I do?
Read through the non-API integration options in this guide to learn how you can still use Order Desk, even without an API.
If you use Order Desk with one of the other options and have decided that it is the right app to help you with your fulfillment service, please contact Order Desk support to start a conversation on whether or not an integration is possible.
I haven't used Order Desk before, but I want my company to be one of the non-API integrations. What are my options?
The first step to getting an integration is to become familiar with the Order Desk app, learn how to use it and gain an understanding of how your customers will need to use it to connect with your company.
Once you have used Order Desk for awhile and determined that it's an app you are happy with and want to use moving forward, please contact Order Desk support to begin that conversation and see if an integration will be possible.