One store, multiple POD suppliers

MsCeleste
New Member
1 0 0

Before I open a Shopify store, I am trying to find out if I can use multiple POD suppliers with one Shopify store. If yes, how can I do that? Can anyone help? Thanks!

Replies 12 (12)
Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Hey, @MsCeleste! Great question, and the answer is yes you can use more than one print on demand supplier on your store. 

 

In a nutshell, POD is integrated with your Shopify account using any of these third party apps from the Shopify App Store; Your designs are created directly within the apps.

 

Once a design is complete, the app will turn it into a Product within your Shopify admin. The product information will be directly linked to the app of the POD supplier it is from. So when a customer makes a purchase, the order coming through your online store will also go through to the respective POD supplier. Each supplier will make and ship the item(s) separately to your customer. Does that make sense?

 

Here are a few resources containing more information that you may find helpful to get started:

 

What type of products are you going to be selling through print on demand? Do you already have some particular POD companies in mind that you’d like to work with?

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

Hi Helen:

I reviewed your responses to many questions and appreciated your clear and correct responses.  Your answer to this question regarding One Shopify Store utilizing 2 or more PODs was the best I found for this topic...by far.

I was not able to find an avenue to contact you directly so I am utilizing this subject in the hope that you will be the one who answers my questions.

I will be utilizing two PODs for my new Shopify store.  Gelato and Pictorem, two PODs that Shopify provides in the aps store.  I will be adding a variety of print formats and sizes, mugs, and t-shirts via Gelato and Wall Frames via Pictorem.

I currently have a full-blown website, Trinity Stores, www.trinitystores.com, on a Drupal platform.  Drupal has a module to integrate with Shopify cart.  My off-site Drupal web designer will be leading my effort to integrate Trinity Stores with Shopify and the two PODs.

I realize that the two PODs will determine and drive how we get the products to our new Shopify store.  We have much to figure out because we currently have 1,800 artworks that we need to 'superimpose' onto the many product formats from the two PODs.  We hope to learn about how we can batch process this effort and import the approximately 18,000 to 36,000 product formats to the new Shopify store.

I have been doing tons of research before proposing the effort to my web designer to help me.  My web designer has two initial questions for me that I would like to ask you.  They are:

  • Do the POD vendors have a built-in service to upload images/products and populate Shopify, which can then be synced over to the TS store through the Shopify integration? (This would save having to set up a ton of new Image Styles or Fancy Knockouts).  I KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST PART OF HIS QUESTION.  WILL THE DRUPAL MODULE THAT INTEGRATES MY WEBSITE WITH SHOPIFY CART ALLOW FOR SYNCING THE PRODUCTS FROM SHOPIFY TO TRINITY STORES (DRUPAL MODULE =https://www.drupal.org/project/shopify)?  
  • Does Shopify have a sufficient reporting / order management interface? Or is that why you are considering Order Desk (with it's additional fees)

 

Thank you very much, in advance, for your time on this important matter.  I really hop you are the Shopify Staff person who responds.  Peace, John 

Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Hello, @trinitystores. Thanks for reaching out and I appreciate your positive feedback; I’m so glad you’ve found my replies clear, concise and helpful. Let’s find you some more answers so that you can get your business integrated ASAP.

 

Generally yes, the POD apps allow for you to create your products directly within the app, so they will have a way for you to upload your images, apply them to the products ,and provide you with a mock up that you can set as the Product image on your website. Once the product is created within the app, it is then pushed through to Shopify where it becomes a Product. However, I understand your concern from there, in that since the products are synced between the POD app and your Shopify account, will syncing between Shopify and Drupal maintain the sync between Shopify and the POD app, right? 

 

To be honest, I’m not sure what the answer is. Personally, I’d first be inclined to just test it out: Create a test product in each of the POD apps, sync it to Shopify, integrate the product onto your Drupal website, then place a test order. If testing it out is not viable, then I would actually recommend contacting the app developers to inquire about this. They’ll be the most likely to be able to identify if their product sync will stay, and/or may even be able to help with any tweaks needed to the integration to ensure you are able to get it to function properly.

 

However, have you heard of the Shopify Buy Button? This is what we generally recommend to use when wanting to integrate products from Shopify to a third party site (including POD products). I’m not familiar with the Drupal platform, nor their cart integration, but after taking a look at your website, the Buy Button might be something to consider in order to have an easier and more predictable way to be able to integrate products onto your website. Let me know what you think.

 

In regards to Shopify’s order management, I believe it is very sufficient since the Shopify platform is made specifically for the purpose of running and managing an ecommerce business. The Help Doc on Managing Orders will be useful to guide you through all of the functionalities of order management in Shopify. However, that being said, are there specific order management requirements you have? 

 

There are also Analytics built directly into the platform that offer a variety of different reports to help manage your business. Shopify Analytics in particular, provides reports and other insights into your store’s activity. The types of reports available are dependent on the subscription plan chosen, and so you can find a chart outlining which reports are available on each plan here. There are also links to more in depth descriptions of each report in that Doc. What types of reports do you require for your business?

 

I hope this information helps. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your business so that we can find the best way to smoothly implement Shopify’s functionalities onto your website.

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

FYI:  I received an email error message when I utilized the Reply button in your email response (The mail system<shopify.prod|3bb40e0c|63ca8a35-8f75-42ff-bc71-4a99857184b1@replybyemail-us-west-2-prod-747076643.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com>:   mail for replybyemail-us-west-2-prod-747076643.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com  lloops back to myself) so I am responding here as well.  I hope this works.

Hey Helen:  Excellent responses and advice.  My life, regarding reinventing my 20 year, full-blown ecommerce site into a full POD only site, will be much easier once my web designer is on board.  I proposed the plan to him last Friday and he is excited and on board.  I am copying your great replies for him.  I also appreciate your promptness as I promised him answers to his questions by Monday, first thing.  Based on the questions I asked to some POD and other tech support people, I should not have promised Monday morning :).

Your idea of running a test is, of course, excellent.  In that same area of problem solving, we really have to find out if the PODs of choice will afford us avenues to Bulk Import from them to Shopify.  Gelato POD has all kinds of info regarding Bulk Importing FROM Shopify to Gelato but no information of Bulk Importing TO Shopify.  We will continue searching.  Pictorem POD tech support is more difficult to reach.

I did read about the Shopify Buy Button prior.  I just now went back to it and also watched a YouTube demo.  Looks very cool.  Might help us with the TS site but I am guessing not with the two PODs.  I always worry about how are we going to deal with the 18K to 36K products so I am always wondering about Bulk processing (how would I add a Buy Button X 36K products)?  I will turn this over to my web designer as he can best determine if this is part of the solutions.

Thanks also for the Managing Orders link.  I have been there many times.  Now it will be web designers turn…notice an ongoing theme?

I figured I would be going with the Shopify plan ($79/month).  I will now spend some time with your Reports link to learn about them and to see how confused I can make myself. 

Thanks so much!  I will keep you posted after talking with web designer.  If you have any more words of wisdom, please do share.  I truly appreciate you and you helping me with this very important venture.

Peace, John

Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Hi again, @trinitystores. Thanks for your reply, and you’re very welcome; I’m glad to hear you found value in my reply. I apologize for the error you received when trying to send a private email though. I have disabled the option to receive them mostly for the fact that I can more efficiently help a larger group of merchants by providing answers to their questions publicly.

 

I can completely understand what a massive undertaking it is to convert your website into an online store. Especially with such a large inventory! But the good news is, if the Buy Button ends up being the way you’d like to proceed, it’s possible to create buttons for an entire Collection all at once, thereby not having to create them product by product. You can find the steps for how to do that here.

 

Since you are transitioning to become a full ecommerce site, is there a particular reason you’ve decided to remain on the Drupal platform, and not migrate over to Shopify entirely instead?

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

Hey Helen:

Your responses are always prompt and excellent. Refreshing indeed.

Thanks for the Collections link regarding the Buy Button.  I reviewed the pages.  Sending this Collection info to designer.  But I might as well ask a question.

If I utilize Collections specifically for the purpose of expediting implementing the Buy Button, are those items in the Collection only displayed in said Collection?

I have a real-life example that would want/need to duplicate on Shopify.  The example is that I currently have the 1,800 artworks displayed in many different 'locations', some of which are called Collections but these same 1,800 artworks can be found and searched via an alpha list, a keyword (ex: title), etc., etc.  One can currently view all art by one of our 12 artists in an Artist Collection but also find the same art outside the Artist Collection.  There are currently even other art collections (All Mary images, all Christ images, all Saint images, etc.) but also found outside of these collections.  I would require the same design.  Thus, I would not want to utilize Shopify Collections if the same artworks and artwork products and associated Buy Buttons are not also displayed outside of the Shopify Collection.

We are not transitioning to BECOME a full ecommerce site.  We could not already be more of a full-blown ecommerce site than we already are.  We display and sell over 144,000 products (1,800 artworks  all available on over 80 products and sizes).  Plus an enormous amount of content.  This is why I work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day and am getting to old/tired and want to re-invent into POD :).

There are a number of 'features' and variations and styles, cross-selling, up-selling, blog, Wholesale pricing, Church Pricing and much more that we utilize on the Drupal site.  I realize that Shopify has endless apps that one can add to address these but x-amount of those apps charge monthly fees so Drupal stays for now.

Peace,
John. 

 

Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Thanks for elaborating more on the history and goals for your business, @trinitystores. I completely understand why you’re wanting to maintain your website hosting on Drupal at this time. Now, to your question:

 

If I utilize Collections specifically for the purpose of expediting implementing the Buy Button, are those items in the Collection only displayed in said Collection?

 

Yes, but you can assign products to multiple collections. So, for example, a specific piece of artwork could be assigned to the collections: Artists, Mary Images and All Products. You would create Buy Buttons for all three collections, which would then in turn create a Buy Button for each individual piece of art within each collection. Thereby allowing for your customer to add that piece of artwork to their cart from whichever collection they come across it in. Does that make sense?

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions. I know a lot of this will be put into the hands of your development team (which will hopefully give you some time to step back and take a breather), but feel free to reach out at any time if questions or issues arise. 

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

Makes total sense.  You're the best.  And this process will help me much because it appears that we will be manually adding 1,800 artworks to each product format...yikes.

trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

Hey Helen:

You are the only tech support from any of the entities that I am communicating with that provides clear answers.  The others tend to send canned responses of little to no value.  I was thinking about your recommendation of utilizing the Shopify Buy Button.  So please allow me to lean on you again to help me sort some things out.

Scenario: We have our 1,800 artworks that we want to put on Gelato’s and Pictorem’s products.  We want all of these final artwork products migrated/imported/uploaded to a new Shopify store and to our current TS ecommerce store.  Shopify “integrates” with both Gelato and Pictorem PODs. 

The Plan: If I understand things correctly, there is no process for batch processing our 1,800 artworks on to Gelato or Pictorem products.  Therefore, I am manually adding each of the 1,800 artworks, one at a time onto Gelato and Pictorem products.

Let’s say, in order to get things started, to keep things moving forward, and to provide an example for this discussion, I only start with one product, a Gelato t-shirt.  I add one of my artist’s 200 artworks to the t-shirt product.  I now have 200 artwork t-shirts to move to Shopify in order to promote and sell these 200 artwork t-shirts. 

How do I get these 200 artwork t-shirts into my new Shopify store?  Do I utilize Shopify’s “Migrate to Shopify” (https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/migrating-to-shopify) process?  I think so but I need a confirmation from you.  Do I have to upgrade to Shopify Plus and utilize Shopify’s “Transporter” (https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/migrating-to-shopify/transporter-app) app?

Assuming the Shopify Migration works for me (if not, please tell me what to do), I now have 200 artwork t-shirts on my new Shopify store.  How do I now get these 200 artwork t-shirts from my new Shopify store to my current TS ecommerce site?  The current TS ecommerce store will utilize the Drupal Shopify eCommerce Module (https://www.drupal.org/project/shopify) to “connect” my TS ecommerce site to Shopify’s cart, replacing our current Drupal Commerce Cart.

Here is where I really go down a rabbit hole.  I think the Drupal Shopify eCommerce Module only replaces my ecommerce cart with the Shopify cart wherein all my 150,000 current products will not go thru the Shopify cart when a product is sold.  I think this still has nothing to do with or to help me get the new 200 artwork t-shirts from my new Shopify store to my TS ecommerce site.

If I am correct so far (not likely :), can I export the 200 artwork t-shirts on my new Shopify store to a csv or related file/sheet so that my web designer can write software so that I can then Import that csv or other file/sheet into my TS ecommerce site?  Currently, when I receive new artworks from my artists, I utilize this same import sheet method to import the new artworks on about 80 current product formats based on the import sheets my web designer created that I use over and over again every time I get new artworks.

My web designer had emailed me, and I think I shared with you, that he was hoping there was a different way to “migrate” the new 200 artwork t-shirts from Shopify to the TS site due to cost and effort to write new software for importing.

I truly apologize for being so confused.  Where does the Shopify Buy Button concept come into play?  Researching the Buy Button, I see that I can create the Buy Button as a Sales Channel and then “embed” the button on products on other sites.  But at this stage, I still do not have the 200 artwork t-shirts on my ecommerce site so I have no products to add the Buy Button.  Even if I did have the new 200 artwork t-shirts on my TS ecommerce site, they would already be connected to the Shopify cart that we added so there would be no need for the Buy Button.  Am I totally crazy?  Have I missed something obvious and misunderstood how the Buy Button concept works?

If any of the above processes work, then I rinse and repeat with the next 200 artworks or the next product format until all 1,800 artworks and all 20 or so new products are done.  Any and all advise, thoughts, comments, and recommendations from you are greatly appreciated.

Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Hi, @trinitystores. I completely understand how confusing the overall process is. I assure you, after some time working with it, it will all make sense. Therefore, to help you get a better idea of how it will all come together, here is a summary of the steps to take to get your POD products onto your Drupal website using the Buy Button:

  1. Add POD app to your Shopify store
  2. Access the POD app from within your Shopify account by going to Apps in your admin
  3. Create your products within the POD app
  4. POD app creates and syncs products for you to your Shopify account. These will appear listed in Products in your Shopify admin
  5. Create Buy Button in your Shopify admin for each product (or for an entire Collection)
  6. Copy the code you’re provided in step 4, and embed it into the html of the page on your Drupal site that you’d like your products or collections to appear
  7. Customers on your Drupal website will now be able to see all your products, and can Add to Cart and make a purchase. 
  8. All orders will appear in your Shopify admin under Orders where you can manage as necessary (ie. fulfill, create shipping labels, edit, refund etc)


Therefore, Migrating to Shopify, or upgrading to Plus and using the Transporter app are not necessary for you since you are integrating Shopify onto your existing site. They would only be used if you were fully transitioning your entire website over to Shopify from Drupal. 

 

Additionally, I am not familiar with how Drupal’s integration works. But, as far as I know, you’ll still need to create your products within your POD app in your Shopify admin (steps 1-4 above). Drupal should then be able to advise on how you get the products onto your Drupal site without a Buy Button. However, I’d be hesitant to use a CSV to do so, since this would most likely result in the sync between Drupal, and Shopify and the POD app to break. The major consequence of this would affect the automation of orders -  Meaning that you’d have to manually place each order to your POD supplier when a customer makes a purchase through your website, rather than having it automatically sent to your supplier to fulfill once paid for.  

 

I hope this provides some clarity for you, John. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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trinitystores
Tourist
6 0 0

Hey Helen:

It has been a awhile but we are still making progress.  The biggest next step is when my web designer registers for a Shopify developers account.

In the meantime, is there any list of live Shopify stores that utilize PODs (Pictorem and/or Gelato) that I could look at?

Thanks as always.

Peace,

John

Helen
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1425 174 254

Hi, @trinitystores! Nice to hear from you, and that’s great that you are continuing to make progress with your store. 

 

Unfortunately, we don’t have a way to search for or determine which apps are used by specific Shopify merchants. That being said, due to our Privacy Policy, we’re also not able to share any information about the businesses that use the Shopify platform for their online store. 

 

Therefore, aside from contacting Pictorem and/or Gelato to see if they have a list of merchants that use the app and have given permission to share that they do so, I see that Pictorem has an example store available to look at from their app listing in the Shopify App Store as seen below. Here’s the direct link to it for quick reference. Hope it helps!

 

12-00-73736-69507

 

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify 
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