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Demo: Back Market Integration

  • Name
    Brennan Zelener

In this Feature Friday demo I go over the setup process of WholeCell's Back Market integration which includes a lot of specifics about the product catalog and SKU management. This is a helpful overview if you're wanting to sync WholeCell with any ecommerce channel.


Hey, everyone. My name is Brennan; I'm one of the co-founders of WholeCell and welcome to our feature Friday series where I tell you about one of WholeCell's features. Today we are talking about our Back Market integration which came out pretty recently. So I'm excited to show you how it works and talk about how you get your Back Market account set up with WholeCell and how it works past that. So if you have any questions throughout the demo, please use our chat. I'll read off the questions and try and respond to them as they come through. But moving right along.

I like to start our demos with this what is WholeCell slide to just tell you about if anybody has not encountered WholeCell before and is on this webinar learning about it for the first time. WholeCell is a piece of serialized inventory management software that is designed specifically for used electronics, and specifically even more for used cell phones. So you'll have the best experience if you are a business that's buying and selling used cell phones, tablets and wearable devices. So really used mobile devices.

One of the newest features of WholeCell and it's something I'm talking about today with Back Market is our e-commerce multi-channel sync. So more and more WholeCell is being able to connect to various e-commerce channels so that you can get the inventory that you're storing in WholeCell in one place onto your e-commerce channels really efficiently and automatically. So you can manage your inventory in WholeCell and it will update your e-commerce listings with the correct quantity and then orders will import automatically. And it's great because we're talking about Back Market today so that applies.

In tandem with e-commerce listings, what WholeCell has that is unique to it and many other inventory systems don't have is the ability to track the IMEIs that you are sending out on the orders that you have coming in. Whether they are WholeCell orders or e-commerce orders, WholeCell does IMEI scanning and fulfillment so when you fulfill an order you actually are tracking which IMEIs of which devices are going out on that order, so you always have everything tracked. When you're getting returns from e-commerce customers you know what IMEI was sent to them, and that just makes everything in a business that's buying and selling used devices run a lot more smoothly if you have the visibility and transparency into everything. So WholeCell allows you to do that with your IMEIs.

And then at its core WholeCell is a web application. And what's great about web apps is you can access them from anywhere in the world at any time and it keeps your team on the same page with all of your information from about your inventory and as your inventory flows through your business on one website that anyone can visit anytime. So the more employees you have the more valuable it gets. So that's what WholeCell is.

And what is the Back Market integration? Well, if you're not familiar with Back Market, Back Market 's a pretty big player now in the e-commerce space, they've built a platform that is a marketplace for selling refurbished electronics. And we built this integration with them for WholeCell customers who are selling on Back Market to make it way easier for them to connect their Back Market accounts to their WholeCell account and then manage their inventory as far as the listings on Back Market, the quantities in those listings. As Back Market orders are come through those orders get imported to WholeCell. And as you fulfill those orders and ship them in WholeCell or with Shipstation that shipping information goes back to Back Market. So this integration is meant to be a kind of the missing synchronization piece between the marketplace that you sell on, on Back Market, and WholeCell where you're managing your inventory.

And the last bullet here I have is kind of a couple of these are actually I'll talk a lot more about those as I go through our slides today, but as you set your Back Market integration up the critical things you're going to do are map your Back Market listings to your SKUs or what we call product variations in WholeCell. And the listing quantities that are going to be consistently over and over again sent to Back Market so the Back Market stays up to date with what inventory you have, those are based on a calculated quantity in WholeCell. So there are all kinds of ways that you need to keep your listings updated with your existing inventory quantities, and I'm going to go through some of the intricacies of those and how WholeCell calculates those on our demo today.

So I kind of want to walk you through how you as a seller on Back Market and a user of WholeCell would set up your Back Market integration. I think some of these things if you just approach them from the very beginning you need some more context on what they mean, and that's what I want to talk about here today. So this first step of setting up your Back Market integration with WholeCell is to go grab a Back Market token, and if you have a Back Market account all you have to do is go to their seller portal which they might also call their back office. You go to their support page and their technical support page within that and you enter your password in a little box and click recover my token. That gives you basically an API token to use and to enter into WholeCell. And so that will connect your Back Market account to your WholeCell account.

The next step is we're going to get in the weeds here and drop right into it, the next step is choosing how you want your Back Market listings to map to your products in WholeCell. And there are two options for this, and to describe them to you I'm going to kind of go through the whole philosophy of how we look at products in WholeCell. So you can either map your Back Market listings to your product variations in WholeCell or to your SKUs. And you're probably used to just hearing about SKUs from other inventory software that's out there, but in WholeCell we've introduced this concept of product variations, and it's specifically because WholeCell is built for used products and used products can be as we all know in a variety of different conditions.

And so in WholeCell a product variation is this combination of a product like an Apple iPhone 7 in my example here, 64 gig AT&T, that's a specific product. The grade of that product, so we allow you to create and manage any grades that you want but in this instance I have an example of B grade. And then any conditions that you've applied to that product. And in WholeCell we start you out with a bunch of different conditions, you can add and manage them as you see fit and depending on what conditions you're using in your business. But so product variation is this combination of both the product and then the grading conditions which are attributes that describe its physical condition. So if you're setting up your Back Market listings you can either choose to map them to those specific product variations in WholeCell or to SKUs. And SKU in WholeCell is basically an attribute of a product variation.

So in my screenshot here on the bottom this is from our product catalog that when you log into WholeCell you can click on product catalog and see this big table of all the different products you have in your catalog, and as you add inventory more product variations get created. But so you can see that top one doesn't have a SKU assigned to it, it's an Apple iPhone 8 Plus, it's on Sprint, 64 gig, rose gold, B grade with no damage conditions. And that one doesn't have a SKU yet but the one below it has a SKU applied, that looks like a pretty standard SKU it's the core letters of each product attribute, hyphenated between them and details about the condition, the grade and any damage condition, so we have B and CG in there for cracked glass. And you can see even in that table you see the B-grade grade in the cell and CG as that cracked glass condition that's been applied to that product.

So we have a question of where can I get the phones in list? I'm not sure, you may need to elaborate on that a little bit more. And feel free to do that if you'd like.

But the idea here is that SKUs are an attribute of your product variation in WholeCell. So what's neat about this is if you are a seller that is selling, you've got a bunch of different grades to really specify, say you've got B grade, B plus, B minus, C plus, you could apply the same SKU if you turn off SKU uniqueness in WholeCell to allow you to apply the same SKU to multiple different product variations. If you're using a bunch of different grades to describe like small variations in your products when you're going through and testing their condition in your business you could map some of those grades to the same SKU and then use that SKU when you're in your e-commerce listings. So Back Market has a few different conditions, if you have more conditions than Back Market uses you could map multiple of those different conditions for the product variations in WholeCell to a SKU, the same SKU that is mapped to those listings on Back Market. And this kind of allows you to manage a one-to-many relationship of the different kinds of ways that you describe your products and your conditions.

Another good example, so that's an example with a bunch of different grades, say that there are different variants of a phone. So like here we see the A1864 of this iPhone 8 Plus, say that on your e-commerce listings you're not worried about sharing the variant or you've got maybe like AT&T unlocked and unlocked and those as far as the e-commerce customer is concerned they mean the same thing but you're wanting to keep that difference in WholeCell, you can map those two different variations to the same SKU and then to map that SKU to your Back Market listings and any other e-commerce platforms that you're syncing with WholeCell. This is a huge ... it's a big thing that we worked on for a long time and it kind of cleans up some of the hassles of managing such a huge product catalog and actually effectively mapping that to your SKUs on the platforms that you're selling on.

And I think we've been using this word discipline, for somebody that is disciplined about their SKUs this is like a glass of cool water, it's like handing ice water to somebody in hell because this is a huge problem of mapping a lot of the times and WholeCell has the ability to solve this with product variations and SKUs.

So zooming back a little bit, in the Back Market integration settings you have the ability to choose between your specific product variations or mapping to SKUs which can be mapped to multiple product variations. So you get to choose which one that you want in that regard.

The third step of setting up your Back Market integration is choosing the organization type, and this is basically it's how the customer name is saved in WholeCell when a new order is created. So I'm going to bop back and forth a little bit between settings that kind of affect the way quantities are synced from WholeCell to Back Market and the way that orders are imported. So the last slide was more about how quantities are synced back and forth, this is more specifically about when orders are created in WholeCell that have come through your Back Market seller account.

Choosing the organization type between the shipping name or the channel name it determines how that order gets created and what the customer name is on that order. If you use the shipping name you get the name of the customer that was on their shipping instructions from that order, so in this example I've got John Doe here, that's what would be created in WholeCell as the name of the customer who placed that order. And there's an interesting benefit of this, if you need to be able to look up your orders by customer name in the future, if you think that that's going to be important, you should be choosing the shipping name, but what it's also going to do is it's going to create a lot of new, basically new customers in your WholeCell account. And some people like to keep their accounts clean and just keep it as Back Market, so we have an option for that, it's called choosing the channel name.

If you choose channel name any new orders that have come through your Back Market account and through the integration will be created under the customer Back Market. And so it keeps all the Back Market orders under that customer. That way you can't search for the customer name in the future but it's pretty easy to manage, you can just see all of your Back Market orders and they're all clean, they all have the same exact customer there.

One thing to note though is we do use channels in WholeCell to add more information to orders as well. So the order channel regardless of whether you choose for the organization type, the customer name, whether you choose shipping name or channel name the channel of the order is always going to be set to Back Market. So you're going to have the fact that they're Back Market orders regardless. If you choose the shipping name you want to have the John Doe in there, you're not going to lose the fact that it's a Back Market order and you'll still be able to filter those in the future.

Order statuses, these are super fun, so in WholeCell when you start a new WholeCell account you get a fresh group of order statuses, all these different statuses that can be applied to your order that map to the pipeline that you use inside of your business already. And so this is part of the Back Market setup is Back Market has their own order statuses and you want to map those to WholeCell so that when we import orders from Back Market they're going to get whatever status is in WholeCell applied to them based on what status they had from ... that they were coming from Back Market. So you want to map those.

And I think it's important to note here, some people ask us sometimes I think when we start you off with a new WholeCell account we're not including by default the canceled status. So people will open these drop downs and say, "Well, I don't have a cancel status. What can I map to that?" Statuses like many things in WholeCell can be added, managed, edited, removed, etcetera, so we kind of give them to you to attribute to the pipeline of how you run your business already. So you can use those and create new order statuses and then map them to Back Market and when your Back Market orders import into WholeCell they will be mapped based on these statuses here.

Step five is statuses and warehouses and we're getting into the meat of how your quantities, this is about how the quantities of your inventory are synced up to your listings in Back Market. So you get to choose which of your WholeCell inventory statuses and which warehouses contribute to your inventory quantity that's calculated. And I'm going to talk a little bit more about this. Calculated quantity is the quantity of your inventory that gets sent to Back Market based on your product variation or your SKU that you've chosen to map to different listings and to different products in WholeCell. The calculated quantity gets sent to Back Market routinely, so we're constantly updating Back Market with your calculated quantity of these available inventory.

And this is huge, this is why people want to use this integration, is because you sell something either on Back Market and Back Market knows you've sold it so they reduce your quantity. If you had 100 things listed and you sold five, Back Market will update to you now having 95 things listed. But if you sell something on another platform or you make a WholeCell order, so let's say you have 100 things listed on Back Market and you sell 20 of them to a wholesaler, that Back Market, the transaction didn't happen through Back Market, they don't know about it, what's neat about this is if you go into WholeCell and you move those 20 items onto a WholeCell order then WholeCell will routinely update Back Market with the quantities, the calculated quantities of how much inventory is available so that your listings are updated. So that listing with 100 where you sold 20 via WholeCell will now be updated to 80 so that you don't oversell on Back Market, so that someone cannot come in and place an order for 100 when you've already promised 20 of your 100 to someone else completely outside of Back Market 's system.

So this calculated quantity it depends on these settings here that we're talking about here, the statuses and the warehouses that you have inventory in.

And the last bullet I have here is really important. Calculated quantity is calculated by taking any inventory that's matching a SKU or a product variation from selected statuses and warehouses that you've chosen in this list. So this is the statuses, if inventory is in any of the statuses here you want to check them off, the ones that will apply to this calculated quantity. And if it's in any of the warehouses you want to check off which warehouses can be included in this quantity. And then it's going to deduct any quantities of inventory that are those matching inventory items that are on open orders.

And open is a term that we use to describe an order that is considered. So a cancelled order might not be an open order because the customer is not going to get that that inventory item anymore, but an order that's waiting to be shipped is definitely an open order, meaning that the quantity of inventory that's on that order should not be sold anywhere else so that should be subtracted from the available inventory quantity you have.

Basically, it's a pretty simple equation - we've got the available inventory that you have in WholeCell under a particular product and then we're subtracting any of that inventory that has been committed to other things, it's been committed to another order. And it's also in the statuses and warehouses section of this you are taking out, you're not including any statuses of inventory that you don't want to apply to this calculated quantity.

I think a great example of this is you can see in my screenshot there we've got repair, we've got incoming inventory, inventory that's being processed, inventory that's unavailable or inventory that's on a vendor RMA status and has been sent back to a vendor. None of those statuses you want contributing to the listing quantity you have on Back Market because those aren't the products that you're ready and able to sell. So you can use these settings to choose which statuses. You might have a few different statuses that apply, for whatever reason we don't know how, which statuses you're using or how you're using them, but you might have a few that you want to apply to your listing quantities. In this example that I've given here in the screenshot, only available, only inventory that's marked as available status is going to be synchronized over to Back Market in that calculated quantity. I say only those are going to be considered and then they're going to be processed through the calculated quantity, so any items on open orders are going to be subtracted from that and then that's the quantity that's going to be sent up to Back Market.

So it's dense, I know. If you guys have any questions feel free to use the chat. But these are important parts of an e-commerce integration that I definitely want to know or I want to make sure that you all know to get your integration set up properly.

So now that you've gone through those dense settings, the six step is kind of neat, once you've got your Back Market account connected all those settings are saved, it will import ... WholeCell will import your listings into this table on the Back Market integration page. So you can see I've got an example where a handful of different iPhones listings have been imported, and in this table you get to see a bunch of good metrics, you can see the SKU from Back Market that you've got on that listing. That's the SKU that's on Back Market that has nothing to do with the SKU that's in WholeCell unless you have actually applied that SKU to a specific product variation in WholeCell and then they would be mapped. You see the price that the listings are listed at and the quantity.

And then you see the calculated quantity from WholeCell. So once you have these listings mapped to a correct product variation or SKU you will actually be able to come back to this listings page and see if you've got to figure out, "Oh, the actual quantity that I'm trying to sync is not getting synced, it's a different quantity," you can come here and see what WholeCell's calculated quantity is and then go try and figure it out from there.

So this is kind of the listings page. And then to get these listings mapped to your SKUs and product variations you're actually going to want to click on the listing titles that are there and that are links. And on this next page I've got two examples. Depending on how you have your product variation setting that we talked about set, whether you want it to map to specific product variations or specific SKUs in WholeCell, these are the two different pages that you'll see.

So if you have your Back Market listings and products mapped to your SKUs in WholeCell, if it recognizes the SKU, this is the one that's on the left, if it recognizes the SKU you'll see the linked SKU there and be able to see which SKU it's linked to in WholeCell, but that is the Back Market SKU that's being used on Back Market and it's not currently recognized. So what you'd want to do in this situation is go to your product catalog within WholeCell and map that SKU to certain product variations, and then there would be product creations for this listing to look at and you'd have them mapped correctly.

If you've chosen to map, instead of mapping to SKUs mapping to specific product variations what you have is an option to choose on from this page. So it's the same page but it depends on what settings you have set up. You'll have the option to choose a specific product variation, and so you can kind of see here it's a little dim but in my screenshot we've got a product selected that's Apple iPhone 6, T-mobile, 16 gig, gold and there's a variant there that I can't read. And I believe that this is being mapped to a listing that is listed on Back Market as in mint condition. So the grade we've chosen is A grade, we only want to map this to that specific product variation that is A grade and we don't want any damage conditions to apply there because it has to be a fully functional device going out to that Back Market customer.

So these are the core essences of how you connect your Back Market account to your WholeCell account. And now that you've got them all set up and you're complete then you can kind of sit back and you can watch as your Back Market orders get imported to WholeCell. And if you've done the mappings, if you've mapped your listings to the correct product variations or SKUs, your choice, your orders are going to come into WholeCell with the correct products maps to them and your Back Market listings are going to be updated with the correct quantities of available inventory that calculated quantity from WholeCell as you sell through stuff. So again, to say, this integration is a complicated integration but it's doing a lot behind the scenes that you have to do manually if you don't have a system like WholeCell and an integration like this set up.

It's keeping your listings on Back Market, keeping them updated with your exact calculated quantities of the inventory that you want to be listed in those listings and allowing you to sell on other platforms and keep Back Market updated without having an employee go constantly to Back Market to update those listings. And then it's bringing the orders in as they come in and automatically bringing them into WholeCell where you can fulfill them and your warehouse team can get them fulfilled quickly.

Great. And Mike just hopped in to answer any questions. This is kind of the end of the webinar guys. This is all I was going to share with you. I didn't do a demo today specifically because when you're sharing about integrations there are a lot more fine details and it's hard to show you how something happens when an order gets imported and stuff like that, so I just wanted to show you today all the details behind how this stuff gets imported and how the Back Market integration can get set up and works. But if you have any further questions, by all means please start a trial with us at that URL that's on the screen now and you can ask us a question today in the chat, or you can send us an email at any time. Mike, Harry and I are all really excited to entertain questions especially about these e-commerce integrations because they're complicated. So send us an email anytime and we'd be happy to to talk to you about your business, how it works and how WholeCell can help.

I don't see any new questions. Let's see. If anybody has any questions feel free to ask them now, and if not we will close up in just a second here. All right, everyone, well, thank you so much for the time. Again, my name is Brennan; I'm one of the co-founders of WholeCell. We've been talking about the Back Market integration. Please visit our site and start a trial if you're interested in our software. And reach out to us if you have any questions. Take care. See you in the next one.

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