Magento: Integration Overview

The Cloud Retailer to Magento Integration enables both platforms to work together to help deliver an omnichannel (the ability to sell to customers online and in-store) experience for your customers.  This article outlines a few key facets of the integration.

COMPATABILITY

Cloud Retailer integrations with Magento 2.3 or better using the swagger API scheme (http://devdocs.magento.com/swagger/index_20.html)

INTEGRATION DATA POINTS

Cloud Retailer is the primary source of record. All changes regarding product, inventory, images, and categories must be changed in Cloud Retailer and then synced to Magento.

It connects the following data points
  • Customer information is synced two ways excluding some elements of purchase history.
  • Orders are downloaded into to Cloud Retailer as orders to process.  You will tender these using a "web orders" tender type
  • Products are uploaded to Magento, including pricing, images, on hand count, dynamic product attributes, and HTML based descriptions. 
    • Cloud Retailer is the complete "master" of product data.  No need to go between the two systems to manage data.
    • This includes department and category structure.
It does NOT connect these elements:
  • Customer purchase history does not upload to Magento but it does download to Cloud Retailer
  • Payment processing for the two applications is handled separately.
  • Products modified in Magento do not get updated in Cloud Retailer. The next time the product is updated in Cloud Retailer the changes in Magento will be overwritten IF the attribute is shared between the two systems.  If the attribute exists only in Magento then you are free to manage it there.  Cloud Retailer should be the "product master".
  • Custom product attribute sets MUST be created in both systems.  Once done these will also sync.
    • Cloud Retailer is capable of having multiple attribute sets attached to a single product, Magento is only capable of having one.  As a result, the primary attribute set in Cloud Retailer will be what attempts to sync to Magento.
  • On hand stock data is synchronized on a periodic basis (typically every 30 minutes but is adjustable), it does not make a real-time call.
  • The integration currently links one Magento store to one store in Cloud Retailer.  No dynamic order routing is available in this version of the integration.

COSTS / PROJECT PLAN

It requires you to purchase the Magento Integration option for Cloud Retailer which has an upfront deployment cost and an ongoing subscription cost.  Part of these costs include assistance from our team to deploy this module and train your staff on the Cloud Retailer portions of the functionality.  Your Magento consultant would be responsible for the deployment and training on the website and shipping portions of the project.  Please work with your Cloud Retailer representative to come up with a detailed project plan for your deployment.

HOW IT WORKS

Inside Cloud Retailer we setup integration processes for the various data elements to synchronize.  Product data, orders, and customer data typically synchronizes once every 30 minutes.  As orders are created in Magento you'll receive an email from the site and you will use Magento to mark those orders as processed and execute on shipments.  Once the orders are 100% completed they download into Cloud Retailer as executed orders at which point the inventory levels will be reduced and the sales totals will be updated for that location.

Data Flow
  • One-way sync (Cloud Retailer > Magento)
    • Products
        Changing a product in Magneto will not update in Cloud Retailer.
    • Product Images
        Changing an image in Magneto will not update in Cloud Retailer.
    • Product Inventory
        Changing a product inventory in Magneto will not update Cloud Retailer.
  • One-way sync (Magento > Cloud Retailer)
    • Magento Orders
        New orders will be created in Cloud Retailer. Changes made to an order in Magneto will not.
  • Two-way sync (Magento < > Cloud Retailer)
    • Product Categories
         You can create new categories on either side. However, you can only update the categories from Cloud Retailer.
    • Customer Accounts
         You can create new accounts on either side. However, you can only update the accounts from Cloud Retailer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Can this integration be used to integrate to Amazon, eBay, or other online marketplaces? 
A:  Indirectly, yes.  Magento has existing integrations to these and many others; so by virtue of integrating to Magento, your content can be distributed from there.  You should discuss this with your Magento consultant further.

Q:  Are there ways to more generically integrate to other e-commerce platforms or other applications?
A:  Yes, we have a number of APIs that can be used to do these things.  This would require you to engage our custom services team which does bear some costs.

Q:  Which application should I use for shipping?
A:  We strongly recommend Shipworks, as we've seen users use this app with good success though since it integrates to Magento the responsibility for this app will fall on your Magento partner and they may have a different recommendation. 

Q:  Does it bring over a customer's entire purchase history?
A:  Currently no.  The feature is being considered for a future release.

Q:  Does it synchronize ALL of my products?
A:  Yes, but it only makes some of them active.  We do this to allow for some additional features we have planned for the future, like purchase history at the store or on the web showing on the site (AKA - we need all products to do things like this).
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