Our Retail Dimensions FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) provide answers to some of the most common questions regarding the integration of your retail POS to an ecommerce platform. For additional information, please contact Retail Dimensions’ team of experts and if you need support, you can always start a support request.
RD-Ice is a state-of-the-art integration platform for connecting a POS system to an ecommerce platform. It is a multi-channel, fully featured integration tool with numerous features and data elements available to upload. The feature details are spelled out in the user guide. The implementation guide is meant to familiarize you with the groups of data uploaded, how they are uploaded, and the timing of those uploads.
RD-Ice will give you the ability to create and maintain the catalog navigation and product catalog of your website, including the ability to completely merchandise the products for online sales. Customer and order data will be downloaded from your online store into your POS, with attempts to match existing customers and creating new ones when no match is available. Order fulfillment can be done from the ecommerce platform or the POS depending on the most appropriate process.
- To get started on the project, Retail Dimensions will need access to your POS and ecommerce platform. This access is normally only needed during the implementation of the project or to fulfill support requests. There is no requirement for continuous ongoing access to the systems once the project is complete. From time to time, there may be a need to access one or both of the systems for support issues, but these are typically done in coordination with you.
- Accessing each POS system is different. However, to get started on the project Retail Dimensions will need access to the POS and ecommerce systems. These permissions are normally only needed during the implementation of the project. There is no requirement for ongoing access to the systems once the project is complete. There may be a need to occasionally access one or both of the systems for support issues, but these are typically done in coordination with the retailer.
- There is typically no need for any adjustments to existing firewalls or security currently in place for PCI Compliance. All communication from RD-Ice is outbound. RD-Ice may occasionally be blocked by antivirus software, but this can be excluded from within your anti-virus software.
A Project Coordinator and an Implementation Specialist will be assigned to your project and will be your two main points of contact throughout the duration of the installation.
The Project Coordinator is your embedded Retail Dimensions advocate and is responsible for facilitating the performance of the project in accordance with the schedule. They are in continual communication with both you and our Retail Dimensions developers throughout the project.
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POS & eCommerce
- Each POS and ecommerce platform has different features and capabilities. The overall project management process is the same, but there will be variations in how the integration is built to conform to the nuances of each POS and the varying technical architectures and environments they reside in.
- If you are outside the local area network, you will need a VPN connection to access the POS data from remote locations.
- The backup of your online store is the responsibility of your web developer, your web platform, or you. If the connection between the POS and website goes down, the website will continue to function with the last uploaded inventory numbers and continue to make sales until things are connected up again. The POS is always the master of inventory numbers, however, the web platform takes over and tracks inventory between updates from the POS system until the next upload occurs.
Catalog Polling & Categories
- Polling is the process that exchanges data between your POS and your website. It can be executed manually or automated. Manual polling is used more often at the beginning of a project when the product catalog is being built and automated polling will be used throughout the duration of the project. You are welcome to continue polling manually, but it is the rare customer that does not poll automated once the integration is live.
- The timing of automated polling is configurable based on what your business requires. Polling is configured in a scheduling application on your POS server. It is customary to begin polling an hour prior to a store opening and continue every hour throughout the day until an hour after close. If your ideal timing needs be more or less frequent, we will work with you to find the right schedule given the constraints of both the POS and your ecommerce platform.
- This will depend on the type of business, your POS system, and what your ecommerce platform will support. Within RD-Ice there is an unlimited category structure available. Whether your platform supports only three category levels, or more, or presents limitations or restrictions, you’ll want your category structure to be a good representation of your business and your online store to be easy to navigate and transact business. If your category structure is too complicated or too deep, it will deter people from shopping with you. We recommend that you start with a few top level categories, then add subcategories and sub-subcategories under each top level. Whether you build your category structure in RD-Ice or on your website, our advice is to keep it as simple as you can. Try to imagine how people will navigate your site and what that experience will be like for them.
- It is best to start with a small number of products and a good cross section of your product lines. For example, if you have an apparel site, you may want to start with a mixture of soft and hard goods. Assigning the products is a quick process. It will take additional time to merchandise the products with descriptions and images
- This depends on what stage the process or exchange was in when the power outage occurred. But most outages would be self-correcting once the power was back on and the next polling occurs.
Fulfillment & Shipping
RD-Ice does not act as an application to fulfill orders, but rather as a process that documents the fulfillment of orders. Retailers either choose to ship from their ecommerce platform or from their POS. If they ship from the web, there are native fulfillment abilities built into some shopping carts that have connections pre-built to all the major shipping carriers. If they don’t have that feature, there are any number of fulfillment applications pre-integrated to multiple shopping cart platforms that have the same carrier connections. If they choose to ship from their POS, each POS provider may or may not have connections built to shipping carriers. Once the orders are shipped, RD-Ice will either download or upload the shipment information depending on where the fulfillment is being performed and the shopping cart platform. This will be further discussed as the project gets underway.
Retail Dimensions will import the taxes charged on an order from the website. The responsibility for the setting of those tax rates on the website usually belongs to the web agency who is performing the work. Retail Dimensions imports the currency values on each order from the time they were placed. The exchange rates are a responsibility of the payment gateway used on the website.
- RD-Ice allows for flexibility when establishing which inventory locations you want the available-to-sell merchandise to come from when orders are processed. You can select one store, a selection of stores, or all stores. These can be changed through the configuration screens. Once that data is on the site it is up to your web developer to make use of it to facilitate things like curbside pickup or pick up in store options.
Testing & Launching
- When to launch is completely up to you. Our recommendation is to launch as early in the work week as possible and no later than Wednesday. If you are planning a big event around the launch, like a sale or presenting a new line, it is best to launch the integration two weeks ahead of those events. This gives both our teams the opportunity to iron out any kinks that may arise without the immediate pressure of a sale starting the next day that has been widely publicized.
- Nobody knows your POS system and how data should be imported into it like you do and you will have the final say about whether the data is accurate and moving correctly. We will not put this integration into production until you agree that everything is working properly.
- Everything with the POS systems we work with is scheduled. What the schedule is, is up to the retailer. We can schedule uploads and downloads to be tightly coupled together or more relaxed. We work with each client to determine the best time period for them. So, yes, there can be delays, but they can be very slight.
Communication & Support
Most project communication is done via email, phone, or virtual meeting. We can be flexible in how we connect to your POS server, but our preferred method is through a product called Team Viewer, which can be downloaded here for most every computer operating system and at the top of our site. Team Viewer sessions may be requested by anyone on the Retail Dimensions team and sending access credentials to us is a quick and easy process when you would like to contact us.
- Some retailers have rigid IT standards in place and will only allow communication using specific protocols and tools. If that is your circumstance, we will work with you and your IT team to come to an agreement on an acceptable method of communication.
Anyone is welcome to submit a support ticket through our support portal on our website, which is the best way to request support. Many people continue to work with a specific implementation team member via email or phone. However, doing that runs the risk of that person not being available while their request languishes in an inbox. Entering a support ticket gets many eyes on the issue and is the best avenue to get timely attention.
There is nothing that Retail Dimensions has built that will directly communicate with customers from the integration. The exception is when a retailer decides to fulfill orders from the POS. Once those orders are shipped we will typically send a shipped order confirmation to the website which will generate an email to the customer with the shipment information along with doing other cleanup tasks on the order.
While Retail pro is limited to eight characters in the attribute and size fields, RD-Ice allows you to map the abbreviated values to more human friendly values. Configure >> Word mapping
First, export the list out into a CSV file. Next, edit it in Excel and reimport it back into RD-Ice. This can be done for Attribute (ATTR), Size, User Defined and Auxiliary fields. Example: BLK –> Black or BLK/WHT –> Black & White
RD-Ice supports four price levels. Use Price Cost Manager to set a second price level and RD-Ice will automatically reflect the regular price, plus the sale price on both Retail Pro and the ecommerce site.
Retail Pro V8
- As products are dragged and dropped into categories they are assigned a sequential number in increments of 10. The last product added will have the highest number. You can manually change these numbers by just typing over the existing values.
Depending on the capabilities of your Website, you can assign up to 4 images and a thumbnail per product. You can assign up to 4 images and a swatch per color per product.
Yes, there is a limit of 2MB per image, but you should always optimize your images for the website. Most people will see no difference in a web browser between a 2MB image and a 180KB image. The dimensions of the image will depend on the design of your website, but somewhere in the range of 800 X 800 to 1000 X 1000 pixels is a good rule of thumb.
RD-Ice supports four price levels. You can use Price Cost Manager to set a second price level and RD8 will push up the regular price and the sale price.
- RD-Ice supports viewing your data either by Style view or by Item View. If you select Item view, you can add additional columns and have different search and filter options.
Yes, you can right click on the gray column headers and add and remove columns in each view. This allows you to have different views when looking at the inventory grid versus when you are looking at the website category grid. You may want to see the last sold date in the Inventory view and the Date Added in the category view.
Retail pro is limited to 8 characters for the Attribute and Size fields. This is by design. RD8 allows you to map the abbreviated values to more human friendly values. Configure >> Word mapping
You can export the list out to a CSV file, Edit it in Excel and re-import it back into RD-Ice. This can be done for ATTR, Size, User Defined fields and Auxiliary fields. Example BLK –> Black or BLK/WHT –> Black & White
Add the Quantity column and the last Sold Date column to the Category Grid. Sort the grid by quantity. Select all products that have zero quantity and click the Remove Styles button. You will be prompted to remove it from all categories. Selecting Yes will remove it from ALL categories, selecting No will remove it from only the category you are in.
If your Website supports related items, you can associate a product to one or more other products. Double click on the product and select the Related Items tab.
Navigate to the categories you want to select and use the arrow button to add or remove the related products. If you click the circular reference button at the top, you are able to not only relate the product you are on with the one you have selected, but also relate the selected product with the one you are on.
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