Working this close with e-Commerce organizations and being heavily involved in the design of their operational backend, we often come across apps that claim to make life easier. So why not share our insights in those apps so everybody can make up their own minds? That’s exactly the plan for the coming months based on our own experience and actual use.
In this episode I will share my insight and experience about Celigo’s Shopify – NetSuite Integration App. An out-of-the-box app that supports data exchange between your Shopify account and NetSuite.
The installation of the app is quite straight forward if you have the correct credentials and access to Shopify and NetSuite. It might be hassling the first time with choosing the role and installing the bundle, so make sure you have a NetSuite pro on the side. Make sure to not take the administrator role in NetSuite, because you could end up with a conflict of permissions.
After installation, the app provides you with a standard set of flows that allows you to exchange information between Shopify and NetSuite. The flows cover the data exchange of customers, orders, shipments/fulfilments, stock level quantities, billing information, SKU’s, cancellations, and refunds. For what I’ve seen, this is one of the few apps that natively supports a cancellation flow! Additionally, you can install the payout add-on that syncs payout transactions to NetSuite. Be aware, the payout add-on works in combination with the payment method ‘Shopify Payments’ only. 💳
Before you start with the settings of the apps, make sure to be aligned with your Supply Chain and Finance department for some key decisions. For example, to specify the mapping between Shopify warehouses and NetSuite locations and the different payment methods between the two applications. Some other key decisions need to be taken on tax, discounts, order synchronization and what GL-accounts will be used for which activity. A very nice feature for me personally, is the ability to assign orders to a default customer in NetSuite. This prevents data pollution in NetSuite because you don’t have to store every single customer as a separate customer. The shipping and billing addresses of a customer are stored on a transaction level so you will be able to get the information you need for shipping and VAT purposes.
Once you have made up your mind about the main configuration, it’s time to focus on the data exchange flows. The app comes with a default mapping which can be extended based on any organizational need. One of the recommendations I always do, is to map as much of your accounting dimensions/reporting fields as possible in any flow. It’s a one-time effort which will be of help in saved searches, reconciliation, or any other need for specification.
It’s getting trickier when you get to the data exchange flow of SKU information. It’s possible to sync SKU information between the two applications but in terms of lay-out, formatting, images, and field mapping between themes, it’s rather a difficult and time intensive task. If I were you, I would stick to syncing only key SKU information between Shopify and NetSuite and manage the content in either a PIM system or in Shopify itself. 💪
From a financial perspective the app shows some flaws on the payout add-on. The app synchronizes Shopify payout transactions to NetSuite as a bank deposit. It’s getting the gross order amount, deducts the Shopify fees and posts the sum as a bank account receipt. Initially exactly what you would expect. However, the bank deposit transaction in NetSuite is limited to standard accounting dimensions and does not support any custom segment. It also doesn’t support a further specification of for example classes within the same bank deposit. Another flaw is the inability to associate a tax code with the Shopify fee.
Weighing up usability, accessibility, and all pro’s and cons, I would definitely recommend this app to any who might ask. It provides your organization a solid base for tracking operational activities and support the automation of most of the accounting entries. 💥