Advanced Automation Rules

Advanced Automation Rules have one or more criteria for the rule to apply, and trigger one or more actions, but also rely on or trigger other automation processes. Due to the versatility of Automation Rules, there are potentially thousands of combinations of actions you could create.

The two example rules below discuss:

  • Using Automation Rules with multiple fulfillment options.

  • Using ShipStation's Don't import the order action.

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Automation to Send to Fulfillment

If you use multiple fulfillment methods for your products, such as fulfilling orders yourself, using FBA or Shipwire to fulfill your orders, or using 3PL services to dropship your orders, you can use automation to better manage these workflows. For these scenarios, we recommend you create and apply tags to all of your products based on how they will be fulfilled, then use Automation Rules to determine what happens to those orders.

The examples below assume you're fulfilling some products yourself while using a fulfillment service for other products.

If you tag all of your products based on fulfillment method, you can set up Automation Rules to automatically submit orders that only contain externally fulfilled products, or email order details to a 3PL service.

When using an integrated fulfillment service like FBA or Shipwire.

SET_AUTO_AutoRules_FBA-Only_FRAME.png

When using a non-integrated 3PL service.

SET_AUTO_AutoRules_3PL-Only_FRAME.png

To create the Fulfilled by Amazon rule:

  1. Set the first criterion to Order Tags :: Include :: your fulfilled by amazon product tag

  2. Set the second criterion to Order Tags :: Do Not Include :: your self-fulfilled tag

  3. Add an action and choose Set Fulfillment Provider, then choose FBA from the Ship from drop-down and select the service.

  4. Check the box to Automatically send fulfillment request.

  5. Save the rule.

To create the External Fulfillment rule:

  1. Set the first criterion to Order Tags :: Include :: your 3PL fulfilled product tag

  2. Set the second criterion to Order Tags :: Do Not Include :: your self-fulfilled tag

  3. Add an action and choose Send an email, then enter the email of your fulfillment provider.

  4. Add another action to Add an Internal note that lets your staff know the order was fulfilled by your 3PL.

  5. Save the rule.

However, what should you do if you receive an order that contains products you need to fulfill yourself and products fulfilled by the another service? You must split those orders before you can send to fulfillment. ShipStation cannot automatically split orders at this time, but you can use Automation Rules to quickly identify and alert you when an order needs to be split.

SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Split-Multi-fulfillment-FBA_FRAME.png
SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Split-Multi-fulfillment-3PL_FRAME.png

To create the Must Split Order rule:

  1. Set the first criterion to Order Tags :: Include :: your FBA or 3PL fulfilled product tag

  2. Set the second criterion to Order Tags :: Include :: your self-fulfilled tag

  3. Add an action and choose Add a Tag, then select your Split Order tag.

  4. Add an action and choose Create an alert, then enter the text you wish the alert to display.

  5. Save the rule.

When orders import that get tagged with both your self-fulfilled and FBA or 3PL fulfilled tags, ShipStation will add a new Split Order tag and create an alert for that order so you know to split the order first, then complete the fulfillment and label creation processes.

Why does this rule use multiple similar criteria lines?

When using the Order Tags criteria, it's important to understand if you need ANY of the selected tags to be present (for Includes criteria) or missing (for Does Not Include criteria), or if you need ALL of the selected tags to be present or missing.

  • If you need ANY of the selected tags to be present or missing on an order, use a single Order Tags criteria line and select any of the relevant tags. The rule will apply as long as any one of the selected tags is present or missing.

  • If you need ALL of the selected tags to be present or missing from an order, use one Order Tags criteria line for each relevant tag. The rule will only apply if the order meets each line of criteria in the rule.

'Don't Import the Order' Rules

The Don't Import the Order action prevents the order record from appearing in your ShipStation account.

This is a Permanent Action

You should be very careful when using the Don't Import the Order action in an Automation Rule. Once it has been applied to an order record, it cannot be undone.

This action can be helpful to remove orders that require no interaction in your ShipStation account. Here's a few of the most common reasons you may use the Don't Import action:

  • The order will be shipped from a country different from your ShipStation account home country.

    Each ShipStation account is tied to a specific country and can only create labels with that country as the Ship From origin. For example, if you ship from both the United States and Canada, you may have separate ShipStation accounts for your US and CA orders, and want to avoid seeing the orders in both accounts.

  • The customer requested to pickup the order in person, or the order will be fulfilled by a fulfillment service or 3PL who gathers information directly from the selling channel.

    Since these orders do not require ShipStation to create a shipping label, you may not want them to appear in ShipStation.

  • The order would be duplicated in ShipStation because it's importing from two or more distinct stores or marketplaces.

    For example, you import Amazon orders into Shopify for reporting purposes, but still want ShipStation to send shipment updates to Amazon directly instead of Shopify. ShipStation would receive duplicate versions of the order from each marketplace, so us a Don't Import the Order to remove the Shopify version of the order.

    Alternatively, if you use an inventory management integration like Stitch Labs or ChannelAdvisor you may connect the same account to ShipStation multiple times so that each unique order Source can have their own branding. A Don't Import the Order rule can remove the duplicate order records that do not match the Source for the store connection.

SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Omit-CA_FRAME.png
SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Only-CA_FRAME.png
SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Omit-Pickup_FRAME.png
SET_AUTO_AutoRules_Stitch-Labs-Amazon-Source_FRAME.png

Test the rule before using the Do Not Import action.

Since this action can cause orders to be unavailable in ShipStation, we recommend you use a less destructive action while setting up and testing automation rules. Use actions like Set Custom Field 1 or Add an Internal Note to make minor updates so you can verify the rule only affects the intended orders. Once you're sure the rule affects the correct orders, you can edit the rule to use the Don't Import the Order action.