What is Doba?
Doba facilitates drop shipping – it is not a drop shipper. Doba connects you to a network of wholesale supplier and manufacturers who will store, package, and ship goods right to your customers.
This means you do not have to pay for products (or pay to have them stored) until customers order them. The Doba website provides instant access to millions of products that can be drop shipped directly to your customers from a network of more than 250 wholesale suppliers and manufacturers.
A single online catalog contains all the information you need to list and sell these products, as well as a consolidated process enabling you to order the products you sell.
Currently, there is no direct interface between Volusion and Doba. You need to pull the product information from Doba into your store and then order the products through Doba when customer orders them.
Doba charges a set monthly or annual fee, then you pay the wholesale price plus shipping (and in some cases a drop shipping fee) when you place the order. The supplier or manufacturer will then deliver these products straight to your customers. This way you have access to millions of products without having to negotiate with distributors, deal with inventories, warehousing, packing, shipping, etc. Your customers need never know about Doba – as far as they are concerned they are buying products from you and getting them shipped directly by the manufacturer or supplier.
This document covers the basics of setting up a Doba account, exporting product information from Doba and importing it into your Volusion store, and ordering products through Doba. More complete information you should consult the Doba quick reference guides, manual, tutorials, webinars and knowledge base articles.
Doba normally offers a one week free trial membership, but Volusion users can get a two week trial membership via the Volusion Partners page. Note that you need to supply your credit card details for this trial. You can cancel at anytime either by calling them at 1-877-321-3622 or from the My Account page.
Getting Set Up With Doba
You will need to enable cookies within your browser to use Doba efficiently. The latest releases of Internet Explorer and Firefox are recommended.
Doba accounts can be monthly or annual, and there are two levels of Doba accounts – Startup and Advanced.
The major difference between Startup and Advanced is that Startup does not give you access to the Data Export Tool. Without this tool you have to cut and paste product information from the screen and into Volusion for each required product.
Open Your Trial Account
- Open your browser and go to http://www.doba.com/partners/volusion/
- Click on the Start Now button.
- Follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked for information such as name, address, payment details, etc.
Getting Help in Doba
Doba provides its users with user manual, tutorials, quick reference material and knowledge base articles and webinars. Click on the Help Center button in the upper right to access these.
Webinars are also available by clicking the Education button at the top of the screen.
The My Inventory List
In Doba you create one or more Inventory List. These enable you to create lists of items that you can easily import into Volusion. These lists can be updated as information on the Doba catalog changes so that you have the most current prices, availability and quantity of required.
Note: Once you familiarize yourself with Doba you'll find that there are several ways to do things and some may suit your purposes more that those described below.
Add Products to Your My Inventory List
- Click on the Catalog tab at the top of the screen.
- You can then either use the Search box or browse by clicking on categories, Suppliers, Brands, etc until you find the items you want. You can do faceted searches.
For example, you may want to search for "blenders". You then click on the required category to weed out items you don't want. You can then also filter on price or brand if you only want to show blenders in a certain price range or from specific manufacturers.
- Once you have found the products you want, you need to select them. There are two ways you can do this. You can add all of them by checking the Select All check box or check the boxes of the individual items that you want.
- When you have selected the item(s), click the Add to My Inventory button at the top of the page.
- The Add to Inventory List is displayed. You can either create a new Inventory List using these products or select an existing list and click Add.
You can continue making new searches and adding items to your list(s) as required.
- When done, click My Inventory at the top of the page.
The My Inventory page is displayed, showing the contents of the current My Inventory list. The My Inventory Lists in the left column enables you to switch to other lists if required.
Create an Export
- Click the Data Export tab.
- Click Add New to create a new export.
- Enter a Name for the export.
- Select the watch list to use from the Source menu.
- From the Format menu. You should select Volusion Small Format.
- Click Add.
- The export will now be added to the list of available exports.
- To generate the export, click on the export's name.
- Make any changes necessary and click the green download button.
- The CSV file, formatted for import into Volusion is now created.
- button to open in Excel (or another spreadsheet application) or save it for later use.
- Click Open.
You can now import this data file into Volusion.
You need to download the images from the Doba product to include in your store. To do this:
- Display the Doba product page for each product. Accessing these via your Watch List(s) will make this a much quicker process.
- Click the Download Image link beneath the image.
- Save the file with the product code or a meaningful name (if you just hit save it will be saved with a name like data_images_cache_474_9780743243032~320~260.jpg, which will be very difficult to identify later).
You can then load these images into Volusion as you would with any product.
Importing into Volusion
- Log in to your Admin Area and go to Inventory > Import/Export.
- Select the Standard Import tab.
- Choose Products from the Import To menu.
- Click on Browse next to File Name and navigate to your import file.
- Click Import.
- Select Click Here to Reindex.
You should now verify that the products are displayed correctly on your storefront.
Dealing With Orders Containing Doba Products
Since this is all done on the Doba website, you should consult their help. The following gives a brief overview. Note that you can only place orders for a single customer address at a time.
Place an Order for a Customer Through Doba
- Log in to Doba and open the Catalog.
- Click on the My Inventory button.
- Click on the required My Inventory list in the My Inventory Lists in the left column.
- Check the box(es) in the first column for the product(s) you want to order for this customer and click the Order button.
- The cart pop-up is displayed.
- Here you can check and update information about the product. If you update quantity or postal codes, make sure to save your cart by clicking Update Cart or Update Shipping after each change before proceeding to checkout.
- Once you are sure you have ordered the correct product and quantities on the cart page, click the Proceed To Checkout button.
- Complete the shipping information here and click Next. Doba checks the address against a FedEx database of addresses to minimize mis-typed addresses and returned packages.
- If the address is correct you will be asked to review your purchase and select a payment option. This is where you decide how and when you would like to pay for this order. There three options are:
Pay for this order only
This is the easiest and most common option. You immediately pay for the order, the supplier is notified and the order moved to the shipping process.
Pay for multiple orders
This option allows you to pay for the current order and any orders you saved using the Pay later option below. This enables you to batch orders and pay for them in one transaction at the end of the day. You will be prompted to select the orders you are paying for before entering a credit card.
This option allows you to save the product and shipping information in an order until you are ready to pay. This is mostly used in order to use the Pay for multiple orders option later.
It is important to note that although this option saves the order information it does not reserve the item for later purchase. The order is not placed with the supplier until it is funded, at which point the supplier is notified and a product is shipped. Doba therefore recommends you use this option with care - the longer you wait before paying for the order, the more possible it is inventories may have changed.
- The next page requires you choose to pay by credit card, PayPal, or Doba PrePay (see Doba's Help for information on this feature – it enables you to save 3% by prepaying for orders). Enter the credit card details and click submit to place your order.
- Your order should then be displayed on the Doba order summary page. This page is accessible by clicking the Orders tab.
- For information on cancelling or returning orders, please refer to the Doba help.