You’ want to connect your Shopsystem and Payment Service Provider with circuly, and you want to know how the data flows between the connected systems and circuly? Where does your shop system end, and where does circuly takes over? Very good questions indeed.
Let’s understand how data flows between the connected systems with the help of an existing circuly customer: StrollMe.
Company Name: StrollMe
Shop architecture: Headless
Payment Service provider: Braintree
1. StrollMe’s basic subscription ecosystem
StrollMe uses Shopify as a CMS to add, sort, design and catalogue its products. They use Braintree to collect payments and circuly to manage their subscription operations.
circuly is connected to StrollMe’s shopsystem (Shopify) and Payment Service Provider (Braintree) via API.
2. How does StrollMe’s website look?
StrollMe’s website is headless, which means that the front-end (what the customer sees) is separated from the back-end (what StollMe needs to display, manage and organise the product catalogues).
circuly does not play a role in how StrollMe’s webshop or the product pages are displayed to the customer, so StrollMe has full control and flexibility on the design and the user journey on the website. circuly comes into the picture at a later stage.
2.1 What is taken care of or done on the website?
The website takes care of the customer journey. Due to its headless architecture, StrollMe can create a shopping experience as per their business needs.
2.2 What is taken care of or done on the shopsystem?
Creating and managing the product catalogue is done in the shop system.
Whenever Strollme needs to add a new product, they do so in the backend of Shopify. Everything related to a product, that is, creating products, adding new products, deleting old products, setting product prices, working out a price and duration logic etc., is done in the shop system, that is, Shopify in Strollme’s case.
3. When does circuly come into the picture?
circuly first takes action as soon as someone clicks on the “add to cart” button on the product page. When a customer clicks on “add to cart”, the code script behind the button loads the circuly white label checkout in place of the shop system checkout.
When the customer clicks on the “add to cart” button on the product page, either of the two below-mentioned things could happen:
- The “add to cart” button loads the circuly white label cart summary, and the “order now” button in the cart loads the circuly checkout (if you have rent & buy cart combinations).
- The “add to cart” button loads the default shop system cart summary (if your cart only consists of rental products or bought products).
3.1 The circuly white label cart summary
You can decide to use the circuly cart summary instead of the default shop system cart. The benefit of using the circuly cart over the default shop system cart is that the circuly cart makes buying and renting possible in the same checkout flow.
However, the default shop system cart can only process either “rent” orders or “buy” orders but not both at the same time.
In this case, the code script is integrated into the “add to cart” button, which loads the circuly cart and then the circuly cart button loads the circuly checkout.
Example: StrollMe with circuly white label summary cart.
3.2 The default shop system cart summary
You can decide to use the default shop system cart system. In the default cart, buying and renting is not possible in the same checkout flow.
In this case, the code script is integrated into the button of the default shop system shopping cart and this loads the circuly checkout.
Example: Paceheads with default shop system summary cart.
4. What happens on StrollMe’s checkout page?
When you manage your rental operations will circuly, the circuly white label checkout is displayed instead of the default shop system checkout. This is made possible because of the code script behind the button that loads the circuly while-label checkout in place of the shop system checkout. (as explained above)
The following happens on the checkout page:
- The circuly checkout collects the information from the input fields on the checkout page.
- All information the customer adds to the input fields on the checkout and payment page is first pushed and saved in StrollMe’s shop system and payment service provider.
How? As soon as an order is placed via the circuly white-label Checkout, circuly creates a new order in the Shop System via API that holds all the information that the customer typed in during the checkout process. This way, there is also a customer profile created in the Shop System backend where the customer information is stored - just like it would be in a normal selling model. Also, the customer's payment data is stored back in the payment service provider. By doing this, we ensure that StrollMe remains the owner of its customer’s data.
IMPORTANT: You can add additional input fields to the checkout page.
Pro tip: as there is all data (order, customer) stored in your shop system backend, you can simply connect any further tool to your shop, e.g. marketing automation, logistics, etc.
- Then, from your Shop System’s backend, circuly takes over this information via API to process it in the circuly operations backend. From the circuly operations backend, you can manage your product subscription model without having to log in to your shop system or payment service provider accounts - you have all you need in one place: circuly.
5. What happens next?
5.1 First communication flow is triggered.
As soon as the customer proceeds through the payment page and places the order, the customer gets the ‘Order Confirmation’ email from circuly’s Email Templates in place of the order confirmation from the connected shop system. Make sure you style your email templates and fill them with your desired content (read more about setting up email templates here).
5.2 The order appears in circuly
When the customer has placed an order using the circuly white label checkout, the order appears in the circuly operations backend in the Orders tab and can be seen in the Order List - ready to be processed by you.
Important: in circuly, an order does not equal a subscription, meaning that in order to start collecting recurring payments for a new order, you need to create a subscription for it. This is done in the circuly operations backend. Read more about how to start a subscription here.
From now on, all subscription-related operations are done in the circuly operations backend. To make it comfortable for you, also all subscription-related transactional communication is automated in the circuly operations backend - you can monitor this in the Email history or in the customer profile history tab (when you are an admin).
6. What are subscription-related operations?
The recurring payment cycle is triggered once a subscription is created for a new order. Triggering the recurring payment cycle means that the payment token of the customer (that is saved in circuly and in the payment service provider) is charged whenever the payment is due (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly). When that happens the customer receives the payment notice and the invoice via email.
Common subscription-related operations include:
- Cancelling an order (before starting a subscription)
- Cancelling a running subscription
- Swapping a product
- Charging one-time transaction
- Making changes to the personal details of the customer (name, address, contact etc.)
7. What is not taken care of in circuly
7.1 Creating products and setting prices
Products are created in your shop system. Product-related information such as price and pricing logic as per duration and product images are edited in your shop system.
7.2 Website and product page design
How your website and the product page is designed is separate from circuly. You can either have a headless shop system (frontend separate from backend) or have a traditional shop system (front end not separated from backend).
7.3 Shipping of the product
When a customer proceeds through the checkout page and places an order, the information is first pushed back into the shop system. Doing this circuly ensures that the shipping flow for subscription/rental products is the same as for normal bought products. Shipping, therefore, is taken care of either by the shop system or by any ERP/logistics tool Strollme has connected to it. At circuly, we are currently working on providing you with an improved logic for shipping costs - for more information, contact our customer success team.
Transactional communication flow, that is, emails related to the subscription, payments, and invoices are sent through circuly. But marketing emails such as new product offers, discounts etc., are not sent from circuly but through any marketing automation tool that you are using.
Invoices are generated in circuly for every order or subscription-related topic and can be exported out of circuly easily. However, bookkeeping and accounting should be taken care of through bookkeeping and accounting tools.