On Tuesday, April 7, the American Booksellers Association presented a Technology Meetup on Ingram’s Direct to Home fulfillment service, which allows booksellers to ship books to their customers’ doorsteps as an alternative to the in-store experience. The session included a live demonstration with Eric Forrest, supervisor, customer care, customer care operations and e-services, Ingram Content Group. Learn more about ABA meetups here.
Here are some of the key points from Forrest’s demonstration on Ingram iPage:
- On the homepage, booksellers can use the search bar. Searches can be limited by a number of different categories for a more tailored search.
- The Results page has a stock window that shows inventory on hand and on order (from publishers). Items that are on order will have an expected arrival date.
- On the Product page, users can find details for the item, including related or similar titles.
- Each account with Ingram is assigned a primary and secondary warehouse. The stock window can show users their assigned warehouses or an expanded view of all Ingram warehouses they can shop from.
Here are some key points from Forrest’s demonstration on Ingram Direct to Home:
- Booksellers must ensure that their iPage account has agreed to Direct to Home terms. This must be done by the iPage administrator for the account, which is usually the bookstore owner or administrator.
- Orders can be placed through several methods, including the quick order cart.
- The Add to Quick Order Cart button can be found on the Product page. Users can also copy the product’s ISBN and paste it into their cart. From there, users can price their cart.
- On the Order Details page, users can select the type of order they want. Ship to store is typically the default; users can choose Direct to Home (DH) from the drop-down menu. Three kinds of DH orders are offered: standard, a military program, and a strict international program for customers abroad.
- Users should ship orders from the warehouse closest to their customer, and users also have the ability to backorder.
- After filling out delivery information, users will need to select the appropriate shipping method, some of which can be insured, as well as provide an address for email notifications. Forrest recommended that bookstores use a staff email here, rather than the customer’s.
- Items can be gift wrapped; bookstores can also add gift or marketing messages.
- Users can check their order history to view who has placed orders, view order confirmations, and track shipments for customers.
Orders can also be placed through the List function on iPage. The List function serves as a semi-permanent shopping list — orders can be created for customers who have multiple orders, but aren’t ready to commit just yet.
- Lists can be named after these customers and will remain until users are ready to place the order.
- With DH, bookstores cannot directly charge a customer’s credit card when placing an order. Payments have to go through the store’s POS system.
- Booksellers can find more information for Direct to Home on iPage under Help > FAQs > Direct to Home.
A recording of this meetup can be found on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org.