This User Guide will explain everything you need to know, before starting with our Van der Meer WooCommerce plugin version 2.0.0 or higher.
Download, install & activate the plugin
First, you need to start a trial period at woosa.com for one of our plans.
Second, you’ll need to select the plugin you would like to use via your Woosa account.
Third, you can download and install the plugin in your WordPress dashboard.
Last but not least, you can activate your Woosa license key in the settings of our plugin.
Questions and Support
About Van der Meer
What is Van der Meer?
Van der Meer is a wholesale and dropshipping supplier in the category pet supplies. They have a wide-range of premium brands within the pet industry, such as YourDog, Royal Canin, Pedigree and many more.
Van der Meer is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and only ships dropshipping orders to the Netherlands and Belgium. In order for you to work with Van der Meer as a dropshipping supplier, having a company located in these countries is required. Curious about the opportunities with Van der Meer? Check their website: vandermeerrotterdam.nl.
Before you start: create a Van der Meer Dropshipping account
To be able to start with dropshipping via Van der Meer, you will first need to sign up for a Van der Meer dropshipping account. You can sign up for free via vandermeerrotterdam.nl/en/, by clicking the Become a customer button right above in the menu.
It can take up to 24 hours on business days, before Van der Meer will approve your customer request. Once you are approved, you can immediately start selling the entire product catalog of Van der Meer with over 40,000 products.
Have you already started the free trial period of your Woosa plugin and now realise you need more time, because you don’t have a Van der Meer dropshipping account yet? Let us know by submitting a ticket, we’ll extend your free trial period.
Authorization & License
FTP Username & Password
You will receive the Van der Meer FTP Username & Password in email where they have approved your dropshipping account.
Log in to your WordPress dashboard
Go to Van der Meer > Authorization
Fill in the FTP Username & Password of your Van der Meer account
Click the button Click to authorize
The status should change to Authorized in green
Does the authorization fails? Please check our list of errors for the Van der Meer WooCommerce plugin.
Woosa license key
As with all our software, usage of our plugins requires an active Woosa license key. Follow our Getting Started article activating your Woosa license key to make sure your license key is activated before you start any processes with our plugins.
Track & Trace code in customer emails
Once an order has been placed on your webshop, the customer would like to receive updates about their shipment. The most common way to update a customer is by sharing the Track & Trace code of the shipping carrier.
Our plugin will import the Track & Trace code in the particular WooCommerce order, however that part is only visible for you as a webshop owner. The Track & Trace to customer emails setting, will enable you to automatically send the Track & Trace code to the customer. We depend on the default WooCommerce email templates. If the Track & Trace code doesn’t show or you’re using custom email templates, let your developer check how to display Van der Meer Track & Trace code in emails.
Use an external cron job
A cron job is a scheduled task in your webshop, which will take place on a recurring basis. For example, updating the stock can be scheduled every 60 minutes. The cron job makes sure, the task will be processed every 60 minutes. Basically it “pings” your webshop to start that process on time.
The WordPress cron job system is not very reliable, mainly if you are starting a new webshop with not many visitors. It will only “ping” your webshop, when someone is visiting your website (including yourself). You can imagine that visiting your website every 60 minutes to trigger a cron job, beats its target.
Another reason to not rely on the WordPress cron job is that you have less options to adjust the schedule. Some processes can increase to load on your server and you might want them to run only during the night. In both cases we advise you to use an external cron job.
There are two options to configure an external cron job:
[DIFFICULT] On your own server (i.e. cPanel)
[EASY] The Woosa cron server
On your own server
Please consult a developer or server expert to configure a cron job on your own server.
The Woosa cron server
Woosa has a cron server where we can configure your cron URL to “ping” your webshop, at any schedule. Want to go for the easy way? Submit a ticket a request to configure your cron URL.
Preserve Stock Offset
To prevent selling products in your webshop that are already out of stock at Van der Meer, you can use the Preserve Stock Offset setting. Simply go to WordPress dashboard > WooCommerce > Settings > Van der Meer tab > Settings mini-tab and fill in a number in the input field. Not sure how to use this setting? Let’s explain more in debt why we have introduced this setting.
As you might have noticed, Van der Meer has a lot of webshops who are using their wholesale and dropshipping solution. This means you will have a lot of competition in the Netherlands and Benelux, in the same product catalog. This also means that a product can have a stock of 8 now, but can be out of stock within a few minutes. That situation will mainly occur with popular products.
Besides Van der Meer only updates their stock once every 30 minutes, which causes a slight delay in the stock level in your webshop. To prevent you from selling products that are already out of stock, we have introduced the Preserve Stock Offset setting. What it does? Let’s describe it with an example:
Let’s say you are selling a birdhouse with the SKU number 405251. This is a very popular birdhouse. It is 13:31 and at this moment the stock level at Van der Meer is 8. Van der Meer will only update its stock around 14:00 again.
However in that short period, 10 other webshops have sold the product with SKU number 405251. This means the actual stock level is -2 instead of 8. Already 2 webshops need to disappoint their customers.
Nevertheless, your webshop will still say a stock level of 8 and therefore customers still think they can purchase the product. Let’s say, a customer has purchased the product.
Only when sending the order to Van der Meer, you will find out that Van der Meer can no longer deliver this product because it is out of stock. You need to contact your customer to disappoint them and will lose revenue.
We could have prevented this situation by configuring the Preserve Stock Offset with value 10 for example. This means, when a product reaches stock level 10 or lower in your webshop the product will be set out of stock.
We are doing our very best to update the stock levels as soon as possible, but need to deal with the amount of webshops using Van der Meer and the delays of Van der Meer itself. Therefore we have introduced the Preserver Stock Offset setting, so that we can prevent disappointed and losing revenue as much as possible.
When you enable the checkbox for Debug Mode, all data our plugins add will be visible in Custom Fields. For example: when a Van der Meer order number is present, it will show the name and value of that particular field.
Custom Fields can be adjusted, deleted or added. In this way developers have the ability to debug issues.
When you activate a WordPress plugin it will add information to your database. The database stores this information, until you remove it yourself. Also when you disable and even delete a plugin, the database tables will still exist. This has a benefit and a downside at the same time.
If you keep the database tables stored, the plugin will remember the data once you re-install it. However, it can also take up unnecessary space in your database table. Basically, it is up to you what your expectation for the future is!
Are you in doubt what to do here? Discuss it with your developer or web agency.
Automatic handling of orders
Send orders to Van der Meer
One of the biggest advantages of working with a dropshipping supplier like Van der Meer, is that they send orders directly to your customers. Because of this, you don’t have to purchase or pre-finance products yourself.
However, Van der Meer must know the ordered products and address details of the customer in order to be able to send the order. Therefore we have added the setting Send orders to Van der Meer in the plugin settings. In this way, you can decide yourself when a WooCommerce order should be sent to Van der Meer automatically for shipment.
You can choose 3 triggers to send orders to Van der Meer:
Disable this, I will do it manually.
Automatically when order status is completed.
Automatically when order status is processing.
In this case we mean the status of the WooCommerce order.
Now you have configured all general settings with, we can almost start to import products into our WooCommerce store. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Van der Meer tab > Synchronisation mini-tab.
Import products as draft
When you have this checkbox enabled, all new products will be imported with Draft status in WooCommerce.
Why would you use this functionality? Because Van der Meer products will be imported with the content that Van der Meer provides and therefore is used by thousands of other webshops. You might want to prevent creating duplicate content and getting strikes from Google. Therefore the Draft status will buy you some time, to edit the product content and make it as unique as possible.
Include the product type at the end of the title
When you have this checkbox enabled, product titles will have the dimensions and capacity at the end of the title. These product types will also be added in the regular WooCommerce fields. For example: Birdhouse (15x12x36 cm, ∅ 2,8 cm).
Exclude products based on B2B price
The B2B price is the purchase price you pay Van der Meer for that particular product.
For this setting you can configure a minimum and maximum amount. For example when the B2B price minimum is 50 and the maximum is 500, we’ll only import products within that price range.
This can be helpful if you don’t want to sell to cheap or to expensive products.
Include or exclude out of stock products
Some products in the Van der Meer catalog are out of stock and therefore not possible to sell. You can decide wether or not to import out of stock products.
If you set this setting to exclude, all out of stock products won’t be imported to your WooCommerce shop. If you set this setting to include, all out of stock products will be imported.
Sometimes Van der Meer products are out of stock, but still can be purchased with status backorder. This means products will have a longer delivery time compared to in stock products, but still can be purchased. With this settings you can choose wether or not to import backorder products.
Define how to calculate your selling price
Every seller wants to offer the best price with the biggest margin. Therefore we offer multiple options to configure a selling price.
Use same price as Van der Meer
The Van der Meer advise price, like they have on their own consumer webshop.
Add a percentage amount above the B2B price of Van der Meer.
Add a fixed amount above the B2B price of Van der Meer.
Make sure your price will be user friendly and rounded up to 20.25 instead of 20.17 for example.
You can either choose the same price as Van der Meer or a percentage and fixed amount. It is not possible to combine the Van der Meer price with a separate margin.
Create tax class
In case products don’t have a VAT percentage created from Van der Meer.
Automatically update product information
All products will be imported with the product information and content of Van der Meer. You can decide yourself which content, you would like to automatically update.
Below a list of the product content provided by Van der Meer:
If you want one of these not to be updated automatically please disable the checkbox in the synchronisation settings of the plugin. You can find these via WooCommerce > Settings > Van der Meer tab > Synchronisation mini-tab.
Manually edit product information
Edit product content (e.g. title and description)
Since a lot of webshops are using Van der Meer as a dropshipping supplier, there is a lot of common product information circling around on the internet. We therefore advise you to manually edit your product information and make it unique.
You can manually edit the following product information:
Once you have edited the product information, make sure it will not be overridden by adjusting the automatically product update settings according to your changes.
Edit product category
We advise not to edit the product category manually. If you wish to have a different category structure compared to Van der Meer, you can easily make use of the category mapping functionality. This is a default functionality in the plugin itself and is therefore more reliable compared to manual edits.
Change selling price
Once you have imported products with the selling price settings above, it can happen that you’re not happy with the selling price or margin. In that case, you can manually change the selling price in the WooCommerce product itself.
Make sure the price will not be updated automatically, by disabling the checkbox in the synchronization settings mini-tab.
Add or change product attributes
Our Van der Meer plugin for WooCommerce adds the following attributes during the product import:
Is there a relevant attribute missing? Feel free to add those manually. All attributes can be used in the Appearance > Widgets > Shop Sidebar > Filter by Attributes to make them visible in the sidebar of the catalog.
Category mapping functionality
In order for you to be able to create your own category structure in your webshop, you can connect WooCommerce categories to Van der Meer categories. In this way you decide which products are imported in which categories.
For example; Van der Meer uses the following category structure:
You can easily change this in a different structure with own WooCommerce categories, like the example below.
Garden > Birds
Breeding items > Birdhouse
Feeder house > Breeding accessoires
Winter > Winter care
Usage of an external cron job
A cron job can be configured for scheduling tasks to be executed in the future. This is normally used to schedule a task that is executed periodically – for example, to send out a notice every morning.
All plugins of Woosa rely on cron jobs for tasks like updating stock, price and other relevant product content. Woosa uses the WP cron and Scheduled Actions in WooCommerce to execute those tasks on time. In some cases a hosting provider or third-party plugin can interfere with our cron jobs and block update processes. That’s why we have introduced our external cron job.
If you have enabled the checkbox to use an external cron job, you’ll need to configure the URL on an external server including the scheduling scheme. This can be your own server or the Woosa cron server.
If you choose to configure it on your own server, make sure a developer will do this for you.
List of actions
The list of actions in all our dropshipping plugins for WooCommerce, show what the synchronisation is currently doing. It checks for example every 60 minutes if an order which is shipped by Van der Meer has any updates. While it is executing this action, you will see it turning green.
The biggest misconception about this table is, that actions with inactive status are not working in the shop. However, what it actually means is that it is currently not active. Once the time is there to run that action, it will become active and green.
During each process it is possible that you will get errors. Luckily for every error there is a solution. Check our list of errors to solve them yourself, without the support of our specialists.
This tool will clear the entire cache of the plugin.
Clear feed cache
This tool will clear the feed cache. Use this when you really need to bring back the products that have been completely removed from your shop.
Warning: Using this tool too often may slow down the plugin processes.
Request stock & price update
This tool will request stock & price update for all the products from the selected feed categories. This is not an instant process, it may take up to 1h to receive the data.
Delete imported products
This tool will completely delete, from your shop, all the imported products from Van der Meer.
Run migration to v3
In case the migration got stuck or things are not working properly after migration then use this tool to run again the migration.
All (error) logs related to our plugins. In this way a developer can debug when an error occurs.