This is a very narrow blog post. But it’s been on my list forever to write up because it caused me grief for too long.

The setting is that you can use WooCommerce sell things of course on a WordPress site. If what you are selling is a physical product, one thing you can do is set it up to print and ship on order. I do that with us, for example printed posters and sweatshirts. One company that does that and that we are currently using is Printify. It’s not even an extension, it’s just APIs talk to each other.

Everything works well. I had a problem? Customers did not receive shipping notifications.

I thought for a long time that this was just something Printify continued. For example, Printify does not provide customer service to your customers, only you. So if your customer has a problem, he will contact you, and if it looks like this is a Printify problem, then you need to contact them to find out. It’s not my favorite, but it’s understandable because you operate here as a store and things can go wrong with orders that the store has to handle, not Printify.

But no shipment notice seems to be a banana. It’s like an ecommerce table with stakes. Not to mention that you see delivery information in the Printify dashboard. So it was a lot…

  1. The customer wonders about the location of the order
  2. The customer is upset that he did not receive any shipment notification
  3. The customer sends me an email
  4. I’m looking for shipping / tracking information
  5. I send them manually

It’s just not sustainable.

The thing is, though, it is assumed to work, and it happens through a small little feature in the WooCommerce kernel.

So the order comes, and I see it:

When the payment is stable, it will be transferred to Printify, and I will see the order there as well.

Once Printify has tracking information, it will be available in the Printify control panel:

Most orders do. Some orders are not just occasional – although mostly international orders (e.g. from the US to another country)

The trick is that this tracking data doesn’t just stay in Printify. They also use it for a WordPress site in the form of an “note” to the order. So you can see it there:

Display delivery information in the order meta tag in the WordPress editor.  The box is light blue with shipping information for CSS Grid performance and a CSS Flexbox poster with a URL for tracking status.

Notes are sort of a kind of order metadata. You can write whatever you want as a note and add it either privately or prominently to the user.

Displays a meta box in the WordPress editor in a white text area with an Add Note tag and a note written on it that says I hope you love the poster!  Take a photo and send it to me if you want!  An option has been selected to display the note to the customer.

Everything happened normally on my site.

Here was my problem:

WooCommerce Preferences Email Notification Settings screen with a list of notifications and one highlighted for a custom reminder notification.
My Customer Notification email was changed skew.

I was confused because I didn’t really understand the WordPress “Notes” idea, and it wasn’t documented anywhere by saying that this is how Printify conveys this information. It just came to my mind when I watched it out of 100th time. Why was it off? I do not know. Is it off by default? Do I turn it off because I didn’t understand it, and I understand customer-oriented emails are off at some point? Again, I don’t know. I also just assumed that Printify would send tracking information to the customer because they have that information as well as the customer’s email. Who knows.

However, it works with it!

The thing is: by turning this email on, it turned tons of very manual customer service work into almost anything. So I wanted to get it on the blog if someone is in this frustrating situation like me.

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