Post-order Notification Integration Guide

Learn how to integration a post-order notification (PON).

Welcome to the Post-order Notifications (PON) Integration Guide via the Digital River® API Gateway. This guide is designed to help developers and businesses seamlessly integrate and use PON to enhance the customer post-purchase experience. Whether you're looking to send order confirmations, shipping updates, delivery notifications, or solicit feedback, this guide will walk you through the steps necessary to implement a robust PON solution. To boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, let's dive into how you can leverage these automated notifications effectively within your business operations.

What are post-order notifications?

Post-order notifications (PON) are critical communication tools used by businesses to keep customers informed after they have made a purchase. These automated messages play a vital role in the post-purchase customer journey, encompassing a range of updates including order confirmations, shipping information, delivery statuses, and invitations to provide feedback. Implementing PON effectively allows businesses to improve customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and streamline their communication processes, ensuring that customers remain engaged and informed from purchase to the delivery of their goods or services.

Post-order notification polls events and collects data using real-time calls for your company or site. When an event occurs, it triggers a notification and sends it to your endpoint. The notifications are one way. Once you receive a notification, you are free to do whatever you want with that notification.

How are post-order notifications used?

When you receive a post-order notification, you can forward it through various channels, depending on the shopper's preference and your company's capabilities. Common delivery methods include:

  • Email: A widely used channel for sending comprehensive order details, shipping updates, and promotional messages.

  • SMS/text message: Ideal for timely updates, such as delivery notifications or urgent alerts.

  • Push notifications: Businesses use mobile applications to engage users directly on their smartphones.

  • Social media messaging: Some businesses leverage direct messages on platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp for order-related communications.

  • Automated phone calls: Some companies use automated calls for significant updates or reminders.

Each method has its benefits and is chosen based on the specific context and objectives of the notification.

Examples of post-order notifications

  • Order confirmation: An email or SMS confirming that the customer's order has been received and is being processed.

  • Shipping update: Updates regarding the order's shipping status, including the carrier, tracking number, and estimated delivery date.

  • Delivery confirmation: A message confirming that the order has been delivered to the specified address.

  • Payment receipt: Notification providing transaction details, including the amount paid and the payment method.

  • Return and refund information: Information on how to return a product and details about the refund process.

Notifications retry policy

By default, the notification retry policy in Global Commerce is zero (0). If a notification fails to be delivered, Global Commerce will attempt to resend it. This ensures critical order updates, confirmations, and alerts reach the intended recipient without manual intervention. The retry mechanism is designed to overcome temporary issues like network connectivity problems or server downtimes.

How to turn on post-order notifications

Enabling post-order notifications is critical in ensuring you and your customers stay informed throughout the order process. These notifications provide timely updates on the order confirmation, shipping, delivery, and more. Follow the steps below to activate post-order notifications through the Digital River Solution Center, enhancing communication and improving customer satisfaction.

  1. Navigate to the Solution Center: Visit the Solution Center and click Log in.

  1. Log in to the Solution Center: Provide your email address and password, then click Log in.

  1. Create a new case: Click the Create Case button to initiate your eCompass account request.

  1. Fill in the required information:

    • Client/Account: Input your account name.

    • Site ID: Enter the specific site ID associated with your account.

    • Subject: Provide a concise subject, such as "Turn on post-order notifications request."

    • Description: Give a brief explanation of your request. For instance, you might say, "I need post-order notifications. Can you turn it on? My email address is Here are my integration endpoints and credentials for the CTE and Production: <Provide the Client Test Environment (CTE) and Production URLs and credentials>. I also want notification retry set to 2."

  2. Submit your request: Once all the necessary information is provided, click Submit.

When processing your request, your Customer Success Manager (CSM) will create an integration for your company or site, turn on the post-order notification feature, and create a real-time call. You will receive an email when the post-order notifications (PON) feature is turned on.

Event Notification attributes

Event Notification attributes play a crucial role in tailoring the post-order notification (PON) experience to meet the specific needs of your company or site. By configuring these attributes, you can select and prioritize the events you wish to be informed about, ensuring you're always up to date with the most relevant information regarding your orders. This section will guide you through the attributes available for configuration and how to use them to enhance your eCommerce operations effectively. See Configuring Event Notifications settings for instructions.

Returns tab

The Returns tab outlines the various events under which products are returned. Understanding these events is crucial for managing customer expectations and ensuring a smooth return process. This section covers different types of product returns, including those initiated by customers, service issues, or delivery challenges. Each return type is described to provide clear guidance on handling and processing returns efficiently, thereby improving customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Auto Created Line Item Level Return Product

The Auto Created Line Item Level Return Product (AutoCreatedLineItemLevelReturnProduct) event occurs when a product shipped to a customer cannot be delivered to the specified shipping address. Consequently, the product is automatically returned to the fulfiller. This event typically results from a failed CancelRequest, indicating that the cancellation process was initiated but ultimately did not succeed before the item was shipped out. In such scenarios, the system automatically generates a return for the specific line item, facilitating smoother return processing and improved operational efficiency.

Cancel Request Return Product

The Cancel Request Return Product (CancelRequestReturnProduct) event occurs when a customer returns a product they initially intended to cancel but received. This situation arises due to a failed CancelRequest, where the customer initiated the cancellation process but was not successfully executed before the product was dispatched. In such instances, the customer returns the product upon its delivery. This type of return is critical to understand as it reflects areas where the cancellation process can be improved to prevent unnecessary shipping and returns, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Line Item Level Return Product

The Line Item Level Return Product (LineItemLevelReturnProduct) event occurs when a customer initiates a return at the individual product line item level due to service-related issues. Examples of such issues include receiving an incorrect product. This event is categorized under ReturnType specifically for line item returns.

Purpose: The event aims to address and rectify incidences where the product delivered does not match the customer's order, enhancing customer satisfaction by facilitating a smooth return process.

Key points:

  • Triggered by service-related issues such as incorrect product delivery.

  • Facilitates a focused return process at the line item level.

  • Helps in streamlining returns processing and improving operational efficiency.

Replacement Product Return

The Replacement Product Return (ReplacementProductReturn) event is triggered when a customer receives a damaged product and initiates a return. Unlike typical returns, the focus here is replacing the damaged item rather than providing a monetary refund. This event falls under a specific ReturnType designated for situations where the aim is to exchange the damaged product with an undamaged equivalent, ensuring that the customer receives what they initially purchased without any financial reimbursement being involved.

Key characteristics:

  • Initiated due to receiving a damaged product.

  • No monetary refund is provided.

  • The primary aim is to replace the damaged product with a new, undamaged one.

Replacement Return

Replacement Return (ReplacementReturn) is initiated when a customer receives a damaged product and decides to return it. In these cases, the customer is not seeking a monetary refund but a direct replacement of the damaged item. This return type falls within a specific category focusing on exchanging the damaged product for a new, undamaged version, thus ensuring that the customer's initial purchase intention is fulfilled without any financial transactions for the return.

  • Trigger: Receiving a damaged product.

  • Objective: To replace the damaged item with an undamaged equivalent.

  • Return type (ReturnType): No monetary transaction; the aim is a direct product exchange.

Refunds tab

The Refunds tab provides a comprehensive list of the different refund events in an eCommerce platform. This section details each event, ranging from customer-initiated cancellations to refunds due to overpayments or price adjustments. Understanding these scenarios is essential for managing financial transactions efficiently and ensuring customer satisfaction. This guide will walk you through each type of refund, their triggers, and how they are processed, enabling you to handle refunds confidently and effectively.

Cancellation Refund

A Cancellation Refund (CancellationRefund) event occurs when an order is cancelled before fulfillment and has a settled payment. This type of refund is generated by the system for orders that have been cancelled, including both delayed settled orders and auto settle settled orders. This refund event is particularly used for line item returns set up due to a failed CancelRequest.

CPG Initiated Satisfaction Refund

A CPG Initiated Satisfaction Refund (CPGInitiatedSatisfactionRefund) is issued by Customer Service through the central payment gateway (CPG). This type of refund is used when other means of refund are not feasible, requiring intervention from Customer Service. The Commerce Operation Manager, unable to issue a refund through standard procedures, contacts Customer Service, which executes the refund using the CPG refund screen. This refund represents the ReturnType for satisfaction refunds initiated via CPG, showcasing a direct approach to handling special refund circumstances.

Line Item Level Issuer Refund

The bank or card issuer initiates the Line Item Level Issuer Refund (LineItemLevelIssuerRefund) to address specific line items within an order. This type of refund is generated outside the standard Global Commerce platform processes and reconciled through the central payment gateway (CPG). It signifies a direct intervention by the financial institution, typically when there's a dispute, error, or need to adjust a particular line item of an order. This refund category underscores the importance of external financial entities in the refund process, ensuring accuracy and customer satisfaction at the line item level.

Line Item Level Satisfaction Refund

A Line Item Level Satisfaction Refund (LineItemLevelSatisfactionRefund) is initiated by Customer Service to resolve issues at the granularity of an individual line item within an order. This type of refund is typically issued when a customer has received a damaged or incorrect product. The objective is to ensure customer satisfaction by addressing and rectifying specific issues related to particular items in an order without affecting the entirety of the transaction.

Order Level Issuer Refund

An Order Level Issuer Refund (OrderLevelIssuerRefund) is a refund initiated by the bank or card issuer through the central payment gateway (CPG). This type of refund addresses the entire order and is typically triggered outside the Global Commerce platform. It represents the ReturnType for returns reconciled when an Issuer Refund from CPG occurs. It highlights direct financial institution intervention in the refund process for the whole order, ensuring accuracy and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Order Level Satisfaction Refund

Customer Service initiates an Order Level Satisfaction Refund (OrderLevelSatisfactionRefund) to fulfill a customer’s satisfaction in instances such as receiving a damaged product. This type of refund addresses issues on an order-wide basis rather than targeting individual items within the order. It represents a specific ReturnType for returns processed when reconciling an Order Level Issuer Refund from the central payment gateway (CPG) initiated outside the Global Commerce platform. This approach ensures customer satisfaction by accurately addressing and rectifying concerns affecting an order.

Order Level Suppress Refund

The Order Level Suppress Refund (OrderLevelSuppress) is a system-generated refund event for an order after a fraud suppression has been identified and Digital River has collected the funds. This type of refund occurs when fraud suppression is activated after the funds are settled or cleared, prompting the system to initiate a refund immediately. This ensures that any potentially fraudulent transactions are quickly addressed and rectified, maintaining the integrity of the financial transactions on the platform.

Overpayment Difference Refund

An Overpayment Difference Refund (OverpaymentDifferenceRefund) is a manual refund will be issued if a customer reports an overpayment to Digital River Customer Service, which can occur with payment methods such as Wire Transfer. Unlike other refund events, the system does not automatically generate a refund based on the overpayment event itself. It represents the ReturnType for a return created specifically to refund the overpaid amount, ensuring that customers are only charged the correct amount for their purchases.

Price Adjustment Refund

Customer Service issues a Price Adjustment Refund (PriceAdjustmentRefund) to match the price of a product when another retailer offers the same product at a lower price. This can happen in cases such as customers requesting a price match for a recently purchased item or if a customer has pre-ordered a product and its price drops before its release. This refund ensures customers receive the best possible deal, aligning the purchase price with current market rates.

Refund Credit Complete

The customer received credit for the refund. The Refund Credit Complete (RefundCreditComplete) event signifies the completion of the refund process, where the refunded amount has been successfully credited back to the customer's account. This step is crucial in ensuring customer satisfaction by confirming that the refund has been processed and the funds are available to the customer.

Replacement Refund

A Replacement Refund (ReplacementRefund) is issued when a customer requests a replacement for a product, but the product is out of stock, making the replacement impossible. In such cases, a refund is made available to the customer rather than providing a replacement. Importantly, this type of refund does not necessitate the return of the product to initiate the refund process. This refund category falls under the ReturnType for returns resulting from an unfulfilled replacement request due to inventory constraints, signifying that a refund mechanism is activated as a resolution.

Return Receipt Created

The Return Receipt Created (ReturnReceiptCreated) marks the event when a returned physical product is received and acknowledged by the fulfillment department, leading to the initiation of the refund process for the product. This event is critical in tracking and managing the return and refund cycle, ensuring that customers are refunded promptly upon the successful return of merchandise.

Review Refund

A Review Refund (ReviewRefund) event occurs when Customer Service issues a refund through a central payment gateway (CPG). This type of refund is typically enacted when a Commerce Operation Manager cannot process the refund through standard means and thus contacts Customer Service for resolution. The refund is executed using the CPG refund screen, ensuring the customer receives it efficiently and securely.

Tax Exempt Refund

A Tax Exempt Refund (TaxExemptRefund) event occurs when Customer Service issues a tax refund to a client who has proven their tax-exempt status. This process usually involves the client providing documentation of their tax exemption, such as an email confirmation, after which Customer Service processes and issues the refund accordingly.

Line Item Level tab

The Line Item Level tab lists events that provide detailed insight into individual product or service transactions within an order. This section is designed to help users and customer service representatives track each line item's status, from backorder to completion. Understanding these statuses is essential for managing inventory, fulfilling orders accurately, and providing timely customer updates. Here, you'll find various states a line item can take, such as back-ordered, cancelled, or pending fulfillment. This granular view ensures precise order management and enhances the overall efficiency of eCommerce operations.

Line Item Back Ordered

This Line Item Back Ordered (LineItemLevelBackOrdered) event indicates that the product associated with the line item is not in stock and has been placed on backorder. This means the item will be fulfilled and shipped to the customer as soon as it becomes available. The line item remains in a BackOrdered state until the fulfiller can proceed with the order fulfillment process.

Line Item Cancel Complete

The Line Item Cancel Complete (InventoryCancelLineItem) event signifies that the cancellation process for a specific line item within an order has been successfully completed. This scenario may arise for various reasons, such as customer requests, stock unavailability, or an error in order processing. Once a line item is designated as "Cancel Complete," it indicates that it will no longer be processed or shipped. Any charges related to it are generally voided or refunded. This status helps customer service representatives and customers keep track of changes to the order and ensures transparency in the fulfillment process.

Line Item Cancel State

The Line Item Cancel State (LineItemLevelCancelled) event indicates that a specific line item within an order has entered the cancellation phase, but the process has not yet been completed. This state may occur when the customer, customer service representative, or fulfillment entity initiates an order or line item cancellation for various reasons such as stock issues or customer preference. In this state, the line item is pending completion of the cancelation process. It has not yet reached the "Cancel Complete" status, where it is officially marked as canceled and no longer eligible for fulfillment or shipping.

Line Item Complete

The Line Item Complete event (LineItemLevelComplete) signifies that a specific line item within an order has been successfully fulfilled. This status is achieved when the product or service associated with the line item has been delivered or rendered to the customer, meeting the criteria for fulfillment. At this point, the line item is considered finalized in the order process, and no further action related to shipment or delivery is required. This event is crucial for tracking the progress of an order and ensuring that all components have been addressed and completed as expected.

Line Item Electronic Pending Fulfillment

TheLine Item Electronic Pending Fulfillment (LineItemLevelElectronicFulfillmentPending) event occurs when a digital line item within an order has not yet been fulfilled. It signifies that although the order has been placed, the process of delivering or providing access to the digital content or service associated with the line item is still pending. This status is specifically relevant for transactions involving digital goods, such as software, e-books, or online services, where physical fulfillment is not applicable.

Line Item Pending Fulfillment

The Line Item Pending Fulfillment (LineItemLevelPendingFulfillment) event indicates that the fulfillment process for a specific line item within an order is yet to be completed. This status applies to physical goods awaiting shipment and digital products awaiting delivery or activation. It highlights that the order has been acknowledged, but the necessary steps to provide the product or service to the customer have not been finalized. This is a critical stage in order management, signaling that action is required to progress the order toward completion.

Line Item Suppressed

A Line Item Suppressed (LineItemLevelSuppressed) event occurs when a product associated with a specific line item in an order is suppressed due to suspected fraudulent activity. This event highlights the action taken on individual line items within an order, signifying that the product has been removed or the transaction for that specific item has been halted to prevent potential fraud. This status is critical for safeguarding both the merchant and the customer from fraudulent transactions, ensuring the integrity of the order processing system.

Order Level tab

The Order Level tab lists events that serve as a comprehensive platform for tracking the overall status of an order within our system. The events provide essential information on order progression from when it is placed until its completion. This tab is crucial for overseeing the lifecycle of an order, including any disputes, cancellations, or risk assessments that may arise. These event notifications help manage customer expectations, handle inquiries, and maintain the ordering process's integrity.

Order Cancelled

The Order Cancelled (OrderLevelCanceled) event occurs when an existing order is canceled either by the fulfiller or by a customer service representative. The cancellation stops all processing and fulfillment activities for the order, effectively ending its lifecycle within the system and ensuring the fulfiller will not complete the orders for various reasons, such as customer retraction or fraud detection, to maintain the integrity of the transaction process.

Example: The customer decides they no longer want the product and contacts customer service, who cancels the order.

Order Complete

The Order Complete (OrderLevelComplete) event signifies that an order has reached its conclusion successfully. This state is achieved once the order has been placed and all aspects of its fulfillment process have been executed without issues. The ordered product or service has been delivered to the customer per the agreed terms.

Example: An order for a laptop is placed on the website, and after processing and shipment, the laptop is delivered to the customer, marking the order as complete.

Order in Process

The Order in Review (OrderLevelInProcess) event indicates that we are currently working on the order. This state occurs after an order has been placed but before all elements of its fulfillment have been completed. The order is in a transitional phase toward completion.

Example: After placing an order for a set of headphones, the order's status is updated to "In Process" as it undergoes preparation for shipment.

Order in Review

The Order in Review event represents a critical evaluation step in the order processing cycle, specifically targeting fraud prevention. During this phase, an order undergoes a thorough review by the Digital River Fraud Review team to identify potential fraudulent activities. Various types of reviews may take place, including:

  • OrderLevelHoldDplReview: A deep look into the details of an order to ensure its legitimacy.

  • OrderLevelHoldDelayedFraud: An assessment for delayed indicators of fraud that might not be immediately evident.

  • OrderLevelHoldFraudError: Investigation of any errors or anomalies that suggest fraudulent activities.

The outcome of this review can significantly impact the order's progression toward fulfillment, prioritizing the safety and security of transactions.

Order Placed

The Order Placed (OrderLevelPlaceOrderSuccess) event occurs immediately after a shopper has successfully completed the ordering process. During this stage, the shopper's order is confirmed and readied for subsequent processing, including transferring the order details to the operational data store for further processing. At this point, the order journey through fraud prevention review, risk assessment, and fulfillment preparations begins. This stage is critical for ensuring that all order details are accurate and ready for the next steps in the order processing cycle.

Order Risk

The Order Risk (OrderLevelRisk) event occurs when an order shows potential signs of fraudulent activity. This step in the order processing cycle involves a comprehensive review and risk assessment to identify and address any suspicious elements that may indicate fraud. The review process aims to prevent fraudulent transactions and minimize financial losses for the business. Depending on the findings, we may temporarily hold, further investigate, or, in some cases, cancel an order to safeguard the business and its customers.

Order Shipped

The Order Shipped (OrderLevelShipmentNotice) event signifies that the fulfiller shipped the order to the customer. This critical stage in the order processing cycle indicates that the packaging and shipping preparations are complete and the order is on its way to the delivery address specified by the shopper. The event confirms the transition of the order status to 'shipped,' signaling that the products have left the warehouse or fulfillment center and are in transit to the customer. This event is crucial for the business and the customer, as it indicates the order's progress and expected delivery timeline.

Order Submitted

The Order Submitted (OrderLevelSubmitEventEnded) event occurs immediately after the customer successfully places an order and marks the completion of the order placement process, indicating the transference of the order details from the order taker to the operational data store. At this stage, further processing activities, such as shopper notifications, are initiated to inform the customer about the order's progress. This event is crucial as it signals the start of the order fulfillment process, setting into motion the series of steps required to prepare and dispatch the customer's order.

Other tab

The Other tab lists events that encapsulate transactional events that do not fit neatly into the conventional payment or order processing categories. It includes special cases and exceptional conditions that may arise during the lifecycle of an order. Understanding these events is crucial for effectively navigating and managing the complexities of eCommerce operations. This section provides insights into handling these unique cases, ensuring customer satisfaction and operational efficiency are maintained.

Order Dispute Chargeback

A bank initiates the Order Dispute Chargeback (OrderDisputeChargeBack) event when a customer disputes a charge on their order, leading to a chargeback for various reasons, such as unauthorized transactions or disputes over the received goods or services. The event marks the start of an evaluation process of the disputed transaction to determine whether to reverse the charge. This critical event impacts financial reporting and customer relations, necessitating prompt and appropriate action to resolve the dispute and, if possible, retain customer goodwill.

Order Level Suppress

The Order Level Suppress (OrderLevelSuppressRefund) event occurs when the Digital River Fraud Operations team cancels orders for reasons such as suspected fraud or other business-related concerns. When suppression happens, especially on delayed or settled orders, a "Suppression Refund" return type is generated to ensure the appropriate handling of financial implications, safeguarding the business's and customers' interests.

Configuring event notifications

After Digital River configures your endpoint, you can select the post-order notification (PON) events you want to receive. You can choose the events from the Event Notifications tab on the Configure Site Settings page for your site in Global Commerce.

Staying updated with every order management phase is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Configuring event notification settings allows your business to automate the communication process for significant events such as returns, refunds, or payments. This guide will walk you through the steps to enable post-order notifications (PON) on Global Commerce, ensuring that you receive any critical post-order activity and enabling timely actions and decisions. Follow the instructions below to streamline your notification process.

The following task shows you how to enable post-order notifications (PON) for a return, refund, or payment event.

  1. Sign in to Global Commerce.

  2. Select Administration, select Site and then click Configure Site Settings. The Configure Site Settings page appears.

  1. Click the Event Notifications tab. The Returns tab on the Event Notifications tab appears.

  1. For each tab (Returns, Refunds, Line Item Level, Order Level, Payment, or Other) under the Event Notifications tab, select one or more event notification checkboxes or Select All to select all event notification checkboxes. See Event Notification attributes for a description of each checkbox.

  2. Click Save. Global Commerce immediately applies the changes to your store and sends notifications to your designated endpoint.

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