Lulu Direct is the perfect way to sell your book on your website, but like any new tool, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Instead of wading through help articles and poking around on the Lulu Direct Dashboard until you discover how everything works, get started faster with this full Dashboard tour/walkthrough.
Welcome to your comprehensive guide to the Lulu Direct Dashboard’s features and functionality!
What is Lulu Direct?
Lulu Direct connects your book to your own website through popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce for WordPress. The Lulu Direct Shopify integration is an app that can be added to your Shopify account and is separate from this Lulu Direct Dashboard.
Lulu Direct is free and simple to use and provides valuable benefits for authors, creators, and entrepreneurs alike, such as:
- Full control of your brand with white-label and custom packing slips
- Customer data retention to maximize marketing efforts
- Keep 100% of profits
- No inventory management
- Automated print fulfillment
If this sounds like a dream come true, read on to learn more about the Lulu Direct Dashboard!
Lulu Direct Dashboard
Let’s start with the main Dashboard, which is the first page you reach when you click My Stores from the top of the Lulu Homepage. Take note of the Dashboard, Store Orders, and Billing tabs at the top of the page. Once you have reached the Dashboard, the first thing you will see is your Notifications, which will alert you to any orders that need attention. In the example below, you can see I currently have two orders that require payment before they will enter production.
Below your Notifications, you will see your connected stores. Note that you can connect more than one WooCommerce store to Lulu Direct. If you haven’t connected a WooCommerce store to Lulu Direct, you can click Connect A Store to get started.
Beneath the Your Stores section, you will find Order Statistics and Top Products in descending order. These sections are a convenient place to view your store analytics and can help you easily identify areas where you need to improve your marketing efforts (and to see where you’re doing really well).
You can filter both of these sections by Date Range and Store.
The Store Orders page is accessed by clicking Store Orders from the top navigation bar. This is where you can view all of your orders in one place and get status updates for each order. You can filter your orders by Date and Status, and you can also search by Order Number.
Clicking on an order from this page will bring you to the Order Details page for that specific order.
You can do several things on the Order Details page depending on the status of the order, but for the Unpaid example above, you can do the following:
- Update the shipping address associated with the order
- Update the shipping method
- Pay for the order
- Cancel the order
- Contact support
If an order is In Production or Shipped, you will only have the option to contact support from this page. Shipped orders will also have tracking information available, if applicable.
The Billing page is exactly what it sounds like—a place to view your billing and payment information. From this page, you can view your Payment History and manage your Automatic Payment and Billing Address.
Similarly to the Store Orders page, you can filter your Payment History by Order Number, Date, and Status. You can also download a spreadsheet of order details from this page.
You can access the Store Details page for a store you have connected to Lulu Direct by clicking on your WooCommerce URL from the Dashboard page.
On the Store Details page, you can access the Store Settings, add a new product, and search through your products by title and status. You can also access your product details from this page. Let’s start at the top and work our way down to learn more about what each button does.
The first thing you’ll see on the Store Settings page is a place to add your contact information. If we have any issue printing or shipping an order, this is the information we’ll use to contact you.
Next on the page is a place to add a custom packing slip logo, a return address, and a personal message for your buyers.
The orders your customers receive are always white-labeled, but this section is your opportunity to add your own branding and personalization to their packing slips.
Next up are three sections that are crucial to the fulfillment of your orders – Production Delay, Automatic Order Approval, and Automatic Payments.
Why are these sections so important?
- Production Delay: The Production Delay is the period of time during which you can cancel an order, and it can range from 60 – 1,440 minutes. Say you want to allow customers to cancel an order for up to 24 hours after they place it. Extending the Production Delay to 1,440 minutes allows you to manually cancel an order from your account for up to 24 hours after it has been paid for.
- Automatic Order Approval: All orders require manual approval at first, but clicking Enable Automatic Order Approval will bypass the need to approve orders manually after the Production Delay ends.
- Automatic Payments: Just like manual order approval, your orders will require manual payment. Enabling Automatic Payments will bypass the need to manually pay and use a saved payment method for each order instead. Instructions for setting up Automatic Payments can be found right on the page.
You can also learn more about shipping and disconnect your store from the Store Settings page.
Add A Product
Going back to the Store Details page, now it’s time for the information you’ve [possibly] been waiting for… how to connect a Lulu project to WooCommerce!
Click Add A Product and a window will appear with two options. You can either connect to an existing WooCommerce Product, or you can make a new Product directly from this page.
After you have connected your Lulu projects to WooCommerce, you can also click on the individual products from the Store Details page, which will bring you to a page where you can revise, deactivate, and remove the product.
Questions? We’ve Got Answers!
Whew, that was a lot of information! Hopefully, this guide helped you get acquainted with the features and functionality of the Lulu Direct dashboard. Feeling stuck, or have a question you didn’t find the answer to here? We have a dedicated support team to help answer all of your questions about Lulu Direct, plus a Knowledge Base full of commonly-asked questions and tutorials. Reach out to our team through our Contact Support page, and we’ll be glad to help you get your WooCommerce store connected with Lulu Direct.
Kristen is an Ecommerce Specialist at Lulu. Her role focuses on helping clients utilize Lulu's direct-to-consumer tools to grow their businesses. She is passionate about giving everyone the opportunity to have their voices heard and believes self-publishing presents the perfect opportunity to do just that. When she's not at the office, Kristen is likely chasing her toddler or working on a DIY project in her garage.