Hi Matt, David and fellow forum members,
I was wondering if a step-by-step starting guide was available? If not this would be great for people like me who are looking to move to a more central and clear multichannel management system that has continuity. Basically what I am looking for, or suggesting, is a guide that takes into account many of us currently use eBay eBay and Amazon but without a multichannel management system. What I need to know, is where to start, for example:
– I have eBay and amazon channels already working for me
– I want to consolidate these existing channels and…..
– I want to open my own online store as a third channel
I need to know:
– Where do I start, from a technical perspective, knowing the objective is the above, and what is my implementation path?
– How do I ‘import’ existing channel listings and associate stock lines as efficiently as possible that causes least interruption to the marketplaces?
The world is then my oyster I think….?
Would love to know your thoughts.
This is exactly what we are aiming for, guides to take you from newbie to pro in step-by-step sections.
We were thinking about a customised setup guide based upon some basic questions earlier and that came up in this thread https://understandinge.com/forum/your-feedback-suggestions/new-here-come-in-say-hi/page-3/ by Brian.
But you’re right there are different scenario’s we need to account for, one we had originally written off was Magento only users that wanted to then sell on the marketplaces, so combined with your ones above and the ones we have here, then there is a lot of ground to cover.
What we have written & recorded so far (we’re right up to order processing, just waiting on some changes to be made for us) is designed in such a way we can customise to each use and build specific paths for users so that the jump specific stages if needs be or have more detail in a specific area.
I’ll be very open with you, we are both concerned that we are not going to be able to do one-on-one implementations, the kind of style that some business are used to. This is why the current providers cost sooo much, even if you are paying £2,000 for an implementation fee, some of these companies lose money on this and make it back on the commission’s.
We have found two partners to work with which can do customised implementations, but as we are thinking scalability for this project to account for a global environment, but don’t want to miss out on the personalisation, we are looking to run a weekly workshop and address any questions or concerns.
Does that help answer your questions?
Thanks for the reply. For me, probably like many others, it is that I don’t have Magento yet and therefore I have a starting point of a blank sheet. I’m a technical guy so could try and work it out myself but to be fair I would like to be able to set everything up pretty quickly and know it is done in a tried and tested way.
I’m thinking of something rather rudimentary and basic to begin with to get the system in place for multichannel selling, including my own online store, something like a base installation guide. Then some other guides for various extensions to the system that can help with particular aspects, on a need by need basis.
The ‘interesting part’ is then as you say – how to do the importing from existing channels, making the relationships between inventory and existing listings etc….. Then hopefully the order management side of things is a relatively simple affair once all the other backend workflow and associations are in place.
I could be wrong of course……
If you’re coming from eBay, then the code I have been playing with as part of a download tool is working, so if you’re eBay centric with no existing backend tool, this won’t be a biggy, just a clean-up job.
The dataflow import tool for Magento is crap, so we’ll be using a more customisable tool called Magmi instead, basically make the additional attributes you need for eBay item specifics etc… and add those in as headers and you have an import sheet. There are a few caveats to this, but that’s basically the process.
The challenge comes with Amazon or Play or if you’re a media seller, as you’re unlikely to have the original data that was used to create the products on to these platforms because you would have been most likely listing with just an ASIN or barcode (EAN or UPC) and there is no ‘allowed’ way of getting the data back out of Amazon about the products you have listed beyond the basics of a SKU, price, quantity & condition.
If you’d like for me to take a look at your eBay account and give you an idea of what data we’d be looking at I can do, just shoot me a message via the contact us form :)
I’ve got the API calls I need to make this work wrapped up into functions last night. Still needs around 12 or more hours throwing at it, but the basics are there and came up with a cunning way around the really awkward part I was struggling with last night.
I’ll look out for your email this morning and will be working on this over the weekend. As soon as I have something tangible I’ll shoot over a copy of the exported data file :)
As mention Amazon is the awkward one as we not allowed to download their data (although you know I am blantaly going to ignore that and find a way).
Focusing on eBay for a moment, let’s look at this item http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141095802239
Our primary concern should be the descriptions, if you take a look at that item we have HTML colourings and images in the description and even with some automated find replace functions, you’re still going to need to manually edit this description as what we are actually looking for is separated data, so that you end up with a “pure” description like this:
“Fed up looking for the toy car you want in the Hot Wheels toy bin? Look no further – just select the car you want from the available cars in the selection box and add it to the basket. Choose as many as you like!
These toys would be a great present for a loved one. Why not splash out and buy it now? Make no mistake – buy while you can!
Individual cars/bikes are normally sent in a bubble padded ‘Jiffy’ style bag – 3 or more cars are always sent in a box. If you are a collector and need 1-2 items to be sent in a box please let us know by sending a message so that we know.”
In your specific case, this is going to be a job that will need to be done, thankfully you only have ~400 listings and while it will take you a while, you’ll end up with lovely clean data that you can use on eBay, Amazon, on your website and anywhere else you wish to use it.
Yes, tedious but quite easy. Within the Magento inventory management are you able to edit individual channel listings so that they can have extra bits in, rather than having a template that only accepts inventory_item.description for the eBay.description field? For example – I would like to add specific pictures to the base of the description of some listings, which may not be part of the pictures for the inventory_item. Therefore I’d need to add in some HTML after the imported description. This is very noddy question I know but is important to me of course!
Not a noddy question at all and there are a few ways this can be achieved.
I am thinking that this would be a great use of the short description field in Magento. If you’ve not spotted this yet, on a inventory record in Magento you have two description fields by default, description & short description.
Normally the short description is a nuisance in our case and we’ll be showing explicitly how to disable this from being a required field in Magento, however in your case, you’ll actually want to use it, so that in the description block you add the text description as normal, but in the short description text area you then add in the images and any extra detail you wish.
Then in the listing template, a very basic example (as I’m working on a custom eBay template designer) would be:
And the description comes in as normal, but as you’ve added in short description with the extra images, tada, you have both worlds covered.
Note: #description# & #short_description# are keywords (also known as variables or macros) and we put these in the template as placeholders for the description/short description fields from a product, thus separating our product data from our listing template (or template for Amazon or even our website theme for that matter).
Does that make sense?
Andrew Kitchen said
I assume you can create custom fields too, if the above isn’t enough?
Absolutely, they’re called “Attributes” and if there is an attribute that you want, say an eBay item specific or maybe a pricing field that you want just for Amazon.
You can add them from the top menu Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attributes > Create new Attribute and then add them to an attribute set so you can attach them to products.
As a heads up, we have around 6 video guides related to this topic specifically :)
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