How To

Alternative Inventory Sources

Data files are a common source of feed data for merchants who do not use the Inventory portion of ChannelAdvisor Complete. When you use inventory data from a source other than ChannelAdvisor, you will set up a recurring, incoming data feed to ChannelAdvisor.

ChannelAdvisor uses this incoming data as the source of inventory information that is sent out to the various feed destinations. If you take the time to set up a feed with accurate titles, descriptions, prices, and other relevant product data, you will have markedly better results with your feeds to the various destinations, which means more revenue for you.

Discuss file generation issues with the person who is in charge of your in-house inventory system. Usually there is a database of some sort and a database person who can set up an automated extract of some kind. There might also be a small amount of programming or scripting either to send (FTP) the files to ChannelAdvisor or to move them to a location (FTP or Web server) where ChannelAdvisor can log in using credentials you provide and pick up your file.

 

Prerequisites


These steps should be completed prior to completing this task

 

Feed Frequency


For best results, generate a new inventory file every day. This ensures that the sites get the most up-to-date information, especially pricing and stock information. If you miss one or more days, you may encounter the following:

  • Feeds use the latest inventory file available as input, so they will still work. However, any pricing, availability, or other updates will not be reflected on the feed destinations sites. Also, new products will not appear in the outgoing feeds.
  • Bidding for existing items will continue to update normally, even without a new inventory file.

Please note: The incoming data feed must be provided at least once every 30 days. If the last data feed is older than 30 days then all the outgoing feeds in your account will not be sent and you will see a status of "Failed" for all the feeds.

 

Maintainability


When you decide who will set up your feed, it’s important to think about how you will make future changes if necessary. For example:

  • How hard will it be to correct any initial setup mistakes?
  • How hard will it be to add a custom field later?
  • How hard will it be to improve the quality of the data in a field if you decide you need to?

 

Next Steps


Data files are a common source of feed data for merchants who do not use the Inventory portion of ChannelAdvisor Complete. When you use inventory data from a source other than ChannelAdvisor, you will set up a recurring, incoming data feed to ChannelAdvisor.

ChannelAdvisor uses this incoming data as the source of inventory information that is sent out to the various feed destinations. If you take the time to set up a feed with accurate titles, descriptions, prices, and other relevant product data, you will have markedly better results with your feeds to the various destinations, which means more revenue for you.

Discuss file generation issues with the person who is in charge of your in-house inventory system. Usually there is a database of some sort and a database person who can set up an automated extract of some kind. There might also be a small amount of programming or scripting either to send (FTP) the files to ChannelAdvisor or to move them to a location (FTP or Web server) where ChannelAdvisor can log in using credentials you provide and pick up your file.

 

Prerequisites


These steps should be completed prior to completing this task

 

Feed Frequency


For best results, generate a new inventory file every day. This ensures that the sites get the most up-to-date information, especially pricing and stock information. If you miss one or more days, you may encounter the following:

  • Feeds use the latest inventory file available as input, so they will still work. However, any pricing, availability, or other updates will not be reflected on the feed destinations sites. Also, new products will not appear in the outgoing feeds.
  • Bidding for existing items will continue to update normally, even without a new inventory file.

Please note: The incoming data feed must be provided at least once every 30 days. If the last data feed is older than 30 days then all the outgoing feeds in your account will not be sent and you will see a status of "Failed" for all the feeds.

 

Maintainability


When you decide who will set up your feed, it’s important to think about how you will make future changes if necessary. For example:

  • How hard will it be to correct any initial setup mistakes?
  • How hard will it be to add a custom field later?
  • How hard will it be to improve the quality of the data in a field if you decide you need to?

 

Next Steps


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