Need Multi-Channel Platform Recommendation

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United States United States
Consultant
Kudos: 40
Joined: May 6, 2008
Need Multi-Channel Platform Recommendation
30 Sep 2009
I manage a mid-tier e-tail site selling expensive luxury goods. Out Google natural rankings are top 3 on almost all of the main keywords. We liquidate clearance inventory via E-bay in order to not dilute out pricing structure on our main website.

We have automated feeds to Google Product (aka Froogle), Nextag, Pricegrabber, Bizrate, and Shopping.com and are also an Amazon merchant. We list about 20-30 items a week on E-bay that average about $500 per item so the insertion and feature fees are really an insignificant cost.

We've used Channel Advisor before a LONG time ago and found that for the price it really wasn't saving us much time as opposed to just manually listing on E-bay using a n HTML template and the good old Sell Similar or Relist features. Our E-bay volume has picked up and we want to try to expand our exposure to maybe some other channels like Buy.com, and other sales channels that don't rape your profits away and are worthwhile to deal with.

Our site and automated feeds are all custom programming with very complicated business logic since our each vendor we deal with has different Internet sales policies. We can't operate like a pure e-tail play and just dump all our skus, descriptions, qty in stock, and prices.

We'd like to find a good reasonably priced multi-channel selling platform that we can just tweek our existing feed formats for instead of manually keying our products into a system and using that system to maintain our products thereby have just one conduit to all the selling channels, including E-bay.

Essentially we have like 6 different feed formats and we want to standardize to just one format and then let the conduit translate for the various channel feed requirements. Something that of course doesn't make the E-bay checkout process more complicated for buyers or preferably just doesn't mess with the E-bay checkout process at all (although I imagine it is beneficial to give Ebay buyers payment options other than PayPal?) Something that we can setup and automated post-auction FAQ that is immediately e-mailed to buyers upon auction close to stem off the bonehead questions.

Any recommendations? If you are representing a product, don't waste your time replying. I want real user opinions. Sorry. P.S. We sell a lot of things to International customers.

[Last edited by moderator: Added some line breaks — 5 Oct 2009]
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Need Multi-Channel Platform Recommendation
5 Oct 2009
Hi Consultant, thanks for posting

I think it could be quite tough to find your perfect solution which takes your feeds and translates them to different formats. What you would need is a multichannel solution (like MarketplaceAdvisor Premium, Kyozou or Infopia) with a comprehensive API so you can interface with it directly instead of re-keying your data. I would talk to some of these providers and see what they can do for you.

But I have to wonder, as you have complicated rules and the capability for custom programming whether it might be cheaper for you to handle it yourself.

Consultant wrote:

Something that we can setup and automated post-auction FAQ that is immediately e-mailed to buyers upon auction close to stem off the bonehead questions.
If you are willing to consider standalone solutions for that look at customer support solutions like ezSupport for eBay.

I hope that helps a little!

[Last edited: 12 Jul 2012]
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United States United States
Consultant
Kudos: 40
Joined: May 6, 2008
Re: Need Multi-Channel Platform Recommendation
5 Oct 2009
Hey Andy,

Thanks for the reply. Ya, when I thought this through I realized we couldn't provide one feed and have it translated unless we could include fields in the feed that indicate which channels it is okay to list the product on (Ebay, Amazon, Buy.com, Pricegrabber.com, Google Product Search, etc.) as the ruleset for each of our brands can differ so that on brand is okay to list on Ebay, another isn't and so on and so fort. Since we already have automated feeds setup for everything except Ebay and Amazon, there's no use re-creating the wheel.

So mainly we need a conduit for E-bay so we can provide a feed that automated the process of listing our clearance inventory on E-bay. Something effective but not overly expensive. As I mentioned before we think the E-bay checkout process is fine but if the best solution requires us to use their checkout process so be it.
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Need Multi-Channel Platform Recommendation
5 Oct 2009
Well, you could try doing it yourself using eBay File Exchange - it's eBay's own feed submission method.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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