Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?

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Meridian, ID United States
3rd-Venue
Kudos: 61
Joined: Jan 3, 2016
Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
3 Jan 2016
I've tried everything out there, and finally settled on Magento for my website. I've hired a Magento engineer to work with us full time designing a Multi-Store with a robust template which can host unlimited sites. This technology will allow us to provide fully developed Magento Stores to the beginning web entrepreneur without them spending $10,000's and months of hassles of getting it going. Just configure your domain name and upload your products, everything else is done. Theoretically :-)

Our goal in doing this was to be able to build one website one time, yet use it for all our properties. We hopefully can sell this service down the road when we have worked out all the kinks in our operation!

I am amazed at the LACK of tools that exist for managing Product Data and porting it to all the channels flawlessly. There are a lot of companies TRYING to offer a solution, but for under $1000+ per month, I've not found one I could deal with. It seems imperative that you have the Master Copy of your Product AND Inventory data all in one place and you always make ALL changes in one database. Now to get that data to update live on Ebay, Amazon, Magento, Other Channels, Quickbooks - without flat files - Now that's quite a challenge!

It seems everyone separates Inventory from Product Data - terrible! When we are thinking about any product, we are always confirming stock, updating text or pictures, and wanting those changes live everywhere at once without flat files :-( Does this solution exist?

I have spent 1,000's of hours studying this problem over 15 years. To date the only solution I have is to build all my product data in WonderLister and then export it to the other channels and list to Ebay. Every other approach breaks down or does not offer all the connections we need!

HOW IS everyone solving this problem in the $500K range without a huge budget? We've looked at M2E Pro, Linnworks, Channel Advisor, SureDone, SolidCommerce, Magento Store Manager, Ecomdash, Skubana, and dozens more I have forgotten already! None seemed to be able to Create / Update an Amazon Product or were missing a critical business process.

Inventory Management is a NIGHTMARE in my opinion, the biggest setback to selling online. We cannot solve this problem, so we just don't sell on multiple channels unless we have dozens of a SKU. There are tools that do 2 or 3 of the 4 necessary integrations, but not all.

Please Help if you have suggestions! The way I see it any aspiring online seller who is hyper ambitious and wants to achieve maximum growth will need:
1. Magento
2. Amazon
3. Ebay
4. Other Channel(s)
5. Perfect Accounting Integration for every sale

I cannot yet see how to "patch together" all these multiple solutions to accomplish everything. In fact I've tried all of them listed on WebRetailer and they either failed miserably or were too costly / complex to implement. Most Inventory Management Solutions JUST do Inventory Management - for $100's per month!? Few integrate with Accounting, and thats usually Quickbooks. Nothing I have found handles all the necessary product fields for all the channels. I find there are always extremely limited fields, their focus is 1 or 2 channels, their GUI is terrible, or it doesn't flawlessly execute the features advertised.

Teapplix is amazing, it will pull in all Sales 100% perfectly, ship & upload tracking, and get enough Customer Data into Quickbooks. So our current model is:
1. Build products in WonderLister
2. List to Ebay
3. Export to Amazon
4. Export to Magento
5. Ship in Teapplix
6. Import into Quickbooks

I read all the relevant articles on the site last year, but I'm 6 months behind. I thought I would see if anyone in my shoes has found the bubble gum, duct tape, and bailing wire I seem to be missing ha ha ha :-)

Thanks so much,
Jay
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,254
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
3 Jan 2016
Hi Jay

The problem with multi channel selling in this multi product world is that no solution will fit everybody perfectly.

We are currently doing around £2m per annum on eBay, Amazon, Rakuten, Shopify, Magento and PrestaShop sites worldwide using Linnworks as our main software provider. They are by no means perfect, but they certainly do the job for us.

Could I suggest that before you pay your Magento engineer a single cent, you ask him or her why your website (www.3rdvenue.com/) is live with the bog standard layout and pre installed text that is associated with a standard Magento template. With your 15 years of experience I would have thought that this would be something that you would have looked our for, and made sure that your website was perfect before going live !!

You can call me cynical, or call me tomorrow !!!!
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Meridian, ID United States
3rd-Venue
Kudos: 61
Joined: Jan 3, 2016
Re: Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
3 Jan 2016
@Bigian13

We just reloaded the cart, all I need to do is add products now and configure the theme. Everything else behind the scenes has been done. Now all I need is 500 hours on it :-)
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,254
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
3 Jan 2016
@3rdVenue

Reloading the cart is great if they are products that are already listed !!

Surely with a standard Magento theme there was only the adding of the products and configuring the theme anyway !! Hope you didn't pay them designers too much !!

If you need 500 hours, then I hope you have 8000+ products to add, after all, the behind the scenes stuff has been done !!!!!!

Yes, I am cynical. Yes, I went to the panto. Yes, Christopher Biggins was great !!!
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
United Kingdom United Kingdom
AlexSurrey
Kudos: 34
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
Re: Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
9 Jan 2016
I can't speak for other solutions as we use Magento + M2E Pro+Temando but

3rdVenue wrote:

I am amazed at the LACK of tools that exist for managing Product Data and porting it to all the channels flawlessly.
for Magento it is M2EPro;

3rdVenue wrote:


None seemed to be able to Create / Update an Amazon Product or were missing a critical business process.
With amazon it is not the limitation of a software! Only original creator of an ASIN can amend or edit product master on Amazon. Others can only submit improvements/additions but then it will depend on Amazon if these would be accepted.

M2E allows to create new Amaon ASIN's from within your Magento backend
docs.m2epro.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=18188473
United States United States
longer2006
Kudos: 31
Joined: Jan 24, 2016
Re: Multi-Channel conundrum, what does it cost to solve?
24 Jan 2016
@3rdVenue

Nice write and summation of the state of inventory management tools

-- I would add one requirement (at least for me) is to have the tool be cloud based, not an app install. Is Teapplix a cloud service?

ChannelAdvisor
XSellco
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Selro