As most of you have probably seen, Amazon is deprecating support for their legacy flat file product creation templates. They are scheduled to pull support for the older templates tomorrow, 1-31-19.
When adding support for Amazon's new listing templates, we took it as an opportunity to rethink how we support the listing process. Our goal was to make the process simpler, faster, and more intuitive.
What Is Changing?
With our update, you will be able to upload Amazon's new listing templates directly into Solid Commerce. The basic workflow will be:
1) Download a listing template from Amazon Seller Central.
2) Populate the template.
3) Save the file in CSV format.
4) Upload the file through the new Upload Center flyout panel in our user interface.
For full details, please see, Creating New Catalog Listings on Amazon Through Solid Commerce.
When Will This Change Occur?
We are beginning our release tonight (1/30/19) at 11:45 PM (Pacific Time).
This is a big change. We want to watch over the release carefully, so we are bringing the new functionality to clients slowly. All clients will see the new Upload Amazon Template File button and flyout panel in our user interface Thursday morning. However, the underlying upload functionality will be added to individual accounts over a period of several hours.
As a result of the controlled release, you may try uploading a new template in the morning and notice that your upload isn't being processed. This would indicate that we haven't added the new functionality to your account yet. If you try the upload again an hour later, you may see it processing.
If you urgently need to list new products and cannot wait, please contact our support team. One of our developers can add the functionality to your account.
There won't be any downtime during this release. The Solid Commerce platform will remain up and running.
What Are the Benefits of the New Process?
There are many benefits:
- You can upload Amazon's templates without modifying them. You no longer need to add Solid Commerce column headers, delete rows, or change columns.
- You can create new products in Solid Commerce and add them to a Warehouse with your Amazon upload. Traditionally you would first create a new product in Solid Commerce and add it to a Warehouse before you could list it to a marketplace. With the new Amazon upload, we will search Solid Commerce for each item in an upload. If we don't find an item, we will use the product data to create a new product and use the quantity to add the product to a Warehouse.
- This capability reduces the amount of data you need to populate in your file. It also reduces the number of uploads you need to perform.
- Of course, the traditional workflow will still work. Creating products in Solid Commerce and adding them to a Warehouse before listing them offers you the most control and flexibility. For example, if you want to add the same product to multiple Warehouses, you will want to add it to your Warehouses before performing uploading your Amazon file. The Amazon upload is designed to add the product to one Warehouse. It is best practice not to select more than one inventory source during the upload.
- The process is simpler and faster. You select your options through the Upload Center user interface, reducing the amount of information you need to enter in Excel. Fields such as the Amazon Pricing Rule, Listing Quantity Expression, and automation are available in the upload interface. The settings are automatically applied to all of the items in your upload file.
- The new functionality provides a drag and drop user interface for easy uploading. You no longer need to use the Excel Add-In Tool.
- The process works with both Mac and PC.
Can I Continue to Use My Existing Excel Templates?
Yes. When you upload your current template using our Excel Add-In Tool, we will convert your file to Amazon's new format.
Amazon has made a lot of changes to their templates. They are no longer supporting the legacy flat files. Some of the traditional fields aren't available in the new templates. We may not be able to properly convert the data in every situation or category.
Amazon also updates their templates frequently. Over time, the conversion for your current Solid Commerce Excel templates may stop working. At some point, you will need to migrate to the new templates.
What Will Happen to My Existing Amazon Listing Data?
We are converting all of the Amazon listing data that already exists in our database into Amazon's new format. You should be able to relist out of stock items or update your existing listings without needing to provide data.
Is the Process for Piggybacking on Listings That Already Exist in Amazon's Catalog Changing Too?
No. The process for adding your items to listings that already exist on Amazon will remain exactly the same as it is now. You can continue to use the same Excel templates and upload them through the Excel Add-In Tool.
At this time, you cannot upload piggyback files through the Upload Center interface. The Upload Center user interface only processes files for creating brand new listings on Amazon.
Can I Use a Mac?
Yes. The Upload Center interface accepts files saved in Comma Separated Values (.csv) format, so it works with both Mac and PC.
Can I Make Partial Updates?
Not yet. Up to this point, we have always submitted full updates to Amazon, which requires you to provide full product data to Solid Commerce.
We are planning on adding support for partial updates to make it easier to revise your listings. We will let you know once we add this enhancement.
What Is the Process for Listing New Products to Amazon?
The listing process is detailed in our support article, Creating New Catalog Listings on Amazon Through Solid Commerce.