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Should you Go It Alone or Go through a Provider?

March 14, 2013 | Posted at 9:04 am | By The ChannelAdvisor Team

Understanding
the Integration Requirements for eBay and Amazon

Should you go it alone or with providerWe sometimes hear from retailers that
they are debating between handing their marketplaces integrations in-house and using
a platform solution. With our 10 years of experience integrating with
marketplaces, we’ve come up with the main questions that retailers should ask
themselves before embarking upon building and maintaining an integration with
eBay and Amazon.  We’ve delved into
detail about these integration considerations in a free 
white
paper available for download
, but below are some of the highlights. 

Do you have the IT resources
in-house to support marketplaces?

Charging
an in-house technical support team with all the responsibilities of managing a
direct integration can be taxing and time inefficient, especially if the team
is not dedicated to e-commerce and is a shared resource with other departments.
Retailers should push for dedicated technical support to manage their
e-commerce presence, or should consider the benefits of outsourcing technical
support.

Are you equipped to handle uploading
and maintaining thousands of product listings?

Product
details such as price, quantity and condition must be mapped into the data feed
in order to go live on eBay, which can be a confusing and time-consuming
process for many retailers. A third-party software provider can make a
retailer’s processes more efficient by eliminating manual mapping, managing the
quantity and advertised duration of each listing and more.

Is your data in the correct
format?

Instead
of requiring a developer to build new code to match the fields, or worse, make
a wholesale database change, you can use a third-party technology to map
existing information automatically to accommodate for situations such as these.
If requirements on the marketplace change, a simple update within
ChannelAdvisor’s system can quickly adjust your listings.

How quickly can you update your
product list?

For
online retailers, one of the most demanding aspects of running an integration
directly with a marketplace is maintaining it. As a channel partner on eBay,
ChannelAdvisor can automatically manage relist and withdraw capabilities and
ensure accurate information at all times.

Are you prepared to prioritize
updates and operations?

Many
retailers’ integrations are deterred by the eBay system’s complexity, with
restrictions on adding new products, relisting products and revising products.
As a preferred partner on eBay, ChannelAdvisor does not have these
restrictions, allowing retailers to add, relist, or view inventory in real
time.

Does your integration meet eBay’s
compliance requirements?

Retailers
must develop an integration that is robust enough to meet eBay’s certification
standards if they want to exceed operational limitations—a tough and
time-consuming assignment to spring on IT staff. Many retailers rely on an
e-commerce solution to take care of their marketplaces integrations and keep up
to speed with all changes to the program, whether they might be API additions
or deletions or changes in requirements.

Do you have the 8 required Amazon
feeds?

Generating
the eight feeds required to list items on Amazon is not a small task for any
retailer. With a technology that effectively reduces these eight feeds into
three or four, retailers will see that fewer moving parts eliminates many
failure points between their data and Amazon’s system, which translates to
faster selling progress.

(more…)