Can you figure out a way to make large uploads faster?
We would love to see inventory uploads speed up drastically. Currently the slow upload time for large files is causing us to oversell products due to items selling before the upload adjusts the inventory quantity from the upload files we are submitting.
Each night we upload our physical quantity inventory from our walk in store so that it matches our online marketplace quantity. We don't do a ton of walk-in retail so we do not experience problems overselling items that have sold in the store before we can make a change online....We also try to manually adjust inventory as items sell in the store during the day as much as we can.
When we do an inventory file export from our physical store each evening we have between 4000-5000 skus that Suredone is looking at so it can make changes to any that are different due to products that sold in our store. It is taking around 3 hours for this upload to complete give or take.
The problem we are seeing is that while the upload is slowly changing the data in Suredone to match our physical store inventory, if an item sells online during that 3 hour period before the upload gets to that specific product it then changes back to the export file quantity that was in the upload file when it finally reaches that product. Then if a different customer purchases that same item that switched back to the export quantity we have now oversold online. It is a bit confusing but due to the long time it takes to update, items are selling while the update is working then selling again after the update finally adjusts back to the old quantity in the export. If it updated fast this wouldn't happen.
We are seeing this happen at least 2-3 times per week so it is causing us to have to cancel orders and/or contact customers to see if they are ok to wait for a drop ship or a switch in color, style, etc. Due to the orders that have been cancelled we have now dropped from top rated seller status in ebay because our metrics don't meet their minimum criteria for orders cancelled.
We moved to Suredone from Channel Advisor and our same upload completed within 3-5 minutes at most and instantly changed the quantities in the marketplace so we did not encounter this problem. I'm not sure what is different between how Suredone processes uploads compared to Channel Advisor but it is obviously possible since CA was taking all of that data quickly.
With all this being said is there any way at all for Suredone to find a way to dramatically increase the speed that uploads get into the system? This would help us a ton!
If anyone can reach out to me directly about this that would be great as well.
I don't know what programming flexibility you have with your physical store database, but our approach has been to make SureDone our accurate inventory and update from there. Our POS system actually contacts SureDone during physical store checkout via the API and updates the quantity online as the customer pays for it.
I have a button on the database to retrieve the current inventory from SureDone for any online sales.
We post all of our items directly from this same database via the SureDone api.
We rarely have oversells with this method other than lag from Amazon sales or the occasional item that sells in the store before we pick it for an online sale.
PS Your homepage video is very nice!
The big slowdown is unfortunately not on our side, but in the time it takes for eBay, Amazon and other channels to receive our data and then respond to it. In addition, we do approximately 20 checks on eBay - before and after editing an item - to make sure everything is safely in sync. If you are 100% confident in your data, we do have a way to turn off the safety checking but you run the risk of pushing inaccurate data and/or not receiving warnings when something isn't quite right. Our recommendation to customers is to split their files into smaller chunks and upload them simultaneously. We'll then process each file in parallel which reduces the total amount of time it takes for all items to process.
VP of Customer Success
Change your processing of your store data so that you only send items each night that have had a change rather than sending the entire database. If something has not changes since the last update why send it again. Doing that would likely reduce the number of updates. We do our update to S/D every 30 minutes and typically only send 10-15 items up to ebay for stock level changes.
Thanks for the replies guys.....Everyone is recommending exactly what we would like to be able to do.
David, your solution is the easiest and the one we would prefer but unfortunately for our point of sale company to write an API program that would link to Suredone from it would be very costly. We also use our POS as our main inventory receiving program since it has all of our reporting, customer databases, etc.
Our workaround has been to do an export of the inventory quantities from our point of sale and convert it to Suredone's import format using an Excel Macro that we had built on Fiverr. The only problem is that we can't export only items from our point of sale that sold that day since there is no way to filter those out to make for a smaller upload. Due to this we can only filter by vendor but since we don't have a way to know which items from which vendors sold (quickly at least) we just have to export all inventory quantity data and then upload it to Suredone. Unfortunately many of these items did not sell in our physical store that day so it is taking time for Suredone to look at them one by one when most didn't change from the quantity they were already at. This is just wasted time.
Basically we are having to run through a few thousand skus to update a hundred or less each day.
We were hoping that we could somehow get a macro built that would be able to pull from our export only the items that had changed in quantity since the last upload but we were unable to make that work.
Can Suredone be set to not try and do anything with the data if it quickly sees that there is no change to quantity?
.....Thanks for the compliment on the website by the way:)
Chris, what is strange is that when we used Channel Advisor we never had this issue when uploading the same way. All of our products quantities that had changed from our brick and mortar updated within minutes of uploading the inventory file. I don't know what their system looked at or what it would filter through though? I'm not sure why it was able to change the quantities faster if the problem is on Ebay and Amazon's sides? Maybe it has to do with those checks you were referring to. Honestly, the only warnings we look at are the errors so the other warnings would be fine for us to turn off if it would still show the errors. Again, we are only uploading inventory quantity changes during this data lag. We do upload smaller files here and there but I'm not worried as much about the time on those.
Again, due to the way our data is exported from our POS we can't break it into chunks except by vendor but then we would have to run a ton of uploads which would still turn into a very time consuming task each day.
Ken, your method is similar to David's and is basically what we are doing now except that it is sorting through all of our skus rather than just the ones we sold. If I can get our macro to do what we had tried before your solution is exactly what we would need. Maybe I just need to dig back into that a bit more.