Multi-Channel Exporting

An incredibly valuable mod would be a thorough expansion of the ability to export your catalog to a large list of third party shopping sites.

“But that’s already there” you say… heh - yes, for Froogle/GoogleBase. And it does also already give the ability to export your catalog to a CSV/flat file. But when you’re preparing a CSV file for almost any of these sites, that is close to useless. Most of these 3rd party sites have very specific requirements on how all your listing info is formatted. Many sites’ requirements overlap, but the vast majority do not.

As a guy who’s looking at the prospect of spending 75% of my time simply reformatting CSV files to make them fit the requirements of places like eBay, NexTag, uBid, - even more specialized sites like BrokerBin, PowerSourceOnline, etc… etc…- I can’t stress enough how much value this sort of package would have.

But it would have to be a lot more robust than the current “Export to Froogle” sort of option.

As it stands now, the cart will export your catalog - exactly as it’s listed on your site. But what if the way you’ve got it listed on your site, doesn’t fit the requirements (or your preference) for the 3rd party site?

This is how I think it could be structured:

In Admin General Settings would be a general on/off button for the module - along with a list of available 3rd party sites. (some that have the same requirements could be consolidated into a single option) You could checkmark which sites you plan to export to. Once the module is turned on, an AJAX tabbed menu is added to the bottom of each product details page. So when you’re setting up your products, along with all the other standard details like price, options, etc… you can also use the tabbed menu at the bottom to specify separate product details for each 3rd party shopping site.

Some details could be pulled from the main details of the product - but a separate option would be great too. Lets say you want to sell an item for $10 on your main shopping cart site, but need to charge $12 for the same item on CNetShopper - perhaps the menu for the 3rd party export could have a radio button for “Use Main Item Price” or a second button for “Use Other Price” and a field to enter the price for that channel site. etc…

Then, there would simply need to be an “Export” button somewhere that grabs all the pertinent information, and exports it to CSV files in predetermined folders, to be grabbed by the 3rd party sites (or uploaded manually by the webmaster)

I know this would not be a quick hack. But again, for medium to large sized vendors, this tool would be invaluable. Companies like mine are paying companies like Channel Advisor tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for this kind of functionality. (or they hire a full-time webmaster like myself, and bog them down with the task of doing it all manually). Something like this could be sold as an add-on module for 5 times the cost of the cart itself, and you’d still probably do well in its sales. I can guarantee right now that if this module was available, even for a grand or more, my boss would be tripping over his own feet trying to toss the cash your way.

Give it a thought.

And if CS-C isn’t interested in adding something like this - I’d be very interested to find a programmer who could make it happen, just for us even. (although that, I think, would be a shame simply due to the huge added-value it could be for the cart in general). I’m not a programmer myself, but can see the logical structure of all this in my head, and am tempted to take a class or just start digging around and see what can be done

I need this in the future aswell.

You could make the exported files use templates so it would be easy to change the output for all sites. Some use textfiles, some use XML files.

By having basic templates with variables that are replaced by the script you could make a template for each site, not having to program a solution for every comparison site out there.

people have been complaining for a Data Feed Manager with the ability to create custom feeds for the longest of times…

Why oh why did I waste years teaching myself to design when I shoulda been studying PHP/DB programming? sheesh

A well-built module like this could be worth HUGE dough. If CS-C has been ignoring the requests for a long time, somebody ought to jump on building a 3rd party module

This would be great. pricerunner, kelkoo…

there is a customizable Export/Import module coming out in 1.3.5. I can’t say for sure that it wil meet all these needs, it is surely a step up from what they have now.

Actually we do need a proper data feed manager that exports RSS feeds, products feeds etc. in different formats, both automaticly and manually…

Per category, per manufacturer, newest products etc. The more flexible, the more you can use it for.