So you have a supplier that has given you access to their data feed so that you can easily access their rich product data and hi resolution images in an organized fashion. That’s great, that is the first step in converting browsers to buyers. Detailed product descriptions, numerous hi resolution images and correct inventory status.
Now that you have the file, whether your supplier gives you access to it via an FTP server, HTTP, or via Email, you will need a way to convert that data into a format that Shopify will be able to read. Sure, you can import the XML into an excel spreadsheet, export the product CSV and mix and match the cells until you have everything you need and then repeat that daily, but how sustainable is that model. You will need to automate this process if you really want your inventory and order management to be hands off and scalable at high volume. I have included the steps below on how to automate the import of a XML file from a data feed and process it so that it is readable by Shopify.
Step 1: Create a ChannelApe.com Account and Business
Head over to our signup page and create a free ChannelApe account, from there you can head over to our App page and check to see if your supplier is currently listed as a ChannelApe Partner. If so, great as we are already integrated with them. If not, no worries as we can usually build a new integration to your suppliers data feed pretty quickly.
Step 2: Select your Supplier from the Available Feeds Page
Once you have verified your ChannelApe account and received credentials from your supplier now you can access their data feed and XML or CSV file. Head into your ChannelApe account and over to the Channels Page. There you will see your suppliers logo.
Upon selecting your supplier, you will be asked to enter your suppliers login credentials if you were given any. After entering the credentials you can start a product pull by selecting this option from the drop down menu. This will begin the download of all products from your suppliers XML or CSV file into your ChannelApe account.
Step 3: Install the Sync Inventory From ChannelApe (app)
Now that all of your products are loaded into ChannelApe from your suppliers XML/CSV data feed, your next step is to install the Sync inventory from ChannelApe to Shopify App. To install, all you have to do is click Channels in the left navigation then the icon for “Sync Inventory TO Shopify”. Note there are two Shopify apps, make sure you pick the right one.
Step 4: Create a recipe to Sync Inventory into ChannelApe from XML data feed and then sync it to Shopify
The last step is to automate this download, this is the best part, so pay attention. ChannelApe will reach out in an automated fashion on the schedule you set to import the data in the XMl feed from your supplier, this can be done every day, every hour, every minute, ok maybe not every minute, but you get the point.
- Select recipes from the left navigation bar
- Select the Schedule App
- Select the frequency of how often and what days you want to pull data from Supplier Feed
- Second action is to select the Supplier that you have integrated with ChannelApe, this will download their inventory via the XML file
- Then click the + button to add a 3rd step
- Choose the ChannelApe to Shopify App that you previously installed
- Choose Upload Inventory to
Step 5: Enable the Recipes & Sync Inventory (XML/CSV) to Shopify Automatically
So once the recipes are enabled the whole system begins to work for you. You can now set a schedule of when ChannelApe downloads the XML or CSV file from your suppliers data feed and imports it and then pushes those updates to Shopify. No need for manual data entry, messing with cells on an excel file or hiring developers to write code. ChannelApe can automate the tasks that you used to do manually, saving you time.
Interested in syncing your inventory from your XML file to Amazon.com, read my post on that topic here.