A Typical Integration
This page is a high level introduction to a typical system integration. The name System2 refers to the non-ChannelAdvisor system. This integration involves sending ChannelAdvisor inventory items, and then retrieving 'Ready To Ship' orders. Finally, System2 sends ChannelAdvisor a shipping confirmation.
Typical Components of an Integration
When System2 is the system of record for the retailer's products, an integration should include a component that ensures that ChannelAdvisor has the latest product data.
Creating Products (Inventory)
This is the process of creating new products in ChannelAdvisor. Typically, this is only done once per product. Depending on the API technology and method used, this can be done individually for each product or in batched operations.
Periodically, product data may change and need to be updated in ChannelAdvisor. This component allows for products' price, quantity, and attributes to be updated on-demand. We recommend that updates only be performed for products that have changed (incremental or delta changes) and only very occasionally are full catalogs submitted for synchronization.
Note: For large catalogs, any integration should have reasonable performance below approximately twenty thousand product updates per hour. Above twenty thousand products, we recommend forgoing the API in favor of sending product updates to ChannelAdvisor via FTP to avoid potential performance challenges. Contact ChannelAdvisor Support by creating a case on the ChannelAdvisor Community for assistance setting up FTP to take advantage of this alternative.
Getting New Orders
As buyers place orders on marketplaces, ChannelAdvisor will import the orders and make them available via our API. A well-designed integration will retrieve only orders that are valid for fulfillment, which typically means those that have not previously been acknowledged and have a payment status of Cleared.
Once an order has been successfully saved into System2, it should be acknowledged in ChannelAdvisor by marking it as exported, which allows for filtering the order out of subsequent requests to get new orders.
When an order or part of an order has been shipped to the recipient, System2 should notify ChannelAdvisor of the details, which will then be submitted to the marketplace.
Canceling or Refunding Orders
Similarly, System2 can submit requests for pre-shipment cancellations and post-shipment refunds to ChannelAdvisor. Requests are periodically processed with the marketplace to return money to the buyer as appropriate.