Overall, it does not matter whether you connect your sales channels (Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc) through a listing tool (method A in the diagram below), or if you connect through a direct connection (method B).
Both methods perform the same core functions of importing a catalog, importing orders, updating inventory levels, and updating order tracking information.
However, if you are currently using a listing tool (method A) and want to switch to using a direct connection (method B), then this article explains how to switch with minimum disruption.
Note: No matter whether you use method A or B, you can only connect to a given marketplace account once. Connecting to the same marketplace through multiple methods can mean duplicate orders. Learn more.
When to Make the Transition
We recommend that you make this transition during a time you normally do not receive a lot of orders such as late at night and/or on the weekends. This will minimize any disruption to your customers and any manual work for you if issues occur.
In addition, make the switch after 11am Pacific time (2pm Eastern), which is our daily cutoff time. If there are any problems, you can easily revert back to using the listing tool without affecting delivery time for your customers.
1) Disconnecting the listing tool
- Go to the Flexport Portal. On the integrations sidebar, click the listing tool that you want to disconnect. Click ‘Disconnect’ and confirm.
- If you are also using the listing tool for other marketplaces that don't have a direct integration yet, then you will have to disconnect at the listing tool instead of in the Flexport portal.
- For example if you are using ChannelAdvisor for both the Walmart and Target marketplaces, you will have to disconnect the ChannelAdvisor-Walmart connection through the ChannelAdvisor portal. Leave the ChannelAdvisor-Flexport connection active so Target orders can continue to flow.
2) Connecting the direct integration(s)
- Make sure to do step 1 first before doing step 2. This avoids importing the same orders twice.
- Go to Sales Channels in the Flexport Portal.
- Find each direct integration (Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc) you want to connect and follow the steps to make the direct connection.
- If Walmart, then zero out the seller fulfilled node. These are the same instructions as described here, but for the seller fulfilled node.
If problems, simply follow the transition steps above in reverse to return to your previous state. Specifically:
- Disconnect the direct integration(s).
- If Walmart, follow these steps when disconnecting the Walmart direct integration.
- Reconnect the listing tool.
1a) Verify that your DSKUs have aliases to the direct integrations
This is important to make sure that orders import properly. If a DSKU is missing an alias for an integration, then orders will not import from that integration for that DSKU. Learn more about how aliases work.
- Go to Inventory in the Flexport Portal and click into the first DSKU on the table.
- Verify that the DSKU has at least 1 alias for every direct integration. In the example below, eBay, Walmart, and Wish all have 1 alias so those integrations are all linked successfully to this DSKU.
- If the DSKU does not have an alias for each integration, go to step 1b).
- This may be intentional depending on your situation. For example, you may purposely sell a SKU on Amazon but not on Walmart.
- In the example below, Walmart is linked to this DSKU, but eBay and Wish are not. You would then manually add aliases for eBay and Wish in step 1b).
- Repeat this process (1a and 1b) for every DSKU on
- Inventory in the Flexport Portal.
- with inventory (a value greater than zero on the ‘Available’ column).
- You can also use the Available SKUs with Alias Counts report to speed up this process.
1b) If a DSKU is missing an alias, then create an alias between this DSKU and an integration
- In the alias section, click on the grey box for a given integration. Search for the listing based on the SKU value, name of the product, or the product ID.
- For more information, please read the article Checking & Fixing SKU Mismatches.
2) Verify that inventory levels match
- in Inventory in the Flexport Portal see the ‘Available’ column for all of your SKUs.
- Go to the Flexport portal for each direct integration (for example, Walmart Seller Central). Check that the inventory levels on the direct integration match for all your SKUs.
- This process may take up to 30 minutes from when you first make the connection.
- If these numbers do not match, then manually update the inventory levels within the marketplace's Flexport portal to match.
- Inventory levels update after every inventory movement (new units for inbounds, or orders for outbounds), and also once every night for absolute levels.
3) Create a test order to verify order import
- Go to the public storefront for each direct integration and create a real order just for testing purposes.
- Check that the test order appears in Orders in the Flexport Portal. Depending on the integration, this order import may take up to 30 minutes.
- If the order did not import:
- Check the alias status in steps 1a and 1b. If these orders still did not import, then follow the reversion steps and then contact Support for more help.
- If the order did correctly import:
- Cancel it with the Flexport Portal, so the item won't ship.
- Cancel it within the portal of the direct integration, so the money is refunded.
- If the order did not import:
- Check that the order did not import twice.
- If the order did import twice, then make sure that the listing tool is disconnected. Cancel one of the orders.
4) Check for orders in an unfulfilled state
- On both the Flexport Portal for the direct integration, check for orders are still in an ‘unfulfilled’ state. These are orders that have not been imported.
- Double check the alias for these SKUs (step 1a and 1b above). You may need to create a manual order at Orders > Create Order to make sure that these orders get to customers.
5) Optional: Manually update the tracking URL for orders
- in Orders, filter for orders still in the Processing state. These orders are in the system and have been assigned to a warehouse. However they have not been shipped yet, so they do not have a delivery tracking URL. Keep track of these order numbers as you may have to update them later.
- In order to filter for Processing order go to the Order section in your Flexport Portal. Click Filter and select Processing. Click Show x Order. This will filter down your order to just processing orders.
- Wait one business day and these processing orders will have shipped.
- In your marketplace's Flexport Portal, check to see if those orders have a tracking URL. If not, then copy the tracking URL from the Flexport Portal and paste it in the marketplace's portal. This will make sure that your customers receive a tracking URL so they can see the delivery status of their order.