ChannelAdvisor Application

ChannelAdvisor logo
Platforms: Legacy eCommerce (not supported in the Kibo Composable Commerce Platform)

ChannelAdvisor is powerful, cloud-based eCommerce software that connects retailers and manufacturers to multiple online sales channels, including Amazon, Google, eBay, and more. The ChannelAdvisor application syncs your eCommerce products, orders, and customers with any number of third-party marketplaces to optimize sell-through and customer reach. You can map your eCommerce sites to different online marketplaces to take advantage of alternative sales channels and clear out excess inventory.

Application Features

  • Maps sites on your tenant to one or many ChannelAdvisor marketplaces.
  • Maps one or many locations to your ChannelAdvisor Distribution Center to manage inventory across platforms.
  • Automatically sends the following data to ChannelAdvisor whenever changes are made in Kibo:
    • Product creates, updates, or deletes
    • Inventory changes
    • Order status changes
  • Schedules regular order imports from ChannelAdvisor to ensure timely fulfillment.

Install the App

The ChannelAdvisor application is provided free of charge on GitHub.

The Mozu/ChannelAdvisor repository is private. Contact Kibo Support with your GitHub username to request access to this repo.

Clone the Mozu/ChannelAdvisor repository and use the provided Gradle script to build the application. Refer to the readme file in the GitHub repository for more information about building and installing the ChannelAdvisor application.

Configure the Application

Configuration Requirements

Review the following requirements to ensure you have everything you need to be successful, then complete the steps in this section:

  • The ChannelAdvisor Application must be installed on your tenant. Refer to the Readme file on GitHub for prerequisites to installing the application.
  • You must have a ChannelAdvisor developer account.
  • You must be a ChannelAdvisor partner.

Launch the App Configuration Settings

  1. In Admin, go to System > Customization > Applications.
  2. Click the Channel Advisor app. The specific app name may vary depending on the name you provided when you added the application definition to Dev Center.
  3. Click the Configuration link to open configuration settings.

The remainder of this section describes actions you complete on tabs of the configuration settings dialog.

Authorize Your ChannelAdvisor Account in Kibo eCommerce

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Authorization tab.
  2. Enter your ChannelAdvisor Profile ID in the text box. If you don't know your ID, you can get it from the ChannelAdvisor Account Dashboard:
    1. Log in to ChannelAdvisor.
    2. From the menu on the top right, select the ChannelAdvisor account you want to authorize:

      Close-up of the ChannelAdvisor account selection

    3. From the top bar of the Account Dashboard, select My Account > Company Setup. The Profile ID appears at the top of your Company Information.
  3. Wait for ChannelAdvisor to approve the authorization. Once it is approved, you can continue with configuration.

Map Your Kibo eCommerce Sites to ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces

Each site on your eCommerce tenant can map to multiple marketplaces in Channel Advisor. Alternatively, you can choose to only map some sites to ChannelAdvisor marketplaces:

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Product tab and click Marketplaces. Every site on your eCommerce tenant appears in the Select Marketplace list.
  2. In the Channel Advisor Marketplace column, enter the label name of the marketplace to map to the corresponding Mozu Site. The textbox uses type-ahead to suggest marketplaces, and displays the label names for all standard ChannelAdvisor marketplaces. You can also enter a custom marketplace name if you have specified one in ChannelAdvisor.

    Any marketplace you select must be a valid, configured marketplace in ChannelAdvisor. If you specify a marketplace that is not configured, the app returns an error when it attempts to synchronize data between Kibo and ChannelAdvisor. To check the label names for your configured marketplaces in ChannelAdvisor, go to Inventory > Grouping > Labels.

  3. (Optional) To map the same eCommerce site to additional marketplaces, use a comma and a space to separate each marketplace name.
  4. When you are done mapping marketplaces, click Save.

Any sites you do not map to marketplaces do not send or receive data from ChannelAdvisor.

Map Product Attributes

While Kibo eCommerce and ChannelAdvisor share many similar product attributes, each platform contains certain attributes that the other does not, and both platforms allow you to create custom attributes. Therefore, it is important to configure your product mappings before you export products from Kibo to ChannelAdvisor.

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Product tab and click Attributes.
  2. Select the site you want to map from the drop-down menu. A mapping table with three columns appears:

    The Product tab of the application module

    Certain standard mappings are pre-populated, but you can change them to anything you want.
  3. For each eCommerce attribute you want to send to ChannelAdvisor, enter a mapping in the Mapping CA Attribute column. The textbox suggests standard ChannelAdvisor attributes, but you can also enter any custom attributes you have created. If you enter an attribute name that does not currently exist in ChannelAdvisor, the ChannelAdvisor Application creates a new custom attribute with that name when you export your initial data.

    You are not required to map every eCommerce attribute to ChannelAdvisor. You can leave a field empty if you do not require that data on other marketplaces. Note that all products in ChannelAdvisor must have a Title and a SKU.

  4. Click Save.
  5. Repeat this procedure for each site you mapped to a marketplace in ChannelAdvisor. You can map the same eCommerce attributes to different ChannelAdvisor attributes for different sites.

Kibo eCommerce Input Types

When sending property or custom attribute data from eCommerce to ChannelAdvisor, the ChannelAdvisor Application only sends data as numbers or strings. The following table describes how data from different input types is sent to ChannelAdvisor:

Kibo eCommerce Input TypeData Transmitted
ListA string or number representing the list item the customer selects. The app can only send a single value. Lists that support multiple selections are not supported.
Text AreaA string.
Text BoxA string.
Yes/No (Boolean)A string of type Yes/No or True/False.
DateNot supported.

Map Locations for ChannelAdvisor Inventory

To ensure correct product details and timely fulfillment, ChannelAdvisor must know inventory levels for your eCommerce products. The ChannelAdvisor Application maps your eCommerce locations to a ChannelAdvisor Distribution Center so that both systems are updated when order information is processed. Kibo eCommerce remains the system of record for products, inventory, and orders.

To ensure you have enough inventory to fulfill ChannelAdvisor orders, it is a good idea to set up a ChannelAdvisor-specific location in eCommerce that reserves products for the channels. For example, a customer may place an order from Amazon that does not appear in eCommerce for a few hours. Creating an Amazon-specific location can prevent you from accidentally overselling product by having the same inventory appear in both Amazon and on your eCommerce sites.

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Product tab and click Location.
  2. Select the eCommerce location(s) you want to use for ChannelAdvisor inventory. ChannelAdvisor uses the combined inventory of all mapped locations as its total available inventory.
  3. Enter the code for the ChannelAdvisor Distribution Center you want to use for your eCommerce inventory. You can only map to a single Distribution Center in ChannelAdvisor.
  4. Click Save.
  5. (Optional) If you are selling through multiple channels, be sure to allocate your inventory in ChannelAdvisor. Refer to the ChannelAdvisor Strategy & Support Center for more information about allocating inventory in ChannelAdvisor.

Any time inventory changes in Kibo, the ChannelAdvisor Application automatically sends updates to ChannelAdvisor. However, when an order is placed via ChannelAdvisor, the corresponding inventory is not reserved in Kibo until the order is imported.

Kibo eCommerce is the system of record for products, inventory, and orders. For example, the app does not import new products from ChannelAdvisor to eCommerce. It only sends products from eCommerce to ChannelAdvisor.

Configure Order Imports

You can process and fulfill orders placed through ChannelAdvisor channels from either ChannelAdvisor or eCommerce, or you can allow a third-party, such as Amazon, to handle all fulfillment.

Returns from ChannelAdvisor channels must be processed in ChannelAdvisor.

Regardless of where you plan to process orders, you must periodically import orders from ChannelAdvisor to Kibo to ensure inventory remains synchronized across both platforms.

Enable Automatic Order Imports

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Order tab and click Marketplaces.
  2. Enable the Import Orders from ChannelAdvisor checkbox and specify the frequency with which you want to import orders to Kibo.
  3. Click Save.

Map Sales Channels to Kibo eCommerce Sites

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Order tab and click Marketplaces.
  2. In the mapping table, find each Channel you are using in ChannelAdvisor and select the Mozu Site that you want to map to that channel. You can map multiple channels to the same site, and you do not need to map channels you are not using.

    The mapping table contains all the standard ChannelAdvisor marketplaces. If you do not see the channel you are using, use the UNKOWN channel to map data.

  3. Be sure to map the UNKOWN channel to a Kibo site, in case an order comes in without channel information.
  4. Click Save.

Map Shipping Methods

If you plan to process and fulfill orders from Kibo, you must map the shipping methods that ChannelAdvisor supports to the shipping methods you offer from your eCommerce storefronts:

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Order tab and click Marketplaces. The mapping table shows all standard ChannelAdvisor Shipping Carrier/Method options.
  2. For each option you offer to customers through ChannelAdvisor, select a corresponding Mozu Shipping Carrier/Method. The methods do not have to match exactly across sites, and you do not have to map every possible ChannelAdvisor method. However, you should map the Default ChannelAdvisor setting so it can act as a catch-all if a customer selects a shipping method you don't support.

    Callout of a FedEx Ground default carrier selection in the Order tab of the application module

  3. Click Save.

Tip: You can also manually import orders from the Synchronization tab.

Export Data to ChannelAdvisor

After you have configured all your mappings, you are ready to export product and inventory data to ChannelAdvisor.

Typically, you only need to export product and inventory data from Kibo one time. This is the initial operation to get your eCommerce products to ChannelAdvisor. After the initial import, the app will handle all updates to inventory, orders, and so on. If you encounter a system outage or an error with the initial export, you might need to repeat the export process. Be sure to check the error log and resolve any issues before re-exporting data.

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Synchronization tab.
  2. Click Export Products/Inventory. The status table updates to show the new job.
  3. (Optional) If the job encounters any errors, click the Errors link to view a log describing the issues that occurred.

Enable the App

Complete the following steps to enable the ChannelAdvisor application:

  1. In Admin, go to System > Customization > Applications.
  2. Click the Channel Advisor app. The specific app name may vary depending on the name you provided when you added the application definition to Developer Center.
  3. Click Enable App.

You can now sell your products on third-party marketplaces through ChannelAdvisor.

Use the App

After you have completed all the app configuration settings and enabled the app, you do not have to take any additional steps to use the app. If you have configured automatic order imports, Kibo receives ChannelAdvisor orders at the frequency you specified when you configured the import. If you are processing orders through Kibo, you can handle these orders as you would any other order.

If you are processing orders through ChannelAdvisor, an order is re-imported each time a status change occurs so that you have record of the order in eCommerce.

Force Sync Orders

If you are not automatically synching orders from ChannelAdvisor, or if you want to sync data in between scheduled imports, you can force a sync from the app configuration settings dialog:

  1. In the app configuration settings dialog, go to the Synchronization tab.
  2. Click Import Orders. The status table updates to show the new job. If the job encounters any errors, you can click the Errors link to view a log describing the issues that occurred.
  3. Go to the Orders console in Admin to process the orders.

Known Issues and Intended Behaviors

Returns and Refunds

The ChannelAdvisor Application does not import returns and refunds on orders placed through ChannelAdvisor. You must process all returns and refunds through ChannelAdvisor and manually update your Kibo inventory and order information.

Alternatively, you can modify the ChannelAdvisor Application source code to import these orders. Note that due to the structure of the ChannelAdvisor SOAP API, doing so can impact the performance of the application when you import orders.

Credit Cards and Payment Capture

Many third-party marketplaces, such as Amazon, handle all credit card processing for orders placed through their sites. Kibo is not able to receive the credit card information or capture payment for these purchases.

When you import orders paid by credit card through a third-party marketplace, the ChannelAdvisor Application manually creates a payment in eCommerce so that you still have record of the paid order.