I am working with an eCommerce company that has outgrown their hacked together backend for managing inventory, pricing and feeds to various shopping engines (Yahoo, 3d cart, Amazon, etc.). They currently manage about 12,000 skus and are doing $40M in revenue.
Their internal people are working on a new Magento solution, but that is six months away and they need to replace/improve their current solution in order to hold them over. Their current solution was developed by two people who have left the company.
What tools/architecture do other eCommerce sites use to manage their inventory, pricing, product descriptions and feed generation for the shopping engines?
The current solution looks like this:
Inventory, pricing and product descriptions are maintained in a database and in NetSuite by employees
New products are added to the database via import
Twice a week data is extracted into a giant Excel spreadsheet
The Excel file adjusts pricing based on some simple algorithms
The Excel file exports about six different csv feeds which are manually uploaded to Amazon, 3d cart, Yahoo, Google and Merchant Advantage
Each feed is a variant of the product which different field names and formatting
Pricing levels differ between feeds
Some products are not sent to all feeds
Orders are manually parsed and the inventory is adjusted as needed once product is sold
The new solution should:
Import data from ODBC, CSV and NetSuite (CSV via ftp)
Apply pricing changes via simple algorithms (< $80 add $10, > $200 add $25)
Ensure margins are being met
Format and generate a bunch of CSV and XML feeds
Perhaps upload feeds to shopping engines automatically
What I need to do is replace the Excel file with something that is maintainable and automated. Something in the .Net stack is preferable but not mandatory.
I’ve been looking at BizTalk but it may take too long to develop and deploy.