Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

How To Fix General Marketplace Errors

Approaching marketplace errors can be overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of them. While no guide could possibly go over every possible error on all marketplaces, today we’ll review some strategies you can use to make the process easier.

  1. Break your errors into smaller groups

Marketplace errors generally live under Marketplaces > Marketplace Name > Products > Product Status. This view, however, can be overwhelming at first, especially if you have thousands of errors.

In the upper right, there’s an option to view your errors by Products or Errors. Selecting the Errors option will let you see a summary of items that have a particular error type, so you can see if you have hundreds of items with a given error or just a handful.

This sorting can help you determine which errors you should address first.

2. Prioritise error types

SKUs generally have two statuses in the error view: the Item or Sync status and the Listing status on the marketplace. Most people begin by looking at items that are in Error and not Listing, however, it could be argued that items that have errors that are listed are more important.

If your item is listed to the marketplace but has an error, this can mean that the item isn’t having updates sent, which could result in oversell situations if quantity updates aren’t going through or the items selling at the wrong price.

3. Tackle easier errors first

When going through your errors, try to identify which ones are easy fixes and address those first. Maybe you have a bunch that can be solved by mapping a field on your template or including a default value. Try to solve these ones first, then circle back to ones that require more effort like looking at individual SKUs.

Speaking of individual SKU errors, we recommend prioritising these as well. Start with your top-selling items and get those listed first. You can then work your way through your less popular items as you have time.

4. Utilise business rules and lookup lists

Business rules and lookup lists are great ways to take the data that you have and transform it into the data that a marketplace needs. Business rules can be used to remove invalid characters, HTML, or limit fields to an allowed number of characters.

Keep in mind that the solution doesn’t have to be perfect for all of your items, and you can go back and improve later. If for example, you have description over a marketplace character limit, you can use a business rule to limit your description to that number of characters. In some situations, this will cut off sentences in the middle and won’t make sense. You can start with the rule and create a custom attribute for the shorter description to use first, then cut off the longer one if this is blank. You can then go and add descriptions to the custom attribute as you have time to make them look better instead of needing to do them all at once to fix the errors.

Lookup lists let you have a list of your values in a given field that you can then map to the values allowed by a marketplace. This can help a lot with things like sizes and colors where each marketplace has slightly different requirements, but you don’t want to have a new attribute for each one.

You can learn more about business rules on the SSC or through our business rules series.

5. Default values are a blessing and a curse

Within our template mappings, you have the option to send a default value if the field you have mapped is blank:

This can be super useful for fields like the condition or package quantity where most of your items will have the same value and you only want to map an attribute where the value is different.

Keep in mind that these values can potentially apply to all of your items and should only be used where appropriate. Otherwise, they can result in more errors, or, in the case of package quantities, matching to the wrong number of items on a listing.

6. Know where the error is coming from

Some errors come directly from ChannelAdvisor while others come from the marketplace.

Errors from ChannelAdvisor are referred to as validation errors and they generally deal with missing required fields or invalid values that we know will cause an error in the marketplace.

Marketplace errors are ones we receive back from the marketplace. These are prefaced with “Error from” followed by the marketplace name to indicate they’re coming from the marketplace.

Knowing where the error is coming from is important because the marketplaces won’t be aware of the validation errors from our system! If you’re unsure of how to resolve these, work with ChannelAdvisor support instead of the marketplace’s support.

7. Don’t forget the template preview

The template preview is a powerful tool for error resolution. It allows you to input a SKU preview the values that will be sent for the given SKU. It’ll not only show validation errors in the template, but also the fields that are sent based on the category you’re sending to the marketplace.

You can select the product you want to preview by opening the template and user the Product Preview in the upper right side.

Are you still coming across marketplace errors? Our support team is happy to help you get back up and running in no time. Make sure to create a case and someone will get back to you as soon as possible!