Hope is not lost if your POS or ERP does not have an application programming interface (API); Modern Retail can still get your system integrated with your website. All we need is an Inventory Report.
Every POS system allows you to create an "inventory report" of some sort. This report is usually a tab-separated file that can be easily imported into tools like Excel. While the contents of the file vary from POS system to POS system, they generally include fields such as:
- Product Name (Required)
- Price (Mandatory)
- Sale Price
- Style Name or Number
- Unique Identifier (Required)
- Quantity on Hand (Mandatory)
- Brand or Vendor
- Other Attributes
As you can see, there are a number of fields that can be included. Additionally, your specific report may have more fields than are listed here. That’s okay, we’ll try to use as many fields as possible to make your data entry easier.
The Unique Identifier field (#7) is a crucial field because it helps us map your products correctly from upload to upload. While we prefer the Unique Identifier to be part of your data file, Modern Retail can often create a unique field by using a combination of various other fields in your report. The combination of these fields must create a unique identifier for each item included in the data file. Without this Unique Identifier, it is impossible to get your products integrated with your e-commerce website.
Again, the above is just an example, and the format of your report will assuredly be different. That's okay, because our parser works with every report format we've ever encountered.
When doing integrations of this sort, we very often need to answer the following questions:
- How does the report handle inventory going to zero?
- Does it add a zero for the QOH for the item in the report or does it delete it from the report altogether?
- Meaning, when a product is deleted from the POS system, how is this reflected in the report. Oftentimes, the item is simply deleted from the report as well.
Modern Retail can handle the above cases in our integration and can, for example, automatically delete the product from your website when it has been deleted from the report. Understanding what's included in your report is essential in making sure your online inventory stays in-sync with your POS system.
Uploading this inventory report can either be done manually using our Store Manager portal or automatically using FTP.
Uploading a report using Store Manager is as simple as point and click. Simply browse to the inventory report you want and hit Upload. That's it!
Advanced users can also use our FTP site. Uploading an inventory report to your store's FTP will automatically trigger an update of your online catalog.
We have the ability to automatically create an export of your online orders and make them available via FTP. If you intend to automate the uploading of your inventory report, you may want to consider pulling down a copy of your online orders to automatically update your POS or ERP system.
You can upload an inventory report as often as you'd like. However, most retailers who run the report manually do it once a day when they first get into their store in the morning. You can also automate the process by copying your inventory report to our FTP site. Since it is an automated process, you will most likely send the report more frequently, like every hour.