An Overview of the Solid Commerce Platform

Welcome to Solid Commerce!

This article will introduce you to the options available in your Solid Commerce account. It also touches on some fundamental concepts and processes that will help you understand the platform.

When you log into your account at channelsmanager.com, you'll notice the blue menu bar contains several main options. Day-to-day operations are generally performed on just two pages: the Inventory Manager and Manage Orders pages. This article will guide you through the entire platform. As you review it, keep in mind that the basic navigation is simple.

After you get oriented, you can begin setting up your account using our Getting Started Guide: System Overview and Basic Setup launch guide.

 

What we'll cover:

  1. Video
  2. Managing Products, Inventory, and Listings
  3. Managing, Fulfilling, & Shipping Orders
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  5. Managing Vendors
  6. Account Setup, Admin, and Reports
  7. Related Articles

Video

Managing Products, Inventory, and Listings

Solid Commerce categorizes information into three separate levels: Product, Inventory, and Marketplace. The three levels are part of the foundation of the platform. Understanding them makes Solid Commerce easier to learn and use.

If you haven't done so already, we recommend reviewing Understanding How Solid Commerce Organizes Data - The Three Levels of Information: Product, Inventory, and Marketplace before continuing with this article.

 

Populating Your Solid Commerce Account With Products

The fastest and easiest way to populate your account with products is to import your live listings from the marketplaces. We recommend consulting with your Implementation Manager before importing any listings. They will guide you through the process.

You can also create new products through a spreadsheet or the user interface. To list them, you will add the products to a Warehouse and Market List.

 

Key Products Menu Options Descriptions of the Key Products Menu Options
Products Manager

You can find and view your products in the Product Manager—the home for Product level information. You can also view and edit all product details on the Inventory Manager and Manage Orders pages.

Inventory Manager

The Inventory Manager is the most visited page in Solid Commerce. Once your account is populated with products and listings, you will manage them from here.

To update Inventory level fields such as Quantity, Cost, and Storage Location, you will expand the Warehouses or Vendors menus in the tree on the left.

To launch new listings, revise prices, update live listings, or change other Marketplace level information, you will expand the Marketplaces menu and select a Market List.

Once you've reviewed this article, you'll be ready to add a Warehouse, Vendor Inventory List (if applicable), and Market List to your account.

Enter New Product

This option allows you to add a new product to Solid Commerce through the user interface.

Find & Load

This powerful tool allows you to search Amazon and eBay for specific products. It then imports the product information from the marketplaces, making creating new products fast and easy.

Manage Product Attributes

The Manage Product Attributes pop-up allows you to add and edit custom product fields.

Import Products and Inventory
There are two ways to upload files into Solid Commerce. The recommended method is to upload files directly from Excel using our custom built Excel Add-In Tool. The second method is the web uploader. You can access it by selecting Import Products and Inventory in the Products menu. This is a great option if you have large files, use an application other than Excel, or work on a Mac.

 

Listed Online Menu Options
Descriptions of the Listed Online Menu Options
Listed Online

This page displays all the online listings for each product, regardless of the marketplace. For example, if you have an item that is listed on eBay, Amazon, and your own webstore, the Listed Online page will display the item on three rows (one for each market).

The Listed Online page is designed as a reference tool. You can close listings, but there aren't many other management options. To manage a listing, find it in its Market List in the Inventory Manager.

eBay Listing Queue

After you select an item in an eBay Market List, and click the List products now button, it will be added to the queue. The eBay Listing Queue page gives you a chance to review the items you are trying to list. You can even delete items from the queue to prevent them from listing.

Managing, Fulfilling, & Shipping Orders

 

Key Orders Menu Options
Descriptions of the Key Orders Menu Options
Manage Orders

The Manage Orders page is the second most visited page in Solid Commerce. On it, you can search for orders, update order details, and change order statuses. You can also print pick lists, invoices, and packing slips.

Enter New Order
You can manually enter a new order in the Solid Commerce user interface through this shortcut in the Orders menu.
Import Orders and Tracking

This page allows you to upload orders exported from another system, such as a non-integrated webstore or marketplace (like Etsy). You can also upload a spreadsheet with shipment and tracking information.

Manage Order Status
Use this option to create custom order statuses. Custom statuses help you keep your orders organized. Many clients move their orders to a custom status of "Picked" after they print a pick list. The "Picked" status helps them differentiate new orders from orders that are already being processed.

 

Printing Shipping Labels & Order Fulfillment

Shipping labels are printed through SolidShip, a desktop based application. We support USPS (Endicia and Stamps.com), FedEx, UPS, and DHL. You can create Shipping Rules to automate shipping label printing.

If you have a vendor that drop ships orders to your buyers, or sends you consolidated shipments on a daily basis, please see the Managing Vendors section of this article to learn about ways you can automate your fulfillment process.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Our Customer Relationship Management system automatically emails your buyers based on specific changes to an order's status. The most popular option is to send post fulfillment emails to eBay buyers. This option allows you to specify how many days after fulfillment the email should be sent.

 

Key CRM Menu Option
Description of the Manage Email Templates and Rules Page
Manage Email Templates and Rules

This page allows you to enable email options, and add templates. Use the menu tree on the left to display the email options available for each marketplace. Keep in mind that the marketplaces already email buyers when orders are placed or shipped.

By including placeholders in your template, you can automatically populate emails with information such as the market order number or buyer's name.

IMPORTANT!

Before enabling CRM emails for Amazon, we recommend carefully reviewing Amazon's policies regarding contacting buyers. They monitor all emails to buyers. For information about their messaging service, see Amazon's help, http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200441880.

Managing Vendors

Solid Commerce offers powerful vendor integration tools that can automatically:

  • Process inventory updates from your vendor via FTP
  • Email orders to your vendor
  • Upload data feeds with orders to your vendor's FTP
  • Retrieve shipment and tracking files from your vendor via FTP

Speak to your Implementation Manager to learn more about these options.

 

Key Vendors Menu Option
Adding a Vendor
Add Vendor

Please see Creating a Vendor and Vendor Inventory List, to learn about adding a vendor to your Solid Commerce account. The article also includes instructions for creating a Vendor Inventory List to store your vendor's products.

Account Setup, Admin, and Reports

The Marketplaces menu includes pricing rules which allow you to specify how the prices on your listings should be controlled. For eBay, the Marketplaces menu also includes templates that make creating standard listings, variations, and fitments easier and more efficient. All of the menu options are detailed in separate articles.

 

Key Marketplaces Menu Option
Description of the Marketplaces Setup Page
Marketplaces Setup

The Marketplaces Setup page allows you to connect to any marketplace. The connection process varies from one marketplace to another. Each marketplace is set up on its own tab. The connection process for the marketplaces are documented in separate articles.

 

Key Admin Menu Options
Descriptions of the Key Admin Menu Options
Manage Shipping Rules
Shipping Rules allow you to automate the label printing process. While they are not required, and cannot always be used in every situation, most of clients save a lot of time by implementing Shipping Rules.
Manage Shipping Carriers

This page allows you to connect to each of your shipping carriers. We connect directly to your FedEx and UPS accounts to retrieve your negotiated rates.

Forms Layouts
The Forms Layouts submenu gives you access to your packing slip and invoice layouts, which can be enabled and customized for each marketplace.

 

Key Reports Menu Option
Descriptions of the Key Reports
Sales Reports

The Reports menu gives you access to a variety of reports. Most people find the Top Sellers reports especially helpful. The Top Sellers reports include all of the products you sold during a specified time period, along with the total number of pieces sold.

Detailed order data can also be exported from the Manage Orders page.

Related Articles

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