There are several best practices that should be kept in mind regarding loading item catalogs. Several Spark Shipping vendors have very large item catalogs. The more items a catalog the longer it will take to sync to the product catalog and your shopping cart (your website).
Do I really need to push each item that I want? Can't Spark just push all of them to my website for me?
Each customer is responsible for pushing each item to their store. Spark will not push all vendor items to their store because this is a bad practice that can result in problems and the customer's site quickly becoming a mess. The few times we have tried this, the customers was not successful. A few reasons Spark cannot do this are shown below.
- Pushing entire vendors catalog could quickly push you over your SKU allowance for you plan, causing your account to quit syncing
- Customers would end up with a lot of items on their site and then have thousands of items to look through and clean up
- Most customers focus on certain products and don't want everything the vendor has
- Platforms like Shopify put throttling limits on how many items can be created in their API; they only will allow so many items to push at once before they start erroring out
Note: If you have multiple sites and one site is set with all of the items pushed, Spark is able to clone those items over to another site that you have, once the first site is established.
Take it slow
Once the product catalog has loaded completely, a common mistake that we see some clients make is attempting to push items all at once. We suggest that you first push some test items and then push items in groups or phases. Following these practices will help ensure you have a smooth experience.
-Push just a few items to your store at first as a test; check your shopping cart (your website) and make sure all of the item information looks good, has photos, and all of the critical information such as attributes, price, dimensions, etc.
-Then push what you sell in logical groups; examples include pushing by brand name, type of product or related products
Example: If you are selling car parts, push the GM brand first before pushing Everstart.
Large Vendor Item Catalogs
Spark Shipping vendors like Stuller and Turn 14 have large item catalogs. Please keep in mind the following
-Do NOT push any products to your store until the Product Catalog has finished loading all items
Note: If you attempt to push products to your store when the product catalog is not finished loading, you can end up with incomplete item information and might have to start the process over.
-Catalogs that contain over 50k-100k of products are considered medium to large; Recommended time to wait before pushing to your store: 24 hours
-Catalogs that contain several million items (e.g. Stuller) are considered extremely large; expect up to a ten-second lag when searching items; Recommended time to wait before pushing to your store: 1 week
Note: If you are a Stuller customer, we recommend that you check with support to confirm that the process is done before you push any items to your store.
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