External fulfillment: FBA, LVB, FBC, and ZFS
About this article
This article describes ChannelEngine's external fulfillment settings.
Table of contents
There are two options to set your preferred form of fulfillment on ChannelEngine:
- Fixed fulfillment. E.g.: merchant fulfillment or fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), fulfillment by Cdiscount (FBC), logistiek via bol.com (LVB), or Zalando fulfillment solutions (ZFS).
- Automatic fulfillment.
You can set the fulfillment for a channel, if applicable, under Channel settings, Mappings, Offer mappings.
Select a fixed value, such as bol.com (LVB) or Merchant. Note that this setting applies to the fulfillment status on all products in your listing.
If you want to change the fulfillment status of a specific product, search for it and select the Fulfillment override column – using the same dropdown in which you can select an alternative option. Once a fixed value is selected, the field gets a yellow background to indicate the overridden value.
Using product attributes is an easier, less laborious way to set the fixed fulfillment status. To do so, go to Mappings in the channel options and select the tab Offer mappings. Under the Fulfillment override column, select Advanced rule.
This attribute has to be added and activated for every product you wish to list as externally fulfilled. Make sure your attribute is unique, so there is no chance that the wrong product is included in the external fulfillment status.
The only exception to this is when using a product feed: you first need to map this attribute under Products, Product feeds for it to be imported.
Once the attribute has been added and imported into ChannelEngine, it should be visible in the product information under Product. It can then be used to set LVB, FBA or FBC as fulfillment.
The rule shown above sets bol.com as the fulfillment method if the attribute for LVB is set to Yes. Otherwise, it uses the default method Merchant – and you have to handle shipping by yourself. This works in the same way for Amazon, Cdiscount, and Zalando, with the respective options visible in the dropdown.
By default, the fulfillment status is set to Automatic. This status exports the fulfillment as external, as long as there is known external stock on ChannelEngine for the product. If there is not, the fulfillment status is exported as Merchant-fulfilled.
When using external fulfillment on ChannelEngine (e.g.: FBA, FBC, LVB, ZFS, etc.), you need to keep track of the current stock levels. ChannelEngine enables you to fetch the external stock levels of your products and schedule the retrieval of this information into your systems.
First, make sure the following prerequisites are met:
- In the Advanced settings of the Setup page, the Use fulfillment service setting must be switched on.
- On the Offer mappings tab, the Fulfillment override attribute must be either Automatic or set to a specific external fulfillment service (e.g.: FBA, FBC, ZFS, etc.).
To import the external stock levels from ChannelEngine into your systems (e.g.: ERP, OMS, etc.), the following calls need to be configured:
GET /v2/stocklocations- to retrieve the ID and the name of an external fulfillment warehouse.
GET /v2/offer/stock- using the ID parameter obtained in the previous step to retrieve the SKU of a product, as well as the remaining stock in the warehouse. ChannelEngine can schedule this task to run every 15 minutes.
If you experience issues with external stock not being retrieved and displayed, there are two main causes to explain it:
- The external stock is connected to a different EAN/GTIN. Especially with bol.com, where certain products exist with ten or more different EANs, ChannelEngine can only connect stock to the EAN/product known to it.
- The task to import external stock is not yet enabled for a specific channel. You can verify this by checking the Settings, Scheduled tasks in your ChannelEngine account. If you are missing specific Import fulfillment stock from channel tasks for a channel (or they are marked as Failed), contact ChannelEngine's Support team to verify and resolve this issue.
FBA, FBC, LVB, and ZFS orders are shown under the Orders overview on ChannelEngine. The only difference is that ChannelEngine does not forward these orders to your store or system, they are only visible for overview and statistic purposes. This is deliberate, as most systems identify new orders as something that needs to be handled and shipped. However, you can retrieve these external fulfillment orders by using ChannelEngine's API.
An order with external fulfillment has a label indicating that it is not a merchant-fulfilled order, and it is being handled by Amazon, bol.com, Cdiscount, or Zalando. Once the respective channel marks the order as Shipped, ChannelEngine retrieves it.
Use the filters at the top of the screen to show only external fulfillment orders.
If you enable Full order by channel, you get an overview of all FBA, FBC, LVB, and ZFS orders. If you want to exclude all externally fulfilled orders, select Full order by merchant.