Tag Archives: amazon

Amazon and Magento integration

For those wondering what I’ve been up to, we’ve been working on a few consulting projects but mostly, our time has been taken up dealing with a switch over from M2E Pro to the BoostMyShop Amazon module for our geek sites.

There’s a few reaosns for the switchover, partly the on-going monthly charge from M2E being interacted which can significantly affect our profitability and just as much, the rather horrible support we got from them when we ran into issues attempting to switch our profiles over. Add that to the fact that their latest upgrade / update to the module (which they refeused to help further with until we did) required us to move servers and we just decided that it wasn’t worth using them anymore.

Which puts up with the BoostMyShop module. It is it’s own share of headaches.

For one thing, unlike M2E pro, the documentation is rather rubbish. There’s just no documentation on common error reports or what those error reports mean. There’s no indication why something is error’ing out, even if it shouldn’t. There’s no indication when you switch tabs how to have the system do a double-check so you kind of have to do a tril and error of hitting a bunch of buttons int he hope that it eventually works.

In addition, the system cannot accept more than one type of code – so you can’t, for example, try both UPC and EAN codes. Which is an issue if, for example, a product is only available on Amazon via their EAN code and not UPC code. You’d think it’d be a simple enough code fix, but no go.

Also, the system doesn’t really allow you to choose to use different prices (example if you have 2 or more stores, you can’t choose which specific store price you want to showcase and link to Amazon). So you kind of have to just grit your teeth and go with what seems to be the default price.

Oh, and if you add then delete a Marketplace, realise that it’s going to break your site for a bit. No help at all in their FAQs on how to fix this. Support from t he developer has been less then stellar I have to admit. Mostly I find due to the fact that the developer does not speak good English at all and as such, is not able to understand what you are asking for, so when you do have a bug to report or need information, it’s all very slow. Which isn’t great if the problem has ended up in production like the above deleting.

Is this a viable alternative to M2E Pro? So far, it’s workable I’m sure after we finish fixing it but I definitely think they need to add a lot more documentation, add more features and clean up the code a bit.

Unfair Playing Field

I wrote a post on Starlit Citadel’s business blog. Yeah, yeah I should write more article here too. I will…

Anyway, the discussion was with relation to how some of the major e-commerce businesses out there can run losses for a much longer period than we can, and as such structure their company in such a way that they can / will make those losses.

I mean, when a public company is losing 80% of their revenue to COGs and Fulfilment, even minor variations in things like IT, Marketing and the like can seriously affect the profitability of the business.

I’m not sure I’d call it unfair per se – it is the field we entered and created in many ways, but it’s still a playing field that is heavily weighted in their favour.  So the trick for a small business is to learn to not compete directly against them.

Whether it’s entering a business sector that they have no interest in or perhaps taking advantage of a geographic benefit, you need to be able to compete on things other than free shipping and price.

What’s your answer to the Amazon’s & ThinkGeek’s of the world?