Using Syncee means you can work with any supplier, however, there is some criteria you have to consider. Let’s learn the details!
There are many businessmen in the e-commerce world who get their products from marketplaces like, for example, eBay, AliExpress or Amazon. It’s because of the drop shipping method, and the ostensible simplicity of the whole process. Nevertheless, it’s quite rare when working with retail marketplaces—as they are your suppliers—when it worth the time and money for a Shopify store owner. Actually, the biggest drawback is that in this case, you sell products that everyone else does, you are not unique, but you set high margin for the prices, and the items are more expensive than people can get them for from the original sites. They won’t choose your store to buy from. It doesn’t worth because of the prices and because of the exact same products they can get from everywhere else. So, our company doesn’t recommend working with marketplaces and wasting time with them but we offer you a better solution: start to work with real, local wholesalers and maintain a stable business without high risks. If you want to learn more about this topic, check our other article, and if you want to know what is better than drop shipping, find out more about remote warehousing.
If you want to start to use Syncee, you can’t work with marketplaces and this is because of technical conditions. There’s no data our application can work with. Furthermore, as I’ve already said, it doesn’t even the best decision to get products from those places.
Find real suppliers you can work with!
Which suppliers can you work with?
Using Syncee you can work with almost any supplier, the only main condition is that the chosen company has to have a data feed file. But right now, I want to talk about basic information you have to consider when it’s about deciding which wholesaler you will work with. After this paragraph, I’ll tell some other technical conditions besides the fact that an always available feed is needed.
First of all, to see clear, I tell what Syncee is, in a nutshell, in case you haven’t heard much about it before. So, Syncee is a product managing application, a bulk upload system that does product import, update, and upsert automatically, specialized for only Shopify online stores. It’s a top-rated application in Shopify’s App Store in the Finding and adding products category, Finding suppliers subcategory. You can add your suppliers’ products easily to your store with this software. You can save time and money using this application. Please read more about the application and why is it worth using by clicking here.
Now, it’s time to check what suppliers we recommend you to look for if you want to be successful and you want your e-commerce business to be profitable in the long run. Try to find a wholesaler that has the same location as you do, but it should be enough if that company is on the same continent as you. By clicking here you can search for suppliers from the USA, Europe, Australia and some other places—just scroll down. A local supplier is worth to have because the delivery time is shorter and delivery cost is lower.
It’s beneficial to work with a supplier who is close to you because you can be sure that the company is reliable, there won’t be any warranty problems. If the product is not going immediately to your customer, you or the fulfillment center you work with can check the quality of the ordered items. Also, there won’t be lost packages, and another thing is that banks won’t want to move apart, they will cooperate. It’s because when for example you get your products from eBay for your online Shopify store, the users who you order your items from can disappear, and banks also don’t like that. You can be in contact with the supplier anytime you want if you choose a real supplier.
You can get quality products from a real supplier, and you won’t have mass produced ones, you can be unique. And if you want to sell efficiently online, it’s important not to sell items that everyone else does.
So, these were the basic information about finding the best supplier for yourself.
The essential conditions you need to look for in a supplier you want to cooperate with
We’ve already learned the basics, what is essential when choosing a supplier. What about the other, technical conditions? So, there are some essential conditions you need to look for in a supplier when you are about to find the best one to cooperate with and when you want to use Syncee. With Syncee you can manage products, you can do imports and updates. Let’s see what technical criteria must be met when you want to use a supplier’s data and our application.
The data feed formats
If you are looking for a supplier, you need to check whether they can give you a data feed file or no. If you can’t find this on their website, you can still ask about it. With Syncee you don’t have to worry about the formats. You know, Shopify works with CSV product files only, but it’s not necessary to have it if you want to import items with Syncee, because it can synchronize you any feed. What formats can these be? XML, XLS(X), JSON, CSV, TXT.
The content of the data feed
There aren’t many conditions you have to be aware of if you want to use Syncee. These few fields that you will need are for example the SKU, barcode or handle, compare at price, product type, collections, vendor, tags, weight, image URL, price, inventory quantity, description, title. If your products have variants, the feed needs to contain variant SKU and option value. What is the difference between the last two? Well, the variant SKU is the code of the product and the option value is the description of the items—color, material etc. You or the supplier can add more category if it’s needed. There’s no limit.
What Syncee really needs for the import is the SKU barcode or the handle the price and title. But this information is not enough for the customer in the shop. That’s why you have to consider the given examples above.
Data file updates by your supplier
The supplier needs to send you for example a URL that they will update regularly. It’s not the best solution if they always send you one feed that contains the new products and data. They have to upload new items in the same product data feed so that Syncee can synchronize it. It’s important to know how often your supplier updates the products because with Syncee you can automate and schedule the process.
It’s really important for the supplier to give you images of every product. The best is if they can give you more pictures for each item so that people can check the products from different views. Especially, use more images if there are more variants.
The data feed file of the products has to contain these URL’s. The way the supplier needs to send you the images is to send you image URL’s, so the supplier needs to put the image URL in the feed. It’s the only method how Syncee can manage them.
Data feed connections
There are many ways how Syncee can reach the data feed file of your suppliers, as for the file upload—there’s no way to do web scraping or use product sourcing tools. You have to choose a fine local supplier that can provide a data feed file. So the connection method to your supplier’s data feed has to be for example manual file upload, FTP upload, secured URL upload, URL upload, Dropbox URL upload, Google drive URL upload, OneDrive URL, API or SOAP etc. You can read more details about some of these that can help you while using Syncee with your Shopify store. Here are some quotes from our Help Center—at there, you can find tutorial videos too.
- Import from URL: “The most commonly used type to get supplier product feed file is when the supplier gives you a URL to the file. Usually, this URL contains CSV, XML, XLS or TXT file formats and the supplier updates it daily.”
- Import with file upload: “Start the Import task and in the first step, Add File, of the wizard, choose the file upload as a supplier data feed source. Select the file you want to upload from your local computer by clicking on the Drop here an XML, CSV, JSON or XLS(X).”
- Import from Dropbox: “Syncee can read a file from a Dropbox URL. Start a product import task and select in the Add file step, then the DROPBOX URL option. (…) In this source type, Syncee saves the path of the file you selected and next time it will automatically use it.”
- Import from FTP: “You can use your FTP server as a source for your CSV, XML, XLS files. Start an Import task and in the add file section, you need to choose FTP. (…) In the case of FTP source, Syncee saves the path of the file you selected and next time it will automatically use it.”
Importing from different sources. How?
When you are choosing a supplier you have to deal with what data you can get from them if those contain the necessary information and fields, and whether the source of the file is okay or not. If they give you a downloadable file you won’t be able to update the products with it in Syncee, only if you always replace the file manually. You can ask for another solution so that Syncee can manage the updates automatically. For instance, please note that you and the supplier have to use the same exact file in Dropbox and do not delete that after the upload. Because if they add a new one, the URL will change that time. So, use the same, update the same existing file with the new data so that Syncee can recognize it. In another way, your products won’t be managed, or you need to manually replace the URL in Syncee. If you use a cloud platform, don’t re-upload the file. One of the best options—but all is good—is to upload the data feed file, you have been given, to a server and then give us, Syncee the URL.
How can you find and contact new suppliers?
There are many ways how you can find new suppliers. If you have acquaintances in the world of e-commerce, you can ask them what reliable wholesalers they know. If you don’t have anyone to ask, or those recommended companies do not offer products you want, the second most obvious step to do is to go to Google and start searching for a nice supplier that has items you want. Don’t give up in a short time, you have to be persistent. When using Google and looking at sites, you have to note some things. You have to search extensively because many suppliers don’t do marketing and they won’t appear on the first (few) page(s) of the search results. You have to dig deep.
The other thing is that these companies don’t really interested in what site they have, but despite this, they can have wonderful products. So, don’t judge by the website even if it’s poorly designed. The last thing, for now, is to use lots of modifiers. It means that important information leading to a good wholesaler might be missed based on the kind of search, e.g., do not stop at just the keywords like “product wholesaler”. Using modifiers such as “distributors, reseller, bulk, warehouse and even supplier” may give you some good leads.
There are other ways how you can find suppliers. You can order from your competitors. When you receive the package, google the return address to find out who the original shipper was—it can work sometimes. Also, you can attend trade shows and exhibitions, and talk with manufacturers in person. It’s a bit old method but there are many forums where you can find suppliers and recommendations of them. Another thing what we say is the field of directories. These are a good source for finding suppliers and contacting them, and you don’t have to worry, those are genuine wholesalers. However, many of these directories may require charges.
Read more about these processes and topic in our relating article.
You can also find suppliers in our catalog, Syncee Supplier Exchange, scroll down for more information.
How can you find the product feed file of the supplier you would like to choose?
If you’ve already found the supplier you would like to choose to get products from for your online Shopify store, you just have to find the product feed file it ensures—if it has. You have to continue searching as long as you can’t find a wholesaler that can provide you an adequate file and has quality products. If they have drop shipping service, they will probably have data feed file too, but not in every case.
You have to find the URL of the supplier’s product feed file. There are three ways of it—but there aren’t URL’s in every occasion.
Firstly, some companies just upload the file to their website and anybody can check it. You have to check the site carefully, the file can hide anywhere. The supplier sometimes doesn’t make your work easy. In this way, when you are satisfied with the products and the data you have, contact the wholesaler and jump into the joint business.
Secondly, you need to sign up and log in to the chosen company’s website and search for these or similar pages—so as for at the first option: Dropship, Wholesale, Wholesaler list, Data, XML data, CSV data… etc. So, the two ways are almost the same, just as for the second manner you can’t be sure if they have feed or not—maybe sometimes they mention to log in and check the data feed file.
Thirdly, if you can’t find a data feed file on the site, or it’s mentioned that you can contact them for more info or file, you have to write the supplier an e-mail or call them on phone and ask them the following: “I want to sell your products in my online store. Do you have product feed file which is updating regularly? (CSV, XML, XLS(X), JSON or TXT file)”.
Syncee Supplier Exchange
Do you want to know how you can import products using the Syncee Supplier Exchange (SSE)? What is this at all? Well, it is our company’s new feature we have just released in this spring. It is a catalog full of trustworthy suppliers you can choose from and can import their products with a few clicks to your Shopify store. Everything is created for you beforehand, you just have to contact the chosen supplier after installing Syncee, but everything else is done, and your job is easier than ever. You don’t need to ask for data, data feed file customization is not needed, it can be synchronized quickly to your store. The number of suppliers you can choose from our list is constantly updated. Click here to read more about what SSE is, and click here if you want to know how you can import products using this service after having Syncee as a tool.
If you don’t use Syncee Supplier Exchange you can still use Syncee itself so that it can manage your products and data you get from a supplier, obviously. You just have to contact the supplier, ask for the product feed file, and let Syncee do the managing process—import, update, upsert.
Content manager and e-commerce adviser at Syncee. Her passion is strong for e-commerce novelties, online stores, and Shopify. She is committed to helping others succeed by her writings.