Troubleshooting: Inventory Feed

If you or your vendor have recently tried to upload an inventory feed to update the stock shown in Duoplane for various items and the import was  unsuccessful, there could be a number of different possible causes. Troubleshooting inventory feed issues can be a bit tricky since there's so many different integrations, file formats, and delivery methods supported; to hopefully save you a headache, we've created a list of troubleshooting steps to help guide you to finding a solution and ensuring things are properly configured.

This article will walk you through several steps to take as well as solutions in response to a few specific error messages.

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General things to consider

When Duoplane automates the inventory update process, it's actually handling many different steps—so there is potential for an error at any point. There are some general things to consider in order to isolate the issue based on when it took place: Was the file received by Duoplane? Was the file read correctly by Duoplane? Where do I look for answers?

 

Where to look for answers

There are generally two different places you will need to search to find the answers to these questions: your vendor's inventory settings page, and their inventory feed results page.

To locate a vendor's inventory settings page:

  1. In your Duoplane Retailer account, go to Main Menu > Vendors 
  2. Locate your vendor and click Details
  3. Locate the section labeled Inventory feed and sync and click Edit

To locate a vendor's recent inventory feed results page:

  1. In your Duoplane Retailer account, go to Main Menu > Products > Inventory Feeds
  2. Select the vendor from the dropdown and click Continue
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see full results of the most recent upload

Was the file received by Duoplane?

If you or your vendor uploaded an inventory feed, it is likely it will take some time to complete the upload. After a few hours if it hasn't uploaded and you believe there was a failure causing Duoplane to receive the file at all, you can verify if it has by going to Main Menu > Products > Inventory Feeds and clicking the blue "Summary of inventory feeds" link at the bottom. This will show the most recent feeds including all vendors and any possible error messages. 

If the feed isn't listed on this page it means it never got to Duoplane. The next place to head would be the vendor's inventory feed settings where you can verify what may or may not have conflicted with the file and how Duoplane is set to receive and read the file. 

Under Remote file access, verify that the protocol matches the method the vendor tried to send the file. A couple examples would be:

Protocol is set to SFTP — are the host address, path to file, login name, and password up to date and accurate? Is Duoplane able to access the path to this file to pull it in?

Email — is the vendor sending the feed to the exact email address listed here in the settings? Is the sender on the list of permitted senders, and the file name permitted?

 

Was the file read by Duoplane?

If you have verified the file was received by Duoplane but SKU stock levels have not updated still, it's probable that the file wasn't read properly. This is usually due to settings mismatching what was provided, and can be verified on the vendor's inventory feed settings page.

First, check the file format section at the top to make sure it matches the file sent (i.e. if Duoplane is configured to read a CSV file and is sent an XLS file, it likely caused the error).

Second, verify the settings in the File column mapping section are set up to match the column headers on your file to the appropriate values in Duoplane.

Note: In addition to this step, in Other options you can assign the "Unique product reference field" as retailer SKU, vendor SKU, UPC, etc. This setting is explained in detail in this troubleshooting subsection: If products in the file do not match the products in your catalog

 

ISSUE: Products in the file do not match the products in your catalog

[Error message: The vendor inventory feed did not match any of the products in your catalog.]

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This error means Duoplane was able to receive the feed file, but either:

a) couldn't read the file, or

b) of the SKUs it read, it couldn't match any to the vendor's SKUs in the catalog

 

Duoplane couldn't read the file

This is usually due to a formatting issue and best to first check out the File format section of the vendor's inventory feed settings. If you have a CSV file, make sure the file itself matches what is set for the field separator in Duoplane. For example, if your file is comma delineated, make sure the field separator is set for "Comma (,)". 

 

Duoplane could read the file but couldn't match any to the vendor's SKUs in the catalog

This usually means a column wasn't mapped properly, but best way to be sure is to visually compare the columns of the SKUs in the file to the SKUs in the system.

  1. Download the results details (clicking the button at the bottom)
  2. Open the "not_in_catalog" file to see which products were in the feed but not found in Duoplane 
  3. Search a product on that list to see if it appears in Duoplane

    If it doesn't appear in Duoplane: this means the vendor included SKUs your store may not carry or have record of. While this issue would need to be fixed, possibly requiring additional communication with the vendor, this is not an indicator that the feed is working improperly

    If it does appear in Duoplane: this means for some reason Duoplane was not able to match the value from what was on the sheet. In most cases, this could be because the vendor's inventory feed provided the vendor SKU which was being compared to what Duoplane has recorded as the retailer SKU, and these two could have small or big differences (see below)
    mceclip1.png  mceclip2.png
    To solve this issue you'd want to configure your vendor's inventory feed settings so the columns in the file are mapped correctly. In this case, if you see the vendor is sending you inventory tracking based on the Vendor SKU you have on record in Duoplane, you'd want to go to Other options and make sure this is switched to "Vendor SKU". Similarly, if the vendor is giving you the Retailer SKU in their inventory feed, you'd want to switch it to "Retailer SKU".

 

ISSUE: Columns are properly mapped but inventory data is not picked up

[Error message: The vendor inventory feed did not have any inventory data. If the file was not blank, please confirm that the inventory feed settings are configured correctly for this file]

This error means Duoplane was able to receive and read the feed file, and it checked the columns which may have been mapped properly, but is seeing no data. To Duoplane, this is as if the file is blank. 

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This usually occurs when there is information above the header row, preventing Duoplane from finding the header row and reading the data below each column. Duoplane expects the header row to be:

a) The very first row of the file

b) Some rows below, but with only blank rows above

c) On the first sheet (if Excel or other workbook format)

If a vendor sends a feed file to you with instructions written in the file itself above the header row, or if they have some information in hidden cells in an Excel file above the header rows, or the data is presented on a sheet that isn't the first page, this will prevent Duoplane from locating the header row and reading the data.

Some troubleshooting steps you can try to solve most cases of this are:

  1. Is there any information presented above the header rows? If you see information like instructions, branding info, or anything that is not a header row, these lines will need to be skipped. If you don't see any extra data up top, open the file in Excel and unhide all columns and rows.
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  2. Does the information start on the first sheet? Similar to the above, if the pertinent information starts on a sheet other than the first one in the workbook, you'll need to configure your feed settings to read the file starting at the correct sheet. You can also open this in Excel and click "unhide" to make sure there are no hidden sheets before the one you are looking at.
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How to solve: If you see there were rows containing information before the header rows, you can tell Duoplane to ignore these rows by going to your Duoplane Retailer account and navigating to Main Menu > Vendors, locating the vendor in the directory, then going to edit the vendor's inventory feed settings. At the top you will see File format settings. Here you can dictate how many lines at the top of the file to skip, or specify the correct sheet name/number to locate the data.

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ISSUE: Inventory feed is correctly updating Duoplane but not syncing to the store

If you notice the inventory in Duoplane is correct but it is not appearing in your store for that vendor, it is recommended to check the vendor's sync settings, which could be different from the global settings. The vendor-level inventory sync settings are found by going to Main Menu > Vendors, selecting your vendor, and then going to the Inventory feed and sync page.

From this page near the bottom you will see the sync direction. In this example the global store settings (default settings) are set to "no sync" which means at the vendor level they have to be overridden by changing the option from "use store default" to "Duoplane updates store". 

 

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ISSUE: File is picked up but error message saying "illegal quoting" on a line

If the file is imported and results in a failure with an error message stating there is an "illegal quoting" on a given line, this means the processor is being thrown off by something like a quotation mark telling it to enclose the data between multiple columns.


This typically can happen with CSV files and is very easy to fix. If it is a quotation mark that is enclosing the data unexpectedly, you can go to the vendor's feed settings page and change the "CSV field quoting" to "none" or some other character:

 

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