Welcome, new Zentailian! This article will be your guide through the onboarding process and contains lots of useful links and information. As always, if you need more help we're available through chat and at [email protected].
Tip: To expedite your onboarding you’ll need to get access to your Amazon Category Listings Report (CLR) as soon as possible. Check out our article on how to do that, and then return here to complete steps 1, 2 and 3!
Important! If you are a Mac or Chromebook user you’ll need to enable scrolling. Check out our article on how to do this.
Step 1: Add Integrations
To add integrations you’ll need to go to your Integrations page in Zentail and click on “Add New Integration” and then select the integration type (like Amazon, Walmart, ShipStation) you want to add.
You’ll need to name the integration (give it a descriptive label) and then click “Add Integration”
Repeat this step to add all integrations that you want to use with Zentail.
👉 Check out our walkthrough guide for this step! 👈
Step 2: Connect and Configure your Integrations
For each integration you add, once you click on them you’ll see a “Connect” button at the top. Hover over that and click on the “Guide Me” button, then follow our interactive guide to connect to Zentail. Note: At this stage you should not toggle into Production Mode.
Alternatively you can read our help articles on how to connect to our integrations.
Here are some common integrations people use:
Step 3: Add Warehouses
To add warehouses you’ll need to go to your Account Settings in Zentail and click on the “+ Create Warehouse” button on the side bar. After that you’ll need to give your warehouse a name, and optionally select an inventory and fulfillment integration.
Q: What is an inventory integration?
A: An inventory integration is an integration that will control the inventory in this warehouse. Examples include SkuVault, Amazon (if it’s an FBA warehouse), Walmart (if it’s a WFS warehouse, etc. If an inventory integration is selected, you will not be able to directly edit in Zentail the quantities for SKUs in that warehouse.
Q: What is a fulfillment integration?
A: A fulfillment integration is an integration that helps you fulfill orders routed to that warehouse. Zentail will send new orders to that integration, and then the integration will send back the tracking numbers and update the order to be shipped. Common examples include ShipStation and ShipWorks for merchant fulfillment, and Amazon (if it’s a FBA warehouse) or Walmart (if it’s a WFS warehouse).
If you want to see some example warehouse configurations you can check that out here.
👉 Check out our walkthrough guide for this step! 👈
Step 4. Build your Catalog
Zentail’s onboarding team will assist with this, however you need to provide your Amazon CLR in order for our team to begin. If you haven’t yet, request your category listings report by messaging Amazon support. This article explains how to do that.
Once you have access to the category listing report on Amazon, you’ll need to download the report for the appropriate categories. This article explains how to download your report from Amazon.
In addition to importing your CLRs our onboarding team will do a one time pull of data from your other connected channels. By default, we will set overrides for fields that differ from Amazon, including title and item price.
After you have downloaded your reports, email them to [email protected] with the subject line “<Your Company Name> Amazon CLRs” and we will begin the import process. In this same email, please also include whether you would prefer not to have overrides. If you choose not to use overrides when Zentail is turned line your data on other channels might change to match what Amazon has.
Training Tip! While we are building your catalog it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of Zentail. We recommend you check out our article on common Zentail terms. You can also explore our New Users Guide.
Step 5. Catalog Cleanup
There are two steps to catalog cleanup.
As the person with the most knowledge of your own catalog, you are best positioned to take these steps.
Setting up the structure of your catalog
Setting up the structure of your catalog generally includes Merging SKUs, and may also include Kitting SKUs and Aliasing SKUs. These might be new terms to you (especially if you haven’t gotten a chance to check out our article on common Zentail terms) but here are brief explanations of each term.
A merged SKU is a way to manage your FBA and FBM offers for the same product on Amazon using just one SKU in Zentail. This simplifies editing product data, changing pricing, fulfilling orders and reporting on sales. Often when sellers begin using Zentail they have multiple SKUs on Amazon per ASIN, one FBA SKU and one FBM SKU. Merging SKUs during onboarding is required to condense those two Amazon SKUs into one on Zentail. In the future, Zentail will automatically generate the FBM SKU when you want both FBA and FBM offers on Amazon.
Learn more about how to merge SKUs here.
A kit SKU in Zentail is a SKU that either has multiple units of an underlying SKU (aka a pack or multi-pack) or multiple underlying SKUs (also called a bundle). If you are already offering kits on your channels you will need to set up the relationship in Zentail to properly sync inventory.
Learn more about kits and how to set them up here.
Alias SKUs in Zentail are SKUs that inherit their inventory from a pre-existing "Reference" SKU in Zentail. Alias SKUs by default are FBM SKUs. You cannot set an Alias SKU as an FBA SKU and send FBA inventory for it.
Learn more about aliases here.
Auditing and cleaning product data
Once your catalog structure is in place you will most likely need to do some cleanup to format your data properly or add any missing information.
Listing Status Page
The first place we suggest to understand your catalog and audit your product data is the Listing Status page.
This page provides a comprehensive view of your SKUs across your different channels. The segments in red represent your SKUs that are in “Needs Attention” for that channel, where they either have a data quality issue or a listing error. Learn more about this view by checking out this article (and you can watch a video of how to use this tool!).
Assigning SMART Types
One of the most common cleanup actions people need to take is assigning SMART Types. SMART types are the engine that Zentail has that will automatically categorize your SKUs for every channel, and automatically recommend the most relevant Listing Quality attributes. If your SKUs aren’t categorized into SMART Types it will be very difficult to list SKUs to marketplaces, and even harder to provide comprehensive data.
Common Auditing QuickEdit Views
First, if you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with QuickEdit we recommend reading this article to learn how to use this feature.
Once you feel comfortable making edits to SKUs in QuickEdit, adding columns, and filtering this can be a powerful tool to make changes in bulk.
We have some specific QuickEdit views that are helpful when auditing specific parts of your catalog.
QuickEdit view to check for SKUs missing SMART Type
Learn more about how to assign SMART types here.
QuickEdit view to audit your product groups
What to look for:
Accurate pivot attributes
Variant information repeated in the title, like Cool Blue Shirt (Blue, Small)
Duplicate variations, like multiple SKUs that are Blue and Small
If you had existing groups on Amazon, that the Amazon Parent SKU override is filled in on the Master SKU in Zentail
Note: If you have different group configurations on Amazon than you do on your webstore then you might be able to set up Listing Splits. This article goes into detail on what a Listing Split is and how to set it up.
QuickEdit view to audit your Item Price and Min/Max prices
What to look for:
That your item price is correct
If you plan to use Zentail’s repricer, check that your min price is below your item price, and your max price is above your item price
That your item price and max price are less than MSRP (if MSRP is filled in)
If you want your Amazon price/Item Price to be sent to your webstore and other channels you might need to clear out some channel price overrides.
Learn more about the repricer here, and how to set and clear price overrides for particular channels here. If you have set up MAP prices, that can change how channels show your product offerings. Learn more about MAP pricing here.
Step 6: Test a Listing
Before you go live, you’ll probably want to test a listing or two on Amazon or your webstore. This helps to ensure you have the right data entered, and have the correct inventory and pricing information.
To test a listing, you’ll need to bring up a SKU, then click “Test Listing”, select the channels you want to test on, and finally click “Initiate Test”.
This article goes into more detail about how to complete this step.
👉 Check out our walkthrough guide for this step! 👈
Step 7: Prep for Go Live
There are three questions you need to answer before Go Live.
Is my catalog data correct?
This should have been taken care of in the catalog cleanup step, when you audited your SKUs product data. However if you were unable to clean up your entire catalog and are time pressed to go live with inventory and orders you can disable product data on a per SKU basis, to give you more time to circle back and complete catalog cleanup. We do not recommend keeping product data turned off forever. Learn how to disable product data on a per SKU basis here.
The other main thing you’ll want to check is that your pricing is set up as expected. If you have different prices on Amazon vs your webstore you might want to set a price override. Learn how to do that here.
Is my inventory up to date?
If you are using warehouses with inventory integrations (like an FBA warehouse, or if you use SkuVault) your inventory in Zentail should reflect what they have without an issue. You’re set on this step!
If you are updating Zentail directly with inventory, you’ll want to be able to import your inventory levels right before Go Live. If you have a lot of different SKUs it's easiest to update them all in bulk through an import right before Go Live. This QuickEdit view is a good starting point. It has the quantity fields for your first two warehouses. Click the X on the FBA warehouse column so that it's just your FBM warehouse left and then export the view.
Once you click Export View you’ll be taken to the Export history screen, and from there once the report completes you’ll be able to download it as a csv. To prep for Go Live you’ll need to have accurate quantity information filled out for each SKU, which you can then import into Zentail using our templateless product data import (learn how here!) right before Go Live. Note: Do not delete or edit the first row (header row) of the csv export.
What is my plan for unshipped orders during Go Live?
During Go Live there will be some time where you can have two systems feeding into your fulfillment process. The two biggest pitfalls to avoid are double shipping orders or missing orders.
The ideal is to ship all merchant fulfilled orders before going live because that avoids all issues with unshipped orders. However that is not always possible. If you cannot ship all merchant fulfilled order before going live here are some common strategies used to avoid the two pitfalls:
(Generally) Choose a day and time with low order volume. This will obviously vary depending on your business and what products you sell, but you want to pick a time where you can have a low number of FBM orders.
If using a Fulfillment Integration (like ShipStation)- Archive the store or orders in the old store. Ship from the new store. Mark the old orders shipped to be safe.
If using a Fulfillment Integration (like ShipWorks) - Just keep track of unshipped orders. If, for example, there are only 5 unshipped orders at the time of Go Live it might be easier to just manually make sure those orders don’t get double shipped.
If using a 3PL - You might need to contact your 3PL provider to cancel some duplicate orders, or just not route orders to the 3PL at first (so keeping the 3PL disabled for all channels for a bit, learn more about how to enable or disable a warehouse per channel here.)
Step 8: Go Live!
If you’ve gone through all your Go Live prep and you have a plan, the next step is to Go Live!
There are essentially 3 steps to Going Live, all of which should be completed within ~30 minutes of each other.
Ensure / upload correct inventory to Zentail
If you are using a 3PL or inventory integration (like SkuVault) for inventory then you just need to audit to make sure that the inventory in Zentail matches the inventory in your 3PL or inventory integration.
If you are manually editing inventory on Zentail you’ll most likely want to use the inventory import you prepared during Step 7, after ensuring it's up to date. You’ll want to import to the Templateless Product Data import (make sure the headers on the file match the template you exported in Step 7).
Disconnect existing connections to marketplaces
Bad things can happen if Zentail and another system (or person) are trying to make different updates, or both process orders. You want to disconnect any existing softwares or workflows that could cause issues early in the go-live.
With some systems, delisting products or disabling feeds causes them to delete products. As a result, generally the safest thing to do is to just break the connection between the old software and the systems. The easiest way to do that is to either a) delete or change the API authorizations in the software and/or b) remove the app from the marketplace itself.
For ShipStation the simplest option is to make your old stores inactive. (Settings > Selling Channels > Edit > Active Checkbox). This does remove that stores orders from being factored into the sales history in ShipStation, but if you do not do reporting in ShipStation it shouldn’t be an issue. As the final step we recommend breaking the integration credentials between ShipStation and the different sales channels it is connected to, so that new [duplicate] orders don't come in.
Turn on Zentail Workflows
For most marketplaces (ie. Amazon, eBay) and webstores (i.e. Shopify, BigCommerce) this involves simply toggling to Production Mode on your Integration Settings. Once in production mode Zentail will start to send data to the marketplace depending on what feeds are enabled.
For fulfillment integrations like ShipStation and ShipWorks you’ll want to check off what sales channels you plan to fulfill out of your warehouse. For ShipStation you’ll also want to select what store you want to send each channel’s orders into (a popular option is to create a Zentail manual store for all channels).
For inventory integrations like SkuVault if you plan to feed orders into SkuVault from Zentail you’ll want to enable orders. Important! If you do not plan on scanning items in SkuVault to complete orders (the QC process) you’ll want to make sure the “Skip QC” option is checked on your SkuVault integrations page in Zentail and ask SkuVault support to turn Auto Remove on in SkuVault. More detail is available in SkuVault’s help article.
For 3PLs like Amazon FBA MCF, Deliverr, or ShipBob you’ll want to enable the warehouses associated with those 3PLs for your desired sales channels. Learn more enabling warehouses on a per channel basis here. Once you’ve enabled your warehouses, Zentail will start automatically routing orders according to your Warehouse Priority preferences, which you can review on your Company Settings. Learn more about how Zentail routes orders here.
If you had any orders that came after you disconnected your previous connections but before you enabled Zentail, you might need to reroute those orders to your 3PL in order to get the shipped. Learn how to manually reroute an order here.
Congrats! 🎉 You've gone live with Zentail! 🎉 As always, if anything comes up you can reach out to [email protected] or chat in by clicking the Ziggy icon on the lower right and selecting “Open a Ticket”.