We manage a number of WordPress WooCommerce sites and recently looked into managing WooCommerce eBay Multichannel Inventory as a centralised system. The main concern with having more than one sales channel is the risk of running short of stock, having sold the same item on more than one channel.
The following is not an exhaustive list, in fact it is limited to what we could find that seemed to fit the bill. Some of the products listed were just skimmed as there were apparent or obvious limitations.
The main criteria I used were:
- Centralised Inventory is crucial.
- Must allow for existing eBay listings and existing WooCommerce product integration without loss of data
- Must provide for eBay listing template(s) and the extended product attributes that eBay requires
- Useful to have ability for multi-item listings in eBay
There are two main types of WordPress WooCommerce plugins for centralised Inventory management.
- Fully integrated within your WordPress website with the management pages in the site.
- A SaaS application remotely hosted that keeps your data syncronised in the remote system.
WP-Lister: I have used this one for a couple of years but it was complex to manage and I stopped using it. I have given it another chance in this review.
Codisto: This was the product that I thought would work and configured a new WordPress WooCommerce install specifically to test it. Wow! What a waste of time. After this I looked for reviews in case it was just me, but TrustPilot Reviews of Codisto indicate I am not alone in my concerns. G2 Reviews of Codisto support similar comments. That said, recent updates to the Codisto site indicates that they have been bought out by Shopify and the product rebranded within the Shopify system. With WooCommerce considered a Shopify competitor the WooCommerce interface is not mentioned in the Shopify version. My guess is it will be left to wither and die. So skip Codisto regardless of how good it might appear. You should invest your time & money elsewhere.
LitCommerce : This is one of the tools that relies on a cloud-hosted platform for storing your data and providing the data feeds in and out of the connected marketplaces like eBay and WooCommerce. It has some issues. Their eBay store categories interface
is (Update: was) broken due to their developers mis-interpreting the eBayAPI instructions. (Granted, it did take me 3 or 4 reads to comprehend the language around how that field setting worked.) In any case, Store Category connections do not work at the moment and it is not because the eBay API is limited. Next up was trying to update some prices on my test listings and it cannot be done in LitCommerce. Update: After writing and posting this, I realised I was not understanding the ‘how’. Price updates are synchronised and via a template can be varied to different currencies for other channels. I am as of now a LitCommerce convert.
CedCommerce : eBay/WooCommerce plugin. First issue is that this is a one to one relationship with eBay. Only a single account can be connected. A multi-account tool is also available but with a ‘Quote Only’ price model and no real detail it might not work as expected. In any case, using the single account version, we started with a small but annoying issue. The default connection does not recognise the eBay Business Policies for the account. This means that the plugin starts by prompting for the manual configuration of Refunds, Payments, and Shipping rules. Given that these already exist in eBay and I want them to apply automatically it is a negative from page 1. Following on I then looked at the Category mapping which LitCommerce failed on. CedCommerce operates correctly and presents all my store categories as expected, so a tick there. One annoyance is that the Store Category list is not in alphabetical order and with 75 categories it takes a bit of searching. I guess the SQL query is returned without any ‘ORDER BY’ instruction. Minor issue, but indicative of lazy coding. Next up I am mapping WooCommerce Categories to eBay Categories and this is painful. Every Category map is independent. Most of my products map into an eBay category 4 levels deep. 75 Categories x 4 means 300 selections plus scroll and click to Save. Too much time wasted. Next try to align existing eBay listings with WooCommerce listings. Nup, have to upgrade to the full product with a US$279 purchase price to see if it will work. That is not happening with a product that is already showing signs of not working. See Deactivate this on as well.
WebKul : WooCommerce to eBay connector. This is an all or nothing approach. Import All product from eBay or export to ebay. From the demo it is not apparent that products are able to be mapped or aligned where they exist in both systems already. There are Syn settings available but this appears to be after a full import / export has taken place.
Quickly dismissed were:
Dokan : This pops up when searching because the key words are same/same but this product aims to make WordPress a Marketplace for other sellers that you manage rather than MultiChannel management.
3D-Sellers : Highlighted as eBay to WooCommerce it appears to primarily use eBay as the source of truth for stock. Multiple eBay accounts cannot share stock, which means manual management of stock which is what we need to avoid.
Expandly : This is just way too costly at this stage. Review at expandly.com.
https://webappick.com/best-woocommerce-multichannel-selling-plugins/ This is a misleading review page as it is hosted by the creator of their #1 top-of-the-list product CTX Feed, so it is self-promotion.
https://wordpress.org/plugins/litcommerce/ This one looked promising
but failed with eBay shop categories. Update: After my initial post, I was contacted by LitCommerce Support to confirm a document I sent to explain how the eBay Categories worked as far as the API and in practice. Their dev team agreed with my assessment and modified the application. eBay Categories do work as expected.