A detailed explanation of Product Records in eTail Support

Why do we store product records in etail Support? #

When you use eTail Support as the business management system for your online retail business you can use the product records stored in eTail Support become your master product records.

You can use the data in eTail Support as a central repository of product information, images and videos which are then used (or not used) in all of your different sales channels.

The product information stored in the system incudes basic data like the product name, your part code for the product, it’s size and weight when it is packed for shipment and the description of the item. The product record is also used to store the selling price of the item in your Accounting Currency and all your trading currencies as well as the price that you expect to pay for the next item of this type that you buy which we call the ‘Expected Next Cost’ . Expected next Cost is really important to the way that eTail Support helps you to calculate selling prices so we should spend some time explaining what it is and how you should use it.

How do I see a list of my products in etail Support? #

First of all you need to log into your account at https://app.etailsupport.com then go to the left hand menu and select ‘Products’ to open up the Products menu, then select ‘Product Records’ to see the ‘List & Search Products Page

From the List & Search products page you can add a new product manually using the blue ‘+New’ button at the top right. Pressing the ‘+ New’ button will bring up a new page – the ‘Add a Product Record’ page – which is essentially a blank form that you can fill out to create a new Product Record

Top tips ….– At the bottom of our list & search pages you will find a set of controls that allow you to see the total number of records that match your search, to change the number of items displayed on a single page and to move between different pages of data

You can also open a page to edit an existing product by finding it in the product list and selecting the blue ‘edit’ button to the right of the line showing your item.

How do I delete a product in etail Support? #

You can also delete SOME products on this page by pressing the blue ‘delete’ button – but note that the delete button is only available for products that have never been used in an order or booked into stock.

Products that have been used in a customer order, a purchase order or that have had items booked into stock can not be deleted as this would ruin the integrity of the historical records that they are a part of.

You can however set a product to Product Status = ‘Discontinued’ to show that it is no longer a current product.



required fields in a product record #

The only fields that you need to fill out to create a valid product record are

1.Product Name (so we know what to call it on orders, invoices etc)
2.Main Selling Price in your accounting currency
3.Expected Next Cost Price

With those three pieces of data, you can create a simple product record – but its really helpful to add a few extra fields if you can.

Stock Codes and EAN Codes #

Each product record has four fields where you can store part numbers or identification codes.

 Warehouse Stock Code (SKU)
 EAN Code (also knows as UPC code in the USA)
 Seller Integration SKU
 Manufactures SKU

Warehouse Stock Code and EAN code

The warehouse Stock Code and EAN code are normally shown on the outside of each product as both text and as a bar code. They can be used to identify items with a barcode scanner when you ship them. By setting these codes in the product record you can use barcode based shipping to ensure that you always send the correct items out on each order.

Seller Integration SKU

The Seller Integration SKU is used to identify your product when orders are transferred over to eTail Support from sales platforms such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy or Amazon.

This should be set to match the SKU that you use on these platforms.

You can add extra Integration SKUs for specific platforms if you use different SKUs on different sales platforms but this is the default – so you should set it to the one that you use most.

Product weights, dimensions and other shipping details #

There are two fields where you can enter the weight of the product.

Net Weight is the weight of the actual item without packaging. It is used in some international shipment customs declarations.

Shipping Weight is the weight of the item with packaging as it would be shipped to a user, this is used by the system to help choose the best value shipping option for your orders.

Both weights are entered in Kg – for information 1kg = 2.2lbs

The dimensions of the product are set in cm

For irregular items the dimensions are set to the dimensions of the smallest box that would fit around the product. Along with the shipping weight, the dimensions are used by the system to help choose the best value shipping option for your orders.

Country of Origin and HS code are required for most international shipments, country of origin is set from a drop down, HS code is set as free text, you can look up HS codes for your products here https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/browse

Setting the Main Selling Price #

Every Product must have a main selling price set. Main Selling Price is always in your accounting currency.

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It is used as the default price when an order for the product is entered manually and it can be used to populate the selling price for the product on any linked sales platforms (Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay etc) that use your accounting currency.

There are two ways to set the Main Selling Price, you can enter it manually or you can set it as a percentage mark up over the Expected Next Cost of the item. If you choose to set the price by a markup you obviously also need to enter the markup margin as a % in the box below the selling price field. The price will then be updated every time that the Expected Next Cost is changed manually, by placing a purchase order for the item or when a supplier invoice for the item is entered.

Prices that are generated by a markup over cost can be ‘ugly’ – you may choose to fix that by rounding the price.


Extra Selling Prices #

The main selling price of your product will always be set in your accounting currency. The system will add a separate selling price to each product record for each of the trading currencies that you set up in business settings.

This example shows a system with GBP as the accounting currency and USD and EUR as additional trading currencies.

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By default, each selling price will be set as a direct conversion from the main selling price using the exchange rate set according to your choices in business settings. To leave it this way leave ‘Price Setting Method’ set to Auto – convert from main selling price.

Alternatively, there are two other ways to set the selling price in each currency – you can set it Manually (choose ‘Price Setting Method’ = ‘Set this price manually’) or you can convert it from the main selling price, but then add a markup percentage. This is useful if you want to raise your foreign currency price to take account of exchange rate costs, extra shipping costs or taxes.

Sometimes conversions result in prices that are ‘ugly’ – so you have the option to make the system round the calculated prices off if you prefer.

The transactional currency prices can be used for sales in those currencies directly or they can form the basis for your selling prices on sales platforms that use those currencies.

An explanation of ‘Expected Next Cost” #

Every product must have an ‘Expected Next Cost’ – it’s a required field in the product record.

Expected Next Cost is the TOTAL price that you expect to pay for the NEXT item of this product that you buy – we call it this, because the next price that you pay may be different from the prices that you have already paid for the items in your stock.

What is Expected Next Cost? #

I’m going to answer that question with a question – what is the cost of a product? – The answer can be a lot more complex than you might imagine, let me explain.

eTail Support is a tool for helping you to track AND CONTROL the profitability of your business, to do that you need to understand the actual costs that your business has incurred in the past and to predict what the costs will be in the future.

If you buy a thing for $10 and then sell it for $15 you have a pretty good idea what the cost of that item was and what the profit on the sale was, but that’s a really simplistic example, in the real world the calculation gets a LOT messier. Let’s take a much more realistic example.

You buy 1,000 widgets from a supplier in China for $5 each, then ship them to the UK by sea at a cost of $750 for the shipping, your customs broker and handling agent at the port charge you a total of £475.35 for unpacking the container clearing customs, paying import duty and delivering the goods to your warehouse – whats the cost per item of those widgets? And if you want to make a 45% gross profit on the sale of each item how much do you need to charge in USD, EUR and GBP respectively?

Then to make it even more complex, you order another 1,000 while you still have 300 in stock and these cost you $6.25 each.

Expected Next Cost is used to recognise that the price you should use to calculate the selling price in this scenario is the most recent cost – not the actual price that you paid for the goods in stock right now.

Expected Next Cost can be MANUALLY updated at any time and it can also be AUTOMATICALLY updated when you place a purchase order for an item or when you enter a supplier invoice for the item.

Expected Next Cost can be used to AUTOMATICALLY set your Main Selling Price as a mark up over Expected Next Cost, this is very useful for products where the cost price can vary significantly and you want to reflect the market price in your selling price.

Description and Auto Translations tab #

There is a box on the ‘edit order’ page where you can enter the product description to be used on sales platforms or simply for your own information and that of your employees and partners. A picture containing table
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The box provided can be used to enter text in a normal WISIWIG style or you can enter HTML text directly.

Once the product record has been saved, you can then move over to the ‘Translations’ tab and have both the product name and description (in HTML) translated into any language that you like.

You can then use these translations on sales platforms targeted at customers who use other languages.

adding Images & Videos to your product records #

You can add as many images and video links to your product as you like using the two big blue buttons a the bottom of the product page.

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Images are stored in the eTail Support database, video links are also stored in the database – but the video itself must be hosted on an external platform like YouTube or Vimeo which will in turn provide the video link

You Need to save the product record before you can access the features provided on the extra tabs #

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When you open up the ‘Add a Product’ page, only the fields on the ‘Basic Info’ tab will be available –to access functions on the other tabs, like translations etc, you need to first save the product record, then open up the ‘Edit Product’ page for the product to access the extra function on the tabs


Notes tab #

Once the Product record is created the system will generate a note to record who created the Product record and when – you can see that on the Product Notes tab.

You can also add your own text notes as reminders to yourself or your colleagues with regard to this product.

Text notes are not used by the system, they are only for humans!


Master Cartons #

The EAN code and SKU in the product record are used, when shipping an order, to add a single item of the product in question to the number of items shipped with the order.

The EAN or SKU is normally shown on the outside of the product as a barcode, you scan the barcode to enter the EAN or SKU into the shipping page each time you want to add a product to the order.

The Master Carton functionality allows you to set up other SKUs that are used to identify whole cartons of product, when you define a master carton, you enter the SKU (this is normally shown on the outside of the master carton as a barcode as well) and the number of items that are found in the master carton.

Scanning one of these codes while shipping an order will add the number of items that you define in the master carton record to the order.

So, if you have to ship an order for 100 items and they come in master cartons of 25, then you only need to scan 4 master cartons, rather than 100 individual items – saving you lots of time and making shipping much easier.

Product Groups #

When you set up a new product you can define it as a part of a ‘product group’ – this is a group of products that share the same basic features like a group of tee shirts in different sizes and colours that are otherwise all the same.

Each item in a group still has its own name, SKUs, EAN and prices, so from a warehouse and accountancy point of view they are all separate product but the group can be displayed in a single listing on a sales platform like Shopify or ebay with options for colour and size which makes the sales offering look more professional.

Once a product is created it can have new items added to it to form a group, but it can not be added to a group that already exists.

Serial Number Tracking #

On the Product details page you will see a tick box that is labeled ‘Add Manual Serial Numbers for this Item’

If you want to track the serial numbers of the products that you buy and sell under this product code you should tick this box in the product record.

The consequences of doing that will be

1.You will be required to enter the serial numbers of the items that you book into the sytem when you book them in.
2.You will be required to enter the serial numbers of items that you send out when you send them out.

If you leave this box unchecked the system will automatically generate ‘hidden’ serial numbers for each item that you book in and it will allocate them to orders on a “first in, first out” basis.

How do I Merge two product records in etAIL sUPPORT? #

It is not unusual for the system to end up with two product records which are actually for the same product – this normally happens as a result of a misconfiguration of the link between a sales platform and etail Support resulting in two products with slightly different SKUs being created.

When this happens, the system allows you to merge the two records together to do this first open up the ‘MASTER’ product – the one with the most accurate and complete product information and then press the blue ‘Merge Product’ button at the bottom of the edit product page on the right.

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This will open up a pop up search window where you can find the product that you want to merge with the master product and then confirm the merger.

Upon merging the two items the detailed of the second product will be combined into the first product.

Any field of the second product record that is blank in the first will be copied over to the merged item, any data that conflicts will not be changed.

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