Etsy style store functionality.

Hello. We have had so many set backs trying to complete a project for a client using Marketpress on a multisite installation. We think that our biggest roadblock is the sheer number of products. The whole network grinds to a halt when the sites start approaching 1,500 products. And, not to mention, the amount of time needed to import and update products site by site is turning out to be unmanageable.

We are now researching whether the Etsy style implementation of MarketPress would meet the client's needs better. Could you please answer our following questions to help us understand if this is feasible?

1. Can we import products to only one site to function as a base/common catalog of products, but have them visible and purchasable on all subsites?

2. If it's not possible to serve the products from one actual site, is there another way to import products and have them appear on all subsites?

3. If we can't have a shared catalog, then maybe Multisite Content Copier could help. But the last time we checked into that plugin, it seems to only add content instead of overwrite/update. Is there a way to set it to overwrite/update products instead?

4. Can each subsite create their own products in addition to the base/common catalog?

Thank you,
Mihal
(Ehventerprise LLC)

  • Nastia

    Hello Mihal, I trust you are doing well today!

    You can network enable the MekrtPress plugin and show the products by category, from all the subsites on your main site.
    To answer your first question, you can show the product items that are added to your sites on your main site.

    Once you network activate the plugin, navigate from your Network > Settings > Store > Settings, click on Index Products

    Create Global MarketPres pages:

    You can have, as well, a single, global shopping cart, visitors will be able to add items from any subsite on the network, and check out in a single place.

    I'm afraid the other way around, to show main site's products on a subsite it can't happen without a custom coding.

    2. Yes, as I have mentioned above, you can show all the product that has been added to subsites of your installation, on the main site. To activate this option, check on the Limit Global Widgets/Shortcodes To Main Blog? option in Store Network Settings.

    This will enable Global Product widgets and global shortcodes. You can use these to show the products.

    If this the answeres above is what you are looking for, I think you will not require the Multisite Content Copier to copy the products from one site to another.

    I believe this answers your questions. Let us know if you require any further information.

    Cheers,
    Nastia

  • Gilad and Mihal (Ehventerprise LLC)

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Please help us understand your answer to number 2:

    a. Are you saying that "Global Product Widgets" and "Global Shortcodes" can be used to display products on subsites? Or are they only global in the sense that they can list products from anywhere in the network, but ONLY on the main site?

    b. If it is indeed the case that these widgets and shortcodes can be used to display products on subsites, then you may be correct - we may not need Content Copier. But if this is not the case, maybe Content Copier is worth another look... As Mihal mentioned in the original post, our main concern with Content Copier was the apparent lack of "update" functionality - It seems that Content Copier only ADDS products to a site, even if those same products already exist, which means that we cannot use it to update product details unless we first delete the product that needs to be updated... Could someone please explain how Content Copier could be used for UPDATING existing products, in addition to ADDING new ones? And if this cannot be done, how would you recommend UPDATING products from a single/source/main site (or any other central source)?

    The bottom line is that we are still shopping for a solution to the original challenge: Multiple sites in a single network, with domain mapping, and some technique for forcing all sites to include some or all of the products in the main site (or any other kind of central source). If you see any way to do this, even if with different plugins than the above mentioned, please do let us know.

    Gilad (Ehventerprise LLC)

  • Nastia

    Hello Gilad, I hope you are doing well today!

    a. The global widgets and the global products, which can display products from all the Network, can only be displayed on the main site only.

    b.

    It seems that Content Copier only ADDS products to a site, even if those same products already exist

    Yes, the Multisite Content Copier plugin does not check if the same content was already added and it copies all the post types again.

    You can try to export and import the products with XML import plugin and XML export plugin.

    Multiple sites in a single network, with domain mapping, and some technique for forcing all sites to include some or all of the products in the main site (or any other kind of central source).

    You can create a ready template with the New Blog Templates plugins.

    With a New Blog Templates, the content from a site of your choice will be added will be automatically added to a new blog. The custom post types can be added too.

    If you are building a site like Etsy, you may interested in plugins like Pro Sites which will help to create a network of sites on your network, with free and premium levels for your users.

    The plugin is fully integrated with Domain Mapping, Multisite Theme Manager and New Blog Templates.

    I hope this helps!

    Kind Regards,
    Nastia

  • Gilad and Mihal (Ehventerprise LLC)

    Thank you for the additional information.

    Which XML plugin(s) are you recommending?

    To be clear, we are not committed to the Etsy model at all. So far, the only advantage that we suspect MAY apply to the Etsy model, is in reporting: If all orders from all sites are reported for easy management in the admin in a single location, this would be of value to us. Is this even the case?

    Again, the main point here is to have a shared catalog. How we get there, is of lesser concern, but if the Etsy model allows us to manage all orders from all sites in a single location, this would be a plus for the Etsy model.

    Gilad (Ehventerprise LLC)

  • Nastia

    Hello Gilad,

    My apologies for late reply.

    Which XML plugin(s) are you recommending?

    You can try to export with the XML export plugin:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-all-export/

    And import with the XML Import plugin:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-all-import/

    Personally, I think if you will have more than 10 subsites, it would take a lot of time, plus if you have a specific amount of products, copying the products to 10 subsites will tenfold your inventory.

    If all orders from all sites are reported for easy management in the admin in a single location, this would be of value to us. Is this even the case?

    With MarketPress you can enable the Global Shopping Cart option, this way the client will checkout on your main site only.
    You can enable this option from Network Admin > Store Network > General Settings tab

    Let us know if you have any further questions!

    Cheers,
    Nastia

  • Gilad and Mihal (Ehventerprise LLC)

    Thanks for the update.

    Clearly, the Global Shopping Cart will not work for us. We need all sites to have the same products, and each site needs to have it's own shopping experience.

    Let's go in a different direction: Can you provide a SQL query for dropping all products in a given site, WITHOUT affecting orders? If products that are connected to orders cannot be dropped, that would be OK, as these too would be dropped in a subsequent run of the same SQL after the orders are filled.

    If we could run this kind of query on all sites with products, the following workflow would be acceptable for us:

    1. Import products daily into one "temporary source" site. These will be mostly the same products, with only a few changes in the catalog, plus adjustments to the inventory amount for SOME of the products (the inventory changes and the occasional additions or drops of products cause the need for daily updates).

    2. Drop all products from all sites using the above described SQL (even if the few products that have orders need to be left in the products list).

    3. Use content copier to replicate product records from the "temporary source" site to all other sites.

    Again, existing orders need to be unaffected by this process.

    The above process sounds like a pain, but that pain can be mitigated if the SQL query can be run once against all sites with products (it is the same DB, after all).

    BTW - The reason we're considering a temporary source site, as opposed to a standing site, is because we've seen horrible degradation when importing and updating repeatedly to the same site. Dumping the site and creating a new copy from a template for each update, or even just once a week or so, would seem to overcome that issue as well.

    Gilad (Ehventerprise LLC)

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