At times, you may face errors in the UI stating that the system was unable to publish a certain item because the variant already exists:
Or, you can also see that the item is connected but not published in the inventory feed, and "Not published" in the main inventory section.
This can cause a number of issues with inventory syncing and orders.
What can cause this?
1) Items found in your store under the same SKU
Problem: You created the items in your store first and then tried publishing them from the vendor's inventory feed. The system prevented it because it detected they already existed in your store.
Solution: In this case, you don't need to publish them, you can just connect them. Or, alternatively, you can enable the option to "Automatically connect by SKU" under the inventory feed settings > Publishing tab:
Along with the setting "Automatically connect with inventory feed variants" under Integrations > (your store) > Inventory and Prices tab:
2) The vendor changed product information
Problem: If at some point the vendor changed some attributes in his store for a certain product (color, size, product name) the system marks those items as "no longer available" in the feed and will import the new items with the new SKUs, causing an issue of connection because the original SKU no longer exists and was replaced by a new one.
Solution: See the section "HOW TO FIX" below.
3) You added an attribute to the product in your e-commerce platform
Problem: If the vendor SKU is, for example, USA12345, and you created a color variant in your store for "Yellow", we will import a new SKU that was generated in your store which could look like USA12345-YELLOW. This will break the connection between the item in your store and the vendor's product in the inventory feed.
❗️The suffix you see after the original SKU usually tells you what changed between the moment the SKU was created and now.
Solution: Disconnect the item in the vendor's inventory feed and connect it with the new SKU in your store:
How to fix
The best approach when changes are made to the items and the connection is lost or you're unable to publish the items, is to:
1) Remove the variants from your e-commerce platform
2) Remove the variants from the main inventory section in Onport
3) Publish the items from the vendor's inventory feed
This will ensure that the process is restarted and the correct items are published and that inventory quantities and prices are constantly updated as well.
This article explains the logic behind the SKU generation in Onport.