The Internet Presence, LLC

Web Design, Web Marketing, and Web Hosting

Race Driven Project

Posted on February 17, 2016 18 comments

NOTE: This page is not linked to from my website!

Hello Ashley and Michael,

I am the new contact person for working on Race Driven’s new website. Pasted below is a shortened version of the filtered navigation that Race Driven wants.

As you can see the first filter is selecting the “Machine Type” which will have the choices ‘ATV/UTV’, ‘MX/Offroad’, and ‘Street’.

The second filter will be the make which will pop up a list depending upon what is selected under “Machine Type”. For example if someone selected the machine type ‘ATV/UTV’ then (Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, and Yamaha) would pop up under the “Make” for ATV/UTV. And if someone selected “MX/Offroad” then the following makes will pop up. (Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha).

The third filter would be the year which would bring up (show) different models according to the year selected.

The fourth filter would be Model. After the fourth filter is selected then a list of parts would be shown for that particular model, year, make, and machine type that was selected.

Attached to this email is a larger sample than what is pasted below for reference.

It is requested that no parts show up until all four filters are selected.

One of the difficult things to keep in mind is that some of the parts are only available for half of the year. For example a part applies to January to September of 2005 and then October to December it switches to another part number. In cases like it is requested that on those parts we leave a message to double check if the part number is right because it is a “Split Year”. Another option if feasible is the make the category year in half? For example 2005 (1) and 2005 (2)?

If it is too much to ask for just let me know.

Brian are there enough “half-year” parts to warrant this?

Michael (Alexis) and Ashley, does Big Commerce need to supply Nextopia with a master template to work off of from?

Ashley and Michael (Alexis), can Nextopia work off of a spreadsheet like I supplied in this email? Would a spreadsheet template like the one I supplied to this email work with Big Commerce Michael?


The difficulty I see is that when a spreadsheet with new prices, makes, models, descriptions, etc. is uploaded to Channel Advisor which in turns supplies the information to Big Commerce, Ebay, Sears, Amazon, etc. would this effect the custom tiered, filtered navigation that Nextopia is going to develop?

Will or can the custom navigation have to rely upon changes uploaded to Channel Advisor which will change the info on various sites like Ebay, Sears, amazon, etc.?

Since the machine type, make, year, and model will NEVER change will it make a difference?

Also, when new years are added with new parts how is this going to affect displaying them on the website along with Nextopia’s custom menu?

Is the Nextopia custom filtered tiered menu going to be directly fed or affected by product change uploads is the big question here.

Please visit this page ( and create accounts so that we can discuss this matter more easily and view everyone’s comments as a discussion board to save time.


Machine Type Make Year Model
ATV / UTV Arctic Cat 2004 DVX 400 2X4
2005 250 2X4
250 4X4
300 4X4
400 2X4
400 4X4
500 4X4
650 V2 4X4
DVX 400 2X4
TBX 400 4X4
TBX 500 4X4
TRV 500 4X4
Can-Am 2000 <enter model here>
2001 <enter model here>
Honda <enter years here> <enter model here>
Kawasaki <enter years here> <enter model here>
Polaris 1989 <enter model here>
1990 <enter model here>
Suzuki 1985 <enter model here>
1986 <enter model here>
1987 <enter model here>
Yamaha 1982 <enter model here>
1983 <enter model here>
1984 <enter model here>
MX / Offroad Honda 1979 <enter model here>
1980 <enter model here>
Kawasaki 1978 <enter model here>
1979 <enter model here>
KTM 1990 <enter model here>
1991 <enter model here>
Suzuki 1978 <enter model here>
1979 <enter model here>
Yamaha 1974 <enter model here>
1975 <enter model here>
Street <enter make here> <enter year here> <enter model here>

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Thank you for your business!

Too often we fail to take the time to say THANKS. Please be sure we do not take your business for granted…we do appreciate you!The Internet Presence, LLC
Phone: (906) 399-7328

Toll Free:(800) 517-4793
P.O. Box
, MI 49886


  1. adminwebseoguy / February 17th, 2016 20:11

    Hello everyone, by using this page we can see the comments by everyone and discuss this easier instead of going through emails looking for them. Also, it will be printed here for record which a conference call cannot do. But a conference call will probably be needed and I will enter the notes from the conference call here if needed.

  2. Brian Heiting / February 18th, 2016 15:28

    The half year will not be a problem as we currently list them on ebay/amazon/sears etc it will just have 2 different product offerings for that year one will state through jun etc or after jun etc

  3. Michael Rock / February 18th, 2016 15:43

    Michael Putnam left me this message:

    Good morning Michael and team,

    I spoke with Ashley a few minutes ago and the questions presented in this email will addressed by the Nextopia team. She is scheduling a call with her team this afternoon.

    I also wanted to provide you with some additional resources as you work thorough getting the site transitioned over to Bigcommerce.
    Bigcommerce Support
    You now have access to our Support team, 24/7
    They can be reached at (888) 699-8911
    Bigcommerce University
    This is a great resource when you are starting out to learn to easily navigate the Bigcommerce back-end.
    Bigcommerce Front-End Developer Kit
    Also, you have access to our Bigcommerce Consulting services. To contact the BC consulting team, you will need to email them at with a description of you are looking to accomplish. The team will assign the request to the best consultant to assist, and that will reach out to you.

    The Bigcommerce Consulting team will be able to:
    Advise on third party services, apps and partners to leverage the platform to strengthen you business infrastructure in order to optimize your customers’ online shopping experience.
    Keep you informed with upcoming Bigcommerce features.
    Listen to your feedback and advocate on behalf of your business.
    As a last note, I wanted to let you know that I will be leaving Bigcommerce as of Friday, February 19th. I was presented an incredible opportunity in an unrelated field that I can’t pass up. I still love Bigcommerce and believe in the product, but I need to do what is best for my a career and future.

    I am confident that your site will be successful on Bigcommerce!

    Thank you!

    Michael “Putty” Putnam
    Account Executive, Enterprise Sales
    P (512) 865-4498
    A 11305 Four Points Drive, Building II, Third Floor | Austin, TX 78726

  4. Coruy Shaw / February 18th, 2016 18:32


    Instructions on launching a Big Commerce store can be found here:

    Some of my customers using a 3rd party for advanced search are setting up a flex feed to send a product feed to nextopia. You can see how to access flex feeds here:

    I hope that helps.



  5. Michael Rock / February 18th, 2016 20:02

    Here are the results of the meeting that I had with Nextopia:

    There are two ways to have the menu update automatically as we add, delete, or edit products.

    One is using flex feed through Big Commerce where it grabs the information from a ftp or html link that has the information in a spreadsheet, .csv, or .txt file telling Nextopia how to display the menu. Every time we update this spreadsheet the menu will automatically update as well by a time set up in flex feed.

    The other way to have Nextopia update it’s menu is to provide them with an API (a small program to tell Nextopia what to do) which will direct a location such as a .csv or .txt file (downloaded from a spreadsheet) to tell the menu how to display itself. This option will be much easier on my part because there are not as many settings as the first option and I do not have to create the API. All I have to do is supply Nextopia with the API Path and API token then they will take care of the rest.

    Nextopia sent me a template to fill in to set up the menu for them along with instructions on how to get the API path and token.

    Obviously, to test out the navigation we will have to have a test site set up for Big Commerce and we will have to give Nextopia access to this test site as well.
    Is there a test site set up already?

    Once the navigation is set up it will be supplied as an iframe to add to the website and we will be supplied with an css editor to change the look of the menu.

    After the search is done in the iframe and a particular product is clicked on it goes to a page on the website. The search engines have difficulty with crawling iframes on websites and is usually not recommended but we can still pick up traffic for the particular pages that are gone to when the product is clicked from within the iframe. Another thing we can do is provide a link within the iframe to the home page of the site just in case the search engines index the iframe without the surrounding website.

    Step one is to find out if a test site has been created with Big Commerce
    Step two is to set the test site up
    Step three is to examine flex feed and API access to see which will work better (I’m guessing API will be the route to go)
    Step four is to submit the information in a spreadsheet format so that Nextopia can read how to set up the website’s navigation.
    Step five is to test the navigation with the test website.
    Step six will be to customize the look of the website and the navigation menu.
    Step seven will be to make the site go live.


  6. Michael Rock / February 18th, 2016 20:31

    Sent an email to the Nextopia, Brian, and Stephanie
    Hi Ashley,

    I have some questions for you.

    In the sample spreadsheet that I downloaded. This is the sample below.
    sku year make model
    abc123 2010-2015 Honda Civic
    abc123 2010 Honda Accord
    xyz123 2009|2011|2013 Ford Focus

    Does the above spreadsheet show up on the website as this?
    [Select Year] [Select Make] [Select Model]

    This is how Race Driven would like to have it show up as.
    Machine Type Make Year Model
    ATV / UTV Arctic Cat 2004 DVX 400 2X4

    They want it to show up on there website like this.
    [Select Machine Type] [ Select Make] [Select Year] [Select Model]

    Would this be possible to do for your spreadsheet?
    Can the order (year, make, model by changed to make, year, model) of the selections be changed?
    Can another selection (Machine Type) be added?

    Otherwise Brian if we cannot add another column we may have to do the column ‘Make’ like these:
    Arctic Cat (ATV/UTV)
    Honda (ATV/UTV)
    Honda (MX/Offroad)

    Thank you Ashley for answering my questions. It looks like there is a test store set up already.
    Hi Michael,

    No problem! Yes you can add an additional column for machine type and also rearrange the order they are in.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto

  7. Ashley Bortolotto / February 18th, 2016 20:34

    2/18/2016 – received email
    Hi Michael,

    First of all what we will need from you guys is a standard feed, which you can utilize our BigCommerce API for. You can find instructions here on how to do this:
    Creating a BigCommerce Legacy API Account
    Once done, please supply us with the following information,
    API Path
    API Token

    Secondly, we will need a supplemental Fitment data feed for your Product Finder. The specifications on how to put this feed together can be found here. If you have any questions on how to set this up please be sure to let us know.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto

  8. Ashley Bortolotto / February 18th, 2016 20:35

    2/18/2016 – received email
    Just as a point of clarification, as mentioned on the phone call, the API feed we extract from BigCommerce will form the basic information for your products (name, sku, price, etc), but in addition to this, we will also need a custom feed for year, make, model, etc.

    This second feed will have to match to our specifications here.

    Both the API information and the secondary feed, based on those specifications, need to be provided for this to work properly.


  9. Michael Rock / February 18th, 2016 20:39

    So do you need one feed or two feeds? Or are you saying the first feed’s source is from the API?

  10. Ashley Bortolotto / February 19th, 2016 16:10

    Hi Michael,

    That’s correct, the first feed is provided to us through the API.

    So we need two things:

    1. the API information which I provided instructions on how to get in my initial email. This will provide us with your basic BigCommerce product data feed

    2. The fitment feed which will provide us with the year/make/model information.

    Hope this clarifies a bit.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto

  11. Brian Heiting / February 22nd, 2016 16:47

    So Michael, I have been thinking about this since last night, if we are going to have to do this for every sku this is not the route we want to go! The way I was told from Channel and Big Commerce was that we would just need to make the listings in Channel and it would be directed to the website etc we cannot be making separate spreadsheets etc etc etc all products get uploaded to channel first to go out to ebay and amazon etc if we are going to have to do a whole separate route to list on the website then I do not see needing channel for it and it totally defeats the purpose!

    – Brian

  12. Michael Rock / February 22nd, 2016 17:00

    Hello Everyone,

    Please read Brian’s concern above.

    Nextopia uses an api to draw information from Big Commerce from the menu and in addition needs a spreadsheet to draw from for the menu itself.

    Please clarify what information the api draws from Big Commerce and explain what information is used from the second spreadsheet we upload. I am guessing just the result of the selections when picked from the download menu that Big Commerce could not provide.

    Would using flexfeed via Big Commerce get rid of the need for two spreadsheets? I’m guessing that it would not.

    When you were explained that you did not need extra spreadsheets for listing the products on ebay, amazon, etc. this was true. But if you want a custom navigation on the website to display only certain parts for certain makes and models then an extra spreadsheet is needed.

    Ashley and Michael,
    Please verify that the extra spreadsheet is only needed for the creation of the custom menu.

    Is it difficult to add the sku to the extra (2nd spreadsheet)? The rest looks pretty easy to do.

    What purpose does the sku have in the spreadsheet for the custom navigation. Please clarify.

    Remember to use and view the comments back and form at so that we do not get lost in the conversation.


  13. Michael Rock / February 23rd, 2016 15:58

    Would using flexfeed via Big Commerce get rid of the need for two spreadsheets? I’m guessing that it would not.

    -Can you send us the flex feed to review? If this is the “Custom Filter Navigation” file you sent on the 17th, this is not in the correct format so we can’t use it. If it is in fact in a format that matches our fitment feed specs, then we can use it. Just to clarify however, either way, we don’t need you to create 2 spreadsheets. We just need the API key and this will pull the first spreadsheet so you will just need to supply us with one. We do need this one spreadsheet though to move forward with the parts finder.

    Michael Replied

    Ashley Replied
    -Do you have an excel spreadsheet with the flex feed completed? Or do you mean you will be referring to this documentation when building it.

    Michael Replied
    No, I don’t have a completed excel spreadsheet it was for the documentation to see if this would solve this problem. Please watch the video at and let us know. It looks like it would solve all of our problems because we can add the SKU and create custom fields to export it in the format that you want.

    Brian, I tried logging into Channel Advisor to see what type of file it exports too such as .csv or .txt but couldn’t log in with the information provided to me.

  14. Michael Rock / February 23rd, 2016 15:59

    What purpose does the sku have in the spreadsheet for the custom navigation. Please clarify.
    We need the SKU to identify the product in the feed

    Michael Replied
    Can we just make up any SKU here? Or does it have to match the SKU used in Big Commerce?

  15. Michael Rock / February 23rd, 2016 16:04

    When you were explained that you did not need extra spreadsheets for listing the products on ebay, amazon, etc. this was true. But if you want a custom navigation on the website to display only certain parts for certain makes and models then an extra spreadsheet is needed.

    Brian Replied
    This has been a ongoing process for too long to remember the exact explanation but we are using Channel to upload our listings to our market places, Channel works with Big Commerce and Big Commerce stated they used Nextopia for a YMM search so my understanding is everything works hand in hand

    Michael Replied
    Perhaps he was mentioning the flexfeed that I was talking about. Ashley, please review the link I provided for the flexfeed.

  16. Michael Rock / February 23rd, 2016 16:06

    Is it difficult to add the sku to the extra (2nd spreadsheet)? The rest looks pretty easy to do.

    Brian Replied,
    Yes it is, when you consider over 30,000 skus that are combined with other skus to make into kits etc etc etc and with 10’s of thousands being added for 2016 and it completely defeats the purpose, I am using Channel Advisor to save us time, now to have to customize something for our website it doesn’t make sense to have this linked with Channel and I could have used any of a number of website companies to have a site with a YMM search if I am going to have to make separate spreadsheets or upload them on my own without using Channel Advisor

    Michael Replied,
    If the SKU does not have to match Big Commerce for the menu and that we can use anything then we can bypass this headache. Ashley please confirm if the SKU has to match Big Commerce or not.

  17. Michael Rock / February 23rd, 2016 18:35

    Hi Brian,

    I am in the middle of creating the flexfeed and need to input the categories:

    [SKU][Select Machine Type] [ Select Make] [Select Year] [Select Model]

    Attached to this email is a screenshot showing products listed in channel advisor and a pdf file showing one particular product.

    As you can see we have a column for SKU.

    The title includes the make, model, and year which needs to be divided up.

    If you scroll down the page you can see where you can enter the Make (which is not filled in), Brand (which is not filled in), Part Number (which is not filled in), Part Type (which is not filled in) and Store Category ID2 (which is not filled in).

    The Machine Type, Make, Year, and Model need to be separated (instead of all in the title) in order to use the flexfeed which brings us back to editing the spreadsheet to separate these once again that I created an estimate for you before.

    Ashley, do you concur or see a way out of this?

    Ashley Replied,
    Hi Michael,

    I do concur. Unfortunately our system can only read the data in that format, there’s no way around this on our end.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto
    Michael Replied,
    It looks like there is no way around it. The categories in the title HAVE to be separated into different columns in order for this to work. If you want the tiered custom navigation Brian you will have to have this done.

    Ashley, are there any other options?

    Ashley Replied,

    Unfortunately there are no other options. We need it this way for it to be compatible with our systems product finder. We can move forward with search and autocomplete without the Parts Finder if you’d like with no additional information/ spreadsheets.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto

  18. Michael Rock / February 24th, 2016 14:17

    Brian Asked:

    So let me ask this, we make 2500 new listings in Channel to go out to Ebay, Amazon etc I want it to go on my website what do I have to do? I just want to understand for sure are we going to have to enter into this excel spreadsheet all the info over again?

    Brian Heiting
    Ashley Replied,
    Good Morning Brian,

    If you add additional products they will just need to be added to the bottom of the excel spreadsheet, underneath the other products if you would like them to appear in the parts finder. They will also need to be added to your BigCommerce store.

    Best Regards,
    Ashley Bortolotto

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