Q: How can I easily import data into my shop? I want to quickly create lots of products.
The import/export module allows you to import/export customers, products, product-category assignment, as well as content pages. It can be reached from the following menus: Customers > Import/Export, Products > Import/Export and Content > Import/Export.
Q: How does it work?
The basic concept when importing data is simple. First export your data, and then use this file as a template for entering or editing your data. Afterwards, you simply import this file back into our shop.
Q: Why do we do it like this? Why can I not just import data directly into my shop?
The import fields (the column names in our spreadsheet) must match exactly the names of the fields in our shop database. If they do not, then the import will not work. With our export template, we are guaranteeing that all the fields will be imported correctly.
Q: So how do I do it?
1. Navigate to the import/export module
2. Select the items you wish to import, e.g. products
3. Select the formatting; this determines how particular data is formatted. For example, if we selected English/US, the dates would be formatted as MM/DD/YY not DD/MM/YY.
4. Select the encoding. If you have special characters in your database, such as the Euro symbol, you should select UTF8, otherwise ISO is fine. If you are unsure, choose ISO, if an error shows, then simply switch to UTF8.
5. Select the delimiter. This is how each column of data will be separated. Unless you have good reason to do so, leave it as Comma.
6. Select the language. If you have multiple languages in your shop you can select whether you wish to export all or one of the languages.
7. Click export.
8. Save the file, do not open it.
9. Make your changes, save the file again and import the file back into your shop, ensuring all the settings are the same as when you exported.
10. Repeat this process if you want to import customers and content.
Q: Any tips on working with the import file?
Create some products in your shop first before trying your first export/import. If you are going to create product types, do this also and assign at least one product to every product type. This will make working with the import file much easier.
Do not change any of the column headings, in particular the ID Alias heading. Also, do not change data entered in the ID column, as this field determines if a product does/does not already exist. If you change an existing ID value, an additional product will be created when you re-import the data.
Q: How can I just update stock levels?
You can easily hide the columns you will not be working with to make editing easier (In excel right click onto a column and select Hide). Just hide all the columns except ID, name, stock level and you can easily make the changes.
Q: When I open the import file in Excel, some of the data changes. For example, I had a product with an id of 00012345, now it has become 12345. How can I stop this?
Unfortunately when excel opens the file it tries to guess what the data type of each column is. Annoyingly, sometimes it guesses incorrectly! In this example it has guessed that the ID column is numerical and so has formatted 00012345 as 12345.
You can stop this by importing our import file into excel.
1. Export your products as explained above, taking care to save the file. Do not open it, as once it has opened Excel will format the data accordingly.
2. Open a new worksheet in excel
3. Navigate to Data > From Text
4. Select the original export file. Click OK
5. Select Delimited as the File type that best describes your data
6. Ensure that the File Origin matches the encoding in our import file e.g. UTF8. (Excel will usually guess this correctly). Click Next
7. Select Comma as delimiter, ensuring that no other box is checked. Select Text Qualifier and Click Next
8. Select any columns in data preview that contain numbers, and change the data format to Text. Click Finish. Click OK
9. Once you have finished editing/updating the file you must save your worksheet as a CSV file. The shop will only allow a CSV file to be imported.