Whether you’re building a brand new BigCommerce website, migrating from another platform or simply changing your existing product catalogue data, the most efficient way to update this is by importing a CSV file.
What Is A CSV File?
The acronym CSV stands for comma separated values. A CSV file is a plain text file that contains data. This data consists of values that are separated by a comma and enclosed in speech marks. A CSV file can be opened, viewed and updated in any spreadsheet application. If you’re a spreadsheet genius, you can save yourself hours updating data in these types of applications.
How To Update Your CSV File
CSV files are easily updated via a spreadsheet application, however you need to ensure that the application you are using does not strip any formatting from the data when you apply updates. Microsoft Excel is an example of an application that does this and you should avoid opening your CSV file in applications like Excel to ensure you do not corrupt your data.
Our BigCommerce development team have listed some examples of free applications below that they deem safe to use to update a CSV file:
How To Import A Product CSV Into BigCommerce
To import products to your BigCommerce store firstly export the data, choosing the ‘Bulk Edit’ template option. By doing this, your CSV file will already be populated with some of the attributes that you need to complete, saving you time, whilst also ensuring that the columns in your CSV are named correctly. This saves you the task of mapping your custom column names to BigCommerce attributes when you come to import.
To be able to import product data, you must complete the five required fields for each product:
- Product Name
- Weight (physical products only)
- Track Inventory (choose either ‘none’, ‘by product’ or ‘by option’)
Other optional fields include, but are not limited to:
- Brand Name
- Product Description
- Product Images
- Meta Data
- Sort Order
To see a full list of the fields that you are able to import via CSV, click here.
Once you’ve completed the spreadsheet, you’re ready to import it. The process is simple; go to Product > Import, complete the preferred settings under Import Options, Choose File and then Next. If you have named the columns in your data differently to those exported, you will need to map the data by selecting which column applies to which attribute in BigCommerce.
Product imports can take a few seconds or several minutes depending on how much data you are importing. To ensure a smooth import, BigCommerce recommends importing up to a few hundred products at a time.
Benefits of importing data via a csv file
Saves time: Using the CSV import option to bulk import products to your BigCommerce site, can save hours of time compared to manually adding products one by one.
Less mistakes: It also helps to ensure your product data is accurate, as mistakes can easily be made when adding products individually.
Backup: When you export your product data, you can also save a copy as a backup in case you ever lose your product catalogue.
If you need to add products to your BigCommerce site, whether you have two or 200 new products, the most efficient way to do so, is by importing a CSV file. We advise that all our clients store a master product data sheet in the cloud using a service such as Google Sheets. They can then apply mass updates to this file before importing it to their site. Keeping this spreadsheet up to date however is key to ensuring that this process works.
If you require assistance updating your product catalogue then please reach out to us today. Foundation Commerce is a small team of BigCommerce experts ready to assist you with all your technical needs. We can provide you with all the information and training you need so you easily make updates to your product catalogue yourself. Reach out today and let’s discuss your project over a coffee.