In your control panel, you can find the import tool at Catalog → Products → Import products.
Import file format specification
Essentially, CSV is plain text, thus you can use any text editor for creating or editing CSV files. On the other hand, spreadsheet editors provide better editing experience. Currently, the most powerful and convenient tools are OpenOffice, MS Excel and Google Docs. We should note that Excel (especially its old versions) doesn’t open CSV files properly in some cases. There are a number of workarounds, however we recommend using Google Docs to edit & save your CSV import files.
Each line in a CSV file represents the properties of a certain item (e.g. a product, an order item or a customer) separated with a delimiter. The same delimiter should be used for the whole file.
The very first line in a CSV file can contain column names, for example:
Export always puts column names to the first line. As to import, it supports both formats (with or without column names line). Our import dialog has a relevant option - "Skip first line". If this option is selected, the system just skips the first line in the file without any verification. If "Skip first line" option is off, it means that the whole file contains data, and the system checks every line.
Data columns separators (delimiters)
We support three CSV value separators:
We support three different line separators for CSV files:
- \r\n - Windows
- \n - Unix, Linux, MacOS X
- \r - classic MacOS
The system automatically recognizes file line separators, you do not need to set it up or adjust it in any way.
The Webydo Store supports more than 10 charsets, such as UTF-8, UTF-16, US-ASCII, etc. If all your products and categories are in English, you don't need to set anything. Use the default encoding settings ("UTF-8") and all the information will be imported correctly. If you want to import a CSV file with non-English characters, we strongly recommend you to use the UTF-8 encoding for your CSV file. If you cannot use UTF-8 for your CSV file for some reason but use some other encoding, you will need to set the correct encoding in the import settings. Otherwise, the information will not be imported correctly.
There are two strict requirements for number format in import:
- The decimal mark (decimal separator) must be a dot (.)
- A number must not contain thousand separators
The store recognises 16 columns in the CSV file, their descriptions are below:
How can I import product options?
The options are rather complex properties of the products, and it is hardly possible to put them into the same plain table, as described above. So we do not allow importing product options using the CSV format described here yet.
Can I import products from other file formats?
Yes, you can import your products in X-Cart and LiteCommerce formats.
Can I import categories?
Webydo doesn't allow importing categories using its format yet. However, you can import categories using CSV files in X-Cart format.
When I import a CSV file, it shows that the import will take a few hours, however usually it takes about 5 minutes. Why?
Import process is a quite long and resource consuming procedure. Thus it can affect server performance, so all the other stores which use the same server can load slower because of that. We don't want this. We want to make sure, that all the stores are always loaded quickly. So we have implemented a smart way to import products from different stores. How it works (in a nutshell):
- If many users are trying to import products at the same time on the same server, we don't start to process import jobs simultaneously. All the import files are put into a queue and are processed sequentially, one by one.
- If a server load is too high for some reason, all the import jobs are stopped temporarily. We will continue to import products automatically, once the server load becomes normal.
- Depending on the server load and the length of the import queue, we calculate the approximate ETA of import start. It isn't 100% exact, but gives a conception when your file will be processed.
As a result, even if 100 users decide to import 20,000 products each at the same time, all the other stores will work without any delays or slow downs.
In your particular case we assume that the import queue has already had a bunch of files to import and the server load has been a bit high. So it has taken longer than usual to import your file.
What does "skip column" option mean?
The "skip column" options in the import settings dialog are necessary when your CSV file has some columns that cannot be processed by Webydo, and you for some reason don't want to modify your CSV file. So, just enable the "skip column" option and Webydo will ignore the corresponding column in the CSV file.
In most cases issues with CSV import in your store are related to one of the following:
- invalid CSV file format,
- import settings that you chose in the control panel do not correspond to the file content
Please look at these screenshots. There you can see an example of a CSV file content and the corresponding import settings:
So, if you face any problem when importing a CSV file, you should first of all check the below points:
- Your file has CSV format. For information on what CSV format is see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values
- Your file contains only columns that are supported
- Columns that represent numeric product properties (e.g. price, quantity, etc.) contain numbers, not strings
- Columns enabled in the import settings are the same as in the CSV file. For example, if your CSV file contains SKU, name, price and weight columns, exactly the same checkboxes should be ticked in the import settings dialog (SKU, name, price, weight).
- Columns order in the CSV file corresponds the columns order in the import settings.
- The values separator (comma, semicolon, or tab) used in your CSV file corresponds the 'Delimiter' option in the import settings dialog.
- CSV file encoding is the same as the one you select in the 'Character encoding' option in the import dialog.
An error is displayed on the import page. What does it mean?
The import function may generate the following errors:
I have tried to update my products with import, but it has duplicated them. Why is that?
When updating your products with the import function, the system checks if the incoming products already exist in your inventory by their SKUs as the key field. It takes each row of the imported file and verifies whether the SKU is already present among your products. The SKU is verified word-by-word, i.e. the length and the exact characters in the SKU must match both in the imported file and in your inventory in order for it to consider this product a target for the update. If such a product is not found, it will create a new one and will store the information from that row in the new product.
So, for example, SKUs '00050' and just '50' are completely different, despite that they both may represent numeric value 50 and may look the same for humans. When you have a product with SKU '00050' in your inventory, and try to import a product with SKU '50', you will get 2 similar but separate products - because for the system those 2 SKUs are completely different.
We had a number of reports that Microsoft Excel, being overall a well-done spreadsheet editor, tends to cut off the leading zeros from the SKUs, just like in the example above. This may result in duplicating products when you quickly edit your exported inventory in Excel and import it back.
Excel automatically selects the most matching format for the columns, so if you use numeric SKUs and try to edit an exported file from your inventory in Excel, it may decide that SKUs are pure numerals and their leading zeros are meaningless.
To prevent such behavior, you can try to rename the exported *.csv files into *.txt, open them in Excel with 'Open…' menu command (not just with the double click on the file). In this case Excel will show the settings dialog, where you can select the exact type for each column; you should select the 'Text' type for the SKU column to preserve its leading zeros.
The other solution is to use OpenOffice.org free office suite to edit the *.csv files. No renaming is needed then: you can just open the *.csv files with OpenOffice spreadsheet editor and it will show the settings dialog right away. Make sure that the settings you use there produce a meaningful table of product properties for you, and the SKU codes match the ones you actually use in your shop.
Product images failed to import. Why?
In some cases everything is imported fine except for the product images. If you face such a problem, please follow these troubleshooting steps:
1. Check whether the images URLs you put in your CSV file are correct and accessible on the web.
The images prepared for import have to be available by direct links, e.g. 'http://example.com/images/product_1.jpg'. To check it you can try to open an image URL in your browser: if the image is opened without asking for password or login, it can be included into the import file.
2. Make sure each product image URL leads directly to the image file, not to an HTML page that contains the image.
For example, if you upload your images to some image hosting like Flickr and want to include their URLs to your CSV import file, you have to use the direct links (e.g.http://example.com/image.jpg) , not just URLs of HTML pages that display that image (e.g. http://example.com/image_page.html) . How to get such a direct link from an HTML page containing the image:
- open the page in your browser
- right-click on the displayed image
- the mouse context menu will likely contain a point like 'Copy image URL' . This URL will work unless it is protected by your account login.
I use non-English characters in my product names and descriptions. When I export them to a CSV file and open it in Excel, it doesn't show these characters correctly.
Your export contains all the information in UTF-8. This encoding is widely used and is already a standard for web applications, because it can work with all the languages. Therefore, for example, you can have a part of your product description in French and the other part - in Japanese.
However, if you use a non-English version of Excel, it may expect your CSV file to be in a different encoding, for example in the encoding of your national language. Thus, non-ASCII symbols will be corrupted. In order to fix this issue take these steps:
- Launch Excel.
- Go to the "Data → From text" page (if you use localized Excel, the actual menu items` names may vary). Open your CSV file.
- The "Text Wizard" window will appear. Set the correct delimiter and charset (use "UTF-8")
All decimals are rounded to nearest integers after importing a CSV file. Why?
Such issues are caused by incorrect number format used in the import CSV file, e.g. when you use a comma as a decimal separator (it must be a dot).
When I open a csv file in Libre Office, the SKU looks different. Why?
If your SKU is a long combination of numbers, like 23794309283364723, Libre Office automatically sets the column format to "Numbers", "thinks" that the SKU is a number and rounds it. For example, the SKU of a product in Control panel looks like this: 8829404463829104801. If you export orders and open the csv file in Liber Office, then the Sku will look like this in the cell: 8829404463829110000 and like this in the preview line at the top: 8.82940446382911E+018, see the screenshot:
To avoid it and make the SKU display as it is in Control panel, you should change the format of the column with SKUs. Here is how: