How to Import Products

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Product import is the fastest way to bulk upload or edit the goods in your catalog. In Ecwid product import is based on CSV (comma separated values) files, which can be edited as spreadsheets.

CSV file format 

A CSV file contains plain text entries separated by delimiters. Each entry represents a cell in a spreadsheet, each line represents a new row, and each delimiter (comma, semicolon or tabulation) indicates where one entry ends and another entry begins.

You can view and edit CSV files in plain text editors, e.g. Notepad for Windows, Sublime Text, TextEdit for Mac, or in spreadsheet editors like OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Sheets, which is more convenient as they present the contents in tabs.

Contents

Each line in a product import file represents a list of attributes associated with a certain product in your store like name, SKU, description, price, etc. Each attribute is separated by a delimiter (comma, semicolon or tabulation) that should be the same throughout the file.

The first line in the file can represent the column headers.

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If your file contains column headers at the first line, you should check the "Skip first line" option in the import settings, so that this line is not regarded as actual product attributes.

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Delimiters

Delimiters indicate where one product attribute ends and another one begins. Ecwid supports three delimiters in CSV files: a comma, a semicolon and a tabulation.

When you import your CSV file you should select the same delimiter as used in the file in the import settings.
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Encoding

Ecwid supports more than ten charsets, such as UTF-8, UTF-16, US-ASCII, etc. When you import your CSV file, you should select the same encoding as used in your CSV file in the settings for proper import.

If you don’t know which encoding is used in your CSV file, try to select UTF-8 which is the most universal charset.

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Numbers format

In Ecwid CSV import it is required that:

  • you use a dot (a full stop) to separate the decimals, e.g. 3.5 or 10.99
  • you do not use a thousand separator for large numbers, e.g. 1350, not 1,350
     

Product CSV file format

Product import in Ecwid recognizes twenty-one product attributes, so there can be twenty-one columns in your CSV file. Below is their description:

Column name

Type

Description

Required or Optional

Limits

SKU

String

Product SKU

At least SKU or Name field is required

255 symbols

Name

String

Product name

At least SKU or Name field is required

255 symbols

Description

String

Product description

Optional

No

Enabled

Boolean

Product availability (enabled/disabled)

Optional

"true", "yes", "on", "Y", "1" for enabled, any other values for disabled

Weight

Floating number

Product weight

Optional

Any valid floating number for weight, empty value for intangible product

Price

Floating number

Product price

Optional

Any valid floating number

Recommended price

Floating number

Product “Compare to” price

Optional

Any valid floating number

Quantity

Integer

Product quantity in stock

Optional

Any valid integer, empty value for unlimited quantity

Image

String

URL path to product image

Optional

http:// or https:// URLs are allowed

Category 1

String

Category name or path to category, to which the product belongs (e.g.Books/Science/Biology)

Optional

255 symbols for each category name in the path

Category 2

String

Path to the second category,
to which the product belongs

Optional

255 symbols for each category name in the path

Category 3

String

Path to the third category,
to which the product belongs

Optional

255 symbols for each category name in the path

Store front page

Boolean

Indicates that a product belongs to the store root category

Optional

"1" for true, "0" or empty value for false

Fixed shipping rate

Floating number

Product shipping freight value

Optional

Any valid floating number

Fixed shipping rate only

Boolean

Indicates that the product has only fixed shipping rate

Optional

 
"true", "yes", "on", "Y", "1" for true, any other values for false

UPC

String

Product 'UPC' attribute (see also: Product types and attributes)

Optional

255 symbols

Brand

String

Product 'UPC' attribute (see also: Product types and attributes)

Optional

255 symbols

Page title

String

SEO field, meta title tag

Optional

55 symbols

Meta description

String

SEO field, meta description tag

Optional

160 symbols

Width

Floating number

Product dimension for shipping calculation (see also: Product dimensions)

Optional

5 symbols

Height

Floating number

Product dimension for shipping calculation (see also: Product dimensions)

Optional

5 symbols

Length

Floating number

Product dimension for shipping calculation (see also: Product dimensions)

Optional

5 symbols

Import a CSV file

When you have a ready CSV file for importing the products to your store, you go to Catalog > Products and click "Import products".

In the import dialogue window you need to:

  1. Select the CSV file from your computer.
  2. Select the delimiter that is used in your file (a comma, a semicolon or a tabulation).
  3. Select the character encoding that is used in your file.
  4. Drag and drop the columns to set them in the same order as they are present in your file.
  5. Uncheck the columns that are not used in the file.
  6. Use the "Skip column" option, If you have up to three extra columns in the file. These columns are disregarded during import.
  7. Check the option "Delete all products and categories" before import, if you want to clear the catalog before import.
     

Get a sample CSV file for import

You can download and view a sample product CSV file to use as a template for creating your own CSV files. See the sample file attached to this article. The sample provides an example product with comma-separated values.

You can see the exact import settings for this file below:
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Common errors

You may come across the following errors during import:

In Ecwid maximum category depth is limited to 50. Your import file contains category /Category1/Category2/.../Category80, which has depth of 80. Please reduce the number of its parent categories and try again. You have too many categories nested. You need to reduce the category path.
'Category name' is too long (400 symbols). The maximum allowed length is 255 symbols.

In Ecwid category names are limited to 255 symbols maximum. Your import file contains a category name that is longer than 255 symbols.

You need to reduce the category name to 255 symbols.

Wrong columns count. You have selected 10 columns in import dialog, but the file contains only 8.

If you select 10 columns for import, each line in your file has to contain 10 values. Values may be empty (it depends on a column type), for example: sku0001;iPhone 3GS 16Gb;;;;;;;;;;;;;

You need to make sure that you select the proper number of columns.

Unsupported image format (http://www.example.com/image.psd)

Ecwid supports only JPG, BMP, PNG and GIF image file formats.

You need to make sure that you do not use unsupported image formats.

Image http://www.example.com/image.jpg is bigger than 4 Mb

Ecwid doesn't allow to upload images bigger than 4 Mb.

You need to reduce the image file size.

'SKU' or 'Name' column has to contain value

Every product line has to contain at least one value - SKU or Name. Ecwid can’t create or update a product without SKU or Name.

You need to make sure that each product line in the file contains SKU and/or Name value.

'SKU' is too long (300 symbols). The maximum allowed length is 255 symbols.

In Ecwid SKU numbers are limited to 255 symbols maximum. Your import file contains SKU numbers which are longer than 255 symbols.

You need to reduce the SKU number to 255 symbols.

'Name' is too long (350 symbols). The maximum allowed length is 255 symbols.

In Ecwid Name values are limited to 255 symbols maximum. Your import file contains Name values which are longer than 255 symbols.

You need to reduce the Name value to 255 symbols.

Incorrect 'price'/'weight'/etc value

The entry in the column has a wrong format. For example, the value contains letters, whereas only numbers are supported.

You need to make sure that you use the supported data format for each column.

Malformed image URL htp://example.com/image.jpg

The URL has a wrong format. For example:
Wrong protocol used - htp://www.example.com/image.jpg
No protocol used - www.example.com/image.jpg
The supported URL format is: [protocol]://[server]/[file path]

You need to make sure that URLs are formatted correctly.

Cannot upload image http://www.example.com/image.jpg

Ecwid can not upload the image from server example.com due to server failures, timeouts or other network problems.

You need to make sure that your image files are accessible online for download.

Ecwid has a limitation of 1000 categories per store.  In Ecwid there can be 1000 unique categories per a store. This error means that you try to import more than 1000 unique categories. You need to reduce the number of categories in your import file.  

FAQ

Can I import product options?

You can import products with options (text fields and drop-down lists) using a special X-cart format. Please, refer to this article for more details.
 

Can I import product combinations?

In Ecwid you can’t create product combinations with the help of CSV import, but you can update the combinations with unique SKU numbers.

So, if your product combinations have unique SKU values, you can include them in your CSV file and update their attributes (name, price, weight, image) as if they are separate products.

Can I import categories?

You can import product categories using a special X-cart format. Please, refer to this article for more details. 

Can I upload gallery images in bulk?

You can upload gallery images to your products in bulk with the help of Bulk Gallery Upload application. The app allows to upload images in a single ZIP-archive.

The app is free to use, but requires access to Ecwid API that is available on all Ecwid paid plans. If you need help with this application, you can refer to this guide.

What is “Skip column” for?

The "Skip column" option in the import settings is used to indicate that a column in your CSV file should be disregarded during import.

It is useful when your CSV file contains a column that is not supported by Ecwid import and you cannot remove it from your CSV file for some reason.

You can have up to 3 extra columns in the file and match them with the "Skip column" option in the import settings.

Ecwid shows that the import will take a few hours, however usually it takes about 5 minutes. Why is that?

Import is quite a resource consuming procedure. It can affect the server performance and all the other stores that use the same server can load slower because of import in progress. That’s not what we can accept.

We want to make sure that all the stores always load fast. So, we have implemented a smart way to import products from different stores that doesn’t affect the store loading time.

How it works (in a nutshell):

  • if several Ecwid users start to import products at the same time on the same server, Ecwid doesn't process multiple import tasks simultaneously. All the import files are queued and will be processed sequentially, one by one.
  • if a server load is too high for some reasons, all the import tasks on this server are postponed and will be continued automatically, once the server load becomes normal.Ecwid calculates the approximate time when the import starts on the server, depending on the server load and the size of the import queue. It isn't 100% exact, but gives a conception when your CSV file will be processed.

As a result, even if 100 Ecwid users decide to import 20,000 products each at the same time, all the stores maintained by this server will work smooth, without any delays or slow downs.

If you see a notice that the import will take a few hours, we can assume that the import queue has a bunch of files to process and/or the server load is a bit high. So it will take a bit longer than usual to import your file.

Product images failed to import. Why is that?

Sometimes everything is imported fine except product images. If you come across such a problem, please follow the steps below to solve it.

1. You need to check that the image URLs you have in your CSV file are correct and accessible on the web.

The images that you want to import must be available by direct links, e.g. http://example.com/images/product_1.jpg.
You can check that if you open an image URL in your browser. If the image is loaded without asking for password or login or any other permissions, you can use this link in your CSV file.

2. You need to make sure that each image URL leads directly to the image file, not to an HTML page that contains the image.

If you host your images on Flickr or any other image hosting service, you have to use direct links to the images in your CSV file (e.g. http://example.com/image.jpg), not the URLs of web pages that display the image (e.g. http://example.com/image_page.html).

You can get the direct links to the images from web pages where they are displayed, if you open the page in your browser, right-click on the displayed image and click "Copy image address" in the context menu.
 

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All decimals are rounded to nearest integers after import. Why is that?

Such problem is most likely caused by incorrect number format used in your CSV file. For instance, you use comma as a decimal separator, whereas it must be a dot. Please, make sure you use the correct number format in your CSV file.

Sample CSV file

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