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Best practice for importing CSV files

First-time and existing store owners can use CSV files to add or update products in bulk with one upload. You can add/change product names, prices, stock levels, options, and more in minutes. When uploading CSV files to your store, follow these guidelines to use catalog import to the fullest.

Trying out CSV for the first time? Check our Getting started with importing test products guide with easy step-by-step instructions.

Before you start importing

Prepare your store so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some things to consider:

  • For existing store owners: make a backup! Export your catalog (go to Catalog → Data Import & Export and click Export Catalog), then make a copy of the original export as a backup. This way, if something goes wrong during import, you can quickly restore your products to their previous state.
  • For frictionless import, verify that your product CSV meets our CSV file format. It's especially important if you got a file from a third party (store on another platform or a supplier).
  • If you have a busy store or you’re trying import for the first time, consider closing your storefront for maintenance until you check on the updates. For that, go to Settings → General → Close Storefront for Maintenance. You can easily open the storefront back later.

Importing CSV into your store

When you have a CSV that matches file format, you can start the import process.

To upload an import file:

  1. From your store admin, go to Catalog → Data Import & Export.
  2. Click Upload Catalog File and choose the file on your device.
  3. On the opened page, click Start Import:

    Best_practice_for_importing_CSV_files__1_.png

    If there are any errors, you’ll see their description on the page. Learn more about possible errors and their consequences from the CSV file column reference
  4. Importing will start. Small files are uploaded quickly, but if your catalog is large, the process can take up to several hours.
    You don’t need to watch over your import. Go on with the regular business and come back to check on the progress in the store admin. You can even close the browser tab if you want right after you see the “Catalog import in progress” notice.
  5. When the import is complete, you'll see a notification in the top right corner of your store admin.

That's it! Your file is uploaded.

Now you can go and check on the changes in Catalog → Products or in Catalog → Categories.

Viewing import history

You can always look into the last 20 importing sessions. For example, if you want to see what products and categories you updated the last time and if there were any errors. This way, you can track changes in your store and have more control over your import.

To see import history:

  1. From your store admin, go to Catalog → Data Import & Export.
  2. In the Import history block, click … → View details next to the session:

    Best_practice_for_importing_CSV_files__2_.png

  3. On the opened page, see session details.
  4. (optional) Click Download Import File to save a copy of the file that you imported.
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