A lot of customers add products one at a time to their shop but there are some situations where the best way to add / edit products is by importing them using a CSV file in bulk. (see below for CSV definition).
When should I import products using a CSV file?
- You already have an online shop on another system. If you already have an online shop and are switching over to Rocketspark, you should be able to export the products from your existing shop as a CSV and then import them into your Rocketspark shop. This saves you from having to manually enter in each product.
- You want to make some blanket changes to your products. If you already have a Rocketspark shop set up but want to make some bulk changes to your products, you could make that change in the CSV and then upload the edited CSV to your shop. Again, this saves you having to make the same change to each individual product.
To get started Export your existing products to CSV and make edits to this file.
If neither of those scenarios apply to you, then you’re probably better off adding products manually. Learn how here.
What is a CSV?
A CSV (“Comma-Separated Values”) file lets you save information in a table format. It looks like a typical spreadsheet (though it has a few different characteristics) that you’d find in a spreadsheet program. CSV files have their own extension (e.g., filename.csv) and can be used in any spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or OpenOffice Calc.
How to save a file in the correct format
Rocketspark support a plain CSV format.
- Columns are delimited by a comma (,)
- Text is wrapped in double quotes (")
- Double quotes within quoted text are escaped by an extra proceeding double quote ("")
- From Microsoft Excel, Choose the File -> Save As option. Choose Comma Separated Values as the format. This will create a .csv file type.
How much does it cost?
CSV import is not available on our base Website builder plan but is available on both the Ecommerce Grow and Ecommerce Pro plans. To upload your own CSV file through your Dashboard, view the step by step instructions below. However, if you are not able to get your CSV file in the correct format we can look at this for you as a charged service. The cost varies from job to job, depending on how much time it will take us. Contact us for a quote. The closer your CSV matches the format of our sample CSV, the less time it’ll take us.
How do I get started?
You’ll need to create a CSV file listing all the products you want added to your shop. Click here to download a CSV sample/template to show you how to format your CSV and what information we need.
Update existing products or Create new products?
As we process your CSV import, if the SKU code in column B matches a SKU code of a product that is already in your shop then we will update this product/variant.
If the SKU code doesn't exist in your shop then a new product or variant will be created. You can also upload a partial import, existing products will not be deleted and only those products with a matching SKU will be updated.
What do all the CSV column terms mean?
Here’s a guide to the terms used in the CSV:
- Product_ID: If there are variants of the product (e.g., different colours of the same model), you’ll need to use the same ID number in order for them to be treated as variants rather than entirely different products. The product ID is a way to group all the variants of one product in your CSV together. An ID can be any unique number to that product, as set by you. This ID doesn't need to match anything that exists in the Rocketspark system. To update an existing product in the Rocketspark system, make sure the SKU is set correctly.
- SKU / Product Code: An ID number (or “Stock Keeping Unit”) that is unique to each row, including variants. For example, each size variant of a t-shirt should have its own SKU / Product Code. If a SKU / Product Code is not provided, it will be automatically generated upon import. To update an existing product in your Rocketspark shop, make sure this SKU /Product Code number matches an existing Product/Variant. If it doesn't exist a new Product or Variant will be created.
- Title: Your product title.
- Description: Your product description. In your CSV the description must be wrapped in double quotes ("). And quotes within the Description must be escaped by another double quote (""). HTML markup is respected and imported.
- Price: A numeric value for the sale price.
- RRP: (Optional) A numeric value for the RRP price.
- freight_id: (Optional) A number that represents the applicable shipping rate for a particular product. It is recommended to set this for each product. How? Go to your shipping settings (Dashboard > Shop Settings > Shipping), hover over the “Edit” button, look at the URL that appears on the status bar at the bottom of the window (some browsers require the status bar to be enabled), and locate the number towards the end of that URL—this is your freightID. Leaving this field blank will result in no charge for shipping.
- Sort: This is the numerical order of the variants within a product; e.g., to ensure clothing sizes appear in the usual “S, M, L, XL” order, you would assign these sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. It does not affect the sorting of your products.
- stock_Zero: This stipulates what will happen to a product when your stock reaches zero. Select “sold” to display the product as being sold out, “hide” to hide it from customers’ view, or simply leave the field blank to continue selling the product.
- product_Status: This determines the current product status. It can be set to “sale” to indicate that the product is available for sale, “hidden” to hide it from view, “stock” to display as out of stock, or “catalogue” to continue showing product details while removing the purchase option. If left blank, this will become "sale" by default.
- Variation_one_name: This is the category label for the first variant, if applicable; e.g., “size” to categorise your variants according to size. The same applies for the second and third variants (e.g., “variation_two_name”).
- Variation_one_value: This is the particular type (or “value”) of the first variant; e.g., “small” to differentiate it from larger available sizes. The same applies for the second and third variants (e.g., “variation_two_value”).
- Stock: The number of that product (or variant, if applicable) you have in stock.
- Brand: The brand name of this product. e.g. "Apple".
- Category: The category name that this product lives under. e.g. "Men's Clothing".
- Tags: A comma separated list of the tags that apply to this product. e.g. "Men's, Shoes, Running". Just make sure your list is wrapped in double quotes in the CSV.
- Image: A URL (e.g. a http://existingwebsite.com/image.jpg) for the product image. Learn how to copy these images from your existing website if you're already on Rocketspark these image links are populated in the csv export feature. Multiple images can be separated by the pipe character (|) located commonly above on the backslash key (\) on a keyboard. If your images aren't already online on an existing website, you can upload your images to DropBox and copy the DropBox shared link into this field, you just need to amend the "?dl=0" part of the URL to be "?raw=1". If you can't get your images onto the web in any way, they’ll need to be manually uploaded via your Dashboard (find out how here). Leave this field blank to ignore changing your product images, this will not delete any existing images. If there is a image URL set, it will skip any existing images that have the same filename, upload the new ones and remove any existing that aren't in the CSV.
- gtin (optional) A shopping category ID, used for Google Shopping Feed.
- google_category_id (optional) A shopping category ID, used for Google Shopping Feed.
Importing your CSV File in Dashboard
- Under the "Import Products from CSV" heading, click the Choose File button.
Once a file is selected it will upload and begin the import, please be patient.
- Choose the file on your computer's hard drive. Click Open.
- Wait while your CSV uploads and processes.
- Once your import has completed, you'll be presented with a Success or Fail popup. The failure popup will tell you what is wrong with the file. E.g. A missing column or invalid value.
- Please visit your shop and double check the upload has made the correct changes to your products.
Duplicating Existing Products
One of the other uses of the CSV import is if you are needing to duplicate a lot of products at once.
- Download a CSV of all your products
- Delete all the other products in the CSV except the one/s you would like to duplicate
- Copy the line in the CSV you are wanting to duplicate and paste it into the CSV as many times as needed to get the number of duplicated products.
- Make the changes to the duplicated products ensuring to change the product name, product ID and SKU are all different to any live products on your site so that no products are overwritten by the upload of new products.
NB: Be sure to change the URL of the image if you have other images for the new products. This can be done after the CSV is uploaded if you wish.
- Upload the new CSV and all the new versions of the products will be added.