Guide to Import/Export
Common Ways to Leverage Import/Export
As mentioned in the first chapter of this learning guide, there are many ways you can leverage our Import/Export function, including:
- Bulk updating your product catalog
- Adding new products or inventory
- Creating and updating customers
- Segmenting and exporting customers for targeted marketing campaigns
- Importing inventory from dropshippers
- Importing tracking numbers from wholesalers
- Creating data backups
Here are some of the most common ways you can utilize the Import/Export function to make managing their online business less cumbersome.
Since you’re able to make adjustments in bulk, updating your products is the most common use for the Import/Export function. In addition, you can update stock levels by exporting/importing your SKUs.
Keep a separate, backup export file handy when updating product information. That way, if there’s an issue with your import, you can re-import your backup file to buy you time while you fix the new one.
Common Use-Case: Updating Inventory
To update your inventory, you’ll need a CSV spreadsheet containing three columns:
- Product Name
- Stock Level
Import the product file. If you are using the column names suggested above, you can select Bulk Edit Re-import and save yourself a few steps. Otherwise, make sure to match the field names.
Common Use-Case: Adjusting Pricing
Let's say, for example, you would like to set a discount of 10% store-wide or two a set of specific products. You would first export the products you would like to include in the sale using the Bulk Export template (or a custom export template that includes the Sale Price column).
After making a copy for backup for safety, search for the Sale Price column in your CSV spreadsheet.
You may choose to enter the sale price manually for each product, or leverage Excel to automatically pull from your regular listing price column and deduct 10%.
To leverage Excel, erase the contents of the first item listed in the Sale Price column. Then type = and select the corresponding product price and enter *.9. This sets the sale price for this product 90% of the original product price which equates to a 10% discount. Finally, select that sale price cell and drag down to apply the same formula price to your other products.
Need more? Check out this .gif for a quick tutorial.
Now we’ll save your export and re-import into your store. You should then see your products displaying the 10% off sale price. Now you can start marketing your sale with banners, on your carousel, via email and on social media.
For more information on Excel formulas for shortcuts like this, check out Excel Functions from Tech on the Net.
Once your sale has ended, you can re-import your backup copy that you saved to your computer or preferred location. By re-importing, you will remove your sale prices from your online store.
Common Use-Case: Spot Checking for SEO Opportunities
The Export tool can help you identify duplicate or missing content that might be impacting your search engine ranking.
Export your products using the Bulk Edit template. Open the file in Excel, and go to Conditional Formatting › Highlight Cell Rules › Duplicate Values. (Instructions may differ for older versions of Excel.) Select your shading, and Excel will highlight any products using the same name, description, alt tag, or other attribute.
You can also skim the spreadsheet to find empty fields that should be completed to help your SEO ranking. Learn more in our Guide to SEO.
When adding new products to your business, you need to consider over two dozen attributes, different variants, inventory levels, etc. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Using the Import function can help reduce the headache. Add your product(s) and corresponding details (e.g. price, description, options, images, etc.) into a spreadsheet, then save the file as a CSV. You can then import your products into your BigCommerce store with a simple import.
The only difference between creating new products via CSV and updating products via CSV is that you don’t enter a Product ID. This tells BigCommerce that the product doesn’t already exist and should be created.
Options for Adding and Managing Images
As for adding and managing images, you have a few options available. If the photos are already online somewhere and you have the image’s web address, you can enter that into the CSV under Product Image File, and BigCommerce will automatically add that image to your server and associate it with the product.
If you have the image files on your computer, use these instructions to import the images into BigCommerce and associate them with your products in two easy steps.
If you’re coming to BigCommerce from another platform, you'll want to transfer your customers from your old store to your new store. Check with your previous platform to see if they support a basic export of customer information. If so, you can create an account for them by importing their account information.
At minimum, you’ll need your customer’s email address, but you can import other information too. For example:
- Email address (required)
- First name
- Last name
- Shipping address
- and more!
As a matter of security, platforms usually won’t let you export customer passwords. Instead, we recommend importing your old customers’ emails into Mailchimp or another email marketing platform and send out a notice letting your customers know that you’ve moved to a new platform and they’ll need to reset their passwords.
Keeping backups of your orders, products, custom design changes and customers is part of running a healthy business. If you make an error when updating a product, or if a customer is accidentally deleted, having a backup means that the data can be quickly restored.
The Import Tool makes the task of assigning tracking numbers to orders quick and easy when compared to the manual process. Just put the Order ID in one column, and the tracking number in the next.
Orders are a great example of when you might want to customize your export template. By tailoring the Default export template, you can change various settings such as the date format, how the order total is provided, how products are listed, and other details.