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Updating Products Using Import/Export

Bulk updating your products with a spreadsheet is the fastest way to edit several products at once. Whether you want to add sale price, rename a product, or need to update the inventory, you can update your products with a single import. Since the updating is done in a spreadsheet-editing program such as Microsoft Excel, you can also use built-in formulas to change some columns all at once.

Bulk editing is done by exporting your products into a CSV file, copying the file and editing it in a spreadsheet editor (such as Excel), then re-importing the updated file back into your store. As a bonus, you will also now have a backup of your products!

Export Your Products

The first step of updating your products is to export the products you want to update. When exporting, keep the following in mind:

  • Using the Bulk Edit template or a copy will save you the trouble of selecting import settings and matching fields later.
  • Make sure the export template you use has the fields you need to change. The Bulk Edit template includes every exportable/importable field by default.
  • Imports won't work without the Product Name and Category fields. If you're using a custom export template, make sure it includes them.

If you only want to update a few fields and find the Bulk Edit template too intimidating, make yourself a custom export template.

For a walkthrough on exporting products, see Exporting Data.

Make a Copy of Your Export

After you've exported, locate your export file. It's usually saved on your desktop or in your Downloads folder.

The first thing you should do is make a copy of the export file. For the following steps, edit the copy instead of the original. This way, if something goes wrong during the import, you can quickly restore the data to its previous state.

Copy CSV file

Make Your Changes

Next, open the copy of your CSV using Excel or another spreadsheet program. You can see all of your exportable product information right here.

Product information in CSV file

To see all of the data in each cell, highlight the row with the alphabetical column headers, then double-click the line between A and B.

Find the column that you want to edit, and make your changes. You may find that using an Excel formula will complete the process more quickly than making the changes manually.

Editing the Sale Price

Fill in the Track Inventory Value column. (Use “none” if it is blank and you don't plan to track inventory.) This will keep you from seeing the "Invalid Track Inventory Value ignored" error when you import your CSV file.

Save Your File

Once you've made your changes, save your file. You might want to name it something like Import-[date], so that you can easily locate it later (and tell it apart from the original).

When you save your file, Excel will usually give you a pop-up to make sure you understand that CSV files don’t have the same features as regular spreadsheets. Click through it and save.

Excel warning message

Import Your Changes

Now you’re going to import your changes into your store, which will make them live immediately. Ensure that you have your original export file available as a backup—if you encounter any errors during the editing process, you will want to undo them right away so that your customers do not get confused.

Go to ProductsImport Products to begin the import. Select Bulk-Edit Reimport if you exported your products using the Bulk Edit template or a copy. This will auto-select the settings you need.

 

Have questions about importing? See Importing Data for a quick walkthrough on Importing.

Upload your new CSV file, and match your fields in the next section. (If you used the Bulk Edit template, it has taken care of this step for you).

Begin your import. Once it’s finished, take a look at your products and make sure everything is just as you want it. If there is an issue with your import, like incorrect or missing data, you can opt to re-import your backup file. This way your store will display the original information while you investigate your import file.

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