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Importing Products

Importing your products is the fastest way to create or update products in bulk. A product import involves having all of your product information in a CSV file, which can be edited as a spreadsheet. Upon import, your column headers will be matched with their corresponding product attributes in BigCommerce, and the product information will be updated accordingly.

Uses for Importing Products

Importing products has a variety of uses. Click any of the steps below for a walkthrough:

 

Trying to delete products? Products cannot be deleted with an import. They must be deleted through the control panel.

Creating an Import Template

If you are updating, backing up, or transferring your products, we recommend exporting your products using the Bulk Edit template. This will provide you with the same column headers used by BigCommerce, which will streamline the update process. You can get this template by exporting your existing products, or feel free to use the sample template provided below. You can also create a custom export/import template by making a copy of the Bulk Edit template.

Sample Product Import CSV: bulk-edit-product-import.csv

Your product import file must have the following fields when creating or updating your product.

  • Product ID — If updating a product already in BigCommerce, this must be included. If creating a new product, it must be blank.
  • Product Name — No two products can have the same name.
  • Product Type — Set to D when creating or updating a digital product, P when creating or updating a physical product.
  • Category — If assigning multiple categories, use this format: Category1/Subcategory;Category2;. See Importing Product Categories for additional information.
  • Allow Purchase (recommended) — Set to Y to ensure the product can be purchased.

Track Inventory Value (recommended) — If your template has the Track Inventory Value column and it is blank, enter none to avoid an error on import.

Importing Your Products

The steps below will guide you through importing your products into BigCommerce.

Before beginning, make sure that you have a backup (an unedited Bulk Edit export) of your products. Since the import will change all of your product information, you want to have a backup copy without the changes so that you can put things back to how they were should things go awry.

1. Go to ProductImport.

2. Fill out your preferred settings under Import Details. We recommend the following:

Import Details

  • Bulk Edit Re-import — Select this if you exported your file using the Bulk Edit template, are using the sample CSV provided above, or are using the same column names listed in the table of importable fields below. This will preselect the rest of the Import Details settings and allow you to bypass the Matching Fields step.
  • Default option type — This is used if you’re trying to [create options] and failed to specify the option type correctly. It will allow you to select a single type of option to use, but we recommend specifying the option type in your CSV file.
  • Category — We recommend Detect category names from the CSV file. If you neglected to fill in the Category field in your CSV, however, you can opt to have all of your products get added to a category in this list.
  • Override existing records — If checked, your products will be updated upon import. Since this is generally why you're importing your products, you should select this.
  • Delete existing images and Delete existing downloads (not recommended) — These will delete all of your product images and digital product files. Once they are deleted, there is no way to recover them from BigCommerce.
  • Ignore blanks? (recommended) — Unchecking this setting will delete the data associated with any blank field in your import file. For example, if you left a product’s description blank and unchecked Ignore blanks (so that blanks are not ignored), the product’s description would be deleted from your store.

3. Under the File Details section next to Import File, upload your CSV file directly from your computer by browsing for it.

File Details

 

Import failing? Attempting to upload too large a file can cause the import to fail. If your file is larger than 512 MB, try breaking it up into smaller files.

4. You can typically leave the additional File Details settings alone. They are used if you are uploading a non-spreadsheet CSV and need to specify the import settings.

  • Use a file already on the server — If you have a larger file or a slow internet connection, you can connect to WebDAV and save your file to the import_files folder, then select this option. Files can be up to 512 MB.
  • Contains Headers? — Does the file contain column headings?
  • Field Separator — In non-spreadsheet CSVs, what punctuation is used to separate the fields?
  • Field Enclosure — In non-spreadsheet CSVs, what punctuation is used to tie phrases together (e.g. "Socks and Shoes")?

5. Click Next when done.

Matching Import Fields

Make sure all of the data you're importing has been matched to its equivalent setting in BigCommerce. If you selected Bulk Edit Re-import, you can skip this step.

Import Field Settings

Ignore means that the data hasn't been matched.

6. Click Next when done.

7. Click Start Import to begin importing your products. When the import is complete, you will see an import summary.

Import Summary

Click More Information to see any warnings generated during the import.

Import Summary with More Information links

Table of Importable Fields

Below is a table of all fields that are importable via the CSV using the Bulk Edit Template. If a field is not in the list below (e.g. bulk pricing), it can not be imported, exported, or created manually. Fields in bold are required or recommended.

See Manually Entered Fields for a list of fields that are not included in the Bulk Edit template but can still be added manually and re-imported.

FieldDescriptionFormat
Item TypeDefines the item as a Product, SKU, or RuleProduct = product; SKU = SKU, Rule = rule
Product IDThe system-generated product identifier; cannot be created manuallyRequired for updates; must be blank for creating new products
Product NameThe name of your product; no two can be the same 
Product Type Defines whether the item is physical or digital (downloadable)P = physical; D = downloadable
Product Code/SKUStock-keeping unit number you use for inventoryAlphanumeric
Bin Picking NumberIdentifies where in a warehouse the item is located 
Brand NameThe brand or manufacturer of a product 
Option SetThe option set if you are using product options 
Option Set AlignDetermine whether the options are to the right or below the product imageRight = to the right; Below = below
Product DescriptionA description of your productCan contain text or HTML
PriceYour product's base priceNumbers only; no units (e.g. 24.99)
Cost PriceThe cost of the product for you (accounting purposes only)Numbers only; no units
Retail PriceThe retail price; if entered, it will appear next to your base or sale priceNumbers only; no units
Sale PriceThe sale price; if entered, it will replace the base priceNumbers only; no units
Fixed Shipping CostThe price to ship one unit of your product; if entered, this applies internationally overrides any other shipping settingsNumbers only; no units
Free ShippingIf applied, your product will ship internationally for free; if selected, overrides any other shipping settingsY = free shipping enabled; N = not enabled
Product WarrantyProduct warranty informationText or HTML
Product WeightProduct weight (physical only)Numbers only; no units
Product WidthYour product's width for calculating shippingNumbers only; no units
Product HeightYour product's height for calculating shippingNumbers only; no units
Product DepthYour product's depth for calculating shippingNumbers only; no units
Allow Purchases?Can the product be purchased from your store?Y = the product can be purchased or pre-ordered; N = the product cannot be purchased or pre-ordered
Product Visible?Should the product be visible in your store?Y = yes; N = no
Product AvailabilityA brief description of how long it takes your product to shipText only
Track InventoryShould inventory be tracked? If so, by option or by product?None = do not track; by product = track by product; by option = track by SKU
Current Stock LevelNumber of units in stock (only applies if tracking inventory)Numbers only
Low Stock LevelInventory level at which you are sent a notification to restock (only applies if tracking inventory)Numbers only
CategoryCategories and subcategories applied to productCategory1; Category2/Subcategory1;Category2/Subcategory2
If your category name has a /, denote it with \/ (e.g. Mittens\/Gloves)
Product File - 1The file name of your downloadable product (downloadable products only)filename.pdf
Product File Description - 1A description of your file 
Product File Max Downloads - 1The maximum number of times a single customer can download their purchaseNumbers only
Product File Expires After - 1The time period after which the download link will not work for your customer# Days, # Weeks, # Months, # Years or Never
Product Image ID - 1The system-generated product image ID 
Product Image File - 1Image file name (if stored in WebDAV) or full URLimagename.jpg or http://fullurl.com/imagename.jpg
Product Image Description - 1A description of the image 
Product Image Is Thumbnail - 1If there is more than one image for the product, specify one to be the thumbnailY = is thumbnail (one only); N = not thumbnail
Product Image Sort - 1If there is more than one image for the product, specify which order they should appear in (lower numbers appear earlier)Whole numbers only; can use negatives
Search KeywordsKeywords for your store's searchKeywords separated by commas
Page TitleYour product's page title; will default to the product name if left blank 
Meta KeywordsMeta keywords; if left blank will default to those entered in the Website SettingsKeywords separated by commas
Meta DescriptionMeta description; if left blank will default to what's entered in the Website Settings 
MYOB Asset AcctSettings if using MYOB 
MYOB Income AcctSettings if using MYOB 
MYOB Expense AcctSettings if using MYOB 
Product ConditionProduct condition for Google ShoppingNew; Used; Refurbished
Show Product Condition?Show the product condition on your product page?Y = show on product page; N = don't show on product page
Event Date Required?Is a date required for purchase?N = no event date; Start Date = limit start date; End Date = limit end date; Date Range = limit start and end dates
Event Date NameName of event date 
Event Date Is Limited?Limit the event date? (Limits are inclusive)Y = yes; N = no
Event Date Start DateEarliest date available (inclusive)MON DD, YYYY
Event Date End DateLatest date available (inclusive)MON DD, YYYY
Sort OrderThe order in which a product appears on a category page relative to other products; default is 0Whole numbers only; can use negatives
Product Tax ClassThe tax class applied to a product
Product UPC/EANProduct's UPC or GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) 
Stop Processing RulesFor Rules, stop processing all rules placed below that ruleY = stop processing rules; N = don't stop processing rules
Product URLThe relative path of your product's URL on your store; if left blank it will default to the product name/new-relative-url/
Redirect Old URL?If you change the product URL, you can select whether or not to create a 301 RedirectY = create a 301; N = don't create a 301
GPS Global Trade Item NumberThe UPC/EAN for the product; required for Google Shopping if not a custom product 
GPS Manufacturer Part NumberThe Manufacturer Part Number; required for Google Shopping if not a custom product 
GPS GenderThe intended gender for the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS Age GroupThe intended age group for the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS ColorThe color of the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS SizeThe size of the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS MaterialThe material of the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS PatternThe pattern of the product; required for some Google Shopping categories 
GPS Item Group IDA system-generated value for Google Shopping; leave blank if creating products 
GPS CategoryThe BigCommerce category (which is mapped to the Google Shopping category you want to list to)Category1/Subcategory
GPS EnabledShould the product be exported to Google Shopping?Y = enabled; N = not enabled
Avalara Product Tax CodeProduct's unique Avalara tax ID; use only if you've linked your paid Avalara accountNumeric only
Product's Custom FieldsName of custom field=Name of value;Name of custom field #2=Name of value #2
Color=Blue;Material=Cotton

Manually Added Fields

The following fields are not included in the Bulk Edit template by default, but can be added manually and re-imported using Bulk Edit Re-Import. They will also be matched automatically in the Match Fields section.

GPS Custom ItemIs the item custom-made (i.e. no UPC, MPN, or GTIN)?1 = custom item; 0 = non-custom
Minimum Purchase QuantitySetting this value will enforce a minimum quantity limit, on a per-order basis, when customers are ordering this product from your store.Numeric only
Maximum Purchase QuantitySetting this value will enforce a maximum quantity limit, on a per-order basis, when customers are ordering this product from your store.Numeric only
Shipping GroupsProduct's unique ShipperHQ shipping group; only available if ShipperHQ is enabled. 
Origin LocationsProduct's unique ShipperHQ origin group; only available if ShipperHQ is enabled. 
Dimensional RulesProduct's unique ShipperHQ dimensional rule group; only available if ShipperHQ is enabled. 

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