Getting Started with Volusion: Importing Your Products

You've done all the work of creating your store's complete inventory of products. You've carefully mapped out every product name and weight, and even laid out specifics like set-up costs. The problem? They're not in your Volusion store.

Thankfully, that can be easily remedied using your store's Import/Export capability. With this feature, you'll be able to easily add or edit products in bulk, saving you time and getting you that much closer to completing your store.

Here's how you import products in bulk:

1. Get a template for your data

Before you start importing products, you'll want to get a template for the information you'll be inputting into the system. To get that template, you'll want to export a table to see all the proper column headings, and then fill them in with the new product information. Taking one further step back, you won't be able to export any information if there's no product to pull it from. So first, create a dummy product in your store and fill in any information you'd like to import. For example, if you wanted to import product name, product price, weight, and setup cost, then you'd create a product with all of those attributes.

Once you've crafted your dummy product and hit Save, go to Inventory > Import/Export and click on the "Standard Export" tab. Then, from the "Export From" dropdown menu, select "Products," and you'll see a list of all the data you can export. Go through the list and check the boxes that are relevant to what you want to import.

Note: If a field is listed in the Virtual Columns box, you can export that information, but you won't be able to import it back in. That means when it comes to importing your products for the first time, it's best not to check any of these fields.

After you've selected your desired fields, move to the "File Format" dropdown menu and select CSV. Then decide on the finishing touches, like whether you'd like to save the export for future use, and click "Export." Once your export is complete, you'll land back on the "Standard Export" page with a box appearing in the right side of your screen with your file's download link.

2. Fill in your template

Now that you have your template, you'll be able to easily and successfully import your product information. Open your exported file and take note of the column headings. These are the specific field names that your store recognizes. Note: If a column heading is changed, your store will no longer be able to recognize the data in that column, and your import will fail.

From here, things are easy. Simply delete the dummy product's information and fill in your desired product information. For every new product you'd like to import, fill in another row.

Here are a couple tips when fleshing out your table:

  • Be sure to complete every row. If one column is left blank for a certain row, it'll throw a wrench in your whole import.
  • Watch out for commas. Misplaced commas, such as the beginning comma in ",1,000" will cause your table to error out.
  • Save your file as a .csv. To import products into your store, you'll need the file to be in CSV (comma separated value) format.

3. Import your products into your store

Now that you have all your product information in one place, save your file as a .csv and go to your store admin's Inventory > Import/Export area. Once there, select the "Standard Import" tab at the top of the page. Here, you'll see there are three required fields: "Import to," "File Name," and "Overwrite Existing Data?"

To import products, click on the "Import to" dropdown menu and select "Products," then find the file you'd like to import. When it comes to overwriting existing data, you have three options:

No, do not change any records already in my database.

This option means that any new data the system finds in your file, it will add to your store. However, if it finds information that seems to be associated with a product already in existence, it won't change or update that product.

For example, let's say one of your products is a set of wooden utensils listed at $15.00. If your imported file has those same wooden utensils listed at $2.00, after the import, the price will still read $15.00.

Yes, replace any existing data with my new updated data.

This option means new data will be added, and any data that's associated with an already-existing product will be added as well.

Using the previous example, if you chose this option with that same file, the price of the set of wooden utensils would be $2.00 after the import.

Clear entire table (delete all records), and replace with this import file

This option means that your entire inventory will be cleared and replaced with the information in the file you've imported.

To continue our earlier example, say you have your wooden utensil set in your store currently, but it's not listed in your import file. That means after your import, the wooden utensil set will no longer exist in your store.

Once you've chosen your preferred method, simply hit "Import," and voila! You've just imported your products into your store.