This guide will take you through the process of importing new products into Cloud Commerce Pro using spreadsheets and the import / export tool.
1. Admin Centre
From the Admin Centre menu in Cloud Commerce Pro, click the "Products" button.
2. Product Ranges
It is likely you already have some products in Cloud Commerce Pro if you are following this guide. This means we can take an export of what you have to act as a template for your new products.
Click the "Exports" button on the product ranges screen.
If you want to make sure you template will have the most up to date information, click the "Export Products" button to generate a fresh export of your inventory. Your new export will appear at the top of the list.
Hover your mouse over the "Actions" tab and click "Download Spreadsheet". Save your new spreadsheet on your device and open it with your preferred editing tool such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or the freeware LibreOffice.
Now you have a spreadsheet which can be used as a template for your new product import. While it would be tempting to simply delete the existing products and work from this spreadsheet, this can lead to errors in the import process caused by hidden or left over data. It is much better practice to copy the headers onto a fresh spreadsheet.
Select the first row of the spreadsheet by clicking the number "1" and pressing "CTRL+C" to copy them. Now open a new blank spreadsheet and select the first cell, A1, and press "CTRL+V" to paste the headers there.
5. Headers - The Fundamentals
While it would be impractical to explain every single header involved in the product import process as there are so many, we can still look at some of the key ones that are essential to get right in order to create quality listings that won't cause you issues later on.
- RNG_SKU & RNG_Name - These are the main identifiers of the product range. It is important to understand ranges when creating products. While some products are truly singular, many are made up of a bunch of similar items.
Take a t-shirt for example: It likely comes in multiple colours and multiple sizes, but it is still the same t-shirt that you would want to be a single listing on a website where people pick between them using a drop-down.
The RNG_SKU is like a simplified code to represent the product range which MUST be completely unique, making it perfect to search on. A range name should be equally unique, but this will likely be the name which the product will display as on most sales channels, so bear that in mind.
Always apply the same RNG_SKU and RNG_Name to all variations in the range, otherwise you will split them into multiple products.
- VAR_SKU & VAR_Name - In contrast to your range SKU and range name, your variation SKU and variation name are unique to each variation within the range. As was the case with range SKU, make sure you never duplicate a variation SKU.
- VAR_Description - While it isn't strictly necessary for a product to have a description, it does go a long way to making a robust listing. Make good use of HTML to ensure your description is styled exactly how you like it.
6. Headers - Variation Details
- VAR_Barcode - Barcodes are not used by everyone, but they are especially useful if you plan to use scanners as part of your warehouse pick and pack operation.
- VAR_Stock - Here you can enter an up to date stock value for your products.
- VAR_Price_Net - As the name suggests, this is the net price (pre tax) of your item.
- VAR_VATRate - Set the appropriate VAT rate for your item. This ensures Cloud Commerce Pro calculates the gross price of the item correctly.
- VAR_CostPrice_Net - Not a necessary field, but if you are setting up suppliers for your products, you can add the pre-tax cost price here.
- VAR_Supplier - This is the name of your supplier for this particular product.
- VAR_Weight, VAR_Length, VAR_Height & VAR_Width - Accurate product dimensions are integral to ensure your shipping rules function correctly. Failure to get these right can result in products being sent by the wrong service or shipments getting denied by the courier.
- VAR_IMG - This links your listing to an uploaded image. Make sure to give your images a unique name and include that along with the relevant file extension. For example you might have "whitetshirt.jgp". Instructions for uploading your images are below.
7. Headers - Option Values
The OPT header stands for "option" and allow you to define the subtle differences between your products which can be used for organising them on your sales channels and can effect how they are displayed to your customers.
Examples of product options include colour and size for clothing. Including these as a product option means they can be used as a selectable drop-down on your website.
You are free to add as many product options as you need. Simply add a new column and always start the header with "OPT_". Don't be afraid to create as many as you need as different products will require different options. That being said, try your best to re-use the same ones where possible to avoid cluttering up your system with many similar product options. There is no need to add OPT_Colours if OPT_Colour already exists, for example.
8. Save & Return To Cloud Commerce Pro
Save your spreadsheet in .xlsx format which is required by the system for imports. Once done, head back over to Cloud Commerce Pro and the "Product Ranges" screen from earlier.
Click the "Imports" button.
First we need to upload the new spreadsheet so it can be used for importing. Click "Upload Spreadsheet" and navigate to where you saved it on your device.
Once uploaded it will appear in the list of "Available items already uploaded". The most recent spreadsheet will appear at the top.
Check the box under "Use" to signify you want to use this particular spreadsheet for the upload process.
10. Import Steps
With your spreadsheet selected you can start to run the import steps one by one in sequential order. Each step has it's own button to begin that part of the import process. Details of the import will show while it's running.
Once complete, any errors will be displayed, usually with product SKU's which allow you to return to your spreadsheet to correct them before attempting the import once more.
Run through steps 1 to 6a to import the bulk of your new products. You can also run steps 7 and 8 if you want to add price and stock information to the product.
Step 9 is for importing images, but that is a slightly more involved process which is detailed below.
Steps 10 and 11 can be ran if you are adding supplier and cost price information to your products.
Step 12 is strictly for importing multipacks, which are handled separately. For a guide on how to import multipacks, click the link below:
11. Image Import
Importing your images works a little differently to the other import steps as it requires you to first upload your images to the system. Gather the images relating to these products that you referenced on your spreadsheet under the VAR_IMG column and put them in a folder before compressing them together in a zip file.
If you are not familiar with creating zip files, check the link below:
After creating your zip file, head back to Cloud Commerce Pro's imports screen and click the "Upload Images (ZIP)" button. Navigate to where you saved your zip file of images on your device and select it. Once the upload is complete, the images folder section will show the number of images uploaded.
Now you can select your spreadsheet once more by clicking the check box next to "Use".
12. Image Import Continued
Scroll down the imports screen and find step 9 to run the image import step. A drop down box gives you some control over how images are handled, although this is only relevant when uploading images to update previously imported products.
Click the "Import Images" button to begin the import like in the previous steps.
13. Add To Sales Channel
At this point, you have successfully imported your products into Cloud Commerce Pro. However, you are not likely to want to leave things there, as you will want them on your various sales channels.
With your spreadsheet selected, head to "Step 13" and click the "Add To Channel" button.
A small window will appear allowing you to push your new products to any of your sales channels, one at a time. Click "Use" next to the sales channel you wish to push out to.
Depending on the data queue at the time and the volume of products you are working with, pushing products to sales channels can take quite a bit of time, so remember to have patience.