Import Bulk Products In Magento: The Smart Way to Do It

Importing products or editing existing ones in Magento can occasionally be a tedious and complicated process. It involves importing and exporting files and sometimes you end up in quite a hellish circle. It also takes time, and time is a resource you can’t afford to waste!

It’s a significant task and you can’t overlook it – you have to do it right and that requires more time than you might have on your hands. When it comes to customer experience, conversions and other things you work you are as* off for, everything must be perfect, right?

I believe all of you can benefit from a better and more efficient way to put things together. So let’s go through the “standard” (also free) way most people do it. We will identify what’s wrong with it and then we’ll discuss other (easier) ways for you to use.

At Metrilo, we work with lots of Magento stores and we know how valuable time is to store owners. Therefore we want to help you save as much of it as possible

That Dreadful and Well-known CSV Import

Now, this is not rocket science and I am not telling you something you don’t know (maybe) or something you can’t find tons of information about on the web. We will quickly go through the process and save you some time for digging up info about it.

The idea is quite simple, really, but that doesn’t make it an easy and pleasant process. What you have to do is create a sample product and export it into a table format → which you will then use as a “master” template to add other products the same way → and import it back again. Not cool. What’s nice, though, is that you can do it in your Magento admin panel (oh, and it’s free).

Problems That Will Likely Arise

Error Identification

So you’ve filled all products in the CSV table, you’ve uploaded it, yet Magento would still show you errors – missing or mismatched attributes, duplicate columns or descriptions, you name it. Thus, you have to be extremely careful when doing it or you will end up scratching your head, not knowing what’s actually wrong.

Magento won’t really help you either. It tells you there are X amount of errors, but it won’t identify them for you at all. In cases like this you will probably find yourself going over the whole table, fixing it manually and uploading it again (this is where you start scratching your head).

Product Images

Most of the time, this is done separately from product details info, which is because of Magento’s file management system. It’s not recommended to add product images in the CSV file. Remember the “you, sitting and scratching your head” process?

Editing Existing Products

Can be complicated and problematic. Imagine sitting down and going over each and every spec for each and every one of your products. It can take a lot of time and basic tasks should not eat up most of your time. After all, you want to be growing your business and not clicking through different fields, menus and sub-menus all day, right?

I imagine you don’t have the desire to waste most of your time. That’s why you might want to consider third-party tools to import products in Magento faster and easier.

Let’s look at some smarter ways to do it.

Import products to Magento with StoreGecko

StoreGecko might provide a solution for you. It’s a tool that simplifies product management for Magento users. Imagine the standard spreadsheet, but much smarter. That’s StoreGecko for you. You fill all the details about the products in and it simply does its magic and syncs it for you. This way you have them ready in your Magento admin panel. Publishing them to your store from then on is an easy task, which will open up some time for other high-priority tasks.

At first, it doesn’t quite seem like there’s such a huge difference between the two methods of importing your products to Magento, but when you take a closer look at it, you will see that:

  • StoreGecko’s connected to your Magento admin panel. Whatever changes you make will be ready for use. No need to go over the CSV hassle.
  • You have control over when changes go live, which is kinda nice.
  • If there are errors, they’ll be pointed out and you will get tips on how to solve them. Magic!
  • Uploading images is a piece of cake. A simple drag & drop manager makes it as easy as it gets.
  • Editing products are also much faster and easier. You have the freedom to jump through different columns, rows and so on. Edit whatever you need to edit and it will all be saved right away.

All in all, this provides you with an always ready “master” template, where you just need to fill your data and you are all set. It still works like the typical spreadsheet, but it’s just a much smarter spreadsheet. Keep in mind, it’s a paid tool so you can always opt for the free option, but the time you will waste will have an effect on you and your business sooner or later.

Yet Another Option – Import / Export Products Extension

This one you can find on Magento’s Marketplace. It’s quite powerful and it helps you with everything – adding, removing, editing, custom pricing, fields and etc.

Some key capabilities of the extension are:

  1. Managing images for products is nice and easy. You also have different options for uploading images, many settings available (change images to existing products, set up galleries and more)
  2. You don’t need an FTP client when you import data.
  3. You don’t have to set up categories or attributes or such in advance – it’s all done automatically.
  4. It’s a one-time purchase (which might be seen as both an advantage and disadvantage)

Decisions, Decisions…

Obviously, there are plenty of different ways to go about importing products into your Magento store. Which one you feel most comfortable with, is up to you.

It depends on different things like the number of products you have or how often you change and edit existing ones. For instance, if you only have a few products that you don’t make changes to every so often, the standard (and free) way might be best for you.

On the other hand, you don’t want to be scratching your head or going over a mini mental breakdown every time you have to import products or edit the ones you already have. So be wise and consider the solutions that might make your life easier.

Stephan is one of the marketing tricksters at Metrilo. Providing eCommerce stores with powerful Analytics, CRM, and E-mail solutions, Stephan, and his team have developed a great understanding of what issues store owners face on a daily basis. Thus, Metrilo tries to continuously address those problems and help eCommerce stores overcome them.