It’s time to face the facts. Consumers today require a unique and rapidly evolving product catalog in the eCommerce world. Magento’s out-of-box product importer/exporter allows for basic product updates but to really wow your customers, basic doesn’t really cut it anymore. Continuing with our Magento Store Manager blog series, I will now dive into the extremely useful Store Manager product importer/exporter. After reading this you should be ready to solve all of your product manipulation issues.
What Can Magento’s Store Manager Product Importer/Exporter do?
- Bulk product updates
- Manage categories
- Manage inventory
- Manage attribute sets
- Manage attribute options
This tool will become your best friend when you learn all of the above can be done within a matter of minutes for product catalogs in excess of thousands of products.
The following assumes that you have already connected your Magento Store to Store Manager. If you haven’t, please read “MagneticOne Store Manager for Magent," which will get you up and running in Store Manager in a matter of minutes!
Exporting Your Product Catalog
The key to successfully managing your product data is to know how the Store Manager handles your data. Lets begin by exporting your product data. This will not only give you an opportunity to see the format your product data is stored in but this will also be key to managing your store data.
In Store Manager, lets navigate the product importer/exporter.
Once you have selected ‘Import/Export Products’, you will be presented with the ‘Import/Export Product Wizard’. From here, select ‘Export’.
Next, you will be asked to select a file, a location and file name for your product export.
After this is done, click the ‘Next’ button in the lower right hand corner of the wizard. The next screen you are presented with in the wizard allows you to select what products you’d like to export. The screen shot below gives you a general idea of where these options come from.
For our export, we are going to use the ‘Only filtered products’ option. This is based on selecting a grouping of products before entering the ‘Import/Export Product Wizard’. As you can see from the screenshot, you also have the option to export all products from your Magento Store.
The next screen you are presented with might seem a bit overwhelming at first but don’t fret. This step in the wizard, ‘Select Fields Delimiter and Quote Character’, tells the Store Manager exactly what format you want the product export to be in. To keep your product exports in optimal format, it is best to leave these options at their default settings. Continue to the next screen.
This step in the wizard will be key to your product exports. This is where you can select what attributes and fields you want to include in your product export. To add attributes, you simply select them and click on the ‘>’ arrow to add them to the export list. To remove them you simply select the attribute and click the ‘<’ arrow.
Another important part of this step in the wizard is the ‘How to link related products’ section. This allows you to tell the product export exactly how you want to handle product associations throughout your Magento catalog.
After you are done selecting your attributes click the ‘Export’ button in the lower right corner of the wizard.
When the exporter is finished running, you will see the ‘Preview Export’ screen of the wizard. This screen shows you a basic preview of what the export will look like. Click ‘Finish’ to exit the wizard.
Notice that your product data has been exported in Windows Comma Separated .csv format. This is the file type that you will use for anything Store Manager related.
You have now successfully exported products from your Magento Store!
Import Your Product Catalog
So you’ve made your product edits or you have new products to upload to your Magento Store. To do this through your Store Manager, as always, make sure your product data is in the correct Windows Comma Separated (.csv) format.
In Store Manager, navigate the product importer/exporter as you previously did in the earlier steps of this walkthrough. Select ‘Import’ to begin the import process.
Like before, you will be asked to select a file. After you have selected your .csv file for import, proceed to the next step.
You are now looking at the ‘Preview .csv File’ screen. This is very much identical to the screen you looked at during the export process. You’ll notice that the import/export process in Store Manager is extremely similar. Click next to go through to the next screen.
If you are importing a file in the correct .csv format, this next screen will need any input or changes from you. Similar to the exporting phase, it is best to leave the default settings checked for the ‘Select Fields Delimiter and Quote Character’ section of the wizard. As long as you are exporting and editing files in the correct format then there shouldn’t be any issues during your import process; you can now proceed to the next screen.
In most cases, the next two screens also won’t need you to make any adjustments or input. For the first screen, ‘Select Store View to import Products to’, you are telling Store Manager where to send your product import. If you have multiple stores then you will need to make sure you select the correct store for the import. The next screen, ‘Base Formats’, is where you are defining the formats of your data. In most cases, you won’t need to make any changes to this screen.
Now we are ready to tell Store Manager how to map the fields of our .csv with the fields of our store’s database. The screenshot below shows two main windows. The one on the left contains all of the fields/attributes within our current store that make up our products. The one on the right contains all of the fields in our .csv. To complete this step, you simply match the left fields with the right fields. The other important part to keep in mind for this step is that you need to tell Store Manager how to handle product relations. If this is the first time you are importing product data, then this selection doesn’t matter but if this is an import of product data that contains updates to existing products, this can be very important based on how you exported your product data from Store Manager. If you exported your data based on ‘Product Sku’ or ‘Product ID’, you want to make sure that you select the same for the import.
The next step of the import process will show you a preview of your product import and will also tell you of any errors that are within the import. If there are no errors and everything looks good, continue to the next step. (If you are importing in the correct Store Manager format, errors should be no problem for you!)
We are now looking at the ‘Import Options’ screen. This is the last step in the import process. The first section of this screen, ‘Import Options’ is where we want to mainly focus our attention. If we are importing a fresh set of products, we want to select ‘Add Only’. This will simply add the new products and not look at any other product data. If you are updating a set of products, you want to select ‘Modify Only’. Finally, if you are importing new products and updating older products, you want to select ‘Add and Modify’. , Make sure you uncheck the option for ‘Reindex product data’ - this will speed up the import process greatly.
You are now ready to import. Click the ‘Import’ button and let Store Manager do its thing.
Once the import is complete, you will see within the import wizard, the ‘Procedure complete’ screen. This contains all of the diagnostic information for your product import.
You have successfully imported products to your Magento Store!
As you can see, Store Manager makes product manipulation simple and easy. Once you get used to the product exporter/importer you will find yourself not being able to live without it!
Looking for other advanced walkthroughs on how to edit product data or anything else data-related in Store Manager? Check back regularly for more blogs related to Store Manager for Magento!