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Import/Export product data using CSV files

Overview

Use CSV (Comma Separated Values) files to import new products, but also update existing details. 

Availability

All Avangate accounts. 

Requirements

  1. Use UTF-8 character encoding.
  2. Mandatory headers. During the import process, the system validates column headings, and matches them with actual product fields. If the mandatory headers don't exist within the CSV file, along with their respective columns and the information they are supposed to contain, the import process fails.
    • EN Product name - the product name in English. 
    • Price type - there are two possible values net and gross. 
    • Price - you need to enter the product price at least for the default currency - zero and negative values are not supported. 
    • Default Currency - possible values in accordance to the languages available for your account. 
    • Status - used to set products either as active or disabled. An empty value is the same as active. 
  3. Commas and double quotes. CSV files contain fields separated by commas and are used to migrate data between systems. In addition to commas, double quotes, also known as text qualifiers, are also very important when dividing the data in a CSV file. Follow this syntax rule: place values first within double quotes and then separate them by commas. For example, an enumeration of product name headings for German, English, Spanish and French - "DE Product name","EN Product name","ES Product name","FR Product name". This type of syntax is valid not just for column headers, but also for all other pieces of information in a CSV file. Make sure to use commas and double quotes only to separate values and data fields, and refrain from introducing them in the CSV document for any other purposes, as they can create problems and generate import failures when placed improperly.
  4. End of line characters. Every record must be separated by new line (rn or 0x0D0x0A). What this means is that each product in a CSV file with multiple items has to have all its information on its own, separate row. At the end of this row, it's necessary to have an end of line character, such as rn or 0x0D0x0A. An end of line (EOL) character, also known as a newline, or a line break, to separate a record in a CSV file from the next.

Limitations

  • Avangate recommends using XML files when importing products due to the limitations of the CSV import functionality around managing advanced pricing configurations such as pricing options and pricing options groups. 
  • Importing products via CSV files is best suited to items with a base price (dynamic). The value you enter under the mandatory Price column defines the base price of the product (cannot be 0 or negative).
  • For products without a base price (flat), this value (cannot be 0 or negative) will only configure the first volume interval, 1 to maximum, and set its price. You cannot define any additional intervals for products without a base price using CSV files. Consider using the Upload from CSV available on the pricing tab to update prices with a base price.
  • Consider manually editing product information of complex pricing schemes, including but not limited to volume discounts, renewals price, promotions, pricing options groups, or any other parameters that impact price.
  • When updating products without a base price using a CSV file, the system ignores the values under the Price column if the refreshed items already have pricing schemes configured, and operates no changes.
  • Exporting up to 1000 products is done on the spot.
  • Exporting more than 1000 products lasts longer and is done in the background. Avangate can notify you via email when your export file is ready and provides you with the download link.

Prepare the CSV product data file

  1. Please check that the CSV file adheres to all the requirements. The Avangate system matches details in the CSV files with actual product fields in relation to column headers, and as such, the actual order of the headers and columns is irrelevant.
  2. The CSV file sample available in your Control Panel tailors itself automatically to your account's default language and currency settings. The localization details and financial info configuration of your account will determine the availability of extra column headers, in accordance to any extra languages and currencies available.
  3. With the exception of the mandatory headers and their columns, you can remove all other content completely. 
  • Product name (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • Product Code 
  • Product Version 
  • ID Shipping Class 
  • Gift Option 
  • Short description (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • Long description (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • System Requirements (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • Platforms 
  • Download Link (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • Download Description (in all languages enabled for your account) 
  • Price Configuration Type 
  • Price Type 
  • Default Currency 
  • Price (for all currencies enabled for your account) 
  • Status 
  • Avangate ID

Add new products 

  1. Once you finalized the CSV file, navigate to Products under Setup, and then click on the Import products button on the left hand side of the screen, underneath the Search products area.
  2. Under the Import from file tab, click Browse and navigate to the location where you saved the CSV file, select it and hit the Next step button. Provided that all headers are correct, and their columns are filled with the necessary details, Avangate imports the new products into the system.
  3. Hit the Finish import button and then OK to finalize the process. Click Cancel to stop the process from moving to the final stage in case you notice problems when importing. You will need to confirm the cancelation.
  4. Avangate provides a summary of the importing process and the changes you introduced.

Non-mandatory columns for which you don't want to import any information can be empty. You can even delete non-mandatory columns along with their headers from the CSV file, if you consider them irrelevant. The system will also offer you the possibility to ignore specific columns when it doesn't identify them properly and if they're not among the mandatory columns.

Immediately after the import process is finalized, you'll find the newly imported product listed under Setup, Products, where you can access its details and edit them further, if you so require.

Update existing products

In addition to adding new products from scratch, CSV files can also be used to update items that you already added into the Avangate platform. If you created and saved the CSV file with the changes you wish to implement, then simply upload it by following the normal steps of the product import process.

Download a CSV with your product info

  1. Under Setup, navigate to Products, and then click on the Import products button on the left hand side of the screen, underneath the Search products area.
  2. Scroll down at the bottom of the screen and hit the Download CSV in the Export products area. You'll export and download a CSV file listing all your active products.

This CSV file contains all product information already in the system, all of which editable. There are three editing strategies possible:

  1. Updating info - If you simply modify existing details and introduce new info, for example, when uploading the new CSV file, any existing information will be updated, reflecting the changes you made. 
  2. Deleting info - If you preserve the columns and headers, but remove all content (as long as it's not mandatory content), when uploading the new CSV file, the system will delete all existing information matching the fields you left empty. 
  3. Preserving existing info - If you delete the columns and their headers altogether (as long as their presence is not required), the system will preserve the existing product information intact, and make no alterations. Use this method to avoid altering relevant info that you want to keep in place and which doesn't need updating.

Disable and enable existing products

  1. To change a product's status to inactive, essentially disabling it, open the CSV file for that item, and find the Status column header.
  2. Change the value under Status from active to disabled to render the product inactive. Similarly, swap disabled for active to re-enable a product.
  3. Once you made the necessary modifications to the CSV file, save it, getting it ready for import. 

Import CSV from URL

Import CSV files stored on a server under your control by providing their URL.

  1. Once you finalized the CSV file and uploaded it to your server, make sure to have its URL on hand. Navigate to Products under Setup, and then click on the Import products button on the left hand side of the screen, underneath the Search products area.
  2. Introduce the fill URL that points to the CSV file you'd like to import in the field under the Import from URL tab, and hit the Next step button. Provided that all headers are correct, and their columns are filled with the necessary details, the new products will be imported into the system without any issue.
  3.  If you provided a valid link for the CSV file, the system will save the URL, and automate the importing/updating process.

Update product information using Import CSV from URL

You can use the Import from URL feature to not only import new products into the system, but also to update the information of existing items. The product info refresh process can be done manually, but you can also automate it by checking the box next to Automatically update products from this file. Modify the details of the CSV file as you want, and re-upload it to your servers.

  • Manually update product information 
  1. Enter the URL for the CSV file stored on your server and introduce it in the field under the Import from URL tab.
  2. Click the Next step button. Provided that you entered the correct headers and filled the columns with the necessary details, the import process proceeds.
  3. Review the information of the products you're importing.
  4. Hit the Finish import button and then OK to finalize the import process and update product info. Click Cancel to stop the process from moving to the final stage in case you notice problems when importing. You need to confirm the cancelation.
  • Automate the updating of product information 
  1. Check the box next to Automatically update products from this file to have Avangate analyze the file for changes, and synchronize the details of the products already in the system with those you alter in the CSV file. The system checks the CSV file for any changes and re-uploads it in order to update product information/configuration per the refreshed document (new details will be updated at least once per day).
  2. Instead of pressing the Next step button, click on Save to get the system to process the update automatically.

Disable and activate products using Import CSV from URL

Use the Import from URL feature to also disable or enable products already in the system, in addition to updating their information. Disabling/enabling products can be done manually, but you can also automate it by checking the box next to Automatically update products from this file and clicking the Save button. 
Open the CSV file and find the Status column header. Change the value under Status from active to disabled in order to render the product inactive. Similarly, swap disabled for active to enable/re-enable a product. Save it and re-upload it to your servers when you're done.

  • Manually disable/enable products 
  1. Enter the URL for the CSV file stored on your server and introduce it in the field under the Import from URL tab.
  2. Click the Next step button. Provided that you entered the correct headers and filled the columns with the necessary details, the import process proceeds, and Avangate disables or enables products.
  3. Hit the Finish import button and then OK to finalize the import process. Click Cancel to stop the process from moving to the final stage in case you notice problems when importing. You need to confirm the cancelation.
  • Automate the product disabling/enabling process 
  1. Check the box next to Automatically update products from this file to have Avangate analyze the file for changes, and synchronize the details of the products already in the system with those you alter in the CSV file.
  2. The system checks the CSV file for any changes and re-uploads it in order to update product information/configuration per the refreshed document (updates happen at least once per day).
  3. Click on Save to get the system to process the update automatically.

FAQ

Can I import/update images using a CSV file?

No. You can only add details for the fields matched with the following column headers: product name , product code, product version, id shipping class, gift option, short description, long description, system requirements, platforms, download link, download description, price configuration type, price type, default currency, price, status, Avangate ID (the ID cannot be updated once the product was added). Once you import a new product, all its information is available for editing in your Control Panel, under Setup, Products, and you can easily add images.

Can I use a CSV file to configure pricing options for products?

No. You can use CSV files to define a base price, or set up the pricing for the volume interval (1 to maximum) for products without a base price. You need to manually edit product information to configure more complex pricing schemes, including but not limited to volume discounts, renewals price, promotions, pricing options groups, or any other parameters that impact price.

How do I format numbers?

When creating and editing CSV files, it's best to limit the use of commas only to separate values. 

  • Use a dot and not a comma to represent decimals: 0.1 instead of 0,1
  • Write larger numbers without separating hundreds and thousands, etc. For example, one million should be represented as 1000000 and not 1,000,000. Do not use commas to separate thousands from hundreds, millions from hundred thousands, etc. in numbers with in excess of five digits.
Is there a limit to how many products can be imported simultaneously via the same CSV file?

No. But please be advised that the performance of the importing process will degrade when larger CSV files are used.

The Download CSV option is not available for my account. Why?

You first need to set up at least one product, and set its status to active, before you can export a list of active items.

Can I manually map CSV columns to product fields?

Yes. In the eventuality that you exported the CSV file from another application or service and some heading information is incorrect, the system will give you the chance to manually map the headers with the fields they correspond to. However, this scenario involves only mislabeled headings, and your file needs to contain the columns associated to mandatory headers as well the right information in place. Only then will the system correctly detect the data properly.
Each column in a CSV file can be associated to a single field. The importing process will not move on until all columns are correctly assigned to their respective fields. Also, you can't match a column with more than one field.

Is it possible not to enter any values under CSV columns?

Yes. But only as long as they're not mandatory columns. For an empty field value leave a null value between commas, namely simply write two commas in succession without entering any parameters. The system will identify this as an empty field value.

Does Avangate synchronize Control Panel changes to product configuration into the file on a third-party server?

Automating the import process provides extra flexibility and control over product management, enabling you to only edit the CSV file, and have the information seamlessly uploaded into the Avangate platform. Avangate does not save any changes you make to product information or configuration using your Control Panel into the CSV file on your servers.