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Understand the CSV file and how to create a product CSV file

This article will help you understand what a CSV file is and how to create a CSV file to manage your products.

In this article

A. Definition of a CSV files
B. Import CSV files into Google Sheets
C. Export CSV files from Google Sheets
D. Create a product CSV file
E. Add images for your CSV file

A. Definition of CSV files

CSV is short for comma-separated-values, a file format (.csv) for spreadsheets. You can use CSV files to import and export products, customers, inventory, orders, and discounts (export only).

Your CSV files must use UTF-8 encoding.

If you are updating a CSV file export, remember to confirm the UTF-8 encoding to avoid generating unwanted special characters in your file. If you save your file after forgetting to confirm its UTF-8 encoding, your data will be corrupted when you upload it as a new spreadsheet. Corrupted files cannot be recovered.
We recommend that you use Google Sheets to work with your CSV files. You will need to import the CSV file to Google Sheets. After you've made your changes, export the CSV file to your computer. Special characters don't always work correctly in CSV files that are exported, edited with another spreadsheet program, and then re-imported into ShopBase.

B. Import CSV files into Google Sheets

Log in to your Google account.

On the Google Sheets page, click Blank in the Start a new spreadsheet section.

From the Untitled Spreadsheet page, go to File > Import.

Locate and select the CSV file that you want to edit.

In the Import file dialog, select your preferred options under the Import location, Separator type, and Convert text to numbers, dates and formulas.

Click Import data.

From here you can start editing your CSV, export it from Google Sheets as a .csv file.

C. Export CSV files from Google Sheets

From your CSV spreadsheet page, go to File > Download > Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet):

You can find the exported CSV file in your computer's Downloads.

D. Create a product CSV file

First, you can download and view a sample product CSV file to use as a template and learn more about product CSV file format in this article.

If you are uploading a product with no variants, enter all the fields for the product on the first line along with the URL for the first image. On the following lines, enter just the handle and the URL for each additional image.
If you are uploading a product that has variants, enter all the fields for the product on the first line along with the URL for the first image. On the following lines, enter the handle. Then, skip the Title, Body (HTML), Vendor, and Tags columns. Fill out the rest of the variants' details and each image URL.

After you've added all your products and images, save your CSV file in UTF-8 format using LF-style linefeeds.

E. Add images for your CSV file

Because a CSV file can only contain text, you'll need to make sure that all product images are on an existing website. Those image URLs will only be used during the CSV importing process and you can delete them when your import is done.

If the images are on your computer, you need to upload them to your ShopBase store or another image hosting service to get their URLs.
If you are switching to ShopBase from another platform, you can copy the current image URLs and use them in the CSV file.
If the product CSV file was produced by exporting your products from ShopBase, you don't need to do anything since your images are already on your website.

When you have URLs for each product image, you can start building your CSV file.

If you remove products or product images from your store after exporting and then try to import those products without updating their image URLs, your import will fail.
You can add multiple product images to your CSV by uploading more images to your ShopBase admin but your product images must be uploaded to a publicly accessible URL, meaning that they should be behind an https:// protocol with no password protection.

Follow the steps below to add your images to the CSV file

Insert new rows. You should have insert one row for each image.
Open your CSV files in Google Sheets and locate the product(s) you want to add images to.
On the next row click and drag on the row numbers to select multiple rows. Select the same number of rows as the number of additional images you will add.

While those rows are highlighted, right click anywhere in the highlighted area, and choose Insert X rows above.

Copy and paste the handle of the desired product into the respective Handle for your new rows.

Copy and paste the Image URLs. In this step, you will need to upload your images to your desired platform. Then, copy one image URL at a time and paste it into its respective product line in the Image Src (short for Image Source) column. Repeat these steps till all images of the product are uploaded.

Then, you can then save the file and import it to ShopBase.

Overview of Products
Import products to ShopBase by CSV file
Export products from ShopBase

Updated on: 13/09/2022

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