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How to work with CS-Cart import/ export data functionality? What is a CSV file?

March 6th, 2018

What is CSV file? What role does it have in CS-Cart?

CSV is a text file that is supposed for convenient presentation of table data. This is the most popular document format for import and export data in internet shops. This is a sort of table where all your records about products are in right order. The CSV file saves a pile of time while editing data in an online shop. For example, you have created an online shop on CS-Cart platform and you need to fill up it with products or you need to raise all prices in short possible time. Wouldn't you do it manually, opening each product page in the admin panel and change the product price? No. In no case. Value your time.

For the beginning, let's get the correct sample of CSV file for the further editing.

csv format example

Hope that you have installed CS-Cart shop with the demonstrating data at the first installation and you can easily make the sample of CSV file appropriate for import in CS-Cart.

But if you have an absolutely empty CS-Cart store at the moment, you need to create a couple of goods through the administration panel of CS-Cart.

Thus, let's transfer the database of online shop in CSV file and open it in any spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc or LibreOffice Calc or any other program you used to work with). Edit the columns in a spreadsheet, save and return the updated data to CS-Cart platform by importing this CSV document. It helps us to overwrite information in our online store in a bulk and in a pair of minutes.

Export/Import functional is available in Administration Section, go to Export Data or Import Data.

csv export

You can choose subcategories that give you an ability to work with features, orders, products, subscribers, translations, users. It means that you can export in CSV file all these data and edit it in spreadsheet offline on your PC in a bulk. After that, you can move new data in the store in seconds. People are increasingly required to operate with product export and import in an online shop as item information is required to be changed more often. For example, it demands to raise all prices to 5% in the store or update the stock due to product codes.

When we are on product export page, we see not only fields that can be imported in CSV file, but also tabs: products, a combination of options, images, volume discounts, exceptions of option combinations. Thus, all data are well organized.

We won’t go into detail and hints of CS-Cart import/export functionality. This is the topic for the future articles. We are going to cover it later.

We have active tab Products. Here we can choose the list of fields we want to export.

What is the list of fields?

There is information in the database for every product: category, sales price, price, weight, stock and etc. It means each type of data belongs to separate column in the database.

We select the required fields by moving them from right part to left part of the screen.

export table

There is no sense to export a big number of fields. It will be inconvenient to work on CSV document if there will be more than 8 fields. Here is the advice for you. Select only those fields to move that required to be changed at the moment.

Usually, people use the following fields for editing:

  • Product code
  • Language
  • Status
  • Product name
  • Quantity
  • Price
  • Category

If you often use same fields during the export, you may create the layout for export by saving them as a layout. 

export layout

Choosing the CSV delimiter, it’s important to check the signs that are used in data to be different from delimiter type.

csv delimiterIt’s very important. Have prepared all fields, press the export button and wait for some time.

export button

After the data processing, you will be offered to open CSV file. Select the UTF-8 format and start editing data in the spreadsheet. Please, remember, that creating a new category in CSV file through the offline program, this category will be created automatically in CS-Cart by the import process.

Also, do not forget that CS-Cart takes data from the columns in CSV with the corresponding column name. If you create a new column with the name - Price, enter new figures in this column, but the column with old prices rename into price1, you will see that at the import CS-Cart will take the information from the column with price name.

Have edited CSV file, just import it back into CS-Cart through the administrative panel.

import csvYou will see all changes that have been made in the spreadsheet, being uploaded to the online store.

Of course, import and export aren’t perfect in CS-Cart and sometimes it is required to make some modification of it according to special business aims. There are lots of variants of adaptation of such functionality and there are different demands to export/import functionality for every specific business. Usually online shop owners order or download ready-to-use modules that solve the technical issues by managing the store.

Please, check Alt-team solutions to extend import/export data functionality in CS-Cart.