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Magento Import Comparison: Magento Admin VS Web Modules VS Import as Service On-Demand VS Store Manager for Magento

There exists a multitude of different Magento fast product import methods to handle the complex task of transferring data from the file to the database. There are default built-in bulk import methods and different modules and extensions for backend with the ability to perform Magento data appending. Also you may come across the import as services on-demand provided by specialists and tech engineers and desktop applications with import tools included. Thus, because of broad selection, you may be somewhat bewildered by the different means using which the import can take place. This article is the attempt to organize everything in minds of store owners for whom import is the necessity and high-priority task of updating their stores and help them choose the solution that suits their needs.

Product import is a complex process and each of the mentioned above methods approach it in a different way. Below you can see the table with comprehensive comparison of different means of Magento bulk import. The evaluation is based upon the parameters important for overall efficiency of the process as well as for convenience of ordinary businesspersons without special technical skills. For the objects of comparison are taken Magento Backend import, web-based modules (loose notion, not any specific), import as a service on-demand provided by tech-engineer for additional fee, for example - www.mag-manager.com/import-as-a-service/ and desktop application Store Manager for Magento.

Criteria/Import MethodsMagento Backend ImportWeb Modules ImportImport as a ServiceStore Manager Import
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Price for single importFreeAverage price is from $100 to $4000 as well as there’s a number of free ones (but in most cases they do not support the latest version of Magento)Price depends on number of products. Up to 20 000 products - $149, up to 100 000 products - $249 and more than 100 000 products - contact us for a quoteIf you need to perform Magento fast product import for one time only, you can use Free trial version and import with no limitations and without any fee
Price for reimportFreeFreeThe same as the price of original importFree
Price for regular importFreeFreeYou will be charged each time you will need to update products$499 - price of Store Manager for Magento Primary License + Additional License
Price for automated importSpecial skills required to set up cron job, so the price depends on your hosting service price or developer’s feeDepends on the specific module you are usingContact us for estimated priceAutomated Product Import price $119
Installation & configurationIncluded in Magento, but the process of setting up is complicatedIn most cases complicated installation as well as configurationNo installation, configuration presupposes file upload to make Magento database import, tech specialists do all work for youInitial installation is as simple as any other desktop application installation. Import configuration is quite flexible, user friendly and offers you a number of hints
SupportCommunity support in the form of public forum users. Developers support is offered for additional feeDepends upon the module and is offered for additional fee mainlyFree. In case person orders a service, the assistance is provided by tech engineers personally and can be done in real-timeFree. Assistance is offered on every step of the way free of charge
DocumentationNot available on official Magento site - check it yourselfDepends on product. For free products only general marketing articles are availableThere’s no need for documentation and general information about service can be found in articlesDocumentation is offered free of charge. There’s a number of useful articles with any specific solutions.
Server Resources UsageHuge - number of server resources requiredHuge - number of resources depending on the number of productsMinimum resources as product import as a service can be done locally and synchronization requires less resourcesMinimum - import can be done locally with your local PC resources
File requirementsHas a lot of requirements including column names, data format, speicifc images folder, image path, etc.Usually supports Admin import/export format, thus has the same specific requirements. In case of specific data format in the file, additional addons to adjust it is requiredNo requirements. Modifications and file adjustments while Magento database import can be done by tech engineers, so no additional adjustments is requiredNo requirements at all. All columns can be merged, even if you have description in 2 files or want to upload images from external URLs from your supplier, price adjustments, etc... It is especially important in case you need to make this operation regularly
Functionality& FlexibilityNo additional functionalityEither not possible or possible by means of additional plug-ins/feeCustomizations and additional work on the basis of clients’ requirements are charged separatelyThe tool has a lot of built-in features. It is very flexible and allows to do modifications on fly - e.g. merge 2 columns, replace categories, set visibility, sort order, etc.
MultiStore supportAvailableDepending on the moduleAvailableAvailable. All stores can be updated simultaneously as well as separate stores import is available
Product types supportAll product typesSome of them cannot handle downloadable nor bundled product types. For some of the products import additional plug-ins requiredAll typesAll types
Images supportImage gallery with multiple images, but requires specific place for uploading images (media/...)Local and remote. Sometimes additional addons requiredSupport of multiple images either local or remote onesSupport of multiple images for image gallery. Also no matter where images are stored - locally or at your supplier's site or on same server as shopping cart, they will be imported correctly
Import of attributes and Attribute setsNeed to be created manuallyAttribute sets and their corresponding attributes need to be set up firstCan be done for additional feeAttributes and attribute sets can be exported and imported
Custom Options importNot supportedIn most cases yes. Sometimes additional addon or module necessaryCan be importedCustom Options can be easily exported and imported for products. Just SKU and custom options values are required
Do it for me option - “I want to save my time. Import it for me”Not availableNot availableAvailable. The price depends on product quantityAvailable. Import configuration can be set for additional fee. Once the service is provided you can use it further with same file with no additional payments
Criteria/Import MethodsMagento Backend ImportWeb Modules ImportImport as a ServiceStore Manager Import
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To conclude, having examined carefully all the points of analysis, you yourself have to decide what means of Magento database import is more suitable for you and what you personally prefer better. In case you liked Store Manager for Magento or need our highly-experienced team of tech engineers and developers to perform import for you, do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly assist you.

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