Each and every merchant who is into e-commerce, sooner or later faces the necessity to input new entities and further update inventory. Due to that fact there raised the necessity for the ways of improving and enhancing default Magento admin import functionality, making it simpler and more approachable for ordinary users without special skills or technical competence. One of such tools is Store Manager for Magento that offers flexible process of product import from .csv.
As Magento data import process is considered to be the main source of bringing changes and updating your inline shop with new entities, it is top-most important to automate or skip the steps of file preparation without having to update data long hours. Such procedures like manually adjusting the file or increasing the prices are unnecessary and lead to wasting a lot of time. In this article it will be described why performing Magento import from .csv via Store Manager is more convenient than with the help of Magento admin.
So what are the advantages of .cvs spreadsheet upload via Store Manager over admin import?
Magento admin import with its requirements vs Store Manager without any requirements
Magento admin has strict requirements to the file you are going to use for data import. Obviously that your supplier will not provide you with the exactly required file format. You might be lacking of some columns with obligatory information, so most likely you will receive notification that without that info the file cannot be uploaded. Probably all the users have faced this issue while updating goods with admin import tool.
On the contrary, Store Manager has more flexible system for data upload and you need only SKU for identification and the data you would like to update or upload. So if you are missing of some column Store Manager for imports .csv properly and the file will be accepted anyway. Below you can find what to do with missing data.
Raw database column names vs user-friendly mapping feature
All column names in your .csv file should fit to attribute codes or database tables that may be unfamiliar to you. For example what type_id field is used for? What data should be placed here? The worst thing is when while Magento admin import, the column names from your .csv file differ from the ones in your database, then .csv file won’t be accepted and the data won’t be uploaded.
Store Manager in its turn, provides its users the names of attributes or fields where the data have to be imported to. In our case unfamiliar type_id field will be named as product type, that is much more clear. Also you will see hints when hovering over the column name to see more detailed explanations. Also there is a possibility to assign columns by indicating from which field to take information and to which database column it should be placed, so the exact match of column names is not required.
For example if you have field Recommended Product Price from your supplier to be imported to Magento from .csv, with Store Manager for Magento you will be able to assign it to price field without modifying your file.
Missing data is a problem for Admin
Admin import doesn’t allow you to set values for visibility, status, or any other required field. Most likely your supplier would not provide that information for you in the file. It leads to the additional work with the file in Excel and time loss. Also it is impossible to automate the product update in this case as admin import will not be able to set those values for you.
Using Store Manager you can adjust values of your .csv file on a fly right in the process of data import. You can merge columns, do fields modifications, change prices etc. Import from default Magento admin is lacking of those valuable abilities.
For example you have product name “PlayStation 3” in one column and manufacturer name “Sony” in another one and you want to add the manufacturer name to your product name. You can easily merge them on a fly while import and get “Sony PlayStation 3”.
Also a nice example is visibility field. Your supplier has no idea about this field, but you need to indicate the value for this field for the products to show up at your website. So while import you will be able to set 4 as default value that equals to Catalogue, Search visibility and this way your product will be shown at the frontend.
Necessity to import all data even if one field should be updated
If you need to update lets say products quantity, from Magento admin you in any case will need to have all the mentioned above required fields, in spite of the fact that actually you bring new data to only 1 column.
Using Store Manager, you can perform product import from .csv having only column with SKU for identification and column with quantity for the changes to be applied. That speeds up the process of Magento data import considerably since you upload less columns, so respectively, the software will take less time for their import. This will reduce the time of upload at least twice and decrease server load.
Media/Import folder for images vs any format provided by your supplier
To upload images for products using Magento Admin you will need to upload them to specific folder on your server, which is media/import. It is rather inconvenient if your supplier provides you with URLs to images or if you do not have time to wait till they are uploaded. If image is not found there while importing csv to Magento, it will not be uploaded later and you will never know how many of them are missing. Also Magento admin import will add new images each time you run import and will not overwrite existing ones. So you may have duplicated images for all products.
Using Store Manager you can upload local as well as remote images, so no matter which image names you have in your .csv file, they will fit! Store Manager handles import images from http links or from simple image names, all you need to do is to indicate the location where they are stored.
Server overload avoiding vs cached import
If you have big database and perform data appending from .csv via admin, it can overload your server, as this procedure requires lots of resources (as you know Magento loves your resources and it is never enough for it :). It is especially awful if you need to update your inventory every day, so server overload will be the normal day-to-day situation for you.
With the help of Store Manager you can run import locally using cache option. It a bit slows down the procedure, but will keep your site up and running.
Manual vs Automated Reindex
After each bulk operation and Magento data import is not an exception, you need to do reindex. It takes your time and makes you visit this section of your admin a billion times a day.
Store Manager has built-in option to do reindex automatically right in the process of uploading. You can forget about having to do re-index manually and save your time for site promoting or other marketing activities that will bring you more money.
Those are only a few benefits of Store Manager import over default Magento admin import, however there are more of them. You can check out mentioned advantages and explore other ones yourself: