Importing Products in CSV

Whether you are importing new products or updating existing ones, the ability to upload product information in bulk from a CSV spreadsheet enables you to save time over using the Evance user interface. However we advise that administrators use the Evance control panel to better understand product fields before using this more advanced facility. 

This guide explains how to use the CSV import facility but also contains tips and tricks on getting the most from your system.

This document assumes you have knowledge of using a spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel. 

Preparing Content

If you're writing your own content that's great news because you can add your own personality to your communication style. If you're preparing data from a supplier then there are few things you should be aware of. Supplier data isn't always great news for your website. Whilst it may be technically brilliant, you'll need to write your own content to stand out from the crowd and put your own stamp on your products. Some supplier data may not be in a format appropriate for Evance so it is important you take the time to understand Evance and the available fields to import and their required formats.

Don't be tempted to cut too many corners. You're better off adding smaller numbers of well prepared content into your site than adding large amounts of data that is either ill prepared, inaccurate or you are unaware of.
Essentially what we're saying is, know your products inside and out - it will help you sell better on-line through your copy, stock control and your customer service. 

Data Formatting

Some fields require specific formatting, such as dates and prices. Whether you are manipulating data from a supplier or writing your own data to import please ensure you read the formatting requirements of each field you wish to import.  

Available Import Fields

Evance has the following available fields for import. Please read the instructions for each field carefully - some fields require precise settings which you should be aware of for a successful import. 


Quickfind

Numeric Unsigned - must be an integer over 0 or left blank.

Evance assigns a unique number to each product called the Product ID, or Quickfind code. When importing new products into Evance you should leave this field blank. Evance will create a new product and assign its own unique code to the new product. If you enter a number into this column Evance will assume you are trying to update an existing product and will perform a search for the product to update. If Evance is unable to find the product it will attempt to insert a new one. 

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SKU

String - up to 30 characters (optional)

The SKU code is your Stock Keeping Unit and is a unique code you assign to your products for referencing stock. The SKU must be unique to the product and should not be shared with other products in your database. You may enter SKUs in any format you wish, but we advise that SKUs should have a consistent pattern throughout your system for ease of use. Try to keep your SKUs in a unbroken string (i.e. without spaces) as these are less confusing and more accurate to search for. 

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Title

String - up to 120 characters (required)

Product Titles, along with Short Descriptions , are instrumental in enticing users to read more about a product, and in finding them through the search facility in both Evance and external Search Engines such as Google. Product Titles should be short and concise and in more technical website should include only the most important variant or technical information.

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URL

String - up to 255 characters (optional)

The SEO friendly URL of your product. Evance is a growing system and in order to reduce conflicting URLs all product URLs should start with the prefix /product. For example a product with a Title "iPhone 3GS Brace Case in Red" may have a URL of "/product/iphone-3gs-brace-case-red". The URL you specify should start with a forward slash and should not be the fully qualified URL e.g. not http://mydomain.com/product/iphone-3gs-brace-case-red. 

URLs should not contain spaces. Keep your URLs simple and ensure they only contain characters a-z, 0-9, dashes (-) or underscores (_).

When importing New Products URLs are optional. If you do not supply a URL field, or leave the URL field blank Evance will assume that a system URL will be used which will be in the format "/product/123" where 123 represents the Quickfind code for the product. 

When importing Existing products you can opt to not import the URL field and therefore keep any existing settings.

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Short Description

String - up to 255 characters (required)

Your short description is your opportunity to sell your product to your customers in an attractive, short and concise promotional piece of copy. In most themes the Short Description accompanies the Product Title in Categories . The short description for your product is required when importing new products. You should avoid using HTML in your short descriptions. 

Try to avoid using suppliers' default text. If you are importing copy from supplier data, take the time to read Short Descriptions and rewrite the copy to suit your brand communication style. By doing this you'll be ensuring that your website has unique content over competitors who do not take as much care with their data. 

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Long Description

Text or HTML (required for new products)

Once in Evance the Long Description is your chance to get creative with your products, but when importing through CSV it can be difficult to know how much text to enter. Don't be tempted to cut too many corners and spend some time writing long descriptions that encompass keyword rich content. Well written and informative content, which is rich in search engine friendly keywords, will encourage sales and help you get found on search engines such as Google. 

Long Descriptions in Evance accept HTML code. When importing new products, but may be omitted when updating products.  

Try to avoid using suppliers' default text. If you are importing copy from supplier data, take the time to read Long Descriptions and rewrite the copy to suit your brand communication style. By doing this you'll be ensuring that your website has unique content over competitors who do not take as much care with their data. 

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Model

String - up to 30 characters (optional)

Model is used for your reference as most themes do not use the Model field. Model is normally used in the context of Make, Model, Variant. Such as Ford, Focus, Zetec where Focus is the model. 
This field is optional when importing new or updated products. 

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Variant

String - up to 30 characters (optional)

Variant is used for your reference as most themes do not use the Variant field. Variant is normally used in the context of Make, Model, Variant. Such as Ford, Focus, Zetec where Zetec is the variant. 
This field is optional when importing new or updated products. 

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Minimum Order

Integer - 1 to 999 (optional, defaults to 1)

The minimum order quantity that may be added into the shopping cart. This is an optional field so long as you are happy with the system default, which is 1. Users may not put less than this quantity within their cart. If you decide to import Minimum Order quantities all rows in your CSV must have an integer value in this field greater than 0 and must not contain any other units or number formatting. 

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Maximum Order

Integer - 0 to 999 (optional, defaults to 0)

The maximum order quantity that may be added into the shopping cart, or 0 for unlimited. This is an optional field so long as you are happy with the system default, which is 0. Users may not put more than this quantity of the product into the cart. If you decide to import Maximum Order quantities all rows in your CSV must have an integer value in this field 0 or greater and must not contain any other units or number formatting.

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Sales Start On

Date (optional)

The date on which you wish to begin selling this product. This field is optional per line, which means you can set the Sales Start On date on some products and not on others. If you leave this field blank Evance will assume that sales of this product are to start immediately. 

To avoid confusion between American and European date formats we recommend that you enter the date format in your spreadsheet similar to 1 January 2013, or 1 Jan 2012. If you enter a date in slash format (e.g. mm/dd/yyyy) then the US format will be assumed, or if you enter with a dashed format (e.g. dd-mm-yyyy) then an EU format will be assumed.
You may also use the ISO 8601 format yyyy-mm-dd to avoid ambiguity. Often these aren't as nice to read as our recommended date format. 

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Sales End On

Date (optional)

The date on which you wish to stop selling a product. For example if you enter 1 January 2013 the last day of sales would be 31 December 2012. This date field is optional per line, which means you may set it on some lines and not on others. If you leave this field blank Evance will assume that the product does not expire and you wish to continue selling it indefinitely. 

To avoid confusion between American and European date formats we recommend that you enter the date format in your spreadsheet similar to 1 January 2013, or 1 Jan 2012. If you enter a date in slash format (e.g. mm/dd/yyyy) then the US format will be assumed, or if you enter with a dashed format (e.g. dd-mm-yyyy) then an EU format will be assumed. 
You may also use the ISO 8601 format yyyy-mm-dd to avoid ambiguity. Often these aren't as nice to read as our recommended date format. 

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Weight (kg)

Decimal (recommended, defaults to 0)

Weight in Evance is measured in kg as a decimal. Whilst an optional field when importing we recommend maintaining weights for the purpose of shipping calculations. Therefore the weight you enter in this field should be the gross packaged weight of the product (not the net product weight) and must be a decimal greater than or equal to zero. 

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Meta Title

String - up to 120 characters (optional)

The meta title is the title that appears in your browser's title area at the top of the window or tab. Since the meta title is an optional field, if you do not set it your product's Title will be used instead. You should not include HTML in your Meta Title. The meta title is often the title used by Search Engines when you appear in natural listings. 

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Meta Description

String - up to 255 characters (optional)

The Meta Description is a brief keyword rich, yet concise description of your product. The purpose of the meta title is to add additional keywords to your search criteria and is often used by Search Engines in natural listings. You should not include HTML in your Meta Descriptions. 

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Meta Keywords

String - up to 255 characters (optional)

Your Meta Keywords should be a tightly linked comma separated list of keywords and/or phrases that best describe your product in order to be found. These may include alternative names the product is known as or common spelling mistakes the product may be found under. Importantly your meta keywords are used by some search engines for keyword relevancy and also by Evance within the internal search algorithm. We recommend trying to limit your keywords and phrases to around 14 comma separated entries. 

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Width (mm)

Integer (optional, defaults to 0)

The Width column in Evance represents the gross packaged width for your product in millimeters. This is currently only used for reference, and is not yet used by any calculations, however some are planned. We supply this field so that you may enter your product dimensions in advance of the new features becoming available. The information in this field will not show on your website. You should only add numeric characters into this field which are 0 or greater. Decimal places are not accepted in this field and will be truncated if entered. 

If you would like to add net product width or other dimensions as technical specifications for your product please use the Technical Specification option. 

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Height (mm)

Integer (optional, defaults to 0)

The Height column in Evance represents the gross packaged height for your product in millimeters. This is currently only used for reference, and is not yet used by any calculations, however some are planned. We supply this field so that you may enter your product dimensions in advance of the new features becoming available. The information in this field will not show on your website. You should only add numeric characters into this field which are 0 or greater. Decimal places are not accepted in this field and will be truncated if entered. 

If you would like to add net product height or other dimensions as technical specifications for your product please use the  Technical Specification  option. 

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Depth (mm)

Integer (optional, defaults to 0)

The Depth column in Evance represents the gross packaged depth for your product in millimeters. This is currently only used for reference, and is not yet used by any calculations, however some are planned. We supply this field so that you may enter your product dimensions in advance of the new features becoming available. The information in this field will not show on your website. You should only add numeric characters into this field which are 0 or greater. Decimal places are not accepted in this field and will be truncated if entered. 

If you would like to add net product depth or other dimensions as technical specifications for your product please use the  Technical Specification  option. 

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Discontinued

Y or N only (optional, defaults to N)

Has this product been discontinued and is no longer available for purchase on your website? If so enter Y or if not and your product is still available for purchase enter N. This column is optional, but if you decide to use this column you will be required to enter the correct value per line. 

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Discontinued On

Date (optional)

This field is optional, but if you set your Discontinued field to Y you should enter the date at which the product is no longer available for purchase on your site. You should leave this field blank if Discontinued is set to N. 

To avoid confusion between American and European date formats we recommend that you enter the date format in your spreadsheet similar to 1 January 2013, or 1 Jan 2012. If you enter a date in slash format (e.g. mm/dd/yyyy) then the US format will be assumed, or if you enter with a dashed format (e.g. dd-mm-yyyy) then an EU format will be assumed.  
You may also use the ISO 8601 format yyyy-mm-dd to avoid ambiguity. Often these aren't as nice to read as our recommended date format.   

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Discontinued Reason

String - up to 255 characters (optional)

A short description explaining why this product is no longer available for purchase. Perhaps it has been superseded by another in your database. Or perhaps it is no longer manufactured.  Please do not enter HTML in this field. This field is optional even if your product has been Discontinued

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Stock Alert Level

Integer (optional, defaults to 0)

The number of products across all of your warehouses at which you wish to be alerted when a product is low on stock. This column is optional, however if you decide to import Stock Alert Levels you should set a value 0 or greater for all entries.  

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Suspend on Depletion

Y or N only (optional, defaults to N)

When the product is depleted to the Stock Depletion Level you may specify whether you wish the product to remain purchasable on your website. If you would like users to continue to be able to purchase your product although you no longer have stock set to N, or Y if the product should no longer be purchasable till more stock becomes available. This column is optional, however if you decided to import Suspend on Depletion values you should set to either Y or N for all entries. 

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Stock Depletion Level

Integer (optional, defaults to 0)

The number of items in stock across all warehouses where the product is marked as out of stock. This may not mean that the product is unavailable for purchase (see Suspend on Depletion ). This column is optional, however if you decide to import Stock Depletion Levels values you should set the value for all entries in your spreadsheet. 

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Min Dispatch (days)

Integer (optional, defaults to 1)

The minimum dispatch days represents how many days it will typically take to dispatch the product from your warehouse once a visitor places an order when the product is in stock. This does not necessarily mean how long it takes to arrive at the customer's doorstep, which is subject to their shipping option when checking out. Although optional we would recommend maintaining the Min Dispatch days - some themes display this figure on your website when products are in stock.

This column is optional, however if you decide to import any settings you will need to set the value for all entries.

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Max Dispatch (days)

Integer (optional, defaults to 1)

The maximum dispatch days represents how many days it will typically take to dispatch the product from your warehouse once a visitor places an order when the product is out of stock. This does not necessarily mean how long it takes to arrive at the customer's doorstep, which is subject to their shipping option when checking out. Although optional we would recommend maintaining the Max Dispatch days - some themes display this figure when your products are out of stock. 

This column is optional, however if you decide to import any settings you will need to set the value for all entries.

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Superseded By Quickfind

Integer (optional)

If you have Discontinued a product and would like to keep a record of a product that superseded it then you can add the Quickfind code for the new product. This field is optional and may be set for some entries and not for others. 

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Band Reference

String - up to 16 characters (optional)

Products may be assigned to a single band, which groups products together into a single classifier that can span different product types. This allows you to associate products usually by profit margin bands. When importing products you should use the Band Reference (not its title). 

Please check for spelling mistakes to ensure a perfect match can be found. If no product Band is found with the reference supplied a new Product Band is created - you will then need to maintain the new product band separately from within the Evance control panel. 

This field is optional and may be set for some entries and not for others.  

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Tax Class

String - up to 64 characters (optional)

The name of the tax classifier to be used for this product when calculating tax on this product. This field is optional and if omitted the default Tax Class will be used. 

Please check for spelling mistakes to ensure a perfect match can be found. If no product Tax Class is found with the name supplied a new Tax Class is created - you will then need to maintain the new Tax Class separately from within the Evance control panel. 

This field is optional and may be set for some entries and not for others.  

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Manufacturer

String - up to 32 characters (optional)

The name of the product manufacturer. Please check for spelling mistakes to ensure a perfect match can be found. If no product Manufacturer is found with the name supplied a new Manufacturer is created - you will then need to maintain the new Manufacturer separately from within the Evance control panel.  

This field is optional and may be set for some entries and not for others.

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Shipping Class

String - up to 64 characters (optional)

The name of the shipping classifier to be used for this product when calculating shipping on this product. This field is optional and if omitted the default Shipping Class will be used. 

Please check for spelling mistakes to ensure a perfect match can be found. If no Shipping Class is found with the name supplied a new Shipping Class is created - you will then need to maintain the new Shipping Class separately from within the Evance control panel.  

This field is optional and may be set for some entries and not for others.   

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RRP

Decimal (optional)

The recommended retail price for your product is an optional setting that may be set for some entries and not for others. You should supply an unformatted decimal number to the decimal specifications of your Currency . For GBP this is 2 decimal places, however Evance supports up to 6 decimal places. The price you enter may be including or excluding tax depending on the Includes Tax field, or the default Tax settings for your website. For instance if your default site settings are for a consumer site where prices are shown including tax then you should enter your prices including tax. If you operate a trade or exclusive of tax site where tax is applied at checkout you should enter your prices exclusive of tax. However you can specify whether the price you have entered is including or excluding tax by defining the Includes Tax field per entry.

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Regular Price

Decimal (recommended)

The standard (not on offer) price is the unit price for a quantity of 1 unit of your product. Whilst optional when updating products we recommend you set the regular price for newly imported products.  You should supply an unformatted decimal number to the decimal specifications of your Currency . For GBP this is 2 decimal places, however Evance supports up to 6 decimal places. The price you enter may be including or excluding tax depending on the  Includes Tax  field, or the default Tax settings for your website. For instance if your default site settings are for a consumer site where prices are shown including tax then you should enter your prices including tax. If you operate a trade or exclusive of tax site where tax is applied at checkout you should enter your prices exclusive of tax. However you can specify whether the price you have entered is including or excluding tax by defining the  Includes Tax  field per entry.

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Current Price

Decimal (optional)

The current price can be thought of the offer price if it is different from your Regular Price  is the unit offer price for a quantity of 1 unit of your product. You should supply an unformatted decimal number to the decimal specifications of your Currency . For GBP this is 2 decimal places, however Evance supports up to 6 decimal places. The price you enter may be including or excluding tax depending on the   Includes Tax   field, or the default Tax settings for your website. For instance if your default site settings are for a consumer site where prices are shown including tax then you should enter your prices including tax. If you operate a trade or exclusive of tax site where tax is applied at checkout you should enter your prices exclusive of tax. However you can specify whether the price you have entered is including or excluding tax by defining the   Includes Tax   field per entry. 

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Volume Regular Price (qty)

Decimal (optional)

Unlike other columns you may use Volume Regular Price (qty) more than once. However the header for your column in your CSV spreadsheet should replace (qty) with the quantity the unit price corresponds to.
For example if you have a unit price of ¬£5.99 per unit when the customer orders 5 or more items then your column header should read " Volume Regular Price (5) ". The value per entry will be the same as the requirements for Regular Price - please see Regular Price for information on format, currency and tax information. 

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Volume Current Price (qty)

Decimal (optional)

Unlike other columns you may use Volume Current Price (qty) more than once. However the header for your column in your CSV spreadsheet should replace (qty) with the quantity the unit offer price corresponds to.
For example if you have a unit offer price of ¬£4.99 per unit when the customer orders 5 or more items then your column header should read " Volume Current Price (5) ". The value per entry will be the same as the requirements for  Current Price  - please see  Current Price  for information on format, currency and tax information. 

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Currency ISO

String - 3 characters only (optional)

The currency of all prices supplied for the row represented as the 3 character ISO code for the currency e.g. GBP. This field is optional and only required when importing prices that differ from your website's default currency. If you supply the currency code for one row you must supply it for all entries.

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Includes Tax

Y or N only (optional)

Whether all prices for the given row are inclusive or exclusive of Tax. Set to Y if prices are inclusive of tax and N if prices are exclusive of tax. This column is optional, if omitted prices should be set according to your default tax rule for your website.

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Image

String - up to 150 characters (optional)

The URL of the image for the product. Your images must be uploaded into a subfolder of /content/images to take advantage of Evance's autosizing. If you upload your images to " /content/images/products/ " your CSV field must start with this URL. Image URLs are case sensitive and the reference supplied in your CSV file must be an exact match to the images location.

Please be aware that Evance will not check the validity of the URL supplied and if entered incorrectly the image will not appear on your website and you will to manually remove and/or re-enter the image from within the control panel. However Evance will check whether the image is already assigned to the product to avoid duplication. 

If this is the first image to be assigned to the product, Evance will set the image as the default for the product. 

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Categories

String (optional)

You can import a product into one or more category hierarchies by following these simple rules. Your category titles must not contain any commas (,). Commas are used by the import script to denote the next category hierarchy the product belongs to.  Category hierarchies must be separated by a right angle bracket (>). For example the following is acceptable way of importing a product into two category hierarchies:
"iPhone 3GS>Accessories,iPhone 4>Accessories"

Evance is capable of performing a lookup of the category hierarchy and recursively creating categories as required. To avoid duplication Evance will check whether a product already exists within a category before adding it. 

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Related by Quickfind

String (optional)

A comma separated list of Quickfind codes that relate to the product row being imported. When you create new products this may not be possible if the products do not already exist. Hence this method of relating products is generally reserved for when updating products through the import. 

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Related by SKU

String (optional)

A comma separated list of SKUs  that relate to the product row being imported. When you create new products this may not be possible if the products do not already exist. Hence this method of relating products is generally reserved for updating products in bulk.

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Technical Specification

String - up to 50 characters (optional)

Unlike other columns the Technical Specification option may be used any number of times. Your column header should not actually read "Technical Specification" but should be the Heading or Classification for your specification.
For example if you have a light bulb with a Wattage of 50 Watts your header may be called Wattage and your entry for the row would be 50 Watts.

Evance will attempt to match existing specification headers and values for consistency and if it cannot find them it will add them as new entries. However, Evance is unable to cope with spelling mistakes or variations in headings or values so you will need to maintain a pattern manually when importing through CSV. For instance 50W, 50 W, 50 Watts will all be classed as different entries. 

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