Massive import of products with PrestaShop: tricks to save time
If you have faced one of those databases with 1,000+ products and the problem of having to import them automatically with PrestaShop or you are a dropshipper, this post might be of your interest.
Here there are some tricks to make that massive import automatic (using Tools > Import on your PrestaShop back-office).
First of all, create the categories before you import any products. Otherwise you may have issues matching products with their categories. If you wanna save problems, it is better to match the categories by ID, not by their name.
1. Some of the fields are missing or the characters look funny
This is an easy one. You will always export to CSV from Excel, and you will always upload that CSV to the importation tool. Before doing that, though, open that CSV with Notepad, Editplus or Dreamweaver and “Save as”. Code it as UTF-8 or your standard codification (depends on your language). This way, any accent mark, diaeresis or other Spanish punctuation (case you’re using Spanish, of course) signs will not turn into funny signs.
2. The categories don’t respect their hierarchy
A classic. Let’s imagine that you have the following categories:
Mobile phones > Covers
Tablets > Covers
Be careful when you import this: PrestaShop automatically will put all products under the first “covers” category, which corresponds to “Mobile phones”. This means that all products under the “Tablets > Covers” category will be put under the “Mobile phones > Covers” category. A real mess!
Solution: I recommend you modifying the categories as it follows.
Mobile phones > Covers
Tablets > Tablets covers
This way you’ll have 2 different subcategories. Once you have imported the CSV, you can now change the category “Tablets covers” to just “Covers”.
3. I have specific fields, what do I do?
In this case, include each specific field in a different column and, during the import process, unfold the column pull-down menu and click on “Features”. This way you’ll be able to write down the different features: format, additional info, etc. Prestashop will create those fields on the Features tab of your product summary of product characteristics.
4. It does import neither prices nor weights
It’s probably a matter of dots and commas. You must enter prices and weights writing “44.45” and not “44,45”.
5. I can’t see any images
Watch out – you probably have not activated the 777 permissions on the root/img folder and its subfolders. Check also the img/tmp folder permissions where the temporary images are created before being resized into the product/category/homepage/small/medium sizes.
6. How to import descriptions with italic and bold characters
That’s an easy one: you just have to modify the product description from “my description and my bold characters” to “my description and <strong>my bold characters</strong>” Prestashop will import those field to be rendered as HTML code, which will show the bolds on the front office description of your product.
7. The always forgotten ACTIVE column
This column is very important and you shouldn’t forget about it, because it shows whether the product has stock available. If Prestashop decides for you, it will activate all the products regardless they have stock or not.
8. The perfect accessory: MagneticOne Desktop Manager
When you’ve finished importing and you have to modify tiny things here and there, the best you can do is using the MagneticOne Desktop Manager. A desktop and full visual solution that will save hours of your time, specially if you have a huge catalogue.
9. I’m a resseller/I’m a dropshipper so, every day, I want to import an XML of products that come from a supplier whose offer I resell
You need a specific module for that. Get in touch with me at jordiob(at)jordiob.com and I’ll let you know how.
Thanks to Laia Ordonez for helping on the translation