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Merging many product pages into one: CSV import problems

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So I've got a client with a current, working commerce site. I'm re-designing their site with a different template, currently in preview mode. Before hiring me, they set up all their inventory in separate product pages. They have roughly 8 categories, but each of those has between 5 to 9 sub-categories; they created a product page for each sub-category. Naturally, having all their inventory segmented like that makes it hard to use tags to sort and organize their content. I exported their entire inventory, added tags and categories in the appropriate columns, and am trying to re-import. Here's where I'm running into issues.

  • I didn't notice the limitation of 200 products per page on a 7.0 template (the template I'm working in and previewing is 7.0). I read that 7.1 templates allow 10,000 products per page, which is great, but the prospect of choosing a new template and re-doing all the design work I've already done is not appealing.
  • To continue testing the import function, I then pared the spreadsheet down to fewer than 200 products, all in the same category. I created a product page just for that category, added that value into the "Product Page" column.
    • When importing that resulting spreadsheet, nothing is imported, with every item having the error "Make sure the product ID wasn't edited". I don't know what this means.
    • This error is only sometimes reproducable - when I imported the spreadsheet containing the entire inventory, these same items from the smaller spreadsheet imported successfully.
  • In short, I have no idea what to do here.

Like I mentioned, I can always choose to preview a 7.1 template and test the complete spreadsheet import. Let's say I do that, but I don't like the template for whatever reason: if I change my mind and go back to the template preview I'm using now, will I need to re-set all the font, color, and layout options? They're looking to re-launch soon, but this is turning out to be more work than I anticipated.

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I think you may be running into this issue from Completing the product import .csv file.

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If you exported a products .csv file and plan to import the products to a different site, remove the values under Product ID and Variant ID, keeping the headers intact. 

If you have values in those columns then SS is trying to update existing products in your inventory.

You might also want to look at Importing products from a .csv.

I suggest get the import working with a .csv with just one product in it first. That way if something goes wrong there is less potential damage.

Let us know how it goes.

Find my contributions useful? Please like, upvote, mark my answer as the best ( solution ), and see my profile. Thanks for your support! I am a Squarespace ( and other technological things ) consultant open for new projects.

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If you exported a products .csv file and plan to import the products to a different site, remove the values under Product ID and Variant ID, keeping the headers intact. 

I think this is the problem. After exporting the entire inventory, I re-ordered the rows so that all products from the same product page were grouped together; this was done to make bulk category and tag assignments more easy for the client, but it may be confusing the import. When importing, I removed data from all the "Product Page" column, but I kept all the Product ID and Variant ID data. So, as you say, SS is trying to update the existing products, and the different row placement might be causing this drama.

That leads me to try deleting all that ID data and trying to import again, but that leads me to question how I can define those rows as "Variants" of other products. I guess the import would read the variant descriptor column and determine those? If you know the answer to this, let me know; in any case I'll be attempting it later today. Thanks for the response!

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Order is important for product and variant import.

924574602_ScreenShot2020-10-01at12_12_40PM.png.a194960892c415d0765cf9fb1fcc4917.png

Product URL and Title are key to keeping a product and its variants together.

Getting things back in the right order might be a pain on your working file. Could you go back to the original file, clear the Product ID, Variant ID, and Product Page columns. Then using a spreadsheet do a lookup from the cleaned original file and grab the updated categories and tags from your working file? I think you could use the SKU column as your key into the working file for the lookups.

Find my contributions useful? Please like, upvote, mark my answer as the best ( solution ), and see my profile. Thanks for your support! I am a Squarespace ( and other technological things ) consultant open for new projects.

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So here's what I did:

  • I created a product page for each "category", with two "page 2" product pages for categories that had more than 200 items
  • I assigned the correlating product page value to the appropriate products in the spreadsheet
  • I deleted all product ID, variant ID, and SKU information
  • I imported the products

Everything imported flawlessly, which, great. My issue now is a greater inventory management problem, and my inability to perform proper testing.

I had originally wanted all the products on a single product page, so I could use summary blocks and tags to organize and display products throughout the site. This is not possible using the site's current 7.0 template. I started up a new 7.1 site, just to test the functions I want, and I cannot import any inventory - it's a premium feature, you see. So I can't even try the import, I can't see how having 1,000+ products on one page works, and I can't test drive my method of using tags and categories. This is a big bummer, and I might have to back out of this job. To say I'm disappointed in Squarespace would be an understatement.

And yes, I know Squarespace is not built for large e-commerce businesses, and that Shopify would be a better solution, but I'm working with a client who's already built the site and entered their inventory on Squarespace, so I'm kind of stuck.

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1 hour ago, Bobblehead said:

I deleted all product ID, variant ID, and SKU information

If your client wants to continue to use their SKUs they can.

1 hour ago, Bobblehead said:

I started up a new 7.1 site, just to test the functions I want, and I cannot import any inventory - it's a premium feature, you see. So I can't even try the import, I can't see how having 1,000+ products on one page works, and I can't test drive my method of using tags and categories.

I've not had issues with importing on 7.1 test sites. The warnings they give you about Premium features don't prevent you from testing. They just want you to know that if you want to go live with the test site you will have to buy the plan appropriate to the features you want to use.

Find my contributions useful? Please like, upvote, mark my answer as the best ( solution ), and see my profile. Thanks for your support! I am a Squarespace ( and other technological things ) consultant open for new projects.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your help on this. I was able to successfully import 983+ products and their variants from the old site using the spreadsheet. It even grabbed about 90% of the product images from the old site and copied them over to the new site. I have one last issue, but it belongs on its own thread:

 

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