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CSV Import for bulk editing (updating) not allowing category assignments on 7.1

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I was able to import around 983 products into my product page using the CSV import method; I was migrating from an existing site to a new one using the 7.1 platform, so exporting then importing was my best bet. I was able to apply multiple tags to all my products, and it worked great.

My issue now is that I'd like to add the "Related Products" function to the product display pages, but I noticed that it will only (automatically) display products from the same category. (I like this solution because it won't require much input on my part.) I currently don't have categories assigned to any of the products, so I figured I'd export the inventory, edit the CSV to add a category to the products, using category names that have already been created. But after the import, nothing is updated and the error message reads, "Categories not assigned - Try assigning these categories manually". It lists the items as "Updated", but since the only change was the addition of a category, and that failed, nothing was really updated.

Am I doing something wrong here? Like I said, the categories are already named on the back end; no products actually have a category, but I know they're there because they show up in the list of options when I go to select a category in the product edit window. Anyone have any tips on getting this to work?

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Does anybody have any insight to why I can't assign categories to my products via the CSV import process? I have almost 1,000 products to assign categories to, and doing it manually is going to cost me a lot of time, and my client a lot of money if that's what I end up having to do.

I know this import method has its limitations, but category assignation is specifically mentioned in the documentation as being one of the features.

 

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I just tested importing categories on both v7.0 and v7.1.

With 7.0 I had no problem importing new categories and tags. Even multiple categories.

With 7.1 tags came in no problem. Categories did not come in automatically. I had to first define each category once in Store Settings > Categories. Then importing any number of categories for an item works.

Here is another potential gotcha. If you define a category like "abcd" and then you realize you made a mistake and go back in and make it "abc" but don't update the URL Slug you will get errors on import. The URL Slug is the key not the Name.

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Thanks for that; your experience mirrors mine somewhat. I can confirm that the categories I want to use for import do exist on the site, despite no item actually possessing a category:

image.thumb.png.d74136b3e263427d817ab28c06543dbf.png

 

So seeing them here makes me think the import method will work, but it does not:

image.thumb.png.927264a267b75d104f4bd09d57125ec0.png

 

Do I need to have at least one product actually have a category assigned to it for this to work? In other words, the categories exist on the back end, but perhaps since none of them are actually in use, the import method can't function properly. I'll have to run some more tests to find out, but if you could let me know whether or not you had product with category or categories defined only I'd appreciate it...

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8 minutes ago, Bobblehead said:

Do I need to have at least one product actually have a category assigned to it for this to work?

Not in my experience. I defined the category only in Store Settings > Categories. Then added those categories to the import file and then imported with no issues.

I notice you have some categories with + in them. For example "Clothing + Jewelry". The URL Slug for that is "/clothing-jewelry". So is your category defined in your import file as "clothing-jewelry"?

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I notice you have some categories with + in them. For example "Clothing + Jewelry". The URL Slug for that is "/clothing-jewelry". So is your category defined in your import file as "clothing-jewelry"?

I'm spelling and using the same case the same way the categories are named on the back end. So "Home Decor", not "home-decor". There is no URL for categories, since all my products are on a single product page with its own URL. Do I have to account for how Squarespace converts characters like spaces and pluses? That doesn't make sense, since like I said those categories are effectively "tags" and not URLs...

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Okay, so the issue is that categories must be assigned, as you suggested, by using the existing URL slug for that category. This is completely different than the process for adding tags in the spreadsheet, as plain text is used there. I feel like this is user unfriendly, and needlessly confusing. In any case, for clarity:

  • Tags can be added in the CSV using plain text, with multiple tags requiring commas and a space between them.
  • Categories can be added in the CSV, but entries must match the corresponding URL slug that must exist on the site prior to import. Each category's URL slug is available by going into your product page, clicking on a category, then clicking the gear icon to view settings. Multiple categories can be added using commas and a space between them, and using the slash (/) is not required.

I feel like this should be made more clear in the documentation. Thanks again for your assistance.

Edited by Bobblehead
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2 hours ago, Bobblehead said:

This is completely different than the process for adding tags in the spreadsheet, as plain text is used there. I feel like this is user unfriendly, and needlessly confusing.

 

2 hours ago, Bobblehead said:

I feel like this should be made more clear in the documentation.

I agree.

Nice summary of the situation!

Find my contributions useful? Please like, upvote, mark my answer as best , and see my profile. Thanks for your support!

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  • 2 years later...
On 10/16/2020 at 12:26 PM, Bobblehead said:

Okay, so the issue is that categories must be assigned, as you suggested, by using the existing URL slug for that category. This is completely different than the process for adding tags in the spreadsheet, as plain text is used there. I feel like this is user unfriendly, and needlessly confusing. In any case, for clarity:

  • Tags can be added in the CSV using plain text, with multiple tags requiring commas and a space between them.
  • Categories can be added in the CSV, but entries must match the corresponding URL slug that must exist on the site prior to import. Each category's URL slug is available by going into your product page, clicking on a category, then clicking the gear icon to view settings. Multiple categories can be added using commas and a space between them, and using the slash (/) is not required.

I feel like this should be made more clear in the documentation. Thanks again for your assistance.

Thank you for writing the solution so completely!  Just saved me. 

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