Product Catalog CSV Files

Business Manager supports importing and exporting your catalogs in XML and CSV format. For an easier to read and edit version, export as a CSV file.

The CSV process is a subset of the XML process, so if the XML export doesn't support a function, neither does the CSV export. Also, because the CSV process is a subset, not all functions available for the XML process are possible for the CSV process. For example, the CSV export only contains product attributes and does not include columns for product bundles or product options.

How to Read Your Exported CSV File

The column headers contain your products' attributes. The header format depends on the type of attribute.

When the export processes a cell with multiple values, you sometimes see punctuation that didn't exist on your site. The import process translates these characters back to their original value when you import. For this reason, make sure that when you add new applicable values, you're adding any necessary punctuation.

Microsoft Excel changes the formats of certain values. Excel removes leading zeros in cells, which can cause certain values, such as product IDs, that start with a zero to show incorrectly. It also saves certain long numeric values in scientific notation. Keep these in mind when importing your CSV after opening it in Excel.

To protect your site from injection attacks, a zero width joiner (ZWJ) is inserted in front of any value that begins with =, +, -, or @. A ZWJ is invisible and is removed from your file when you import it.

Preparing Your CSV for Import

Keep in mind the following to prepare your file for import.

To make sure your CSV file fits the standards for importing, export a catalog first and modify it with your changes. You can create a new CSV file but this isn’t a best practice.

A CSV file can only update a catalog. The import process can't create a new catalog from a CSV file. Select which catalog you want to update during the import process.

Business Manager only accepts a CSV file in UTF-8 format. All CSVs downloaded from Business Manager are automatically exported in UTF-8 format, so if you don't change the file type, you're all set!

Attributes are case-sensitive, so make sure all your cases match if you edit any attribute IDs.

Empty cells are ignored during the import process. If you export a catalog and delete the value in a cell and import the catalog, that cell retains its original value. The import process doesn't replace the value with a null value.

Make sure all your attributes are valid before beginning the import process. Any site-specific or localizable attributes without suffixes as defined previously are skipped during the import process. Non-site-speific or non-localizable attributes with suffixes are also skipped. After the import process completes, you are shown the logs with all invalid attributes. If you don't see all your attributes in your newly imported catalog, check the logs.

You can only import a CSV in MERGE mode and must specify which catalog you are importing before starting the process.

CSV Limitations

The CSV process supports any system or custom attribute that is available in System Object Types > Product and supported by the XML catalog schema. Additionally, the process supports a few additional elements, to allow references to main variation products, variation groups, and products included in a product set. Elements deprecated in XML aren’t supported.

Elements not supported by the CSV process

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