How to automate the import of your data via a CSV feed
If you have to update the same set of data over and over again, scheduled CSV feed imports will make your life so much easier. The CSV feed import allows you to automate the incoming information and reduce the amount of time spent monitoring and executing imports manually. This is especially important if you are updating prices regularly, have an ERP system, get incoming data from suppliers, need daily stock updates in the PIM, etc. Imports from feeds can be automated on schedule using a CSV feed from a file, FTP/SFTP server, or Dropbox account.
⚠️ If this feature has not been enabled for your account, please contact your customer success manager to get access.
💡Check out how to prepare your CSV for a successful import. We'll show you required fields and how to format your data correctly.
Setting up your feed
To set up your first CSV feed import:
- Go to the navigation menu and click on “Products”
- Then click "Import" from the dropdown and you will be taken to the Import area
- On the left sidebar click on the option “Feeds”
- Click on the purple box “Add Feed”
Once you have clicked on “Add Feed” you will be led to the set up of your feed.
Here you can:
- Give your feed a name.
- Define whether your CSV feed is from a file, FTP/SFTP server, or Dropbox account.
- Insert the file URL.
- Schedule your import feed on the frequency of your choice.
ℹ️ Make sure that the URL you are inserting does not have any spaces, otherwise it might be that the file cannot be fetched.
Dropbox or FTP/SFTP connection
When choosing an FTP/SFTP or Dropbox connection, the settings will look a bit different:
Here you will be able to choose from a dropdown a previously created FTP/SFTP or Dropbox connection. Instead of a URL, you will have to define the file path of your folder.
ℹ️ When defining the file path, make sure to only include the last folder name and the csv name:
e.g in the case of /path/to/destfolder/then/file.csv, you should only insert /then/file.csv
If you have not set up a Dropbox or FTP/SFTP connection yet, learn how to set it up here.
File preview and settings
Once you have defined your CSV feed, you will see a preview of your file. This lets you confirm if the file has been read correctly by Plytix. If you are happy with your preview, click "Next" to continue.
ℹ️Please note that the following steps are just the same as when importing a usual CSV, where you will have to go through a mapping process. If you are already familiar with this, you can skip to the section Import Log.
ℹ️ If the preview does not look correct, try changing the file settings. All file settings are auto-detected and sometimes the system doesn't guess correctly.
CSV files have a separator character in their format, this is traditionally a comma, but in some cases we see other separator characters. From here you can choose between:
- Comma (,)
- Semicolon (;)
- Pipe (|)
- Tabulator ( )
As CSV files are using normal text characters to separate data values, a text delimiter is introduced to encapsulate your content in case your content uses the Column separator. You can choose between single or double quotation marks.
At its core, all content is encoded into numbers when you save a file. The Charset defines what system/dictionary the PIM uses to translate the encoded numbers into readable text. Today, almost everyone uses UTF-8 to ensure world wide compatibility.
* This setting is auto detected, but you have the option to change it.
After you have accepted the file preview, you will see a new screen. This is where you can define how your information will be imported into Plytix.
File name and status
At the top of the screen, you will see the file name of the CSV feed you are importing and its status.
The status area identifies how ready your CSV is for import and will check the following things:
- That you have identified an SKU column (required)
- How many columns out of the total are matched to data in the PIM
- If there are any duplicate attributes detected
ℹ️ You do not need to match all columns to start your import. Columns that are not matched will be ignored.
These import settings tell Plytix how to ingest the data coming in.
The "Import Products" dropdown lets you choose the following options:
- Add new products & update existing products (default)
- Only add new products
- Only update existing products
The "Status for New Products" dropdown lets you choose the following options:
- Draft (default)
These are the file settings as shown in the preview. You can modify them here as well.
⚠️ If you change the file settings, you may distort or modify how your data is understood by Plytix
If you have any saved Import Profiles, click on "Load profile" to automatically apply the settings and data matching you have set up for a particular data set.
You can also save a new profile by clicking "Save profile".
ℹ️ Don't save a new Import Profile until after you have completed the Data Matching section
This is the part of the Import Overview where you can map the data from your CSV into data you have in Plytix.
Plytix will automatically match attributes in the system with column headers in your spreadsheet. Automatic matches will happen when the name of the header and the name of the existing attribute are an exact match (case sensitive).
Matched attribute columns will appear like this:
You can unmatch these columns by clicking the "Unmatch" button on the top right.
⚠️ Unmatched columns will not be imported
At the top left-most section, you will find the header from your spreadsheet.
Next to that will be the matched attribute or relationship.
Below this, you will see different advanced settings for how to translate and ingest your data. These vary based on the attribute type.
In case the incoming data value is blank when updating an existing product, you can choose if the PIM should 'ignore' and leave the existing value untouched (if any), or 'erase the existing' value.
Some attribute types can hold multiple values, for example Categories and Multi-select attributes. When these types of attributes receive new incoming data from an import, you can choose between adding the new data to the attribute, or replacing the old data with the new incoming data.
By default "Empty Values" are ignored and "New Values" will overwrite the existing one. Other settings include choosing different separators for multi-value or hierarchical attributes.
To the far right, you will see the preview data from your file. This helps you choose the right attribute type.
If an attribute does not have an exact match in Plytix, it will not be matched automatically. You will have to either match your data to an existing attribute or create a new attribute or relationship to match it to.
Unmatched attributes columns will appear like this:
You can match the data to an existing attribute or relationship by clicking "Match existing" or create a new attribute or relationship to match to by clicking "Create new".
How to match existing data:
- Click "Match existing"
- Choose if you want to match an attribute or relationship
- Choose the element you want to match
- Click "Match"
How to create new data matches for attributes
- Click "Create new"
- Choose the attribute type you want to create
- Review and change the name if necessary
- Click "Match"
ℹ️ The system will automatically import all multi-value options for Multi-select and Dropdown attributes that are included in the spreadsheet. You do not need to add any options in order to match them.
Once you have mapped all of your information, you can simply click on "save import settings" and your scheduled feed import will be up and running.
⚠️ If you make any changes to your original file such as adding new columns or taking out any columns, you will need to edit the feed matching to map it to the new structure of your file, otherwise you feed import might not work.
Once your feed was successfully imported you will be able to see the history of it every time your feed got processed.
For this, go to:
- In the Dropdown click on “Import”
- Click on “Logs”
Here you can see an overview of all the data that got imported either via a manual CSV upload or a scheduled feed. This will be marked accordingly.
To get a more detailed overview of the import, you can click on the eye icon.
To get an overview of all the scheduled feed imports you have set up:
- simply go back to “Products”
- Click on “Imports” within the Dropdown
- Click on “Feeds” on the left sidebar
Here you will see an overview of all the CSV feeds that you have set up and their current status.
You will be able to see:
- The name of the feed
- The last time this feed was processed
- For when this feed is scheduled
- When this feed was created
- When this feed was modified the last time
- Whether this feed is activated or not
By clicking on the boolean “Active” you can simply activate or deactivate your feed at any time.
From this overview you will also be able to manually process your feed if necessary or delete it.
Editing Scheduled Feed
If you need to edit the feed matching of a file you have already set up because you have made some changes to your original file, you can simply click on the file name, which will lead you to the settings page of the scheduled feed.
ℹ️ You need to set your feed to "inactive" in order to be able to edit it.
This will lead you again through the mapping process, where you will have to map the information from your file against new or already created attributes in the system.
Now that you know how to import product data:
- Check the status of your import with Import Logs
- Learn how to upload and import assets
- Learn how to import a Shopify CSV template into Plytix
If you have any questions just click on the chat box in the bottom-right corner and we'll be happy to answer them...
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