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How to import products into Magento from CSV or Excel using TigerMin

Since TigerMin 1.4.0 we support form population from a CSV datasource. So, you can import a CSV file and we will create all the product records for you with the values populated from CSV. You can instantly edit values or just press ‘Submit products to store’ to have the entire CSV submitted to your webstore. Click one of the topics below to find specific help or scroll down the page to read on.

  1. How does it work?
  2. Can I import images?
  3. Can I import categories?
  4. Can I import values for attributes that are not in my visible form configuration?
  5. Default values in TigerMin vs. values in the CSV source
  6. Suggestions for a big import file

How does it work?

CSV stands for comma separated values. In e-commerce it is one of the most used in- and export formats for products, orders, etc. Many suppliers or warehouses provide a CSV datasource for use in your webshop. TigerMin is really powerful for adding large amount of products, but still it would be a time-saver if you did not have to type over all the products form the CSV file. So we created a CSV import module for TigerMin which instantly reads a CSV file contents and processes it into products, ready to be added to your Magento store.

You might wonder: doesn`t Magento has import functionality already? Yes it has, but it will only suite your case if you change the CSV structure entirely, add required attributes, import only local images and it is real slow. Apart from that, in combination with TigerMin you have a few very powerful advantages:

  • Before the products are imported to your store you could change values in the default TigerMin product add form. So if you want to add a custom image for one product, or fine-tune the HTML description in a WYSIWYG editor (which a CSV does not have ;)) you can do this instantly with TigerMin. Of course, you don`t have to and can also choose to import products directly.
  • You can empower your import with the TigerMin features such as default values.
  • NEW: you can now define your own separator, escpae character and boundary for import!

There are a few rules to have your import work correctly:

  • The CSV must contain a header row on the first row of the file
  • The header row must contain the attribute names or titles as defined in TigerMin (for example: sku, name, description, short_description, price, etc.)
  • Only data will be imported from your CSV if the columns are available as field in TigerMin. For example, if you have not added the attribute  ‘name’ to your form, TigerMin will not import it.

So now you have a little more background info I will explain how to use the import module in TigerMin.

  1. After login, navigate to Product management > Add products
  2. Above the form you will see the button ‘CSV Import’
  3. Click the button and you will see a form appear. Please read the instructions / notes in this form.
  4. We automatically generate example CSV contents for you based on your current TigerMin form configuration, so you can get started with the structure of your CSV file or you can edit your existing Excel / CSV file so that it matches the structure of our proposed CSV.
    Note: of course your CSV does not have to be the same as the proposed. Add columns for (hidden) fields as you need.
  5. Upload your CSV file with the upload button.  After upload TigerMin will process the file and add the product rows to your form, populated from the CSV source.

Can I import images?

Yes! It is possible to import images as following:

  1. Add a column ‘media_gallery’ to your CSV / Excel datasource
  2. In this column you must enter a full URL to the image. For example: http://awebsite.com/images/img.jpg.
  3. You can add multiple URLs separated by :: 
  4. For optimal working we would suggest to prefix the image with a plus sign (+). So your URL would become: +http://awebsite.com/images/img.jpg

What about the checkboxes for base image, thumbnail and small image? You can add those too! You can use these columns for this: thumbnail, small_image, image. (Column image is the base image). Just add the full image url as value for this column.

Can I import categories?

Yes! Follow these instructions to do so:

  1. Add a column ‘category_ids’ to your CSV  / Excel datasource
  2. In this column you can add the ID of your category. The ID can be found in the backend of Magento via Catalog > Manage categories
  3. You can add multiple categorie IDs separated by :: 

Can I import values for attributes that are not in my visible form configuration?

To import values that are not visible in your form configuration you can do this:

  1. In the configuration > configure forms section you add the attribute you want to store for the product (for example: shoe_size)
  2. Set the attribute to hidden for product add form
  3. In your CSV add a column shoe_size

On the import we will check for hidden attributes against your CSV columns and we will store the value for the product.

Default values in TigerMin vs. values in the CSV source

As you know, in TigerMin you have the powerful functionality to add a default value for an attribute. For example, your tax_class_id is always Shipping, so in TigerMin you just add Shipping as default value and you don`t have to worry about the tax_class_id for your products anymore. But what if you have added a default value for an attribute which is not in your CSV? In that case you can make your import even more powerful! Because we will just set missing values in your CSV from default values you have set in the configure forms section. So no need to add default values to your CSV, just let TigerMin handle it.

Now you might wonder: what if I had added a value in the CSV source and also added a default value for the same attribute in TigerMin? In that case we will use the value from CSV, which is in all cases leading.

Suggestions for a big import file

We would recommend (to prevent browser memory issues) to seperate your import file into multiple smaller files for larger amount of products. There is no amount we can give, it depends per case. Just try.

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