3dcart Product Import Tips
Whether transitioning from an older shopping cart system or creating your first ecommerce site, importing product data is a crucial step when building your website.
The 3dcart shopping cart platform provides web-based product data entry and a product data import via spreadsheet. For a few items or to make minor adjustments the web-based product data entry is the way to go. But if you're transitioning from an older shopping cart system to 3dcart or if you're creating your first ecommerce site, AccuVis recommends using the product import spreadsheet provided by 3dcart.
Which are the most important data fields of the over 100 provided?
There are only 3 required data fields:
ID (or SKU)
There are several data fields which vary in importance depending on how your 3dcart storefront will operate.
Prior to loading any product data, it's vital to think from the customer's perspective as to how products will be found within the 3dcart store. People can search for products, but it's also advisable to use categories/subcategories to group similar products together. Providing too many categories can be overwhelming and offer little benefit to the customer. Providing deep (over 4 levels) of subcategories also tends to overwhelm. Research competitive sites and manufacturer sites to get ideas as to how to categorize your products. When importing products using the 3dcart product import spreadsheet, you can specify the category/subcategory structure and 3dcart will create the categories if they don't already exist. You can import products without referencing any categories and later map them to categories, but it's more efficient to include the category references in the 3dcart product import spreadsheet.
3dcart supports list price (MSRP), sale price, and pricing levels (different prices for various customer groups). You can also load your cost, which is not visible to the customer. Choose pricing data fields based on how you plan to operate your business. You can calculate a price field based on the cost field or the list price field, but since the data import must be a .csv file, you will have to perform your calculations in Excel then save as a .csv file to remove the calculations prior to import. For long term maintenance of pricing data, you can either use the product import file format or take advantage of the bulk price editing available through the web-based administration panels.
If using real-time shipping calculations, you will need to load product weights in pounds. When evaluating how to charge for shipping, it's best to take the attitude of “win some, lose some”. It is very difficult to get real-time shipping calculations to exactly match your shipping costs. Especially if your customers order multiple items from several of your suppliers, plan to monitor shipping expenses and adjust as needed after your 3dcart site is live. This advice applies not just to 3dcart stores, but to any ecommerce storefront.
High quality product images are essential. When evaluating 3dcart design templates, consider the optimal size for large and thumbnail product images. Typically these 2 types of images are stored in separate folders to make it easy to find the appropriate image. Upload your appropriately sized product image files to their respective folders prior to importing your products which reference those images by file names.
Although not required, loading image captions helps with search engine optimization of product pages. Captions are additional textual areas on the page and captions provide additional support for customers using screen readers. At a minimum, load the image caption field with the product name.
Login Level / Login Required
You will most likely want to set this field (column CR in the spreadsheet; corresponds to Login Level on the Advanced tab of the web-based administration panel) to -1 so that the global settings are followed to control who can access product information. 3dcart lets products be accessible to anyone and provides various levels of restriction to product data and pricing data. Unless you want to vary this login level by product, you should specify it in the global settings and code it to -1 in the product import spreadsheet.
Of the over 100 data fields available in the 3dcart product import spreadsheet, these are a few that require special attention. AccuVis provides 3dcart data migration services to help you load product data into the 3dcart shopping cart platform.