What Is A CSV File And Its Meaning For E-commerce Business?

csv file

When it comes to growing e-commerce, expanding the number of products offered is a must. However, managing an extensive collection of products and updating them is not easy and can waste your time. Luckily, there is a quicker and simpler way to upload as many products as you want and download all the customer purchase information with just one click – CSV files. If you wonder what a CSV file is and how it can help your e-commerce business, this post will provide all the answers.

What Is A CSV File?

A CSV file or a comma-separated values file is a plain text file that allows data to be saved in tabular format. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the time spent managing data. It looks like a standard spreadsheet file but less complex and ends with a ‘.csv’ extension.

how to open a csv file

How Can Merchants Make Use Of CSV Files?

Due to their sheer adaptability and various benefits, CSV files are used widely by e-commerce businesses. They make the process of uploading and downloading data from e-commerce websites much more effortless.

Mainly, CSV files are used to summarize the store’s data, for example, to summarize the list of store’s products with detailed information about names of the products, how many they are, their stock keeping units, their availability, and so on. Another use of this file type is to help merchants process and store their customers’ lists.

Technically, CSV files offer some exclusive benefits to online businesses. With CSV files, you can:

  • Create a file storing your business’s data easier since they are plain-text files
  • Organize a large amount of data in a better and simpler way
  • Update or edit information of existing products easily
  • Export information of  customer account and details of their orders in the past
  • Import hundreds of new products to your e-commerce store with one click

How To Use A CSV File?

CVS File About Products

When you add the very first products of your business to your website, instead of adding one product by one product manually, you can make use of a CVS file to add thousands of products at one time.

First, you need to create a CVS profile with details about your business’s products. After that, you can import this CVS file into your website. You can save days or even weeks spent on adding each product by hand by doing this. Besides, the operation is repetitive and boring, which require further work can cause unexpected mistakes.

When you want to update all of your products, you need to edit the information in your CSV File and then reimport it into the system. After that, you need to wait for the system to do its work. This will save you a lot of time and effort wasted on manually updating every product.

CSV File About Customers

With a CSV file storing customer data, you can import information about customers from different sources quickly and effortlessly. On the contrary, you can go to the backend and add one customer by one customer by hand, but we all know it would take an enormous amount of time to finish such a simple task.

Besides, using CSV files, you can export files from your website for other purposes, such as email marketing or promotion campaigns.

How To Create A CSV File?

csv file sample

Saving a CSV is easy if you know how to convert the file type.

Below are how you can do it: 

  1. First, open a spreadsheet software, such as Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, or Numbers.
  2. Type all the information and data needed.
  3. Next, click on “File” and then click on “Save As”.
  4. Choose the place on your computer where you want your file to be.
  5. In the “Save As Type” Option, click on CSV and press the “Save” button. 
  6. Then there will be a message suggesting that you may lose some of the features if you want to save as a CSV type. Just tap on “yes” to continue.

How To Import A CSV File Into Your Website?

The process of importing a CVS file will be slightly different for each program and platform, but it follows some of the same steps that make it easy to do.

  • First, choose the CSV file you want to upload from your computer/laptop.
  • Match the headings in the CSV file to the appropriate data fields to make sure you will be able to use the data imported.
  • If there is any error or thing that goes wrong, you will be able to see it and fix it and try importing it again.

Other Notes About CSV Files

Having a CSV tool to help you is necessary if you regularly plan to use CSV files. However, you should know a few things about CVS files before you decide to use them.

  1. It is pretty easy for merchants to create a CSV file, but importing one can be a little tricky for a beginner. The best option is to ask for help from a developer to import the file, and if there is any problem happening, the developer can notify the merchant about that and fix things together. Or else, ask the developers for a sample CSV file with essential fields, and you can follow the format in the future.
  2. It is highly recommended that before importing new CSV files, you should save a backup of your original data in case of issues.
  3. The process to export a CSV file is much easier than that to import one. It takes a few simple steps in the backend to get your file exported.
  4. Even though creating a CSV file is much faster than adding data manually, making a CSV file also takes time and requires you to focus on it to avoid mistakes, so you had better pay attention to and spend time on this.
  5. When the amount of data needed to import or update is too little, it is faster to import or update them manually.

Final Takeaway

It is challenging enough to run an online business, which means you shouldn’t have to spend your precious time doing manual work like data entry. Using CVS files is the right move as it can save you from doing the tedious data entry work and allow you to spend your time better growing your business.

For your business to operate and develop effectively, you also need to pay attention to other factors, namely your website’s function and design. Tigren’s e-commerce website development service may be the perfect option for your business if you are new to the game.

magento e-commerce development company

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