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How To Import Products To BigCommerce Store

April 03, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

In this article, we’ll guide you through the straightforward process of how to import products to your BigCommerce store. This tutorial is designed to help you efficiently manage your online inventory, simplifying the task of keeping your store’s catalog up to date.

When Do You Need To Import Products to Bigcommerce

Launching Your Online Store

Transitioning from a physical to an online storefront? Bulk importing your product catalog from the get-go is efficient. This initial step quickly sets up your digital presence, allowing you to shift your focus to refining the customer experience and store aesthetics.

Migrating From Another Platform

When transitioning your online store to BigCommerce from another platform, importing products is a crucial step. This process is essential for transferring your product catalog smoothly, preserving the accuracy of your product data, and reducing any downtime for your store.

Expanding Your Product Range

As your business grows, you’ll want to expand your product offerings to attract a wider audience. Importing new products to your BigCommerce store allows you to efficiently add multiple items at once, ensuring your store remains dynamic and competitive.

Seasonal and Regular Updates

Updating your store with the latest product information for seasonal changes, promotions, or inventory adjustments is crucial. Using bulk import for these updates saves time and minimizes errors from manual entry, ensuring your store remains professional and reliable.

What Data Can You Import To Your BigCommerce Store

The basic BigCommerce import tool lets you add or update:

  • Products, options, and images
  • Product SKUs for inventory changes
  • Customer information
  • Shipping tracking numbers
  • 301 Redirects for SEO

For more tasks, like importing orders, categories, and product reviews, you’ll need third-party apps. 

How To Manually Import Products to BigCommerce Using CSV Files

To ensure the importing process is more of a breeze, you need to follow several important steps.

BigCommerce Import Product CSV Template

Step 1: Prepare Your CSV File

First, make sure your CSV file is ready and includes these essential details:

  • Product ID
  • Product Name
  • Category

Step 2: Navigate to “Products” and select “Import”

Navigate to Products and select Import

Step 3: Import Options Settings

In the Import Products via CSV section, choose Choose File to upload the CSV file from your computer. Choose Use a file already on the server if you have previously saved the file in the WebDAV import_files folder.

Import Options Settings

Adjust your import settings to suit your needs. Here’s what we suggest:

Adjust your import settings
  • File was exported using the ‘Bulk Edit’ template: Choose this option if your file aligns with the Bulk Edit template or the sample CSV provided by BigCommerce. This choice will also skip the step of matching fields manually.
  • Overwrite existing products: Tick this if you’re updating current listings. It ensures your products are refreshed with the new import.
    • Delete options (images and downloads): It’s generally advised to keep these unticked to avoid losing any media or digital files permanently.
  • Detect product categories from CSV file: Enable this for automatic category recognition from your file. If you haven’t specified categories, this option can also assign a default category.
  • Ignore blank values during import: Keep this enabled to avoid erasing any data from fields left blank in your CSV file.
  • Default Option Type: This is for when you’re importing options but haven’t correctly defined the option type in your file. It lets you choose a specific option type, but it’s better to clearly state the option type directly in your CSV file for smoother processing.
Adjust your import settings

You can usually keep the following settings as they are. They come into play when uploading a spreadsheet and specifying the import settings.

  • File contains headers: Check this if your file has titles at the top of each column.
  • Field Separator: This is the symbol that divides each piece of data, like a comma.
  • Field Enclosure: This symbol keeps phrases together, like quotes around “Red Shoes.”

Once you’ve set your preferences, click Next.

Step 5: Data Matching

Match the import fields to ensure all data aligns with BigCommerce’s corresponding fields. If you chose the Bulk Edit template option earlier, you can skip this.

Data Matching

Be cautious with the “Ignore blank values during import” option. Leaving it unchecked can lead to data loss for any blank fields in your file. It’s safest to leave this option checked. Click Next once you’ve completed the matching fields.

Step 7: Begin the Import

Click “Start Import” to upload your products. When the process is completed, you’ll see a summary of the import process. 

Begin the Import

To view any warnings that appeared during the import, simply click on “More Information.” And you’re good to go!

Import complete

How To Import Product Images to Bigcommerce

Adding product images quickly boosts your store’s appeal. You can do this in two main ways:

  • For Images Online: Use the image URL in your CSV file for direct import.
  • For Images on Your Computer: It’s best to upload them using WebDAV.

Image requirements

Ensure your images fit these criteria to avoid issues:

  • Use only lowercase letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), dashes (-), and underscores (_) in file names.
  • Avoid spaces and special characters in file names.
  • Stick to JPEG/JPG, GIF, WebP, or PNG formats. TIFF, BMP, and PDF aren’t supported.
  • The ideal image size is 1280 x 1280 pixels for quality display.

How to import product images using an Image URL (Image Path)

  • Step 1: Find the image column in your CSV. For Bulk Edits, look for “Product Image File – (#)”.
  • Step 2: For new imports, leave the “Product Image ID” column empty.
  • Step 3: Use the full image URL (must start with http://) in the column. Non-http URLs won’t work.

To add multiple images for a product, create additional columns, incrementing the number each time (e.g., Product Image File – 2, Product Image Description – 2).

  • Step 4: Once ready, proceed with importing your products. If you’re using a template different from Bulk Edit, match your Product Image fields with the appropriate field during the Link Import Fields step of the import process.

How to import product images via WebDAV

How to import product images via WebDAV
  • Step 1: Connect to your store with WebDAV and open the product_images/import folder.
  • Step 2: Drag and drop your computer’s images into this folder.
  • Step 3: In your CSV, under the “Product Image File – (#)” column, input the image file name.
  • Step 4: If using a subfolder in product_images/import, include the subdirectory in the file name (like subfolder/image.png).

Remember, WebDAV is case-sensitive and only allows a-z, 0-9, -, and _.

To add multiple images for a product, create additional columns, incrementing the number each time (e.g., Product Image File – 2, Product Image Description – 2).

  • Step 5: Once ready, proceed with importing your products. If you’re using a template different from Bulk Edit, match your Product Image fields with the appropriate field during the Link Import Fields step of the import process.

Read more: How to Enable Maintenance Mode in BigCommerce?

Tips For Troubleshooting Unsuccessful Imports Or Incorrect Product Details

Seeing an error message instead of your product gallery can be disheartening. Yet, with a few straightforward steps, you can tackle most import issues:

Check Your Formatting

Often, import errors stem from a wrongly formatted CSV file. BigCommerce needs a certain structure to organize your product details correctly. Ensure your columns have the right names, and follow the BigCommerce formatting guide closely.

Look for Missing Data

An import can fail if data is missing. Always double-check your CSV for gaps, especially in required fields like the product name or price. BigCommerce can’t process what it doesn’t have.

Ensure Correct Data Types

It’s crucial to align your data types with what BigCommerce expects. For example, ensure that numbers are used in numerical fields, not text, to prevent errors.

Split Large Files

A large CSV file can be overwhelming for the system. If your file is too big, divide it into smaller, easier-to-manage sections to avoid import problems.

Bottom Line

By properly preparing and understanding CSV file imports, you can facilitate a smooth process for importing products into your BigCommerce store, thereby enhancing its growth and competitive edge in the e-commerce market.


Uploading products to BigCommerce is easy. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Go to Products › Import.
  • Step 2: Upload your CSV file directly from your computer by selecting Choose File or Use a file already on the server if you previously saved the file to the WebDAV import_files folder
  • Step 3: Adjust import settings
  • Step 4: Start importing

Yes, you can! Third-party apps and services can streamline the product import process. Explore the BigCommerce app store or other migration services that can help you import products from various sources or platforms.

Indeed! While you cannot import them directly through a CSV file, you can embed video URLs in the product description or use dedicated third-party apps.

Yes, you can use a CSV file to manage inventory updates across multiple locations in BigCommerce.

The duration of the product import process can vary. It depends on the size of your CSV file and the number of products you're importing. Typically, smaller imports take a few minutes, while larger ones might take longer. BigCommerce will notify you once the import is complete.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.