Import products in Optimizely Product Information Management

  • Updated

Use the Add/Update Products import to create and update product data in Optimizely Product Information Management (PIM) after your initial configuration of properties and product templates. The import wizard guides you through each step of the process. 

You can save your field mappings and import options as import templates to easily import other files in the same format. After you map your fields, you can preview records in the import file and see what values the system imports. The PIM keeps a log of all imports to access details and resolve any issues.

Accepted file types for import include Excel (.xls and .xlsx) and Comma-Separated Values (.csv).

All imported products must have a product number.

Configured Commerce Storefront View

See Review How Optimizely Product Information Management Data Appears to Customers.

Best Practices

  • Create and update product records in the PIM using imports of data from suppliers, data feeds, or internal sources like commerce or your ERP. 
  • Pricing, taxation, inventory, and other transactional data is typically managed in your ERP and not imported into the PIM.
  • Column headers in the import files identify the source fields when mapping. When importing data with a consistent format (same column headers), you can save an import template to bypass field mapping for future imports.
  • You can import static values to a mapped property or set a default value to be imported if the product has no data for a column.

The PIM has built-in functionality to prevent import issues, such as:

  • Limit access to the PIM and only assign the roles of Administrator or Product Importer to users allowed to import product data.
  • Use advanced import options to avoid overwriting existing values as part of mapping during import.
  • Preview records before importing to verify accuracy.
  • If you find any issues with imported data, you can restore a previous version of a product, use the editing functionality in the product grid to correct the issues or export the data to make updates.

Definitions of import-related terms

  • Source Fields – Fields derived from the header row of an import file that you map to target properties.
  • Target Properties – Product properties in the PIM that you map to the source fields.
  • Static Value – A value that is treated as a source field when you map it to a target property for all records. All imported products have this value set for the target property.
  • Existing Field – A field already included in the import file that you want to map to multiple Target Properties. 
  • Default Value – A value that is used as the default for records that have no value for the source field.
  • Name/Value Pair – Some import files will have attributes and style traits defined in columns with the values in the next column. You will need to map these files differently from the standard header/row import fields.


Several main faucet suppliers provide product information in spreadsheets. Carrie needs to quickly import these products into the PIM so she can fill-in the missing information she needs for the website.

  1. Carrie clicks Product, then selects Add/Update Products to start the import process.
  2. She clicks Choose File for the Initialization step to select a spreadsheet from one of her faucet distributors, ShinyFaucets. She leaves the Select Import Template field blank, as this is her first time importing from this distributor.
  3. She clicks Continue when the preview appears.
  4. Carrie leaves Add or update records to create new products and update any existing products on the import file. She leaves Ignore blank cells checked to prevent any blank cells from her import file overwriting existing data. Because her file does not include name value pairs, she does not select File includes name/value pairs.
  5. She adds most fields to Selected Fields but excludes the pricing columns, since those should be managed in their ERP. She clicks Continue.
  6. Carrie selects Hide mapped fields to hide source fields that were auto-mapped based on an exact name match with a property, then maps all the listed Source Fields to the correct Target Properties. For example, she maps the ProductName field in the spreadsheet to the productTitle property. 
  7. Carrie clicks Add Mapping because she does not have a column for the property from product export and enters ShinyFaucets as a static value. She then maps this static value to the Supplier property to set the value for all products in the spreadsheet. She clicks Continue.
  8. Carrie reviews the imported values for several records to make sure her mappings are correct. 
  9. She clicks Save Import Template to save the mappings as ShinyFaucetsProducts to use this import template in the future.
  10. Carrie clicks Import to start the import process.

Imports list page

The Imports list page displays a log of all prior imports other than assets.

You can view the following information about each import:

  • File Name
  • Status
  • Total Records
  • Number of records Imported
  • Number of records with Errors
  • Import Template used
  • Import Time Started
  • Import Time Completed
  • Import Initiated By

Filtering the Import list

  • Click the Filter icon to enable or disable column filters. This adds a row below the column headers with options for filtering each column.
  • Click a column header to sort the list.

Resolving product import errors

You can resolve product import errors after import. When importing assets, categories, properties, or product templates, you cannot complete the import without first resolving any validation errors, provided in a downloadable file. 

  1. Click Errors Remaining in the Status column in the row of the product import for which you wish to resolve errors.
  2. Hover your cursor over each Warning icon to understand why the error occurred.
  3. Click the Filter icon to enable or disable column filters.
  4. Click Ignore Errors if you have reviewed the warnings and have decided to proceed without resolving them. Click Close Job to choose to not import the records with errors.
  5. Click the Edit icon to make inline changes that will resolve the errors. You can make adjustments to the PIM configuration, such as adding a property value, before making the edits.
  6. Click Reprocess to re-run the import for all records with errors. The import row on the Imports list page is updated with the changes. If no errors remain, the Status becomes Success.

Adding and updating products

Use the Product Import wizard to import many products at once.

Starting the import

  1. Click Imports. The Imports list page appears.
  2. Click Products.
  3. Select Add/Update Products.

Initialization step

Choose your file, import template and delimiter.

  1. Click Choose File.
  2. Search for and select the file to import and click Open.
  3. Select an option in the Select Import Template list if you have saved an import template for the file you are importing.
  4. Click Continue.

Options step

You can indicate how to handle new and existing records, assign a product template and select properties from the source fields in the file you are importing.

  1. Choose if this File includes name/value pairs. If so, select the first name column and the first value column from a drop-down list pre-populated with the column headers in your import file. If the file also includes units of measure in a separate column, you can select the column to be linked with the value column. Click Save.
  2. Select an option for handling new or existing records:
    • Add or update records
    • Only add new records
    • Only update existing records
  3. Choose whether to Ignore blank cells when updating records. If you ignore blank cells when updating, existing data is not overwritten with a null value.
  4. Select the checkboxes beside columns that you want to import in Available Fields.
  5. Click Add to move the selected columns or Add All to move all columns to Selected Fields. The fields are pre-filled if you selected an import template in the Initialization step.
  6. Click Continue. Click Previous if you need to return to the previous page.

Mapping step

Map your Source Fields (columns) from the file you are importing to the Target Properties in the PIM. The import searches your file and makes best match guesses from the Source Fields to the Target Properties for exact name matches.

  1. Select Hide mapped fields if you want to hide fields after you have mapped to properties to focus on the unmapped fields.
  2. Click Add Mapping to add an additional row, and click Save. The options are:
    • Static Value – Add a static value to import a specific value for all imported records. For example, the vendor or supplier name.
    • Existing Field – Add an existing field to select a field already included in the import file so you can map it to multiple target properties. For example, you may want to map the product name to the product title field and as the URL segment.
  3. Select a property from the Target Properties list for each Source Field. You can search to find a property. Some of the options include mapping a source field to Product Template to assign products to templates or to Variant Types to assign parent products during the import. If you chose a saved import template, these fields pre-fill with the mapped value from the template.

    If a field is mapped to a PIM property that uses a multi-select control type, each ~ delimited value will be imported as a separate value in PIM. If any of the values imported for the target property do not match the valid values for the property, the product record will be isolated with an error for the property.

  4. Click Edit for advanced options or Delete to remove a field from the mapping list. The advanced options are:
    • Set default value – This value is used if no value exists in the import spreadsheet. 
    • Do not overwrite existing values – Use this if you want to import new values for this specific field but not overwrite existing values. You can curate data within the PIM and prevent that data from being overwritten if the same product record is included in another spreadsheet.
  5. Click Continue after you have mapped all the fields to properties.

Note that when importing data mapped to properties that allow adhoc values (see Configure property groups and properties in Optimizely Product Information Management) new property values are added during the import process.

Preview step

Verify your data mappings and complete the product import process.

  1. Click Next to view the records and verify the Imported Value.
  2. Click Save Import Template and name your template if you want to save these field mappings. If you made changes to an existing template, you can update the template or save as new. You can then select this import template later when importing files from this same source.
  3. Click Import to start the process.

Viewing import progress and logs

After starting an import, the Import History list displays with a progress bar.

  • View the current record the import is processing and the total number of records that are part of the import.
  • Click Cancel to stop the import and change the status of the import to Canceled.
  • Click OK to hide the progress bar after it turns green and displays the message X product records have been successfully imported. If there were import errors, click Details to view the import job details from the progress bar after it turns orange and displays the message X product records have been successfully imported. Y product records could not be imported. Click OK to hide the progress bar.

Troubleshooting import errors

Data validation occurs when you click Import at the end of the Product Import wizard.

  • Product records are not imported if they have data for a field in the spreadsheet that fails validation based on the property definition of the target property.
  • Validation errors do not cause an import to fail, but you must clean up your data for the records with validation issues to be imported (see Resolving product import errors).
  • You can make changes to fields on the product grid to address errors for all products following the import.