Bulk importing Excel spreadsheet data is a powerful feature of TRIMS - it’s a huge time saver and opens up many opportunities due to it’s flexibility. However, ‘‘With great power comes great responsibility" in this case is very true. It is important to get a basic understanding of how the importer works before attempting to import data, or before sending data to Touchretail for post import validation.

Touchretail need to configure your import and will help you get the format right. We do need you to read this document first before providing us with a sample.

Data Import

Preparing Excel Data

Single line for each item

If a product comes in 3 colours and 7 sizes then you have 21 variations of the same item. Each item needs to be on a separate line, so you would have 21 lines to make up the product.

Why? Listing product variants horizontally on a single line is never consistent across customers, meaning that each import becomes a bespoke job, which drives the cost too high for it to be an option.

Keep the same column order and number of columns

The first line of your file must contain descriptive headers, the data will then follow starting on line 2. Once we have configured your import you must keep the same format for future imports. Failing to do so can import the wrong data into the wrong fields.

Use the first Tab only

The TRIMS importer will only import data from Tab number one of your spreadsheet.

You must map the full path

Your path is your TRIMS category structure. If you have Brand, Group and Department as categories in your system then these must be present in your file.

Why? When creating NEW products, if a product already exists with the same product description, in the same path, then it will either create a duplicate item or a variation of the item if it has a new variation (size or colour for example).

Product Descriptions should be unique within the path

A good description would be ‘Armani Long Sleeve Sweatshirt KALI02’ with the available sizes and colours as variants. This would be located, for example, within the path Brand=Armani, Department=Sweatshirt.

Why? If you put the description simply as ‘Armani Long Sleeve Sweatshirt’, if you ever stocked another Long Sleeve Sweatshirt from Armani, you would probably end up calling it the same and it would then update your existing product rather than create a completely new one. Being more descriptive is usually the best way, however you should generally avoid putting variants in the description.

Avoid naming variants in descriptions

Using colour as an example, unless you want each colour to be a separate product rather than one product with colour variants within it, you should avoid putting any reference to the colour name in the description.

Why? If you have a sweatshirt in Blue and Red and put the description of the first as ‘Armani Long Sleeve Sweatshirt in Blue KALI02’, when it comes to import the Red it would create a new product, because this product isn’t the same as the one you already created ‘Armani Long Sleeve Sweatshirt in Blue KALI02’. If you just called it ‘Armani Long Sleeve Sweatshirt KALI02’ you would have one product with Red and Blue variants.

Every product needs a unique barcode

If you don’t have a manufacturers barcode for everything then you need to provide a temporary one, and it needs to be unique. We often suggest that you have two barcode columns in your file. One that contains manufacturers barcodes, which is left blank if you don’t have one. And one column that has a temporary barcode or SKU and every item must have a unique one of these. You need a unique identifier like this so that it's possible to find and correct bad data if ever accidentally imported - therefore this is forced as a safety precaution.

We suggest you use the following format when creating a temporary barcode YYMMDD-BATCHNUMBER-LINENUMBER. If you do more than one import per day then increase the batch number on every import. Excel allow you to enter the first barcode on the first line and it will automatically increment it throughout the file - talk to support if you need help on this.

Please take all of these points in to consideration when providing us with data. Importing bad data can take time to recover from and often isn't instantly obvious and can cause future problems. We will work with you to help you get this process right. For more information on Importing please contact a member of the support team.