4.4. Import Customers
This section describes how to import Customers, via bulk Customer update, into your Magento store, using a .csv file.
* Pay careful attention to each Wizard's page, while importing Customers. Importing can be a complicated procedure, and may be destructive if performed incorrectly. Also, be sure to create a database backup, before the Customer Import process, especially if you perform this task for the first time.
To import Customers into your Magento store, follow these steps:
Firstly, prepare a .csv file for import. Make sure that it contains all necessary fields, and that all of the data, that you'd like to import, is listed in the table.
If your Customers' list is in Microsoft Excel, you can convert your files to .CSV format, within Excel itself, or with the OpenOffice application, by selecting the "Save As" option. The "Save As" dialog box contains a list of alternative formats, in which to save your file. Among the file extensions offered, you will find the Text .CSV file format. Upon saving your file, Excel, or OpenOffice, will export the first active worksheet with the correctly formatted delimiters.
1. Open the Customers Import/Export Wizard, by selecting the corresponding button.
2. Select [Import] on the first page of the wizard, and click [Next >] to continue.
3. Specify the .csv file path and name, or use the browse [...] button, to manually navigate to, and select the necessaryfile.
You may alternately load a previously saved Import configuration, in this step.
The Source file preview dialog shows part of a .csv file, selected for import. There are no options to set, but pay careful attention to the fields delimiter and quote character displayed, for correctness.
- If you check the very first line of the example, you'll notice that some words are enclosed in quotes (") and are separated by a semicolon (;) symbol. These are two important options to pay attention to, as these settings will have to be correctly specified, on the following page. Usually, validating the first line, for correctness, is sufficient, and there typically is no need to parse the entire file.
4. Select fields delimiter and quote character. If the wrong values are specified, the import process may not complete.
- "Delimiter Character". The most popular delimiters are the comma (,), semicolon (;) and tab characters( ). However, other symbols can also be used.
Note: The .CSV file contains data in row-column format. A delimiter character is used to separate the columns. If you specify an incorrect delimiter, the file will not be parsed properly, and the Customer Import will not proceed.
- The "Quote string values" is used to separate strings, within the .csv file. The delimiter may be disabled if none of the values are to be used.
In the previous sample page, the comma symbol was used as a delimiter, and values were quoted with the " symbol. Enter the first two settings, as shown above.
5. The next page delineates how to link columns, within the .csv file, with their corresponding database fields.
Specify the following options:
- "First row in the .csv file contains field names, but not values". This should be unselected if the first row of the .csv file contains data, otherwise be sure this option is checked.
- "Customer identification method". The Import process will search for Customers using the previously chosen method of identification. The Customer(s) will be modified if found. If not, a new Customer will be added.
To link columns from the .csv file to their corresponding database fields, click any database field, within the left pane (designated "Database Fields"), and then select the relevant matching column, within the .csv file. The "Database Fields" pane displays the list of fields, within the database, that is eligible to receive import data. In summary, to assign a .csv column to a database field, select a field in the left pane, and click the relevant, matching column, in the right pane.
The Source .csv file may contain multiple records. Select only the fields that you would like to update.
Note: Sometimes a key field may be blank. Blank fields contain the same value for all records. It is required to assign .csv columns to key fields (used for the Customer Identification method, see above).
Database Fields contain the following columns:
- "Set Default values". Enter the default value, which will be automatically preassigned to the field (is used only if the "Update" option is enabled).
[Auto link all...] button attempts to set field/value correlations for all fields, automatically. The autofill option will work only if the .csv column name is the same as the database field name ('translated').
[Unlink all] button will unlink all "CSV col" values, within the left pane, that may have been previously linked.
6. Base Formats and Separators are used to convert text values, within the .csv file, to numerical and date values. You may set default values, using the Set Default button.
7. Customers will not be imported into your database yet. The "Import Preview" page displays result information, regarding how the .csv file was processed, using the import settings specified during the previous steps. Be sure to double-check whether all columns, that you wish to be imported, are correctly filled with data, as some of them may be left blank, which indicates either the .csv column hasn't been assigned, or the source (.csv) file is empty. Columns that are not assigned will not be imported.
Caution: Empty values will overwrite existing data.
A red, blinking arrow
will be shown, to draw your attention to any errors, that may have occurred.
8. Selections, made on the Import options page, may affect import results. Please read, select, and verify, your selection(s) carefully.
The "Cache import data" checkbox helps to speed up the import process, especially if you have a slow direct connection, by caching the resulting data, subsequently completing processing, offline.
* This option may boost performance, especially when importing from large .csv files (approx. 5000 products and more).
- "Save Import Configuration"
All import settings can be stored under a named configuration. You may load it, should you decide, the next time an import Customer(s) operation is performed, using a file that has similar formatting (column names, etc).
Once specified, the import configuration name may be saved by press the following button:
which allows to save all selected settings, during the current import process.
< - by saving settings to a file, the import configuration may be transported for use on other machines, during subsequent import sessions.
Note: The Import process will begin, after pressing the [Import] button! Proceed only if all settings have been accurately made, otherwise press the [Back] button and verify the settings again!
11. Once the "Finish" step has begun, you will see a number of items imported, as well as a listing of any errors that may have occurred, during the import.
The most frequently occurring import errors are the date, time, as well as a number of possible conversion issues, typically caused by invalid format settings (specified in previous steps), or improperly assigned columns (i.e. if you assign a column containing text data to a numeric database field). Date/time conversion errors may possibly be ignored, but most other errors must be fixed.
These procedures, performed correctly, will successfully complete the importing of Customers into the Magento database.