Importing Data

How to import data from another system, bulk upload new inventory from a spreadsheet, mass update your data, and more

Jonathan Staab avatar
Written by Jonathan Staab
Updated over a week ago

ConsignCloud's Item Entry and Account Entry forms are designed to help you enter data quickly and prevent mistakes. However, ConsignCloud also includes a flexible data import tool that can make some common tasks faster and easier. Whether you're adding data to your account for the first time, changing a lot of records at once or adding new inventory, you should consider using the importer to save yourself some time.

Note that some bulk updates, like changing the Status of your items, can only be done in ConsignCloud using the Actions menu. If a column you'd like to update isn't included in the list of fields below, you should look in the Actions menu to see if it's there instead.

You can upload data in the Account and Inventory tables, under Menu. Navigate to the table, then in the top right, press Actions » Upload Spreadsheet

Preparing your upload

ConsignCloud accepts spreadsheets in the .xlsx or .csv format. Most spreadsheet programs will export into one of these formats. If you don't have any spreadsheet programs installed on your computer, Google Sheets is an excellent free option you can try.

To get started, download an Accounts template, or an Inventory template. You can also use an export of your data as a starting point, but be aware that exports do contain a lot of extra data for analysis purposes that you can't change with imports. You can remove these columns from your spreadsheet before uploading, or delete them on the Map Columns step.

At the bottom of this article we have included a complete list of what fields are available to the importer, and how to format them to make sure they get accepted. When formatting your spreadsheet, make sure you convert any formulas into plain text using the directions in this article.

Uploading Your Data

Whether you're uploading data into a brand new account, uploading a new batch of data into an existing account, or updating records, the upload process is basically the same.

Navigate to the Inventory or Accounts table and select Actions » Upload Spreadsheet.

During an upload, ConsignCloud will look at either the Account Number or SKU of the rows in your spreadsheet and either update existing data or create new records following these rules:

  • If it can find a match in your store data and Modify existing records is checked, it will update the record.

  • If it doesn't find a match and Create new records is checked, it will create a brand new record.

ConsignCloud will show you an error message if you have new or matching records in your import and don't check the corresponding box.

Warning: it's possible to create a lot of duplicate data or permanently overwrite important data using exports. The Create new records and Modify existing records checkboxes on the imports screen are designed to help you avoid making mistakes.

After you upload a spreadsheet, you will go through three steps:

  • Map fields

  • Apply fixes

  • View data and confirm

If you upload a spreadsheet exported from another consignment system, ConsignCloud may detect this and automatically map fields and apply fixes, skipping to the final step.

Map Fields

The fields in your spreadsheet, determined by the top row of the spreadsheet, must be matched up with fields in ConsignCloud. For example, your spreadsheet might say "First" on the account, while ConsignCloud expects the header "First Name," so you would map these fields to each other.

You can choose not to import any fields from the spreadsheet by pressing the delete icon on the right of the field, otherwise, you must map it to a field.

Apply Fixes

Often the data you import isn't quite in the right format, but our import can detect some common issues, and give suggestions to fix it. For example, ConsignCloud expects imported splits to be a decimal from 0-1 (e.g. "0.5") rather than an integer from 0-100 (e.g. "50") and so will give you an option to update all your splits.

Other suggested fixes may be adding in a default for a missing value which is required, or mapping an invalid value to a valid one. This step will take you through each field with invalid data that may be fixed.

You can always opt to not apply the fix, and instead fix each row manually in the final step.

View Data and Confirm

In the final step, you can see all your data in a spreadsheet interface, and click through any errors to correct them. If there are a large number of errors, and you need to correct them in Excel or if you need to exit the importer and come back later, you can press "Export" in the top right to download the spreadsheet with all the changes you've made so far.

This will give you a copy of the spreadsheet with any errors annotated, which you can fix and then upload again to continue where you left off.

Once you've fixed all the errors, press Continue and your spreadsheet will upload. This may take a few minutes depending on how many items you are uploading.

Tips for Successful Imports

Getting started with imports can sometimes be a little challenging. See below for some tips that can help with getting started. If you get stuck, feel free to reach out to support for help!

  • If it's your first time using imports, set aside a few minutes of quiet time to work through the process, and start with only a small set of data to make it easier to fix import errors as they come up — 10-20 rows is enough to get a feel for how it all works.

  • Import accounts before items, since an item import will fail if the corresponding account doesn't yet exist in the system.

  • Spreadsheet programs like to auto-format numeric values, which can be a pain when using zero-padded SKUs and account numbers. To ensure ConsignCloud pulls your identifiers in as text, enter a single quote before typing in your number – this tells your spreadsheet program to format the cell as text. In most spreadsheet programs, you can also format an entire column as text.

  • When updating records, make sure the export you're working from is recent — otherwise, it's possible to accidentally revert changes made in the system since the export was created. This is particularly relevant to the Quantity field on items, which can change at any time during business hours as the result of a sale.

See below for the specifics on what fields are included in imports, and what additional rules need to be followed when processing a given import.

Account Fields

  • Number (required) — the unique identifier assigned in ConsignCloud. If the number already exists, ConsignCloud will update the account with the data in your upload. If the number doesn't exist, ConsignCloud will create a new account.

  • Email, First name, Last name, Company, Phone, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, State, and ZIP (optional) — if you want an account to receive automatic email updates, make sure to specify email address.

  • Inventory Type (required) options are Consignment, Buy Outright, and Retail. For more information on inventory type and how it's used in ConsignCloud, see our help article.

  • Default Split (required) — this field specifies the consignor's share of the split, so for example entering 40% would yield 60% of revenue for items sold to your store. If the account will only ever have Buy Outright or Retail items listed, you can enter 0%.

  • Terms (required)options are Donate and Return to Consignor. This field is used only for consignment items, but required for all accounts in case they ever consign an item.

  • Notifications (required) — determines whether or not an account will be notified when items are received into inventory, or consignment items are sold. Options are Yes and No.

  • Balance (optional) — a dollar amount. For new accounts, this field specifies the starting balance. If an account already exists, the balance will be adjusted to the amount provided.

  • Tags (optional) — a comma-separated list of tags. These can be anything useful to you for keeping track of extra information about your accounts.

Item Fields

  • SKU (required)A unique number or string of text used to identify each item. If the SKU already exists, ConsignCloud will update the item with the data in your upload. If the SKU doesn't exist, ConsignCloud will create a new item.

  • Account (required for consignment items) — The account number of the person who owns the item. Make sure that the account already exists in the system with the exact number provided (watch out for spreadsheet auto-formatting that removes zero padding here), or else the item import will come up with an error message about a missing supplier.

  • Category (optional) — The exact name of the category. If there is no match, a new category will be created.

  • Shelf (optional) — The exact name of the shelf the item is to be assigned to. If there is no match, a new shelf will be created.

  • Surcharges (optional) A comma-separated list of exact surcharge names. Make sure to create any surcharges you'll be using first by visiting Menu » Settings » Surcharges.

  • Brand, Color, Size, Details, Description, Title (optional) — All are optional, but recommended for most stores. Custom fields are supported in imports as well.

  • Quantity (required) — Can be any number or blank. If left blank, the item will be considered untracked, and will always be active in your inventory no matter how many you sell. When changing quantity for an item using imports, Recount will automatically be chosen as the reason.

  • Tag Price or Split Price (required) — A dollar amount. Most stores should use Tag Price, which is the ConsignCloud default, but if you're not sure which one to use, take a look at which field is available on your item entry screen.

  • Inventory Type (required) — Options are Consignment, Buy Outright, and Retail.

  • Cost Per (required)A dollar amount. This field is used only for Buy Outright and Retail items. For consignment items, leave this field blank.

  • Split (required) — this field specifies the consignor's share of the split, so for example entering 40% would yield 60% of revenue for items sold to your store. If the item is Buy Outright or Retail you should enter 0.

  • Tax Exempt (required) — Options are Yes and No.

  • Terms (required) — Options are Donate and Return to Consignor. If the item is not on consignment, you should enter Donate.

  • Expires, Schedule Start (optional) — a date, affecting how policy is automatically applied to inventory, or whether an item is marked as expired.

  • Tags (optional) — a comma-separated list of tags for custom tracking and filtering of inventory.

Note that if you are changing the Quantity on an existing item, you'll need to provide a Quantity Change Reason as a separate column, to tell ConsignCloud what the item's new Status is. When increasing quantity, valid reasons are stocked, and recounted. When decreasing quantity, valid reasons are recounted, lost, damaged, donated, stolen, to be returned, and returned to consignor.

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