Product CSV Import Suite: Exporting and Importing Bookable Products

The Product CSV Import Suite extension for WooCommerce allows you to export and import products using only one file. This extension gives you the ability to move your products from one website to another and to back up your products when the need arises. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use this extension through a real life case study.

How the Product CSV Import Suite extension works

LightSpeed sells a tourism website solution called Bootstrap Tourism. This solution offers website packages to travel agents, tour operators and accommodation suppliers. The accommodation website package includes online bookings. We use WooCommerce Bookings to offer this functionality to our customers, but we needed a way to export and import bookable products. To accomplish this, we decided to use the Product CSV Import Suite extension.

To begin with, we decided to export a set of bookable products for “hotel rooms”. Before importing a bookable product, we decided to try and export one successfully. We navigated to WooCommerce>>CSV Import Suite and selected the Export Products tab. Here, users have a number of export options:

  • Limit: set the maximum number of products that you wish to export.
  • Offset: the product row number at which you wish to start the export.
  • Columns: allows you to choose which CSV columns you’d like to export.

To illustrate what the above bullet points mean, I included a picture below. Imagine working in an excel document. Each row has a number and there is a product in the numbered rows. Product number 1 is in row 1. In other words, the row number is equal to the product number.

Now let’s say you set a limit of 100 and an offset of 200, you’ll export products 200-300 to your CSV file. This means that you told the exporter that you would only like to export 100 products (limit). And you would like to start exporting from product number 200 onwards (offset).

Product CSV Import Suite

Furthermore, you can choose to export products by column names. Imagine the excel document again. In an excel document you have an infinite number of columns which are named alphabetically. We’re going to call column A “post_title” and column D is going to be called “post_content”. You’ve told the Product CSV Import Suite that you would like it to export rows 200-300, and now you want to tell it that you don’t want to export all the columns in the rows. You only want “post_title” (column A) and “post_content” (column D). Therefore, you insert both names in the Columns section.

For our export test, however, we set Offset to “2” and Limit to “1”, because we wanted to try exporting a single product. We also kept the default selection for Columns, which is “All Columns”.

After exporting the test product and viewing the CSV file, we found that all the standard product information had exported perfectly. “Post_title” (column A), “post_name” (column B), “post_content” (column D),” images” (column G), “tax: product type (column H)” were there with the relevant product information.

Product CSV Import Suite

However, we found that additional information which specifically related to a bookable product as opposed to, for example, a simple product, hadn’t been exported. Because we chose to export “All Columns”, we thought that it would have exported all the product data. We hadn’t realised that we needed to tick the include hidden meta data box. This option ensures that any additional product information is included in the CSV file.

Product CSV Import Suite

Once we completed the exporting test successfully, we moved on to importing the CSV file. We navigated to WooCommerce>>CSV Import Suite and selected the Import Products tab. Once there, we directly clicked on the Import Products button, because we didn’t need to import product variations. If you’d like to learn more about importing product variations, have a look at our follow-up blog post.

Product CSV Import Suite

At this point, we were given the option to upload the CSV file from the computer. After uploading the file, it directed us to the Map Fields page. Here, you can ensure that your column headers (for example “post_name” and “images”) are mapped to the correct fields before you import everything.

Product CSV Import Suite

After making sure that the column headers were mapped to the correct fields, we submitted the CSV file. This completed the import and we found the newly imported product listed with the other existing products on the WooCommerce Products page.

Product CSV Import Suite

Application for Cover Publications

For a long time client of ours, Cover Publications, we had to undertake a massive subscriptions export and import of their magazine subscribers when redeveloping their website.

A subscriber list of several thousand members with different membership plans was previously managed manually by them, and it was a perfect fit for the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension to handle. It let their subscribers subscribe to Cover’s publication and other services and pay in different installments depending on the subscription packages that we had configured.

Memberships is another extension for WooCommerce that works hand in hand with the Subscriptions extension. With the Memberships extension, Memberships are set up (which restrict access to certain content – in this Case Cover’s digital magazine) to which users can Subscribe to (using the Subscription extension).

In order to import the several thousand subscriptions properly into the correct subscription packages with all the right variables imported into the myriad fields and options, we first needed to create “dummy” subscriptions for each of the different kind ofs of Memberships that Cover offers. Having done that, we exported the users in their different subscription types using the Order/Customer CSV Export Extension for WooCommerce.

We then needed to trim down the csv it output as it had far too many columns for fields of data that were not relevant to these subscribers (i.e. alternate delivery addresses, business addresses, social profiles, et cetera). With the csv trimmed down to containing just the necessary information for each different subscriber type, we then provided the client with that csv file as a template in which they should provide us with their different subscriber lists. Corresponding Memberships were set up and Subscribers accordingly imported.

Conclusion

The Product CSV Import Suite extension allows you to mass import and export all types of products, including bookable products. It saves you time by removing the need to upload products manually when you’re moving them from one website to another.