Introduction to Import/Export

The Kibo eCommerce Import/Export tools help you import and export data—such as catalogs, customers, orders, coupons, and site content—to and from your tenant. For new merchants joining the platform, these tools are a powerful onboarding aid, as they help you transfer all your existing store data to eCommerce without digging into the API. The tools take all the inputs you need to get up and running with Kibo and expose them through easy-to-read template files.

For merchants already on the platform, the Import/Export tools also greatly simplify batch updating data by allowing you to export existing data, make the required updates in the template files, and re-import your updated data back into Kibo. You can also use exports as a form of data back-up, and third-party applications can use exported data for reporting and administrative functions.

Import-Export Tools

Kibo eCommerce provides import/export tools through three applications:

  • Kibo eCommerce Import/Export Tool (1.0): (Legacy Tool) This tool handles the import and export of site content, product, and customer data, but Kibo eCommerce recommends using the newer versions of Import-Export 2.0 or 3.0.
  • Kibo eCommerce Import-Export Application (2.0): This application handles the import and export of catalogs, customer data, coupons and coupon sets, orders, and price lists, and includes a more fully-featured UI for import/export operations. This app also provides the ability to export IT analytics data for your Kibo eCommerce sites.
  • Kibo eCommerce Import-Export Application (3.0): This application has a similar user experience to 2.0, but with additional performance improvements. However, it does not currently support importing Customers or B2B templates (though it does support Catalogs, Marketing, and Price List templates).

Call your sales or professional services representative or contact Kibo Support to request installation of these tools on your tenant.

Template Files

The import/export tools use specifically formatted template files to organize your data. You can download sample templates from the apps, or you can export existing data to get a properly formatted file.

Example of a template file

The template files are simple CSV files with columns that map to properties and attributes within Kibo. Excel files are only supported for files that belong to the Content template, and the CSV files should otherwise never be opened in Excel.

You can map every column in a template file to a member of the Kibo eCommerce API. In most cases, you can also find a corresponding field in Admin. This is why it is useful to have a good understanding of your catalog architecture (and how that architecture appears in Admin) before trying to work with these files.

The Import/Export tools split eCommerce data into the following broad categories:

  • Customers
  • Orders*
  • Catalogs
  • Marketing (Coupons)
  • Content (Site Data)
  • Price Lists

*You cannot import the Orders file back into eCommerce. Importing orders is a complex process and must be done via the API. Kibo strongly recommends contacting your professional services representative if you want to import orders from a previous solution to Kibo.

The Import-Export Cycle

Every time you export data, the template files update to include new data you have added since the previous export. The current data should always be exported before any import is performed - for instance, the Products.csv file should be exported before a new version is imported later. The easiest way to do this is to use the "export all" option before importing files. In addition to being required by the system, this makes it easier to adjust the data - you can take the current data and make sure that only the values you intend to update are changed for re-import. When you edit a file and re-import it, the import process compares the differences between the old export data and the new import data to determine what should be overwritten on the tenant. Keep in mind that changes to global data such as attributes affect every item that references the data, even if the item is not explicitly included in the import.

Diagram of the Import/Export cycle: exporting products, editing data, and importing back into Kibo

Prepare Your Tenant for Initial Import

If you are new to the Kibo platform and importing data for the first time, you must complete some extra steps ensure your data is imported correctly:

  1. Decide and outline your catalog architecture. 
  2. Ensure you have access to all existing store data from your previous eCommerce solution. You must have sufficient knowledge of the data structure to map your existing data to the fields in the eCommerce template files.
  3. Use Admin or the API to prepare your tenant structure. The exact structure you need will depend on your catalog architecture, locations, etc., but the minimum requirements are as follows:
    • Master Catalog(s): All products are associated with master catalogs that contain one or more sub-catalogs. You need 1 or more master catalogs.
    • Catalog(s): You need 1 or more catalogs within each master catalog.
    • Locations: To manage inventory, products must be associated with a location. You need 1 or more locations.
    • Shipping Settings: When you import products, you include information on how they can be shipped to customers. Configure all your shipping settings including zones, carriers, methods, and so on.

Recall that you must always perform an export before an import - this is true even for new tenants who have not yet made their initial import. In this case, the initial export will be empty.

Data Import Order

To ensure your data appears and maps correctly, you must complete your initial data import in the following order:

  1. Customers
  2. Orders*
  3. Catalogs
  4. (Optional) Marketing
  5. (Optional) Content
  6. (Optional) Price Lists

*Importing orders is a complex process and must be done via the API. Kibo strongly recommends contacting your professional services representative if you want to import orders from a previous eCommerce solution to Kibo.

Where to Go Next

  1. Learn how to use the tools.
  2. Understand the contents of each template file:
  3. Troubleshoot import/export issues.
  4. Learn how to export IT analytics data.
  5. Watch a video about Import/Export API.
  6. Read the Import/Export API Overview.