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Checklist to make your Shopify data imports safe

shopify-data-import-checklist

Before you import your data to Shopify, here are some of the essential self-assessment questions you need to consider to ensure your data import safety. The same applies to any sorts of imports, not only done by Excelify but, of course, we will assume you are using Excelify.

1. Read the documentation

Documentation files Shopify Excelify csv excel tempalteBy reading some columns, you might make some assumptions of, for example, what a particular column means. Don’t guess. You will be much safer if you open the respective Documentation page and read about any field you are in doubt. Or follow any of the Tutorials on that specific topic. If there is no documentation or tutorial which can answer your question, we are always happy to answer your questions via different Support channels.

Ideally, when you do an import, you should be able to tell yourself, “I know what I am doing“. If that’s not how you assess your state of mind, then please take those 10 minutes to make sure you understand that. Better do it before that import, rather than after – with all the related consequences.

2. Test your imports

Test your Shopify data importsExcelify, although it is quite smart – is doing what you ask it to do.

You might be sure that the import file you compiled is all good, but there is always a chance that you overlooked something.

For this reason, it’s best if you test your import by importing one or two items and check that it did what you wanted it to do. And only then go ahead and import the whole file.

If you cannot do tests in your live store (and, in fact, you shouldn’t), you can always create the free Shopify store for tests and activate Excelify for free from your paid Excelify app Settings – for free. Meaning, that you don’t need to pay for your second store. That way – you can do safe tests in your test store, and be confident about what will happen in your live store.

You can even export everything from your live store to your test store, and then apply the new imports in your test store, to see what will happen to your live data.

Once you gain that confidence, you will be ready to do the same import in your live store and know exactly what will happen with your import there – without guessing, because you already tested in your test shop.

3. Make a backup

Before importing anything, do an export with the Excelify app of that data which you plan to update. Keep your exported file as a backup. Just in case you mess up the data, you can import the exported file to restore it back.

If you need to backup your image files, you can consider using a backup app like Rewind.

4. Analyze the impact on your related systems

Excelify is a Shopify app, so, as any Shopify app, Excelify has access only to specific data in the Shopify database. Excelify cannot know or predict any impact on the external systems which you have integrated with the Shopify store, so that is something you need to understand fully.

 

Shopify Data Import Safety on related systems

 

Shopify Reporting

Shopify Admin has the Analytics section which shows different metrics of your store. Since any data import is changing the data in your Shopify store database, those reports will reflect those changes. So, make sure you are ok that those reports will follow your data changes. That concerns, for example, thinking of the correct dates for your imported Orders, their transaction dates, or refund dates. When importing Orders data, you can set specific dates in the past for them. Those dates will show up on a respective day in your reports.

If you want your Order Transactions to not show up in your financial reports at all, then import your Orders with “Transaction: Test” column set to TRUE.

Payment Gateways

For example, if you import refunds for your actual Orders which have captured funds from your customers – those refunds will actually be sent to your customers as refund payments through that same payment gateway as they were captured. Therefore, you should be totally aware of what you are doing with those Orders.

If you have created Orders using Excelify or any other app, which doesn’t have those Orders linked to an actual payment gateway, then you cannot capture any funds from those customers, and cannot send back any refunds to them – because there is no real payment gateway link, nor customer authorization for processing those payments.

Fulfillment Services

If you have an automated fulfillment service integrated into your store, then – if you create a new Order, this fulfillment service might grab that Order and start fulfilling it. Analyze and test how it is reacting to your imports, and make sure you don’t suddenly send those packages again to all those Orders which you have just migrated into your store.

Usually, it should be possible to disable automatic fulfillment in the fulfillment service for the time of migration or define some rules by which to exclude any migrated Orders, so that they don’t get fulfilled.

Sometimes you actually might want to import Orders in bulk and actually fulfill them by shipping those line items to those customers – then in that case you need to make sure your fulfillment service is able to grab those newly imported Orders and that it has all the required data to actually fulfill them.

ERPs and Accounting Systems

You might have your ERP system, your accounting or inventory management system integrated directly into Shopify. Analyze, how your import will match its data. That completely depends on how your integration is implemented. For example, your ERP system might be pulling data from Shopify for every item you change. So, decide – what do you want it to do.

WebHooks

The only way to make Shopify not to fire WebHooks is to stop listening to them. That’s from the “subscriber” side.
Because, when changing the data – the data change initiator cannot tell “do not fire any WebHooks for this change” and if it could, there would be a potential risk of abusing it.

If you need to ignore any of the data changes, so that WebHooks don’t react to it​:
​One idea you could try, for example, if you are about to import Orders – mark those imported Orders with some specific Tag, like “silent“. Modify your WebHook subscriber – so that it would ignore any Orders which have a “silent” Tag in them.

Customer Notifications

Some imports can trigger sending e-mails to your customers. Sometimes you need to send those notifications, and sometimes – sending them can mean a disaster. Make sure you use the correct values for import columns to specify what you need to happen. In all cases, when not specified explicitly, Excelify assumes that you don’t want to send any notifications.

The only exception where it is not possible to disable notification sending to the customer is when you import an Order with a Gift Card in it – then Shopify always forcefully sends the notification to that customer about that Gift Card.

Other Apps

You might have any other apps installed into your Shopify store, which push data to your Shopify store or pull the data out. Other apps can react to events like “item created” or “item updated”, or “item deleted”, and either change this data in Shopify or perform some action outside the Shopify. You need to consider their reaction to your data imports and adjust that setup according to your needs.

Data Architect Role

shopify-woman-sitting-at-computer-analystIt is best if you have a specific person in your company who knows all your integrations and can assess the impact of imports on your data.

In a small store, that doesn’t have to be a whole person – just asking yourself, “who is that person who knows my store and can assess the impact of imports“, is a good start. Maybe that person is you. Maybe you are the store owner and your own everything. Then you can and should put that “Data Architect” hat on and make sure you reach the state of “I know what I am doing.”.

Still in doubt?

Whenever you are not sure what you are doing or have any doubts, please, reach our Support and ask. We will be super happy to answer all your questions and genuinely help.