Manage Inventory, Sell Online with PrestaShop
Most of all, if you are a Internet entrepreneur who makes money by selling products from their website, this article will help you to learn what web hosting shopping cart is recommended, how to manage inventory, and how to easily import your inventory stored in a spreadsheet. PrestaShop is our e-commerce shopping cart by choice. Our company has researched the others but in our opinion, PrestaShop is the most flexible and most easy to setup shopping cart for your e-commerce website. And, you can manage inventory Prestashop provides a flexible system that you can use to import spreadsheets into the software to carefully keep track of inventory.
Manage Inventory Prestashop
First of all, most shop owners know the value of a spreadsheet. Not only are spreadsheets used internally by shop owners to keep track of pricing, weight, description, cost, profit margin, etc… But spreadsheets are also valuable because many suppliers of inventory will provide you, the Internet entrepreneur, a spreadsheet to document their products and the
Import data to your PrestaShop store using CSV files.
Why CSV files?
They an hold a lot of data in the minimum file weight, for example, to store addresses or catalogs. They can be used to import data into your catalog.
Go to the back office and click “Tools” then click “CSV import” and there you will see the the following tabs:
- Sample files
- Available fields
For this demonstration, we will concentrate on importing products. In the “Import” tab you can select which entity you wish to import. There are many options from which to choose.
You can import the flowing options:
These options can be imported and this is a default PrestaShop feature. You do not need any module or extension to do this. Depending on the entity you select to import, the available fields change.
What are “Available fields”?
They represent the corresponding data in your database that you can import into your shop for a specific entity. So for products, you can have the ID, whether the product is active or not, the name, etc.
For categories, you will see that there is something in parenthesis. This indicates that categories can hold multiple values. A very special characteristic of PrestaShop is that you can assign products to many categories. It is a one to many relationship. This is also true for tags and images, for example. The image importer is moody and some merchants have complained about the image importer, but the PrestaShop team is aware of this and most likely have already fixed this issue.
Edit a CSV Sample PrestaShop File—A real time saver!
Especially It is not a good use of your time to start from scratch, so just download a sample product file. It makes your life a lot easier. Download a sample product CSV file and open it in Microsoft Excel or any other table editor such as Open Office Calc.
After you open the sample product file, you will see the following fields:
- Product ID
- Price Tax
- Tax Rules
- Wholesale Price
- Meta Title
- The Meta Description
- and (maybe) Meta Keywords
- URL Rewritten – this sets the name for your SEO friendly URLs
- Images (you can leave this field blank and enter images later)
- Available only online (yes or no)
NOTE: Be sure to remove your IDs when you import data from the CSV file if you do not want to erase existing products with the same ID. You can use the reference field as a unique identifier.
Create and Import Product Spreadsheet
In your spreadsheet, you should know that many of the columns you can leave blank. Some fields, however, are required in order to complete a PrestaShop CSV import. In your PrestaShop back office, the fields with an asterisk are required fields for a CSV import.
Complete spreadsheet fields
Complete the fields in your spreadsheet you will need to know which fields are required. Again, you can determine this by looking in your PrestaShop back office for fields with an asterisk.
Save – save – save
After you have entered your fields into the spreadsheet, save your file. If you are using Excel, you might be prompted to change your file extension. This is not necessary because the default is .CSV, but do not. If your software is not setup to save spreadsheets in .CSV format, there is an easy way to fix this:
—Click the Microsoft Office Button , then click “Excel Options”
—In the “Save” category, under “Save Workbooks” in the “Save files in this format list” click the .CSV file format
Upload spreadsheet to Prestashop
Go back to your PrestaShop back-office and within the “Upload” tab, choose a .CSV file, and click “Upload”.
Next, go to your “Import” tab and you will see “Select which entity to import” drop-down menu and “Select your .CSV file” drop down menu. Choose “Products”. When selecting which .CSV file to import, look at the file names of the .CSV files, because it is possible to have several from which to choose. To help you choose which file to import, you can determine which file is the most recent by looking at the file names. The filenames will include the date of which it was uploaded. Choose the most recent file.
Now you will see a lot of additional data in the “Import” tab. Select “Products” and then you will select your .CSV file. PrestaShop only allows you to import one language at a time.
- Select your language.
- Next, check or un-check “ISO encoded file” box. This option is useful if you added special characters into your .CSV file. For this demonstration, we will leave this box unchecked.
- Choose a “Field separator” if you need a custom separator for the .CSV file. We like to stick to the default because we are using a semi-colon.
- You can also choose a “Multiple value separator”.
- The next field is critical to pay attention to. The “Delete all products before import” box will erase previous data. We like to leave this box unchecked for obvious reasons.
- “Use product references as key” can be used for the product entity.
- Click “Next step” to proceed to the CSV import page 2.
CSV Import- Fine Tune your Product Fields
On this page you can do many things. If you received your .CSV file from a supplier, you will have different values for each of the columns. And this is why PrestaShop very intelligently allows you to change the value associated for each column. You can change it or ignore it.
By default, PrestaShop sample files creates a few issues when you try to import the .CSV file unless you set the value type of each column. For example, the column “Available for order” column has “Image URL”.
- Go through and check each column title to be sure that it matches the data within that column.
- In the “Save and load your configuration for importing files” field, enter a unique name if you are importing data from a specific supplier.
- On the left-hand section of the screen, you will see “Please set the value type of each column”. Then beneath that, you will see a field that allows you to specify how many lines you want to skip. We recommend you skip one line because the first row holds just dummy text to help us create the .CSV file.
- Click “Import CSV data”.
The next page will display any warnings that PrestaShop might have encountered when importing your data. An example of a warning that you might see can be caused by having a product named the same as a product already saved in your database. In this case, PrestaShop will re-write the URL.
The Product Catalog
The product catalog page is where you can see your products in an organized format. Additionally, in the “Catalog” tab, you can easily customize your product entities such as:
- Detailed information
Here you can see the products, their images (in this demonstration, we did not upload images), prices, combinations, tax rule, retail price, and more. You can input data for any other fields in this location that were not included with the import from your .CSV file. Note: Remember that if you are going to write your IDs in the .CSV file, it will be overwritten if the same ID already exists.
Optimize your Website and Products
The “Catalog” tab is where you can optimize your products for maximum exposure in search engines.
SEO & URLs
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization. In the ever-changing world of search engine optimization, one goal remains constant: traffic. The higher the site ranks on a search engine results page as seen by a user, the more traffic the site will receive.
PrestaShop provides techniques aimed at improving the visibility of a website on search engines. This section helps you improve the presence of your PrestaShop store on web searches, and therefore reach more potential customers.
Friendly URLs are the way to achieve more visibility in search engines. PrestaShop provides SEO tools for more than just your store. PrestaShop offers tools to optimize for every product offered on your website. This gives merchants a distinct advantage on the highly competitive Internet.
At the bottom of the “SEO & URLs” tab is the following form.
Change the “Friendly URL” radio button settings if you are certain that your web hosting provider offers web servers that can support URL rewriting. If not, leave it at “No”. Likewise, only change the “Automatically redirect to Canonical URL” radio buttons settings if you know what you are doing. Canonical URLs are excellent ways to improve SEO, as they help avoid duplicate content on your shop (more than one URL for the same actual content).
After you have enabled Friendly URLs, you MUST generate a new .htaccess file:
- Go to the “Tools” tab
- “Generators” sub-tab
- Check the “Friendly URL” box
- Click the “Generate .htaccess file” button. This will create a new .htaccess file at the root of the PrestaShop folder.
- If you already have a .htaccess file with your own settings, do not forget to copy/paste them in the generator’s “Specific configuration” field.
A product’s friendly URL is set on its own configuration, as explained on the “Adding Products and Product Categories” chapter, in the “Listing Your Product” section. The “Create a Category” section also mentions how to create friendly URLs for product categories.
There are some individual “static” pages (or “CMS pages”) in your PrestaShop install that would certainly benefit from friendly URLs. This tab presents you with a list of these CMS pages, and enables you to edit their friendly URLs.
Follow good practices; choose a good web hosting firm
When you begin to setup your e-commerce website, you have taken a major step towards an independent lifestyle. Consistently contribute to your website by adding original, quality, content so that search engines will have plenty of interest in your website. PrestaShop makes it easier for Internet entrepreneurs because merchants can optimize their website for every product, rather than limited optimization resources with alternative shopping carts.
In the era of a constantly changing and complex Internet, business owners need a good web host—one that offers tools, and a lot of them. But in addition, a web hosting provider needs to offer uptime, professional support staff and a premier data center that offers a multitude of bandwidth providers. Downtime is not good. And a web hosting provider is only as good as their data center.
Several large web hosting firms have been purchased by even larger ones. And usually, after the acquisition is complete the new owners will migrate all the accounts to a less expensive data center. The goal of this migration is to maximize profit.
Web hosting Conglomerates
Is your web hosting provider a conglomerate? Was your web hosting firm purchased by a much larger firm? If so, then most likely your account was migrated to a different, less expensive data center. Why does this matter? If you are working hard to setup a successful website in order to generate income and gain independence, you need to be sure that the data center hosting your website is not only secure and outfitted with the most specialized and high-tech web hosting equipment, but the data center that hosts your valuable website data better be outfitted with at least fifteen bandwidth providers.
See, if one or two of your data centers’ bandwidth providers goes down, then a data center with redundant, best-in-class infrastructure will not be negatively affected. A data center with only one or two bandwidth providers is a disaster waiting to happen. It’s similar to your car running out of gas. If you do not have multiple sources for bandwidth, or gasoline in this scenario, then your website can go down and your e-commerce store can not make sales. Finally, if your working to become an independent Internet entrepreneur, a scalable, redundant data center with industry-leading hardware and equipment is a necessity.
Be prepared. Be knowledgeable about what is under-the-hood, and be successful.