Formatting item import files

To import inventory items via our Retail Imports team, please refer to this article.

How you format your import file is dependent on if you're:

If you're also importing images, please see Importing item images overview for more information.

The Item Import tool also handles matrix items differently than other item types. For a full outline, please see 1.1 Import matrix items.

Creating new items

The following table defines the columns in the template CSV import file that you can download from the Item Import tool. It also explains how to format the inventory data in each column.

As for the rows in blue in the table, they only apply if you're using Retail with eCom (Omnichannel). Some cells are also in blue to provide additional Omnichannel information.

If you have a multi-store account, some rows in the table below, such as [Shop name] - Quantity on Hand and [Shop name] - Unit Cost, have additional information as well.

Before you format your import file, we'd like to help highlight some of the important notes that you'll find in the table below:

  • You import file must be in CSV, XLS, or XLSX format and may contain up to 1000 items.
  • Certain columns use a default value if left blank (see the Data format column).
  • You can reorder the columns as you wish.
  • Matrix item names are created based on the Matrix Description + Attribute 1 + Attribute + Attribute 3 field. For example, T-Shirt (matrix description) + Blue (Attribute 1) + Medium (Attribute 2) + Tri-blend (Attribute 3).
  • You can import up to 10 levels of categories and subcategories. If you import all 10 levels, the column headers would be Category, Subcategory 1, Subcategory 2, Subcategory 3, Subcategory 4, Subcategory 5, Subcategory 6, Subcategory 7, Subcategory 8 and Subcategory 9. Subcategories beyond the ninth level are not imported.
ColumnDefinitionData formatImported to
Description

The name of your item. Make it unique so you can tell it apart from other item descriptions.

If you're importing a matrix item, leave the Description field blank and enter a name in the Matrix Description field instead.

  • 0 to 255 characters
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
  • Cannot be blank (unless importing a matrix item)
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu Description field
System IDA unique identifier generated by Lightspeed Retail. It cannot be created or updated through an item import. The system ID is also used for the barcode on labels generated by Lightspeed Retail.
  • 12 digits
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • Only used as a unique identifier when updating items to make sure the data in your import file updates the correct item in your inventory.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu System ID
UPCThe "Universal Product Code" of the item. It contains the manufacturer identification number and the item number.
  • 11 to 12 digits
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns, line breaks or foreign characters
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > UPC field
EANThe "European Article Number" of the item. It's also known as the "International Article Number".
  • 13 digits
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No return, line breaks or foreign characters
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu EAN field
Custom SKU

The series of numbers and/or letters sometimes required for internal shop use.

For example, you can use this field for old POS barcodes or item numbers.

  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu Custom SKU field
Manufacturer SKUThe manufacturer's series of numbers and/or letters assigned to the item by the manufacturer.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Manufact.SKU field
VendorThe name of the vendor who sold you the item.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Vendor drop-down
Vendor IDThe vendor's part number for the item.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > ID
BrandThe item's brand (e.g. Shimano).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
  • When adding a brand, the Item Import tool does a case insensitive search of the name to avoid duplicates. If "Lightspeed" already exists, "LIGHTSPEED" or "lightspeed" can't be added.
  • Leading and trailing spaces in a brand name are removed.

Note: If you have an eCom store, please see Managing product brands in eCom to understand how brands in Retail are pushed to eCom.

Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu Brand drop-down
Default CostThe cost at which you purchased the item from your vendor.
  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • If blank, defaults to 0
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Default Cost field
Default - PriceThe price associated with the item's Default pricing level and charged to the customer in your Retail shop.
  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • If blank, defaults to 0
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
  • If the Online pricing level is 0, the Default pricing level is used for the item in your eCom store.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Default price field
MSRP - PriceThe price associated with the item's MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) pricing level. This price is not charged to the customer unless you set it to. You can also specify whether or not to display the MSRP price on labels.
  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • If blank, defaults to 0
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > MSRP price field
Online - Price

The price associated with the item's Online pricing level and charged to the customer in your eCom store (if you don't use the Default pricing level).

  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • If blank, defaults to 0 and Default pricing level is used for the item in your eCom store.
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Online price field
[Name of custom pricing level] - Price

The price associated with the item's custom pricing level. This price is not charged to the customer in your Retail shop unless you set it to.

  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • If blank, defaults to 0
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > [Name of custom pricing level] price field
Matrix Description

The name of the matrix that will be included in the name of all the matrix variants it contains.

To elaborate, the Item Import tool creates matrix variant names based on the Matrix Description + Attribute 1, Attribute 2, and Attribute 3 fields.

E.g. T-Shirt (matrix description) + Blue (Attribute 1) + Medium  (Attribute 2) +  Tri-blend (Attribute 3)

  • 0 to 255 characters
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed

Note: If you're using Retail with eCom, you can only publish 100 variants per matrix to eCom. For more information, please see the article 1.2 Importing matrix items.

Inventory > Matrix > [matrix description] > Setup submenu > Description field
Matrix Attribute Set

The group of attributes the variants in the matrix share. Lightspeed Retail has four built-in matrix attribute sets:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Color/Size
  • 3 Attributes

E.g. If the items in your matrix (matrix description) are separated only by size, enter size in this column.

You can also create custom matrix attribute sets under Inventory > Matrix Attribute Sets.

  • Color
  • Size
  • Color/Size
  • 3 Attributes
  • Name of custom attribute set
  • If blank, field is skipped

For more information, please see the article 1.2 Importing matrix items.

Inventory > Matrix > [matrix description] > Setup submenu > Attributes drop-down
Attribute 1The name of the attribute (e.g. Blue).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
  • If blank, field is skipped

For more information, please see 1.2 Importing matrix items.

Inventory > Matrix > [matrix name] > Setup > Attribute 1 field, Color field or Size field
Attribute 2The name of the attribute (e.g. Medium).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed

For more information, please see 1.2 Importing matrix items.

Inventory > Matrix > [matrix name] > Setup > Attribute 2 field or Size field
Attribute 3The name of the attribute (e.g. Tri-Blend).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed

Please see the complimentary article 1.2 Importing matrix items for more information.

Inventory > Matrix > [matrix name] > Setup > Attribute 3 field
DiscountableSpecifies whether or not discounts can be applied to the item.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to yes
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Discounts Allowed checkbox
TaxableSpecifies whether or not the item is taxable.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to yes
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Taxable checkbox
Tax Class

Specifies the tax class to apply to the item. 

Lightspeed Retail has three built-in tax classes:

  • Item
  • Labor (if optional module Service is enabled)
  • Gift Card (if optional module Gift Cards is enabled)

You can also create custom tax classes (e.g. ) under Settings > Tax Classes.

  • Item
  • Labor
  • Name of custom tax class
  • If blank, defaults to the Item tax class.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Tax Class drop-down
Item Type

The type of item you're importing:

  • Single
  • Non-inventory
  • Assembly
  • Box
  • Single
  • Non-inventory
  • Assembly
  • Box
  • If blank, defaults to single.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Type drop-down
Publish to eComSpecifies whether or not the item should be published to your eCom store (with online visibility hidden).
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank and creating an item, defaults to the Automatically publish to eCom setting under Settings > General Options > General.
  • If blank and updating an item, field is skipped.
  • Publish to eCom item limit of 15,000 and variant limit of 100 per matrix also apply.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Publish to eCom field
SerializedSpecifies whether or not to track serial number information for the item.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to no
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Serialized checkbox
CategoryThe category you want the item to be organized into (e.g. Apparel). It's helpful to organize your items into categories as you can use them as filters in many areas of your account (e.g. inventory searches and reports).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Category field
Subcategory 1 to 9The subcategories you want the item to be organized into (e.g. Apparel > Women > Tops). It's helpful to organize your items into subcategories as you can use them as filters in many areas of your account (e.g. inventory searches and reports).
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Category field

Clear Existing Tags

Specifies whether or not to delete the item's existing tags.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to no
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Tags field

Add Tags

Specifies the new tags to add to the item's existing tags.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped
  • No returns or line breaks
  • UTF-8 characters allowed
  • If adding multiple tags, separate them with a comma
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Tags field

Note

The note that will appear on sales and receipts for the item. For the note to display, the item's Display Note column needs to be set to yes.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • Cannot be blank if the item's Display Note column is set to yes.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Notes field

Display Note

Determines whether or not to display the note specified under the Note column on sales and receipts for the item.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to no.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Display Note On Sales and Receipts checkbox

Archive

Specifies whether or not the item is archived.
  • Yes
  • No
  • If blank, defaults to no.
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Archive or Un-Archive button

Featured Image

Specifies the filename of the item's featured image.
  • 0 to 255 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped.

Note: Entering a new filename will push the item's current featured image further down the list of images. For best practices regarding filenames of item images, please see 1. Preparing your import file for image imports.

Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Image section

Image

The filenames of the item's images. You can enter up to 11 filenames, one in each of the 11 Image columns.
  • 0 to 250 characters
  • If blank, field is skipped

Note: For best practices regarding filenames of item images, please see 1. Preparing your import file for image imports.

Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Image section

Shop Quantity on Hand

Specifies the shop's current stock level of the item. You can only enter a shop's QOH when creating an item, not when updating an existing item.
  • Positive whole number (e.g. 10)
  • If blank, defaults to 0.
  • If multi-store account, template file will have a column for each shop (e.g. [Shop name] - Quantity on Hand).
Inventory > [item description] > Inventory submenu > Inventory Details section > Remaining field

Shop Unit Cost

Specifies the unit cost at which your shop purchased the item's quantity on hand.
  • Currency format (e.g. 1.99)
  • You don't need to specify a currency symbol. Prices default to your account's currency.
  • If blank, the item's Default Cost is used instead.
  • If enter 0, the item's Unit Cost will be 0.
  • Can only enter a unit cost if your shop is importing a QOH for a new item, not an existing item.
  • If multi-store account, template file will have a column for each shop (e.g. [Shop name] - Unit Cost).
Inventory > [item description] > Inventory submenu > Inventory Details section > UnitCost field

Shop Reorder Point

When you view your item or the Reorder List report, the item will show as needing to be reordered if your stock is at or below the quantity specified as the reorder point.

  • Positive whole number (e.g. 10)
  • If blank, defaults to 0.
  • If multi-store account, template file will have a column for each shop (e.g. [Shop name] - Reorder Point).
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Automatic Re-Ordering section > Point field

Shop Reorder Level

Specifies the stock level your store wants to replenish up to when you reorder stock.

E.g. If you have 3 items in stock, the reorder point is 5, and the reorder level is 10, the Reorder List report will show that you need to order 7 to get your stock level back to 10.

  • Positive whole number (e.g. 10)
  • If blank, defaults to 0.
  • If multi-store account, template file will have a column for each shop (e.g. [Shope name] - Reorder Level).
Inventory > [item description] > Details submenu > Automatic Re-Ordering section > Level field

Updating existing items

If you're updating existing items, the Item Import tool can either replace or delete the details of items in your inventory.

To replace the details of your existing items, enter the new details in the columns of your import file. To delete the details of your existing items, enter NULL in the columns of your import file. If you leave any columns empty, the Item Import tool will simply ignore and skip it.

Whether you're replacing or deleting the details of your existing items, you need to include one of the below columns as a unique item identifier. This unique item identifier will make sure that the details in your import file will be imported to the correct item in your inventory.

  • System ID (recommended)
  • UPC
  • EAN
  • Custom SKU
  • Manufacturer SKU

Note: You can only enter NULL in the columns below. The rows in blue only apply to merchants who use Retail with eCom (Omnichannel).

ColumnNULL value handling
UPCNULL will delete details in this field.
EANNULL will delete details in this field.
Custom SKUNULL will delete details in this field.
Manufacturer SKUNULL will delete details in this field.
VendorNULL will clear the relation between the item and the vendor.
Vendor IDNULL will delete details in this field.
BrandNULL will clear the relation between the item and the brand.
CategoryNULL will clear the relation between the item and the category.
Shop Reorder Point NULL will set the field to 0.
Shop Reorder LevelNULL will set the field to 0.
PriceNULL will set the field to 0.00.
MSRPNULL will set the field to 0.00.
Default CostNULL will set the field to 0.00.
Online PriceNULL will set the field to 0.00.
DiscountableNULL will disable this setting.
TaxableNULL will disable this setting.
Publish to eCom

NULL defaults to the Automatically publish to eCom setting under Settings > General Options > General.

Item TypeNULL will update this setting to Single.
SerializedNULL will disable this setting.
Note NULL will delete details in this field.
Display Note NULL will disable this setting.
ArchiveNULL will un-archive the item.