I've been uploading inventory to my store using the CSV import feature and have run into a major bottleneck problem. The process is generally smooth, except for the product image upload part. I was curious to get everyone's take on the most efficient upload method. For the record, I'm a retailer that just resells wholesale goods from a manufacturer, so I'm sure the method that applies to me may not apply to others.
The options, as far as I can tell, are to:
1) Download all the image files, upload them to your store via the "Files" section, and then reference the URL in the CSV file.
Downside: The problem here is that you have to download each image and then upload them all individually to your store, which takes awhile.
2) Host the images on your own personal, separate domain, and then reference the URL
Downside: You need a separate domain and hosting.
3) Just reference the images from your manufacturer's website.
Downside: You rely on an external server, and sometimes manufacturers don't have images for their products online or only have their images uploaded via ftp, which (to my knowledge) can't be linked to.
Are these the only options? Did I get them right, or am I misunderstanding something here? I would greatly appreciate any assistance.
Thanks guys :)
Hi there Tom,
It sounds as if there is a shortcut in step 3.
When you upload a CSV with external links Shopify does rely on this server at that moment to download a copy of the image. After that moment it is OK for the external host to go offline.
Shopify will copy the images to your account and they will benefit from our content delivery network which saves copies of the image to thousands of servers around the world (close to your customers) to keep your store (and your manufacturers sites) running fast and snappy as expected.
Another quick shortcut for step 2 is to use Dropbox (which is free up to 2gb) and these links can be used in the CSV also. Dropbox is very reliable for hosting so this is another great tool depending on your needs.
Thank you Massaad! That really cleared things up for me. I wasn't sure if the external image was downloaded immediately or if it was just referenced every time someone visited my page. Really appreciate your help! :)
Have a look at BucketLynx.com.
We have plans starting and $10 for small users up to unlimited. You create a bucket for your product image files, upload them, then you can create a CSV file that contains the file name and URL that you can use as needed.