Many people we speak with are established stores using point of sale systems that aren’t a great fit, but they’re worried about the work of moving over. One tool that can make this easier is the spreadsheet importer, which can be used to quickly bring in information about your customers or inventory. If you want to carry data over from your old point of sale, this is the best way to do that. This can also be used if you are getting in a large initial order for a new store and want to bring it in from a spreadsheet.
Any remotely reputable point of sale is going to allow you to export your inventory and customer information to a spreadsheet, whether that’s excel, tab-delimited text, or comma separated text. (ThunderPOS has no less than three different ways to do this)
You can use this file either through the backoffice if you are a cloud customer or through the System Administration -> Import menu option from ThunderPOS.
In either case we recommend taking a database backup prior to the import. This will save you a lot of trouble if you make an error with the field mapping, or there is a problem in the data you bring in.
Once you select the type of data you’re bringing in, you’ll need to browse to the file that you are importing from. Please note that if you’re using an excel file, only the first sheet within the workbook will be imported. If you need to do multiple sheets, then break them into separate files.
Once you’ve browsed to the file, you’ll get to the most important step: you have to map your spreadsheet’s columns to the fields in the database. The only fields that are completely required for items, which the above screenshot is an example of, are the Item ID and the Name.
Other fields will get defaulted if you don’t map them. For example, Department and Category IDs will both get set to “0”, the system default.
To apply a mapping, you’ll select the column in the spreadsheet from the first list, the field in ThunderPOS in the second list, and hit “Map columns” to add the mapping.
One particularly important option available on this screen is the ‘Update Existing Records’ checkbox in the bottom left. If this is not checked, any rows where the key field – in this case, item id – already exists in the database will be thrown out. If it is checked, then those items in the system will be updated based on the spreadsheet.