Sections in this article
- What is a merge file?
- Uses for merge files
- Example merge file in Google Sheets
- Creating a merge file in Google Sheets
- Configuring your merge file settings
- When to use stack merge
- Import, review and verify your merged product data
What is a merge file?
Merge files – or supplemental data files – are secondary data sources that allow you to add additional products or product data attributes to your catalog without adding or modifying data in your store platform.
Uses for merge files
- Add or override custom labels for campaign management
- Add or override promotion IDs for retail promotions
- Optimized versions of titles or descriptions
- Adding missing data like item specifics or additional attributes
- Exclude specific products using a column as a flag for filters
- Add missing GTINs
- Combining product data from multiple suppliers
- Add local inventory information for local inventory ads
- Add product data for specific countries and languages
In essence, with a properly-formatted merge file, we can merge two tables of data: your import source data and that of your one or more merge files.
Example merge file in Google Sheets
Here's an example of a merge file that is used to provide optimized titles and descriptions.
Next, we'll show you how to prepare the file in Google Sheets to be used as a merge file.
Creating a merge file in Google Sheets
With Google Sheets open to a blank document, you’ll need to make the first column the unique identifier column (most likely using your SKUs) – which is used to join this file to your source data – and the additional columns of data that you want merged into the product catalog on import.
Starting from a blank Google Sheet
Start a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets, then create your header columns and add your data:
Unique Identifier (SKU) column
- Our system merges data using the primary source field name that is mapped to the System field “SKU” which can be found in the app on Products > Mapping
- Use that source field name for the first column in the merge file
- This might be anything from "id", "product_id", "sku", "SKU", "Sku" depending on your primary source
- This field is case-sensitive
- Avoid blanks and duplicates
- Make sure this column only contains unique values or else the merging will not work correctly
- This is where you’ll provide additional product data: a column to use as a filter flag, improved product titles, values for campaign custom labels, etc.
- Each column name should be unique from any other column name in your primary source (store platform) or other merge files to avoid overriding data (if you are unsure, then check the Source field names found at Products > Mapping).
- You can import a maximum of 200 fields
- This includes all fields from the primary source and any/all merge files.
- If you have more columns than that, then our system will still import data but you will be missing any columns beyond the limit.
- If needed, you can choose which fields are imported via your import mapping (Products > Mapping).
Opening an existing file in Google Sheets
Maybe you already have your merge file created and would like to switch from FTP to using Google Sheets. If you already have your file ready, then simply open it in Google Sheets using these steps.
- In Google Sheets > Blank > File > Open
- Open file from "My Drive" or "Upload"
- Skip to Configuring your merge file settings
Okay, you should now have your file saved and ready to be imported in to GoDataFeed. We're almost done. Next, we’ll discuss how to complete the merge file settings.
Configuring your merge file settings
Once you have created your data file and are ready to merge, you will need to publish your Google Sheet to a CSV file. Then you’ll need to copy and paste the file’s URL from Google into your merge file HTTP settings in GoDataFeed.
- In Google Sheets, go to File > Publish to the web
- Select “Entire document” and “Comma-separate values (.csv)”
- Under “Published content and settings” dropdown menu, check the “Automatically republish with changes are made” option
- This means then you make changes to the sheet they are immediately ready to be imported by our system. Once you make a change to your merge file in Google Sheets, simply run a new product import in GoDataFeed. Otherwise, the changes will be imported at the next scheduled time.
- Copy the URL which you will paste into your GoDataFeed account in the following steps.
- Note, you should see “?output=csv” at the end of the URL
- In GoDataFeed, go to Products > Merge files
- Create a new merge file using the plus button
- Select “HTTP” as the method
- Enter the “SKU merge field name” which is the column name for your unique identifier mapped to SKU seen on the Products > Mappings table
- Paste the file URL from Google into the “HTTP address” field in the source settings form
- Optional settings
- Enable stack merge - if enabled, product rows that cannot be merged will be appended at the end of the product catalog, this is not recommended unless desired, for example when you are combining multiple product files from suppliers. Please see When to use Stack Merge below for more information.
- Username & Password - leave these blank
- Run the import to update your product data in GoDataFeed
When to use stack merge
If we cannot match a SKU from the merge file to a SKU in your source data, then we will append it to the end of your imported catalog and only the merge data will be available in GoDataFeed.
This might happen if a SKU is no longer being imported from your source data or if the merge file is using a different unique identifier than what is mapped to the system field 'SKU' in GoDataFeed.
We do not recommend enabling stack merge unless it is required for what you are trying to do with merge files, like if you are combining multiple product files from suppliers. If left enabled, appended rows of old SKUs may cause you to reach your product allotment max.
Import, review and verify your merged product data
Remember, you should download and review your product catalog after the import is complete (Products > Catalog, click “Download”) to make sure all of your data has merged as intended. You will also find the merge file fields (column names) are automatically mapped to the next available custom fields in the import mapping table (Products > Mapping).
Now, you should be able to use the data you have merged.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team!
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