10 Best Practices when importing Inventory Items into Lightspeed's retail POS system

VanessaDVanessaD Moderator, Lightspeed Staff Posts: 704 moderator
edited October 2019 in Imports

To get an accurate depiction of the column header names you'll be needing, we usually suggest you go back into Inventory > import tool > Download the CSV Template

Here are some best-practices when attempting to create inventory using the import tool: 

1) Have Lightspeed Open side-by-side in the inventory > New item tab or the inventory > Matrix > +New Matrix

  • This is to help you visualize where in Lightspeed the column headers go and how they will display when they get imported. 
  • This also helps to know what Matrix Attribute Sets you're using rather than going from memory. 

2) Copy/paste the column headers available in the import sample when working with the import tool.

  • This will help limit error messages in relations to incorrect name formatting. 

3) If you fill in a name for your product in the Description column, leave the Matrix Description column empty

  • When you fill in the Description column, the system will try to create a single item. 
  • If you try to populate a Matrix Description, the system will attempt to create a Matrix hub for your products.
  • Both together will give you an error message because you cannot create both a single item and a matrix hub at the same time.

4) Matrix Attribute set order matters! 

  • Example : If you choose Color/Size as your Attribute set, your Attribute 1 column will always be Color and Attribute 2 will always be Size. 
  • If you choose the Attribute Set Color, only populate information in Attribute 1. The Attribute 2 and Attribute 3 columns should be empty. 

5) Keep it 1 line per item, do not separate your products attributes with commas.

  • Since the file you're working with uses commas to separate the values, it's important that each item created takes up 1 line. 
  • For Matrices, this means you can copy/paste the line for the attribute sets and simply populate the missing information for the product variations.

6) When you set up Categories, we suggest against having more than 3 sub-categories for reporting ease. (More than 3 can cause confusion in the reports.)

  • If you don't use some of the columns (like UPC) feel free to delete it, the tool will be able to overlook most missing columns (Descriptions OR matrix descriptions columns are required when creating items, though) 
  • Shop Quantity column can only be used when the inventory items have never been created before. 
  • If you want to modify the shop quantity on hand of your products after your initial import, you'll need to either process a Purchase Order to add products, Vendor Return to remove products or modify the inventory manually by going into the item's inventory tab.

7) If you see an import "awaiting validation", it is waiting for you to import a corrected version of your import based off of the export it offers with error messages that it identified.

8) If you want to know the limitations of the columns you're attempting to import, you can review our Importing inventory data Support Article. (e.g. a maximum amount of characters, limitations to using numbers, etc.)

9) If you feel you'd like more guidance, you can consult our Guide to importing items article. Forgot where to go to import your items? You can use the Importing Items flow article for a visual guide.

10) Finally, if you're thinking of importing item images, you can consult the Importing Item Images article for a how-to as well. 

Post edited by Heather on


If you have any further questions Please do not hesitate to contact LightSpeed support or check out our Support Page.

All the best!


Lightspeed Retail Support

866-932-1801 ext. 2 (Toll-Free)

514-907-1801 ext. 2 (Montreal)

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