There are several methods for importing products to Magento (using CSV format). A basic Import/Export feature and Data Flow Profiles are included in Magento (System > Import/Export).
The basic Import/Export feature is fairly simple to use, but is strict and limited in some ways. For example, if your upload CSV does not have headers which match expected columns in Magento, the upload will fail at the ‘Check Data’ step. It’s all or nothing with the basic Import/Export utility. If the file is not completely valid, no records are loaded. You will instead need to use Data Flow profiles (or address the errors in the CSV).
A quick method for obtaining the CSV import specification is to first download products from Magento. If none currently exist, set up some test products manually, choosing the same product types you will importing and setting values for the all fields included in your catalog import. Once you have the exported file, you can being adding/updating product records (or manipulate an existing data source to conform accordingly).
Data flow profiles provide more robust options, including saving import/export specifications (delimiters, file format, field maps, etc…). When not using Magmi (below), this is the recommended import method (preferred over basic Import/Export).
These tutorials provide instructions for importing products using Data Flow Profiles:
An external utility, Magmi is also commonly used (and quite popular) for importing products. The interface is slightly more complicated, however the flexibility and options it offers are second to none. If you or your developer are interested in using Magmi, let us know and we will install (and *secure*) this program.
This site provides several video tutorials with step by step instructions for using Magmi:
Importing Product Images
Product images can be imported using any of the above product import methods.
The link below provides instructions for importing images (does not apply to Magmi):
Magmi users can import images using the ‘image-attributes-processor’ plugin.
Here is another great tutorial from blinkdata.com with step by step instructions:
Additional Product Import Resources: