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Tips and Best Practices for Bulk Uploads
Tips and Best Practices for Bulk Uploads

Using spreadsheet functions to update Thrive information.

Mario avatar
Written by Mario
Updated over a week ago

Bulk uploads are used for mass inventory updates, changes, or additions via a Google Sheets spreadsheet. It is helpful for initially setting up a large inventory or making large-scale changes to existing inventory.

The option to generate a bulk upload is found under the "Actions" button on the Inventory, Invoicing (under the Customer tab), Vendors, or Purchase Orders pages.

For more information, check out our articles on the different bulk uploads, and troubleshooting.

Edits and additions

Protected columns are in grey to indicate that you cannot edit the field directly. Make any edits in the corresponding "New" column as shown here:

Any information added to the "New" column will replace the existing information. You will not see the "New" column when bulk-creating products, vendors, customers, etc, but those changes are coming soon. If a column is left blank, nothing will happen to that product and it will not be updated.

  • For example, on the Edit Products and Variants spreadsheet, if you are making changes to SKUs during selling hours, it's okay to upload the spreadsheet as is. Quantities that are left blank will not be affected when the spreadsheet is imported.


With so much information in the spreadsheet, it can be hard to pinpoint the information you want to edit. Sorting will help that!

Here's a 🎥 quick video🎥 from our Customer Care Team on the different ways to sort.

Paste without formatting

To Paste from another spreadsheet, use Ctrl+Shift+V (or Cmd+Shift+V on Mac) to avoid removing data validation columns and potentially causing errors. By pasting this way, it will remove the possibility of bringing over any unnecessary formatting from another spreadsheet.

Clear, delete, or remove information

On bulk uploads where you are making edits, there are new instructions on how to delete information. To clear, delete or remove information, enter %REMOVE% into the corresponding "New" column, to remove its contents upon upload. This is also noted at the top of spreadsheets when applicable.

Freeze columns

Depending on which columns (or rows) you are working on, it can be helpful to have the column/row heading available to you, no matter how far down on the spreadsheet your product is.

To keep scrolling down to a minimum, you can freeze columns and rows on your Google Sheets by selecting the column or row you want to freeze and clicking View > Freeze on the toolbar (as shown above).

Here are more specifics from Google directly.

Use shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts like Control+F (or Command+F) allow you to search for a word or phrase in the spreadsheet quickly. That means, if you're only looking to make edits to the products with "Muffin" in the product title, you can quickly and easily pinpoint them, make your edits, and import them!

Submitting a spreadsheet

Once you have made changes to your spreadsheet, you can submit the spreadsheet to upload it into Thrive, by clicking the link as shown below:

(The submit link is found at the top of column D in the spreadsheet,
don't forget that 2nd click!)

Once the spreadsheet is submitted, click the "Import this spreadsheet" button and we will comb through the spreadsheet for any errors.

Any errors will be isolated in the following pages so you can make corrections. To read more about errors, check out this article on troubleshooting.

Recalling a spreadsheet

On the new Thrive navigation, under the Bulk Uploads section, you can recall active spreadsheets (from 2/10/2023, when the feature was released, moving forward) that have not yet been successfully submitted.

Recall the spreadsheet and make additional edits or additions by clicking the pencil icon shown below:

Every spreadsheet generated from that point moving forward will be on the Bulk Upload page, complete with details, like who it was started by, the date started, the date submitted, and its current status. Sort the Bulk Uploads page by Date Started, Date Submitted, or Status.

A spreadsheet becomes "Completed" when it's been successfully imported. Once it's "Completed," it will not be editable and cannot be undone.

Things to Note:

  • Images cannot be added via Bulk Upload. Google's spreadsheet API only allows for text-based information.

  • No Google account is required to execute a Bulk Spreadsheet upload.

  • Uploads cannot be undone! Make sure you read descriptions closely before proceeding as there is no option to undo them.

  • If you're having issues with leading zeros disappearing or SKU/Barcode numbers being converted to scientific notation, check out this article: Spreadsheet Bulk Upload Issues

  • If you are using any of the EDIT options at multiple locations, only items enabled at every selected location will appear on the spreadsheet for editing.

  • To create multiple Categories (or Vendors) separate each Category using a comma (e.g.: "Category 1, Category 2, etc.)

For a rundown of what you can do in each bulk upload spreadsheet, click here. Or, if you run into any issues while submitting your spreadsheet, read our article on bulk upload troubleshooting.

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