Learn how to prepare your datasheets for automation

Discover how to prepare your data spreadsheet for catalog automation or product tag automation

Table of contents:

Creating the datasheet

Working with multiple datasheets

Preparing your file for Product tag automation

If you have decided to use our automation tool for automating your catalog production or for product tags, you'll want to know how to prepare your files.

Our automation tool supports multiple types of files: CSV and XLSX, and it's also compatible with Google Spreadsheets.

Note: Automation is available with the Enterprise plan at request. 

CSV is a commonly used file format that contains numbers and texts in a spreadsheet format. It's generally used for data transfer between various programs or apps. CSV files can be created, edited, and opened with Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel, Numbers, or other similar programs.

If you plan on updating your data in your catalog multiple times, Google Spreadsheet might be the best option because you can update your data on Flipsnack with a simple click on "Sync" instead of re-uploading a file.

Creating the datasheet

You could download our CSV sample from the Automation tab to use as a starting point, or you can use a blank spreadsheet. 


  • If your datasheet contains products, each product should be listed on a separate row, and each column should contain a specific type of information. Some examples of column headers could be SKU number, Size, Color, Fabric, Price, etc.
  • You can add as many columns as you wish and name them however you want.
  • It's important to know that the information will appear in your flipbook exactly as it was entered in your spreadsheet, so pay attention to capitalization.
  • If you want to use images in your catalog, you need to add them as image links in your file.
  • If you plan on adding links in your automated catalog, add a column for product links and insert the links that will take the customer to your eCommerce website.

You can configure the product list preview by clicking on the icon next to the data set. Here is where you can select up to 4 attributes that you want to see displayed in your product list, as well as set a field as Unique ID. The Unique identifier should be a field with a permanent value, and it helps us identify the products in your flipbook. configure-product-list-preview-for-automation-in-flipsnack

Warning: If you update a spreadsheet that is connected to a flipbook, do not make any changes to the field set as the Unique ID. For example, if you have set the unique ID to the SKUs/ID numbers/Product codes, similar to the image below, these should not be modified. You can add additional products and codes, but the existing ones should not be changed. Additionally, do not change the name of the column containing these IDs.

Since these elements have already been mapped, modifying them will impact the mapping and design of the catalog.


To add images, you can upload the files to a web server, FTP, or hosting service that allows images to be stored and retrieved, and then copy the direct URL of that image and paste it in the image column.

Working with multiple datasheets

In Flipsnack, you can add multiple data files.

Let's say you already have a template ready to be populated with your products, and the template is connected to your data source. Now you plan to reuse this ready-made, smart template with a different datasheet. Will it work?

Yes, it will, but only if you keep the same column headers for your new data file. If the same type of information is listed in your file under a different name, it will not work. For example, if a text box is set to display the information in the column "Price" and the new data file lists prices as "US Price," the system will not be able to match the information.

Preparing your file for Product tag automation

You could use the following column headers in your file: Product title, SKU, Description, Price, Discount price, Product URL, Button label, Image 1, Image 2, and Image 3.

You don't have to use the exact same names but go with something similar that will help you match the information from your file with the product tag fields.

It's not necessary to add all of these columns if you don't want some type of information to appear in your product tag. For example. you can simply skip the button label and product URL if you don't want to link to an external webpage. The same goes for images, prices, or discounted prices. It's up to you what to include, as product tag automations are ideal for hosting details about your products.

If you have any more questions about preparing a spreadsheet for Flipsnack automation, don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat.