Exporting a Shopping Cart

The Delta Education website allows customers to export an existing shopping cart into a "flat file" format that can be opened in spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel. This page will describe the steps needed to complete a shopping cart export.

Why is this procedure so complicated?

  • The reason for these complex steps is that many of our product names contain either commas (,) or quotation marks (") as part of the product name. For example: Balloons, round, 7".
  • The shopping cart is exported into a "flat" file, usually known as a "CSV" file. The acronym "CSV" means "comma-separated value", and comma characters are used in the file to denote the ends of columns in the spreadsheet. So, a comma placed in the middle of a piece of data will cause the CSV file to misalign when it is opened with MS Excel.
  • To avoid this problem, our exported shopping cart file uses "pipe" characters ("|") instead of commas as a column separator. 
  • In order to open an exported shopping cart file, we need to tell MS Excel to open the file using the "pipe" character ("|") as a separator instead of a comma.
  1. In order to export a shopping cart to a "flat" text file, click on the "Download Shopping Cart" link at the bottom of the shopping cart page:
    Step 1: exporting a shopping cart
  2. Once you click the "Download Shopping Cart" link, your web browser should download a text file called "export.txt":
    "export.txt" text file
  3. Next, open the Microsoft Excel program, select File >> Open, and choose the location where your web browser saved the "export.txt" file. Since Excel will default to looking for "All Excel Files", you will need to change this selection in the Open File dialog box from "All Excel Files" to "All Files":
    All Files
  4. Once you've made this change, Excel will now be able to see the export.txt file, and you can now select and open it:
    Open File box
  5. You will now see the "Text Import Wizard". In step 1 of the wizard, you will want to change the "Original data type" radio button selection from "Fixed Width" to "Delimited":
    Text Import Wizard - Step 1 of 3
  6. After you have made this change, click "Next":
    Text Import Wizard - Step 1 of 3, choose "Delimited"
  7. In step 2 of the Text Import Wizard, you will want to make three changes:
    • First, change the "Delimiter" selection from "Tab" to "Other".
    • Second, enter a pipe character ("|") into the text field to the right of "Other".
    • Lastly, change the "Text qualifier" selection to "{none}".
      Text Import Wizard - Step 2 of 3, uncheck "tab"
  8. Note that when you have made these changes, the data preview window will display the data fields properly separated by the pipe characters:
    Text Import Wizard - Step 2 of 3, items to change
  9. Click "Next" to go to step 3 of the wizard, then click "Finish":
    Text Import Wizard - Step 3 of 3
  10. The export.txt file should now open in Excel, with the data columns displaying correctly:
    Shopping cart contents appearing correctly in Excel
  11. Note that, as of this writing, the export does not include the "line item total", i.e. the product of multiplying column "C" (the quantity) by column "D" (the item price). For this reason, you should add the Excel formula "=C1*D1" to the cell E1 in the example above, and apply it to all rows in your export:Example of line item extension formula