Importing Your Images

If you want to make your catalog look great and really pop off the screen, you'll need your product images in Handshake. Getting this done is as simple as uploading all your images in a ZIP file, or providing URLs for your images stored online that we can pull from.

Should I choose the ZIP method or the URL method?

If you already have a website with all your images available on it (for example, your company's consumer-facing eCommerce site), then using the URL-based method will probably be much easier for you. You can read more about pulling product images from URLs here.

If you do not have all your product images already hosted somewhere on the internet, then uploading them in a ZIP file is probably going to be easiest for you. Instructions for doing that are below.

The Basics

  • All images must be either JPEGs or PNGs. JPEGs saved at about 80% quality are recommended for the best trade-off between size and quality.
  • Size your images appropriately for your iOS devices before uploading. The screen on an iPhone 3 is 320 pixels wide, and the iPhone 4 is 640 pixels wide. The portion of the iPad screen where Handshake displays its images is up to 768 pixels wide (which is 1536 pixels wide on an iPad 3).
  • The maximum resolution that Handshake will accept for each image is 1920 x 1920. Anything larger than this will be scaled down until it fits inside that square.
  • Currently, the Handshake website accepts downloads of up to 128MB at a time. If you have more images than that, please upload them in separate ZIP files, making sure to select the "Add new / update existing" option (rather than "Replace all") so that the second batch doesn't erase the first.

How does Handshake link an image to a product?

The simplest way to get your images attached to your products is to name the files in your ZIP file such that the filenames match the SKUs of your products. Some examples from the Demo company are shown below:

There are, however, some situations in which this simple scheme might not be so great for you. For example:

  • If you want to attach a single image to multiple products, then it would be annoying to have to make duplicates of the image for each different SKU.
  • If your product images are not already named with the product SKUs, it could be pretty time-consuming to rename them all in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. Renaming hundreds of files by hand makes Jack a dull boy.

Fuzzy filename matching

If the importer cannot find an exact SKU match for an uploaded file, it will then try to attach that file to any product whose SKU contains the filename. For example, in the demo company there are three men's sweaters with SKUs M.SW.01, M.SW.02 and M.SW.03. If you upload a file named M.SW.jpg, it will be attached to all three sweaters, since all of their SKUs contain M.SW.

This technique is useful if you have very long SKUs and it's a pain to rename your images to match them exactly, and is also a simple way to attach an image to multiple products with similar SKUs.

Another common case is the reverse of the above, where your filename contains the SKU. Designers and photographers will often supply manufacturers with images that are named like M.SW.01_front.jpg or M.SW.01 (lifestyle).png and it would be a pain (or require moderate Excel skills) to filter all the extra cruft out of the filenames in order to make them match the SKUs.

If all previous methods have failed, Handshake will match an image to any product whose SKU is contained in the filename.

If you need even more fine-grained control over how images are associated to items, you'll need to use the "manifest" method below.

Including a manifest in your upload

To help deal with the situations described above, you are allowed to include a manifest in your ZIP upload to help Handshake link your images to SKUs. This file must be named manifest.xlsx or manifest.xls and should have just two columns:

  • filename is what it sounds like .. the name of the file in your ZIP file. This can be given as a simple filename, or an absolute path (see below for explanation).
  • sku is the SKU of the item that this file should be linked to.

For each row in your manifest, Handshake will link an image file to the specified product.

The filename field in most cases should be given as a simple filename like SAX.A.jpg. Since ZIP files have a directory structure, you can also give the full path to the file inside your ZIP file to disambiguate two files with the same name.


For example, let's say our designer has given us the images for the saxophones in the Demo company in folders, and every saxophone has a main.jpg and closeup.jpg image. We want to use the main.jpg images for Handshake, but since they all have the same filename, we have to disambiguate them using their folder names. If all the alto sax photos are in a folder called AltoSax and the tenor sax photos are in a folder called TenorSax, then we would specify the filenames as AltoSax/main.jpg and TenorSax/main.jpg in the manifest so that Handshake knows which image it should link to each item.

Attaching multiple images to an item

To attach multiple images to a single item, you can use one of the following methods: