Shopify: Importing Products

This article outlines how to quickly import a client's product list into Shopify, and is a recommended read AFTER you have configured the various store settings.

Please note, this information was sourced from the help article "Shopify Product CSV file format." For a full list of explanations for each of the columns on the sample CSV spreadsheet, definitely refer to the original Shopify article.

Below, I'll focus on the required columns of the spreadsheet with a brief description of each of them, including how they are affected/necessary for product variants. 

  1. Open a copy of the Shopify Product Import template.
  2. Referring to the help article "Shopify Product CSV file format", try to fill in every possible column for each item, giving special focus to the following required columns:

    1. Handle: This is the last part of the URL that Shopify will assign to each item. If there is one product with multiple variants, each variant will require its own separate row with the first row being the first variant. Though each variant will have a separate row on the CSV spreadsheet, the Handle will be identical across all variants.

    2. Title: This will be the name of the product. When dealing with Product Variants, only the first variant row will have Title data.

    3. Option1 Name: This field is only required if you are adding product variants, in which case you'll enter here the name of the variation. More simply put, what is the variation based on (i.e. color, size, blend, etc)? PLEASE NOTE: Only enter a value on the first product variation. For example, if you have a product with a variation based on color, only the first one would have a value of "Color."

    4. Option1 Value: This field is also only required if you are adding product variants. Here, you'll enter a value that corresponds to the previous field, Option 1 Name, for each product variant. For example, if Option1 Name is "Color," then this field would have values like Orange, Blue, and Red. Please note, in order for the import to work correctly, each product variation row will need a value under "Option1 Value."

    5. Variant Grams: Regardless of whether or not the default weight setting is imperial or metric, you'll need to enter each product's weight in grams. If you are entering product variations, each variation will also need a value entered here.

    6. Variant Inventory Policy: This value correlates with how out-of-stock items should be handled, and each product and product variant should have a value of either "deny" or "continue" entered in this column. By default, we'll enter "deny" to direct Shopify to not allow backorders once the inventory level for a particular item/product variant reaches zero. Alternately, you can enter "continue" here to allow for purchases once the inventory level reaches zero on a product/variant. In cases where "continue" is used, a negative inventory level will be reflected on the backend of the store. 

    7. Variant Fulfillment Service: Each row should have a value, whether it's a product or product variant. By default, the value should be "manual." If the client is using a product fulfillment service, such as Amazone Marketplace, refer to the Shopify support article "Shopify Product CSV file format."

    8. Variant Price: Every row, whether it represents a basic product or product variant, needs to have a value entered in the Variant Price column, even if product variants are all the same price.

  3. Next, go to the Shopify Store and click "All Products" under the Products tab on the main menu. YOu should see an Import option neat the top right corner of the screen. A modal will appear where you can add a file. Be sure you have saved the spreadsheet and it's still in a CSV format. If this is your first shot at importing items, ignore the option "Overwrite any current products that have the same handle..." Click "Upload and continue."

  4. The next modal will give you a preview of what you're importing, while also giving you a count of how many products will be added. Please note, this information can be deceptive if you've accidentally missed entering required data as outlined in step 2 above. All you can do is click the Import Products button and check the products list to see if everything was imported correctly. 

  5. It might take some trial and error, and sleuthy troubleshooting if there is a problem with your import. In cases where products are not imported correctly, check the required values outlined in step 2. If you have values in the required cells, be sure the spelling and format are correct. In cases where you have multiple product variants, some fields should only have values for the first product variant, such as the Body HTML column.

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