If you’ve any experience running an eCommerce site, you’ll know that it can be time consuming adding new products. Clicking add new, figuring out prices, titles, descriptions and categories. Over and over again.
As it turns out, there are simpler ways to upload your products: using a CSV, or a Comma-Separated Values spreadsheet. This method saves time and energy, and if you’re running a busy online store like Chez Sharon, those savings are crucial.
Skip ahead to the CSV and Product Import Tutorial for WooCommerce, or keep reading.
Before we get into the tutorial, I want to share my spreadsheet journey with you.
Let’s say you’ve got a shipping order of 30 new products, and you want to upload them to your online store. You have the product names, prices, descriptions, you’ve already established a good category hierarchy and you have the product images too. As in my example above, you might be tempted to click through the WooCommerce backend and fill out the fields separately. It takes time.
My client asked me to import products from two suppliers: Sass & Belle and Rosefields. I started on Sass & Belle first.
I was really happy to see this supplier encourages using their stock photos, however for each image I had to search each product name for a save-able image to use on my client’s site. It was okay, but I know we can reduce these clicks!
After inputting all 30 products individually through the WordPress backend, I wasn’t really looking forward to starting work on the next supplier.
But lo and behold. Rosefields.
Each order comes with these two options: Download Images and Download CSV. The first gives you a zipped folder full of your product images, and the second… the mighty CSV. I hopped straight over to WooCommerce to check out what it can do.
25 products imported in a matter of clicks! Perfect. In my example I only imported the product names, but if you’re using inventory management you can import the stock amount from the CSV as well as product codes, bar codes and VAT rates.
We’re still going to have to attach the image files manually through WooCommerce, but we’ve already downloaded them as a zip file.
I wanted to thank Rosefields for making my life that much easier.
Now, how can we use this to speed up our eCommerce workflow?
Importing Products and Creating a Useful CSV Tutorial for WooCommerce
Okay, the important bit. Let’s create a CSV file from scratch, which we can input our previous Sass & Belle order into, as well as defining the categories, prices and inventory amounts.
First steps. WooCommerce offer a sample CSV for importing products, which can be found here. Grab that, and we’ll get going.
Using OpenOffice, I had to change my settings so the spreadsheet would indeed be read as Comma-Separated Values, double check this if you see any issues.
Click OK and we’ll take a look at the spreadsheet.
As you’ll see below, we’ve got a lot of options ahead of us! For this tutorial, we’re only going to be focusing on a few: post_title, post_status, sku, stock, regular_price, tax:product_type and finally tax:product_cat.
post_title is the product name you want to appear on the store, ie Mandala Elephant Keyring
post-status we’re changing in this example to publish as a draft. If you’re ready to publish, leave this unchanged.
sku is a unique identifiable product number. Set one for each product if you’re going to be using WooCommerce’s inventory management system.
stock sets how many of the product you have available.
regular_price is straightforward, and you can add a sale_price if desired too.
tax:product-type is for single or variable products, for example if you’re selling a shirt in a range of colours. For this example, we’ll keep all the products as single.
tax:product-cat sets the taxonomy for the product category, we used Keyrings.
Simple, right? Now let’s do this for the rest of the products.
Now our CSV is ready, we can start the import process on WooCommerce.
Go to Products > Import
Upload your newly created CSV file and click continue. Let’s do some column mapping.
For our example, we’re going to map our column names to WooCommerce fields.
post_title to Name
post_status to Published
sku to SKU
stock to Stock
regular_price to Regular Price
tax:product-type to Type
tax:product-cat to Categories
Done. That was incredibly satisfying. Does anyone else love spreadsheets, or is it just me?
Remember, you can reuse this spreadsheet for every order you make. Saving time saves your business money. I’m certainly going to be using CSVs from now on.
And that ends the tutorial! Thanks a bunch for reading. As ever, give me a shout if you’re looking for any web design or online marketing help.