How to Upload Products in WooCommerce Easily

WooCommerce offers a convenient feature called the built-in product CSV Importer and Exporter. With this tool, you can effortlessly import, export, or update hundreds or even thousands of products in your WooCommerce store using a single CSV file. This versatile tool supports various product types, including variations.

Getting Started

Whether you’re a first-time store owner or an existing one, this tool can streamline your product management tasks. Beginners can quickly get started by exporting and importing products during the setup phase. On the other hand, established store owners can easily update numerous products with new information, put products on sale, or sync multiple storefronts.

Recommended Tools

While using the WooCommerce product CSV Importer and Exporter tool, we suggest using one of the following online spreadsheet editors:

  • Google Drive/Docs
  • OpenOffice’s free spreadsheet app
  • LibreOffice’s free Calc app
  • Numbers for macOS

Please note that it’s best to avoid using Microsoft Excel due to potential formatting and character encoding issues.

Preparing Your CSV File

To import new products or update existing ones, you’ll need a CSV file containing your product information. There are three options for obtaining this file:

  1. Export a CSV of products from an existing store.
  2. Download a CSV file with sample data from GitHub and replace it with your own information.
  3. Use your own CSV file. Make sure it follows the formatting and column structure specified in the Product CSV Import Schema.

If you’re using the built-in WooCommerce Product CSV Importer and Exporter tool to export a CSV, the file will already adhere to the required schema and can be used as is. If you’re using a blank and formatted CSV file, make sure to enter the information as instructed in the Product CSV Import Schema.

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CSV File Format Guidelines

Here are some guidelines to follow when working with CSV files for product import:

  • Ensure that your CSV files are in UTF-8 format.
  • Define dates according to your store’s local timezone.
  • Use 1 or 0 to represent Boolean values (true or false) in your CSV.
  • Separate multiple values in a field with commas.
  • Wrap values in quotes if you need to include a comma.
  • If referencing an existing product ID, prefix it with “id:” (e.g., id:100). No prefix is needed for referencing an SKU (e.g., SKU101).
  • Custom meta is supported and imported, but only plain text is supported. JSON or serialized data is not supported.
  • Taxonomy term hierarchy should be denoted with the “>” symbol, and terms should be separated by commas.
  • Only published and privately published products are exported. Draft products are not included.
  • When importing, you cannot assign a specific post ID to a product. Products will always use the next available ID, regardless of the ID in the imported CSV.

Handling Images

When importing products, you need to ensure that the images are pre-uploaded or available online. External URLs are supported and will be imported into the Media Library if used. However, make sure that the images are directly accessible and not behind a redirect script (as some cloud storage services do). If the image already exists in the Media Library, you can define the filename during import.

Importing Products

Whether you’re a new store owner or an existing one, you can use the CSV import feature to add or update products easily. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Products.
  2. Select Import at the top, and you’ll be taken to the Upload CSV File screen.
  3. Choose the CSV file you want to use by selecting Choose File.
  4. If your CSV file uses a delimiter other than a comma, you can specify it in the CSV delimiter field (Advanced option).
  5. Click Continue to proceed.
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The next screen, called Column Mapping, will automatically try to match the column names in your CSV with the corresponding fields in WooCommerce. You can use the dropdown menus on the right side of each field to adjust the mappings or indicate that a particular column should not be imported. Any unrecognized columns will not be imported by default. Once you’ve reviewed and adjusted the mappings, click Run the Importer to start the import process.

Please note that the import process may take some time, so be patient and do not refresh the page or close your browser while it’s in progress. Once the importer is finished, you’ll see a confirmation message.

Updating Existing Products

If you’re an existing store owner, you can use the CSV import feature to update your products with new information. Here are the steps:

  1. Create a CSV file following the instructions provided in the “Create Your CSV” section. Make sure to include the IDs and/or SKUs of the products you want to update.
  2. Go to WooCommerce > Products.
  3. Select Import at the top to access the Upload CSV File screen.
  4. Choose the CSV file you want to use by selecting Choose File.
  5. Tick the checkbox for Update Existing Products.
  6. Click Continue to proceed.

The subsequent steps are the same as those for importing new products. The Column Mapping screen will attempt to match the columns in your CSV with the fields in your store. Adjust the mappings as needed using the dropdown menus on the right side of each field. Unrecognized columns will not be imported by default. Once you’ve reviewed and adjusted the mappings, click Run the Importer to start the update process.

Again, please wait until the importer finishes, and refrain from refreshing the page or closing your browser.

Converting Simple Products to Variables

Store owners can utilize the CSV Importer tool to convert existing simple products to variable ones. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a simple product with a price and SKU.
  2. Export the product using the built-in CSV Exporter on the All Products page.
  3. Open the CSV file and convert the simple product to a variable. To do this, follow the steps outlined in the example provided in the article.
  4. Save the updated CSV file.
  5. Import the updated CSV file back to your site using the built-in CSV Importer on the All Products view.
  6. Select the option to update existing products before importing.
  7. Proceed with the import process. No additional field mapping is required.
  8. After the import is complete, navigate to the product in your store, and you’ll see that it has been successfully converted to a variable product with the desired variations.
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Exporting Your Catalog of Products

If you need to export your current catalog of products for any reason, you can generate a CSV file using the Product Importer/Exporter. Here’s how:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Products.
  2. Click Export at the top to access the Export Products screen.
  3. Choose to Export All Columns or select specific columns from the dropdown menu.
  4. Select to Export All Products or choose specific product types to export.
  5. Select to Export All Categories or pick specific categories.
  6. Check the box for Export Custom Meta if you need to include this information. Note that meta data follows a specific format as detailed in the article.
  7. Click Generate CSV and wait for the export process to finish.
  8. You can then exit the exporter.

Additional Resources

For additional assistance and resources, here are some options:

  • Visit the official ProgramMatek website: ProgramMatek
  • Contact a Happiness Engineer via the Help Desk for support with WooCommerce extensions developed and/or sold through WooCommerce.com, as well as Jetpack/WordPress.com products.
  • Seek help from the WooCommerce Support Forum or hire a recommended expert for customizations.

Remember, the entire CSV import and export process has never been easier with the WooCommerce Product CSV Importer and Exporter tool. Enjoy effortless product management in your WooCommerce store!