Importing and exporting of products can be a hefty job to carry out in any ecommerce store where thousands of products are being sold. There are product images, products, metadata that need to be exported to complete the entire product import process. When it comes to WooCommerce you could deal with these tedious tasks by handing it over to an import plugin.
There are many product import plugins for helping you with it. WebToffee’s product export import plugin for WooCommerce with 40,000+ active installs is one of the best among them. You could easily import products into your store with the help of this plugin. It is available in both free and premium versions.
In this article, you will get a deeper look at the free version of this plugin with the explanation of all of its features for making your import process easy once you download this plugin in your store.
Table of Contents
Use Cases of Product Import Plugin
- Using this plugin you can import products when migrating your store. Migration requires a bulk import of products to the new store. It has to be done with the help of a WooCommerce extension as it includes various product data and images in it.
- For keeping a backup of your products for future use in case of a site crash. Site crashes occur more often than you think. Thus you need to keep a backup of your store’s products for not losing any data and having to recreate it from scratch.
- To bulk update product data like stock, images, etc. Product import includes import of product name, ID, product images, stock details, etc. This plugin makes it easy to do the bulk update of the data in your WooCommerce store.
Features of Product Import Plugin
- Update products if exists: This feature enables update of products that already exist in your store during import. If you left this box unchecked products will not be updated while the import.
- Delimiter: It is the column separator of the exported CSV file. You can choose the delimiter to match the file that is to be imported to your WooCommerce store.
- Merge empty cells: If this option is checked, empty attributes will be added to products with no value. You can leave this unchecked if you are not sure about this option.
Installation of Product Import Plugin
For downloading and installing this plugin on your WooCommerce store, go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins menu and then click Add new. From the opening window, search for Product Import Export Plugin by WebToffee. Then click Install and Activate.
Configure Product Import Export for WooCommerce
Once activation is successful, a new sub-menu appears under the WooCommerce section in the WordPress sidebar menu.
You can navigate to the Product Import Export settings in two ways:
1- WooCommerce → Product Import-Export from WordPress dashboard.
2- Plugins → Installed Plugins → Product CSV Import Export → Import Export.
To get started you must have a CSV file. You can create one or you can export the product to get the format of CSV. Or you can download Product WooCommerce Sample CSV (column headers are same as WooCommerce field) and Product Commercial Sample CSV (column headers are user-defined).
The WooCommerce Product Import Export Plugin takes CSV (Comma-Separated Values) file as input. You must create a CSV ( UTF-8 Encoded ) file and enter the product details in a structured format. This is to match each field of CSV file to the field of a particular product which otherwise admin need to input manually.
For example, the post_title field gets mapped to the product name and the regular_price field gets mapped to the regular price of the product. For the plugin to work correctly, you must map headers of all of the columns correctly and you must ensure that all of the fields you enter are in the correct format. The structured format that you should follow for entering product details in the CSV is as given below.
|Column Heading||Explanation||Accepted value or format|
|post_title||Indicates the name of the product.||Text (ex. High Heel Shoe)|
|post_name||Indicates slug name of the product.||Text (ex. high-heel-shoe)|
|post_status||Indicates whether the product is in a draft or published mode.||draft/publish|
|post_excerpt||Indicates a short description of the product.||Text/HTML|
|post_content||Indicates description of the product.||Text/HTML|
|post_parent||Indicates parent of grouped and variable products.||Parent ID|
|post_password||For including a password for a private post.||Text|
|SKU||SKU(stock keeping unit) is an identification, usually alphanumeric, of a particular product that allows it to be tracked for inventory purposes.||Alpha-numeric characters|
|menu_order||It decides the order of displaying the products in the shop. Items with menu order = 0 are displayed 1, 2, 3, etc. Products with the same menu order number are then listed alphabetically. When you create a new product it defaults to menu_order = 0.||Numeric characters|
|downloadable||After purchasing the product, whether the product can be downloaded or not.||yes/no|
|virtual||It is not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.||yes/no|
|visibility||Indicates whether a product is available for purchase or not.||visible/hidden|
|stock||Total number of products available in stock. You can use (+) or (-) signs with parenthesis to add or subtract the number of products to the stock.||Numeric characters|
|stock_status||It indicates whether the product is in stock or not.||in stock/out of stock|
|backorders||Indicate orders for out-of-stock products that cannot be currently fulfilled or shipped but is requested nonetheless for when the product becomes available again.||yes/no|
|manage_stock||It indicates whether the stock is managed by store or not.||yes/no|
|regular_price||Indicates original price of the product.||Numeric characters|
|sale_price||It is the price of the product that is being offered at a discounted rate.||Numeric characters|
|weight||Indicates weight of the product.||Numeric characters|
|length||Indicates length of the product.||Numeric characters|
|width||Indicates width of the product.||Numeric characters|
|height||Indicates height of the product.||Numeric characters|
|images||Indicate image URL or image name. Supports multiple image URLs separated by ‘|’.||URL Eg: http://url/filename1.png|
|tax_status||It indicates whether the product is taxable or not.||taxable/none|
|tax_class||It indicates the tax option for the product.||Standard rate/Reduced rate/Zero rate|
|tax:product_type||Indicates the type of the product (simple or variable).||simple/variable|
|tax:product_cat||It is used during importing the product which indicates the category of product.||Text|
|tax:product_tag||It is used during importing the product which indicates tag(s) used for the product.||Text|
|tax:product_brand||It indicates the brand of the product.||Text|
|attribute: Color||It indicates the available color of the product.||Text|
|attribute_data: Color||It indicates the metadata about the attribute color of the product.||position|visible|variation (ex. 0|1|1)|
|attribute: Size||It indicates the available size of the product.||Ex. US 7|US 8|US 9|
|attribute_data: Size||It indicates the metadata about the attribute size of the product.||position|visible|variation (ex. 1|1|1)|
|attribute:pa_unit||This lists out the unit options.||Ex. 10 kg | 20 kg | 30 kg|
|meta:attribute_pa_unit||It indicates the metadata about the product unit.||Ex. 10 kg|
|attribute_data:pa_unit||It defines the position, visibility and whether used for variation or not.||position|visible|variation (ex. 4|1|1)|
|attribute_default:pa_unit||This is the default value of a unit attribute.||Ex. 10 kg|
Note: Attribute names with pa are local attributes and the ones without pa are global attributes.
You can create the CSV from scratch or you can export the product to get the format of CSV. You can use a spreadsheet application, such as LibreOffice, Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice or Google Sheets for creating and modifying the CSV file. Save this file with the extension “.CSV”.
After entering all details about products in a spreadsheet, you can import product to your online store. Now, from your store’s dashboard navigate to WooCommerce → Product Import Export. From the opening page, click on the product import tab.
From here you can easily import products from the CSV file created. In this free version, only CSV import is supported. For additional import options such as import from FTP location or from a URL or to configure a scheduled import, you may need to upgrade to the premium version.
After choosing the file from your computer, upload it and click the Proceed button to Import Mapping.
Premium Version of Product Import Export for WooCommerce
By upgrading to the premium version, you will have access to much more useful features listed below,
- Export Products ( Simple, Group, External and Variations ) and Reviews into a CSV file.
- Import products ( Simple, Group, External and Variations ) and Reviews in CSV format into WooCommerce Store.
- WPML Supported. French and German ( Deutschland ) language supported out of the box.
- Scheduled Import and Export via FTP/SFTP using Cron Job.
- Import CSV file from URL.
As product import and update are two important processes required to maintain an ecommerce store, your store should have the best help you can get to carry out these tasks. WebToffee’s plugin for Product Import/Export is going to be the right WooCommerce extension for this purpose.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post by WebToffee. The opinions and ideas expressed herein are author’s own, and in no way reflect Cloudways position.