Whether you’re just launching a store with WooCommerce, or you’d like to speed up the process of adding products to your current shop, it’s important to learn how to import products to WooCommerce. Not only do bulk product imports save you an incredible amount of time (rather than manually adding each item), but they’re also ideal for minimizing human errors.
👉 In this article, we show you how to import products to WooCommerce the right way, with an accurately formatted CSV import file and tips on how to map product fields. After that, we’ll explore options to import products to WooCommerce using a plugin.
Keep reading 📚 to make WooCommerce product imports a breeze!
Method 1: How to import products to WooCommerce with the built-in features
The only prerequisite to import products to WooCommerce is to actually have the WooCommerce plugin installed on an active WordPress website.
Once installed and activated, you can either add products to the store manually or automatically via a bulk product import.
The following steps show you the easiest way to import products using a CSV or TXT file:
Step 1: Use a properly formatted CSV file to import products to WooCommerce
WooCommerce supports both CSV and TXT files for importing products. CSVs allow for stronger organization—and you can make a CSV in anything from Google Sheets to Excel—so we recommend going that route.
There are three ways to get a properly formatted CSV file that’s ready for importing in to WooCommerce:
- Make your own: Use an app like Excel, Google Sheets, Apple Numbers, or OpenOffice. Just make sure to export the file as a CSV. Use the WooCommerce CSV columns and formatting guide to set the right column names and values.
- Use a starter template: Download our starter CSV template for importing WooCommerce products; this provides a properly formatted CSV with common product fields used as the column headers.
- Combine the two methods: Download our CSV template, but add new column titles for fields unique to your store. Remember to ensure that you save it as a CSV and map your fields later in this process.
Whenever editing or creating a CSV file for WooCommerce, keep these guidelines in mind:
- The CSV must be in UTF-8 format
- Stick to your store’s local timezone if including dates in the CSV
- Separate multiple values in a field with commas (like when adding multiple images, attributes, or categories in one CSV cell)
- To specify a hierarchy or taxonomy, use
>, like if you wanted to put
Outerwear > Jacketsunder the Category field
- To specify a true or false value (Boolean value) use 1 or 2 in the CSV field
Step 2: Add product details to the CSV
In the CSV file, you’ll need to add product details in each row and correspond each detail with the right column title.
For instance, we might add something like “Wool Sweater” as the first product’s Name. Every additional product should start on a new row.
The fields you fill depend entirely on how you run your store, but some common essentials include:
- Short Description
- Published (publishing the products upon import—1 for yes and 0 for no)
- Visibility in Catalog (type in “visible” or leave it blank)
- Regular Price
- Sale Price
- In Stock? (1 for yes, 0 for no)
- Stock (type in the inventory quantity)
- Images (you would paste in the image URL after it’s uploaded to your WordPress site’s Media Library; we explain importing images in the following section):
Continue moving to the right, and consider adding:
- Type (Variation, Simple, or Virtual)
- Attribute Name (something like Size or Color)
- Attribute Values (the values of the Attribute Name, so something like S, M, L or Blue, Red, Green)
- Attribute Default (which attribute should show by default)
- Attribute Visible (1 for yes, 0 for no)
- Attribute Global (1 for yes, 0 for no):
And, if using attributes (also known as variants), make sure you format them correctly.
The main rule is to separate unique values with commas:
Once you’re done adding products and product details, save or export your spreadsheet as a CSV file. This can be done in just about every spreadsheet tool such as Apple Numbers, Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheets:
How to add images with the WooCommerce product import
It’s possible to import images to product pages on WooCommerce, but there are some rules:
- You must first upload images to the WordPress Media Library of that store’s website.
- You must copy the image URL for the uploaded image and paste it into the Image or Images field in the CSV.
This is still often a much faster method than uploading manually, since you’re able to import multiple images per product.
Here’s the process for uploading an image and getting its image URL:
- Go to your WordPress site, and click on Media > Add New
- Click the Select Files button and upload the product images from your device (as many images as you want)
- Click the Copy URL to Clipboard button for one of the images:
With the image URL copied to the clipboard, navigate back to the CSV file. Find the corresponding product row and the Images column, and paste the image URL into that cell:
The WooCommerce import function supports the importing of multiple images to one product page. To make that happen, place several image URLs in one cell, but separate them with commas. The first one listed gets activated as the main product image, while the following images become additional gallery images:
Step 3: Start the product import in WooCommerce
In your WordPress dashboard, click on the Products tab, then select All Products.
If you currently have no items in your inventory, you’ll see two buttons: Create Product and Start Import. Select the Start Import option:
For stores with existing inventory, the All Products page primarily highlights the list of products. Find and click on the Import button at the top of the page:
That brings up to Import Products wizard, where you’ll start on the Upload CSV File step.
Click the Choose File button to pick the CSV file from before that you saved on your computer:
There are optional fields to consider, such as:
- Updating existing products
- Entering a path to your CSV file on a server (under Advanced Options)
- Changing the CSV Delimiter (Advanced Options)
- Using the previous column mapping preferences (Advanced Options)
Once the CSV file is uploaded, and you’ve set any optional settings, click Continue:
Step 4: Map the product fields
The next step is called product field “mapping.” The term mapping involves matching up the column titles you have on your CSV file to the correct product fields provided by WooCommerce.
The WooCommerce plugin does a pretty good job of automatically mapping together similarly named fields, but you may have to go through to set some manually.
⚠ Note: Our WooCommerce Product Import CSV template has its column titles set for full automation.
Start with the most important fields:
- Short Description
- Visibility in Catalog:
Furthermore, make sure these column names have correctly mapped fields:
- Regular Price
- Sale Price
- In Stock?
- All Attribute fields (if you’re using those):
⚠ Note: If there’s a field you don’t intend to use in your store (like not having sale prices or attributes) simply set the field to “Do Not Import.” You can do this for as many fields as needed.
Once you’re done mapping product fields, click the Run the Importer button:
Step 5: Finish importing products and review the results
After running the import, WooCommerce shows a progress bar. This could take a few seconds, or potentially much longer if you have a long list of products to import:
Once the import is done, you’ll see an Import Complete message, along with the number of products imported. Make sure that number matches however many products you had from your CSV list. WooCommerce provides error messages in case it failed to import any products.
Now it’s time to review the product imports to see if everything went smoothly. Click on the View Products button to proceed with your review:
That opens the Products page in WooCommerce, allowing you to scan every item in the inventory (both recently imported and added from before).
Browse through the list to ensure the primary elements like Name, SKU, Stock, Price, and Categories look okay.
This is also an excellent time to review the success of image imports. As you can see, the Dress Shoes product has a newly added image (because we previously uploaded an image to the WordPress Media Library, and put its image URL into the Images column of the CSV before importing):
It’s wise to open some product pages from each import batch to ensure that all fields filled properly. Inside the product pages, we recommend checking:
- Product Name
- Product Image (if uploaded)
Further down on the product page, inspect that each of these filled properly:
- Product Type
- Regular Price
- Sale Price
- Product Gallery images (if you tried to import multiple images per product)
- Short Description
- Product Categories
- Product Tags
Other things to check include inventory counts, attributes, and shipping sizes:
If you intend to import attributes, just keep in mind that you must set the Type column in your CSV to Variable; otherwise the attribute imports won’t show up until you manually switch the product from Simple to Variable:
⌛ And that’s how you import products to WooCommerce (using the built-in features).
Method 2: How to import products to WooCommerce using a plugin
You might consider using a plugin to import products to WooCommerce when:
- You’d like more control over product images
- You need additional features for mapping, grouping, and bulk editing
- You’re having trouble with making or importing your own CSV template
There are many reputable product import plugins for WooCommerce, including:
The most feature-rich import plugin is called Product Import Export for WooCommerce (From WebToffee), so we’ll use that for our tutorial.
Step 1: Install the WooCommerce import plugin and start the import
Install and activate the Product Import Export for WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress site:
Once activated, you’ll see a new tab on WordPress called WebToffee Import Export (Basic). It provides these additional menu items:
- Import Logs
- General Settings:
Go to WebToffee Import Export (Basic) > Import:
This opens an import wizard, with the first step asking you to select a post type.
Pick the Products post type to import.
⚠ Note: One of the benefits of using a plugin to import is that you can import other post types like Orders, Coupons, Product Reviews, Categories, Tags, and Customers.
Click the Step 2: Select Import Method button to proceed:
Step 2: Pick the import method and upload a CSV file
On the next page, choose Advanced Method for the Import Method field. Quick Import also works, but only if you previously exported your list from another site while still using the WebToffee plugin.
Click the box under Choose File For Import to find and upload your product CSV:
⚠ Note: Refer to the previous method for formatting a product import CSV. The WebToffee plugin also offers a Sample CSV you can download from this page.
Click Step 3: Map Import Columns:
Step 3: Map the fields with import columns
Here’s where you link (map) the CSV column titles with WooCommerce’s default product fields.
Most of this should happen automatically, but go through to add/change any mapping that’s missing or incorrect:
Don’t forget to review the mapping settings for Taxonomies and Attributes towards the bottom of the page. After that, click Step 4: Advanced Options/Batch Import:
Step 4: Configure advanced options, then import the products
The final step to import products to WooCommerce is to set advanced options, many of which you can leave as their default settings.
Only modify these settings if uniquely necessary for your store:
- Skip import of new products
- Match products by their IDs or SKUs
- Skip or update products if they exist in your store
- Import in certain quantity batches (if your server can’t handle large imports)
Click the Import button:
Step 5: Review all imports for accuracy
The plugin displays a success message along with any errors. Click the View Products button to review the results:
You can now see every product in the Products list. Check the main fields for accuracy, like Name, SKU, Stock, Price, and Categories:
Open a few items whenever you import to examine if everything looks right.
As you can see, the plugin method works particularly well for importing multiple images to product pages:
Bulk import products to WooCommerce today 🏗️
Importing products to WooCommerce seems intimidating at first, but it shouldn’t be. All you need is a correctly formatted CSV file, along with the knowledge needed to map fields and import images. Thereafter, the process takes just a few clicks, resulting in significantly faster product creation and less human error.
In this article:
- We provided a WooCommerce product import template with properly formatted columns and rows.
- We showed how to fill the CSV with product details.
- There was an explanation on how to add images with the product import CSV.
- We outlined steps necessary for mapping CSV column titles with WooCommerce product fields.
- We talked about how to import products to WooCommerce with the completed CSV.
- There was a brief look on how you can review the effectiveness of your import process.
- We explained how to obtain more WooCommerce import features with help from a plugin.
While this method saves you a lot of time ⏰ for importing products to WooCommerce, you might also need a way to quickly edit products once you’ve imported them. For that, you can check out 👉 our guide on how to bulk edit WooCommerce products.
Have you tried to import products to WooCommerce? If so, please let us know how it went in the comments section. Also, feel free to share any tips if you have lots of experience importing WooCommerce products.