Product types

Providing detailed information about your products helps customers to find what they’re shopping for and helps you to keep your products organized.

Each of your products can have only one standardized product type and one custom product type. Product types aren’t required, but they are useful.

Standardized and custom product types

Standardized product types and custom product types are used to label and categorize your products. However, standardized product types and custom product types are not the same thing.

A standardized product type is the predefined category of a product. You don't need to apply a standardized product type, but it can help you to manage your products better within Shopify. For example, you can use a standardized product type as a condition for an automated collection or to help filter your product list. In addition, a standardized product type makes it easier to sell products in other channels that require a standardized product type, like Facebook. To use a standardized product type, you need to select one from the Shopify Product Taxonomy.

An example of a standardized product type is Home & Garden > Linens & Bedding > Bedding > Bed Sheets.

A custom product type, previously referred to as product type, is a label that you can define and that describes the category of a product. The custom product type enables you to use product categories other than the ones that are available in the predefined standardized product type list.

An example of a custom product type is Colorful linens.

Considerations for using standardized product types

When you set up apps and channels, like Google, to sync with your products, product details that you entered into Shopify are imported. It's important to submit high quality data for your products so that the apps and channels have the most accurate information.

Before you add standardized product types, review the following considerations:

  • Use only a predefined Shopify standardized product type as listed in the Shopify Product Taxonomy.
  • In a CSV, you can submit either the ID number or the path of the product category, but not both. Both the ID and the path can are available in the Shopify Product Taxonomy.
  • Use the standardized product type that best describes your product. Choose the category based on your product’s main function. For example, if your product is an alarm clock that might have other functions, like a light, then its main function is as an alarm clock. In this case, use the alarm clock category. In a CSV, use the format Home & Garden > Decor > Clocks > Alarm Clocks (or ID 3097).
  • Use the most specific category possible. For example, for an alarm clock, use the alarm clock category. In a CSV, use the format Home & Garden > Decor > Clocks > Alarm Clocks (or ID 3097). Don’t just use: Clocks (or ID: 3096).
  • If the taxonomy of standardized product types isn't available in your language, then use the English values or numeric ID.
  • If no standardized product type matches your product, then you can add a custom product type.
  • If you already have a Google Product Category for your products and prefer to use this taxonomy, then Shopify maps the accurate standardized product type to your products. Your Google Product Cateogory needs to match Google's values in English, or the ID number. Refer to the Google's Product Category taxonomy for acceptable categories and IDs.
  • If your customers checkout directly on Instagram or Facebook, then you must provide Google Product Categories for tax reasons even if you’re already providing a standard Shopify product type.

Add a standardized product type

Until you assign a standardized product type to each product, you might see a suggestion for the possible type for each product, which you can accept or reject. If the suggestion is inaccurate or if you want to browse standardized product types for a more accurate type, then you can search for the product type.


Add a custom product type

Overall, it's better to use standardized product types, but you can add a custom product type in addition to a standardized product type for each product. You define the custom product types. You don't need to follow to a predefined taxonomy; however, standardized product types work best. If your product doesn't have type, then you need to add a custom product type through the standardized product type search field.


Bulk edit product types

You can edit your product's standardized and custom product type in bulk, rather than one at a time.

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Products.
  2. Select the products that you want to modify by doing one of the following:
    • To only edit specific products, check the check box next to each product.
    • To only edit the variants of just one product, select only that product.
    • To select all list items on a page on the page as well as every product in your store, check the check box at the top of the product list.
  3. Click Add fields, and then select either Standardized product type, Custom product type, or both.
  4. Accept or reject each automatically generated suggestion, if necessary.
  5. Click Search product types to search or to navigate through the categories to find them most accurate type to select.
  6. Click Save.

Managing product types using a CSV file

You can import product types using a CSV product import. In addition, you can add and edit standardized and custom product types in the CSV file.

To verify that your standardized product type values matches with Shopify's predefined list, you can refer to the Shopify Product Taxonomy.

If you already have a Google Product Category for your products and prefer to use this taxonomy, then Shopify maps the accurate standardized product type to your products only if it matches a taxonomy value in English exactly or the UID is provided.

You can do the following:

  • Refer to the accurate Google Product Category with the google_product_category field of your CSV update.
  • Enter a supported category from Google's product taxonomy.
  • Provide either the category path or the ID number, as you can with Shopify's standardized product type.

You can download and view a sample product CSV file to use as a template.

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