Using CSV files to import and export products

You can use a CSV (comma-separated values) file to import products into your Shopify store, and to export products from your store. When you use a CSV file, you can import or export a large number of products and their details at same time. This can be helpful if you want to exchange product information between Shopify and other platforms.

To learn more about how to use CSV files, refer to open and edit a CSV file.

Download a sample CSV file

You can download and view a sample product CSV file to use as a template. If you use the sample file, then be aware of the following details:

  • The sample file contains an example product and a couple of variants. Your import file probably contains many more products and variants. If you use the sample file to create your own import file, then make sure that you remove all the example products.
  • The sample file includes the Variant Inventory Qty column, which is only used for stores that have a single location. If you use multiple locations and you want to import or export inventory quantities, then use the inventory CSV file.
  • The sample file includes the Price / International and Compare At Price / International columns, but both are left blank as there aren't any unique pricing requirements for these products when being sold internationally. Learn more about Shopify Markets CSV columns.

Considerations for the product CSV file

Before you use a product CSV file, review the following considerations.

Formatting the product CSV file

For your product CSV file to function correctly, verify the that it meets the following criteria:

  • The first line of your product CSV file must be the column headers as specified in the product CSV description table.
  • Each column must be separated by a comma.

Required columns in the product CSV file

These columns must be present under the following conditions:

  • When you create a product CSV file to import new products, the only required column is Title. If you're adding variants for a product, then the Handle column is also required.
  • When you update products using a CSV file, the only required columns are Handle and Title.

Data dependencies

Even though the Title and Handle columns are the only required columns when you update products using a CSV file, the data in some columns depends on the data in other columns.

For example, if you update a column that is related to variants, such as Variant SKU or Variant Grams, then the data in those columns depends on the data about the corresponding variants. In this case, you must also include the Option1 Name and Option1 Value columns.

Before you remove or exclude columns from your CSV file, verify whether the data in any other columns depends on the data in the columns that you want to remove or exclude. If your data depends on a column that is missing, then you receive an error when you try to import your product CSV file.

Shopify Markets CSV columns

If you have Shopify Markets set up on your store, then your CSV export reflects the unique markets that you created. By default, your CSV has the following columns:

  • Included / [Primary] where [Primary] is replaced by the name of your primary market
  • Included / International
  • Price / International
  • Compare At Price / International

If you replace your international market with your own market, then in the header name, International changes to the name of the market.

For example, if you create a market for each individual continent, and one of your market names is South America, then the column headings are adjusted as follows in the CSV export file:

  • Included / International becomes Included / South America
  • Price / International becomes Price / South America
  • Compare At Price / International becomes Compare At Price / South America

Metafields in CSV columns

Product metafields are supported in product bulk import/export using CSV files. After a product metafield is defined, it's included in your product CSV exports. The column header format is: <name> (product.metafields.<namespace>.<key>). You can also use product.metafields.<namespace>.<key>. For instance, the format for a Fabric metafield is as follows: Fabric (product.metafields.shopify.fabric) or, excluding the name and parenthesis, product.metafields.shopify.fabric. You can find a metafield's namespace and key in Settings > Custom data > Products > Metafield. Learn more about product metafields.

Option values are also supported for product CSV import/export. Use the Option LinkedTo columns to connect an option to a metafield. Then, you can use metaobject values in the respective Option Values column.

Description of the columns in the product CSV file

The following table outlines all potential columns in the product CSV.

In addition to the Title column, some other columns must have a value. Required columns are noted in the table below. For these columns, a default value will be created if they're left blank or otherwise omitted from the CSV file.

Columns in the product CSV file that must have a value and the default values that are created automatically if no value is present.
ColumnDefault value created when the column is blank
Handle (required)This value is created based on the value in the Title column. For example, if the value in the Title column is Black Sun Glasses, then the value in this column is black-sun-glasses.
Vendor (required)The name of the store as you entered it when you created your Shopify account. For example, John's Apparel or johns-apparel. This is the same store name that you use when you log in to Shopify.
Published (required)

The default value is true, which means that this product will be published and available in the online store sales channel. Published can also be set to false, which means that the uploaded product won't be published.

Option1 Name (required)

The default value is Title if no value is set.

If a product has an option, then enter its name. For example, Color.

If a product has only one option, then this value should be Title.

Option1 Value (required)

If a product has an option, then enter its value. For example, Black.

If a product has only one option, then this value should be Default Title.

The default value is Default Title if no value is set.

If linking to a category metafield with the linkedTo column, then the Option Value can be either a metaobject handle or GID (not display name).

Caution: Changing data in this column deletes existing variant IDs values, and creates new variant IDs. Any change to variant ID values can break third-party dependencies on variant IDs. Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

Option1 LinkedTo

If a product option is connected to a category metafield, then this value should be product.metafields.shopify.{taxonomy_attribute}

Variant Grams (required)

The default value is 0.0 if no value is set.

The weight of the product or variant in grams. Don't specify a unit of measurement or use decimals. For example, for a weight of 5.125 kg, enter 5125.

Shopify always imports and exports the weight in grams, even if you specify a different unit. You must use accurate weights if you intend to offer carrier-calculated shipping or use a third-party fulfillment service.

Variant Inventory Qty (required)

The default value is 0 if no value is set.

The number of items you have in stock of this product or variant. This column is only used for Shopify stores that have a single location.

Note: This column is only available for stores that have only one location. If your store manages inventory at multiple locations, then this column isn't included. If you want to import or export inventory quantities, then use the inventory CSV file.

Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

Variant Inventory Policy (required)

The default value is deny if no value is set.

When the value is deny, it indicates that the product can't be purchased after its inventory level reaches zero.

How to handle orders when the inventory level for this product or variant has reached zero. Variants with a deny inventory policy can't be purchased after their inventory level reaches zero. Variants with a continue inventory policy can be purchased after their inventory level reaches zero, allowing for negative inventory levels.

Variant Fulfillment Service (required)

The default value is manual if no value is set.

The product or variant fulfillment service used. The following are the valid values for this column:

  • manual
  • shipwire
  • webgistix
  • amazon_marketplace_web

If you use a custom fulfillment service, then you can add the name of the service in this column. For the custom name, use only lowercase letters. Spaces aren't allowed and you must replace them with a dash (-). Periods and other special characters are removed. For example, if "Joan's Fulfillment" is your fulfillment service's name, then enter joans-fulfillment in the CSV file.

You must have a custom fulfillment service set up in your Shopify admin before you can add the name of the service in this column.

Variant Price (required)

The default value is 0.0 if no value is set.

The price of the product or variant. Only include the price and don't include any currency symbols. For example, 9.99.

Variant Requires Shipping (required)

The default value is true if no value is set.

When the value is true, it indicates that the product is a physical product.

The option to require shipping. Valid values are true or false.

Variant Taxable (required)

The default value is true if no value is set. Applies taxes to this variant.

Valid values are true or false.

Gift Card (required)

The default value is false if no value is set.

When the value is false, it indicates that the product isn't a gift card.

Indicates whether the product is a gift card. Valid values are true or false. The addition of this column also allows you to edit other gift card details, such as the Body or Tags columns, and then import these changes. A gift card can only be created and activated in the Shopify admin. You can't create a gift card through a product CSV file import.

Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

Variant Weight Unit (required)The default value is kg if no value is set.

Valid values are g, kg, lb, and oz.

Included / [Primary] (required)

This column indicates whether or not the product is included for sale in your primary market. The default value is true.

This column heading name varies depending on the country or region determined to be your primary market in Shopify Markets. If you change the default primary market, then your column headers display with the new market name. Refer to the considerations section for more information.

Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

Included / International (required)

If you sell internationally, then this column indicates whether or not the product is included for sale in that market. The default value is true.

This column heading name varies depending on the Shopify Markets that you have set up on your store. The default market is International. If you change the default market or add any new markets, then your column headers display with those market names. Refer to the considerations section for more information.

Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

Status (required)If this column is present, then it needs to have a value. If the column isn't present, then the product status is automatically uploaded as active.

Indicates whether a product is available to your customers. Valid values are:

  • active: the product is active and ready to be sold
  • draft: the product is a draft and needs to be completed
  • archived: the product is archived and no longer available to sell
  • Title

    The title of your product. For example, Women's Snowboard.

    Body (HTML)

    The description of the product in HTML format.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Product Category

    A label that describes the type of product and is used to calculate a product's tax rate in the United States. This label must be taken from the predefined standardized list of product categories.

    You can input the standardized product category in either of the following ways:

    Learn more about adding a product category

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Type

    A label that describes the category of a product. This label doesn't need to conform to any predefined format.

    Learn more about adding a type.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Tags

    A comma-separated list of tags used to tag the product. Most spreadsheet applications automatically add quotes around the tags for you. If you use a plain text editor, then you need to manually add the quotes. For example, tag1, tag2, tag3.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Option2 Name

    If a product has a second option, then enter its name. For example, Size.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Option2 Value

    If a product has a second option, then enter its value. For example, Large.

    The Option Value can be either a Metaobject handle or GID (not display name).

    Caution: Changing data in this column deletes existing variant IDs values, and creates new variant IDs. Any change to variant ID values can break third-party dependencies on variant IDs. Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Option2 LinkedTo

    If a product option is connected to a category metafield, then this value should be product.metafields.shopify.{taxonomy_attribute}

    Option3 Name

    If a product has a third option, then enter its name.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Option3 Value

    If a product has a second option, then enter its value. For example, Large.

    The Option Value can be either a Metaobject handle or GID (not display name).

    Caution: Changing data in this column deletes existing variant IDs values, and creates new variant IDs. Any change to variant ID values can break third-party dependencies on variant IDs. Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Option3 LinkedTo

    If a product option is connected to a category metafield, then this value should be product.metafields.shopify.{taxonomy_attribute}

    Variant SKU

    The SKU of the product or variant. This is used to track inventory with inventory tracking services.

    This field can't be left blank if you're using a custom fulfillment service.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Variant Inventory Tracker

    Include your inventory tracking for this variant or product. Valid values include shopify, shipwire, amazon_marketplace_web, or blank if inventory isn't tracked.

    If the existing inventory tracking options are removed, then inventory is no longer tracked.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Variant Compare At Price

    The "Compare-at Price" of the product or variant. Only include the price and don't include any currency symbols. For example, 9.99.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Variant Barcode

    The barcode, ISBN, or UPC of the product.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Image Src

    Enter the URL for the product image. Shopify downloads the images during the import and re-uploads them into your store. These images aren't variant-specific. The variant image column is where you specify variant images.

    You can't change the image file name after that image has been uploaded to your store. Don't upload images that have _thumb, _small, or _medium suffixes in their names.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Image Position

    Enter the number that represents the order in which you want the image to display on the product's page. The images display in order from smallest to largest starting from an image position value of 1. For example, if you want the image to display first for that product, then enter 1.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Image Alt Text

    Alt (alternate) text describes an image and is an important part of a product description. If an image can't load for any reason, then alt text displays instead. It's also used by assistive technology to describe an image to a customer who's visually impaired. Including alt text will boost your website's SEO. Keep your alt text brief and descriptive. The maximum length is 512 characters, but the optimal length is 125 characters or fewer.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    SEO Title

    The SEO Title is found on a product's details page under the Search engine listing preview header in the Page title field. The SEO Title is alphanumeric and can include up to 70 characters. If you leave this column blank when you import a product, then the value in the Title column is entered into the Page title field on the product's details page.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    SEO Description

    The SEO description is also found on a product's details page under the Search engine listing preview header in the Description. The SEO description is alphanumeric and can include up to 320 characters. If you leave this column blank when you import a product, then the value in the Body (HTML) column is entered into the Description field on the product's details page.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Google Shopping / Google Product Category

    If you currently use a Google product category, then you can use it as your Shopify product category. You can use the product category, the Google Product Category, or both. Provide the most specific category possible for each item.

    The Google Product Category (GPC) (google_product_category) uses Google's product taxonomy.

    You can input the Google product category in either of the following ways:

    • using the full taxonomy path, for example Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Shirts & Tops
    • using the numerical ID, for example 212

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Google Shopping (Unstructured metafield)

    The column headers will vary based on the Google Shopping metafield the included value represents, and will be preceded by Google Shopping / . The metafields included in the product CSV column headers are:

  • Gender
  • Age Group
  • MPN
  • Condition
  • Custom Product
  • Custom Label 0
  • Custom Label 1
  • Custom Label 2
  • Custom Label 3
  • Custom Label 4
  • The Google Shopping columns might be used by an app to synchronize products to the Google Merchant Center. However, the Google and YouTube channel doesn't use these Metafields. You can ignore values in the metafields columns that include "Google Shopping" in their names unless an app tells you to use them.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in these columns.

    Variant Image

    The URL for images of variants. If you add an URL, then it must be a functioning image URL.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Variant Tax Code

    Available to: Shopify Plus plan

    The Avalara code to apply taxes to this product. This field only applies when you import to or export from a store that uses the Shopify Plus plan's integration with Avalara AvaTax.

    When you create a CSV file by exporting products from a store that uses Avalara, the Variant Tax Code column is filled. If you import this CSV file into a store that doesn't have Avalara set up, then your import fails.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Cost per item

    How much it costs you for the product or variant. Only include the cost. Don't include any currency symbols. For example, 9.99.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Price / International

    A fixed price for that product in the market of the same name and in that market’s currency.

    Learn more about CSV columns for Shopify Markets.

    Compare At Price / International

    Sets a fixed compare at price for that product in the market of the same name and in that market’s currency. A fixed price for a product in a market is required to use a fixed compare at price.

    Learn more about CSV columns for Shopify Markets.

    Metafields

    Product metafields that are created on your store. The product metafield definition displays in the column header as <name> (product.metafields.custom.<key>). The following metafield types are supported within CSV bulk import/export:

    • boolean
    • color (example: #ff00cc)
    • date
    • date_time
    • dimension (example: 25.0cm)
    • list.color (example: #ff00cc; #cc0000)
    • list.date (example: 2023-12-02; 2023-12-03)
    • list.date_time (example: 2023-12-02T09:30:00; 2023-12-03T10:00:00)
    • list.dimension (example: 10.0cm; 3.0m)
    • list.metaobject_reference (example: gid://shopify/Metaobject/123; gid://shopify/Metaobject/456 or the metaobject handles such as blue; red)
    • list.number_decimal (example: 1.0; 2.1)
    • list.number_integer (example: 3; 4)
    • list.product_reference (example: gid://shopify/Product/123; gid://shopify/Product/456 or the product handles such as boots; skis)
    • list.url (example: http://www.google.com; http://shopify.com)
    • list.volume (example: 10.0ml; 2.0l)
    • list.weight (example: 1g; 2.0lb; 3.0 kg)
    • money (example: 5.99 CAD)
    • multi_line_text_field (example: "Ingredients
      Flour
      Water
      Milk
      Eggs"
      )
    • number_decimal (example: 1.0)
    • number_integer (example: 1)
    • product_reference (example: gid://shopify/Product/123 or the product handle such as boots)
    • single_line_text_field (example: single line)
    • url (example: http://shopify.com)
    • volume (example: 10.0ml)
    • weight (example: 10.0g)

    Overwriting product details using an import CSV file

    When you import a CSV file, you can select the option Overwrite products with matching handles. If you select this option, then when the handle in the import CSV file matches an existing handle in your products list, the values in the CSV file overwrite the values in the matching columns in the existing product list. If the overwrite option isn't selected, then the products that match an existing handle are ignored during CSV import.

    • If a non-required column in the import CSV file is blank, then the matching value in the product list is overwritten as blank.
      • For example, the Vendor value in your existing product list is John's Apparel, but the Vendor column is blank in the CSV file that you import, then the John's Apparel is overwritten as blank.
    • If a non-required column isn't included in the import CSV file, but is included in the existing product list, then the value in the product list remains the same.
      • For example, if the Variant Image column is included in the existing product list, but that column isn't included in the import CSV file, then the value in the product list remains the same.
    • If a non-required column is included in the import CSV file that relies on other column data not included in the file, then existing data is deleted or removed.
      • For example, if the Variant SKU column is included in the import CSV file, but not the Option1 Value and Option1 Name columns, then the product variant option is deleted.

    Collection column exception

    To organize your products into collections during the CSV file upload, you can add a new column anywhere in your CSV file with the header name Collection.

    When you export a CSV file, the Collection column isn't included.

    Description of the Collection column in the product CSV import file.
    ColumnDescription
    Collection

    Enter the name of the collection that you want to add this product to.

    • If it's an existing automatic collection, then the product needs to meet the conditions for the collection.
    • If the collection doesn't already exist, then a manual collection is created.

    You can add a product to only one collection.

    This value can be blank.

    Learn more about how overwriting existing products affects the data in this column.

    Create your product CSV file

    For each product, you need to decide if it's a simple product or one with variants:

    • Simple product: A simple product doesn't include variants. If you upload a product that doesn't have variants, then enter all the fields for the product in the first row along with the URL for the first image. In the following rows, only enter the handle and the URL for each additional image.
    • Product with variants: If you upload a product that has variants, then enter all the fields for the product in the first row along with the URL for the first image. In the following rows, enter the handle. Then skip the Title, Body (HTML), Vendor, and Tags columns. Fill out the rest of the variants' details and each image URL.

    After you've added all your products and images, save your CSV file in UTF-8 format using LF-style linefeeds. If you're not familiar with encodings, then review your spreadsheet or text editor program's documentation.

    To view an example CSV file, download this sample product CSV file, and then open it in Google Sheets or another spreadsheet program.

    Prepare your images

    A CSV file can only contain text, therefore, you need to make sure that all product images are on an existing website. Those image URLs are only used during the CSV file importing process. You can delete the URLs after your import is complete.

    Depending on the location of your image file, take one of following actions:

    • If the files are only on your computer, then you must upload them to your Shopify store or to another image hosting service, and then obtain their URL.
    • If you're switching to Shopify from another platform, then you can copy the current image URLs and use them in the CSV file.
    • If the product CSV file was produced by exporting your products from Shopify, then you don't need to do anything because your images are already on your website.

    When you have URLs for each product image, you can start building your CSV file.

    Adding multiple product images in a CSV file

    You can add more product images to your CSV file by uploading more images to your Shopify admin. If you're building your Shopify store with a CSV file, then the process is a little different. Review the following considerations:

    • You need to be able to edit a CSV file. Shopify recommends using Google Sheets to view a formatted version of your CSV files.
    • You can add up to 250 images to a product.
    • Your product images must be uploaded to a publicly accessible URL. That is, they should be behind an https:// protocol with no password protection. To do this, you can upload images to the Files page of the Shopify admin. The URLs generate automatically. After you click Upload files, you can select up to a couple hundred images to upload in bulk.

    Add multiple product images to your CSV file

    1. Insert new rows. You must use only one row per image.
    2. Copy and paste the handle.
    3. Copy and paste the image URLs.

    Insert a new row

    1. Open your CSV file in your spreadsheet program, such as Google Sheets.
    2. Locate the products that you want to add images to.
    3. In the next row, click and drag the row numbers to select multiple rows. Select the same number of rows as the number of additional images you add.
      In a product CSV Google spreadsheet, the third and fourth row are highlighted.
    4. With those rows highlighted, right-click anywhere in the highlighted area, and then select Insert X rows above.
      In a product CSV Google spreadsheet, the Insert 2 above option is selected.

    Copy and Paste the Handle value

    Copy and paste the Handle value of the required product into column A for your new rows.

    In a product CSV Google spreadsheet, the text black-shirt is entered under the handle column in the third and fourth rows.

    Copy and Paste the image URLs

    1. On the Files page, upload your images to Shopify.
    2. Click the Copy link icon for one image URL at a time.
      In the Shopify admin Files page, the link button is highlighted in the row of a black t-shirt image.
    3. In the CSV file in your spreadsheet application, scroll sideways to the last columns of the CSV file.
    4. In the Image Src column, paste the image URL into each line.
      In a product CSV Google spreadsheet, the black t-shirt product image URL is entered into a row in the Image Src column.
    5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for all the images for this product
    6. Optional: To improve your SEO, enter values into all the Image Alt Text fields. Learn more about Image alt text.
    7. Save the CSV file and import it to Shopify.
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