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Custom Collections

Also known as Shopify Manual Collections. Those are the Collections, where you attach Products manually.

Excel Sheet Name

Custom Collections

​To tell the app that you are importing Custom Collections you need:

  • If using CSV file then the file name needs to contain the word “Custom Collections”, for example, “my-shopify-custom-collections.csv”
  • If using XLSX file then the sheet/tab name in the file needs to be “Custom Collections”. The file name for the XLSX file does not matter.

Columns Available For Export And Import

Base Columns

ColumnAllowed ValuesDescription / Example Value
IDNumberID is automatically generated number by Shopify to identify the item.
It is filled in by an Export.
When creating new Smart Collection, leave this value empty.

22920047631
HandleAny characters allowed in a URLThis is what your store visitors will see in the Collection URL address like this:

https://mystore.com/collections/cool-looking-tshirts

URL address has a great impact on SEO, so be sure to give it a meaningful name.
Regardless, what you write here, the app will convert it to lowercase, and remove all non-URL friendly symbols.
You can leave it empty when creating new Collections – in that case, the app will generate it for you from Title.

If the handle will have non-Latin characters like Chinese, Arabic or Russian, or any other language, it will get “transliterated” to the similar-sounding Latin letters by default. You can switch this option off in Options upon importing by unchecking “Transliterate Handles to English alphabet”.

Whatever you will put in the Handle column, the app will convert it to the required Handle format, which is acceptable by Shopify.

When updating Handle the app by default will also create a Redirect from old Handle to the new one. You can turn this off in the Import options with importing a file.

In Shopify, all Handles have a limitation of 255 characters, so any Handle longer than that will be truncated to 255 characters.

cool-looking-tshirts
Command
  • NEW
  • UPDATE
  • REPLACE
  • DELETE
When importing Custom Collection row – tell the app, what to do with it:

  • NEW: will try to create a new Custom Collection with the provided details. If such Custom Collection will already exist (with the same ID or same Handle), then the result will be Failed.
  • UPDATE: will try to find existing Custom Collection, and update it with data from the row. If such Custom Collection will not be found, then it will create new.
  • REPLACE: at first, if such Custom Collection with provided ID or Handle exists, then the app will delete it. After that, it will create a new one. If an existing Custom Collection will not be found, then still the app will create a new one. The difference from UPDATE is that it will not keep any of columns, which were not included in the import file since the Custom Collection will be deleted and re-created.
  • DELETE: the app will delete the existing Custom Collection, which is found by ID or Handle. If such Custom Collection will not be found, then the result will be Failed. This DELETE command is very handy for deleting Custom Collections in bulk.

If no Command is specified, then the app will assume the UPDATE command.

UPDATE
TitleTextTitle of the Collection

Cool Looking T-shirts
Body HTMLText, HTMLThis is a long description of the Collection.

You can write here just a plain text or format that text using HTML code.

You can put here additional images, videos, links to other Products, Collections or sites, tables, and so on.

You can learn about HTML capabilities online, for example, W3Schools.com or use some online video courses, like from Treehouse.com or Udemy.com.

The best way to create HTML Description is to write a Description in the Shopify Admin for one Collection, format it as you like, and then do the export. Then you will see how that translates to HTML and will be able to apply the same to other Collections.

Those all are nice T-shirts, and this is their <b>description</b>.
Sort Order
  • Alphabet
  • Alphabet Descending
  • Best Selling
  • Created
  • Created Descending
  • Manual
  • Price
  • Price Descending
This defines, how the Products will be sorted in that Smart Collection.

Essentially, this is the same as a drop-down choice you have in the Admin when you edit the Smart Collection.

If you set Sort Order to “Manual” then you can update column “Product: Position” to change positions of Products inside the Collection.

Best Selling
Template SuffixTextTemplate Suffix allows you to specify another Template from your Theme for this specific Collection. For example, you might want to specify a different template for a Women T-shirts collection, which has different page layout.

Work with your developer to create new Template or read Shopify documentation about adding additional templates for Collections. Once new Template is created, you can set in this column to activate it for needed Collections.

That different template will show as a dropdown for Collections in Shopify Admin when new Collection Template will be created in your Theme. For example, if the new Template file name is “collection.women.liquid”, then – to activate this Template for this Collection, write “women” as the Template Suffix.

women
Updated AtTimeThis column will only be exported.

It will be automatically updated, whenever you change the Collection data.

2017-10-06 23:03:00 UTC
Published
  • TRUE
  • FALSE
Tells, whether this Collection should be Published on your “Online Store” Sales Channel. If you will set it to FALSE, it will be hidden from Online Store, and clients will not be able to find it.

If you will leave this column empty, then it will hide that Collection form Online Store.

If Collection is not Published, you can publish it from Shopify Admin by finding this Collection or importing the update of this column, marking Published to TRUE.

If you will write anything else in this column, the Collection will not get imported, and you will get an error “Bad Request” in Import Results row for this item, just to be safe it was intentional.

TRUE
Published AtTimeThis column can be only exported.

It will be automatically updated, whenever you publish the Custom Collection to Online Store channel.

You cannot set a specific publication date.

2017-10-06 23:03:00 UTC
Published Scope
  • global
  • web
This column can be only exported.

Tells where the Collection is published

  • global: is published on both the Online Store channel and the Point of Sale channel.
  • web: is published only in Online Store channel
global
Products CountNumberThis column can be only exported.

Number of Products in the Collection.

5
Row #NumberWill have row number from 1 till the end for each row. So that if you change the sorting in your exported file to easier update your data, you can sort it back by “Row #” and return it to the original sorting. Because, you know, all the item data should be together – and if you change the sorting, you need to sort it back.

Only exported.

Top RowTRUE / FALSEIt will have value “TRUE” for each “top row” of the item. That can help you filter in Excel to get only the base rows, in case you need to get rid of repeated rows for each item. Some sheets already had this as Primary Row column earlier, but we have added it now to all the sheets now and renamed to Top Row so it’s more clear.

Only exported.

Image SrcURLLink to the image. This link must be publicly available.

A collection can have only one image.

Once an image is imported, it doesn’t need to be hosted anymore with this link, because Shopify will download this image and store on their own servers.

If you don’t need to update image for Collection, just remove this column from Import file, and it will leave image unchanged when you do your import.

https://images.com/image.jpg
Image WidthNumberThe width of the image, in pixels.

Exported only.

Image HeightNumberThe height of the image, in pixels.

Exported only.

Image Alt TextTextAlt Text for the Collection image. Great for SEO, because then search engines will know, what is inside the image.

Some descriptive name of the image

 

Product Columns

Each Custom Collection can include products, that are defined in these Columns.

Product Columns are added to the exported file if exporting Custom Collections with “Linked Products”.

ColumnAllowed ValuesDescription / Example Value
Product: IDNumberThe ID of linked Product in this Collection.

Since there can be several Products linked to a Collection, when you will do the export of existing Collections, there will be as many rows repeated, as there are linked Products.

When you need to import a Collection with linked Products, just export Products and Custom Collections with Linked Products, and import into new Store. Make sure that you have also Products exported in the same file because the import will use information from Products sheet to determine, which old Product ID is now which new Product ID.

11920047631
Product: PositionNumberFor each Custom Collection, which has several linked Products, you can see and change the linked product Position in that Collection, by setting the appropriate position number. The number starts with 1. Like: 1, 2, 3…

Position numbers are used only for those Custom Collections, where [Sort Order] is “Manual”. Where sorting is not Manual, the position is calculated inside the Shopify dynamically, depending on the Sorting criteria.

To change the order of linked Products in large Custom Collections, just Export, set the position numbers as you like, and import that one Collection back.

Especially in cases, when there is a large collection, it’s hard to change positions by mouse in Shopify Admin, then this helps.

When importing Custom Collection with Product columns, be sure to include all Product IDs, which belong to this Collection, because those will be overwritten.

If you need to update just Collection columns and don’t need to change anything for linked Products, just remove those Product columns (and delete duplicated rows). Or you can just do the Export and don’t include Linked Products – then those Product columns will not be generated.

27
Product: HandleTextWhen “Products” are included in the export, this column will contain the Product Handle for linked Product.

When importing – this column is read when Product can’t be found by “Product: ID”, it is used as a secondary method to identify the linked product for Collection.

That way the smooth copying from one store to another is accomplished.

mom-strength-tshirt

Metafields

Read the description on Metafields page.

SEO Fields

SEO fields are actually Metafields with the following names:

  • SEO Title Metafield name is “Metafield: title_tag”
  • SEO Description Metafield name is “Metafield: description_tag”

 

Good To Know

  • If you don’t need to update linked Products for collections, then unselect the checkbox “Linked Products” when doing the Export of Custom Collections.
  • Generally, it’s good practice to try and use Smart Collections to link Products, because it is more dynamic – you don’t need to attach products manually. Custom collections would be best used when Smart Collection rules are not enough to identify, which Products to include in that Collection.
  • To import several linked Products for each Custom Collection, just repeat the row with at least the same ID, Handle or Title (whichever comes first), and set the “Product: ID” values. You don’t have to delete contents of base rows – that makes copying easier.
  • To not update some columns, remove those columns from Excel file. Then the Import will not touch them.
  • If you will have the Column with an empty value, then this column will be changed to empty.
  • You can have an unlimited count of Metafields.