What’s the Shopify maximum import limit? (Updated on 15 Dec, 2017)

Searching For Maximum - 100'000 - progress - 4 hours remaining

With this exercise our goal is to find the Shopify maximum points. (Updated on Dec 15, 2017 with new speed improvements)

We will start with basic thing – by importing 100k Products, and move up from there.

Day 1: 100’000 Products Import

Before we started, it was estimating 2d 7h min to complete, which would be the time of single-stream import.

But we will have 10 streams importing in parallel, so let’s see where this takes us.

Shopify maximum import speed

Few minutes later the estimated time dropped to just 7h 9 min, because all the 10 parallel imports are working like crazy!
We are moving at the speed of 0.264 seconds per Product, which is basically 3.79 Products per second, or 227 Products per minute, or 13k Products per hour.

It’s done! Our Shopify store now has 100’691 Products!

Searching For Maximum - 100'000 - done


What next?

You make a guess! ūüėČ

OK, look! Pressing “Import” button now…

Big Import of Collections, Customers, Discounts - before start

Alright, the weekend has passed, and I admit, we had some bumps – we had wrongly formed Discounts import table which was failing. So we decided to cancel the import, fixed the table, and imported again. We want the “finding maximums” kind of results here.

Here they are:

As you can see, the first kind of maximum is found. That is – we have hit the Shopify limit of 5000 Smart Collections.

Other than that, 10k+ Custom Collections, 100k+ Customers, 20k+ Discounts. Not bad at all, Shopify! Very not bad at all!


Should we continue?

Off course, we should, and we will…

Tune into our Twitter account @excelify_io for further tests and updates.

How to migrate customers to your new Shopify store and activate their new accounts with MailChimp?

Send campaign

When you are migrating your store to Shopify, you definitely want to take your customers with you. You need to migrate them and invite each customer to activate their accounts. This is how you do it with Bulk Import Export with Excel app:

  1. Import list of customers to Shopify.
  2. Export those new customers from Shopify by generating Activation URLs.
  3. Import list of customers with their activation URLs to MailChimp (or any other mass mailing service).
  4. Send out e-mail campaign to new customers from MailChimp with nice invitation to activate their accounts.


It may look complicated, but trust me, when you will do it once, and understand the system, this will take you not more then 15 minutes to set up everything.


1. Import list of customers to Shopify

If you are migrating customers from your old Shopify store to new Shopify store, then you just use this same app in both stores: export from old, and import into new one.

If you migrate your customers from another platform, they still should have the capability to export customers to some file. Exported file will be different for each platform, but usually there are such fields as: email, first name, last name, phone number, company name, address, shipping address, billing address, etc.

For example, let’s take this export from some other platform:

Customers' export

Prepare data file for the import. App needs particular format for importing customers’ data. It can be found in the template. You need to transfer data from your export file into import file or edit exported file to mach that template.

  • Columns ID,¬†State,¬†Accepts Marketing, Updated At, Total Spent, Total Orders, Last Order Name, Note, Verified Email, Tax Exempt, Tags,¬†Address ID¬†can be left blank or deleted to make things more simple.
  • If you have several addresses for one customer, for example, shipping address and billing address, you should provide them in different rows. Add another row and fill in¬†Email¬†column with the customers email, and second (third, forth, etc.) address.
  • Address Is Default shiuld¬†be filled with¬†TRUE,¬†if there is more then 1 address for the customer. One of the addresses will be default.
  • Created At¬†can be filled with date_registered or todays date.
  • remember to name the sheet “Customers”
  • Here is example of my file:¬†Import file

Import customers with the app.

Imported customers

Yuhuuu! Customers are imported!!!

At this moment we just imported customers’ data into Shopify store. If customer would like to login, he or she does not have the password. And actually, how the customer will know about the new store? We need to notify our customers about our brand new marketplace and ask them to activate their accounts. Let’s do that!


Export list of customers from Shopify with generated Activation links.

Shopify provides the functionality to send account invite for non-active customers. Open any customer data we just imported and see Send account invite right under the customer name: Account invite

Click on Send account invite and you will get the form for email: 

I filled it in with information I want to provide to the customer. Click on Review email: Review email

Click Send notification and you will get the email with activation link. You can test this and activate account. Activation email


Clicking on Activate your account will bring you to the Activation page: Activation page


Doing like that you can send Activation email to one customer at a time. And if you have 100 or 1000, or even more customers?


We will save time and send activation emails in bulk.

We need to get Activation URLs for all customers for that.

To get this data, lets export customers customers with Bulk Import Export with Excel app. Check Activation URLs when exporting:

You will get Activation URLs in the Export file. Exported file

There are a lot of columns, but we will need only 4 of them Email, First Name, Last Name and Activation Account URL. So, I will delete all other columns:  File for import


Create the list of customers in MailChimp.

There is a service MailChimp, that allows to send notifications, campaigns, newsletters etc. to lists of customers. As we want to send Account activation emails to several customers at a time, let’s first create the list of customers.


Login (or register) into MailChimp service.

Click on Lists -> [Create List]¬†and fill in list data. I called my list “Migrated customers”:Create list

Click Save.

Of course, we will not add customers to the list manually ūüôā We will import the date from the Excel we exported from the Shopify earlier (the one with Activation URLs). Click Imports subscribers:¬†¬†Import customersWill import from xlsx file:¬†Import from xlsx¬† There are 3 mandatory fields: Email Address, First Name, Last Name. We will need one more field: Activation URL (as we need to invite customers to activate their accounts in our new shop).¬†Import

Now we need to open the exported Excel, copy all data and paste it to the MailChimp form:Import into MailChimp

Press Next.

Now we need to help MailChimp to understand what data about customers we want to import.

Imported customers


In the column names select appropriate title and press Save. Do it for Email Address, First Name and Last Name columns. For Activation URL column you need to add New column name. I will call it Activation URL.Imported columns

Press Next.

Import contacts

Import contacts.

Now we have all customers’ data imported:¬†¬†¬†Customer contacts

We will do one more thing. Go to the Lists. Open Migrated Customers list. Click Settings -> List fields and *| MERGE |* tags

List settings

Here we will change tags for the First name field and for the Activation URL field. Set NAME and URL accordingly. Press Save Changes. We will need this when creating Activation email.

List field tags


For the testing purposes I will create one more List and call it Test Customer. This list will contain only one customer with my own email. I will copy real Activation URL (from the Excel) and also add field tags as in the previous step. With this list I will test, if email is sent as I wanted it to be and if Activation URL is working correctly.

Test Customer


Create the campaign in MailChimp for sending Activation emails and send.

Now we need to create a New campaign in the MailChimp with what we will send the information to our customers and invite them to activate accounts. Click Campaigns -> [Create Campaign]

Create New Campaign

Choose Create an Email (as we will send the Campaign via email).

Name your campaignCampaign name

Choose the list of customers –¬†Migrated customers¬†Campaign listFill in Campaign info:¬†Campaign info

Pay attention to the checkbox¬†Personalize the ‘To” field. I Check it and put field tag *|NAME|* *|LNAME|* ¬†in recipient name. Remember, we added these tags earlier, when creating the list? So, now each customer will get the personalized email, with his/her First name and Last name as the recipient.

Click Next.

MailChimp provides a lot of templates for email campaigns. I will choose “Make an Announcement” template

Choose template

There will be prepared boxes that you need to modify and deleted what you do not need. Imagine how do you want the email to look like. Do you need any images? What text will you put there and attract your customer and make him/her interested to activate account.

Editing Campaign

When you have approximate idea, click on the appropriate box and modify it.

I have added the Logo. Then I edited the box with the text. Edit Activation email

I deleted boxes with images and all other except the button.

I edited the button as follow: Edit Activation button

In the Web address (URL) field I put URL tag that we added, when creating the list. This button will take each customer to his/her own Account activation page, as it will take his/her particular Activation URL from the list.

Press Save and Close.

Now we can test it with test email. Go Preview and Test -> Send a test email.

Send test email

Provide the email, where you want to send test and click [Send Test].

Here is mine Test email

Looks goof to me. Activation button will not work here, as this is just a test. But I would like to test, if the button will work in the real email, so I will send this Campaign to my Test Customer list (remember, I have created one?)

I will click Next Choose test list

Here I will change the list. Click on [Edit]  for the List and choose Test Customer list Test customer

Click Next -> Next -> Next. And then click Send!

MailChimp will as you one again Send campaign

Click Send Now!

And now wait for the email ūüôā

I have got mine Test campaign email

Now I see there Name and Last name. And [Activate Now]  button will take me to the Activate Account page Activate Account Page


Now we should send Activation emails to the real customers.

Go Campaigns. For the New Store Account Activation campaign choose ReplicateReplicate campaign

Choose Migrated Customers list Choose list

Click Next, Next, Send.

You will be asked again if you want to send. There should be 4 subscribers (in my case). Click [Send Now].

And we are done!

How To Clone Your Shopify Store?

Clone Shopify Store - Step 2 - Import 2 - Download Results

We have designed the feature to clone Shopify store as a completely smooth experience for you.

Step 0: The starting point

We start by having a Pet Shop store with some Products, some Smart Collections, some Custom Collections with Products in them, Customer and Discounts. This is the one that we want to clone to another store we have.

Clone Shopify Store - Step 0 - Products & Collection

Step 1: Export from your existing Store

Export whatever you want from your existing store.

If you want also Custom Collections to contain all the correct Products, be sure to export also Products and Linked Products in the same Export.

Clone Shopify Store Step 1 Export

When the export has finished, press that green Download Exported File button to get your Shopify data as Excel file:

Clone Shopify Store - Step 1 - Export 2 - Download

Step 2: Import that Excel file

If you simply want to copy contents of one Shopify store to another, you even don’t have to look inside that file.

Just go to your other Shopify store, install the same app, and import that exported Excel file.

Clone Shopify Store - Step 2 - Import 1When you upload that Excel file, app will analyze it, and show you all the Excel Sheets it found inside, and how many items it found in each Sheet.

Then press blue “Import” button to start the import.

When it’s done, you will see the green “Import Completed” message.

Clone Shopify Store - Step 2 - Import 2 - Download Results

Step 3: Go, Check Your Shopify Store Clone

Clone Shopify Store - Step 3 - See Results

Notice that the store name is different, URL is different. No joking Рeverything is there the same as it was in that Pet Shop store.

Even Manual Collections (Custom Collections) have their products linked, as you would expect.

Good To Know

  1. That other store can have items there already. When you clone Shopify store by this method, the additional items will be added, and the ones that have the same Handle (or E-mail, or Discount code) will be updated. Others will not be touched.
  2. If you open that Excel file you downloaded, you will notice that it’s perfectly human readable. If you need to, you can change, add or remove data there, and do the import again in all your stores.
  3. After import is complete, you can download the “Import Results” Excel file, where the last 2 columns (Import Result and Import Comment) will show you the result for each row. This is helpful, when something failed in the import – you will see the failure reason there.
  4. You can use this method to translate your store items to whatever other language you have in your other store. Export it to Excel, give to professional translator that Excel file, and import the translated file into your new store.
  5. Hey, and if you have two stores in separate languages, you can import column updates to both of them, without touching the translated columns (like inventory quantity or price). Only then those items need to have the same Handles, as this is how app will identify that they are the same ones to update.


Where To Go From Here?

  1. Install the Bulk Import Export Update with Excel app to your Shopify store. Actually to all of your stores, so that you can clone them back and forth.
  2. Get your additional store included in the same paid Plan –¬†send our Support addresses of all of your stores.
  3. Read other Tutorials, to get idea what else can you do besides cloning your Shopify store.
  4. Read the detailed Column Descriptions of all columns (fields) that you can export and import.
  5. Write us a Review and give some stars along with your story, how it helped.