How to group products into products with variants

Products into Variants

If you have products without variants which you want to group into fewer products with variants, this is how you do it.

Step 1: Export products to Excel

Export products into Excel spreadsheet and open it to edit.

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants

Step 2: Add data to variant columns

I will use following approach: Will add all products as new, but with variants, and then remove old products, which were without variants. I will do it, because this will save me in case something will go wrong (will add tag “new” for all newly imported products and they can be deleted easily, if imported incorrectly) and it will allow me to save images.

If you delete old products first, then Shopify will delete also attached images, and you will not be able to import them. That’s why you first need to import new Products, and then you are safe to delete the old Products.

So, to prepare the import Excel file I need to update following columns:

  1. Product ID – remove all data, so that it knows to create new Products with this import.
  2. Handle – set new handle for each product. For example, if the handle was: dress-anna-red-s, now I will have only dress-anna. This handle will be set for each variant of Dress Anna product. You can use formulas or play with Excel “split data” features to split your old handle into portions and then combine back as you need.
  3. Title – set appropriate Title (if there was a colour or size, now you can remove this data from the Title). You can also do that with formulas in Excel.
  4. Tags – add some tag for every row, that is absolutely new and use can use later to distinguish newly added products with variants. I used tag “new”.
  5. Variant ID – remove all data, so that it knows that those are new Variants.
  6. Option1 Name – set name for the first Variant option. In my case this is “Color”. Set it only in the first row of the product (no need to copy it for the each Variant.
  7. Option1 Value – set values for the option1. In my case these will be Variant colours: Black, Red, Blue, etc.
  8. Option2 Name – If you have more then 1 option for the Variant, like Colour and Size, set 2nd option Name here. In my case: Size.
  9. Option2 Value – Set sizes, L, M, S, XS.
  10. Variant Image – if your old Products has just one image per Product, copy Image Src column data here – then it will assign that same image to variant image.
  11. Image Src – Keep them as they are, with whatever images you have for your Products.

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants


Step 3: Mark existing Products with tag “old”

Set tag for all existing products, so that you can filter them later. I added tag “old” for all existing products before importing the new ones, as will delete old products after the import:

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants

Step 4: Import updated Excel

Import updated Excel file:

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants

I have old products without variants and new products, but with variants.


Step 5: Delete old products

Now I can delete old products, by filtering them by the tag “old”, and doing “bulk delete” in Shopify Admin.

Shopify group products without variants into fewer products with variants


Good To Know

  1. It is important, that you firstly add new Products with variants and only then delete old Products without variants, to keep all you images.
  2. Set some unique tag for new products to distinguish them from the old ones, in case something will go wrong.
  3. Delete old products only after you are sure that all new Products and imported correctly!
  4. 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.


Where To Go From Here?

  1. Install the Bulk Import Export Update with Excel app to your Shopify store.
  2. Read the detailed Column Descriptions of all columns (fields) that you can export and import.
  3. Write us a Review and give some stars along with your story, how it helped.

Add Variants To Existing Product

Add Variants to existing Product

You already have Products with Variants, and you just want to add Variants without touching existing Variants.

You can do that the following way. Let’s assume, we have this Product with one Variant:

Add Variants to existing Product

Step 1: Construct the Import File

Construct the Import Excel file, which contains only new Variants you want to add.

Make sure that you copy the ID or Handle rows for each new Variant:

Add Variants to existing Product

Now the most important part. Set the value of column “Variants Add” to TRUE for each Product, where you don’t want the Variants to be replaced. This will make the import to append Variants to existing.

To replace existing Variants with whatever rows you will have in this import file, leave that “Variants Add” column empty, or set the value to FALSE, or remove that column entirely.

It looks like this:

Add Variants to existing Product

A word about images. If you want it to use the existing images from your Product, then do the Export, and take the same link from the Product Image, and put it in “Variant Image” column. However, if you will take the link from somewhere else, it will add that image to Variant and to the Product itself.

Step 2: Add Variants by Importing That Excel File

Remember to mark the checkbox “Update items which have no ID, but are found in store by Handle.” if you use Handle column to identify the Product.

Add Variants to Product

Step 3: Check The Added Variants on Product

Add Variants to Product

By looking at the Product you see that it still has its previous Variant, and 3 new variants are added after that.

Also, you see that new Variant images are added to the Product.

Additional Tips

  • To find out Product Handles, you can take that information from Product SEO Description section, or do the Export.
  • If you update Products by ID, then remember to copy ID value for each Variant row, and make sure Excel didn’t increment it, when you copied.
  • You can remove from Excel file all columns which you don’t want to update.
  • You need to set “Variants Add” value only for the first row of each Product.

Where To Go From Here?

  1. Install the Bulk Import Export Update with Excel app from Shopify AppStore and try Free version to add variants on your own store Products.
  2. Get the Template Excel file, or to the Export to generate it from your own store.
  3. Read the detailed Field Descriptions.
  4. Read other Tutorials.
  5. If you are not sure how to prepare the import file, ask our Support, we will teach you, or do that for you.