Adding products is one of the first steps when setting up a WooCommerce store.
It is a good idea for store owners to learn how to do this manually, if for no other reason than to become familiar with all the WooCommerce product options and features. But, eventually, you're going to want to automate the process, especially if you start receiving product lists and updates from your suppliers.
When you first start out, you can take an initial step toward automation by using WooCommerce's built-in import tool, which you can access on the Products page:
This will allow you to select an import file, as well as choose whether to update existing products or only import new ones. It will also let you map the incoming data elements to target fields, which you can see here:
But as you'll soon discover, this tool is far too limited for real-world scenarios. For example:
We could add another half-dozen bullet points to this list of shortcomings, but you get the idea. To maintain product info in a real-world WooCommerce store, you're going to need more advanced product import features. To get those, you'll need a product import plugin.
In this article, we describe the five best WooCommerce product import plugins on the market.
WP All Import is unquestionably the top import plugin in the WooCommerce and WordPress landscape.
Its core features allow you to:
In addition to all this, WP All Import will automatically detect and handle the fields of most 3rd-party themes and plugins, as well as most custom fields added in other ways. You can also import data to multilingual sites.
Another advantage of this plugin is that you can use it to import every other type of WooCommerce data (orders, customers, subscriptions, etc.) and WordPress data (users, categories, tags, etc.) using the same convenient drag-and-drop interface.
This means that you can buy one import plugin and you'll never have to buy another, regardless of what you're trying to import.
Finally, if you pair this plugin with its sister plugin, WP All Export, you can perform product bulk edits and migrations with no configuration required for the import part of the process.
For more information, see Import WooCommerce Products from CSV, XML, or Excel.
This plugin lets you import products from a CSV or XML file, as well as download them via a URL or FTP/SFTP.
Using this plugin, you can filter your imports and schedule them to run automatically. You can also choose to update existing products, skip new products found in the CSV while importing (in case you just want to perform an update), or delete existing products that are not present in the CSV, much as you can with WP All Import, though with considerably less control at the field level.
Because you can also export products with this plugin, it can be used for both product bulk edits and migrations, similar to the combination of WP All Export and WP All Import.
The biggest limitation with this plugin is that you can't modify data on the fly, so if there's a disagreement between the format of an incoming data element and its target field, you'll either have to modify the import file or do some custom programming. That's not exactly convenient.
This plugin is also not compatible with leading plugins like Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), Gravity Forms, Toolset Types, etc., so if you've used those plugins to modify your site, you won't be able to import data into their fields.
Another major flaw is that while Product Import Export for WooCommerce can be paired with other Webtoffee plugins to import most WooCommerce data types, there is no combination that allows you to import/export most WordPress data types. So, if you suddenly find yourself in need of that, you'll have to add yet another plugin (or more) into the mix.
It is primarily for these limitations that we rank this plugin behind WP All Import.
To learn more, see Product Import Export for WooCommerce.
Similar to Webtoffee, you can import and export all WooCommerce data with this plugin, and some but not all WordPress data.
It has good coverage of a range of file formats, including CSV, XML, Excel, and JSON. It provides good filter and scheduling capabilities. And it's compatible with Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) and both WPML and Polylang for language support, but not with Gravity Forms or Toolset Types.
Our biggest hesitation with this plugin is that its customer ratings are below that of both WP All Import and Webtoffee, with the most common complaints revolving around code quality (bugs) and customer service.
For additional information, see Woo Import Export.
This plugin allows you to upload a CSV, Excel, TXT, or TSV file (but not XML) or to download a file via a URL or FTP.
It lets you map incoming data elements to WooCommerce product fields but lacks the ability to modify incoming data on the fly. Because of this, as with Webtoffee's plugin, you'll have to handle data mismatches either by manually modifying the import file beforehand or by custom programming a solution.
As with all the preceding plugins on this list, this plugin lets you control whether you want your import to only import new products, change existing products, or delete products that no longer apply. It also does a great job of handling product images and attributes/variations.
So what are its drawbacks?
There are three main ones:
Together, these drawbacks have pushed this plugin into the #4 position.
To learn more, see Product Importer Deluxe.
This is a WooCommerce extension meant to compensate for some of the shortcomings of the default product import tool. It achieves this mainly by doing a better job of handling variable products and recognizing the custom fields of some popular WooCommerce add-ons.
However, this plugin still has significant limitations, including:
Also, similar to the Product Importer Deluxe, the focus of this plugin is so narrow that, should you need to import WooCommerce orders and customers, not to mention WordPress data types, you'll find yourself trying to patch together multiple plugins to cover all your import needs, each with its own interface, instructions, etc.
To additional information, see Product CSV Import Suite.
If you want to handle all aspects of importing WooCommerce products, as well as every other WooCommerce and WordPress data type, there is only one plugin on this list that will meet your needs: WP All Import.
Add WP All Export into the mix, and you have complete import/export coverage for all data types in the WooCommerce and WordPress landscape, all while using the exact same interface and processes.
That's our preferred model, which is why we use WP All Import/Export on this site.
After that, your choice is really a matter of compromise. If you want an import/export plugin with as much coverage of the WooCommerce data types as WP All Import/Export, you'll find yourself in a tug of war between Webtoffee's Product Import Export for WooCommerce vs Woo Import Export. Webtoffee has a better reputation for code quality and customer service, but Woo Import Export has that valuable embedded function feature that allows you to modify data on the fly. That's a bit of a coin toss.
The Product Importer Deluxe is an excellent choice if a) you're only concerned with product imports and b) you can live without filtering and scheduling. But that obviously depends on your needs.
Lastly, the Product CSV Import Suite isn't really on this list because of its strengths. It's on it because so many people opt to go from the default import tool to this suite (due to its association with WooCommerce) that we wanted to describe it for you and put it in the context of more capable tools.
We hope this information helps you.