“What’s the best way to import Etsy listings into Woocommerce?”
That’s the question I get all the time from handmade artists and makers who want to expand beyond Etsy with their own store. And for a long time there hasn’t been a good answer.
But today there are several options, some free, and some costing over $100. So which one is the best?
Before we get started, a quick note on affiliate links. None of the links in this article, or anywhere else on my site, are affiliate links. When I recommend a product or service I do it because I think it’s the best, and for no other reason. But I am not you — so read what I have to say and decide what’s best for your store.
For this article I’ve tested Woocommerce CSV Import, the Woocommerce add-on to WP All Import, Etsy Importer, and Woocommerce Etsy Importer using a clean install of WordPress 4.8.2, Woocommerce 3.1.2, and version 3.2.1 of the Storefront Theme. A client of mine was generous enough to provide me with access to their Etsy shop so I had listing data to test. And here’s what I found:
Some Pretty Good Ways to Import Etsy Listings into Woocommerce
Etsy allows you to download a CSV file containing your shop’s product info. Woocommerce CSV Import and the Woocommerce add-on for WP All Import both work by importing that CSV file. Due to that they have a few shortcomings:
- The CSV file doesn’t include Etsy’s SKUs, so if you need those you’ll need to enter them manually
- For best results you need to edit the CSV file’s data manually before importing, especially the categories, sections, and tags
- How images are handled is inconsistent, and neither plugin gives your image files SEO-friendly file names or alt tags
Woocommerce CSV Import and the Woocommerce add-on for WP All Import are also expensive: €52.50 for Woocommerce CSV Import and all the options (support for variable products, attributes, grouped products, and custom fields), and a whopping $139 for WP All Import and its Woocommerce add-on.
Etsy Importer is a bit of an oddball. It doesn’t rely on Etsy’s CSV export, instead using their API service to connect directly to Etsy. But it doesn’t import products into Woocommerce; instead it creates them as a custom post type that you can’t actually sell on your WordPress + Woocommerce site. Effectively it’s a super-advanced version of Etsy’s own Mini Store, and as such it doesn’t quite hit the mark as a useful way to import Etsy listings into Woocommerce.
The Best Way to Import Etsy Listings into Woocommerce
That leaves Woocommerce Etsy Importer. At $49 for a single site, it won’t break the bank. It uses Etsy’s API, so it’s more robust and capable than CSV-based options. It will automatically rename your image files with SEO-friendly file names and create alt tags for them. And you can even set it up to re-import your Etsy listings and update your Woocommerce products on a schedule.
That said: if you are using the Woocommerce Etsy Importer plugin in a one-shot export of your Etsy store before you close it, or if you will be selling one set of items on Etsy and another on Woocommerce with no overlap, you can pretty much charge on ahead.
How to use the Woocommerce Etsy Importer Plugin
Step 1: Get your Etsy API Key
If all that legalese hasn’t scared you off (and don’t let it), the first thing you need to do is log in to your Etsy account at etsy.com/developers. You’ll see the Etsy Developers home screen; click on “Create a New App” on the left:
This will take you to a form that you’ll need to fill out as shown here. Just replace the website URL with your own:
Hit “Read Terms and Create App” and you’re all set! On the next screen, click “See API Key Details”. Copy down the Keystring and the Shared Secret — you’ll need them when you set up the WooCommerce Etsy Importer plugin:
Step 2: Install the Woocommerce Etsy Importer Plugin
Now that you’ve gotten your Etsy API Key, it’s time to head over to your Woocommerce store and install the plugin. As of this writing the plugin is available for purchase for US$49 at the developer’s site. Once you have it installed and activated, you’ll see a new “Etsy Importer” item in the Admin sidebar of your site:
Click on the “Etsy Importer” item and you’ll be taken to the License Activation screen. Enter your license key, hit “Save Changes”, and then hit “Activate License”:
Now you’re ready to set up the plugin to import your first Etsy listings into Woocommerce!
Step 3: Connect the Plugin to Etsy
It’s time to use the Etsy API Keystring you copied down in Step 1. On the plugin’s “Connect” tab, paste the Keystring into the field labeled “Etsy API Key” and the Shared Secret into the field labeled “Etsy Secret”.
Then hit “Save & Verify” and the plugin will test your API connection.
You should see the messages “API Keys are Okay!” and “Shop ID is Okay!” as shown above. If you don’t, make sure you’ve typed both the API Key and Shop ID correctly and that you’re connected to the internet.
Step 4: Configure the Plugin
Move on to the “Settings” tab, and take a moment to collect yourself after you see the giant list of configuration options. But no fear: I’ve tested them all, and here’s how you should configure everything:
- External Product / Affiliate or Standard Product: Unless you are an Etsy Affiliate, you should use the “Standard Listing (Includes Variations)” Product Type. If you are an Etsy Affiliate, drop me a line and let me know how this plugin might work for you.
- Unique ID Settings (SKU): These are up to you. You can either have the importer assign the SKUs from Etsy (the “Use Etsy Listings” option), or generate new ones (“Auto Generate Unique IDs”). Which you choose depends on the needs of your store. Note that if you want to use the automatic updating feature, you must use Etsy’s SKUs without any prefix, because that is how the plugin will determine which Woocommerce listing corresponds to which Etsy listing.
- Language: Select the language your Etsy Shop and your Website are in.
- Product Title: Again, these options depend on how you have your stores set up. If you have very long Etsy listing titles that include keywords they will hurt your SEO and won’t translate that well into Woocommerce (Woocommerce has a dedicated Tag field that handles this). These settings give you the option for truncate your Etsy listing titles according to a rule.
- Product Description: This section is very useful for making modifications to all of your listing descriptions when you import your listings to WooCommerce.“Batch Remove Content” will remove specific text from all of the listings you’re importing, and “Add Content to Top” and “Add Content to Bottom” do exactly what they say. Finally, you can tell the imported to only import a certain number of paragraphs. For example, if all of your descriptions have 2 paragraphs of item-specific info followed by shop policies and instructions, you can have the importer only import the first 2 paragraphs and skip the rest.
- Images: Unless you have a specific reason not to you should select “Include Images”, Set “Method” to “Import Full Quality Images”, and enable “Change Image Names”. Select “First Image Only” if for some reason you only want to import the Featured Image from all of your listings. Don’t select the “Remove Duplicates” option unless you are performing an update and not a new import, and even then I’d suggest keeping it off to prevent any accidental deletions of images.
- Categories: Choose the “Assign ALL Etsy’s Listing Categories” here. You’ll need to do some category clean-up after import, but there’s really no way to avoid that. If you choose the “Assign Only the Lowest Category Level” you’ll end up with Child categories with no Parent in Woocommerce, which is a pain to resolve.
- Sections: Choose “Add Product Section as Category” unless you have a good reason to choose one of the other options. Again, plan on doing some Category and Tag clean-up after your import.
- Post Status: Draft or Auto-Publish — your choice depending on your setup.
- Stock Management and Tax Status: Again, how you configure these are your choice based on your setup.
- Product Excerpt: I recommend using the WordPress/Woocommerce standard of 55 words. Depending on how your theme displays the excerpts you might need to go back and edit them yourself to prevent awkward cutoffs, but since Etsy has no concept of an Excerpt as a separate object from the Description there’s no way around this.
- External Link: Uncheck “Add Etsy’s Product URL” unless you are not selling anything through your site and want to send customers back to Etsy to make their purchase, or you have some other unique circumstances.
- Reviews: Once more this depends on your store and your theme.
- Product Variations: Whether you import Product Variations or assign those Variations their own SKU is your choice, but DO NOT select “Assign a Default Variation on Import” if this is your first import. It will result in broken variations with attributes that aren’t assigned properly.
- Sale Notes: Once more this is up to you, but I recommend not including Sales Notes in each product on Woocommerce. It’s usually better to put those types of terms & conditions on their own page, unless they contain special instructions specific to a product or product category.
Still with me? I know, that was a lot of configuration and a lot of decisions, even with some help. Once you have everything set the way you want it, click the big “Save Settings” button and you probably won’t have to touch these settings again. Now it’s time for the big reveal: it’s time to import your Etsy listings into Woocommerce!
Step 5: Import Your Etsy Listings into Woocommerce
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, and I’m sure you’re just itching to import everything. But try to contain your enthusiasm for a moment and run a test import with just a few items.
During import, the plugin downloads all your listing data and images from Etsy on to your computer, and then uploads all of that data to your Woocommerce web server. This can take some time, especially if you have a lot of listings, high-res images, or a slow internet connection where you are working.
So it’s a good idea to make sure everything is working correctly by importing a few test items.
The plugin gives you two ways to select certain items to import: by ID and by item order. Item Order is the order that each listing was created, but figuring that out can be a pain especially if you want to import an item in the middle of your inventory — you have to manually count backwards from the start to figure out its number.
I prefer using the item ID (its SKU), which is unique to the listing and therefore a little more foolproof. To find a listing’s ID, look at the URL of that listing’s page. It’ll look something like this:
The ID is the number between “listing” and the product title (don’t include either of the slashes). Select the “Specific Listings” Mode on the plugin’s “Import” tab, and type in the IDs of the listings you want to import, separated by commas:
Don’t select “Overwrite Duplicates” if this is your first import.
Now it’s time to hit the big “Import” button and let the plugin do its magic!
You’ll see the Import status page, which shows a running log of what the plugin is doing during the import process. This can be useful for troubleshooting or making sure things are still working. Don’t close the import window, quit your web browser, turn off your computer or put it to sleep, or disconnect from the internet until the import is complete. If you do any of these things it will halt the import process.
Once you see “Import Complete” in the upper right corner of the log, it’s time to check out your items!
Step 6: Clean-Up
After the import is done, you’ll see all your imported items in the Woocommerce Products listing:
If everything looks good, delete your test products and import everything. This can take a while if you have a lot of listings, so plan accordingly.
You will probably have to use Woocommerce’s Bulk Edit tool to clean up the Categories and Tags, but aside from that the listings will be ready to go. For comparison, here are screen shots of actual imported listings.
First, the original listings on Etsy…
…and for comparison, the same listings after being imported into Woocommerce:
Here is what we see if we click on an individual listing on Etsy…
…and here is the same listing after being imported into Woocommerce:
This instance of Woocommerce is using the default, unstyled Storefront theme so it could use some UI and UX tweaks, but item for item all of the information from the Etsy listing has been imported into the Woocommerce store automatically and is ready to be sold.
If you want to Import Etsy Listings into Woocommerce, This is Your Answer
The Woocommerce Etsy Importer plugin has made what used to be nearly impossible impossibly easy. Its price also undercuts the competition by quite a bit, and throughout my testing whenever I had questions for the developer I got prompt and easy-to-understand answers (I never mentioned I was writing a review so I can only assume he treats all customers this well).
If you have decided that it’s time to take control of your online store and expand your business beyond Etsy, you now have one less obstacle standing in your way.