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How To Bulk Edit Product Descriptions In Shopify

bulk-update-description

In Shopify, your product description is a great opportunity to not just provide information to your store’s visitors, but actually persuade them to make a purchase and become a customer. The key is to not just tell them about the features of your product but explain what the benefits are to the user. 

Often when launching a new Shopify store, there are so many other things to think about that the product descriptions are kept quite short, or treated as “placeholder text”, providing the bare minimum of information needed.

If you’re thinking of giving your product descriptions a refresh, or have updates to make, a good place to start is this article from Shopify

But when it comes to editing or updating Shopify Product descriptions manually in the platform, it can take some time. This is because you need to open each product in the admin and do the update one by one.

Matrixify (formerly Excelify) speeds up the process and allows you to bulk edit Product descriptions, saving you time to focus on other areas of your business. You can do this by exporting and importing only product descriptions without updating other product data.

Here is our guide on how you can do just that!

Steps in short on how to update or edit Shopify product descriptions in bulk

  1. Export Products with Basic Columns.
  2. Update the product descriptions in Excel via the the Body HTML column.
  3. Import the file back into Shopify using Matrixify.

Tips and tricks

The Product descriptions are Exported from Shopify in HTML code in the Body HTML column. If you are not confident when it comes to coding or have no experience with code at all, then the best way to create HTML for a Product is to write a Description in the Shopify Admin for one Product, format it as you like, and then do the export. Then, you will see how that translates into HTML, and will be able to apply the same to other Products.

The Matrixify app also helps make editing or updating Shopify product descriptions easier by automatically dealing with common issues that occure when importing or exporting code. These include:

  • Converting text to UTF-8 encoding.
  • Automatically removing invalid characters like “_x000D_”, “”, (ask ourSupport team if there are any other invalid characters that need to be removed).
  • Converting plain text to HTML if this is not HTML already – so that you have proper newlines and basic formatting.
  • Optionally removing images from HTML (if the checkbox is enabled in Import Options).

1. Export Products

Go into the Matrixify app and create a new Export.

You do not have to export every column to bulk update your Product description, you only need to export “Basic Columns”. Your New Export set-up should look like this:

Product Export Basic columns

If you do not need to edit the description for all Shopify Products, you can apply filters to the Export and Export only the Products that you need.

You can set filters by pressing the “Filter” button when creating your export. Read more about Filters in Matrixify “How it works” page.

To simplify the process even further, you can go to the “Advanced” section of the Export page and select only the minimal columns required to update the Product description.

Those columns would be – ID, Handle and Body HTML.

Advanced Basic Columns export

2. Edit the product descriptions

In the Exported file you will see the column Body HTML. This is the Product description. 

The description will be Exported in HTML code, however, do not worry, it is not as scary as it looks! The HTML code is there so that Shopify knows how to format the text properly so it looks good in the front end of your store. You can go ahead and edit the text in the code.
Here is a great page that explains the basics of how text is formatted with HTML code.

If you are experienced in HTML code, then you can also apply any extra code you like and it will be included in your import. You can add additional images, videos, links to other Products or sites, tables, and so on to the product description as well by using HTML code.

You can also write the description in plain text (without the HTML code). However, then it will not be formatted in Shopify.

The data import spreadsheet should look something like this:

Body HTML update

In this example, two Products will be updated.

3.Import the file back into Shopify using Matrixify

All that is left to do is to save your file and Import it back into Shopify using Matrixify!

Go back into the Matrixify app and in the Home page Import section, you can upload the file.
First, the file will be analyzed by the app. Once the file is analyzed you need to check that the app has recognized the file correctly and that the item count in the file looks correct.

You do not need to adjust any Import Options, default ones will work fine.

Product description Import

Then press the “Import” button in the top right-hand corner and the file will start Importing.

Once the import has started, you can follow its progress in the app.
You can close the app while the import is running as it is happening on our servers.

Product description Import Result

If you change your mind about something, you can press the “Cancel” button to cancel the import job, and start over. Thus far imported Products will already have the updated descriptions in your Shopify store.

Also, when canceling the import job, Matrixify will still generate the Import Results file for you for the items that were imported before canceling.

Enjoy your bulk updated Product Descriptions!

Once the import is finished, you will see the job status as “Finished” in the Matrixify app.

If you see any Failed items, then after the import has finished, you can download the Import Results file and look at the Import Comment column. It will tell why the particular Product failed. Then you can fix that issue and re-import just the Products that failed with the fixed rows again.

To see if your descriptions have updated, go to Shopify Admin -> Products and open a Product for which you just updated the description.

Updated Product Description

Good to know!