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Get up and running faster: Product importer, shipping service, extension management

Written by Aviva Pinchas on June 28, 2017 News, Product News.

TL;DR: An update is available for WooCommerce! To make the process as smooth as possible, view our documentation on how to update , make a backup, update your extensions, and finally update WooCommerce via your WordPress Dashboard.

Looking for technical details? Read “ WooCommerce 3.1 has landed” at the Develop WooCommerce blog.

Since our 3.0 release in April, we’ve been working on a slew of improvements to make it faster and simpler to get up and running with WooCommerce:

  • Save time with the new, built-in import/export feature to add and update product information
  • Manage subscriptions directly in WooCommerce
  • Ship products more easily in the US and Canada by setting up WooCommerce Shipping

Existing stores also have new features to enhance their online storefronts — inline ‘Terms and Conditions’ in checkout, embedded videos and more in short descriptions — and improve their workflow — assigning an order to a customer for payment, updating stock status for all variations at once. And we added search helpers for developers.

That’s a lot!l Let’s dig into details.

Add or update product information with our new built-in tool

Adding products is a critical step when setting up your store. Before this release, you had two options:

  • Manually set up each product – fine for stores with a few products, but not scalable
  • Purchase an extension – fine for established stores with orders coming in, but pricey for newcomers

What we found was stores who had a meaningful number of products, but weren’t actively selling, hit a wall during setup. To make it easier, we added a product import/export tool in WooCommerce.

The import tool allows you to upload all product information to WooCommerce, including name, short description, regular price and sale, and more. You can also import any standard product type, including variations using a single CSV file.

In addition to first-time stores, existing stores can use this same tool to bulk update information.For example: If you decide to put all the products in one category on sale, or to keep information across different systems in-sync, or if you have multiple storefronts, or if  selling on a marketplace outside of your store. The importer will match up data based on product ID or SKU.

On the export side, you can decide what pieces of information to export, and export one, some or all product types, and export custom meta data.

In time, this functionality in core will replace our Product CSV Import Suite extension. Since we know many customers have workflows built around this extension, we’ll phase it out over the next few WooCommerce releases. For now, we lowered the price and added a notice so customers understand plans around this product.

Manage subscriptions without an extra plugin

We know the folks running Woo stores have big dreams and sometimes specific needs. To meet those needs, we offer a wide variety of extensions on to customize your store.

Now we’ve brought the experience of downloading and activating extensions right into WooCommerce. You purchase, you download, you activate. No added steps; no confusion.

Connect your account
New ‘connect your account’ screen in WooCommerce

Adding this functionality to WooCommerce means customers have an easier time getting started. Instead of adding a new plugin and copy/pasting subscription keys, customers simply connect their WooCommerce site to their account and then download and activate extensions all within WP Admin.

This new feature also:

  • Creates a more secure connection between your store and
  • Shows which products you purchased but not activated, so you can easily activate
  • Attempts to activate subscriptions when you activate a plugin, combining two steps in one
Subscription management in WooCommerce
Manage subscriptions in WooCommerce itself

New customers can see the Extensions screen under Extensions in WP Admin, and read the documentation about managing Subscriptions if they need help connecting their account. Existing stores that already have the WooThemes Helper activated only need to update to WooCommerce 3.1.

Because this new feature creates a one-to-one link between an account and a store, only valid subscriptions purchased on the connected account will show on the connected store. If you purchased extensions on behalf of someone else, you can contact us to transfer subscriptions to a new owner.

Ship physical goods and print labels in the US and Canada without copy/pasting order details

Just over a year ago, we announced we were working on a new and more stable way to enjoy  WooCommerce features without adding an extension for each one – WooCommerce Services.

Now you can add live shipping rates for USPS and Canada Post and print discounted shipping labels for USPS without leaving your store.

WooCommerce onboarding - shipping options
Install WooCommerce Shipping directly from the onboarding wizard

Using the onboarding wizard, new stores can enable WooCommerce Shipping (our first service), and the WooCommerce Services plugin will be installed on your site.

WooCommerce Shipping shows live rates from USPS and Canada Post, so customers pay the correct amount for shipping.

As a bonus, you can also print USPS shipping labels directly from WooCommerce and enjoy discounted rates. No need to copy/paste order details from your store to the USPS site – fewer errors, less time wasted and cheaper shipping. #win

Print shipping labels directly in WooCommerce
Print shipping labels without leaving WooCommerce

Existing stores can also add WooCommerce Shipping and take advantage of these features.

Updates to short descriptions, checkout and more

And there’s more! We added a few other bits and bobs to tweak the WooCommerce experience.

First, you can now use oEmbed in short descriptions, which means store owners can add videos and other rich media throughout their site.

Next we rolled our Terms and Conditions Pop-Up extension into WooCommerce, allowing you to present customers with Terms and Conditions to accept during checkout. ‘Terms’ open up on the page when the link is clicked, and customers can review without leaving checkout.

New terms and conditions feature in WooCommerce
Let customers accept ‘Terms and conditions’ without leaving checkout

Store owners who sometimes need to send a payment page for a specific order to a customer can see two improvements:

  • Customers not assigned to the order will see a message informing them that they can’t pay for the order.
  • Logged-out customers will be prompted to log in, if the store requires it.
Customer payment page for logged out customers
Logged-out customers will be prompted to log in before paying for an order

And finally, we made it easier to update stock status for variations: you can now bulk-update all variations to ‘In stock’ or ‘Out of Stock.’

For developers: search helpers (WC_Order_Query class)

With every release, we like to add backend improvements for the many developers building on top of WooCommerce. This time around: search.

wc_get_orders and WC_Order_Query provide a standard and safe way of retrieving orders that will not break due to database changes in future WooCommerce versions. This is the recommended method for plugin and theme developers to retrieve multiple orders, similar to WordPress get_posts and WP_Query.

Learn more about how to use these.

Your update is waiting

Ready to give it a shot? Review our documentation about how to update, make sure backups are in place, and then grab the update in WP Admin.

We’re here if you need us:

Please note that we are not able to diagnose or solve potential issues via blog comments. The fastest way to get in touch with us is one of the methods listed above.

For specific info on 3.1, potential compatibility issues and ongoing updates are on our Develop WooCommerce blog .

What do you think of our latest release? Let us know in the comments! We are always excited to read your feedback.


20 Responses

  1. Erik
    July 3, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    Looking for some info on where that import / export lives now for products.

    I checked our setup and its 3.1.0
    We have no need for CSV import suite anymore, and the doc located after this line is the only thing referencing import / export.

    Where do I find the new product export / import tool?

    • Paul
      July 3, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

      In your admin panel, go to Products -> Advanced Bulk Edit. You can filter your products and there is an option to export to csv. I don’t see an option to import however so this may not be what they’re talking about.

    • Ryan Ray
      July 5, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

      Hi Erik,

      If you head into manage your products you’ll see new Import & Export buttons next to the existing Add New button.

      Here are the docs on the CSV tool in core now.

  2. Scott
    July 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    Hope that there is a way to print labels with Canada Post at some point. That would be so good.

  3. Daniel Höly
    July 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm #


    Where do I activate “Terms and Conditions Pop-Up”? When I click on the terms, it currently doesn’t open in a pop-up.


  4. Jacky Makany
    July 7, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    Nice post! This really helps me to find the answers to my question. but I still got the error so who can send another document to me? Thanks a lot!.

  5. Adrian Wackernah
    July 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    As with 3.1 the old way of storing keys for extensions in Woo helper plugin disappeared. But this is not a friendly way. I did a plugin purchase for a shop owner who has no credit card. Yes, thats true. Believe, here in germany only few people have credit cards at all. But now even if he is creating a coount and I tell you to move the key to his account, he will not get any updates after one year, because he can not store a credit card in his account. How the hell shall we go on?

    And one point to the new renew prices for plugins here at Woothemes: I think if I bought a extension for a price with a renew of half the price the plugin costs first, I would have that for future too. We made a kind of contract, didn’t we, as I purchased extension first? Please overthink that.

  6. Daniel Höly
    July 10, 2017 at 9:01 am #

    By the way: I totally agree with Adrian Wackernah: In Germany many people still don’t have/use a credit card. So it’s annoying to be forced to pay via credit card. Why no PayPal (anymore) or other services? PayPal made it so easy to buy your extensions.

  7. Syrehn
    July 11, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    3.1 seriously botched the “Helper” functionality.

    WooCommerce Helper was roled into core but no longer provides the option to manually enter a license into a license field. You HAVE to use a connected account to get updates.

    The issue with this is those of us who have multi seat licenses or unlimited licenses and provide those to our clients. We have no way to give them updates now unless we update all their plugins manually.

    Signing in with our account gives the client access to ALL the licenses we have purchased; not just the ones they need on their site. Likewise if we create a “Collaborator” account we can’t just assign specific licenses to that account and again, they get access to ALL the licenses we have on our account.

    I feel like this is a sneaky way to force dev’s and agencies away from their “lifetime” licenses because Woo has now made it impossible for us to use our keys for auto updates on client sites.

    Seriously not happy.

  8. Adrian Wackernah
    July 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

    Thats me too like Syrehn as I am in same situation. Perhaps, I didn’t think about this, because I have customers / clients too which have some extensions installed which are purchased by me.

    By the way, this kind of connecting Woo and site accounts together knocks users out of update process on site in case of example Sensei. Support told me, that sites with Sensei but without WooCommerce will be told, to use helper plugin but if WooCommerce is installed, helper gets deactivated by WC 3.1.x. In this case the updater in WC 3.1 does not work. I have a installation with Sensei and WC 3.1 and site connected to Woo but not be able to update Sensei in Backend. Instead I have to download a copy, extract it and copy it over to my site by ftp. I am in this case a bit lost.

    • Syrehn
      July 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

      So you’re saying that Sensei doesn’t show up in the new 3.1 built in Helper as an update?

      If so, that’s stupid. How can they expect you to use Sensei + WooCommerce + the old Helper when 3.1 deactivates it…

      I honestly don’t know if they seriously thought out the ramifications of the new built in Helper and it’s boggling my mind.

      I’d like to think this isn’t a sneaky attempt to kill off multi-seat/unlimited license s (for those of us that have them still) but it’s hard to put faith in Woo lately. Especially after their sneaky removal of 50% off license renewals.

      (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  9. Marco
    July 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I was searching for a great import tool. I thought I have to buy a good one. But this post saved my money 😉
    Thanks and greetings from Berlin


    • Kat
      July 17, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks so much for your comment! That’s one reason we wanted to include it in core. 😀

  10. Global Exchain
    July 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    Found your blog. Its really valuable for worldwide shipping services. I appreciate your article.

  11. Matthew
    July 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm #


    I am trying to use the import option and I am unable to upload variations as they do not show on the product in the admin, why? Also I have noticed that there isn’t an option for Brand, How can I add this? otherwise works a treat..

  12. Paula
    July 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    Thanks for the always great additions! I can’t wait till your bookable plugin works for my website, so I don’t have to look for other options. I know it will eventually 😀 you always add such great stuff. But sooner is preferable to later 😉

  13. Nikhil Kumar
    July 28, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    I really found your article very interesting.. great one..