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Creating Products on Shopify: A Cheat Sheet

by Jonathan Kennedy October 19, 2017

A guest article by David Gregoire of Snapshop, the mobile app to photograph all your products with your smartphone.

Are all your products on your Shopify store? As obvious as this question may sound, most stores do not have their full inventory online at the moment. Worse, a lot of them have uploaded their products, but without a proper product picture, name or description.

Whether you have a physical store or not, you won’t sell online your products that are offline!

Since I am obsessed with putting products online, I wish to present simple ways to accelerate product importation on Shopify. While there are free DIY ways to get this done, I am convinced that you can save a lot of time (and money!) using inexpensive services - like Snapshop - to help you with different aspects of importing your products online.

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY

You probably are like most Shopify store owners I talk to: either you shoot your products yourself, or you hire. Each way of getting your products photographed have their advantages and disadvantages.

Most self-shooters are shooting their products to save on cost. While some companies have big teams and spend a lot on their product photography, most stores do not have elaborate and expensive setups to shoot their products. Where people get lost, is after they shot their products. They end up with hundreds, if not thousands, of image files with similar names that they have to classify and group for each product. And that's not it. They have to Photoshop their pictures also!

Photoshopping gets so time-consuming that store owners often end up rounding corners: they won’t Photoshop all their images, they won’t change their file names for SEO or, even worse, they simply won’t import some products on their website. While their pictures wait, their customers are buying their products elsewhere. Facing costly delays, lots of self-shooters end up hiring product photographers ($$$) to shoot and Photoshop their images.

Most hirers are people who are not tech-savvy or really, really, don’t want to spend time shooting products. They still end up with a folder of products’ pictures to import manually and bad file names to optimize.

Hirers still need time to finish the job, because it is incomplete. What is the solution, then? At Snapshop, we don’t believe in photographers anymore. Nor do we believe in DSLR. Your phone has an excellent camera and with the right app, you will be able to get your product photography done in no time.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

After being attracted by your product’s photo, a well thought product’s name and description can make a lot of difference. You need to describe your products well and also “pitch them” by showing their benefits. A good description is informative without being boring and it is engaging without being sell-y.

Your supplier didn’t provide some product’s descriptions to put online?

You don’t feel confident enough in your copywriting abilities?

You should be looking out for a good, but inexpensive, copywriter. They are quite easy to find on websites like freelancer.com. Risks are low since they are reviewed by customers and show past experience. Try finding a copywriter with some experience and great past results who are not charging more than you are willing to pay.

This investment may be as important as your pictures! A good writer writes visually to engage your customers with your products (after they were hooked by your pictures). Show, don’t tell!

As a French Canadian, I also know the value of translating products’ descriptions to my customers’ native language. One hour translation is a great option for hiring freelance translators to do the job. Do you sell a lot in Asia or South America? It may be time for translating your website and product’s description!

PRODUCT IMPORTATION

This is the part everybody forgets, yet despises. Importing products on Shopify is a copying-pasting-clicking nightmare… Unless you import using a single CSV file. At Snapshop we work 100% of the time with CSV files for one-click importation.

You can make one CSV file like this one using Excel or Google Spreadsheets. CSV files are text-only spreadsheets in which columns are separated only by commas. Computers love that. Humans, not so much. Since CSVs are text only, image files are not integrated into them. Consequently, images need to be uploaded online beforehand and linked in the file with a URL. This will produce many URLs that you’ll need to copy into the file and match with the right products (lines)… For your file to work, you need to respect columns’ names. We highly recommend using this template to get started.

Don’t forget to change your photo’s file names to the name of the product it represents. This is a must for SEO since a lot of people shop for items by searching for keywords on Google images! (Google noticed!)

It is still a lot of manipulation, isn’t it?

There is no free way around this:

  • You can find a developer to get some scripts to help integrate, so you copy-paste less.
  • You can get an importation plugin on Shopify (like this one).
  • You can use an integrated product photography solution that helps with product importation. Snapshop is the only one without any file management.


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