[WooCommerce] How do I bulk update Autoship data on specific WooCommerce products?

This doc covers how a merchant can update Autoship product data for specific WooCommerce products in bulk. To accomplish this, you will need the WooCommerce Product Importer & Exporter utility. This is one way to update products which allows for more control of which products are updated (for updating all products in bulk, the Autoship Cloud plugin offers Bulk Utilities to do this). 

In this article, we will review one way that merchants can be more selective about which products and variations are included when updates are needed to only specific products. 

What is the WooCommerce Product Importer & Exporter? 

The WooCommerce Product Importer & Exporter allows merchants to download their products to an easy to edit .csv file. Read more about the Product Importer & Exporter in the WooCommerce Product Importer & Exporter documentation.

WooCommerce Product Importer vs Autoship Bulk Utilities

Where the Autoship Cloud Bulk Utilities act on all products, the WooCommerce Product Importer makes it easier to update specific product data in bulk. This avoids having updates apply across all products and avoids having to edit the individual products in WP-Admin > Products one-by-one. All the updates made to the exported products will be automatically synchronized with QPilot upon the import's completion! 

When Should I Use the Product Importer

  • When merchants have a mix of products and where not all products are offered for Autoship
  • When using different product discounts for products
  • When tight control is needed on product availability in QPilot 

Below you will learn what the important Autoship product metadata fields are, and how to update these fields for specific products using the WooCommerce Product importer & Exporter utility.

How to Update Autoship Product Metadata Fields Using the WooCommerce Importer & Exporter?

Step 1: Enable Product for Autoship

We recommend Enabling Autoship on a couple products first, this way Autoship metadata columns will be included in the export automatically. Enabling one simple product and one variable product for Autoship will serve as a template for the values which can be referenced and copied for Autoship Cloud's supported product types. See our doc Enabling Products for Autoship for more details.

Step 2: Export Products from WooCommerce 

Go to  WP-Admin > Products and select "Export" 

  1. Select the (WooCommerce) columns to include in the export
    - Pro-tip: We recommended limiting the exported columns for increased performance in the export 
    1. What Columns are Recommended to Export?
      • Id - WC Product Id / Post Id for the product (Qpilot Product External Id)
      • Name - Product Title for the product, helps quickly identify the product
      • Type - Product Type can be used to filter our non-supported product types
      • Categories - Categories are another good way to identify products desired for autoship or not (for example a water company may not want to enable their “filtration_ systems” category for Autoship but want their” filter”, “salts”, etc. categories to be available)
      • Shipping Class - This will help identify any shipping classes attached to Autoship products so they may be removed if not needed or provide the shipping classes for which Autoship Cloud shipping rates must be created to support
      • Regular Price - Identifies the regular price which can be used to uniquely discount a product’s Autoship prices in the metadata 
  2. Select Product Types to include
    1. QPilot supports Simple, Variable, and Variation product types, filtering out others will help avoid unnecessary products from being exported 
  3. Select the "Yes, export all custom metadata" checkbox (this will make sure your Autoship metadata columns are added to the export
  4. Select "Generate CSV" button to export 

Step 3a: Recommended Minimum Autoship Product Metadata Values to Update

  • Meta:_autoship_sync_active_enabled
    • Set to 'yes' to activate Autoship product sync for the product 
    • Set to 'no' or an empty value to disable Autoship product sync for the product 
  • Meta _autoship_schedule_options_enabled
    • Set to 'yes' to display Autoship options on the product page in the store
    • Set to 'no' or a value so Autoship options are not displayed on the product page in the store
    • (Variable Products Only) This will enable Autoship options by default when set to 'yes' on 'Variable' product types. To disable Autoship options per 'Variation' see the 'Meta: _autoship_dissable_schedule_order_options' below.
  • Meta:_autoship_schedule_order_enabled
    • Set to 'yes' to allow customers to add the product to Scheduled Orders in My Account > Scheduled Orders
    • Set to 'no' or an empty value to disable the product from being added by customers to Scheduled Orders in My Account > Scheduled Orders
    • Set to 'yes' to enable the product to be available for processing on Scheduled Orders 
    • Set to 'no' or an empty value to disable the product from processing on Scheduled Orders 
  • Meta: _autoship_checkout_price
    • This is the checkout price for the product when selected for Autoship
    • Enter a number for the price (for example: '15' or '199.99')
  • Meta: _autoship_recurring_price
    • This is the recurring price (QPilot Sale Price) for the product when added to Scheduled Orders 
    • Enter a number for the price (for example: '15' or '199.99')
  • Meta: _autoship_dissable_schedule_order_options
    • This toggles the Autoship options displayed on variable product pages for particular variations - read more in Autoship Product Settings
    • Set to 'yes' to disable options for a particular 'Variation' 
    • Set to 'no' or an empty value will display Autoship options for the 'Variation'

There are additional Autoship product metadata fields added to WooCommerce products which may also be updated, see all these additional fields in our doc: Autoship Metadata Fields Added to WooCommerce Products

Step 3b: Update Export with Autoship Product Metadata Values

  1. Open the downloaded .csv file of your exported WooCommerce Products in a spreadsheet editor
  2. Update the Autoship columns with the desired values and save the file (as a .csv file)

See below for an example of how a merchant can update specific Autoship product metadata in the product export. The updates will synchronize with QPilot upon import of the updated product export!

Step 4: Import the Updated Product CSV

  1. Go to WP-Admin > Products and select the "Import" button
  2. Upload the updated .csv file from step 3a-b
  3. Select the checkbox "Existing products that match by ID or SKU will be updated. Products that do not exist will be skipped," then select "Continue" button (image below)
  4. On the "Map CSV fields to products" page, no changes are needed: no column labels / headers were updated on the export. 
  5. Select "Run the Import" button: your products will update in WooCommerce, then synchronize those updates to the imported products in QPilot.

Step 5: Review Imported Products in WooCommerce

Review the imported products in WooCommerce and confirm the updates to the products imported 

Examples: How to Empower Your Autoship Program with the WooCommerce Importer / Exporter

Now that you have learned how to use the WooCommerce Product Import / Export utility to update several products at once, you can refer to the examples below for different ways a merchant may benefit from using this utility. 

Enabling Products for Autoship & Scheduled Orders with the Power of Spreadsheets

In the example below the merchant quickly enables their products for Autoship sync, enables Schedule Options on product pages, and enables their products for Scheduled Orders in one update!

Before, the merchant does not have any Autoship options enabled on their product.

The merchant then pastes the value 'yes' to the Autoship product metadata fields on their product export. This enables their products (in bulk) for Autoship sync, enables display of Autoship options on product pages, and enables their products for Scheduled Orders by simply importing the updated .csv file!

After, the merchant reviews their product and sees Autoship enabled for all their products.

Setting Unique Discounts with Formulas

In the example below a merchant sets a discounted price for their Autoship customers (by updating the Autoship Checkout & Recurring price) in bulk quickly by using a formula in Google Sheets.

Respond Quickly to Supply Issues While Protecting Existing Autoship Customers

In the example below, the merchant is experiencing supply chain issues for the Das Beer Boot, so they remove the values autoship_scheduled_options_enabled and autoship_scheduled_order_enabled. This will remove the Autoship radio option from the product's page and removes the product from displaying in the customer's My Account > Scheduled Orders page. However, the metadata value (and option in QPilot) "Meta:_autoship_schedule_process_enabled" remains enabled. This means the merchant can prioritize customers' existing Scheduled Orders with their limited supply! 

After the customers cannot select the product for Autoship on product pages or add it to their Scheduled Order in My Account > Scheduled Orders, However, they prioritize their customers with the product on their existing Scheduled Orders, because they can control their limited inventory better.

Using Categories to Update Autoship Price Discounts on Specific Products

In the example below the merchant exclusively targets the 'Malts' WooCommerce product category to discount their Autoship Checkout & Recurring prices an additional 5% for a promotion in bulk!

Avoid Missing Autoship Cloud Shipping Rates for WooCommerce Products with Shipping Classes 

In the example below the merchant notices they did not create an Autoship Cloud shipping rate for the ' fragile' WooCommerce product shipping class. They are then able to create a shipping rate, and avoid Scheduled Orders failing due to processing error 1002 - Shipping Rate Not Found for Shipping Class ( See more about Scheduled Order Processing Errors)

Fix Errors by Removing Unnecessary Shipping Classes from Products

In the example below the merchant gets a processing error 1002 - Shipping Rate Not Found for Shipping Class ( See more about Scheduled Order Processing Errors). When they review their export they see there is an unnecessary shipping class attached to their products in the "Malts" category and choose to remove it. Upon running the Validation Check on their Scheduled Order after importing their products, the Scheduled Order now passes all validations.