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How to import products and variants
How to import products and variants

Easily import new products and variants into Katana using comprehensive templates.

Dayvid Lorbiecke avatar
Written by Dayvid Lorbiecke
Updated over a week ago

Importing products and variants into Katana can be done efficiently through direct connections with e-commerce platforms or by using a spreadsheet template provided by Katana. This process is designed to incorporate product details, and variant structures, aiding in a quick setup and integration of new inventory items.

Importing products and stock from an e-commerce platform

If you sell online and manage product stock on an e-commerce platform (e.g. Shopify), you can connect your e-store to Katana and import all your products to Katana in minutes. Imported products will maintain the same variant structure you have set up in Shopify. Connect your Shopify store.

Since materials are typically not managed on e-commerce platforms, only product stock will be imported. Import materials using our spreadsheet template.

If you need to update stock, take a look at this article for updating Products.

Import products through a spreadsheet

Katana has an Add new products template to import products to Katana. Via the, you can create product variants or add variants to existing products. In the template, you'll find instructions (included as comments) on how to structure the import file to create variants in Katana.

If you already have products and variants in Katana, the imported file will match by Variant code / SKU to avoid duplicating existing items (existing items will not be updated as matched items are skipped during import). To update existing products, use the Update existing products template.

Import products

  1. Find the template in Katana from Settings screen > Data import > Add new products > Download template.

    Where the template for adding new products can be found

  2. Fill in the template.

    To better understand the template's structure, there are comments on column headers which you can find more details about further down in this article. If you have any questions, you can reach us via chat or via email.

  3. Once you've completed filling in the template, save it in .xls or .xlsx format. Remember that a product name must be added for an item to be imported. Any rows missing a product name won't import.

    Creating .xlsx on Mac: Open the spreadsheet in Numbers and choose File > Export to > Excel... from the top menu

    Creating .xlsx in Google Sheets: Open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets and choose File > Download as > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)

  4. In Katana, navigate to Settings screen > Data Import. Click Upload data under Add new products and select the completed template file.

    Shows where to upload a template from the settings screen

  5. Depending on the number of items imported, it may take up to a few minutes to add your products.

    Once the upload completes, you'll receive a message indicating how many items imported.

    Note: If a field in the imported file doesn't match the requirements of the field (e.g. column name doesn't match the template or letters were added to fields that only allow numbers), the data in the field will not import, and that item's field will be left blank in Katana.

    You can find your imported products on the Items screen.

Tips for importing

  1. When uploading, column names must match the template. If column names don't match, the import will likely fail, or parts of the data won't import.

  2. The import template supports product variants creation. The Product name field is used for grouping variants, i.e. rows with matching names will be grouped under the same product card in Katana as variants. Enter different Variant options and Variant values to create variants of the product.

    Example: If you have a product (Table) that comes in white and black color, create two rows with a matching product name "Table", add "Color" to "Variant option 1" for both rows, and enter "White" to the first row and "Black" to the second row for "Variant values 1".

    If there's an existing product in Katana that you want to add variants to, you can import additional variants with the same template. Make sure the "Product name" in the imported file perfectly matches the "Product name" in Katana when adding variants to the product.

  3. Column data will be added to the associated fields in Katana.

  4. Product name is a required field.

  5. Make? and Buy? are required fields. At least one of the two fields needs to include a positive (either Yes, Y, or yes).

Understanding different fields/columns for importing

*Product name (required) - If you have product variants, this field is used to group variants (i.e. rows with matching product names will be grouped under the same product card in Katana).

Category - All variants of the same product should be in the same category. (Max 35 characters allowed).

Unit of measure - All variants of a product should use the same unit of measure. (Max 7 characters allowed).

*Make? - Products in Katana can be made in your workshop and/or bought directly from suppliers. By adding "Yes" to the Make? column, you'll enable Product recipes and Production operations for the product.

*Buy? - Adding "Yes" to the Buy? column means you'll be able to add products to purchase orders in Katana and defines the Default purchase price and Default supplier on the product card.

Note: You can enter "Yes" to both Make and Buy columns or one or the other.

* = Required

Product tracking - Enable batch or serial number tracking for products by entering

  • batch” to enable batch tracking

  • serial” to enable serial number tracking

  • no/none” to disable tracking

If the field is left empty, the item will be set with no tracking. Batch tracking and serial number tracking is an item-level feature, not a variant-level setting. We recommend using the same setting for all the variants of the same product item.


Product tracking is part of the Full Traceability add-on and the field only shows in the template if you're on a plan that offers it.

Variant code / SKU - We recommend using unique Variant codes for each product variant.

Supplier item code - You can assign one or more supplier item barcodes to identify raw materials and purchasable products. Multiple barcode numbers have to be separated by a comma "," to your item variant as a supplier item code. Supplier item codes are only imported if the supplier item code is switched on in barcode settings.


This feature is available on a Standard or higher plan, the field only displays in the template if you're on a higher plan.

Internal barcode - One unique internal barcode can be assigned to track inventory movements. The barcode number has to be between 3-40 digits.
The internal barcode only imports if internal barcodes are switched on from barcode settings.


If internal barcodes are generated automatically, they won't be imported.


This feature is available on a Standard or higher plan, the field only displays in the template if you're on a higher plan.

Note: if you need to import internal barcodes and still want to generate barcodes automatically, switch off automatic barcode generation, import internal barcodes, and switch barcode generation back on.

Registered barcode - One registered barcode can be assigned to retail products. The registered barcode number can be between 3-140 digits.
The registered barcode only imports if internal barcodes are switched on from the barcode settings.

This feature is available on a Standard or higher plan, the field only displays in the template if you're on a higher plan.

Variant option 1 - This column defines the characteristics of the product variants. It is the attribute of the item that differentiates the variants. E.g. "Color", "Size", "Type". Leave it blank if you don't have product variants.

Variant value 1 - The values for the "Variant option 1". E.g. if you have defined "Color" as the "Variant option 1", values might be "Red" for one row and "Blue" for the other row (if you have 2 color variants of the product, for example).

Variant option 2 - This column defines another characteristic of product variants. For example, a product can come in different colors and sizes. In this case, use "Color" for "Variant option 1" and "Size" for "Variant option 2".

Variant value 2 - The values for the "Variant option 2". E.g. if you have defined "Size" as the "Variant option 2", values might be "Small" for one row and "Large" for the other row (if you have 2 size variants for the same color of the product, for example).

Note: Add columns for variant options and values if you have more than 2 variant options per product. Name the columns in the same format, e.g. "Variant option 3", "Variant value 3" etc.

Default sales price - Value is per unit of measure and in your base currency. You can set the base currency inside Settings screen > General. Numbers only, up to 9 decimal places.

Default supplier - Fill in if you have chosen 'Yes' in the Buy? column. The product supplier is added to purchase orders (PO) in Katana by default, but can be edited on each PO. All of a product's variants should have the same default supplier.

Default purchase price - Fill in if you have chosen 'Yes' in the Buy? column. (Numbers only, up to 9 decimal places.)

  • Starter plan: Value is per unit of measure and in your base currency. You can set the base currency inside Katana Settings screen > General.

  • Standard, Professional, Professional Plus plans: Value is per unit of measure and in your supplier currency. By default, supplier currency is your base currency. Read about purchase prices in foreign currencies.

Purchase UoM - Fill this in if you have chosen "Yes" in the Buy? column and if you buy this product in a different unit of measure then you track your inventory.

Note. If you enter a purchase UoM, then the value in the Default purchase price is also considered in this purchase unit of measure.

Conversion rate - Only fill this in if you have filled in the "Purchase UoM" field. It's the conversion rate of the purchase UoM to the tracking UoM.

Note. If you enter purchase UoM and do not specify the conversion rate or vice versa, then both values are not imported.

Additional info - This info is stored on the product card (the same info for all variants of the product). All variants of the same product should have the same additional info.


Your feedback is invaluable. Let us know your thoughts on this article or anything in Katana you'd like to see improved: [email protected]

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