Managing Products for Shopify

Once Artisan is integrated with your online store, selling products with Shopify is easy. Simply enter your products into Artisan, and they automatically get uploaded to your site – syncing with any changes made in the program.

This article was written with the assumption that you already have the Artisan Task Manager set up and configured to connect to your Shopify site. Otherwise, please contact CerTek to schedule your installation.

This is a simple step-by-step tutorial on putting one product on your Shopify site:


Mission 1

Put this Navy Mug in Shopify via Artisan POS.

Step 1:

Edit your Item Record for the item you want to be on the site. Enter in all the usual fields:
Description, Category, Vendor, Cost, Price, Quantity On Hand

Step 2:

Add the product image by clicking on the Images Tab and then importing your image. The image becomes part of your database.

Browse to the file you want and import it by clicking Open.
You can replace an unwanted image in the same way. Click on the red X to remove it.

Step 3:

Click on the Internet Store Tab and change the three fields as shown.

Here’s the text for the Detailed Description: Copy this text into the “Detailed Description” field.

<li>Dishwasher, Microwave, and Oven Safe, up to 375 degrees</li>
<li>Simple, clean aesthetics</li>
<li>Lead-free glazing</li>

The text in <  > are HTML tags, which can control many aspects of how your text appears, such as BOLD or Italic, or even change the color. In this case, the HTML is used to give a bulleted list.

<ul> is for Unordered List

<li> is for List Item (which starts the bulleted text).

</li> or </ul> ends the section. In general, this is HTML syntax, use a slash / to end a section.

Here is a great site for learning on <ul> and much more:

W3 School

Step 4:

Save your Item Record and launch the Artisan Task Manager by clicking on “Run” (or “Stop” and then “Run” if it’s already running).

Step 5:

After this finishes, look at your website for the updated item in your Products.

You can see that the mug has been uploaded with its picture and the bulleted description.

Mission 2

Turn the Navy Mug into a base product with variants of additional colors.

Click here for more detailed instructions on how to make product variants.

Step 1:

Edit the Navy Mug and change it to “Classic Mug.” Reduce the quantity on hand to 0 and save the record.

Step 2:

Create a Variant Template with the additional colors and apply the template to the Classic Mug. Edit the Navy and change its quantity on hand back to 12.

Step 3:

Edit each of the variants and import their respective image for each color.

Step 4:

Run the Artisan Task Manger and let it update your products. This will take a little longer because it has to upload all the new images.

Step 5:

Review the Shopify site and look for your changes in the Products and then on the visible site.

Notice that Shopify displays the various color choices, so it is easy for the shopper to see their color options.

More Internet Store Fields

Now that we have gone through a basic item and that you can see how easy it is, let’s dig into a few more details.

First of all, you have to Indicate that this item is to be included online: Include in Internet Store?

There are several Internet Store Fields for Shopify. It is important to note that not all the fields in Artisan are used in Shopify.

Here’s the breakdown:

Artisan POS Shopify Fields

Item Code (SKU)

Product Name or Item Description

This is the main Artisan description. If you want that name to be different, you can use the Product Name field, which you can make much longer than the 40 characters allowed by Item Description. To use a longer description enter that in the Product Name field, which will override the Description field.

Price and Discounted Price

In the Artisan Task Manager, you can specify a Price Level or Customer Type. Most of the time this would just be Retail, but if your shopping cart was targeted to wholesale, you would want to change it. If you are using normal retail then the price comes from the Retail Price field in Artisan.
If you have a discount, then the computed discount price is also sent to Shopify and shows as the “Compare at price”.

Category Description

When you set a category to be included in the Internet Store, the category description will be uploaded to Shopify. This will do two things on the Shopify side, first, it will create a Product Type which is like a category.

Product Types in Shopify don’t really have a manageable list like in Artisan, but you can see them from the pull-down under Organization.

You can use them in a Collection, which is the 2nd thing that the category upload will do, it will create a collection that groups items together by one or more criteria. From the Menu option in you can specify that a menu will display the items from a particular Collection.

Uploading a Category will NOT automatically create a menu option.

Here are the exact steps to do that:

  1. From within Shopify, find your Sales Channel for Online Store.
  2. Click on it to open up the menu and then click on Navigation.
  3. Click on Main Menu.
  4. Add a menu item, relate it to the collection, and then drag it where you want it.
  5. Drag it to where you want it to appear on your menu.
  6. Click Add and then Save Menu.
  7. Your New menu Option (pointing to your new collection) now shows up.

Manufacturer (As Shopify Vendor)

When you specify a Manufacturer in Artisan and indicate that the vendor is to be included in the Internet Store, Artisan will upload that to Shopify.


Make sure you don’t forget to include this vendor on the internet store.

Vendors and Manufacturers are pulling from the same VENDOR list in Artisan. In the vendor record, you can specify what type of Vendor they are…

When you are creating a new item for a vendor that has either Manufacturer or Artist, then Artisan will automatically select that vendor as the Manufacture for that item. This is a nice shortcut, but, you always have the option of manually selecting the manufacturer.

In Shopify, the Vendor field will show up in your products. You can use this field to make a Vendor collection and put that on the menu if you want.

Inventory Tracking

In Shopify, you can specify whether or not you Track quantity for products. If you don’t, that product will remain on the site as available. Perhaps this is a product that you have readily available or is a service.

Most products will have the checkmark to show that you are tracking inventory. The Track Quantity setting in Shopify is directly set from the Inventory Tracking field in Artisan.


Available Quantity On Hand (un-reserved QOH)

This the number of units you have in stock – minus the number of units reserved.

So if you sell something on the Shopify that you just have one of and you don’t have then Continue selling when out of stock selection checked, then that item will show Sold Out.

In Artisan, that item will show one on hand minus the one reserved and it would upload quantity zero to Shopify.


Most products are taxable, but for the few that aren’t, you can specify which ones those are.

In Artisan this field is in the Category record.

Product Variants

As described in Mission #2 above, you can have product variations such as size, color, shape, and much more. There are a number of options in the Artisan Product Variant template that controls how this looks.

Depending on your Template and settings… On the Shopify front page, you usually have an option to specify which products you want to feature. Maybe these are new products or products that haven’t been noticed or you have discounted it.

With this option set to Yes, then Artisan will create an Inventory Tag called “Featured

With a Tag, you can create a collection.

With a Collection, you can specify which products are featured.

Product Tags

Product Tags are very similar to Keywords in Artisan, they help you group products by things beyond category or product type. In the Artisan field, separate the various words with a comma. With tags, you can create collections or help your customers narrow down products to what they are interested in. Here are some example of Product Tags: Blue, Outdoor, Indoor, Watercolor, Gold, Silver

For More Details from Shopify:

Shipping Weight

This is the individual weight of the product (including packaging). This weight will be used to calculate shipping charges depending on your shipping options in Shopify. This field is not used if you choose flat rate shipping.

Additional Categories

Additional categories are another way to cross-reference products to place the products into multiple collections automatically. In the Artisan field, you MUST specify valid Artisan categories that have the Include In Internet Store set to Yes. Separate these codes with a comma.

Brief Description

Right now, the Brief Description is used for “Meta Description” for Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

What is a meta description?
Here’s an excerpt from a blog on the topic.

Meta-descriptions play a big role in search results. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.

The image below shows you the basic anatomy of a search result, including where the meta description fits in.

This is the link to the source in its entirety:

Detailed Description

This field is one of the most import fields for communicating what your product is about. This section can include just straight text, or it can include HTML tags. HTML tags dramatically expand the look of your text. There are two basic ways you can enter this text. You can type in the tags yourself:

<li>Dishwasher, Microwave, and Oven Safe, up to 375 degrees</li>
<li>Simple, clean aesthetics</li>
<li>Lead-free glazing</li>

The text in <  > are the HTML tags, which can control many aspects of how your text appears, such as BOLD or Italic, or even change the color. In this case, the HTML is used to give a bulleted list.

<ul> is for Unordered List

<li> is for List Item (which starts the bulleted text).

</li> or </ul> ends the section. In general, this is HTML syntax, use a slash / to end a section.

Here is a great site for learning on <ul> and much more.

W3 School

Secondly, you can use Shopify’s Description field and use their Rich Text editor and when you have it the way you want, then switch to the HTML version and copy this text into the Artisan Description field. You can even embed videos and other media.

Full-Size Image and all the Additional Images, not Thumbnail Image

One of the most important ways to communicate details about your products is through product images. Just try to see it from the shopper’s perspective. What things do you need to know in order to make a buying decision about this product? With Artisan and Shopify you can have up to 6 images per product.

For variations, you can one image each. If you need to have multiple images, you can put those in your Base Product, and then each variation can have it’s one image.

The Thumbnail Image is not used with Shopify.

There are several critical attributes when it comes to images:

Size: It is important to get the right size and it is good to have consistent sizes throughout your site.

Shopify says: “It’s vital to strike a balance between images that are large enough so users can zoom in and those that are an optimum size, so they don’t take up too much space and slow down your page load times. On Shopify, you can upload images of up to 4472 x 4472 pixels with a file size of up to 20 MB. But the platform typically recommends using 2048 x 2048 pixels for square product photos. These are high-resolution images that give your store a professional and well-rounded look with great zoom capabilities. Keep in mind that for zoom functionality to work your images have to be more than 800 x 800 pixels.”

We at CerTek think that for most products, your images should be around 1000 x 1500 or 2500 to 3000 when you add length and width together.

Background: Of course, it is best if you can take all your own images with consistent backgrounds maybe a black and a white option… this helps your site look more consistent and amazing. However, if you can’t get all your own photos, try to do the best you can. Reduce the amount of background where possible, show as much product as you can.

Bright, Clear, In-Focus images are best.

Editing your Images

It is important to have a good image editor to resize, crop, adjust the colors, etc. There are lots of good ones out there. PhotoShop is very popular, but if you aren’t already familiar with it, there may be a learning curve, but it certainly is very powerful. I personally like ScreenPresso and ThumbsPlus. ScreenPresso is easy, fast, and awesome for editing a single image or for screen capture. ThumbsPlus is more powerful and most importantly it has a batch option that can resize a whole group of images.

Important Note

You should NOT enter your products directly into Shopify. Please use Artisan instead for most things.

Updated on September 1, 2023

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