Really Shopify ??? API no collections with hierarchy posable for large shops ????

2 0 0

So here is my problem i have searched for a long time and could not find an answer.
Basically, i am stunned to hear that this is not even possible and i hope someone could prove me wrong, otherwise Shopify will never get any already running big shops on their platform.

We currently run a woocommerce shop with 1 million products and 3500 categories.

We know that Shopify uses (collections) the same way woocommerce uses categories.
after importing 3500 categories. there is no way to automaticly/API nest them in the right order.

partent>Child>grandchild order.

Manually is possible by going to the theme navigation and adding there one by one and then sorting them.

For a 3500+ categorie shop this is a NO GO.  

I have a few questions first and formost am i missing something ?
and the next question after that to shopify is........ why ????? this is like a basic function for 99% of webshops.
Granted not all webshops have that amount of categories but this way u will lock out a lot of BIG customers.
So why ?  

Replies 4 (4)

Shopify Partner
73 6 10

hi @pvdbincome 

No, your're not missing anything, you're right, Shopify does not work with nested categories; this feature is sometime hard to get, but it is the way the shopify engine works, after some coding/workaround and stuff you will not going to notice the difference.


One of the common workaround seen is to create a metafield definition for the Collecion resource, like "category_level" set to integer and use it to order the collections, as you can use the metafield both in API and in frontend liquid.


Fun fact: a lot of big customers already work with this kind of "flat categories" system, as most of them use PIMs and other backend system to manage their data before sending it to the CMS


Let me know if this makes any sense to you, I'd be happy to share our thoughts !

2 0 0


Hi thanks for the answer, and thanks for taking the time to answer it.
But i do not see any way to sort them together, now i have 30 levels 1 > 500 level 2 > and 2500 level 3 categories, but they need to be connected in the right order now  Parent>child>grandchild.

the way i am used to work is that all categories have an ID that are linked  
Like ID 1  is parent ID 234 is the child and ID 2300 is the grandchild.

this way i can link them ,

I really hope there is still some way to get them presented in the right way on the frondend page.

Shopify Partner
73 6 10

Hi @pvdbincome you could use other metafields to store, for each collection, the relative parent and the relative children and then edit the iteration that outputs them in the frontend

please notice that an useful kind of metafield type is the one with list of values, which you can select from admin frontend as "Single Line text" -> list of values

this way it will be already rendered as an array in frontend liquid

Shopify Partner
30 1 5



My name is Alison, I'm the Customer Success Specialist for Ablestar apps.  We have an app called the WooCommerce Importer that migrates stores to Shopify.  Like you mentioned, it is only capable of migrating the top-level categories as that is all Shopify will accept.


What many people do to overcome the issue with collections is take the sub-categories from WooCommerce and add them to the Shopify products as 'tags'.  Then, you can filter the top-level collection with the tags. The URL structure for filtering collections in Shopify looks like this:


If you use the WooCommerce Importer for the migration, we can provide you with a CSV file of the categories from Woo, and use our Bulk Product Editor app (the free version is fine) to add the tags in with that file.   


There are other also apps available (like )that help manage collections and nested menus. We do not have any that do, but there are several options available.


Something else to keep in mind is that Shopify has a restriction on the number of variants that can be imported per day.  Once you hit the 50,000 limit you will be throttled to only importing 1000 variants per day.  It is a Shopify restriction, so you would need to reach out to Shopify directly to see if they can lift it.


If you have any more questions you can reach out to us directly at