How to Set Up/Assign Product Attributes on Shopify


When setting rules against certain products, you will often need to assign things to the products in Shopify. These attributes are either Shipping Groups, OriginsPacking Rules, or product dimensions (L, W, H).

You can update product attributes individually, or in bulk. This doc expresses how to do both below.


When updating Shopify attributes, be sure to check whether you are updating the Parent product, or the child/variant product. If you are setting attributes on a variant/child product, you’ll need to ensure ShipperHQ is set to look at the variants/child attributes.

Update Individual Products


  1. In your Shopify backend, go to the Product Catalogue and view one of your products
  2. These fields are under “More Actions” dropdown on your product details. Click on “Edit Shipping Properties”
  3. Copy/Paste the exact name of your Shipping Group, Origin, or Packing Rule and enter that into the relevant field (note Packing Rules are named “Dimensional Groups” in Shopify). For example: If you have a Shipping Group called SURCHARGE, you will enter that into the Shipping Groups field
    When you Edit Shipping Properties, it will open the Bulk editor menu where you can insert Product Dimensions, Shipping Groups, Origins, etc.
  4. If you are using Dimensional Shipping, set the length, width, and height of products.

Note: All names are case sensitive.
If you need to assign more than one Origin or Shipping Group to a product, separate the names with a hash (#) symbol.

When you Edit Shipping Properties, it will open the Bulk editor menu where you can insert Product Dimensions, Shipping Groups, Origins, etc.

Update Variant Products

If you want to edit the metafields for variant products, you will need to ensure your ShipperHQ configuration is set to not use the parent attributes (metafields). If you don’t change this setting, when you click on “Edit Shipping Properties” it will only give the option to edit the parent products metafields. If you change this setting, you will need to set metafields on all of your variant products that currently have metafields set on their parent product.

Update Products via Bulk Import/Export

You can update product attributes in bulk using a 3rd party app. ShipperHQ is not an export/import app. While most eCommerce platforms support bulk updates natively, Shopify does not.

Below will feature how to use the Metafields2 app from sineLABS.

An additional application available for adding product attributes is available from Ablestar. For step by step instructions and more information on Ablestar, please see their guide for Editing ShipperHQ Product Attributes in Shopify.

Note: ShipperHQ is using Shopify best practice by using Metadata fields.

ShipperHQ supports 3 types of attributes at a product level in Shopify, as well as product dimensions:

  1. Shipping Groups
  2. Origins
  3. Dimensional Rule Groups (Packing Rules)

For example, you may wish to assign products to a shipping group BIKE so you can set up a shipping rule on it. Then in Shopify you will assign all products that are bikes to the group BIKE so when they are in the cart the rules will apply to them.


  1. Download Metafields2 app from the Shopify App store. If you need help with the download or configuring of the Metafields2 App, you’ll need to contact for help.
  2. After download, you’ll want to go to your Shopify dashboard and click –>Products–>More Actions–>Metafields2 App.
  3. If you’ve already added some ShipperHQ Attributes to your products, you can go to Metafields App–>Utilities–>Export Metafields–>New Export Job for ‘Products’ and click “Start Export Job”.
  4. Once this has been done, you’ll have a CSV table of your attributes for products. You can then enter the Shipping Groups, Origins or Dimensional Rule Groups quickly and easily.
  5. If you do not have any attributes on the products yet, you will first need to create the metafields in Metafields2 by clicking on ‘Products’ or ‘Variants’ (depending on which type of product you wish to edit).
  6. Once the metafields have been created, export all of your products by going to Metafields App–>Utilities–>Export Metafields–>New Export Job for ‘Products’. Then click, “Start Export Job”.
  7. Download the resulting export .csv created and edit in a spreadsheet editor using the ‘UTF-(8)‘ formatting. Using any format other than ‘UTF-(8)‘ will result in a failed import.
  8. Once the necessary edits have been made to the .csv, export the file using the same ‘UTF-(8)’ format.
  9. Go back to Metafields App–>Utilities, create a new import, and choose the .csv file that was just created.

Adding Reusable Attributes to the Bulk Editor

Within Shopify, there is also the ability to add additional attributes that can be used for supported ShipperHQ functions. The process below will outline how to create reusable attributes that can be added and used with the bulk metafield editor.

To add a new attribute:

1. From your Shopify dashboard, navigate to Settings.

Shopify Dashboard | Select Settings

2. Select Custom Data

3. Under Metafield Descriptions, select Products then select Add Definition.

4. From here, enter the name of the attribute you want to create and use for your product definition.

Be sure to set this definition to apply for a List of Products, rather than a Single Product.

Assign Custom Metafield | List of Products

5. Once saved, you can navigate to your products page and select any product you want to update with the new metafield definition. 

6. Upon entering the product, select Edit Shipping Properties as noted above. Initially, the new metafield definition will not be visible yet at the product level.

You’ll simply want to click the Columns link in the upper-right of the screen to open a list of additional product options. 

Select the new metafield description and it will be added to the metafields for the selected product(s).

7. Once the new metafield description is selected, you’ll see it appear as a new column within the bulk editor. 

Select the applicable products and then save the updates to complete the process.

Types of Metafields

Please note: the Metafield attribute keys below are CASE SENSITIVE and must be uppercase. Saving a value for an equivalent lowercase attribute will prevent the value for the uppercase attribute from being edited, and the value from the lowercase attribute will not be used.

ShipperHQ Metafields
Namespace Key Type Value
global SHIPPING_GROUPS string or single_line_text_field Shipping Group Name
global ORIGINS string or single_line_text_field Origin name
global DIMENSIONAL_GROUPS string or single_line_text_field Dimensional Rules Name
global LENGTH string or single_line_text_field Length
global WIDTH string or single_line_text_field Width
global HEIGHT string or single_line_text_field Height
global HS_CODE string or single_line_text_field HS Code

Once you’ve followed the steps above; you will be able to bulk import/export the ShipperHQ metadata fields on your products.

Note on Metafield Types

In 2021, Shopify made changes to the available “types” that can be used for metafields. This included deprecating the “string” type used by ShipperHQ. When using Metafields 2 you may see ShipperHQ-related metafields set to use the “string” type but when setting up new ShipperHQ-related metafields using Metafields 2 you’ll need to use the “single_line_text_field”. Using either type will not cause issues with ShipperHQ’s ability to view and use the values set on these metafields.

Next Steps

After you’ve assigned products to their needed dimensions, Shipping Group, Packing Rule, or Origin, you can start to test them! Add the product to your cart and add a zip code to test the rates and see your results. If tests aren’t coming out as expected, check our common Troubleshooting steps for guidance!

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