How to import and export position of the product in the category. Magento 2 visual merchandise

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Native Magento 2 import and export tool doesn’t let you manage product positions inside category, meaning you have to assign every product position manually, which proves to be a tedious task.

With Improved Import and Export extension for Magento 2 you can import and export product positions using CSV, XML, XLSX, ODS, and Json files. In this article you will learn how.


This article is a part of Firebear Magento 2 import and export Guide List, which covers ALL entities, and all import and export procedures and peculiarities that you need to know. Visit Magento 2 import and export Guide List reference page to find how to import a particular entity to Magento 2.

Read Magento 2 import and export Guide List

Every product in a category in Magento 2 store has a certain position. The position of the products defines the order in which the products are displayed on the store front. The position of the products can be used for advertising or marketing purposes, that’s why having an ability to quickly set the position for products, especially in the stores with thousands of products, may save lots of management time.

Product positions in the Magento 2 administrator panel can be found under Catalog > Categories. Here you need to choose the category you want to adjust the product positions for, and proceed to Products in Category settings section.

Here, in the product grid, in the Position column you can see the positions automatically assigned to products by Magento 2. If you want, you can adjust these positions manually for every category. This however will take much time.

With Improved Import and Export extension for Magento 2, you can export existing product positions, adjust the positions according to your needs, and import products with the new positions back to your Magento 2 store.

How to import product category positions in Magento 2

As it has been mentioned above, you will first need to install Improved Import & Export extension for Magento 2. The extension introduces new product attribute categories_position. The attribute is added to the general product attributes in the tables you import and export. Basically you can get your old CSV tables with products saved. Add new column and name it categories_position. Then you will only need to type in proper values and you are good to go.

Below you will find the information on how to edit the product tables and where to put the product category position value. If you want to get instructions on how to work with Improved Import & Export extension and see the full process – read the extension manual.

How categories_position attribute works

The attribute has almost the same value type as categories attribute. First you specify full category path, then you type ‘=’ and a numeric value which represents the product position inside the category.

At the screenshot above you can see that categories_position attribute has the same value as categories attribute, with the exception to ‘=4’ which is the product position that we have set up. So the value of the categories_position attribute looks like this:

Root Category/Parent category/Child category=1

Where =1 is the position of the product.

You can also specify the category path in the categories_position attribute via category IDs, for example:


In this case, Improved Import & Export extension will trigger a check: if category path is specified in numerals – then the extension will consider that you are using category IDs. Please note that if you are using categories which only consist of numerals – the extension will interpret such categories – as category IDs.

Categories_position attribute peculiarities

The custom attribute introduced with Improved Import & Export extension 3.1.8 release is a part of custom logic, that is why it is important to understand what’s behind this logic, and how exactly categories_position attribute behaves.

  1. Categories_position attribute should be added to the ‘Products’ table. It is a part of product entity and you can only import product positions as a product update: using only sku and categories_position attributes for existing products. Or full set of product attributes if you are importing new products.
  2. If you have never set product positions manually in the Magento 2 administrator panel. Magento 2 will automatically set product positions to ‘0’. That’s why, if the position has never been set manually, when first exporting products, you will get ‘0’ values for product position.
  3. With categories_position attribute, when specifying category paths, you can use both category names or category IDs. With every import execution, Improved Import & Export extension will run a check for categories_position attribute value. If the value consists of numerals, the extension will treat such values as category IDs, and will consider proper categories. If the value consists of numerals and letters, the extension will treat such values as category names, and will consider proper categories.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about categories_position custom product attribute and how it works.

About Improved Import & Export extension

Improved Import & Export extension is a complete import-export and integration solution for your Magento 2 store. It can import and export ALL Magento 2 entities, can help you connect to your ERP and CRM software, POS systems, and dropshipping services.

Firebear team is constantly updating the extension with updates appearing almost every month. Each update brings new functionality and further enhances the extension’s functionality. 

Often, the add-ons for the extension are released. Each add-on covers connection with a third-party system or aimed at helping you with the store management.

Improved Import & Export extension features:

  • All product type support.
  • Import and export of the most common B2C and B2B entities: products and MSI, customers, cart price rules, companies, requisition, etc.
  • Bilateral synchronization via Rest and SOAP API.
  • Import and export available for CSV, XML, Excel XLSX, ODS and Json files.
  • Attribute and attribute value mappings.
  • Intuitive interface suitable for users of all level proficiency.

A full list of available features you can find at the extension’s product page.

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