Importing Variation Groups

This guide is a walkthrough of the steps involved in creating variation groups and populating them with child SKUs in bulk, via CSV file. If you wish to create or rename variation groups, populate or remove SKUs individually, please see our main Variations guide.


Importing and populating Variation Groups is a common use for Inventory Imports. The process of creating the import is identical to any other Inventory Import, but preparation of the CSV file requires certain columns to be present, in order to be successful.

Preparing the CSV File

Creating and Populating Variation Groups

When creating Variation Groups by CSV upload, the SKUs should be added to them at the same time. The following columns are required when creating and populating variation groups, assuming that the child SKUs are already in Linnworks. If they are not then more columns can be added to append relevent details to the new child SKUs.

Column Description
SKU Unique identifier to reference this item in Linnworks.
Is Variation Group Enter Yes if the SKU is to be a Variation group instead of a normal Linnworks SKU.
Variation Group Name If the item is the parent SKU of a variation group, this is the name given to the group as a whole.
Variation SKU This is the Parent SKU that the Child SKUs will belong to.


SKU Is Variation Group Variation SKU Variation Group Name SKU Title Retail Price Colour
VallejoModelCGroup Yes VallejoModelCGroup Vallejo Game Color Paints (17ml) Vallejo Game Color Paints (17ml)    
VGC001   VallejoModelCGroup   Vallejo Game Color Dead White 72.001 (17ml) 1.99 Dead White
VGC002   VallejoModelCGroup   Vallejo Game Color White Primer 72.002 (17ml) 1.99 White Primer
VGC003   VallejoModelCGroup   Vallejo Game Color Pale Flesh 72.003 (17ml) 1.99 Pale Flesh
VGC004   VallejoModelCGroup   Vallejo Game Color Elf Skintone 72.004 (17ml) 1.99 Elf Skintone

The example above is an extract of the sample CSV file, available here. Although most columns will map automatically, due to the CSV file's column names matching Linnworks properties, columns such as Color would need to be mapped as Extended Item Properties of type Attribute  

Please Note! When creating a variation group, please ensure that the SKU and Variation SKU match

Adding Additional SKUs to Existing Variation Groups

There are 4 required fields when adding SKUs to an existing variation group:

  • Child Item SKU
  • Variation Parent SKU
  • If the SKU is a variation group (Is Variation Group)
  • Variation Group Name 
    • Note! Variation Group Name values need to be empty in the file for this import to run successfully.

If SKUs do not exist in Linnworks, they will be added during the import process. Additional columns, to provide more information on the SKUs being added, will not impact the addition of SKUs to the variation group.

For example, if we want to add some more paint to the variation group created in the previous example and the individual paints already have an entry in Linnworks, the CSV file would look like the following:

SKU Variation SKU Is Variation Group Variation Group Name
VMC902 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC876 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC926 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC960 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC965 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC905 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC924 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC823 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC980 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC882 VallejoModelCGroup No  
VMC856 VallejoModelCGroup No  

Is Variation Group will default to "No" if there is no data entered in the row, but for the sake of completeness, it has been added to the above table.

Renaming a Variation Group

It is possible to rename a variation group via CSV. Below is an example of a CSV file to rename a variation group. It should be imported using an Inventory Import, substituting the relevent SKU, Variation SKU and Variation Group Name :

SKU Variation SKU Variation Group Name
VallejoModelCGroup VallejoModelCGroup A Different Name for the Group