How customer records are created by ShipStation and how to import customer records with a CSV file.
When ShipStation imports orders from your store or marketplace, it will check the customer in the order against your account's existing customer database to update the customer history. If no customer record exists, ShipStation creates a new customer record.
ShipStation will use the customer's username, id number, or email address to identify the customer, depending on what is received from the order's source. For example, ShipStation identifies eBay customers based on the eBay username, but will identify Shopify customers based on the Shopify's internal customer id number. Whichever field we use, ShipStation stores the value as Username .
ShipStation uses the order's Ship To address information in the customer record. If a new order for the same customer imports into ShipStation and is using a different address, ShipStation will update the customer record to match the new order.
Add customers with manual orders
Import customers via CSV file
If you use MailChimp, our MailChimp integration automatically creates new MailChimp email subscribers when new orders are imported.
In ShipStation, go to Settings > Integrations > Integration Partners > MailChimp to learn more.
When you create a manual order, either using the New Order button in the Orders tab or an Order CSV import, ShipStation will check the customer in the order against the existing customer database to update the customer history.
New Order Button
When using this method, the manual order must include an email address for ShipStation to link the order to an existing customer or create a new customer record.
Click the New Order button.
Fill in all necessary information for the order.
Save the order.
CSV Order Import
If you're performing a CSV Order Import, you will need to map a field in your CSV file to the Buyer Username during the import process for ShipStation to link the order to an existing customer or create a new customer record.
The most common way to do this is to include both an Email Address field and a Username field. Then, enter the email address for your customer into both fields. You'll then map that field to the Buyer Username field during the order import process (pictured below). Then, proceed with your order import normally.
ShipStation will store the order's Ship To address information in the customer record. If a new order for the same customer is created in ShipStation with a different address, ShipStation will update the customer record to match the new order.
You can modify customer records created by the manual orders process by using the Customer CSV Import process described in the next section.
You cannot export a customer list from the Customer's tab. However, you can use the Raw Data Exports from the Insights Reports to export a list of your customer records from ShipStation.
If you need access to your entire backlog of customer records (for example, to easily create a label for a call-in order), you can import those records into ShipStation using a specially formatted CSV file. All customers created in this way will be listed under the Manual ShipStation marketplace.
You can also update existing customer records by importing the specially formatted CSV file. However, ShipStation will only update customer records created under the Manual ShipStation marketplace when using this method, not customer records created by a connected selling channel or marketplace.
The CSV import process will replace the data in ShipStation with the data from the CSV. This means if you have a blank cell in the CSV for a field that currently contains data in ShipStation, the CSV import will overwrite that data with a null value and that data will no longer be available in ShipStation.
To add customer records via a CSV file:
Click the link to Download a sample CSV file.
This sample CSV is also available for download at the bottom of this article. Skip ahead to Step 4 if you're already familiar with our Customer Import format.
Fill in the downloaded CSV file with your customer information in the correct field, or create your own CSV using this sample as a template.
Do not make any changes to the header row text or change the sequence of the columns in the header row (row 1) of the pre-formatted CSV template. Doing so will cause the customer import to fail.
Notice that, in addition to the typical address book type fields, there is a Username column. ShipStation requires unique values in the Username field to tell your customers apart. If you don't have a specific username to enter here, enter their email addresses both here and in the email field.
Here's a quick list of the Required fields:
Address Line 1
And at least one of the following: Full Name, First Name, Last Name, or Company Name.
You are now ready to import the file into ShipStation.
Click Select a File to pick your CSV when you're certain that your file has the required headers, in the required order, with the required fields populated.
Tell ShipStation what it should do if your CSV includes a username that's already in use by an existing customer record:
Update the existing record with the CSV
Will create a new customer record if the username is not currently in use by the manual ShipStation marketplace.
If username is already in use by the manual ShipStation marketplace, ShipStation will update the existing customer record.
Ignore the record in the CSV. Only customers with new usernames will import.
Will only create a new customer record if the username is not currently in use by any marketplace.
If username is already in use by any marketplace, the row on the CSV file will be ignored.
Click Start Import once you've made your choice.
You'll be notified when the import process is complete, so feel free to close the import window!
Read our CSV Import Troubleshooting and Tips article if you encounter difficulty with your Customer CSV file.