Troubleshoot CSV Order Imports

General notes you should be aware of when importing orders from a CSV file and troubleshooting tips if your import fails for any reason.

Troubleshoot many common issues when importing orders via a CSV file. Expand an issue title below to view the reason the issue occurs and the action to take to resolve the issue.

Import Order Action is Not Available

Starter Plan

The Starter does not include the ability to import orders from a CSV file. Merchants on the Starter pricing plan will not have access to the Import Orders option in ShipStation.

The Issue

The Import Order action is not available in the Other Actions menu.

The Cause

CSV imports can only create or update orders in a ShipStation Manual Store, which is chosen at the beginning of the import process. Each CSV import is limited to a single store.

If no Manual Stores are active in the account, the Import Order action will not be available in the Other Actions menu.

CSV Import Orders pop-up. Red box highlights the Import to Store dropdown

The Fix

Create a Manual Store. Review the instructions to add a manual store in the Connect a Store article.

Existing Orders in ShipStation Were Not Updated

The Issue

When attempting to update an existing order in a Manual Store with data from a CSV import, the order was not updated.

The Cause

If an Order CSV is imported into a store that includes Order Numbers that are already in use, ShipStation will attempt to update the existing orders using those Order Numbers. If the existing order is in a Shipped or Cancelled status, that order will not be updated.

The Fix

  • Ensure that the order number in the CSV file matches the order number you are attempting to update in ShipStation.

  • Ensure that the order in ShipStation is not in a Shipped or Cancelled status.

Some Fields are Now Blank After a CSV Import

The Issue

After importing orders via a CSV file, some of the order information is missing. The fields are blank.

The Cause

Data in ShipStation is overwritten by the data imported from a CSV file.

When importing a CSV, blank fields in the CSV file will cause the corresponding field to be blank in ShipStation. The exception to this is Order Date, which will default to today's date if left blank.

The Fix

Ensure that all of the data for all orders are included in the CSV file being imported into ShipStation.

The Buyer Name Fields Were Not Updated

The Issue

The Buyer Name field was included in the order data imported via a CSV file, but the Buyer Name was not updated after importing the file.

The Cause

When updating orders with a CSV import, the Buyer Name field cannot be updated. The Buyer Name is locked to the order after the initial import.

Orders are Not Associated with the Correct Customer Records

The Issue

The orders imported from a CSV file are not associated with the correct customers in ShipStation.

The Cause

To create customer records for orders, or to connect orders to an existing customer record, you must include the customer Buyer Username in the CSV and map it to the Buyer Username field during the order import action.

The Fix

Ensure that the Buyer Username field is included in the CSV file and mapped to the Buyer Username field in ShipStation.

When associating an order to an existing customer record, be sure that the Buyer Username in the CSV file matches the Buyer Username in ShipStation.


Column Names are Not Displaying Correctly when Mapping the Fields in ShipStation

The Issue

You are unable to see the column header names in the import mapping screen and instead only see the numerical value for the column header (F1, F2, F3, etc.)

The Cause

Special characters included in a saved mapping name can cause ShipStation to improperly validate the column headers.

The Fix

Check your Saved Mappings name for special characters, like the # symbol. Rename your Saved Mapping so that it does not include any special characters.

Additional Things to Know

  • If a CSV has orders with multiple items in them, and you want to import text into one of ShipStation's Notes fields, that text must be on the order's top row of information.

  • Each column header name should be unique. Do not duplicate column header names in the CSV file.

  • Do not add a period or other special characters to the text in column headers.

    For example, adding a period on column headers like "Order No." can cause errors upon import.

  • Use semicolons to display multiple options in the Item Options column.

    This column uses key:value pairs to display options such as color:blue. Semicolons will separate two key:value pairs, letting you create and display a second item option.

    For example: color:blue;size:small will create two different item option rows for the product, and color:blue;size:small;material:cotton will create three rows of item options, etc.

    Without the semicolon, everything that follows the second colon will fail to display.

    Order Import CSV with Item Options column showing key:value pair sample. "Color: Black; Size: XL; no bow"